Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) - full transcript

Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) to use playing a variety of strange, unusual characters, adopting their characteristics so thoroughly as to be called the Man of a Thousand Faces.


- Good morning, mr thalberg.
- Good morning.

- Good morning, Irving.
- Hello.

- Hello. George.
- Right this way, Irving.

The actor is a very special human being.

There are only a few
who possess his peculiar magic,

that extraordinary ability
to make us feel,

to lift us out
of our own existence

and make us believe
in the world of make-believe.

I am speaking
of the great ones now,

those that audiences
have selected and set apart.

Some no longer here to enchant you,
but, well, will always be remembered.

We cannot replace these personalities.
There can only be one of each,

born out of their own
personal joys and sorrows.

Life shapes them
in wondrous ways.

Often beautiful, sometimes with flaws,
but all quite rare.

Such a one was lon chaney.

With his god-given talent, he did more
than just portray a thousand faces.

He illuminated certain dark corners
of the human spirit.

He showed the world
the souls of those people

who are born different
from the rest.

To understand why he was destined for this,
we would only have to go back

to any day in his boyhood,
in the town of Colorado Springs.

'Not a very easy boyhood,

'for his parents were different.'

lon! You've been fighting again.

Ma and pa don't care if kids
make fun of them, why should you?

Go play with your dolls!

What happened?

It's always the same, isn't it?

I better go help.

Don't be angry. Feel sorry for those
who do not understand like you.

They're no good!

Go wash.

Lon! Hey, chaney!
Stone wants you!

Tell him I'll be there
in a second.

- What's up?
- Ask the boss!

Listen to them,
they're stamping holes in the floor.

- Where's cleva?
- Dressing. One song.

One song while we get set up
for the acrobats, and she's never ready.

I paid a lot of money for this curtain.
I pay your wife to stand in front of it.

All right, you made your point.

She holds us up again,
she's through!

- Cleva, sweetheart.
- I know, I know. I'm late again.

Take it easy, now. Easy.

All right, hurry up!

Now, it's all right, sweet.
We'll fix it.

- It's ruined. Never mind. Never mind.
- We'll fix it. We'll fix it.

That does it. She's out!

What are you doing?

You want somebody in front
of that very expensive curtain, don't you?

You've already been on.

That's more like it.
That stays in.

You like the bit? Well, here.
It's yours, you can have it.

Hey, lon!

Lon, we can talk this over.

I'm sorry, sorry.
You fired her, you fired me.

That piker!

Paying us off in potato peelings
and wanted us to take a ten-dollar cut.

Well, I wish you could have heard me.
I told him.

- Lon, you didn't quit?
- We both quit.

We're gonna get off this wreck
before it goes down with all hands. Phew!

It's because of me, isn't it?

Uh-uh-uh.

Don't let those get on the floor.
Be over our heads in no time.

Lon, what are we going to do?

There are other shows, and maybe
we can land in a dressing room

where we won't have
to wear hip boots. Phew!

Maybe San Francisco.

Why San Francisco?

The offer you got
from kolb and dill.

I found the telegram
in your suit.

They didn't want me, either, did they?
That's why you turned it down.

We can have kolb and dill anytime.
We can do better, leave it to me.

Take it, lon. Wire them tonight.

You want me to? Hmm? You sure?

In a few months I won't have
much of a specialty anyway,

unless they'd like
to watch me folding diapers.

Oh, sweetheart.

Sweetheart.

This is wonderful! Wonderful!

Your feet dry?

Wait till the folks
hear about this.

What a Christmas present.

I'll wire them tonight.

- Why not tell them, instead?
- Tell them?

I wanna meet your family, lon.

Well, but...

Yeah, but we haven't got time.
We gotta get to the coast.

We've got a whole week.

They didn't want you
till after the first of the year.

And I want to make
this Christmas special,

in a home,
instead of a hotel room.

Yeah, sure, I know,
but you see, sweetheart...

Lon, is it me?

Are you ashamed to take me home?

Now, what kind of talk is that?

Well, then, please.

You're supposed to humor
an expectant mother, you know?

Yeah.

Well, if that's what you want...

Nome we go.

Lon, I'm scared.

They're gonna love you very much.
Just remember that.

- Hey!
- Welcome to Colorado Springs!

- Oh! Cleva, my brother, John.
- Hello.

Say, you're the prettiest Christmas present
anybody ever brought home.

- I said that at the train.
- How'd you get so lucky?

She found me on her door step.

Good to see you.
Let me help you.

No, I'll get them.

Lon. Oh, lon.

Well, how's my favorite sister?

