A Star Is Born (1937) - full transcript

Esther Blodgett is just another starry-eyed farm kid trying to break into the movies. Waitressing at a Hollywood party, she catches the eye of alcoholic star Norman Maine, is given a test, and is caught up in the Hollywood glamor machine (ruthlessly satirized). She and her idol Norman marry; but his career abruptly dwindles to nothing

[ musical medley of
'California Here I Come' ]

[ howling ]

Well, home from the
movies at last.

Looks like it, Aunt Mattle.
- Heh.

Hi, Dad!
- Hello, Son!

Well, daughter, how was the
moving picture tonight?


Mush, that's what it was.
Just a lot of mush.

There wasn't anybody killed
in the whole thing.

No, well then, I'll stick to these,
these don't talk.

Well, that big cluck, Norman Maine
was in the picture tonight,

he never does anything but
kiss a lot of girls.

Norman Maine, is one of
the best actors in pictures.

You and your movies.
That's all that you think about.

You shouldn't be allowed
to go to 'em at all,

if you're askin' me.

Too bad I was
so busy in the kitchen.

I didn't hear anybody
asking you.

Hello, Granny!
- Hello, Darling

But of course,
no one ever listens to me!

They do if they're
within ten miles of ya.

Gathered around picture shows,

house all cluttered-up with
movie magazines.

And the other day I caught her talking
to a horse with a Swedish accent!

Well, Sis,

you're only young once,
you know?



You'd better be
getting yourself a good husband

and stop mooning about Hollywood.

Do you know what she
wants to do?

She wants to go to Hollywood!

I've known it all along.

I've seen her
making faces in the mirror

and talking to herself.

That's what comes
of your movies!

Why, what would you do
if you did go to Hollywood?

I'd be an actress.

[ Mattie laughs ]

I would, I tell ya,
I've always known I could.

Guys, wouldn't it be wonderful
to have a movie star in the family?

Oh, Miss Blodgett,
may I have your autograph?

You may not know it Aleck,

but you're practically
on your way to bed.

Oh, Miss Blodgett,
you're my favorite actress,

won't you tell me
the secret of your success?

Oh, let me alone!

Why Esther,
what's come over you?

I'll tell you
what's come over her.

She's just a silly little girl

whose head has been turned
by the movies.

And the sooner she
forgets the whole thing,

the better-off
she'll be.

Oh, why will I be
better off?

What's wrong with wanting

to get out and make something
of myself?

What do you do
that's so much better?

Just because you're satisfied
to sit here all your life,

you think you
can laugh at me!

Well, some day
you won't laugh at me!

I'm going out
and have a real life!

I'm gonna be somebody!

[ door bangs ]

Now if it was spring,

I'd say give her a
good dose of sulfur and molasses.

Hm, I thought I'd find you up.

Aw, stop that!

Now stop crying!
That isn't going to do you a bit good.

Oh, I'm crying because Aunt Mattie
and Aleck make me so mad.

Well, it's your aunt Mattie, fiddlesticks.
They're not important.

You're the only one
that counts.

Esther, everyone in this world who
has ever dreamed about better things

has been laughed at.
Don't you know that?

Oh, I suppose I do, but—

But there's a difference
between dreaming and doing.

The dreamers just
sit around and moon

about how
wonderful it would be

if only things were different.

And the years roll on
and they grow old

and by-and-by
they forget everything,

even about their dreams.

I don't want to be like that,
I want to be somebody.

Oh yeah, oh yeah.

You want to be somebody,

but you want it to be easy.

Oh, you modern girls
give me a pain!

When I wanted something better,

I came across those plains
in a prairie schooner

with your grandfather.

Oh, everyone laughed at us,

as they did at
all the other pioneers.

They said this country would
never be anything

but a wilderness.

We didn't believe that.

We were going
to make a new country.


we wanted to
see our dreams come true.

Oh Granny, it must
have been wonderful.

It was wonderful.

But don't you think for
one single minute

that it was easy, Esther Blodgett.

We burned in summer
and we froze in winter.

But we kept right on going
and we didn't complain.

Because we were doing what
we wanted to do!

Can you understand that?

Yes, I can.

Could you do it?

Could you do it
even if it broke your heart?

Because remember Esther,

for every dream of yours
you make come true,

you'll pay the price
in heartbreak.

Mm, I know
what I'm talking about.

You may not believe it,

but I was a young girl once.

A very pretty young girl,

a lot prettier than you are.

I was in love
with your grandfather,

and when some Injun devil
put a bullet through him,

I felt as if it had come right straight
through my heart too.

And I remembered all
he taught me,

and I went right on.

I buried him out there
on that wilderness

with my own hands.

And I went
right on that same day

and I kept right on the way,

even when
your mother was born.

Oh Granny,
I would make it worthwhile.

[ Granny chuckles ]

You know, Esther,

there'll always be
a wilderness to conquer.

Maybe Hollywood's
your wilderness now.

From all I hear, it...

it sounds like it.

But if you've got one drop of
my blood in your veins,

you won't let Mattie or any of her kind
break your heart.

You'll go right out there
and break it yourself.

That's your right.

Here. Oh, here, here,
stop that nonsense.


Take this and go
to your Hollywood.

Oh, I can't take your money.

- Well, why not?
- It's your savings!

Well, I was only
saving-up for my funeral.

Now I don't think
I'm ever going to die.

Oh, Granny,
how can I ever thank you?

By giving me
your word of honor

that you'll never tell a living soul
where you got that money.

- I promise.
- Remember, if you do,

I'll have you arrested
for robbing me.

[ door shuts ]

[ train whistle blows ]

Here we are.

You want me
to help you, Granny?

Oh, I can make it, Dear.


Uh, oh man, it's cold, whooh!

I kissed Dad goodbye, just a little kiss.
He didn't even wake up.

I bet you didn't try that
on your Aunt Mattie.

Oh, Aunt Mattie...

...think of her face
when you tell her.

I am thinking about it.

I've waited for that chance
for thirty years.

There she is, girls.

Oh, thank you Kirby.
Girls, huh?

[ train bells ]

Well, come on, come on!

There it is,
your prairie schooner.

[ train bells continue ]

[ Conductor ]: All aboard!

Oh, Granny!
[ Auld Lang Syne playing ]

Go on, go on!
Go on! Go on!

- Goodbye Granny!
- Goodbye!

I'll be waiting for you
in those moving pictures.

And don't tell Mattie!

You know my eyes
are not as good as they used to be,

but my ears are all right.

So you remember,
talk up good and loud.

[ Conductor ]: All aboard!
[ train whistle blows ]

- Goodbye!
- Bye! I love you.

Goodbye Granny!


So, you wanna go home now?

I don't want to,

but I will.

♪ [ "California Here I Come" playing ]


[ buzzer]

Good afternoon.

Day, week or month?

Well, it's a little hard to say,
you see,

I'm going into the movies.

Well you better
take it for a week,

it'll break your
jump to Beverly Hills.

Are all the studios
really near here?

All except Gaumont British.

I suppose
the best way to get a job

is to go straight
to the studios.

Isn't it?
- Hm-hm.

I haven't any illusions
you know,

I am perfectly willing
to begin with...

ooh, a little bit of a part,

or even as an extra.

Six dollars, please,

in advance.


I beg your pardon,

I'd like to register
for extra work.

How long have
you been in Hollywood?

Well, it's about a month now.

We haven't put anyone on our books
for over two years.

Come here,

I'd like to
show you something.

- Central Casting. - Try later.
- No can't be, try later. - Try later.

- Try later, thank you. - Try later.
- Not now, try later. - Central Casting.

Every time you see
one of those little lights flash,

it's somebody asking for a job.

Every time you
hear them say: "Try later",

it means
there isn't any job.

Can't keep the girls at
the switchboard long, they'd go crazy.

[ door closes ]

Every one of those little lights
thought it was going to be a star.

Still wanna go into movies?

You know what
your chances are?

One in a hundred thousand.

But, maybe...

...I'm that one.

Any phone calls for me,
Mr. Randall?

oh... no.

Jesse Lasky and Sammy Goldwyn
must be writting letters instead.

How was the luck today?
- Mm, there wasn't any.

Maybe you don't go at
in the right way

Now take
Danny McGuire here,

he knows the ropes,
ah, don't you Danny?

Sure, I've had 'em
around my neck for years.

[ buzzer]


Oh--oh, ah, Miss Blodgett,

Danny McGuire.
-- Our new tenant.

How do you do?

Mr. McGuire is a...

...big director.


Are you really?

Oh, could you possibly

use me in a picture,
Mr. McGuire?

