A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story (1995) - full transcript

This highly-rated television film covers the life of American movie/TV/pop music idol Annette Funicello. The movie starts with the move of her family from New York to California, where in 1955 shy Annette becomes one of the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club. The movie covers her child stardom, her teen idol years, her singing career with big hits like "Tall Paul", her romance with Paul Anka, her classic beach party films with Frankie Avalon, and her first marriage. It also shows her large comeback in the late 1980s and her second marriage, and the day when she found out she had multiple sclerosis.

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(children chattering)

Hey, that one's mine.
Give it back!

Hey now, you rascal!

This is a wedding day
and there's going to be

a big reception
in this room later.

So it's out of bounds until
you see a bunch of adults

laughing and singing
and dancing.

Out you go.

Sorry about that, Virginia.
How's Gina doing?

Virginia: Nervous as a bride
can be. How's Annette?

Man: Just as happy as the mother
of the bride can be.



How are you?

Is "grandmother of the bride"
an official term?

Man: It is in this house.

Oh! Hello.

What's your name?

-Heather.
-Heather?

Well, Heather,
your friends are outside.

They're not my friends.

What do you mean? Won't they
let you play with them?

Why not?

'Cause I'm too shy.

They don't play games
that shy girls like?

Oh. Come with me,
why don't you.

Hi.



Annette: Hi!

Who have we here?

Her name is Heather.
She's a soulmate of yours.

She's shy.

Can she stay with you?

Well, we shy ones
have to stick together.

Heather,

will you stay with me?

What's your favorite thing?

My doll.

What do you like to do
with your doll?

Tell stories.

What's your favorite story?

Cinderella.

Really?
That's my favorite, too.

Really?

Maybe you're Cinderella.

That's silly.

You want me to tell you

a Cinderella story?

Okay.

Well, this story is different

than the ones you've heard.

This story starts
in the city of...

Young Annette:
...Utica, New York,

just after
the Second World War,

which was a long time ago.

Uncle Pete: You're going
to California in this?

-Joe: You bet!
-Maria: Why is this the first
we've heard about it?

Old Man: Because they knew it
would be a big fuss, like this.

Virginia, this is pazzo!

Oh, pazzo, that's good.
"Crazy" sounds better
in Italian.

Crazy is crazy.

California is a place
you visit for a few days.

-When you're older!
-Well, we don't wanna wait

till we're older.
We wanna live there now.

-Uncle Pete: Why?
-what's in California?

Well, I don't know, Mom,
that's why we wanna go there.

Do you have a place
to stay there?

No.

Joe, you got a job, huh?

Uncle Pete, you wanna stop?

Here, Joe's Auto Repair
is bringing in good money.

You got a nice home,
you got family.

Friends who care about you.

Mama, we're young. We want
to see what there is to see

and do what there is
to do.

We got plenty of time later
to get settled and old.

But you're throwing away
security.

Enough Maria, enough.

They have a dream...

not so different from
the one we had, remember?

"Go west, to America,

make a new life."

We did it.

Now they do it.

Then, it was the Bronx.

Now, it is California.

(chuckles)
They're following the sun.

They are not going to
fall off the edge.

All right, go.

You want surprises?
You'll get them.

Uncle Pete:
You'll be back.
You'll be back.

You'll be back in Utica
before Christmas.

Jeez!

(sighs)

Maria:
Poor little Annette,
all alone in California.

Young Annette:
Then, like in any
good fairy tale,

this particular Cinderella's
parents had to go and see
a fortune teller.

I see a journey,
a long journey.

See?

Eh, they always say that.

Joe.

You are traveling
across the country.

All the way to California.

Oh, my God!
Well? Well?

Oh, I don't know.
It's pretty good.

Except that we only told every
one of our 200,000 relatives,

some of whom are probably
her relatives too.

Shh, please.

You will live and prosper
in California...

-There you go.
-...and you will have another
child in California.

(chuckles)
Thanks, but two is enough.

A boy.

And-- and he will be famous.

Really?

He will be beautiful.

I hear him singing,
and singing.

-A singer?
-Yeah.

Your child will be
embraced by the world.

And then, a cloud...

a deep secret, a hurt.

What? What is it?

Nothing.

Well, is the journey
gonna be okay?

There will be some problems,
but, uh...

What? What problems?

-An illness.
-Who's gonna get sick?

Don't worry, huh?

Don't worry.

I'm sorry, I, uh...

I can see no more.

Yeah. Right.
How much, uh...

do I have to give you?
Thank you.

Oh, no, no, please.
I don't accept money.

Just give something
to the poor.

California will be wonderful.

Thank you so much.

Thank you.

Huh? So, what,
you're not convinced?

You're convinced,

don't tell me
you're not convinced.

(kisses)
Come on, let's go.

Come on, a journey,
California.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

A baby, a baby boy...

Joe:
I can't believe how big
this country is.

We've been on the road forever
and we're only in Ohio.

Young Annette:
Ma remembers that that extra
person with us on the trip

was the fortune teller.

Joe, come in here,
will you, please?

-Take a look at this.
-What is it?

Chicken pox.

Illness? The fortune teller
was right.

That's okay. Hey, then she
said we'd live and prosper.

-Yeah.
-Mm-hmm.

And then a cloud.

-You still wanna go?
-Sure, don't be pazzo!

We're gonna go to California
and make a baby.

♪ Eliminate the negative ♪

♪ Latch on
to the affirmative ♪

(inspirational music)

-Joe: Come on, folks,
let's take a look.
-At what, Daddy?

The promised land, honey.

Annette:
What did the land promise?

Virginia:
Everything, honey.

-For you, Virginia.
-Thank you, Joe.

(girl laughing)

Virginia:
Annie!

Annette!

Hm.

Honey,

what are you doing over here?

Go get in the game.

-No.
-Why?

Come on, I'll take you.

No, Mama...

Young Annette:
Mama thought I'd grow out
of my shyness.

(laughs) But I didn't.

Like Cinderella,
I've always been shy.

I still am.

I want Grandpa and Grandma.

I know, you're homesick.

But soon you'll go to school,

you'll make a lot
of new friends.

I promise.

Young Annette:
One of the things
Mama did to help

was enroll me
in a dance school.

Joe:
Are we going or not?

Of course. Annette,
what are you doing?

-Come on!
-Do I have to go?

Honey, yes.
It's your recital. Annette!

What have you worked
so hard for, honey?

You don't want to let
everybody down, do you?

No.

-Well, come-- (groans)
-(telephone ringing)

What, you're gonna
get that?

-It's Mama.
-It's her weekly check-in
to see how we like California.

You're gonna say
what we always say:

"Mama, we like it."
Come on, let's go.

(sighs, groans)

(ringing continues)

What I don't tell Mama
is it's just like Utica.

("Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
by Tchaikovsky playing)

(audience chattering)

(man shushing)

(whispers) What?

Excuse me,

would you mind very much?
I really need to sit here.

What's the matter? Are you okay?
Are you all right?

All these people.

Feel my hands.

Aw, honey.

Look, put these on.

You'll be fine
once you start dancing.

Here, here.

Maybe I shouldn't do this.

Really?

Because, you know,
you should only do it

if you love it,
and if it's fun,

and it's a good way
to make friends.

(audience applauding)

So, what do you think?

I don't know, Mom.

Oh, honey.

Annette?
Come on, honey.

It's your turn.

Because it's fun?

Look, don't worry about
the whole audience.

Just dance for one
special person.

(scattered applause)

("Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky
playing)

Miss Funicello.