Your only sister's just fine.

Well, here she is, Carrie.

Lon didn't exaggerate
in his letters.

- She's lovely.
- Mm-hmm.

Hey, look here, now.
Look here. Hmm?

I was in a show once
called "ring in the dawn".

Folded in three nights.
They paid me off with the bell.

- Folks around?
- Out on a shopping spree.

They wanted to get
something special for cleva.

- Oh, they shouldn't have done that.
- No way to stop them.

After all, they don't meet
a new daughter-in-law every day.

Here, let me take your things.
Lon, you've got your old room back.

George and I are doubling up.
Just like old times.

Yeah, he snores worse than ever.
What a Christmas this is gonna be.

- For you.
- Hey!

- Got it?
- Yeah.

Oh! Here.

I'm not the only hoofer
in the family.

The folks won this
in a waltz contest.

It's beautiful.

It was the proudest night
in our lives.

- How are they?
- No different, lon. Great, you know.

- Is Christmas always like this?
- Like what? To the right.

You know, so much fuss, so warm.

Always that way
with the chaneys.

Not with the creightons.
Ma hired out.

Holidays, she'd work her hardest.

I used to wait up for her,

and we'd pretend
there was a tree in the corner

with a lot of presents
wrapped in red ribbons.

Sweetheart, from here in,
it's all gonna be red ribbons.

Tell me, you ever done any lake fishing
through a hole in the ice?

Never fished in my life.

Never fished in your life?
Well, it's about time you got started.

You can't be admitted to the chaney clan until
you've caught your first mountain trout.

Well, anyway, I can try.

- What is it?
- Folks are coming.

- I didn't hear anything.
- I did.

- Cleva...
- Hmm?

Cleva, my mother and father.

How do you do?

Dinner's ready.

Cleva.

- Lon, they're deaf...
- Cleval please.

Don't let them see that look.
Please.

Grace.

Dear god, bless this food
and this house.

And thank you for the gift
of your son and my sons.

And for my daughters.

- Amen.
- Amen.

Pa says it's for
the wandering son to slice the bird.

All right. Well, let's see, now.
No prompting.

Now, mom, white meat.
Dad, dark, and heavy on the gravy.

John and Carrie,
drumsticks or wings,

and George,
because you're the baby of the family...

Last part over the fence.

What's wrong?

Cleva.

Why didn't you tell me, lon?

I wanted to, sweetheart.

I tried, but... I was scared.

I tried, but... I couldn't.

All right, all right, I'll tell you.

I couldn't, because I thought
it would be the end of us.

Because I was afraid
to lose you.

Oh, I thought if you saw them,
just another family, like any other...

Was it that hard
to look at them, cleva?

I couldn't stand it.

Why? Because they're different?

Because they can't speak?
Does that make them freaks?

- Don't shout, lon!
- They can't hear me!

What did you expect of me?

That I was going to accept things
all in a minute?

You grew up with them.

- They've talked to me all my life.
- With their hands!

Yes, I can hear them.
I've always heard them.

Then ask them about my baby.

Ask them what my baby's going to be like.
Will it be like them?

It's in your blood, lon.
It can happen again!

I don't want to have it!
I don't want to have it!

I don't want to be mother
to a dumb thing!

You don't understand.
It's your responsibility to tell your wife.

Are you afraid? Or ashamed?
You must ask your wife to forgive you.

Words are not important.

Now!

I'm sorry, sweetheart.
It was all my fault.

Mom is right,
I should have told you.

Cleva, please try to understand.

This didn't start just tonight.

All my life, I've had it.
All my life, it's been the same.

Kids tagging after my father and mother,
making signs,

yelling, "hey, dummy!
Hey, dummy!"

So proud they could speak,
they had to be cruel.

Until I was eight,
I never talked in the street,

just to make them think I couldn't,
and when they yelled at me,

I paid them back
for my father and mother,

and I grew up paying them back.

Cleva, can you ever forgive me?

It doesn't matter.

Sweetheart, our baby's gonna be all right.
You'll see.

Why, we've got a house full of voices here.
John, Carrie and George.

It didn't happen to any of us,
and it won't happen to our kid, either.

Believe me.

Cleva, sweetheart...

I want that baby.

I don't.

But I'll have it.

Thanks.

- Good.
- Fair.

- Magician?
- Press agent.

I'm lon chaney.

Oh, yes, yes.
We've been waiting for you.

I'm Clarence locan.

I'll see that your name
is spelled right in the papers.

Mr dill, chaney's here.

Ok, girls, on your feet,
on your feet!

And look like swans, not ducks!