Of course I haven't had
much experience, but

I don't think that
really matters if you're willing.

- And I'm—
- Now listen, lady,

In the first place
I'm not a director,

I'm an assistant director

and in the second place,

if I had any jobs to give away,

I'd confer one on myself.

And in the third place,

you should have stayed
back home in the first place!

Aw, now look what you've done.

Hey, wait a minute!

Hey, don't be that way!

Don't do that.

Gosh, I didn't mean
to get tough, but...

a guy thinks
he's being kidded when

somebody asking for a job and,

he hasn't got one
for himself.

After all, I'm not a big enough shot
to hurt your feelings.

I--I--I'm sorry.

It wasn't just that,
oh, it was a lot of things.

I've been looking for a job everyday
and never getting any nearer to it.

I guess I was beginning
to get a little scared.

I know.
Lady, do I know.

Well, there's only
one thing to do

with that feeling when
you're tired

and sunk and down to
your last nickle.

Come on and
I'll buy you a drink.

Well its not as bad
as down to the last nickle

I've still got eleven dollars left.

Eleven dollars!

You're gonna buy me a drink!
Come on!

That's right George,

there's nothing like
a little rum to

take away
that milk flavor.

[ Esther laughs ]

Oh, I beg your pardon.

[Esther chuckles ]

...and when I sign my contract,
the first thing I'm gonna do

is see that you direct
every picture that I'm in.

Thats my pal!

Of course I'm going
to be perfectly nice about it, but,

I'll just insist.

Now that's the way to talk.

Don't let 'em lick ya.
- No, I should say they can't lick me,

if they try
anything like that well, I—

I just won't sign.

Now that's right.
What have you got to lose?

Another one of these
and we'll open our own studio!

Bill rendered,
twenty-four dollars.

Past due.

remit without further delay.



Poor kid. If she can't pay that bill
she gets mmm, tough luck is it?



There, on the fifth race...

on the fifth race,
I can't... I can't believe it... I can't.

[ crowd chattering ]
[ orchestra tuning ]

Hey! The program's
gonna be swell tonight.

Now you take
this fella Beethoven:

I'm a pushover for him.

And Chopin... well,
he's not so dusty, either.

But I kinda wish
that once in awhile they'd

play something you
could sorta go out whistlin'.

You know, like,
♪ Blood on the saddle, blood on— ♪

Well now, there's a tune.

Hey, why don't you throw your hat in
the air or something. Can't you?

This is a celebration,
my job starts tomorrow.

I know it does,
and I think it's swell, Danny.

Gee, I wish
you were in on it too.

But oh no,
it would have to be a war picture.

One of those
big novelty numbers...

a war picture without any
beautiful women at the front.

Oh well, something'll happen soon.


Why don't you go home kid?

Oh Danny,
I can't do that.

I came here
and I've got to stay.

Well now,
if it's on account of money I can—

Thank you
but you given enough already.

Anyhow this is no time to be worrying,
this is a party!

[ Danny laughs ]

Look at all the people.

Everybody in the world.


That's Norman Maine.

[ chattering ]

Alright, and he seems to have had
that one extra cocktail.

[ applause ]
[ cheers ]

Oh, Thank you.

Sit down you dope,
that's for the orchestra leader.

[ Danny laughs ]
[ music begins ]

Oh, hello...
- Hello, Norman.

Oh, Mr. Maine,
Mr. Maine,

put your arm around Miss Regis.

Arlow, this is
the Hollywood Bowl.

Oh, afraid of crowds?

Go on, go on, get out of here.

What's the matter? You gettin too big
to bother with photographers?

Don't want any pictures
taken now.

Oh is that so?

Well supposin'
I take it anyway?

Well, I'll shove that Brownie Number 2
of yours down your throat!

Thank you, Mr. Maine!

Norman! Stop it! Stop!

Norman! No!

Oh no, Stop!
Stop it!

Come on!

Take it easy, Mr. Maine!
- Hey, take your hands off.

Calm down, please.

Normie, come back and sit down
everybody's laughing at you.

Alright, already—

Hi, Norman.

Is he always like that?

Well, I suppose
he has to sleep sometime.

Oh, and he's so wonderful
on the screen.


[ music playing ]

[ knocking on door ]

Come in.

Hello, Danny.

What's the matter?

Well, believe it or not...
I've got a job for you.


Danny, that's wonderful!
When do I go to the studio?

Well, you don't
exactly go to the studio.

Oh! It's on location.

No, it's not exactly
on location either.

Of course I haven't
any makeup.

Will you tell me what to get
and sort of help me put it on?

Well, you don't exactly
need any makeup,

you see it's
not really a picture job,

it's--it's well,
it's being a waitress.


Well it's kind of a picture job
if you look at it right.

But you said
it was a waitress.

Well, it's waitressing
for Casey Burt.

the big director over
at our studio,

he's giving a party tonight

to kind of celebrate on account of
finishing the picture. And...

and he wanted me to get him
an extra waitress and it's five dollars.

And I thought of you
right away, Esther.

That was awfully
sweet of you Danny.


well, there's gonna be a lot
of big people at Burke's house tonight,

and I'll bet you there's
any number of big directors,

and if you're there
maybe they'll notice ya.

I could make them notice me.

Sure you could Esther!
It's your chance!

My chance.

Alright Danny,
I'll do it. Oh...

oh, but I can't,
I haven't got the right things to wear.

To wear? To wear?
Oh! Oh! Yes!

Well, you don't think
the wardrobe department's

right next to my office
for nothing, do ya?

Ha-ha! A perfect fit!

Did you get to
the preview last night?

I did.

(Garboesque) Vould you like
a little hors d'oeuvre?

They are very nice.

Well thanks.

Well what did you
think of the picture?

You should have
saved it for Thanksgiving.

What a turkey!
- Ohh..! [ chuckles ]

( Davisesque ) Will you have
some hors d'oeuvres?

You do like hors d'oeuvres don't you?

I don't think there's anything so enjoyable
as hors d'oeuvres before supper

And these are really delightful.

[Man ] ...and at the finish,
the kid turns around

and sings a lullaby
to its mother.

Ah, pardon me, big boy,

but, would you like a little,
hors d'oeuvres?

They say they're the best...

in town.

Don't tell me.

I know.
Mae West.

That's a great twist!

But where are you gonna find
a two month old baby that can sing?

- Hello, Oliver!
- Oh, hello Casey.

Do you wanna fire me now,
or wait till you see the picture?

I'm not a director anymore I'm a...
male nurse!

What's the matter
with the picture?

A guy by the name of
Norman Maine.

His work is beginning
to interfere with his drinking.

Oliver, don't tell me I'm
to direct his next picture, too.


You were
my favorite producer.

Now wait a minute,
you just go right on with your directing.

I'll take care of these stars.

I know how to handle them.

I had a serious talk with Norman
after that ah, Hollywood Bowl occurrence.

And you don't have to worry any more
about his behavior.

Excuse me, Mister Niles.

Mr Libby, of your publicity department
is on the telephone.

He says it's most important Sir.

It's about Mr. Maine.
- Thank you.

Oh, it's probably
just some little thing.

Hm-mh. Of course, Oliver!

I´ll turn on the radio

and see if he's called out
the National Guard yet.

Hello Libby,
what´s the good word?

Mister Norman Maine,
America's Prince Charming,

was apprehended
driving an ambulance

down Wilshire Boulevard!

With a siren
going full blast.

He explained he was a tree surgeon
on a maternity case.

Well... ah, ah,
will it be in the papers?

No it won't
be in the papers.

But that's a nice
expensive hobby of yours.

Keeping Mr. Maine's informal entertainments
out of the public press.

Oh, that´s fine work Libby.

Ah, try and see that
no one gets to Norman.

He's probably home sleeping it off.
- Oliver.

Why can't you forget those dopes
at the studio for one night?

Business, business all the time.

I dont know
what´s gonna become of you.


Why didn't you call for me?

Oh my darling,
why didn't I call for you?

In case you've forgotten,
I was supposed to come here with you.

Oh that... oh that's all right,
I got here without any trouble.

The only reason
I don't slap your face—

Yes, yes, darling. I- I know.

Hello John!
- Oh. Hello, old man!

What's the matter with Oliver?
He looks as if he got bad news.

Hello Larry.

What's the matter, old boy?

Maybe I'm wrong. I guess I've been
drinking too much lately.

Oh, you ought to cut that down,
it's bad stuff.

Scotch and soda.


Come on, come on,
come on.

The word, you know,
is pronounced 'when'.

Bad dialog, Oliver.

I would rather not watch this.

You know best.


Thank you!


Go ahead and say it.
I've got it coming to me.