(inaudible)

(music crescendos)

(scattered applause)

(loud applause)

(telephone rings)

(sighs) Hello?

Virginia? Al Gilbert.

Oh, hi, Al.

Virginia, listen...

Walt Disney was at
the performance last night.

You mean
the Mickey Mouse man?

I mean the head
of Disney Studios.

He's putting together a new
kids show for television,

and would like Annette to
audition to be a Musketeer.

Weren't the Three Musketeers
all men?

I remember Errol Flynn,

Tyrone Power, was it?

I-- (laughs) I don't think
we're interested, Al.

Virginia, it would mean
a lot to me and the school

to have a student
auditioned by Disney.

Oh, all right then,
we'll talk it over.

-Bye.
-Bye-bye.

(click, dial tone)

No, Mama,
I don't want to do it.

Fine, honey, if you don't want
to do it, we won't do it.

I mean, they have their pick of
the best dancers in Hollywood,

why would they want me?

Well, Mr. Disney
saw you dance last night.

I guess he liked you.

No. No, I can't.

It's fine, sweetheart.
I-I'll call Al.

W-What would they expect me
to do at this audition?

Dance.

Later on I think there's
gonna be some fencing.

It's nothing
to worry about now.

Would you be with me?

(chuckling)
Of course!

-Well, what do you think?
-I think...

it's something different,
a great adventure,

but it's up to you.

Mr. Gilbert's
been so nice to me.

I'd hate to let him down.

What's the worst thing
that can happen?

I wouldn't get to be
a Musketeer?

And you'd be no worse off
than you are already.

Okay.

-Really?
-Let's do it.

(upbeat music)

Finally, I'm out of Utica.

(child playing accordion poorly)

(music stops)

Man:
Thank you very much.

(mispronouncing)
Annette "Funisello."

Walt Disney:
Hello, Annette.

It's nice to see you again.

Hello.

What are you going to
sing for us today?

Oh, I don't sing, I dance.

Yes, we saw you dance,
and it was very nice.

Now we'd like to hear
you sing, too.

Just a chorus from any song.

Um...

(mouthing words)

Do you have a favorite song?

Um...

"Accentuate the Positive"?

(piano music)

♪ You've got to ac-cent-tchu-ate
the positive ♪

♪ E-lim-i-nate the negative ♪

♪ And latch on
to the affirmative ♪

♪ Don't mess with
Mr. In-Between ♪

♪ You've got to
spread joy... ♪

Maybe they forgot us.

Honey, they asked us to wait.

Take it easy.

(door opens)

Woman:
Good afternoon.
Mr. Disney's office.

Annette Funicello,

welcome to
"The Mickey Mouse Club."

You're going to be
a Mouseketeer.

A "Mouseketeer"?

New word.

Think it'll catch on?

(chuckles)
I sure hope so.

What do you think,
Annette?

I think I can't believe
that you picked me

after you heard me sing.

(chuckles)

Well, I did.

Come on,
let's get to work.

(upbeat music playing)

Soundstage 4,

where the Mouseketeer set is.

-Mr. Disney.
-Hi.

Woman (over PA):
...report to Stage 4.

So, you invented
Mickey Mouse, huh?

Well, let's say
I discovered him.

(laughs)
Like you discovered me?

I guess so, yes.

Oh, this is a nice
studio you've got.

-Thank you.
-You're welcome.

She's never done this much
talking to anyone, Mr. Disney,

outside of the family.
You must be a family member.

(chuckles)

I would consider that
an honor.

Me too.

(Disney laughs)

But I have to go now.
I hope you'll like
working here.

I think I'm going to.

Good. See you soon.

-Good-bye.
-Bye.

Oh, Mom, look!
What are those?

I'm going to be
on television?

(chuckling)
That's the idea.

Oh, Mom.
All those kids watching!

Suppose I can't do it?

You just showed them
you can do it. That's why
they picked you.

Mom, I did it once.

But every day,
five days a week?

With 23 other kids
who are better than me?

Annie, all our dreams
of moving to California
have been fulfilled.

Our life here is wonderful,
your dad's garage
is doing great.

We have our own
orange tree.

But it's okay
to have new dreams, too.

And if they can come true,
that's fine,

and if they don't come true,
that's fine, too.

You'll be there with me?

Oh, sweetheart,
I wouldn't miss it,
would I?

-No!
-(giggling)

(car honking)

Young Annette:
All summer, we rehearsed
and rehearsed.

We danced and we sang.

And we started becoming
great friends.

("Mickey Mouse Club March"
playing)

We even went to school.

♪ ...M-I-C-K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E ♪

♪ Hey there, hi there,
ho there ♪

♪ You're as welcome
As can be ♪

♪ M-I-C-K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E ♪

-♪ Mickey Mouse ♪
-♪ Donald Duck! ♪

-♪ Mickey Mouse ♪
-♪ Donald Duck! ♪

♪ Forever let us hold
Our banner high ♪

♪ High, high, high! ♪

♪ Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree ♪

♪ M-I-C-K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E ♪

Man:
One more time. Ready?

-(jaunty piano tune)
-(man counting down)

(music stops)

Man:
Congratulations.

Annette!

-There you go.
-Thanks.

Congratulations, Annette.

Thanks.

Young Annette:
Then finally,
on October 3, 1955,

the big day came.

...Mama, but you're
three hours early. (loudly)
It's just coming on here!

I got to go!
Yes, I'll tell her.
I love you. Bye-bye!

(theme song playing)

(Funicellos laughing
and chattering)

(Joe laughs)

Look, it's you!

(giggles)

Virginia:
She looks so pretty!

Look, it's Annette!

Roll call!

Annette!

Moochie!

Lesley!

Skippy!

I want a pair of those ears.

Janet!

Jimmie!

Older Annette:
I've said it
many times before.

I owe everything
to these ears.

Can I see them?

Oh, you look so pretty.

Straighten them out.

Oh!

-Oh, there.
-Yes!

You're a Mouseketeer!

Man:
Places, people!

Good morning, Mr. Disney.

Good morning, Annette.

I'd like to change my name.
Can I?

I see.

Well, we can't change
"Annette,"

it's sewn into
all your costumes.

Oh! Well, I wanted
to change my last name.

To something easy.
Everyone has trouble with it.

Ah, but once they learn it,
they never forget it.

It's unique.
It's like a song.

(Italian accent)
"Funicello."

It's beautiful.

Besides, if you
change your name,

what will we do about all
the fan letters that are written
to your old name?

You're getting a lot
of letters, my dear.

Wouldn't want to plug up
the whole mail department,
would you?

No, I wouldn't.

You mean the letters for me
would plug it up?

There's lots and lots
of them every day.

-You know why?
-Why?

Because they like you.

(giggles)

Well,

I guess it's not
as bad as I thought.

Still, it's up to you.

Thanks, Mr. Disney.

You're welcome, Annette...

(Italian accent)
"Funicello."

Bill, Roy?

(laughs)

I love that.

Young Annette:
Mouseketeers all had to be
accompanied by a parent,

which was usually a mom,

9 to 5, six days a week.

(Virginia vocalizing
playfully)

He doesn't want bread,
he wants you to drive the truck.

It was really hard
on the family.

My dad, of course,
learned to cook,

and Mom had a close friend
watching my brothers
during the day.

We all worked together
as a family unit.

We were very strong.

I never thought I'd be
able to bake a cake.

(laughs) I told you,
nothing to it.

Okay, baba, go ahead,
blow it out. One, two, three!