Take it again from the top.

Ok, girls. With long necks.

Glad you got here, chaney,
but just for the records,

with kolb and dill, rehearsals
are just like a performance.

They start on time.

I'm sorry, mr dill, but I was
getting settled in a new house.

Needed a special kind of place
out in the country,

far away from everything.
You see, I'm having a baby.

Ok, I love children
as much as the next man,

but don't let it happen again.

- Rehearsals, I mean.
- I won't

- starting a baby album?
- No, press book. Saves a lot of talk.

Do a little scenery too,
if it's needed.

Not bad.

I hear you do
a pretty good dumb act.

I've been doing that
since I was a kid.

- Where'd you learn it?
- Parents.

- Show business?
- Mm-hmm. Deaf.

Mutes?

Well, don't let it bother you, mr dill.
It doesn't bother them.

Well, shall we go to work?

Er... come on, lon, I'll show you
to the dressing room.

Do you want me to turn it off?

No, no, it's all right.

Just tell me, if you do.

Cleva, if you like to hear it,
it's fine.

But I don't like to hear it, lon,
that's the point.

I don't really wanna hear it.
I'd rather talk!

About what you're doing at the theater,
the weather, anything.

Month after month,
it's "hello" and "good night,"

and nothing in between.

Cleva, we keep trying
to talk to each other.

If I tell you we had
a good matinee,

you ask about the kids
in the audience,

how they liked it,
how much noise they made.

- Now it's my fault!
- I didn't say that.

It's what you meant.

It's this place.
It's like being buried.

No one around,
nobody to talk to.

Why couldn't we have stayed in the city
like everybody else in the show,

where there's some life,
some excitement?

Or would that have been too normal?
Is that it, lon?

Are you trying to get me used
to the silence?

Cleva, the doctor says
there's every reason to expect

that everything
is going to be fine.

There's nothing...
Nothing to be afraid of.

Maybe you can be strong about it.

I can't I'm scared.

So scared I could scream.

Dummy! Dummy! Dummy!

Go back to sleep, cleva.

Lon, I did hear him cry?

- I wasn't asleep?
- No, you heard him.

Mrs chaney, when a baby
is picked up by the heels

and slapped on the rump,
he's bound to resent it.

Then he's all right.

What is it?

Cleva, the baby cried,
but there's.

It's a little too soon to know
for certain if he can hear.

The fact that he cried
is no indication.

When we know definitely
that he reacts to sound,

we can be sure
that he'll learn to speak.

We won't know
for a couple of weeks.

He's a fine boy, mrs chaney.

Would you like to see him?
I'll have the nurse bring him in.

- Mr chaney?
- That's right.

If there's an answer,
I can take it with me.

What is it, lon?

From the folks. They're worried.

They haven't heard from us
since the night the baby was born.

What are you going to tell them?

No answer.

He's still sleeping.

The doorbell woke me,
but he didn't hear it.

God, I have never
asked for anything before,

but this I want more
than anything in my life.

Do you have to pray like that?

Do you have to keep me out of it?

I wouldn't know how to mean it
any other way.

Please, let my baby
hear and talk.

Please, god, please. Amen.

Lon! Lon, he heard youl!

I'm sorry. I'm sorry, my son.

I'm sorry, sorry, sorry.

That's the last time
anybody will ever scare you.

No, no, no.

Wait, please.

Oh, hello, mrs chaney,
and the big fella.

Well, it's about time
youse coming to see us again.

Growing like a weed, ain't he?

Scotty, would you take creighton
to his father

and tell him I'll see them both
at home tonight?

Well, now, there's a couple of minutes
before he goes on.

- Why don't you...
- No, no, I'm late already.

Just tell him, please. Thanks.

Well, come on, creighton.

Hi! What's the matter?
Cat got your tongue?

- Nope.
- Oh, just quiet like your daddy, huh?

- Can't you even say hello?
- Hi

oh, that's much better.

Now no flirting
with the dancing girls, Sonny.

Come on,
let's go find your daddy, ok?

Well, look who's here!

Hi, wait a minute.
Wait a minute.

Girls, come on, now. Come on.

Mr chaney, you have company.

Daddy! Daddy!

Oh, my boy, my boy. My boy!

Uncle Clarence,
did you bring me a present?

Well, you came to see us, you remember?
This kid's gonna get along swell!

- Where's your mother?
- Mrs chaney had an appointment.

She said she'd see you
at home tonight.

I'll take care of him while you're on.
He's my new fellow.

- Thanks, miss Bennett.
- That's all right.

Creighton, come here.

Here we go.