Don't make it
tougher on me Norman.

I don't want to
stand here and preach.

But take a look at
my side of it,

I'm trying to
make pictures with you.

I know, I know.

Costs are going up
and the grosses are going down.

No, it isn't that.

I've made lots
of money with you,

and I can afford
to take a loss,

but I hate to see you
going the way of so many others.

Why don't you get Lloyds to
insure you against me?

You can't get insurance
against a man forgetting who he is.

You're a
great star Norman,

but there's nobody so big
they can afford

to have people
refuse to work with him.

Who doesn't wanna
work with me? You—

Shh! Quiet.

Listen, I know
plenty people who do.

Yes and so do I,

but your real friends can't stand
to see you start to fall apart.

What do you mean by that?

The first signs
are always the same:

not being able to
remember your lines,

camera man struggling to
cover your hangovers,

and all because you have to
have a good time...

...every day and every night.

Listen, I've warned you
for a long time—

Okay, Oliver, you're a swell guy,

you won't lose any money on me.
I'll promise you that.

I'll be ready for the curtains
when the time comes.

When it does,

Here's my epitaph.

Now I think I'll um...

[ knocks on counter twice ]
have a little drink.

Scotch and soda

Scotch and Soda.



Come on, come on, come on,
come on.

And a little soda.

- Caviar?
- No, thanks.

Yes, ah, um, pardon me.

lovely, lovely.

Ah, ah, I mean the caviar.

Oh no, don't--don't go away,
I'm starving, ah...

really, hmm.

which would you take?

Oh, I don't know.

You don't know?
I... I don 't know either.

It's hard to choose.

But I think I'll take, caviar.

Mr. Maine doesn't care
for any more.

Do you, Normie?


No, Normie
doesn't care for any more.

I think I shall
get very drunk indeed.

Scotch and sod—
[ Norman chuckles ]

Sorry, I have something.

- Oh.
- Do you mind if I help?

Won't they miss you?

Oh no, no, they'll
just look under the table

and when they see
I'm not there,

they'll forget the whole matter.
[ Norman chuckles]

Eh, what... eh...

what's your name?

Esther Blodgett.

My name is Maine.

- I know.
- You do? Huh.

What, what's so funny?

I was just
thinking about all your fans

and how surprised they'd be
to see you here

helping me
put plates away.

Oh they--they don't know
my finer side.

[ Esther chuckles ]
They'd be pretty envious of me,

meeting you
this way in person.

Oh, how'd you do?

So tell me are, are...

are-are you disappointed?


[ plate breaks ]

Now you've done it.

Oh never mind that,
that makes the room look lived in.

Tell me um,

why--why are you disappointed?

I was sitting behind you
at the Hollywood Bowl,

the night you didn't want
to be photographed.

[ plate breaks ]


I'm told I crept in to
many a heart that night.

Oh, I can never explain this.

You know you have
very pretty hair.

You better get out of here.

and a sensitive mouth...
and a charming little—

Precisely why are you're here
instead of with the rest of the guests?

Well, I was just
trying to be helpful and—

I see.

Are you sure
there's no other attraction?

Well it might be that my
old mania for putting plates away

is coming back on me.

It's rather odd.
I always know where I can find you,

if there's a...
pretty girl around.

It's not only odd,
it's embarrassing.

You're being
deliberately insulting Norman.

I've put up with you
for long enough—

Now, now, now dear,
don't lose your temper.

Remember, we must
try to keep the voice low.

I know you'll excuse us
if we go on with our work.

[ platter shatters ]
[ Norman thuds on floor ]

Now see what you've done!

Whst. Whst, whst...
come here!

Help me up.

Are you hurt?

N... n-no more than usual.

Come on! The wolves are on us,
we gotta get outta here.

Well, I can't!
The dishes aren't finished!

Oh yes they are!

[ dishes shatter ]

[ brakes squeak ]


I bet I know what
you're gonna say now.


Good night.

Good night and thanks.

Hey wait a minute.
Wait a minute.

Hey, uh...

do you realize that...

all I found out about you
is that you're ah,

foolish enough to
want to go into pictures?

Why the foolish?
Look at you.

Yeah, that's what I mean.

No I'd, ah...

I'd rather like to
go into this matter,

a little more thoroughly.

Well, that's awfully nice of you.

Why um...

why don't we uh,
go on up to my place and ah,

talk it over?

Oh, no.
Thank you very much, but...

I really must say good night.

Good night.

Oh, but you're not angry?

No no no.

I'm hungry.

Well, why don't you go
and get something to eat?

Goodnight, Miss Blodgett.

Goodnight, Mr. Maine.

Wait a minute!

Come here,

the least I can do
is to see you to your door.

Will I see you again?

I hope so.

Has anyone ever told you
that you're lovely?

Well, now you know.

Thank you.

It's a...

it's hard to say, but I...

I wanna say it anyway.

You know, I'm a-- I'm a screen--
I'm a-- you know...

in private life, I'm a,
well, you know....

Look, whatever I do, I...

I still respect lovely things.

And you are lovely.

Do you understand?

Yes, I-I think I do.

And it isn't that bump on the head
that's doing this.

[ Esther chuckles ]
Well, I'm glad.

Good night.
- Good night.


Do you mind if I take
just one more look?

[ telephone rings ]
Go away!

Quite impossible.

I wouldn't
even consider it!

Oh no, no!

[ telephone continues to ring ]


Who is it?



What have you
done now?

You're not in jail are you?


Yes, I see.

Oh it's that again.

I see.

She's beautiful.

Yeah. I know, you want me
to give her a screen test.

Yeah, certainly, she's got
wonderful possibilities.

Oh, you know
she's got something...

and you knew all the other ones
had something too.

Oh no!

I tell you Oliver,

she's got that sincerity...
and-and honestness,

and uh, uh,

uh, sin-sincerity and honestness,
that uh, that makes great actresses.

You c—

Oliver, I am so sure of this girl,

that I want to
take the test with her myself.


Listen Oliver,
you've worked hard,

you're entitled to a break.

You get—

[ short whistles ]

Yes. I heard you.



- Yeah.

Oliver, look...

you--you try to get
a little sleep now old man, you—

Alright boy.

Good--good night.

[ Norman laughs ]

[ mumbles]: I need coffee.

[ mumbles]: Bathroom.

[ mumbles]: There they are...

[ mumbles]: What do I do today...

[ mumbles]: Telephone book

Telephone book.

[ whistles ]

Oh, yes!

Where's the telephone book?


There you are
little telephone book!

♪ Oleander... Oleander... Oleander...
Oleander.... ♪

♪ Ooooh... oooh... ooh,ooh. ♪

♪ Oh-leander hooh. ♪

♪ O-leander ♪

♪ Oleander oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ [ humming ] ♪

♪ Oh, o-leander ♪

♪ [ humming ] ♪

[ mumbles ]: Crestview 8-4747.

[ mumbles ]: Crestview 8-4747.

Crestview 8...

Crestview 8 - 4

00:38:10,619 --> 00:38:11,657

00:38:32,947 --> 00:38:33,947
Of course...

[ knocking on door ]



For me?

Some drunk trying to be funny,
says he's Norman Maine.

Oh! Oh thanks,
I'll be right down.

And Miss Blodgett,

would you give him
a message for me?

Tell him it's

[ forcibly exhales ]







Oh yes, yes,
I'll be there!

Oh, thank you!
[ sighs ]

[ knocking on door ]
Danny! Danny!

- Mmh? Mmh? Oh-oh!
- Danny, what do you think?

I'm going to take a test tomorrow
and Norman Maine's helping me do it!

Mm, I'm taking one too.

Garbo's assisting me.


[ door shuts ]

[ door shuts ]

[ bulb explodes ]

[ sighs ]

[ men chattering ]

Move that glow bulb in.

Put a silk on that thorn.

No the end key.

Is this light
too hot for you, Hanley?

we'll put that on the drive way.

Put a double on that 90.

Bring it down a little.
That's it!

[ chattering ]

Pull down on that 150.

Pull down on that 150.

Lend me an apple bar.

Listen, gentlemen.
Please, if you don't mind.

This is...
this is just a test.

Ready Mr. Burke

Ready Mr. Burke

Ready now, Mr. Burke - All ready Mr. Burke
- Ready now, Mr. Burke

All ready Mr. Burke!
- We're ready Mr. Burke

All right, let's take it


- Quiet!
- Quiet!

- Quiet...
- Quiet

- Quiet!
- Quiet...

Ready Norman.


Ready Miss uh,
what's your name?

He'll soon know your name, Esther.

The whole world's
going to know it.

