Main Street to Broadway (1953) - full transcript

In New York, a surly, down-on-his-heels playwright meets a country girl who's giving up trying to act and returning home. He goes with her for inspiration when his agent convinces a stage star to take his next effort. When he returns to Broadway, his girl stays behind and starts seeing a local businessman.

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes

That was your last chance.

You get no more chances.
Never! No more!

Never!
No more chances!

That was it. Now, that's exactly
right, Lydia.

Miss Hayes, I'm sorry for stepping
on your laugh in the second act.

I wasn't thinking.

Well, I was thinking about Henry,
I mean, my dog named Henry.

Well, that's all right, Lydia.
I'm glad you noticed it.

Of course, if you want to be
a really good actress,

you have to learn to concentrate.



You have to be that little girl.

And she didn't have a dog, you know,
she didn't have anybody.

And you have to be that little girl.

Well, thank you, Miss Hayes,
goodbye.

Ladies and gentlemen,
girls and boys,

In our film story, in addition to...

...the stars of the theater,

you're going to meet some of the
writers, directors and...

backstage personalities...

...who are appearing for the first time
as themselves on the screen.

Broadway,

center of the
American drama.

Here it is born,

and from these theaters it goes to
the main streets of the world.



A few blocks off the beaten path
is the oldest theater of them all.

The most distinguished.

And this year, 1953, its great days
will be over.

It is being torn down to make room
for an office building.

The old Empire Theater.

I can still remember the great performers
whom I saw there as a child.

Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry,

Henry Miller, Julia Marlowe,

and the one and only Ethel Barrymore.

Ethel's uncle, John Drew, was the first
of the great Empire stars.

I appeared with him at the age
of twelve.

I remember Maude Adams
as Peter Pan,

Otis Skinner in Blood and Sand,

Leslie Howard in Her Cardboard Lover,

Lunt and Fontanne in O Mistress Mine.

Catherine Cornell in The Barretts
of Wimpole Street,

Ethel Waters in Member of the Wedding,

and now, in a fitting finale,

the Empire will ring down its curtain
with that exciting new star,

our beloved Shirley Booth.

We're going to miss the Empire.

But the theater will live forever.

Somewhere, right now,

an unknown boy,
or an unknown girl,

is walking some stage for
the first time.

From all the main streets...

the talented youth of America come
streaming to Broadway...

...to struggle, to suffer, to grow.

Some of them go back to find
their happiness at home,

while those who are blessed
and cursed with talent remain.

This picture is about one of these
young people, a writer.

Without the writer there would be
no plays, no actors, no footlights.

None of the laughter that makes us
forget our troubles,

none of the tears that make us
understand one another.

We take you into the life
of this young writer,

we leave him in your hands,
in all his absurdity,

and eagerness, and youth...

- Hello, Miss Booth.
- Hello, Stella.

- How are things going, honey?
- Fine, thank you.

Nice to see you.

- Just sign "To Burt".
- My name's Mildred, Miss Booth.

- All right, one at a time.
- How does it feel to win an Oscar?

- And the Tony Awards for the theater?
- Oh, it feels fine.

I'd certainly be lying if I said
it didn't.

You must be used to awards
by now, Miss Booth.

Oh, no, no. You never get used to
anything like that in the theater.

You know, every new play, and every
new picture is a new chance you take.

And your name only stays
up there in lights...

...as long as there's the power
to keep it going.

And you know where that power
comes from?

The Electric Light Company.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give
you a sermon.

But here are your autographs.

I'm afraid I have to run along now.

- But you know who's upstairs?
- Who?

Cornel Wilde.

He's up there helping a young
author get his play on.

And maybe if you stick around, why,
maybe he'll give you an autograph too.

I'm sorry I have to run. Bye, kids.

- What's the matter with you, Tony?
- Why did you pick that girl?

- I think she's doing fine.
- Fine? She's murdering my play.

She's supposed to be blousy,
common.

She'd worked in a laundry, been in a
barroom brawl, now she's in a boxcar.

Two and a half acts have gone by
and this girl hasn't got a hair rumpled.

- It's only a rehearsal, kid.
- Rehearsal?

Mr. Shields, my life depends on this.

'Cause if Cornel Wilde likes this play,
he'll take it to Broadway.

- Rehearsal?
- You know what's the matter with you?

You're an author, that's all.

Come inside and suffer some more.
In a few minutes it'll all be over.

I'm a guy who can't be tamed.

I'm a guy who likes to rassle
with the stars...

and shadowbox with the moon.

From Winona to the smoke stacks
of the world.

I'm a guy who smashes
the tank back with his fist.

You start keeping company with me,
you're looking for trouble.

When this train stops...
you see that open door?

You'll have to throw me out!

It will be a sad moment, but that's
exactly what I'm going to do.

I'll climb in again, I'll never
leave you!

That's a laugh.

No, I got your number!

Whether I like it or not,
you'll never leave me, huh?

Never!

Whether I like it or not,
you'll marry me, huh?

Whether I like it or not, you'll have
one baby after another.

And I'll go to work, because somebody's
got to pay the bills.

And the foreman in the factory says, Casey,
do this, Casey, you dirty slob, do that!

And I do it!

And I'll come home every night sober...
and I'll have to look out at the stars...

...through the kitchen window
whether I like it or not?

Look, this train is slowing down.

You're getting out, and I'm staying in.

I'll never leave you!
I'll die without you!

Well, hold tight, I lost my place.

- The next page, Mr. Wilde.
- Give me the cue again, please.

I'll never leave you!
I'll die without you!

Oh, you are a sweet kid.

Sweet to kiss, sweet to fondle,
sweet to love.

But not as sweet as me freedom!

Look, this train is stopping.

And you're going out, or I'm throwing
you out, you know me!

Kiss me goodbye.

Here, goodbye and good luck to you
and all them babies.

There, now I'm free.

I'm free!

I don't know where I'm going but...

...that's all right, Casey.

That's the way to be free!

Curtain!
House light.

Thanks, thank you, that was wonderful!
Thank you, Mary!

Oh, thank you, Mr. Shields,
Mr. Wilde.

- Goodbye.
- Oh, aren't you waiting for the discussion?

Oh, I'm sorry, I have some
packing to do,

the term is over and I'm going
home tomorrow.

Goodbye, everybody.

- Goodbye, Mary.
- Goodbye, Mary.

Excuse me.

Now, let's start the discussion.

Well, I think that the fellow
is a great character.

A primitive type.

Not softened by the tiny little hammer blows
with which society flattens out a man.

What did you think of the play?

- I'm afraid I was too close to it.
- Hm, you didn't like it.

I...

I hated it.

Wow, hate's a pretty strong word.

Oh, that fool with his freedom.

All that stuff about rassling
with stars.

And his talk about manhood.

Any man who thinks being married
is being in a cage...

Well, he isn't a man! Anybody who
talks against fatherhood is a...

In my opinion fatherhood is constructive.

If it weren't for my father,
I wouldn't be...

Well, he was a man!

I'm sorry, I didn't mean
to make a speech.

Goodbye.

Hey.

What's the matter, you're not
scared, are you?

Scared of a writer, why?

Just came to thank you, that's all.

Mr. Wilde's no longer interested in doing
my play, isn't that dandy?

- Oh, I'm sorry.
- You're sorry?

Well, that's not enough.
You should be very, very sorry.

Do you know I was in school
on the GI Bill?

Do you know that's all finished now?
No more income.

Do you know I haven't even got
a dime saved up?

Do you know I really loved that play
and needed money at the same time?

Do you know what I wish you?

I wish you a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year.

- You're asking for pity.
- Don't you think I'm pitiful?

- No.
- Well I do!

And I'm an authority on the subject.

I'm the outstanding authority in the
whole world on how pitiful I am.

And when I say I'm pitiful,
you listen and cry...

...and don't sleep all night.

You're breaking my heart.

- Here. Here's five dollars.
- Thanks.

Buy yourself a newspaper and read
the classified ads.

Oh, wait a minute.

You're strong and I'm weak, huh?

I don't want to hurt you.

But I can't help what I think.

- What else can I say?
- Say maybe I don't know everything.

Maybe someday I'll be an ordinary little
housewife and you'll be a great writer.

Say maybe I'll be sorry I was so smug.

Oh, I am sorry.
Sorry I ever came to New York.

Oh, South Terre Haute Junction is a
wonderful place.