-(blows)
-Yay!

One more!
One, two, three!

-(cheering)
-Happy birthday!

(kisses)

Young Annette:
A lot of people didn't know
that we Mouseketeers

worked at Disneyland,

and that we used to make
public appearances.

(excited chatter)

I felt it was a privilege
to bring a little happiness
to people.

Mama said it was
a sign of maturing.

I-I hope that everyone here

has a very merry Christmas.

Okay, Mouseketeers,

it's time for us to go.

Goodbye!

Man: Bye, Mouseketeers.
Bye, Annette!

Annette:
Merry Christmas!

Can you... please stay?

I'm sorry, I have to go.

(sniffles)

Young Annette:
I was maturing in more
ways that one.

Even Cinderella grows up.

(giggles)

Thanks, Mom.

(both laugh)

I started doing TV serials.

First, "Spin and Marty,"

and then my own,
called "Annette,"

where I met
Shelley Fabares.

We are still
the best of friends.

-Oh, man, he's gorgeous.
-Oh, gosh.

(laughs)

He has-- You could braid his
tail, just like with your hair.

Glen: Come on.

Virginia:
Happy birthday, honey.

Annette: Oh, he's
so beautiful, Glen.

Young Annette:
One of the great things
about growing up

is that people trust you with
more and more responsibilities.

Like owning a horse.

You know, a famous
rider once said,

they're dangerous at both ends
and uncomfortable in the middle.

But if you're gonna
go ahead and ride them,

you better ride the best.

Happy birthday, Annette.

Thank you!
Thank you!

Man:
Happy birthday.
Take good care of her.

(kisses)
Thank you so much!

Virginia:
Is she gentle, Glen?

Lifetime guarantee.

Come on.

Joe: Cheese!

I loved my years
at Disney Studio.

I always found
Mr. Disney to be

somewhat of a shy person.

But he was a real kid
at heart.

And I think that's why

he wanted everyone
to call him

"Uncle Walt."

(giggles)

I feel so honored

to have been a Mouseketeer.

Do you know why I asked
to see you, Annette?

Because I'm too tall?

For what?

For the show.

You have to fire me,
is that right?

No.

Well, any part of it?

Well, you are growing up.

So, I guess being
too tall is part of it.

But you're not getting fired.

In fact,

I would like to sign you

to a recording contract
as well as a player contract.

(chuckles)
You would?

It's time for new things,
Annette.

Making records could be
a good transition for you,

from child
to teenager.

Singing?

(Disney laughs)

When you sang on
the show the other day,

thousands of people
called in

and wanted
to buy the record.

I thought it would be a good
idea if we made one or two...

million.

Oh!

So, you mean new things as well
as The Mickey Mouse Club?

No, dear.

We're gonna be shooting the last
episode of that very soon.

Last episode?

But the studio wants to keep
you under contract, though.

If that's all right.

And Sharon and Lonnie,
and--

No, dear.

You're the only one
who's staying on.

Oh.

Mouseketeers:
♪ Now it's time
To say goodbye ♪

♪ To all our company ♪

♪ M-I-C ♪

♪ See you real soon ♪

♪ K-E-Y ♪

♪ Why? Because we like you ♪

♪ M-O-U-S-E ♪

-Man: Cut!
-(bell ringing)

That's a wrap.

-(all chattering)
-Man: That's it, everybody!
Good work, everyone.

Older Annette:
It was one of the saddest
days of our lives,

and I speak for
all the Mouseketeers.

We truly were a family.

-Hi.
-Hi, can I listen
to the story?

Sure, come in.

I wasn't part
of a club anymore.

It was like leaving Utica

all over again.

Moving away from

another family,

strictly on my own.

I was scared to death.

Wow, you were
a really big star.

How old were you?

Sixteen, seventeen.

-Cool.
-Is it neat being a big star?

Well, it was kind of scary.

I mean, singing was never
my favorite thing.

But it was kind of fun.

Awesome.

(upbeat pop song playing)

Teenaged Annette:
Every time I would perform,
I would get so nervous

my hands
would get clammy.

Mom would save the day with
an extra pair of gloves.

♪ Why, oh, why,
Have me wait? ♪

♪ Saturday night
and my baby's late ♪

♪ Where, oh, where... ♪

All right, let's have another
hand for the Gliders.

(applause)

Okay, now we have something
real special for you.

Some of you may remember her
from a certain TV show,

but I don't think
quite like this.

When it comes to sweethearts,
it doesn't come any sweeter.

Here's Annette Funicello!

(loud applause)

Boy:
She's a Mouseketeer!

("Tall Paul" playing)

♪ Chalk on the sidewalk ♪

♪ Writin' on the wall ♪

♪ Everybody knows it ♪

♪ I love Paul ♪

♪ Tall Paul ♪

♪ Tall Paul ♪

♪ Tall Paul... ♪

-They really love her.
-Yeah, she's a very lovable kid.

-♪ Chalk on the sidewalk ♪
-♪ Chalk on the sidewalk ♪

-♪ 'nitials on a tree ♪
-♪ 'nitials on a tree ♪

-♪ Ev'rybody knows it ♪
-♪ Ev'rybody knows it ♪

♪ Paul loves me ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ With the king-size arms ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ And the king-size charms ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ With the king-size kiss ♪

-♪ He's my all ♪
-♪ He's my all ♪

(saxophone solo)

I'd like to have her
back real soon.

Being on your show
has been a very big step
for her, Mr. Clark.

In fact, I'd actually like her
to do our primetime show, too,

the one on Saturday nights.

Oh? I'm sure
she'd like to.

We do it in New York.

Oh! I'm sure
she'd love to!

♪ We go steady ♪

♪ Paul and me ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ With the great big smile ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ With the great
big eyes ♪

-♪ Tall Paul ♪
-♪ With the great big kiss ♪

♪ He's my all ♪

I like the gloves.
Nice touch, very stylish.

Oh, it's always style
first with Annette.

Excuse me.

- ♪ ...he's my all ♪
-(sighs)

(song ends)

(cheers and applause)

Great stuff, that was terrific.

Will you come back?

If you'd like me to.

Well, folks, what do you say?
Do we want her back?

-(loud applause)
-Boy: Yeah! We sure do!

There's your answer.

-Then I'd love to.
-It's a deal.

-Thanks a lot, Annette.
-Thank you.

Bye.

And now,

Mike and Johnny.

-(applause)
-(doo-wop song plays)

I can't believe
you two haven't met.

Annette, Frankie.
Frankie, meet Annette.

Frankie... who?

I like this girl.

I'll talk to you later, okay?

I-I used to watch you
on the Mouse Club.

You're kidding.

You got me through puberty.

Well, partway through,
at least.

Very funny.

Jack thinks part
of an agent's job

is to cut a client's
ego down to size.

The problem with Frankie
is his is extra large,

so I have to work
overtime.

Um, do we get an
introduction or what?

Sorry, um, this is my agent,
Jack Gilardi.

Jack, this is, uh,
this is... Sandra Dee.

(giggles)

It's good to meet you,
Annette.

-I'm a big fan of yours.
-Thank you.

Listen, we're gonna be going
for some Italian food after.

You wanna come?

Uh, well, I'm--
I'm with my mom.

Oh. Hi, um...
What do you say, Mom?

Jack:
Frankie, you're on.

I'm gonna take that
as a yes!

Here is to sing the number one
hit on every chart everywhere,

the song is "Venus."

Here's Frankie Avalon.