But I-I'm so scared.

Maybe I'd better not try today.

Oh, come on,
now don't be foolish,

they all had
to go through this...

Harlow, Lombard, Myrna Loy.

And now,

Esther Blodgett.


I'm ready.

This is a take.
Roll 'em.


[ sync slate clacks ]

I may as well tell you
that my whole organization

thinks I've gone a little nuts
to sign you.

Well, maybe they are right,
I've been nuts before.

You see,
all the experts seem to think

that your type is a little mild
for present day taste.

But I'd rather believe that
tastes change, like eyebrows.

And I think that
also like eyebrows,

tastes are going
back to the natural.

You look like a nice girl.

I think I'm going
to like you.

That's not important.

I think the public will like you.
That is important.

[ sighs ]

I see what you mean...
I--I mean I know it is.

But you don't think
it's going to be easy

Nothing you really want is
ever given away free.

You have to
pay for it.

And usually
with your heart.

Someone else
told me that once.

But you still have to
work it out for yourself.

Oh well, all this is
just a long way of saying:

I'm glad you're with us,
and good luck to you.

And now, I'm going to turn you over
to our demon press agent, Libby.

Don't let him frighten you.

He has a heart of gold...
only harder.

And for the love of Pete, learn to
close your mouth and keep it closed.

Even in your love scenes.

Are you a Russian?

No, I was born in
Filmore, North Dakota.

Oh no.

Grace saw light of day

in a mountain cabin,

a trappers hut

high up in the rockies.

Go on.

Well I, I always wanted
to be an actress.

Dreamed of footlights,

as lonely kitty.

Are you sure theres
no Russian in your family?

- Positive.
- That's a shame.

Well, what
does your father do?

- He's a farmer.
- Nah...

Social register-ied father,
fed up with hypocrisies, a '400',

sought wilderness
for consolation.

There amidst
the mountain flowers,

he raised another blossom.

His lovely little daughter...

What's your name?

Esther Victoria Blodgett.

Greatly appreciating your attention
in this matter, very truely...

Do you know
what her name is?

Esther Victoria Blodgett.

Hey, we'll have to do
something about that, right away.

Esther Victoria Blodgett.

Well, that Blodgett's
definitely out.

Let's see, ah,
Esther Victoria,

Victoria, Vicki.
How about Vicki?

Oh I think
that's terribly cute!

Let's see, Vicki, Vicki what?

Vicki Vicki. Pronounced...

Vicki. Vicki.

Siesta, Besta, Sesta, Desta, Festa...

Oh, that's very pretty.

Hesta, Hester, Jester, Lester,
Vicki Lester!

Oh I like that!

- Say it!
- Vicki Lester.

- Say it again.
- Vicki Lester.

- Say it again.
- Vicki Lester.

- Say it!
- Vicki Lester.

- Say Vicki Lester
- Vicki Lester

- Vicki Lester. - Vicki Lester.
- Vicki Lester.

Vicki Lester.


Oliver Niles' Studio
discovers new starlet.

A Cinderella
of the Rockies.

Her name
is Vicki Lester.

Those who have peeked
tell me should couldn't be more divine.

The face of an angel
and such natural talents.

Her voice
is a symphony.

Her very walk, they tell me,
is enough... to drive men mad!

Not that way!

Get the lead outta your feet!
Lift 'em up!

That's better.

It's terrible,
but it's better.

The quality of mercy
is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain
from heaven.

Cease! Through the mouth,
my child, through the mouth.

The nose is for smelling roses.
[ he chuckles ]


Does she have to look surprised
all the time?

it's just a rough sketch.

Pretty small mouth, eh?

[ tsks ]

Oh well, mmh...

Give her that Crawford smear.


This will give her
that Dietrich mm-yeah!

We are
on the wrong track.

She still
looks surprised.

Listen drunk people:

We're shootin' on the set this morning,
not in the commissary.

Now come on,
snap in to it!

Acme t-rrrrucking company.

Noo, Mister Smith is not in!

Acme trucking company.

Uh, no.

Mister Smith is not in.

Good morning,
what can I bring you Mr. Maine?

That just shows
how long you've been here.

Mabel, bless you.

How soon are you and I gonna
be married, huh?

I don't know.

You'll have to
ask my mother.

Ahcme trrucking company.

Ah, no, Mister Smythe is not in.

Acme trr-ucking company.

No, Mister er, Smith is not in.

Naw, Smith ain't in!

[ pop ]


Acme trucking company.

- I'd like to speak to Mr. Smith please.
- Mister Smith is not—

Oh, Norman!

What's all this
between you and Smith?

I got a part.
It's only one line...

but it's in the picture!

So it's ambition that made you
break that date with me last night.

Well, I had to be here
so early this morning—

And, uh, so did I.

I had to stay up all night
to make it.

You've started your picture,
haven't you?

No, no we are still
in the testing stage.

We can't seem to get
the right girl for the lead.

Hmm... You'd think with
all the girls there are that—

Yeah, well,
this one's got to be different.

She's got to be
little, and cute, and sweet, a--

and intelligent.

Well blow me down.

- What?
- Well close my tired old eyes.

- Wha--what is it?
- Hold everything, come on!

Come on!

I heard you've been through the
whole casting directory—

- I'll work day and night Mr. Niles.
- And I'll work with her Oliver!

And I can be mean or nasty
or anything you want, Mr Niles.

If she clicks Oliver,
you've got a star overnight.


[ trumpet fanfare ]

[ fanfare continues ]
[ applause ]

[ clapping ]

Wait till you hear them at
the end of the picture.

Do you think
we were noticed?

By no one...
They're much to busy

playing at croquet.

I've loved you
all my life.

But, we only met
two days ago.

That's when my life began.

Ain't she cute?

You know I think she's
the same type I am.

Don't you?
I think she's sweet.

Well, it's
Vicki Lester's picture alright.

I think she was
much better than he was.

These producers
are so horribly dumb,

They won't know how
good she is.

Well maybe it's because
she's a good girl.

All I mean is that it's not so bad,
but it's Vicki Lester they'll go to see.

That Vicki, darling, I think she's the
most precious little thing I've ever seen.


She's a knock out Libby.

You might mention that
when you write your review.

That Lester kid's
a gold mine.

Didn't you
like Norman Maine?

Was he in it?

[ chuckles ]

I'm afraid we have another hit.

It's in the bag.

Neatly tied up
with beautiful pink ribbons.

Hey, where are
Norman and Vicki?

I don't know,
I thought you had them.

I wish they'd come,
were having a party at the Trocadero.

Isn't it thrilling
running away from people?

Norman, it's so exciting!

So new.

A star is born.

Come on, run!

It's wonderful,
isn't it?

A crazy quilt.

it's a carpet spread for you.

It's all yours from now on,
you know.

Come Esther,
you're a success.

You can have
everything in the world you want.

I hope it'll
make you happy.

Hasn't it you?

But then there
was one thing I never had.

Lots of times I...

told myself I'd found it,
but I always knew I was lying.

Still I... I never
stopped looking for it.

Maybe it'll come.

Well, I think
it has come, Esther.

I only wish
it weren't too late.

Oh, but it's not too late.

Oh, you can't throw away your life
the way I've thrown away mine...

...and have anything left
that's good enough... no.

You can.

you can.

You mustn't tell me that, Esther.

I'm so afraid
that I'll believe it.

[ cheering, crowd noises ]

Come on Garcia,
shoot your right!

Swell, isn't it?
- Lovely.

Watch Garcia again.

Can't you hear me Garcia?
Shoot your right!

He's down! Garcia got him!
Garcia's got him!

He did, didn't he?

Yeah, but he'll be up, though.

You like it?
- Yeah, I do.

- You like me?
- Sure I do.

Oo... that reminds me.
Will you marry me?

No thank you.
- You wh—

Come on Garcia, finish him!
Why won't you marry me?

you're not dependable

Hey, shoot your right!

- You throw away your money.
- Break him off in there, break him up!

and you drink so much.

- Well, suppose I quit drinking?
- Yes.

Come on, Garcia,
shoot your right in there, the right!!

Suppose I save my money?
- Yes.

There he goes!
...Let him have it!!

Suppose I became
absolutely dependable on all occasions?


Yay, yeah!

Yay, Garcia!
He got him! He got him!

He certainly did.

Gee, that was a beautiful fight!

- Norman?
- What dear?

Would you do all that for me
if I said I'd marry you?

Well, certainly not!
I was just supposing.

We're going to be married.

Guess I didn't read
that line right.

I'll try it again.

We are going to be married.

- Both of us.
- To each other.

What do you think of that?

Well when? Where?