And I'm so glad I'm going
back there.

- Look at that man!
- Why?

Isn't that...

- It is.
- Rex Harrison.

That's his wife with him, Lilli Palmer.

- What have you got in the icebox?
- Um, Swiss cheese.

- Hm-hm.
- Salame.

- Excellent.
- Turkey.

Very good. How's the rye
bread, fresh?

Oh, we can pick up some
pumpernickel on the way.

Wonderful! Butter on the pumpernickel,
then a thin coat of relish.

Then the turkey, then the lettuce,
not too much.

- Then the salame.
- Oh, a triple decker sandwich.

Yes, you don't sound enthusiastic.

Oh, well, I don't really mind it.

I know you prefer cold cuts
in a platter.

Yes, dear, with a knife and fork
and a table napkin.

You find me revolting when I eat
a triple decker sandwich?

All right, look.

Do you find that charming?

You watch me while I eat!

It's a raw, vulgar, crude, quick lunch,
publicly masticating,

extremely dental display.
What do you get out of it?

Taxi.

Well, your way.

With a plate, and a knife
and a fork.

First you get a small bit of cheese
in the fork and eat it.

Then a small piece of salame, etc.

It's like a tune played with one finger,
one note after another.

But my way is like a chord,
six notes at once.

- Darling!
- What?

I love you.

Do you feel better now?

Why should I?
You were kissing Rex Harrison.

Well, thanks for the kiss, Miss...
Lilli Palmer.

Good night.

Goodbye.

George, here's the group
you asked to wait.

Thank you, Danny.

Um, ladies, I have some very
bad news for you.

You've all been chosen to be
in our show.

Now, I'm coming up there to give you
some costume calls in a minute...

but first, may I present one
of your bosses.

Mr. Richard Rogers.

And this gentleman who's coming in...
a bit late,

is the other half of the team,
Mr. Oscar Hammerstein.

That's enough.

Are these the, er...

Uh-huh.

Give me your hand, Danny.

I'll see you both tomorrow.
Come on, girls.

When we saw those kids kissing
on the street,

you wrote something on that little
black book of yours.

- What was it, a title, or what?
- No, an idea, that's all.

- "That's Living".
- What do you think?

- Well, I like the idea, but...
- Wait.

How about, "Now You're Living."

Now you're talking. Give me a piece
of my music paper, will you?

- Have you had any luck?
- No.

Just those same first eight lines.

Let's hear it again, will you?

# Someone wants you #

# You know who #

# Now you're living #
# There's music in you #

# Now you're hearing #

# Something new #

# Someone playing the music in you #

- Then I always get stuck.
- It'll come.

- Hello, Mary.
- Hi.

Like it?

It's going to be a hit.
Makes him so unhappy.

He's done his part, he ought to be happy.
I haven't got my words.

They'll come.

Keep going...

# There is music in you #

I brought your five dollars back.

Oh.

Thanks.

Couldn't sleep last night.

I thought about you.

I didn't think of Lilli Palmer.
Who did you think of?

I fell asleep.

Come on, now, don't lie. If you fell asleep
you wouldn't have kissed me just now.

In the morning, in daylight.

- You didn't fall asleep.
- This is very unimportant.

Alright, then, why are you standing
here, why don't you go?

I really should, I have some
shopping to do and...

Look. Of course I thought of you.

It's only natural.
But I fell asleep.

And it's unimportant, huh?

Look, you know as well as I do that
a lifetime can be changed by a kiss.

I know nothing of the kind.

Are you really capable of letting
an unsolved problem like this...

...just hang in the air?

It's no problem to me,
and I must go.

Look, don't get me wrong.

I dislike you intensely.

I just happen to have a passion
for understanding my own emotions.

And I'm holding your arm because
it's more convenient, see?

You're being very juvenile,
I must say.

This is the 20th century,
everybody kisses.

You're making a big fuss
over a mere thrill.

You were thrilled!
Now that's a fact.

You were thrilled.

Naturally.

Look, I've got a boyfriend back home.

Frank and I are practically engaged.

Did Frank ever kiss you
the way I kissed you?

No, he never will.

- Nor will anyone else.
- Now let me get this straight.

You're going to marry a guy
who doesn't thrill you, right?

Sit down, speak freely.

This Frank, he's an unexciting guy
and that's the way you want it, huh?

Interesting.

Well, Frank means more to me
than a mere thrill.

He means, if you'll excuse the
expression, fatherhood.

A good provider.

- I consider that a virtue.
- Money.

Money. Marriage means
motherhood, a family.

That means money.

Sound, comprehensive, you do everything
according to plan, don't you?

- Ever since I can remember.
- Well, you shouldn't be that way!

It's not human.
Oh, but I should. It ain't good for me.

I'm learning a lot, sit down.
Come on!

Now, if I fell for you merely because of
that thrill, what would the next step be?

That is, if you fell for me too.

Are you coming back to New York
in the fall?

I'm sorry, but I don't want to set
the world on fire.

Think of it!
I could marry you...

...and with your granite character I'd end
up selling groceries in Terre Haute.

Writing advertisements for broccoli.

No, it wouldn't be that way at all.

Any girl that married you wouldn't know
from one day to another...

whether there'd be any broccoli
in the house.

She would be doing your cooking,

your sewing, and typing for you.

And petting and fretting
over your moods.

And working eight hours a day
to support the two of you.

Well, that makes sense! You know,
I never thought about marriage before,

...but if I had, that's the way
I'd want it to be.

Well, it's the least any wife of mine
could do for me.

May I go now?

You know, you've given me
something to think about.

If I could find the right girl.

The girl who at one and the same time
could thrill me, worship me...

be making say $75 to $100 a week...

Well, I hope you find her.

Hey!

Where the heck is South Terre Haute
Junction anyway?

Goodbye and good luck.

I'd like to see Miss Waterbury, please.

I'll take care of it.

- Whom shall I say is calling?
- Anthony Monaco, I'm a client.

All right, Graham, send him in.

And say a gracious word
to him, Graham.

He has a lot of talent, but we might
turn him into a moneymaker yet.

Good morning, Tony.

Did you hear about last night?

Yes, yes I did.

I'd like you to consider lending
me some money.

Now don't be hasty.
Relax and think it over.

A nominal sum, like $500.

- I want to write a new play.
- About what?

I don't know, but things are just
welling up inside me.

They'll just set themselves
down on paper.

Why don't you write something, uh...

...with an upbeat?

Well, it's been a nice visit.
I'll be seeing you.

Think it over, Tony.

Just how rich are you?

I make a living.

I hocked my typewriter this morning.

- Does that disturb you?
- Of course.

I'm very sorry to hear it.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd like
being rich.

- Well, you'd like it.
- It's a subject I never discussed before.

I ought to try everything once,
shouldn't I?

Well, not everything.

But if I do write an upbeat play,

I couldn't feel any worse
than I do now.

Yes, I think I'd like to try it.

- What's the first move?
- I told you what to do.

One hit play can make a fortune.

A play about fatherhood, for instance.

That's a good theme, isn't it?

Fatherhood is manly and motherhood
is womanly.

I could write a play like that
just about as fast as I could talk.

"A Mother in Calico."

She wears a starched apron.

You see them everywhere,
and they're human too.

Who?

Tallulah Bankhead?

Tony, go somewhere.

This is the first time in ten years
Miss Bankhead has been here.

Oh, will you mind, please, please go...

Don't go, young man.

This will only take a second.

You're fired, darling, is that clear?

- Oh, Tallulah, dear.
- Don't Tallulah me.

You should never go out before noon.

You're so sensitive,
so highly-strung.

Sit down and I'll get you
a cup of coffee.

Tiger woman! I'm sick of being
a tiger woman.

Every play you send me
is about a fiend.

If I don't murder somebody,
I'm just about to.

If they're not after me,
I'm after them.

I tell you I cannot stand it any longer.

Don't you think I'm human?

Don't you think I'm ever helpless?

Has it ever occurred to you that I might
meet a poor man in springtime and sigh?

That I might hear a nostalgic tune
played by an organ grinder and weep?

Why don't I get a play where
I can do things like that?

Where I can be my real self.

Aren't they writing plays for
nice people like me anymore?

Tallulah, you couldn't have walked
in here at a more ideal moment!

It's fate, that's what it is.

- I have a play for you.
- Oh, you have.

Meet the most promising young
American dramatist.

Tony, um...