(lush instrumental music
playing)

(audience cheering
and applause)

♪ Hey, Venus ♪

♪ Oh, Venus ♪

♪ Venus, if you will ♪

♪ Please send a little girl
For me to thrill ♪

♪ A girl who wants
My kisses and my arms ♪

♪ A girl with all
The charms of you ♪

♪ Venus, make her fair ♪

♪ A lovely girl with
Sunlight in her hair ♪

♪ And take the brightest
Stars up in the skies ♪

♪ And place them
In her eyes for me ♪

Teenaged Annette:
Leave it to the fan
magazines...

we were the ideal
teen couple.

We were engaged,
going to elope,

secretly married.

Was he your first
real boyfriend?

No, he wasn't.

We kept missing
our chances.

Cinderella has to have
a Prince Charming.

Annette:
And I did.

And he was very charming.

His name was Paul Anka.

Was he your boyfriend?

He sure was.

(girl giggles)

Teenaged Annette:
He was always really
mature for his age.

We were all a little
overwhelmed at first,

even Mama.

This is quite a place, Paul.

I'm glad you like it,
Mrs. Funicello.
It's my favorite.

I recommend the Veal Piccata,
by the way.

I'm thrilled you were
able to come tonight.

Yeah, me too.
It was nice of you to ask.

I don't believe anyone's
ever asked Virginia and me

out on a date
with Annette before.

It's an interesting approach.
(chuckles)

(laughs)
Yes, sir.

Well, the thing is,
I wanted to get to know Annette,

and I figured getting to know
her family is the best way
to get to know her.

Oh, that's a lovely way
to think.

How old are you, Paul?

Uh, I really love
your songs, Paul.

Paul:
Thank you.

Well, maybe you'd like
to do one of them sometime?

I would love to.

Did you know Dick Clark
was putting together
a traveling show?

-I heard something.
-Yeah.

It's called
"Caravan of Stars."

How would you
like to join us?

(gasps)
Really?

I already talked to Dick.
In fact, the whole thing
was his idea.

Oh! (chuckles)

Come on, you'll love it.

How long would the tour be?

-Six weeks, tops.
-Oh, my!

Annette and I have never been
away from Joe and the boys

for that much time.

Well, maybe Annette
should go on her own.

Um, I-I couldn't do that.

Um, I would be singing live
in front of an audience.

I've never done that before.

It's time you did,
don't you think?

I mean, this tour can be a real
challenge for you, Annette.

And I think you're at
that point in your career

where you need to start
taking challenges.

Don't turn me down, now.

Think about it.

Please.

(rock and roll playing)

Paul:
You know, it's so easy
to get trapped as a singer,

doing the same stuff
over and over again,

boring yourself
and your audience to death.

But it's different for you,
because you do all that
other stuff.

You conduct and produce
and everything.

I can't stop.

I know, you're just so
much more driven than I am.

I can't help it.

I'm just happy to sing,
"Jo-Jo The Dog-Faced Boy."

Well, you're too
easily satisfied.

Look, you haven't
found your true voice.

That's all right,
we'll work on it.

We'll get you
better material.

You have to try jazz,
blues, country.

When you explore
all the possibilities--

Hey!
Explore the possibilities

in the morning,
will you, please?

We're trying to
sleep here tonight.

-Uh-oh.
-(both laughing)

That was delicious,
Mrs. Funicello.

I'm glad you liked it.

-Annette: It was delicious.
-Thank you, Paul.
Thank you both.

You want to go in
the living room and talk?

Yeah.

(Annette giggles)

(groans)

How come they don't
have to help, huh?

Well, you know, one of them's
making movies all the time,

the other one's on tour
all the time.

I thought, they never
get to see each other.

In the interest
of romance they should...

get off doing the dishes.

What are you doing?
Stop it.

-Don't do that
in the kitchen.
-Yeah.

(piano playing)

Mm.

I can't play when you're
this close to me.

(Annette giggles)

What's this?

It's for you.

Joe:
(whispers) Hey!

Oh, Paul, it's beautiful.

It symbolizes my heart.

And now I've given it to you.

-Come on, let's put it on.
-I love it. (giggles)

I just wanna make sure
she's... safe.

Sure.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

I wrote this song for you,
Annette.

(gentle piano tune)

♪ Put your head
On my shoulder ♪

♪ Hold me in your arms, baby ♪

♪ Squeeze me oh so tight ♪

♪ Show me ♪

♪ That you love me too ♪

Hey! Psst!
What are you doing?

Get over here!

♪ Put your lips
Next to mine, dear ♪

♪ Won't you kiss me once ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Just a kiss goodnight ♪

♪ Maybe ♪

♪ You and I
Will fall in love ♪

♪ You and I will
Fall in love ♪

(Joe and Virginia
chattering, laughing)

(gentle piano music)

(recording reel ticking)

I can't believe you're just
going off to Europe like this.

Do you know
how far away it is?

(frustrated sigh)

I know how stupid
I sound.

(chuckles)
I'm sorry, baby.

Look, the movie shoots
in Europe, that's where
I got to go.

What's it called?

"The Longest Day."

It's more like
"The Longest Year."

Hey, I know it's gonna
feel like forever.

But this is too good
an opportunity.

And I'm not just talking
about the acting.

Mr. Zanuck's giving me
the opportunity

to score my own film.

Is that what this
new machine is for?

Yeah, I'm playing
with this short film
to show him what I can do.

Paul...

Stay.

I can't.

Look, I figure once
I'm in Europe,

I should play
a few clubs.

So, Syd booked me in Rome,
Paris, Berlin.

Maybe something in England.

Oh, great, so I'm never
gonna see you again.

I hate this!
How are we supposed to
have a relationship?

We'll talk on the phone.

A lot.

"Talk on the phone a lot."

(plays piano)

♪ Talk on the phone a lot ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Talk on the phone a lot,
Well maybe ♪

(Annette sighs)

No, I-I don't speak German.

I'm sorry, I--

I'm looking for Herr Anka.

Paul Anka.

Yes.

No.

I-I-- No, I see.

No. No message.

Thank you.

(dramatic music swells)

(crying)

All right,
I'll have Syd call you.

They're starting
a new club in Vegas.

They want me to open it.

Paul, while you were
away in Europe,

I had a chance to do
a lot of thinking about us.

(sighs) And...
I want to be married.

And have children. I'm ready
to start a family of our own.

Look, Annette,
in this business,

your 20s and 30s are when
you make it or you don't.

-I know that, Paul.
-Okay.

So, let's get our careers
to a nice, safe place,

then we'll ease off,
we'll worry about other things.

But I love you.

Don't you love the singing?

I mean, the audiences,
the excitement?

-We can have it all.
-But I don't want it all.

But I do.

I know.

Okay.

(sighs)

You didn't just live happily
ever after with Paul?

No, I didn't.

Is that the end of the story?

Well, really,
it's like the beginning.

You know, at 18,

I didn't know
what happiness was.

I didn't know who I was.

I really didn't know
what life was all about.

I'm glad there's
more story, but...

did other things happen
that made you happy?

They sure did.

Teenaged Annette:
Life has a funny way
of playing tricks on you.

I didn't get to marry
Prince Charming,

but I did get to play a bride
in Babes in Toyland.

I do, I do, I do.
Who wouldn't, huh?

Oh, you better watch it,
Frankie. I may just dig up
a priest and hold you to that.

Jack?

Are you okay?

You're beautiful.

Thank you. It's the dress.

What dress?

Oh, you guys are good
for a girl's ego.

Hey, did you read the script
to Beach Party?