Well, we ah, thought
that we'd elope,

in the
conventional manner.

What's the matter?

He's trying to decide whether
it's good for the studio.

- Is it?
- It is.

And bless you
my children.

When's it
going to happen?

Oh we thought we'd
just sneak out some time.

W're not telling anyone
but you.

Listen to this!

The screen's ideal romance

blossomed into
breathing reality today

when Vicki Lester
and Norman Maine,

America's dream lovers,

slipped quietly thru
the portals of holy matrimony.

How does it sound?

- Horrible.
- But you see we're going to elope.

Sure you are!
It will be the biggest elopement

this town ever saw.

We'll get a tie-up
with the army

and have you escorted
all the way down to Yuma,

by twenty of their
new bombing planes.

Is he going with us?

Don't you think we can
work this thing out better alone?

No sense in bothering the happy couple
with all the details.

I'll see to it that you get
a carbon copy of the whole layout.

I can hardly wait.

I'm ah, sorry we didn't realize
that we were in the way.

While you're settling
the details,

you don't mind if I take this woman out
and buy her a ring, do you?

Sure, go ahead,
we want everything legal.

[ door closes ]

That's a charming match.

A nice girl like Vicki

and public nuisance
number one.

Now wait a minute Libby,
Norman's all right.

And if you'll pardon my pointing,
Vickie's business is her own.

It doesn't require
any comments.

I wasn't making any comments.

I just said
it's a rotten shame.

So go ahead
and plan the elopement.

Oh that elopement stuff is out.

You can't get
any scope in that.

We are going
to have a wedding.

Where will we have it?

The customary place I believe,
is a church.

It's been done.

This gotta
be something big.

The beach.
I can visualize it.

The bridesmaids in bathing suits.

Twenty thousand
Santa Monica school children,

spelling out the word love.

It's a novelty,
but is it big enough?

Why not
the City Hall?

A police escort, and every
motorcycle cop in town,

sirens screaming,
confetti pouring out of buildings,

like the Lindbergh reception
in New York,

only on a big scale.

What's the matter... isn't it big enough?

And now if any man can
show just cause

why these two may not
be lawfully joined together,

let him now speak,
or else hereafter, forever hold his peace.

Do you
Alfred Hinkel,

take this woman
as your lawful wedded wife?

Will you love, comfort, honor
and keep her in sickness and health,

as long as you both shall live?
- I will.

Do you,
I beg your pardon.

Do you, eh,
Esther Blodget take this man

as you your
lawful wedded husband?

Will you obey, serve, love, honor
and keep him in sickness and health,

as long as
you both shall live?

I will.

Place the ring on her finger - Uh-huh.
and hurry please. - Uh-huh.

Now by virtues of the power
invested in me

as Justice of the Peace of
San Bardo Township, County of Los Angeles,

I pronounce you
man and wife.

[ applause ]


And now I must exercise my
prerogative of office. [ chuckles ]

I hope you'll be
very happy Mrs. Hinkel.

Thank you.

- Thank you, sir, thank you very much.
- Oh, Danny...

Now if you'll
please sign the license.

Oh, oh yeah.

You know ahh, Mrs. Hinkel,

I can't help but believe,
I've seen you somewhere before.

Oh really?

Well, uh, I believe this is the first time
I've ever been in San Bardo.

You know your face is familiar too.
- Really?

- Here you are, sir.
- Thank you very much.

- Here's your receipt.
-Thank you.

- Good-goodbye. - Goodbye.

- Goodbye! - Nice to see you again.
- Yes, goodbye.

No I got something
I'll just see to here. Ah—

- Yeah, I think we got by with it.
- But it was close,

that J.P. was just beginning
to remember where he'd seen us.

But anyway,
we got away from Libby.

Hello, gents!

If you will be kind enough
to glance between my shoulder blades,

Mr. and Mrs. Hinkel,

you will find there
a knife,

buried to the hilt.

On the handle are
your initials.

I'd rather
not see you Libby!

Hold him,
hold him Danny!

There go a couple of rats
I raised from mice.

Well, they've got a right
to get married haven't they?

They haven't got any right to
double-cross the public.

And I haven't done it yet!


The people versus
Porky Washington,

who is charged with
violating section 600—

Young man,
you're in contempt of court!


Get me the
Los Angeles Tribune.

I have a good mind
to put you under arrest!

Wait 'till I make this call.

You wait too.

Give me the city desk.

This is Matt Libby.

I got a flash
for ya.

Norman Maine
and Vicki Lester

were married at
2:30 this afternoon.

Vicki Lester?!

Court recessed!

[ mayhem ]

[ whistling ]

♪ So give me a horse,
a great big horse ♪

♪ A great big buckeroo and ♪

♪ Let me wahoo,
wahoo, wahoo! ♪


[ gears grind ]


Hey wahoo...

I don't ah,
want to sound immodest,

but I think
I've stripped a gear.

Well sit down won't you and
let's get acquainted.

We'll probably be seeing
quite a bit of each other from now on.


We might just as well
break the ice now as later


Now we're old friends.
[ Esther chuckles ]

Say, have I... have I got time for
a shower before dinner?

if you can find the shower.

I never can remember
where that thing is,

does it, ah,
pull out or slide under?

Here, I think
I can find it.

Nope, that's the linen closet.

Here it is.

Nice work.

Oh, half-the-time
those things are just luck.

I'll see if I can
disinfect this steak.

Hey Esther.
Uh, there's no soap.


Thank you.

Oh and Esther...
- Yes, Dear?

I'll--I'll need
a washcloth, please.

How are you
fixed for cigarettes?

You know I
never smoke underwater.

Ah, what, what do I do to
make this thing work?

Pull that gadget at the top
and pray for rain.

Well, I...

I can't reach it,
I can-can't get my hands up!

If you've gone in there with
your arms down, you'll never get your bath,

unless you're a contortionist.

Yeah well, I-I'm not a contortionist...
and don't throw that up to me now.

You-you knew it
when you married me.

Can you close
this door please?

Thank you!

Ooo... oh!

[ car horn honks ]

Norman, here comes a car.

You gotta—

- Here, quick!

Quick what?
- Quick go out

and stop them
and ask for help.

Oh, I'll-I'll catch cold!

Oh, you'll get warm again.

Yeah... oh shoot,
they'll recognize me!

Not if you
keep your face down!

Go on, there may not be
another car for weeks!


[ whistles ]

- Er... ah...
- Howdy partner!

- Howdy... ah...
- Stuck?

how'd you guess it?

Ah, can you get us
some help?

Well, I reckon not.

You know,
it's a long way to town,

and we're pretty busy
down at the place.

Well, I got to get out of here,
I-I've got my wife with me and—

- Doesn't she like the country?
- No.

No, and we're short of food.

Well, there's a lot of game
in them woods.

Yeah, well
my wife can't shoot.

Well you're
sure up against it.

Sorry I can't
do anything for ya.

Now wait, listen,
I'll be frank with ya.

I'm Norman Maine.


Norman Maine!

Well, my name
is Judd Baker

Glad to
have met ya.

Well, so long.

Hey wait a... wait a minute.
Listen... you don't—

So you're
Norman Maine.

I got my prestige
to look out for.

I'm supposed to be
the best publicity man in the racket.

And they laugh themselves sick
when I even try

to get a
decent mention of Maine.

Yes, I know how
sensitive you are Libby

and I don't like
to see your feelings hurt.

Thanks boss.

Now Vicki,
there's a dish for free space,

but if Maine
swam across the Pacific

the papers
would keep it a secret.


the exhibitors don't like him,

the critics
don't like him,

the public don't like him,

and I don't like him.

Who likes him?

Oh but darling,
this is almost too much of a surprize.

And there I was in my
touching innocence,

thinking we were going to
live in the beach house.

Oh, we'll still
keep the place at Malibu.

But this is special, this is our castle.
It used to be in the air, you know.

We will never use
any ugly words like,

contracts and pictures
and careers.

When we come in
those gates,

we'll check
the studio outside.

Come on, I've got another
little surprise for you.

[ swan whistles ]

Oh Norman, it's lovely.

So are you, lovely.

The whole world's lovely.

Hey! Hold it!

That's it.

Their honeymoon never ends.

Alright, let's get some pictures.

Now, if the bride will sit here
and the groom will stand behind her,

you'll have something unique.

Now, lets go
after something different

You sit down and she'll stand up.

- Pretty radical isn't it?
- Yeah, but in a nice way. -Yeah.

Okay Otto, fire!

Their honeymoon begins anew.

Ah, the producer.

Their honeymoon ceases abruptly.