Um...

- Tony Monaco.
- How do you do?

He was just telling me about
his new play.

It's all ready to be written,
isn't it, Tony?

Uh...

He's got every word of it
in his mind and it's for you.

I was just about to give him
an advance.

It's a play...

It's a play about wholesome
America and motherhood.

For me?

You mean he wrote it for me?

Your name was the first he mentioned
as he walked in the door.

- Wasn't it, Tony?
- Why, yes it was.

- Why did he think of me?
- Well, he felt...

He felt that that was the real you.

Would you care to tell me
about it, young man?

Oh, he'd love to. Go ahead, Tony.
Tell her about the woman.

You know, how she dresses.

Oh, well, she... wears calico.

Calico, huh?

And, uh... starched aprons.

Aprons...

As a matter of fact I've always wanted
to play a part with an apron.

An apron designed by nobody, just
an apron that you buy in an apron store.

- Um, Midwestern, did you say?
- Terre Haute.

- Where's that?
- Indiana.

Indiana, uh-huh...
Um...

- Whom do I kill?
- Nobody.

- Whom do I want to kill?
- Nobody.

- Not even my husband?
- Oh, you worship him.

Oh, I see. He wants to kill me,
is that it?

Oh, no!

He adores you, Miss Bankhead.

Call me Tallulah, darling.

One ticket to South Terre Haute
Junction, please.

Thank you.

Excuse me just a minute.

Can I have the same as
that girl, please?

I only have a hundred.

Hey, mister, your change.

Thanks.

Tallulah Bankhead, a typical
Midwestern mother.

- Probably very much like your own.
- Oh, dear.

- You don't believe me.
- Well, I'm trying to get it into my head.

Look, I'm wearing a tie, that's a
cataclismic change in itself.

Mary, I've begun to admire you,

to embrace everything you stand for.

I just feel crowded by your having that
ticket to South Terre Haute Junction.

And your sitting beside me.

I don't know what I think.

I just want to be free to look
out the window and...

- Not think!
- I know, it's Frank.

You're worried about what
Frank will think.

And your parents.

Mary, I apologize.
I'll sit somehere else.

I didn't mean to embarrass you.

Oh, no, no, it was all my fault.

You're okay.

You're more than okay.

I hope you don't mind
my sitting here.

Mind?

No, I don't mind at all.

What time is it?

I love you.

What time is it?

Didn't you hear me?

I love you.

About 3 o'clock.

Five more hours.

I'm gonna be honest with you.

I haven't got a plot for that play.

I'm gonna find one.

I've got a great desire to be rich.

Because I agree with you.

All family men should be rich.

And I want to go to sleep.

Hey, is that Frank?

Oh, don't be silly!

Oh, there they are.

Mom! Dad!

- I'd like you to meet a friend of mine.
- Oh?

Anthony Monaco.

- Hello.
- Hello, how do you do?

Fine, pleased to meet you.

- It's so nice to meet you, Mr. Monaco.
- Nice meeting you too.

Happy to know you, Mr. Monaco.

Anybody our daughter likes is always
welcome to South Terre Haute Junction.

Well, thank you very much, and...
Say, will you excuse the way I look,

it's sleeping all night on the train.

Well, won't you come along
to breakfast with us?

We never allow Mary's friends
to go hungry.

That's right, the car's right
over here.

There's Stanley.

- And look, Joe Kramer.
- Where?

Too late.

One Stanley, one Bill, one Joe.

I'm still waiting for Frank.

- Who's Frank?
- Frank, what Frank?

Oh, Papa, Mama, you remember.

Well, I guess I haven't told you
very much about him.

He lives down near the Harrisons.

You haven't told them about
your fianc??

- Are you engaged, Mary?
- Of course not.

Well, maybe I had it wrong about
that fianc? part, eh, Mary?

You certainly did.

I can't recall your ever mentioning
anybody down near the Harrisons.

What's it all about, Mary?

Well, I think it was a little game
Mary was playing.

She thought up a guy named Frank.

You know, the all-American boy
from Terre Haute.

Oh, an imaginary fianc?,
is that it, Mary?

- Yes, Mama.
- Oh.

- Mr. Monaco.
- That's all right.

Tony!

Tony!

Yes, Mrs. Craig?

More and more people are asking me
what your play is about.

Oh...
Well, tell them it's about them.

How wonderful they are.

Oh... Well, couldn't you give me
some sort of a plot to tell them?

I wish I had one.

Then what have you been
writing all the time?

Oh, just a lot of wonderful stuff
I keep throwing away.

Sort of like you and the real estate
business, Mr. Craig.

You buy some land, nobody wants it,
you throw it away and you buy some more.

But if you do that often enough,
you wind up with a brand new car.

I see what you mean, Tony.

But that isn't what you do,
is it, Henry?

You'd be surprised, dear.

- Room service.
- How are you, Mary?

Did you get another idea?

You'd be surprised.

Oh, I never thought I'd be a husband.

I never even dreamed of being
a fianc?.

Not yet. Let's wait another
two weeks.

I swept you off your feet,
didn't I?

What more do you want?

I'm steady, I pay 7 dollars a week
for my board.

Hey!

I'm Frank.

Oh, no, no...

Frank has a... a bank account,

he has a business,

and an income.

And you haven't even got a plot.

- Two weeks, huh?
- Hm-hmm.

I said, did you say two weeks.

It wasn't a very businesslike
remark but...

...that's what I said.

Folks, I've got it!

I've got the characters, the construction,
the complete pattern!

Oh, Tony, tell us all about it.

It's a typical morning in the living room
of this lovely couple.

They're in their early forties.

They have a daughter,
but we don't see her yet.

They talk about all the little things
that make up their life together.

And as they talk, we begin to see
all the little troubles they have.

- How true.
- Things you've told me, and you.

We realize how big these little
troubles can be,

how important, how universal!

- Do you flashback?
- Sure we flashback.

We show them as young people.

The husband starting out in life.

It wasn't easy.

And the wife.
The wife a school teacher.

Struggling to support her parents.

- Do you like it so far?
- Oh, I love it.

Simple yet different.

That's what I was going to say,
simple yet different.

- Really?
- Have you written any of it yet?

No, I have it all in my mind, but I'm going
to put it down on paper right now.

- Good luck, Tony.
- Yes, good luck, Tony.

Oh, South Terre Haute Junction
will love that play, Tony.

I hope so!

Act one. Scene one.

The living room of the
Bertha Franklin home.

Bertha is seated stage left.

Her husband, Frank, a man
just like Mr. Craig,

is seated opposite her,

doing something interesting...
she's sewing.

Nah, let's give her a real
good entrance.

I've been raised in a barn,
darling.

The little flowers' faces just pleading
to be picked.

- Dreaming, darling?
- Of the flowers we used to pick, sweetheart.

Of the lilies or the big red roses,
you old sentimentalist?

Remember the terrible fight
we had in '35?

Do I, darling.

- The terrible fight we had?
- To pay off the mortgage?

Shall I ever forget it?

We've had our ups and downs,
haven't we, darling?

Why, Judge Robbins, that little old lady
Mrs. Bessmer,

that dear little lady, Mr. Cope,
the City Council, and his wife.

Our civic leader.

Coming here to see poor little old me,
I just can't believe it.

- You've met George Robbins.
- Yes.

- And Mr. Cole.
- Just twelve years ago.

Tony, Tony, do you think you can keep
this up for three whole acts?

Let's face it, you are not
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, darling,

...and I am not Shirley Temple.

I know, I know, it was just what
I asked for.

Let's forget it.

I must be mean, you'll see.
Let's try an entirely different approach.

What do you say, Tony, huh?

I've sold myself down the river.

I'm an orphan, what the heck do I know
about wholesome American motherhood?

Tony, Tony.

That's a nice little room
on 10th Avenue.

Dirty and sloppy, lots of noise,

with a wonderful view of
a thousand fire escapes.

Your room, Tony.

Your room.

Tony!

Tony!

It's alright, Tony, I got your note.

You can go, it's alright.

Mary, it was just a stupid moment.
I'm all over it now.

Gee, I'd give my right arm
if I hadn't written that note.

Don't, I don't want you to be
ashamed or guilty.

I understand.

Gee, I love you.

Maybe you do, and maybe
I love you too.

We'll find out.

If you go now, you can catch
the 11:30 train.

I know you, if I go, you'll never
see me again.

No you don't know me.