Yup. What's the deal?
Sandra Dee not available?

Very funny.
Now, it's perfect for us.

Frankie's right, Annette.

I mean, when you were
a Mouseketeer, you were
every boy's first love,

and every girl's
best friend,

but now...

you've grown up.

You're beautiful, warm...

Now, speaking as one of them,
the guys want that love affair
to keep going.

Oh, well, not all the guys.

This thing can't miss.

I mean, do you know how big
California beach music is?

Surfing? It's huge.

I know, I like it.

Just waiting to hear
from Mr. Disney.

-Oh, you are?
-Oh, sure.

Even if I wasn't
under contract,

I'd still ask his advice
on everything.

You would?

Excuse me, Miss Funicello,
Mr. Disney would like
to see you right away.

Okay, thank you.

-Bye, boys.
-Bye.

(distant phone ringing)

You look beautiful, Annette.

Very grown up.

Thank you. It's the dress.

Is it? (clears throat)

Sit down.

(clears throat)

I've read the script.

Yes, sir.

Not exactly
the Disney style.

We've never exposed
a woman's navel before.

At least, not a human navel.

N-No, sir.

I guess it's time
to let you grow up.

Uh, pardon?

I think you'll have a wonderful
time doing this picture,

and I think you'll do
a terrific job in it.

-Really?
-Really.

(laughs)
This is great! Thank you!

I'm very proud of you,
Annette.

Well, none of this
would have happened
without you, Mr. Disney.

You and those ears.

You mean the mouse ears,
I hope.

Oh, you're ears aren't that big.
You're just sensitive.

(chuckles)

Thank you, I'll try
and remember that.

But honestly, I'm just
so grateful to you.

All I did was help
you be who you are.

You just go on being true
to yourself

and you'll have all
the happiness and success
you deserve.

Yes, sir.

Thank you!

(both chuckle)

You're welcome.

Remember me to your parents.

I will.

(poignant music)

(pop music playing)

Isn't this great, Dee Dee?

I can't believe
we're finally here,

all alone, by ourselves,
just the two of us.

But don't you miss
everybody?

Absolutely not.

Oh...

Dee Dee, is there something
you wanna tell me?

Oh, Frankie,
I just couldn't help it,

the house is so big
and everything,

I invited everybody over.

Oh, Dee Dee, how could you?

Well, it's just more fun
with the whole gang.

Not what I had in mind.

Well, would it make any
difference if I told you

I just don't trust myself
to be alone with you?

It hurts more.

I'm sorry.

Director:
Cut! Print. Brilliant.

-Fabulous.
-(bell ringing)

-(overlapping chatter)
-Moving on. Next.

(chatter continues)

Oh, thank you.

You're welcome.

Isn't that my robe?

Yes, it is.

Aren't you my agent?

Yes, I am.

Does it seem normal for you
to pay more attention to her
than your client?

-Yes, it does.
-Oh-kay.

-(giggling)
-Let's go get Frankie!

-Excuse me!
-(women giggling)

-You okay?
-Yes, thank you.

You don't want
to join the crowd?

Oh, no. I'm really not
much of a joiner.

I believe that about you.

Listen, why don't you have
someone to give you your robe?

Where's your agent?
He should be punished.

I don't have one
at the moment.

-You don't?
-Mm-mm.

Well, how about me?

-Seriously?
-Yeah.

I'd love to represent you.

You've got a deal.

Great!

Oh, excuse my hand,
it gets clammy

when I get nervous.

You sure it's you?

Mm, pretty sure.

I don't know.
It might be me.

So, I said,
"Excuse me, Mr. MacMurray,

I think you are standing
on my eyelashes."

(both laugh)

Don't ever change, huh?

Well, I don't know
if I can promise that.

No, I'm serious.

I mean, you're everything
I hoped you'd be.

You're funny,
you're--you're open,

you're honest.

Being here with you,
it's like...

It's like a dream
come true.

Virginia:
What's going on in there?

Um, Jack was just giving me
a ride home from the studio.

-Which led to us talking.
-Right, and I was telling him--

Talk inside.
Come in for dinner.

You want to stay
for dinner, Jack?

Thank you, ma'am,
but I should--

Manicotti.

Deal.

(pop song playing)

(Annette giggling)

-Well?
-I have one question.

-What?
-Does Dee Dee's hair
ever actually move,

or what?

Hey!

So, take a look.
How's it feel?

It feels great!

Now, the real question is,
when do you start the sequel?

And how much you're gonna
get them to pay me.

-That goes without saying.
-Yeah.

In fact, I've already
got a figure in mind.

-Really?
-Yup. Yours.

(chuckling)
You're such a goof.

(sighs)

(giggles)

They really liked it,
didn't they?

They loved it.

And Frankie was great.

Yes, and so were you.

Oh... really?

-They loved you.
-Really?

Really.

And I love you.

Really?

Really.

Look...

I'm no Frankie Avalon,

I'm no Paul Anka,

I'm just an ordinary guy who
happens to be crazy about you.

I'm Italian, I'm Catholic,

I want a family.

And I love you.

Do I have any chance?

Yes.

-Do you feel--
-Yeah, I do.

I do.

Uh...

Will you marry me?

(gasps)

Um, you're gonna have to ask
my father for permission.

You're joking, right?

Would I joke about
something like this?

You know, that's what
I love about you, Annette.

You're just an old-fashioned,
beach party girl.

-(giggles)
-Come here.

-(knocking)
-Annie, your father's here.

Oh! Annie,

you're so beautiful.

Thank you.

Did you see the roses
that Mr. Disney sent?

Mm.

Isn't he amazing?

Even when he's so ill,
he's still thinking of me.

They're lovely.

Annie,

your father and I didn't
have much of a wedding,

but it was a wonderful
day just the same,

and we've never
regretted it.

And your grandmother
gave me this that day,

and now it's my turn
to give it to you.

St. Anne.

It's your namesake.

Mom, it's perfect.

Thank you.

I hope that you and Jack
will be as happy

as your father and I
have always been.

I know we will be.

We love you so much.

Don't you make me cry, Mom.

Don't!

Adult Annette:
We honeymooned in Mexico.

It was very romantic.

I was so homesick
that when we got back,

we went right
to my parents' house.

(squeals, giggles)

Jack:
Joe.

Oh! Oh, Annie,
you're pregnant.

Oh, Annie!

It's a blessing from
Saint Anne to get pregnant
on your honeymoon.

Get your mind out of
the gutter there, Virginia.

What? They're married.
This is what happens
to married people.

-This fast?
-Yeah.

Trust me, I know.
You're gonna be
a father, Jack!

(kisses)
Break out the cigars.

Virginia: Come here,
I wanna know everything!

Did you buy this in Mexico?

And Cinderella
and Prince Charming
lived happily ever after.

At first, it felt that way.

But being
a wife and mother

was the most important thing.

I was so happy.

Girl:
Did it feel like Fairy Tale?

No, not really.

It didn't?

Well, at first it did,

but real people
have different dreams,

and sometimes
they don't match.

Jack:
Annette?

-I'm in the kitchen.
-(door shuts)

Hi, honey, I have
a surprise for you.

(kisses)

And I have a surprise
for you.

I made your very favorite:

Ossobuco.

Very gourmet.

Very intimate,
very just you and me.

Annette, I'm so sorry,
but we can't.

We're meeting Sidney Poitier
at La Scala in 45 minutes.

(frustrated sigh) Jack!

Well, I'm sorry,
the whole thing came together
at the last moment.

I didn't have time to phone.