Hello Oliver, glad to see ya!
- Oh I'm glad your back.

- Thank you.
- Vicki, how well you're lookng.

Hello Oliver.

- Am I interrupting?
- Yes, thank you.

Just want a
couple more pictures.

That's enough
of both of them.

What they're asking for
are exclusives of Miss Lester.


Oh, I see.

Well, come on Oliver,
let's you and me get exclusive.

See you later Vicki.

Well, don't worry, Otto,
my camera smashing days are over.

danger only days are over.

Oh, hold that
Miss Lester.

[ camera clicks]


How's the
dividend situation?

Very pleasant.
I think we show two million

on our next quarter.
[ Norman laughs]

Smart move of mine to
sell my stock, eh?

Oh well, when you
need money, you need it.

Some people save up for
just such an event.

There's bound to be
a rainy day occasionally.

Yeah, well
as a citizen of California,

I've always refused
to admit that.

Yes, I know,
but still it does rain.

Well anyway, you can thank me
for some of those dividends of yours.


Well, can't you?
- Well, sure, sure.

That was
a little too quick, Oliver.

Well, The Enchanted Hour was
a smash hit wasn't it?

Well, it made Vicki
a star overnight.

Yes, it should have.

How about me?

Well, lets talk about business
at the office, Norman.

Beautiful pool you have here.

Oh, no,
lets talk about it here.

Didn't they like me?

Well, maybe the part
wasn't just right.

Well, it was the
best part of the year.

Look, Oliver...

do you think I'm slipping?

Can you take it?

Yeah, go ahead.

The tense is wrong.

You're not slipping,
you've slipped.

Well, my...

...my fan mail
is still big.

Norman, Norman, fans will write
to anybody for a photograph.

It only costs
3 cents for a stamp,

and that makes photographs
cheaper than wallpaper.

But every 25 cents they pay
for a theater ticket,

buys them the right
to be a critic.

And your last few performances, Norman,
have not pleased your critics.

You remember,
I told you I'd uh...

be ready for the curtains
when the time came?

Well, here it is.

Let's call off the contract,
no hard feelings.

We're not quitting.
Either of us.

There is no explaining
these things,

we've all seen
how the public turns.

Maybe we
can turn them back.

I've got a swell script
lined-up for you.

about Esther?


do you think that
I'm going to get in her way?

Well, as a matter of fact,
as it happens,

there's no part
in the story for her.

I'd more or less planned
to star her in a picture of her own.

With uh... that young Pemberton
opposite her.

He's coming along nicely.

Good for
young Pemberton.

Alright Oliver...
we'll make a try at it.

Lets hope
it's not... too late.

No argument...
I'll buy those.


The screen's most finished actor
[ chuckles ]

I'll say he's finished.
He keeps 'em away in droves.

[ telephone rings ]


No. No Miss Lester
isn't home as yet.

No, I'm not the butler.

Well, I can take a message
just as well as he can, honest.

Oh, is that you Norman?

Listen Norman,
this is Artie Carver.

How are you kid?

Say, I hear you're through
with Oliver Niles.

Is that on the level?

Ah, please Artie,
I'm not news anymore. Forget it.

Say, what kind of a settlement did
you make on your contract?

Give me a figure,
so I can do a story on it.

[ exhales ] There was no money involved.
We just called it quits.

Okay, Okay...
I'll fill in my own figure.

Say by the way...

I've been trying to
get an interview with Vicki

for two weeks,
but she's always busy.

How about you giving an old pal a break
by speaking to her for me?

Sure I'll ask her.

Swell. So long.
[ chuckles]

I didn't mean to be late darling,
but Casey wanted me—

It's all right.
You're here now.

What's new today?

I haven't been out of the house.

Lets go
somewhere tonight.

Oh no.
No, you're tired, we'll stay in.

I'm not tired, really.

Oh, yes you are.

You've got a hard day
ahead of you.

Anyway, I see so little of you,
I'd like to have you to myself.

Oh, but it's the servants' night out,
we haven't any dinner—

Yes we have.

I fixed a little snack
with my own, lily white hands.

I ah...

...I'm learning to cook in my spare time.
- Then I think I'll marry you.

Oh I get it,

You want to make
an honest cook of me, huh?

Comes in on wheels
in this joint.

Here you are.

How's it look?


Aa, that's what I thought.

Now there,
don't be formal just pitch in.

Here you are.

I'm afraid my mouth's
not quite big enough.

I'll ah, I'll measure it next time
and make them to size.

A little hard to lift, too.

In fact I think, I'll take
those measurements right now.

That's what I wait for...

all day.

That's why I rush home
without even changing my costume.

Wait... we're forgetting
that we're hungry.

Would you like a sandwich?

Thank you, I still have a
little work on this one.

Oh... [ chuckles ]

- Ahh!
- Norman will you unhook my dress,

I can't breathe.
- Hm-hmh.

You know, all the time I thought
it was the kiss that made you breathless.

[ Esther laughs ]

A lot of hooks. - Ah-hah.
Why don't you have a zipper?

That's a good idea.

- Feel better?
[ Esther exhales ] - Yes.


Don't look now,
but uh...

...I think that guy on your left
is in love with you.

I hope so.

[ door bell buzzes]

[ door bell again ]

[ door bell buzzes ]

- It's the door bell.
- Is it?

Maybe they'll go away.

Oh they never do
at a time like this, you...

well, you....

Just a minute dear.
I'll be right back.

Does Vicki Lester live here?
- Yes.

I've got a package for her.

- I'll sign for it.
- And who are you?

- I'm her husband
- Oh sure...

Sign right here,
Mr. Lester.

[ door closes ]

It's a package
for you.

And, by the way,
I forgot to tell you, uh...

they want you
for a benefit

at the Shrine Auditorium,
next Wednesday night.

I told them I'd ask you.

and, ah
- Oh, Darling, ah,

I don't want
to hear about that now.

Well, you better wait till I finish
before I forget them all.

Uhm... the Academy Dinner
secretary phoned

she wants to know if
you want a table reserved for you.

Ah... Oh yes,
Artie Carver called...

and asked if I'd use my influence with you
to get him an interview.

I told him I'd try.

Ah... that was all I think.

Oh Norman, let's don't talk
about those things now.

We're forgetting the
wonderful food you prepared.

I'm--I'm not very hungry now...
I think I'll ah...

I'll fix me a little drink.

Oh, but Norman—

[ applause ]

I wish Norman
would come.

Oh, stop worrying.

And think how nice that statue
is going to look on your mantle piece.

Do you suppose anything's
happened to him?

But of course not,
he's just been held up in traffic.

You think
about that statuette.

And now we arrive at the climax
of the annual dinner

of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences.

The highest award
within our power to bestow.

We've already applauded
with our hearts as well as our hands,

while awards have
been given those gentleman,

who during the past year
have rendered distinguished service

to the motion picture industry.

We now pay honor
to the ladies.

Or rather to one lady.

We offer to her
the Academy Award

for the finest performance
of the past year.

She has already
had the world's acclaim,

but this is the tribute of
her fellow workers,

the men and women
of this industry.

It is not only my pleasure,
but my privilege,

to present this award to the actress
who created the unforgettable Anna,

in Dream without End.

Miss Vicki Lester.
[ applause ]

[ applause and cheers ]

[ applause and cheers continue ]

What more can we say Miss Lester?
This says it all for us.

[ applause ]

Ladies and gentlemen:

When something like this
happens to you

and you try to tell
how you feel about it,

you find that
out of all the words in the world,

there are only two
that really mean anything:

Thank you!

All I can do is to say them
to you from my heart.

All I can do is
to keep on saying them.

- Hey! That's fine!
- Oh Mr. Maine, please!

That's a very
pretty speech my dear...

- Just a moment!
...very pretty!

You said the right thing.

I wanna be the very first one
to congratulate you

on that, on that valuable little piece
of bric-a-brac.

Now, I wanna
make a speech.

Gentleman of the Academy
and fellow suckers,

I got one of those once for
a best performance,

they don't mean a thing...
people get 'em every year.

What I want is a
special award.

nobody else can get.

I want a statue for the
worst performance of the year.

In fact,
I want three statues.

For the three
worst performances of the year,

I've earned them.

And every
single one of you

that saw those
last masterpieces of mine

knows that
I've earned them.

Libby, start the music.

What I'm here
to find out is:

do I get 'em,
or do I get 'em?

Now answer, yes or no?
- Ooo!

Norman darling,
let's go and sit down.

Come on Norman,
sit with us.

- Have a seat, Norman.
- Hello, Norman! - Hello, Norman.

- Hello, and how are you?
- All right, Oliver.