Because I don't know myself anymore.

Things aren't as clear as they
used to be.

Write me.

I'll write you.

Hey, miss.

I hope you don't mind. If I knew
where I was going, I'd say I was lost.

- Is Main Street around here anywhere?
- Oh, my, no.

I can't understand it. I'm looking for the
Fairmont Hotel on Main Street.

I followed all the directions
they gave me.

I started at 7th and Juniper,

turned right at the stop sign,
left at after the church,

took a jog at the corner of 3rd and Maple,

went up the road to the 400 block,

and turned a three quarter
around the circle...

...and I was back at 7th and Juniper

Well, didn't you ask anyone?

Yep, I did. I asked one of the firemen
over at the Fire House...

...and he said he couldn't find his way
around town either unless there was a fire.

And then again, he had to wait until
it got blazing pretty good.

Oh, my heavens. Well, you're miles
from the Fairmont Hotel.

Let's see, you go to the corner
of 7th and Juniper,

and you go right at the first stop sign,

left at the church, and you jog
at the corner of 3rd and Maple... I know.

Say, do you like Main Street?

Well, it all depends.

I mean, if you're going down to buy
something like a mop,

or a bear trap, or a hoe handle, you know,
hardware, would you go to Main Street?

If you're looking for real estate,
one of the side streets would be better.

- That's the character of this town.
- Thank you, sir.

You sound as if you're looking
for a location.

I am. I got a hardware store up in Fort
Wayne and I'm kind of branching out.

That town's growing so fast we ain't
even got enough burglars.

Well, look. Why don't you come up
on the porch and I'll draw you a map?

All right, wouldn't mind getting
out of this car here.

It'll give me a little chance to
unscramble my legs.

Oh, good evening, young man.

I seem to have gotten you
out of bed there.

No, not at all, not at all.
My name is Henry Craig.

I see you've met my daughter Mary.

Mary. I'm Johnson,
Frank Johnson.

- Frank, wasn't that the name of the...
- He owns two hardware stores, Father.

You're rather young to be the owner of two
hardware stores, aren't you, Mr. Johnson?

Well, I'm partners with the bank.

Of course my grandfather had
the store before me...

...and he didn't run it the way
we do now, though,

he never trimmed the windows
up fancy or nothing.

Once a month he'd just put some clean fly
paper in the window or washed the cat.

Come on into the porch and make
yourself at home.

- Fine.
- Why don't you sit over here, Mr. Johnson?

- Okay.
- Well, well, well, a hardware man, huh?

Yeah, I like hardware.

I like the looks of metal, you know,
and the beauty of finished steel.

Did you ever take a look at
a monkey wrench?

I could look at them for hours.

You know what I do with monkey
wrenches at the store?

I put them in the window
on dark blue velvet.

I think it brings out the blue
in the steel.

- Interesting.
- Hm?

Yes, that's very interesting.

Oh, I brought this down, Mary, so you
could draw a map for Mr. Johnson.

Oh, say, I'll give you a little
light, Mary.

- It's an item from the store.
- Oh?

Yeah, it's one of my leaders.

If you're ever up in Fort Wayne, Mr. Craig,
drop into Johnson's Hardware Store.

Hey, that's very thoughtful of you.

Why, that's the state of Indiana.
Very clever too.

Oh, I'm kind of proud of it.
I had it made up myself.

I picked Indiana because it's
a friendly state, you know, and it's...

down to earth and, uh...

Besides, it's the only state in the Union
that'll open a bottle of beer.

That's right, that's very enterprising
of you, very.

Well, much obliged.

It just occurred to me, Mr. Johnson,

that I might show you a few spots
just off Main Street...

...for your store where the rent
is much lower.

Now, I have in mind...

- Can we have some cookies?
- Take it, darling.

I've got it already.

You've got it already!

So maybe with the cookies
you'd like an ice-cream cone?

Here, darling. One for you,
and one for Malice.

And for Tony you'll get one,
yes, darling?

So go. Holding each other's hands,
that's nice.

And take a vanilla cone
for Tony, yes, darling? Go.

And I'll tell Mama where you are.

One at a time.

- Who is it?
- There's ice-cream for you.

Well, leave it outside.

- Who is it?
- Muhammad.

As the mountain don't come,
so Muhammad is here.

You said you were coming over
to my house for a snick-snack.

It's ten o'clock, did you came,
not at all.

I brought you a little soup.

Even a genius must have
a little nourishment.

I brought you a plate
and I brought you a spoon.

If you had a wife,
you'd have a plate.

You'd have a spoon, maybe you
would even have soup.

So come, come and eat.

Yeah, I guess I should be hungry.

- Tony.
- Hm?

- So where are the new pages?
- On the top of that file.

- Tell me, is it still July?
- At the end.

- Must be about Monday or something, huh?
- Friday.

Ah, I can't eat.

- If I don't work, I worry.
- You got to worry about?

Letters from my agent, my girl...

- Bad news?
- I don't know, I haven't opened them yet.

What I don't know won't hurt me.

- Are there other letters?
- Forget them.

Tony, I can't linger longer,
I got to go.

- Before I go, read the letters.
- I'm afraid, I'm scared.

Look, trembling.

I read her first letter, I couldn't
even answer it.

She's seeing a boy by the
name of Frank.

- So?
- She likes him.

Alright, so let's say for instance,
supposing she likes him more.

So we'll know. But if she likes
him less, is that bad?

Read it.

Look, Duchess, I've got a play to finish.

It's tearing me to pieces,
I can't be disturbed, huh?

I don't want good news, or bad news.

And I don't want to read any more
letters, please, do you understand me?

The girl sits down and writes a letter,
and another letter.

So nice girl she must be.

Not even to get an answer.

All alone in Indiana, she's sitting.

An answer she's entitled to!

I said no!

And I said yes!

Write.

If it's only ten words, write.

Did you heard me, I hope so?

Well, it's going to be a short note because
I put all the energy into my play.

Write.

Ten words.

How do you like them sheers?
One of my leaders, you know.

Very handy, Frank, very.

Say, what time have you got?

I got ten after something here.

I don't know what though.
I lost my hour hand a while back.

I was gonna get it fixed but I thought
I'd wait until something else went wrong...

...and get it all done at once
while I was uptown.

Yeah, I see what you mean, Frank.

Looks like the mail's late today.

Yeah, probably the mailman's
a slow reader or something.

- What?
- Our postman used to read the mail.

We didn't mind him reading it
so much, uh...

We got peed when he started
answering it, though.

Oh, I see what you mean.

Well, speak of the devil, here he is.

Nice afternoon, Henry.

- Letter for Mary.
- Thanks, Jim.

- It's from New York.
- New York...

- Letter for you, Mary.
- Coming.

Well, looks like Tony finally
decided to write.

Oh, he's pretty busy, you know,
living in a big city.

Keeps a fellow busy just getting
out of other people's way.

Oh, he's eccentric. Nice fellow, mind you,
but he's his own worst enemy.

- For you, Mary.
- Oh, thank you.

Thank you, Father.

Bet that's from the boyfriend.

How could you tell?

Well, my grandfather always
used to say,

pretty girls never get business letters.

That's a very witty compliment,
Frank, very.

But a bad guess. This letter is so
businesslike I can read it aloud.

"Mary, dear. Weather hot, very hot.

I'm in the middle of act II and dare
not think of anything else.

When I'm through, I'll write you a long letter,

maybe in two or three weeks.
I'm very, very sorry...

...and wish I could say everything
I want to say."

Love, Tony.

Well, as a retailer, I'd say that's the kind
of letter I'd write to a wholesaler.

Well, a valued customer.

Oh, that's very astute, Frank,
very astute.

Well, as I always say,
two's company and... Oh, well.

You treat your customers right,
don't you?

Come on up here with me, Nan.

You know, if I was going to write
a letter to a valued customer,

like you,

I think I might say something
like this:

"My dear, dear Miss Craig,

Because you're not here,
the weather seems hot.

Very hot.

Although I'm in the middle of act II,

that's not where I'd like to be.

I'd like to be by your side.

Oh, in just about three weeks,
when my store is finished,

I mean, my story.

I'll come flying to you.

And what a day that'll be
for both of us.

A day to be remembered as we walk
hand in hand...

like the poet says,

through the years in the setting sun."

Of course I'd polish that a little bit
here and there,

But... that's the kind of letter
I'd write to a valued customer.