Daddy, show me a story.

Now, way too late
and you're much too sleepy.

Please, just one, daddy.

The one you said was grandma's favorite,
"old lady murgatroyd".

- "Old lady murgatroyd"?
- Yeah.

I'll tell you what.
Now we'll have a race.

You get into these, and get tucked in
by the time I'm ready, huh?

- Ok.
- It's a race.

Come on, now.

Faster than that! You hear?

And now, young man,
young man, you go to sleep.

And go to sleep right now, you hear me?
Go to sleep right now.

Well, say it.

All right, I'm working.
I took a job.

I'm singing at lait's.

What about creighton?

I found a woman,
a wonderful woman.

She'll come in the morning
and be with him till I get up,

and then she'll stay
until you come home at night.

Except Thursdays.

What do we do on Thursdays?

Give him a dime
and let him go on the town?

You can take him
to the theater with you.

Don't make it sound so awful.

Mommy?

Yes, sweetheart, I'm here.

Did you bring me anything?

No, I didn't, baby.
There wasn't...

Oh, yes, I did, too.

See here. Look.

What does it do?

It's a nugget.
A real gold nugget.

Gosh!

Where'd you get it?

A customer had a little bit
too much champagne.

He gave it to me for luck.

Good night, son.
Go back to sleep.

I'll save it for you, darling.

The gold rush is over.
You're quitting lait's tomorrow.

You're not leaving my son
in the hands of a stranger.

Lon, she's experienced.
Takes care of children all the time.

And what's wrong
with my wanting to do something?

I ots of women have careers.

Creighton is more important
than a career.

There's time for both.

They liked me tonight,
and I like their liking me.

It's what I want to do.

Maybe when the boy's older.

- How much older, lon?
- Shh!

When? How tall must he be?

I'm sick of being alone,
never seeing anyone.

Sometimes I get the feeling
that creighton and I

are the only two people
in the world.

I am home every minute I can be.

Only to be with your son,
not me.

I might as well
be 1,000 miles away.

We've become strangers, lon.

Maybe it's because I once said
I didn't want your child.

You can't forgive me.

Well, I love him too, but I've got to make
some kind of life of my own.

I have the chance now, and you're
not going to take it away from me.

We haven't finished
talking about this.

Surprise, lon.
For once, I don't wanna talk anymore.

If you liked me any better,
I couldn't stand it.

- Then we are friends?
- Friends.

Oh, what a sour face.
He didn't like us tonight.

Not a smile.

Watch this.

Flowers. Butterflies.
I can't. I can't

You see? I made it!
The sneeze goes back into the act.

Yeah, already he's a critic.
Creighton, what's with you?

With me? It's fine.
Hiya, pop, what's with you?

You know, pretty soon we put him in
the act, and then he's got to laugh!

- Past your bedtime, son.
- I'll take him, lon.

See, what did I tell you?
We put the sneeze back into the act.

- Lon, you seen this?
- Shh.

I ook.

The whole show's built around her.
Not bad after three months, huh?

- Well, you're going, aren't you?
- No.

Look, lon, I can take creighton
home with me.

We get along great.
I tell him whoppers,

and the bigger the whopper,
the better he likes it.

This is a big night for her.
You should go.

I was not invited.

Where are you going?

Just down to the drugstore
for a minute.

Now, lon, don't get panicky.

When I wasn't looking,
Ruby loaded him with ice cream.

His little stomach's just a little upset,
that's all.

See?

Clarence, will you run down
to the drugstore?

Tell the druggist
creighton has an upset stomach.

- Have him fix something.
- Sure.

Hazel, a favor?

I've got to go someplace
after the show.

Will you take care
of the boy till I get back?

Of course.
And, lon, don't worry.

He'll be sound asleep
by the time you come back for him.

From now on he's gonna sleep at home,
where he belongs.

The last thing I wanna do
is to cause you any trouble, mr lait.

But I've got my problem, and it's the
only way I know how to handle it.

I'll be sorry to lose her, mr chaney,
but I understand.

I got a couple of kids
of my own.

- Wait outside, Louisa.
- Yes, ma'am.

Afraid she can't see you now,
mr darrow.

Louisa, have you
no romance in your soul?

Must you spend your entire life
keeping us apart?

- Oh, excuse me.
- I'll just be a few minutes, bill.

I thought you might need these.
The others are an hour old.

- I'll wait outside.
- Oh, no. No, please, bill.

I'll join you at the table.

- He's an important customer.
- Evidently.

Get your things.
We're picking up creighton at the theater.

I'm not through.
I've got another number to do.

You're off the payroll.
You've been replaced.