My dear, do let me
congratulate you.

You must be terribly proud
and happy tonight.

Thank you!

Somebody give me a drink!

Oliver, nice of you
to come to my venue.

Vicki how are you?

I've missed you, everyone's missed you.
Have a nice trip?

Well, a three months' tour
of the theater circuit,

scarecely comes
under the heading of pleasure.

But the way they're screaming
for your pictures all over the country,

Miss Lester, if I may talk shop:
you are a knock-out.

Thank you!
It's good to hear that.

You've been crying.

A little.

How's Norman?


Well, he's trying
awfully hard, Oliver.

Letting Norman leave the studio was
the hardest thing I ever did.

There was nothing else I could do.
- I know.

Has he been—

Is he alright?

He's gone
to a sanitarium.

He really wants to
stop drinking.

Well, I think he could,


perhaps he could
start working again.

it would be
some encouragement.

Oh, Oliver, could you?
Could you do that?


Oh, thank you.
But he mustn't ever know I told you.

He won't know,
and you mustn't worry.

I want you to keep up
your good work in this picture.

I'll try, Oliver.
It's the one thing I can do for you.

[ door closes ]

If you'll just sit here, Mr.Niles,
I'll have Mr. Maine brought down.

Thank you.

'Brought down' ?


Hello Oliver!
Welcome to Liberty Hall.

Hello Norman!


No. No, Mr. Niles isn't slipping me
a case of Scotch, Cuddles.

This is just a handshake.
[ Oliver chuckles ]

This is Cuddles, Oliver,
my social secretary.

We--we go everywhere together.
[ Oliver laughs ]

- How're you feeling Norman?
- Fine.

I'm getting along remarkably well,
Cuddles tells me.

He says, you oughta
see some of the boys. [ whistles ]

[ both laugh ]
Let's sit down.


Cuddles, we-we really
don't need you.

Touching, isn't it?
[ Oliver chuckles ]

He can't bear to have me
out of his sight!

Are you comfortable here, Norman?
- Comfortable? It's positively luxurious.

Hey, they even have iron bars on
the windows to keep out the draft.

[ Oliver laughs ] How much longer
are you going to be here?

Oh, well, I'm really cured now,
I'm just...

...staying on for an extra week or two
to get in good shape, you know?

After all, there is no, no particular hurry
to return to the cameras.

That's what I wanted
to talk to you about.

I've got a script
with a fine part for you in it.

Hey, Oliver, that's great.
That's great.

[ taps table twice ]
Who, ah... who plays opposite me?

Well, it is not
exactly the lead.

Young Pemberton's doing that,

but I tell you frankly I find your part
better than the lead.

Oh, I see.

better than the lead?

Well, of course,
it isn't terribly long,

but it's one of those parts
that makes an impression on you.

They'll be thinking about you
all through the picture. - Mmh-hmh.

Well, the thing is Oliver,
I'm, uh,

pretty well set
at another studio.

And I'm not at liberty at the moment
to tell you which one,

you know yourself how those things are.
- Of course!

But it's a big picture.

It's one of the biggest of the year...
and the part!

Every actor in Hollywood
would give his teeth to play it.

[ Oliver chuckles ]
Hey, well that's fine Norman,

and naturally,
that would tie you up for a while,

but we won't get to this picture
for some time.

and perhaps, if you want
to consider it for later on—

Well, I tell ya Oliver,
you'd better not count on me.

See, ah, I've got several pictures
lined-up after this one,

and then they're talking to me
about England and....

You know, that they're doing some
very interesting things over there,

you know?
- Hm-hmm. - Hey! -Huh?

What is it Cuddles?
Speak right out. We all love you.

- The dinner.
- Oh! [ chuckles ]

Here we dine at five thirty here,
it makes the nights longer.

[ Oliver chuckles ]
Well, goodbye Norman.

I'm glad to see
you're getting along so well.

I'll be out in no time.

I'll have to introduce myself
all over to a lot of people,

they won't know me
when I'm not drinking, ha.

- Goodbye Norman.

Thanks for dropping in.

[ door closes ]

Well, Cuddles...
alone at last, eh?

[ 'Call to the Post' fanfare plays ]

[ 'Call to the Post' plays again ]

Oh, Burt, Sam...
How are you Marion?

- Oh, ah,Hello.
- Hello.

Hello, Norman.

I'll see ya.

How I hate to
run into these has-beens.

- They give me the creeps.
- Me too.

He was good
while he had it.

And he had it quite a while.

- Hello
- Hello Mr. Maine,

I haven't seen you in a long time.
- Ah, I've been resting.

Ginger ale, please.

Ginger ale and what?

Ginger ale and...
and ginger ale.

A new leaf?

A whole new book.

Thank you.

Scotch, straight.

Hello Libby.

Why it's Mr. America
of yester-year.

Do they let you wander about now
without a keeper?

- Oh, sure, I'm a-- I'm a trustee now.
- Hm.

I didn't expect
to find you at Santa Anita.

What do they do with the actors,
well, while you're away?

Oh, they cut 'em into slices
and fry 'em with eggs.

I suppose you'll be here
all the time,

now that you've retired from
the hurly-burly of the silver screen.

Well, with...

living down in Malibu now,

pretty lonesome with...

...Esther away working all day.

Well, I wouldn't squawk about that
if I were you.

It's nice to have
somebody in the family making a living.

Ah, wait a minute, Libby...

I don't want to forget
that we're friends.

Friends my eye.
Say listen,

I got you out of jams
because I had to, it was my job,

not because
I was your friend.

I don't like you
and I never have liked you.

Nothing made me happier

than to see all those
cute little pranks of yours

finally catch up with you
and land you on your celebrated face!

Pretty work, Libby.

Always wait 'till they're down,
then kick 'em.

I don't feel sorry for you.

You've fixed
yourself nice and comfortable.

You can live
off your wife now.

She'll buy you drinks and
put up with you,

even though
nobody else will.

- Oh! Try and stop him!
- You're disturbing the peace. Back up!

[ mayhem ]

Wait a minute,
wait a minute...

Come on outside for you,
wise guy!

I'm Norman Maine!

- Well, that's not my fault.
- Oh, don't bother to toss him out.

He's harmless.
- Alright, Mr. Libby if you say so.

Sure, let him go, what can he do?
He can't fight any better that he can act.

Norman Maine...

[ chattering ]

Give me a Scotch... double.
Leave the bottle here.

[ Oliver sighs ] Vicki, you'll be ill.
Why don't you try to get a little sleep?

But he's been gone four days...
four days and not a word.

[ telephone rings ]

Oliver, I can't.
I just can't.

Hello? No, this is Oliver Niles speaking.
What? Where?

Thank you.

[ hangs up phone ]
What is it?

- Nothing, nothing.
- Oliver tell me.

He's in the night court.

He's been arrested on a
drunk charge and he's alright,

he isn't hurt and I'm going right now to
get him out. - I'm going with you.

Vicki, it isn't any place for you
and if it gets in the papers—

What do I care about the papers?
I'm going with you!

[ gavel bangs ]

Precinct 30, Municipal Court
County of Los Angeles, now in session.

The honorable
George J. Parris presiding.

Be seated, please.

Were you
able to do anything?

The judge wouldn't
even see me.

Ready, your Honor.

I want to advise you, that you are entitled
to be represented by counsel,

to be confronted by the witnesses
that may testify against you,

to compel witnesses
to attend on your behalf,

to a public and a speedy trial
by the court, or by a jury,

and the right to be admitted to bail.
Call the first five.

Gregory, Rails, Maine, Rodríguez, Johnson
Come on boys, step in here!

Go ahead,
move along.

- William Gregory
-Yes, [ door closes ] eh, eh.

Plain drunk,
picked up at Fifth and Towne.

Asleep in the gutter,
14 similar offenses in the past 6 months.

Still at it, Gregory..?
How do you plead?

Eh, I don't feel so good.

I didn't ask how you feel,
I asked you how you plead!

Guilty, I guess.

When did you get out
the last time?

day--day before Christmas.

I'm sorry you'll
have to miss New Year's.

But you should be out in time for
Washington's Birthday. Sixty days.

Milton Rails.

A plain drunk.

Picked up on Brooklyn Avenue.
Given treatment at Receiving Hospital,

then removed to jail.

How old are you, Rails?

Uh, seventeen, sir.

Did you take a good look at those men
in the cell with you last night?

Yes, sir.

And have you taken a good look
at yourself this morning?

Well, no sir.

Well, I suggest that you do.
Five dollars and two days.

Sentence suspended.

Oh, judge!

Alfred Hinkel!

More commonly known
as Norman Maine.