It would be wonderful to get
a letter like that.

Suicide. Yeah...

Yeah, young Perry Dougdale
commits suicide.

And the finger o guilt again points
to Bertha Franklin.

Tonight? I can't go tonight,
I've got to pack.

- Tonight!
- Tomorrow, tomorrow, I can't go tonight.

I've got to get some money.
There's a train that leaves at midnight.

You'll be on that train at 7:30
or you'll be in jail before eight.

Russian roulette.

She pulls a bluff. A new switch
on the Russian roulette gag.

Now, if you please, let's get
down to business.

Your business or my business?

Your very peculiar business.

The Scott divorce, the Gilmore bankruptcy,

the disappearence from her home
of Aurelia Beck.

Age 22.

And the suicide last month
of young Perry Dougdale.

- What's the connection?
- You are!

- Have you come here to insult my wife?
- Oh, shut up.

You're a lawyer.
Got any evidence?

- Your own voice.
- Ha!

Watch out, they don't
stand up in court.

They're not wiretapped, Mrs. Franklin.
Wayside Inn, night of August 1st.

- Why...
- And here's letters and photographs.

- All right, all right.
- We've got you, sou see? Like that!

Some of your victims are related
to us, or to our friends.

Oh, you'll go to jail for thirty years.

Well, what do I do, Judge?

The train leaves for Chicago in two hours.
This gentleman will see you off.

Tonight? I can't go tonight,
I've got to pack!

- Tonight!
- Tomorrow, tomorrow, I can't go tonight.

I've got to get some money.
There's a train that leaves at midnight.

You'll be on that train at 7:30
or you'll be in jail before eight.

I can't, I tell you! Just give me
a few hours.

You've got some other poor creature in your
clutches. You want more bread money.

- Judge.
- No!

You hate my guts, don't you?

All of you!

Because I live differently from you.

My victims, as you call them, maybe
they wanted to live differently too.

Have you ever thought of that?

Yes, you have, and it scares you!

People who like danger,
who like a thrill.

It scares you!
It scares you!

Have uh... have you ever played
Russian roulette?

- No, of course not.
- No?

And you, Mrs. Bessmer, have you ever played
Russian roulette, do you know what it is?

- How absurd!
- Oh, but you have.

Oh, right here, just now.

Oh, not with a gun with
one chamber loaded...

But... um, those canapes.

One of them was loaded.

I don't mind telling you
if it puts you on edge.

I don't care what happens now.
I was leaving at midnight anyway.

And I wasn't taking my husband
with me.

So... I made some canapes.

Well, you'll know in a few minutes
which canape was loaded.

I don't believe it.

Dougdale would never poison
himself, she did it!

It's me! I'm in pain!
I'm dying!

Oh! You'll pay for this!

Hold that car! Wait for me!

You'd better hurry, one of you
is not gonna make it.

They took it, hook, line and sinker!

Well, that gave us an hour.
That's all we need.

Now, stop laughing, Frank, stop laughing
and get the car. We've got to move fast.

Stop laughing, Frank!

What's the matter?

What's the...

# I want a girl with a smile #
# Upon her cookie face #

# Give me a girl #
# With a hello in her eye #

# I want an eye with an eyelash #
# Never out of place #

# To give me that look #
# That says welcome to a guy #

- Mary.
# Just a girl, just a girl #

# Just a teeny-teeny girl #
# Just a girl, just a girl #

# Just a hunka-hunka girl #
# Just a girl, just a girl #

# Just a girl that says welcome to a guy #

# A sailor just back from the sea #
# Was walking down the street #

# He looked around and looked around #
# While the bird made tweet-tweet-tweet #

# He said to me, now look here, fella #
# I can't find anything #

# That I dreamed about #
# When the big ship bell #

# Went ding-dong-ding-dong-ding #

Did you want me, Dad?

Uh... Oh, yes, Mary!
Tony's on the telephone from New York.

Long distance.

Excuse me.

- Yes, Tony?
- Mary?

Yeah!

Mary, I finished it, the whole play!

Tell her you're a genius.

Oh, Mary, it's wonderful, just great.

I'm very happy for you.

I was awfully worried that
Miss Bankhead might not like it.

Murder and killing. Tony, crime and
punishment is always good.

No, Nan...

Well, of course it's not exactly
what she wanted.

In fact it's just the opposite, but...

- What's good is good!
- Mary, what's good is good!

And you'll love it too.

Now, will you listen to me?

I should be finished with Tallulah
tomorrow afternoon.

Then I'll get another advance
from my agent...

...and take a train right down
to South Terre Haute Junction.

Why ride on a train, why not fly?

- Maybe I'll fly!
- Why maybe?

Mary, you and I have to get acquainted
all over again, the sooner the better.

But if you remember, in my letters
I suggested that we wait and...

...until after summer is over.

That call is not local, Tony.

Mary, I can't afford to talk
about it any longer, long distance.

Bye-bye, honey.

Come on, hurry, Diane.
They all want to see you.

# Someone wants you #
# You know who #

# Now you're living #
# There's music in you #

- Hi.
- What do you want?

Well, the thing is I had an appointment
to see Miss Waterbury back at her office...

...but now the office tells me
she's over here.

Go on in, boy, go on in.

Thank you.

# Something borrowed #
# Something blue #

# Move a mountain #
# Light the sky #

# Make a wish come true #

# There is music in you #

- Mary! Mary Martin.
- Are we making a change?

Yes, Mr. Oscar wants to move
this song out of the first act.

Now you're going to sing it to your
sister just before her wedding.

And this reminds me of how
I felt when I was a bride.

Oh, I like that.

Hi.

Let's try it.

# Someone wants you #
# You know who #

# Now you're living #
# There's music in you #

# Now you're hearing something new #

# Someone playing the music in you #

# Now you're living, you know why #

# Now there's nothing you won't try #

# Move a mountain #
# Light the sky #

# Make a wish come true #

# There is music in you #

# Robins are chirping #
# Church bells are chiming #

# Poets are rhyming the music in you #

# Pinetrees are whispering #
# Children are shouting #

# Fountains are spouting #
# The music in you #

# Kittens are purring #
# Breezes are stirring #

# Airplanes are roaring #
# Trains are unpouring #

# Glasses are clinking #
# Students are thinking #

# All around they're the same sweet sounds #

# You can hear in the earth #
# And down from the sky #

# What a lucky girl, what a lucky girl #
# Got your guy #

# Got your guy #

- I think it's going to work.
- Oh, yes, that'll be all right.

- Break for lunch, everybody.
- That's it, Mr. Logan.

Strike the set.

What is it you want?

I gave you my script last night,
what do you think I want?

Your manuscript has been mailed
to you special delivery.

- Shall we go to lunch, Graham?
- Yes, Miss Waterbury.

- Hey, what is this?
- Lower your voice, you're in the theater.

What about my play,
didn't you read it?

I gave you $500 to write a sweet
play about a sweet woman.

I did not hear from you
until yesterday.

I was compelled to tell Miss Bankhead
all sorts of stories...

...and I did, in the hope that
something would come of it.

And then, then you hand me a manuscript
entitled "Calico and Lust"!

Lust is just what it is from
beginning to end.

- Do you really mean you didn't like it?
- It was dreadful.

Utterly.

How would you like me to belt
you right in the nose?

- I can't stand this.
- You mean to tell me that I'm supposed...

...to go home and sit and wait
for my script, and that's it?

Miss Waterbury, don't you even
want to talk to me?

Couldn't you possibly be wrong?

What about Tallulah, what did she say?

I told Miss Bankhead the details over
the telephone, she did not care for it.

You told her? She didn't read it?

What's her phone number?
I can afford one call.

- What's her number?
- Come, Graham, lunch.

It's Larchmont 6789.

Oh, dear, but you'll have
a lovely time.

Oh, dear.

Please, Miss Bankhead, I...

Now, please don't bother
me anymore, darling.

I only wanted a sweet woman,
a good woman, a nice woman.

Yes, yes...
Yes, I...

No, Miss Ban...

Will you please let me explain,
Miss Bankhead?

I admit I said she was going
to be a sweet woman.

But suddenly I got an entirely
different picture about...

Miss Bankhead.

Hello, Miss Bankhead?

...a sweet woman,
a good woman, a nice woman.

A sweet woman, a good woman,
a nice woman.

A sweet woman,
a good woman, a nice woman.