Well, I guess you better
just go ahead and go then,

and I'll save this
for leftovers
for tomorrow night.

No, you have to
come with us.

I can't, look at me...

Listen, Sidney Poitier
is dying to meet you.

Now please, this is important.

Okay.

Okay.

I'll even help you dress.

As a matter of fact,
I'll help you undress.

(laughs)

(gentle music playing)

She's so beautiful!

I know! I know!

You're looking pretty good
yourself there, kiddo.

Thanks, Shelley.

Thanks for being my friend.

Always and forever.

I have never seen you
look happier.

I have never been happier
in all my life.

You know,
it's-it's funny, I--

have always been dependent
on-- on Mom and Dad, and...

Mr. Disney, and...

Jack.

And for the very first
time in my life,

I have someone who's totally
dependent on me.

(knocking at door)

(whimsical music playing)

(Annette gasps)

-Oh! Ohh...
-It's Mickey!

Hi, Mickey!
Oh, it's for you.

(Virginia shushing)

(baby cooing)

"Now the world has two dolls.

Sincerely Yours,
Walt Disney."

Adult Annette:
So Jack and I took
our little doll Gina

to our new home.

We were very happy...

for a while.

(Gina sneezes)

Bless you.

(Gina cooing)

Okay, Daddy, I put enough milk
in the refrigerator for you
for the whole night.

I put extra. And, um,
do you have the numbers
where we're gonna be?

Don't worry
about a thing.

-Annette?
-Go, go, go.

-Come on, we're gonna be late.
-Okay, okay.

-(kisses) I love you.
-She'll be fine.

-Come on.
-Okay.

Okay, Daddy,
call us if anything--

-Good night, bye-bye.
-Thanks, Joe.

-Okay. Bye!
-Oh, baby-- Bye-bye!

Oh, yeah. Oh...

Adult Annette:
As a wife and mother,

a job I did feel
qualified to do

was selling peanut butter
on television.

Man: All right, the set's hot!
Leave it alone, folks.

Man 2:
Turn on the radio, quick!

Man (over radio):
This just in--
Walt Disney died today.

The genius who gave the world
the antics of Mickey Mouse,

Donald Duck,
and their friends,

the first full-length
animated feature

in Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs,

-Did you hear about this, Mom?
-...and some of television's
most popular programs,

today died of lung cancer
at St. Joseph's Hospital
in Burbank,

at the age of 65.

(sobbing)

Adult Annette:
He stayed with us until
I was grown up enough

to bear losing him.

(emotional music)

(birds chirping)

(somber, pensive music)

(bells clanging)

(clanging gets louder)

Adult Annette:
125 stitches later,

everything was back in place.

(sighs) It's healing better
than I ever thought it would.

You've done a fantastic job,
Doctor. Thank you.

Well, it is easy when you're
working with great material.

Now, what caused it?
What was it?

It was a fluke.

-It wouldn't happen again?
-No.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime
thing.

It's just that I've never felt
dizziness like that before,

and those loud,
clanging bells--

-Couldn't it be a warning?
-It could, I guess.

But, uh, I think it's over.

I think it's affected
my eyes, though.

Yeah?

Well, if you're concerned,
I can refer you to a specialist,

but you look great, Annette.

I mean, Why can't you let
yourself feel great?

Good question.

(sighs)

Adult Annette:
Jack's career was flourishing,

and my babies were growing up.

They needed me more
than ever before.

Jack and I were
growing far apart.

What on earth
is wrong with you?

I just can't
take it anymore, Jack.

You can't take what anymore?

The-- The openings
and the premiers,

and all the parties.

I just can't stand
the show business
social life anymore.

Do we have to?

Oh, I don't know
if we have to.

-I have to.
-Why?

You know why, Annette.

You know how this
business works.

Yeah, well, I hate it.

You hate it? Well.

Well, that may
very well be, Annette,

but it's what I do.

Does that mean
you hate me, too?

Honey, no, of course not.

But?

"But" what?

It just sounds like there's
a "but" in there somewhere.

You know what? I don't think
you're being very fair.

No, you're not being fair.

Now, these social obligations,
the seeing, the being seen,

they're all part of the work.

Well, I'm very happy
to give them all up.

I'm not very happy
to give them all up,

I can't give them all up.
I like it!

Well, I don't! And I wish
you would spend more time
with me and the kids.

Why can't you say no to the
business more, so that you can
spend more time with us?

No.

What?

Annette, I am not
about to feel bad

for loving my work,

and it does not mean that
I love my family any less.

Annette...

when we got married,
I wanted us to be together,

everywhere, on everything.

And we were, weren't we?

Yeah, well, now,
I go out, you stay in.

We never
see each other.

And we never talk because
the only thing I know
is the business.

And every time I bring it up,
you get annoyed,

and-- and more
and more distant.

I'm sorry, but...

I can't go on feeling guilty
about doing what I love.

In name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit,

may peace be with you.

-And also with you.
-Amen.

Gina: Amen.

What is it?

Mama...

(sighs) I'm so sorry.

I just feel like
I've let you and Daddy down.

I feel like... a failure,

and-and like I've sinned.

But we're just not happy,

and I see how it's
affecting the kids,

and the pain that it's
putting them through,

and it's just not fair,
I mean...

I'm asking Jack for a divorce.

I'm sorry, Mama,
I'm sorry.

Shh, Annie.

Annie.

I love you very much.

And, um...

I-I don't believe in divorce,
but I believe in you.

And you have to do what's right
for you and the children.

You do.

(emotional music)

Adult Annette:
And after the divorce,

my old friends
were there to support me.

Ah!

"Frankie and Annette
Return to the Beach, 2."

And 3 and 4 and...

(laughs)

Actually, I always thought
that maybe we would do
something together

that was a little more
serious.

A little more serious?

-Yeah.
-(chuckles)

Well, overlooking
the double-entendre
for a second or so,

let's just consider
what kind of

more serious stuff
we could have done, okay?

-Okay.
-All right, let me think now.

How about, uh,

"Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth
Take Malibu."

-Good one?
-Good one, good one.

Okay, another.
Uh, how about,

"Romeo and Juliet Hang Ten"?

-I like that one.
-You think they'd buy that one?

Or uh...

Uh, I can't think
of anymore.

Nope, the double-entendre's
just too powerful.

(laughing)

You know, Annette, uh,

I've had some interesting
fantasies about you
through the years,

-I gotta tell you.
-Yeah?

Yeah...

Well, what ever happened?
We just seem to keep missing.

How come we never worked out?

Well, maybe we did.

Maybe it's still to come.

You okay?

Yeah.

Jack and I are still friends.

And he's a great dad
to the kids.

We all still get together
for church.

It's just, um...

lonely mostly.

(chuckles) Oh, come on.
Annette, please.

There'll be somebody else.

When?

You know, Annette...

a new beach picture
could really work.

I mean, I really know it.

Let's see what the writers
can come up with, okay?

Okay.

(somber, pensive music)

(engine starts)

(discordant notes)

-(car honks)
-(tires squeal)

What is wrong with me?!

(sighs)

The blind spot is still
in your right eye.

But it has gotten smaller?

Yes.

And it could dwindle
even more.

Or you may have
to live with it.

Uh, Doctor,
about five years ago,

she had some dizziness,
clanging bells,
a very bad fall.

Could this be related
to that?

Possibly a result.

It was palsy,

but of the optic nerve,
which is passing.

But what caused it?
Could it happen again?

What can we do to keep it
from happening?

I wish I knew,
Mrs. Funicello.