Eh, drunk and disorderly.

Cracked car into a tree at
Sunset and Coronado.

been drinking for days.

Resisted arrest and injured one
of his arresting officers.

How do you plead?


You're Norman Maine, the actor,
aren't you?

You've come pretty low,
haven't you?

There isn't a man here who's had
the advantages you've had.

Look what
you've done with them.

You're nothing but
an irresponsible drunk.

Driving about the streets
with the power

to inflict death or injury
on innocent people.

I believe we better deny you
that power for a while.

Ninety days
in the City jail.

Please wait.

I'm his wife.

Yes, I recognize you
Miss Lester.

Please, Judge.

I promise you,
this won't happen again.

I'll be responsible for him,

if you just
won't send him there.

Do you realize that this man,
when drunk,

is obviously a menace
to public safety?

and you realize too,
Miss Lester,

the responsibility you'll be assuming
to this court and to the commonwealth?

I do.

Sentence suspended.
Prisioner remanded to custody of wife.

Thank you.

You can get him
at the jail entrance, madam.

José Rodriguez.

Plain drunk. Picked up at First and Main.
Second offense.

How do you plead?

Well, I think
I'm guilty, your honor.

Sixty days.

Hey, Honey,

I'm so tired of this—
- Hold it, Mr. Maine, a picture!

- Oh no, please.
- What about a statement for the press?

Oh no.
Please, no, no!

He's still asleep.
He's been sleeping all day.

That's the
best thing for him.

It's awful to see this happen
to someone you love,

and know in your heart
that it can't get any better.

I only know that, all I can do now is stay
with him and try to help him.

So will I.

And between us,
we'll take care of him.

You're very fond of him,
aren't you Oliver?

I'm very fond of
both of you.

Then, I know you'll understand
what I have to tell you.

And after what
happened last night,

I think you already
know what it is.

I can't do
any more pictures.

I'm going away for good
with Norman.

You can't
do that Vicki.

You're at the very peak
of your success...

and you've worked so hard
to achieve it.

That's what's
best for Norman.

And I've
thought it all out.

Maybe, if I hadn't
been away from him so much,

last night and what went before it
wouldn't have happened.

Oh, I know it's too late
to think about that now, but...

...it may not too be late

to go away with him
and start over somewhere.

It's your life
you're giving up Vicki.

So I can try
to give Norman back his.

Can you honestly tell me
I'm wrong to do it?

No Vicki, I can't
honestly tell you that.

Then there'll be no more...
Vicki Lester.

Come on,
walk to the door with me.

Goodbye, Vicki Lester.

You were a grand girl.

Good luck,
Mrs. Norman Maine.


[ door closes ]

[ Esther crying ]

Hey, Darling!

This is Maine coming in
to apologize again.

Stop, I'm sorry Dear, but...

It-it isn't you.

What other troubles
have you got?

Ah, none.

[ sighs ] I was just playing
a scene with myself.

Now look,

I'm just coming out of the jitters
and your just going into them.

This is a swell household.

Isn't it?

I tell you what we'll do.

I'll promise to brace up,
if you'll go on the wagon.

[ Esther chuckles ] I guess I have
been drinking too mch.

You know what I'm gonna do,
I'm going to be an athlete.

You mean with great big muscles
and everything.

Well, roughly speaking, ah.

You're gonna join
the YMCA?

Nah, it'd
cost too much.

I'm going wading
out in our front yard.

- Now?
- Sure!

Would you like me
to go with you?

if you'd like to.

Normie, I don't think I will.
It might spoil this beatiful, natural wave.

Yeah, I guess that's right.

Darling, look, ah,
could you have a hot toddy read—, um,

I mean, some hot soup for me,
when I come back?

Some hot soup.

Yeah, and I'll make
some of those nice sandwiches.

Norman, do you have to?

[ both laugh ]

Go on now.

Now, don't stay in too long.


Do you mind if I take just...
one more look?

First drink of water
he had in twenty years.

And then,
he had to get it by accident!

[ Bartender chuckles ]

Pardon me,

how do you wire congratulations
to the Pacific Ocean?

[ Bartender laughs ]

There she is now!

Oh! You can't see her face!

Hello Vicki!

[ mayhem ]

[ Danny ]: Get away, can't you?
- Come on, Vicki! Let's see your face.

Vicki, will you sign my book for me?
Write "Mrs. Norman Maine".

- Don't you care, Vicki.
You'll get over it.

Stand back,
can't you?

Don't you cry, Dearie!
He wasn't so much!

[ Esther screams, cries ]

Do you mind if I take just...
one more look?

Here are the paychecks
for the servants, Graves.

You'll find a very nice bonus
in each one.

Miss Lester asked me to thank you
for your kindness and service.

If there is anything I can do
for the little lady,

I should be glad to do it.

She would appreciate your attending to
the closing of the Beverly Hills house.

Put down those trunks.

Put it down, I say!

Where is she?

I-In the bedroom.
Who are you?

Oh, I'm her grandmother.
Get out of the way!

[ Auld Lang Syne begins playing ]


- Esther!
- Granny, darling!

Oh I'm so glad to see you!
What made you come?

Oh I know
when I'm needed.

Now get out of here!
Go on... get out of here, all of you!

I want to talk to
my granddaughter alone.

I came just as
quickly as I could.

But I'm going home.
I sent you a wire yesterday.


Sit down!

Is it true that you're
going to quit the movies?

I never want to
hear of them again.

What are you running away from
little girl?

I'm not running away, it...

it's just that I can't go on,
my heart isn't in it anymore.

Once I told you
that to get what you want,

you to have to give
your heart in exchange.

And you said,
you were willing, remember?

I remember.

It seems to me

that you got more than
you bargained for.

More fame. More success.
Even more, personal happiness.

more unhappiness.

But you did make a bargain
and now you're whining over it.

I don't think I'd feel so very proud
of myself, if I were you, Esther.

I'm not Granny,
but my mind's made up.

Well, then I'm sorry I gave you the money
to come out here, it was just wasted.

- Oh, but Granny—
- I was proud of you Esther.

I was proud to be
the grandmother of Vicki Lester.

It gave me something to live for,
now, I haven't any.

I know. Oh, I-I want to be strong,
but I-I can't go on.

I can't!

You must.

Tragedy is a test of courage.

If you can meet it bravely,
it will leave you bigger than it found you.

If not, then you'll have to live
all your life as a coward.

Because no matter where
you may run,

you can never run away
from yourself.

I never knew
Norman Maine.

He wrote me a very sweet letter
when you were married.

He said you told him
how much I meant to you.

And I know just how much
you must have meant to him.

You know, Esther,

I can't believe
that whenever he is,

he can be very happy,

knowing that his death
broke the spirit of the little girl

he praised me so highly
for raising.

and I can't believe that
he can be very proud

knowing that
all his great love did for you

was to make you a quitter.

The car is ready Miss Lester.
We'll have to go now to make the train.

Put the car back
in the garage.

Oh Granny,
I've been such a fool!

[ Announcer ]: The entire picture industry
has come to the Chinese Theater

for this opening tonight.

It has come to pay tribute
to a great star,

in a long-awaited
return to the screen

in what's been called:
"her greatest performance."

It has come to pay tribute
to the girl herself.

The girl who has won
the heart of Hollywood.

The girl who has won
the heart of the world.

Miss Vicki Lester!

[ applause ]

And if i'm not mistaken,

Miss Lester's car has just driven-up.
[ applause continue ]

Yes, it is here!

[ applause continue... ]

I hope this doesn't
scare you too much.

I scare very slowly,
young man!

[Man]: Big smile folks,

They'll have your mug—

I mean your face,

plastered across half
the papers in the country tomorrow.

- Hm. How do I look?
- Oh, you look swell!

You're a liar, but I like ya.

[ Announcer ]:
And here's Miss Lester's Grandmother.

Won't you say a few words
to the radio audience, please?

Say something, Lettie.


You know, we've got a thing
like that back home,

where they all listen-in on,
but we call it a party line.

[ Danny and Announcer laugh ]

Won't you say something, please?
They're listening.

Maybe some of you people listening-in
dream about coming to Hollywood.

Maybe some of you
will get pretty discouraged.

Well, when you do,
you just think about me.

It took me over seventy—

er, sixty years to get here,
but here I am,

and here I mean to stay!

[ applause and laughing ]
Thank you very much.

[ applause continue ]

Miss Lester.

This microphone is
on an international hook up.

Throughout the world, your fans are hoping
that you'll say a few words to them.

Hello, everybody.

This is
Mrs. Norman Maine!

[ applause and cheers ]
[ music swells ]