And that's all about the news.

It's ten after eleven, a wonderful
moment in the big city's night life.

Thousands of people who have spent
the evening in theaters...

sharing imaginary lives across
the footlights...

...are now in taxis going elsewhere.

Some of them may even be going home.

- Well, do you miss it?
- Uh-uh, no, I've had all that I want.

September is coming, and outside my window
I can hear the symphony of Broadway.

Oh, hold it, here's a little item.

This may happen anywhere,
but its true habitat is Manhattan.

It's funny, and sad, and young,

and romantic in a way, and infinitly tragic.

Here it is.

Anthony Monaco, 25, an unknown playwright,
is in a West 47th St. Police Station.

Less than an hour ago, he was standing high
above the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A mysterious package was in his hand.

Policemen in a cruising radio car
saw this silhouette...

...as it raised its arms aloft
and let the dark package fall.

They raced with shrieking sirens
towards him.

Far below the package struck with
a splash like the crack of a bullet.

The police found the despondent young man
who refused to say what he was doing.

They took him into custody where,
breaking down,

he confessed that the bundle
contained all five copies...

...of a new play he'd finished that day.

I've got to go to him...

- "A likely story," said the cops...
- I've got to.

" But it's true", cried Anthony Monaco,
"It was written for a big star," he stammered,

"...but she turned it down."

"What star," querried the skeptical police,
but Anthony Monaco refused to say.

So, until they're satisfied that this young
man was not trying to blow up Brooklyn,

they're keeping him under
observation. And that's all.

Think what it must have meant to him.

How he must have loved it to climb
on top of that bridge and...

...throw it into the dark river.

He had probably all his hopes,
all his dreams in it.

But think of him right now.

Suppose he changes his mind and wants
to write it all over again.

Only one man in a thousand can do it.

It's like, uh, starting in a valley,

climbing to the top of Mount Everest,
coming back exhausted...

...and finding you had to climb
the mountain all over again.

All the five copies, the fool.

Somebody ought to go down
to the Police Station.

- If only I weren't so tired.
- I'd punch that kid in the nose.

Well, my wife is expecting me at home.

Lou, you mind getting me my coat?

Well, there we are, Sergeant.

Thank you, Mr. Calhern.

Monaco, Sergeant.

Here he is.

- Anthony Monaco?
- Yeah.

- My name is Louis Calhern.
- I know.

Well, I just vouched for your
good behavior.

What do you know about my
good behavior?

- I'm taking a chance.
- What are you doing this for, publicity?

You want me to throw him back
in the clink, Mr. Calhern?

Personally, I'd like to say yes.

But professionally...

Oh, maybe this fellow's got
a good play. Come on, boy.

Miss Barrymore...

You came all the way
down here... just...

I don't get it.

You shouldn't have done it.

There's nothing you can do.

- You, or Tallulah Bankhead, or...
- Tallulah Bankhead?

Was the play you threw away
written for Tallulah Bankhead?

Now look here, what do people
call you? Tony?

Now look here, Tony. You've got
to write it all over again, do you hear?

Were you in the war?

See any action?

Did you run away?

Well, there you are, you're not going
to run away this time either,

do you hear me, Tony?

I suppose Tallulah still wants to play
that sweet little old southern girl.

It doesn't have to be Bankhead,
everybody's looking for a good play.

I was talking to John Van Druten.

Did you save any of it?

Yes, a few notes.

What did he say, I couldn't hear him.

- He says he's got a few notes.
- Well, that's wonderful.

( mumbling )

He's got a whole copy left.

( mumbling )

He says he was going to tear it up
as soon as he got home.

Oh, Tony, you should have been
an actor, not a playwright.

- Hello!
- Hello, hello, my boy!

- John!
- Connie, dear!

Darling, have you been casting
the show?

- Yes, I have.
- But why did you pick a matine?

Are we all right?

Darling, it's fine and you're
absolutely wonderful.

- But look, have you got just one second?
- Only a moment, darling, so I can change.

Hello, Mr. Van Druten!

Hello, Mr. Van Druten.

Now, you stand over there...
No, you stay there.

I want to see what happens when you kneel
down and look under Miss Anna's skirt.

Take it from your bow to the king.

Yes, but look up, look up.
You're interested in what's going...

...on under that big hoop skirt.

Good.

All right. And now, you. I want
to see what happens...

...when you go and kiss
Miss Anna's hand.

No, no, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Put your hands under hers,
look, like that, not over them.

Do it again.

Okay, that's fine.

Good enough, go make your change.

- Is that all right with you?
- Fine, dear.

Your call to Tallulah Bankhead
just came through.

- Out here, please.
- I'll be right there.

Connie, you don't mind if I talk
to another actress, do you?

I do, darling, but what
can I do about it?

Bye.

Hello, Tallulah?

- Oh, yes, John!
- John who?

Oh, isn't it just too wonderful?

Well, just a minute, I'll put Tallulah on
if you think you can stand it.

- Van Druten.
- Well, why didn't you say so?

- Yes, John!
- Tallulah, I loved reading your book.

Oh, you're a doll.

Only you didn't tell enough.

What did you expect, darling,
Forever Amber?

Anyway, that isn't what
you wanted to talk to me about.

What is it all about?

Tallulah, do you remember once saying
you wanted me to direct you in a play?

No, darling.

All right.

I just thought, if I found the script,
that I ought to tell you about it...

...so you couldn't throw it up at me
afterwards that I didn't mention it to you.

But, um, there are other
good actresses.

Who?

Well, maybe not as good as you are...

...but they want to act.
So, okay, Tallulah.

Is this really a good script, John?

She's a pretty awful woman.

Well, what does she do?

Well, she does just about everything
an awful little woman could do.

Now, what do you mean just about?
Sorry...

Well, I mean everything.

All the time?

All the time.

Well, doesn't she have one
nice moment?

No, I'm afraid she doesn't really.

That's why we were sure you wouldn't
be interested in the part.

Send me the script.

I beg your pardon?

If she's as bad as all that,
I'll read it.

I'll bring it to you.

Well, that's sweet of you.
Now, by the way, um...

Who's the author of this play,
who wrote it?

A young man named Anthony Monaco.

Never heard of him.

What are you smirking about?

Anthony Monaco?

That's your client!

Mary, how can I eat?
The suspense is killing me.

Mr. John Van Druten will accept it,
or he'll turn it down.

In either case, I don't think you'll die.

If you were meant to die, last night
would have been the time for a death.

- You're sore.
- No I'm not, really.

Well, you're too calm.

I'm just thinking, that's all.

You're sore because I kept an extra
copy of the manuscript.

Come on, this may be the first
and last breakfast I'll ever serve you.

- Down the hatch.
- Mary, will you...

Who's that?

I'll get it.

- Anthony Monaco?
- Yes, uh-huh.

I'll sign.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

Must be from Mr. John Van Druten.

- Mary, did you ever get a telegram?
- Of course.

Was it bad?

Well, I get them on my birthday,
on graduation day...

- I never got a birthday present in my life.
- Come on, open it!

You.

- Well, is it good or bad?
- Good.

Come on, read it!

"Tallulah Bankhead delighted with
my account of your play.

We will start casting tomorrow morning
and going to rehearsal a week from Monday,

and mailing you contract and
a check for $1,000

Telephone me at five this afternoon
at Larchmont 6789,

congratulations, John Van Druten."

Oh-ho, how about that?

How about that?

I'll buy a yacht. We'll take a cruise
in the Mediterranean.

I'll buy you a mink coat.
Which is better, mink or ermine?

I'll marry you!
Sure, why not?

I'll hire a church. Mary, what do you like
better, a big church or a little church?

Huh?

Did... did I say something wrong?

Mary!

You'll do this, you'll do that!

Oh, how did I ever get
myself into this?

Only a few months ago I was going
along minding my own business.

And here I am in this rat trap
with a baby who claps his hands...

and talks about yachts one minute,
the next minute...

I don't want to be here! I don't want any
John Van Drutens or Tallulah Bankheads.

I want to marry Frank,
that's what I want!

Love... what is love?

Another month I would have
forgotten you completely.

That's a fact!

You would have been just a silly,
comical memory to me.

And if somebody told me that your
play was the biggest hit in the world,

and if you really had a hit,
I figure it would be funnier than ever!

And I was going along,
minding my own business.

And I find myself making
your breakfast.

Well, I started to fix your breakfast.