So whatever it is could just
happen again tomorrow?

Or never.

(scoffs)
Oh, great.

Always nice
to narrow things down.

Adult Annette:
While the script for
Back to the Beach

was being written,

I decided it was time
Gina had her own horse.

So we drove out to our old
friend Glen Holt's ranch.

-It was Glen who
got me my first horse.
-Well, well, well!

Two beautiful women

with that certain look
in their eyes,

both heading my way
with a smile.

Now, why do I have
the feeling

I'm about to be trimmed,
dressed and cooked?

Gina: Mr. Holt,
my mother says that--

Just hold on a second
there, darling.

I've got some greeting
to do with your mother.

Hello, Annie!

Hello, Glen.

Oh, you are a sight
for sore eyes.

Not that my eyes are sore,
but--

Oh, it is good
to see you, too.

I heard about
your divorce and...

-Yeah.
-Sorry.

(sighs)
Thank you.

(awkward laughter)

We always were fabulous
conversationalists, weren't we?

Well, now, little lady.

I take it you're Gina,
all grown up.

Well, yes, I am.
And I'd like to buy a horse.

Well, all right, good deal.

I got some to sell.
Come on.

I must say, Annie,

I'm very happy
to see that

time has been too busy
with the rest of us

to have gotten around
to you.

You are enchanting as ever.

(goat bleating)

-I got a dozen
possibles in there.
-Thank you.

-Did you dust me off
just for the occasion?
-Oh, yes I did.

I saw the car
and I nailed it up.

Luckily I keep it in a handy
place for just such emergencies.

Normally, I have a large picture
of Elvis hanging there.

Oh, I'll just bet.

No such thing.

I put that up
when you gave it to me.

It's never been down.

You're family to me, Annie.

Mom?

Can I see this one, please?

Oh, you don't wanna
see that horse.

(laughs)
Well, why not?

'Cause if you see that horse,
you're gonna buy that horse.

And he's way more than
I think you're willing to spend.

Well, that's an interesting
sales technique.

(laughs) Yeah, and it
always works, too.

(all laughing)

-She's gorgeous.
-Gina: She is a beauty.

Mm.

It is so beautiful here.

Glen:
I know.

In all the years
I've had this place,

I'm still finding
new wonders on it.

Amazing sights.

I'm talking about you.

Oh, so now I'm one
of the sights?

Well, you were always
a sight.

Now you're an amazing sight.

(laughs)

You know, they say
if you can get a girl to laugh,

you can get
to her heart.

Oh, who says that?

-Well, some people I know.
-Who?

-All right, no one.
-Okay. (laughing)

-It still could be true.
-Yes, it could be.

That's good.

'Cause I've gone
to some bother.

(gasps)

I love you, Annie.

I've loved you for a long,
long time.

I'm hoping we can
make a home for each other

for the rest of our lives.

Will you marry me?

I love you, too.

Adult Annette:
Two months later,
I got married

for the second
and last time.

Glen:
I do love you, honey.

You got a cramp?

No, my feet are cold.

Hmm.

Doesn't feel cold.

Well, they feel cold to me.

Cold, and-- and tingly.

What is it, Annie?

I don't know.

But I-I-I don't feel right.

I'm getting those dizzy spells
that I can't explain,

and my vision
is getting worse.

And my hands and my feet
are numb half the time.

Well, we better get back
and see that doctor.

But it's probably
nothing though, right?

It's gonna be all right.

Don't you worry.
I'm here.

I love you.

I love you.

Adult Annette:
And somewhere in there,

we finally got a beach script
Frankie and I liked.

Man: And action!

Oh, the sun,
the sand, the surf!

You know, I thought this part
of our lives was over
when we got married.

Well, it doesn't
have to be.

Yeah, well, we had a pretty
good life in Ohio.

-Mm-hmm.
-(laughs)

But... the beach.

-The beach is special.
-Mm-hmm.

Wow.

On the beach, you know,

I don't even feel married.

Man:
Hold that... and cut!

Man 2:
Okay, that's lunch, people!

(Annette laughing)

All right, let's go find
the chow line!

-Come on!
-Okay.

-Oh!
-Hey, whoa!

You all right?

Oh, fine, fine.

You sure?

Yeah.

Standing up too fast, huh?

Oh... yeah.

I know that's been happening
to me a lot lately, too.

Must be that old age, huh?

-(giggles)
-Yeah.

(Annette chuckles)

Do you remember the last time
that we waited like this?

Mm-hmm.

Mr. Disney
came through the door

and told us that I was
gonna be a Mouseketeer.

A Mouseketeer.

(tearful laugh)

Mama, what if it's a tumor?

Annie! Annie...

What about the kids,
and Glen?

I-I can't take care of them,
then who's gonna--

Miss Funicello?
The doctor will see you now.

No, mm-mm.

I-I want you to stay.

I have to take this alone.

(door opens)

(emotional music)

(crying softly)

(sobbing)

(machine buzzing)

(footsteps approaching)

(deep sigh)

Annie, what is it?

Well, she says that
there is no doubt...

(tearfully) She said that
I have multiple sclerosis.

-No!
-Yes...

No!

(emotional music)

(both crying)

Multiple sclerosis?

This is what Jerry Lewis
does the telethons for?

No. No, honey,
that's muscular dystrophy.

MS is a disease of the brain
and the spinal cord.

Basically, when my brain
wants to send a message
to another part of my body,

like my hands
or my feet, then...

the nerve endings
are blocked.

Well, how'd you get it?

They don't know, honey.

But it's not contagious,
and it's not hereditary.

Well, what do we do
to get you over it?

(sighs)

Well, it's...

There is no cure.

Oh, that I refuse to accept.

But you don't
look sick, Mom.

I feel fine, mostly,

and then
all of a sudden, I...

I get dizzy
and I lose my balance,

or I get a fever
of 104 degrees,

or I can't hold my fork.

If there's no cure,
does it just get worse
and worse until--

No!

No, honey.

I am not going to die
from this.

It's just that we don't know
how it's going to hit,

or... or when.

Jack Jr.:
Why you, Mom?

You've always been so good
and tried to do the right thing.

It isn't fair.

You've taken such
good care of yourself.

This shouldn't be
happening to you.

Now, don't you...

Don't you count me out,
okay?

(crying)

(sigh) I am gonna manage just
fine with your help, okay?

I'm gonna be just fine.

(tearfully)
I plan to be around
for a long time

and be in the front pew
of all your weddings, okay?

Now, one thing,
very important:

this needs to be
our secret.

Okay? I don't want anyone
else to know about this.

Grandpa? Uncle Joey?

-Uncle Mike?
-No, no...

(sighs)

This is a private thing...

because sometimes
MS just goes away.

And now, I'm not
counting on that,

I'm not holding out
hope, but...

but there is a chance,

and so that's why I don't
want anyone else to know,

just yet, okay?

Avalon:
Now, this is great,
listen to this one.

Variety says,
"Funicello's comedic
technique has sharpened,

and her ripe beauty
is breathtaking."

Ta-da!

-(Annette giggles)
-Wait, my favorite of all.

Annette, you've got
to hear this one.

This one says, "The reunion
of Annette and Frankie

"is a monster success.

When can we expect
the next?"

-Mm.
-What do you think, huh?

There's more, there's lots more,
and they all say the same thing.

Annette, you and I have
outfoxed old Father Time.

We just get better
and better.

Now, let me ask you...

I can have us a new script
in about six weeks.

-Is that good for you?
-Oh, Frankie.