I'll finish that.

Good morning, Tony.

- Not now, Duchess, please.
- No, why not now?

What's the matter? Tallulah, you know,
don't make the whole world go round.

There are other actresses
in the universe.

Oh, the heat in the room here.

What's the matter, Tony?

- Indiana?
- Why, yes.

Pleased to meet you.

Uh, my landlady has the back front room
to rent, shoud I negotiate for you?

- Please.
- Oh, my pleasure indeed.

Tony, uh... provisions.

My other girl.

I love you.

I'm going to see you through this.

I have to.

I've got to find out who I am.

Whom I love.

I hope it's not you.

I really hope it's not you.

( mumbling )

I cannot remember those lines!

Oh, hello, Mary.
Unwrap those hats for me, will you?

Yes, Miss Bankhead.

Has Tony brought back
the script changes yet?

No. For two solid hours he
and John Van Druten...

have been parsing the play
out of all of my dialogues.

I think it's absolutely fatal, darling,
to let an author and a director...

...get together without the star.

I don't know why I let myself
be trapped in this play anyway.

- What time is it?
- Um, twenty after four.

Twenty after four?

Why didn'1t you tell me? Turn on the radio,
the ball game's on!

The Giants are paying the Dodgers!
Oh, it's simply outrageous!

I've been sitting the whole afternoon
here waiting for a few silly lines...

while my beloved Giants...

That may be it,
it might be the ball game.

No, the ball went off three feet.

It's a dramatic match here
at Ebbets Field.

The Giants go ahead three to one.

There are two out. Two men armed
and Duke Snider at the bat.

Durocher is signaling the bullpen,
he's taking out his star pitcher.

He's going out of his mind.

Absolutely crazy, deliberately trying
to throw the game away.

Get the Polo Grounds at once!
I mean, the Ebbets Field.

Hello.

For you, Chris.

Hello. Oh, it's you.

You headless head!

Have you gone out of your mind taking
that divine pitcher out of the game?

You ought to be drawn and quartered.

Now, look, Tallulah.
I'm the boss of this team.

You do your acting,
I'll run the ball game.

The pitch, Snider swings and misses.
Strike two.

One more strike and the game is over.

The pitch.

It's going, it's going, it's gone!

The Dodgers win, four to three.

And that's the ball game.

- It serves you right.
- Well, it's your fault.

- You jinxed me.
- Jinxed?

Oh, Leo, I thought you were
a civilized man.

Don't tell me you go for that
superstitious stuff.

Really, Leo!

Take those hats off of there! Don't you know
I have to wear them for my role?

Do you want the play to be a flop?

Oh, where were we, darling,
at what point of the conversation?

The breaking point. Don't ever
call me up.

Don't ever come to see me!

Don't even nod at me on the street!

And do me one last favor.
Jinx somebody else.

Root for Brooklyn.

Daddy, was that Mother?

Oh, Mary, remind me to give Leo and Laraine
two good seats for the opening night.

And I know, I'm sorry I shouted at you.
I'm sorry.

That's quite all right, Miss Bankhead.

No, it's not all right, darling.
Rudeness is absolutely unexcusable.

Go away!

Where are you going?

Wait here, I want you to type up
the new script changes.

She's doing something for me.

She can type the script changes
after I have read them.

Tallulah, I think I've got it.

You know, darling,

one more passionate kiss like that
and you're going to lose that girl.

No I won't, I'm gonna marry her
the morning after the opening.

- Ha!
- You don't believe me?

Oh, well, if the play is a flop,

you will need a crutch to support
your fractured ego.

But if it's a success...

Oh well, anyway, let's see what you and Van
Druten have been up to the last few hours.

I found the complete solution.

And the amazing thing is that
it only takes two lines.

Two lines, two hours.
Well, it ought to be good.

But they altered the whole
significance of the play.

You see, now you don't kill your
husband because you hate him.

Oh, but that's no good, darling.
I've got to hate him,

I'm absolutely divine when I hate.

All right, but everybody's
seen you hating.

This gives us a twist.

You kill him because he's slowly
driving you mad with boredom.

- That should be easy.
- I'll read it to you.

No, no, spare me, where is it?

It's on the second page.

Two letters in two months.
Suppose something's happened to her.

What could happen to her,
an accident?

You know very well there ain't
an automobile,

or a truck or a bus in the whole world
would be mean enough to hurt Mary.

Henry and I are thinking about
driving back to New York,

be there for that opening night
of that play.

Well, if that's what you
want to do, well, do it.

But, uh, you're gonna find that she's
been working herself day and night...

running errands for Tony and
those actors and uh...

...cooking for him and living in some
tenement near him.

Then you're gonna get there
on a night when she's awful busy.

What are you gonna say?

- Well, I...
- You're gonna say, Mary...

we've trusted you all our lives,
but now we've changed our mind.

So we drove up here to tie up
your hands and feet,

and throw you in the car
and take you home...

...because we think it'll make
you very happy.

Then, when you get her back here,

I'll help you untie her hands
and feet and...

if she ain't grateful, I'll get a little
hammer and tap her on the head.

That oughta make her really
smile and love us all.

You're a tower of strength too.

Well, I hope you keep thinking so.
Somebody around here's gotta be strong.

I just made up my mind that I'm uh...
gonna go back to that opening myself.

- But you just said not...
- That was for you.

Me, I'm gonna get in the car
and drive all night.

Maybe I can bring her back without
tying her hands and feet.

So the big moment has finally arrived
for our young playwright.

Perhaps the most exciting and terrifying
experience of his whole life.

His first opening night on Broadway.

This is a typical first-night audience.

Here are the producers of the play,
the theater guild leaders,

Lawrence Langner, and Terry Helburn.

They were distinguished people
of the theater.

Gilbert Miller, Peggy Wood,
Arthur Schwartz.

Society folks such as Gerard Swope,
Elsa Maxwell, Walter Chrysler Jr.

And those chronic first-nighters,
the Katzenbergs,

who have not missed a Broadway
opening for over thirty-five years.

And finally there are the critics.

Kerr, Atkinson, Morehouse, Walken.

Kronenberger, MacLaine, Brown, Watt.

These people can either make
or break Anthony Monaco.

And he knows it.

I don't know if the tickets are
in my name or Mr. Grant's.

Here you are.

- All right, thank you.
- Next, please, what name, please?

Next, please, step up, please.

Josh, could you get Vivian's
tickets for her?

Excuse me, Frank...
Miss Vivian Blaine's tickets, please.

Yes, Mr. Logan, here you are.

- Next, please, name, please.
- Frank Albertson.

- Here, Vivian. Come on, Etta.
- Thanks a lot, Josh, have fun.

- Thank you.
- Come on, honey.

Next, please, what is the name,
please? Step up, please.

- Hello.
- Uh... what's that?

Just hello, kind of a greeting
we use around home.

Okay, so hello. Uh, can I help you?
What is the name?

Johnson, Frank Johnson.

Traders in jackknives.
From Indiana.

I'd like to have a ticket to your show.

I'd like to sit about, oh,
a third row there,

maybe the fourth and on the right side
if you can and, uh...

...not too close to the drum.
Got something like that?

You want a seat in the third row,
maybe the fourth row,

a little on the right, not too
close to the drum.

Okay, here you are.
Four weeks from tonight.

Four weeks from tonight.

Haven't you got something a little
sooner than that, uh... like tonight?

Are you kidding? I guess you never saw
a Broadway opening before, have you?

Well, I never had to.

We don't get much of this drama
around home, you know.

We, uh, get quite a bit
of snow, though.

But can't you scrape up something?

No, not tonight, not without
a reservation.

I would have a made a reservation
too, but, uh...

Well, I didn't know, uh...

See, my girl's back here and I wasn't sure
I was coming until I didn't hear from her.

I tell you what, I got one
in the standing room for $4,80.

Four-eighty for standing room?

Boy, it's a lot to stand for,
ain't it?

You couldn't make that $2,40,
I'll stand on one foot?

Okay, Indiana, you win.

Here's one in the balcony, $2,40.

I don't know why I should
be doing this, I...

I guess it's something about
you guys from Indiana.

Yeah, I guess there is something about us,
I don't know what it is.

Well, I know what it is,
I don't like to think about it.

Thanks.

Hello... uh...

What's your name, please?
Come on, step up, let's go.

Tony, I feel like I'm in heaven
with all the stars around me.

Well, you look like a star
yourself, Duchess.

Hm, maybe I'm twinkling a little bit.
But we all look nice.

Yeah, but Duchess, do you think
they're gonna like it?

Do I think, why shouldn't
they like it?

It's a play, no?
With three acts.

Hey, look. There's Brooks Atkinson.

Atkinson? Who's Atkinson?

Only the drama critic on
the New York Times.

- Critic?
- Yeah.

Thank you. Excuse me.

First aisle left, please.

Curtain going up.

I'm afraid to go in.

What are you afraid of?

It's your curtain and it's going up.

- I'm the author.
- All right.

Smoking in the outer lobby, please.

Smoking in the outer lobby, please.

Do you realize I've spent the
best twenty-five years...

...of my life in the last half hour?

Oh, this play has a message.
It says, don't wake me until 11:10.

I was a mere slip of a girl
when I came in.

I think it's going just wonderfully, Tony.

Yeah, but did you see the critics?

I kept watching them. No expressions,
no laughs, no nothing, Mary.

And they're the critics.

I'd better go backstage and see
Tallulah and Van Druten.

Mary, do me a favor, circulate around,
listen to what the people are saying.

All right, Tony.

The author is very good looking.

Tallulah's got a wonderful heart.

Only sometimes it pumps
the wrong way.

Excuse me, miss. Is Main Street
around here anywhere?

- Frank!
- You look beautiful, Mary.

If I'd known you were going to be dressed
like that, I think I'd have rented a tuxedo

...or at least a blue suit.

Well, why didn't you let me know
you were coming?

Well, I bought a new car and I thought
you might like to see it.

I don't know what to say.

Frank, why couldn't you wait until
after the opening like I asked you to?

Well, I'm a kind of fellow whenever I have
to wait for somebody I like to see a show.

Look, Frank, there's so much for us
to talk about, we need hours, days.

And I haven't even got seconds.
They all belong to this play.

I see, you're kind of sweating
it out, huh?

It's like when I took out my first
newspaper ad for the store.

I oiled up the door hinges and sat
in there waiting for the customers.

That's it, Frank, I'll see you
after the show.

Saw eighty or ninety plays.
I didn't like any of them.

- What do you think of that, Brooks?
- Watt, I'm speechless.

Hush my mouth, Dolly Haas,
how have you been?

- Hello, Jeff, nice to see you.
- Same here.

Mr. Jeffrey Lynn,
Mrs. John Jacob Astor.

- How do you do?
- How do you do?

Well, Dolly, what do you think
of it so far?

The characters are beautifully
developed, don't you think?

Hm-hmm, the dialogue isn't bad either.

They say it's his first play too.

Who is this boy, anyway?
I've never heard of him.

Anthony Monaco is the name.

A name to remember and be remembered.

- Why did you make it sound so important?
- Well, it is important.

It's very important.
Atkinson was speechless.

Atkinson was speechless.

Uh, New York Post, Telegram News,
Mirror?

No, thank you.

Confidentially, what is your
professional opinion?

Well, I sort of, uh...

Mine exactly. Did you notice how
the first act bubbled the exposition?

Well, the first act...

And how the crescendo built
to the climax in the dramatology?

How it was technically built
to the emotional impact?

Well, it's the first Broadway play
that I've actually ever...

Did you see how it said enough
and did enough?

It seems to have everything.
Maybe it'll be a hit.

Maybe? Maybe?
That is out of the question.

Atkinson was speechless.

Curtain going up.

Curtain going up.

Tony, the show isn't half over yet.

Go back inside, huh, Mary?

I'd rather be with you.

Will you please go back in?

What did Miss Bankhead say?
What did Mr. Van Druten say?

Mary, please do me this favor.
I'll see you later.

I'll be back here.

And I hope you will.

Please go on in.

All right, Tony.

- Yes, sir?
- A bottle of beer, please.

Chief, give me a bottle of beer there,
and don't take the cap off,

I want to show you a little trick.

See that? It's Indiana. It's the only state
in the Union you can do that with.

Keep it. If you're ever in Fort Wayne,
look me up.

- Frank Johnson, hardware.
- Thank you, sir.

So you're Frank, huh?
What do you want?

Mary. Came to take her home
to Indiana tonight.

- Hm, does she know about that?
- She will.

Just how do you think you're going
to do that, Frank?

Show her your bank account?

No, a bank account wouldn't be
the answer, not with Mary.

You know that.

Frank, I have a great misfortune.

I'm half man and half writer.

A part of me would like to belt you
right in the nose.

But the other part of me...

The other part of me looks at you
and I can see the history...

...of your life right in your face.

And the history of Mary's life too.

Now look, bear with me, please, huh...

because I'm just trying to see
this thing through.

Frank, I've just been informed that
my play hasn't even got a chance.

It'll last two or three weeks just
because Tallulah's in it.

And that'll give just about enough money
to pay my debts and leave me nearly broke.

I've been trying to find something
wrong with you.

I've also been trying to find
something right about myself.

Take her, Frank.

Get a hold of her just as fast as you can.
Don't even let her talk, do it!

- I was thinking about something like that...
- Well, good, good!

Ah, I feel better now.

Frank, I feel wonderful.

Frank, this is the first wonderful thing
I've ever done in my life.

And Frank, she loves you too.
She told me so.

Me, as far as I'm concerned, she'd forget
me in a month, she told me that.

Well, get going, I don't know
how long I can keep this up.

I'm getting.
You're alright, Tony.

Ha, Tallulah raving at a telephone book.

- Author very young, play very dull.
- Well, I liked it.

Tallulah was divine.

- I want to tell you you were divine!
- Thank you, darling.

We'll see you later.

Goodbye, now. Thank you, darling,
thank you so much.

Bless you!

Bless you, darlings.

Oh... oh!

Why is it...

...that after the opening night
of a failure,

people can only think of saying,

"I liked it.
You were divine!"

It wasn't as bad as that,
Miss Bankhead.

Of course it wasn't, and I was divine!

But, you know, nowadays, Rose,
if a play doesn't quite come off,

well... it comes off.

It's a shame, little lady,
after all that hard work.

Oh, Rose, Rose, I know
I'm a friend of laughter.

You only call me little lady when there's
something depressing on its way.

I can go off my diet!

Poor Tony.

No, it's the best thing that could
have happened to him.

Frank, it's taken a long time, but I know
at last what I'm going to do.

All my life I've wanted happiness.

- With a fellow like me.
- That's true.

- In a place like Indiana.
- That's right, Frank.

Where kids can grow up in the sunshine,
and your neighbors are your friends and...

...your kids grow up with their kids.

Frank, I've learned something
about Tony in these months.

Tony has talent. And the world
wouldn't go round without talent.

Somebody once said that what
humanity needs, besides God,

...is bread and a circus.

A circus.

That's music, and comedy, and tragedy.
And painting and poetry.

It's the theater.

It makes life endurable because
it reaches people through their dreams.

And that's Tony's job.
It's his master.

Well, Tallulah, what's the verdict?

I... don't know, darling.

- You mean it's a flop.
- Don't go by me, Tony.

You know, I can be wrong.

- So that's the end.
- No, Tony. That is the beginning.

It's nothing disgraceful in writing
a play that doesn't yield.

You'll have failures,
you'll have successes.

Plenty of them.

And I doubt if anyone will ever
have as many flops as I've had.

In time you'll learn to take them
in your stride.

And remember, now you also
have Mary.

As a crutch to bolster up
my fractured ego.

No.

To help you when you're tempted
to lower your standards.

That, Tony, is the one unforgivable
sin in the theater.

He isn't happy. I wonder whether
he ever will be.

Or if this will bring me the kind
of happiness I used to think I wanted.

But I'm part of it now, Frank.
Part of something big, something useful.

Something wonderful.

There's one thing you left out, Mary.

Do I have to say it?

I think you owe it to me.

- I can take it.
- All right.

I love Tony. I love Tony
with all my heart.

Well, we're back at the theater.

Driver, I think you'd better stop.

Looks like somebody's getting out here.

Don't worry about your folks,
I'll explain everything to them.

Well, I guess I'd better get going, I...

left a pair of shoes to be half-soled
back home and...

...if I don't pick them up in thirty days,
they're liable to sell them.

Well, I guess I ain't any luckier with women
than I am with clothes.

Like the time I bought a two-pant-suit,
somebody burned a hole in my coat.

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes

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