Don't count on me
for the next one.

Oh, funny, very funny.

No, listen to me,
I-I can't do it.

I can't do another one.

-You're kidding.
-I'm not.

I think that it's great that we
made such a strong comeback,

and I just wanna quit
while we're at the top.

At the top?

We haven't reached the top.

The next one
will be even bigger.

I know, I hate to
let you down, Frankie.

Well, then, don't.

Annette...

is there something
I don't know?

I... just changed my mind

about going ahead
with the films.

(deep exhale)

Hmm.

Oh, a lot of people are
going to be disappointed.

Me the most.

You'll change your mind.

I won't. I just think
this is best for everybody.

(sighs)

Hm.

I'll keep in touch.

I'm sorry, Frankie.

-Me, too.
-(door opens)

(door closes)

(groans)

I hate lying to Frankie
like that.

(sighs)

It's hard with
your father, too.

I... I just feel like

I can't let anyone
know yet.

-I can't explain it.
-It's all right. Annie...

I just feel like I would be
letting them down.

We're trying it your way.
It's okay, we'll see.

(sighs) Was this
one of those bad days?

Mm.

Oh, Annie,
all those years ago,

that fortune teller
we saw in Utica.

This must have been what
she saw and couldn't tell us.

Mom...

no fortune teller could
ever have predicted

how wonderful
my life would be.

And still is.

I'm gonna be fine,
I am gonna walk down that
aisle at Gina's wedding,

and I'm gonna sit
in the front pew.

-(deep exhale)
-Come here.

Mm.

(metal clattering)

I'm stuck.

(patrons chattering)

Man:
Johnny, want to help
these people here?

(chatter continues)

-Hi.
-Hi.

Well, I beat you.

-I know.
-I can't believe it.

(laughs) I know, I just can't
seem to get my timing right

on anything anymore.

The city
has changed so much.

I-I hardly
get out anymore.

Tell me about it.

Remember, I'm the one
who keeps calling.

So, how is everyone?

-All good.
-Ah.

You know Gina's
getting married.

-Yes.
-How about your gang?

The same.

And you?

-Fabulous.
-Good.

Because that is exactly
how you look.

-Oh...
-It's true.

How is work?

It's fine.

Can I ask about
the cane now?

Oh, that's-- it's nothing.
It's just tendonitis.

No, it's not.

Well, it's something like that.
I was a dancer.

Oh.

Of course, I-I, I mean,
I should have known.

It's so automatic.

Dancer equals cane use.
Fred Astaire.

Well, no.

Cyd Charisse.

Uh... no.

Leslie Caron? No.

Shall I go on?

No.

Annette.

We have been friends forever.

What's wrong?

I can't. Um, it's just,
it's really...

-It's nothing.
-Please. Help me with this.

You've been avoiding me.

I practically
have to threaten you

to get you out
of the house,

and now you have a cane.

People...

people think you're drinking.

(scoffs)
That's ridiculous.

I'm telling you,
it's in all the tabloids.

And with every agent
at the Polo Lounge.

Is that what you think?

No, of course not.

But...

honestly,

I, um...

I don't know what
to think anymore.

I'm sorry.

Shelley, I am so sorry.

What is it?

There-- I-- I am
going through something.

But I just,
I can't tell you just now.

Okay.

How can I help?

Oh, you already have.

Thank you
for being my friend.

Always and forever, kiddo.

Adult Annette:
Frankie wouldn't give up.

He and Dick Clark
had organized

a Back to the Beach tour,
and wanted me along.

Give me one good reason
why you can't go.

Well, you know being a mother
always comes first with me.

Your youngest is 16,
he drives.

I mean, you really don't
have to carpool anymore.

I-I hate to travel, I...

I'm scared to death
to sing live.

Annette, don't put it off,
do it now,

while you and Frankie
are at your best.

I say this as a friend,

not a promoter.

Annette...

We really ought to do this.

I mean, who knows if we'll
ever get another chance.

(sighs)

Okay, I'll do it.

But we play mostly
on the weekends.

And it's booked so that I can
come home after every few dates?

You got it.

Okay.

-Okay!
-Okay!

♪ Jamaica Ska ♪

♪ Now everybody
Can do the Ska ♪

♪ It's the new dance
That goes like this ♪

♪ Now bow you head ♪

♪ And swing your arms ♪

♪ Shake your hips ♪

♪ Now do a dip ♪

♪ Ska Ska Ska ♪

♪ Jamaica Ska ♪

♪ Ska Ska Ska ♪

♪ Do the Ska ♪

Now what do you think, huh?

Hot or what?

I think it's gonna be
very good.

I think it's gonna be...
great.

(panting)

I can't--

Avalon:
Here, let me get some glasses.
We'll have a toast, okay?

I can't do this, Mama.

I can't keep pretending
like this. I'm sick.

I'm very sick.

I have multiple sclerosis.

You knew?

I knew.

You know somethin', dolly?

I've been so very proud of you,
since the moment you were born.

And you've been a joy to me
for all your life.

But you can be a pretty
stubborn kid sometimes.

I didn't want to worry you,
Daddy.

And you didn't want
to disappoint your fans

by letting them
find out

that your life
has a cloud over it.

Am I right?

Something like that.

No more secrets, honey.

I promise.

Maybe you can actually help out
others who have this disease.

Bring it out into the open.

I don't know,
I'm not ready yet.

I-I'm not ready for everybody
to know about it.

Frankie, did you know, too?

Annette, I knew. I...

I was so worried,
I went to Glen and...

Look, I told because I couldn't
be up here on stage with you.

I wanted someone
to take care of you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.
(sobs)

I'm sorry.

I've been the one
who's living the lie.

Oh, gosh,
I've got to tell Shelley.

Virginia:
Shelley knows, honey.

I told her.
I had to tell her, Annette!

She was so worried
about you.

(sighs)

It's gonna come out,
Annette.

You're gonna have
to talk about it.

You know the tabloids
smell a story.

It would be much better
if it comes from you.

If you were the one
who told the world.

You're right.

You're right.

(deep sigh)

No more pretending.

(upbeat music)

Adult Annette:
Daddy was right
about helping people.

I received countless letters
from people

who were able to come
to terms with their MS

because of my coming out
in the open.

And the outpouring of love
and support

was just overwhelming.

Well...

let's see what the postman
brought us today.

You always get

an amazing amount of mail.

Isn't that nice?

Yes, it is.

Cinderella has a happy ending!

My story doesn't
have an ending...

yet.

I think only fairy tale people

know the ending.

Come on, kids.
Time to go.

Okay.

-Let's go, come on.
-All right.

(overlapping chatter)

Bye, Annette.

Thank you
for telling us a story.

You're welcome. Bye!

Bye.

Girl: Bye-bye!

Okay, Mom,
are you ready to go?

I really wanted to walk
down the aisle today.

But, I promised
I'd be in the pew.

I didn't say
how I'd get there.

It makes me so happy

when I hear from people

that my going public

makes them feel stronger.

They're not embarrassed
to use their canes

or to be
in a wheelchair,

because if I can do it,

they feel
they can, too.

-(wedding march playing)
-(whispering)

♪♪

Like Cinderella,

I believe a dream is a wish
your heart makes.

I've had a dream life,

and I look forward
to each new day

with a smile.

Priest:
Dearly beloved,
we are gathered here today

in the sight of God and
the face of this congregation,

to join together this man
and this woman...

(inspiring music playing)

(gentle piano music)

(child laughing)

Captioned by
Post Haste Digital