What are you talking about?
I went over big tonight.

Maybe this won't interest you,
but while you were going over so big,

your son was lying sick
in a theater dressing room.

- What is it? Did you get a doctor?
- No.

He doesn't need a doctor.
He needs his mother.

Someone to see to it he eats
the right food, at the right time,

at the right place, in his home.

I've got a cab waiting.

You had me fired.

Damn you! Damn youl! Damn youl!

What's the trouble, cleva?

Who are you?
What are you doing here?

I'm from the collection agency.
I've come to collect my wife.

- Please.
- No.

- Please, Carl!
- No.

- I've told you why I was late.
- You're lying to me!

No, you're lying to me.
You were waiting for him, weren't you?

I wasn't, I swear it.
Carl, let... please let me go!

- Lon, no! Don't!
- Get up! Get up!

He's brave. Fights for you.

Can't be just because
you take care of his kid.

- Get up!
- Lon, he... he can't.

Stand me up, brave man.
Stand me up and knock me down again.

I'm sorry.

Don't let it keep you awake,
brave man.

I'm trying to apologize.
Don't make it harder for me.

Why should I make it easier?

I'll go get creighton.

I'm sorry.

You couldn't have known.

Who is he?

Carl Hastings.

I was once married to him.

It was over years ago.

I heard about his accident.
I went to see him.

I thought maybe I could help,

but he's become so bitter,
so cruel.

Now he wants me to go back to him,
but I can't. I just can't.

Is this why
you wanted me home, lon?

Was the boy getting in your way?

Keep quiet.

Don't bother to introduce me.

I'm sure this must be Hazel.

My son knows your name
almost as well as he knows mine.

Are you finished, cleva?

You and I haven't been very bright,
mrs chaney.

Yes, I've finished. For good!

I'm not going back
to being a nursemaid

so you can play around
with a chorus girl!

It's all right, lon.
I'll be all right.

Goodbye, Hazel. Yeah. Goodbye.

What's the use?

You're in love with him,
aren't you?

Maybe I can't walk,
but I'm not blind.

- Hello, mr locan.
- Don.

Clarence. Heard anything?

No. Nothing.

Well?

Three days!
She's gotta be somewhere.

She can't just disappear
off the face of the earth.

Mr locan. Telephone, please.

- That may be something.
- Yeah.

Look, Harry,
do it any way you want.

You have to bother me with it.

Look, I give you the stuff,
and you put it in the paper.

Don't go away, sweet.
I'll be right with you, sweetheart.

Cleva, lon's been going crazy.

They love him, don't they?

Wait a minute!
What are you doing?

Cleval -

get that curtain down!

- Well, she's out of danger, mr chaney.
- Oh, thanks, doc.

However, the acid
seriously damaged her vocal chords.

- She won't be able to talk?
- In time.

I understand your wife was a singer.

Well, she won't be anymore.

Can I see her?

It might be wiser if you'd wait.
Give her a week.

It's my fault she's in there.

I drove her to it.

Is your name bill?

She was trying to reach darrow.
He didn't wanna be reached.

Gimme a chance, fellows.

I'm from "the morning post", mr chaney.
Why did she do it?

- Well, give us a break...
- Look, not now.

- Daddy! Daddy!
- Is it true you've been fired?

- Leave him out of this.
- Look out!

I on!

- You can't...
- Come on, come on, fellows.

He's upset. Let it be.
You got your headlines.

Daddy, where's mommy?

Your mommy has to be away
for a while, son.

She'll be home in a few days.

Better finish your breakfast,
young man.

Thanks for taking care of him, Hazel.

But, you know, you shouldn't
have come here.

Those reporters...

I don't want to see you
get mixed up in this, you know.

Do you think I care
what they say?

I'd better go.

I wanna be at the theater
when kolb gets there.

- You know, straighten things out.
- After all this?

Forget it.

He'll take you back, lon,
when things quiet down.

Oh, not a chance. Not a chance.

There isn't a manager in the country
that'll have anything to do with me,

and I don't blame them.

I got nobody to blame but myself.

Even darrow. You can charge
that one up to me, too.

I'll take cleva and creighton
and go somewhere.

Someplace where nobody
ever heard of us.

Maybe we can get a fresh start
and stop hurting each other.

Well, we've gotta try.
Got to. For the boy's sake.

- Did you ever play Los Angeles?
- No. Oh, yeah.

One-night stand with a Tom show.

Well, nobody knows you there.

- What's there for me in Los Angeles?
- Moving pictures.

What's that got to do
with acting?

Well, for you, everything.
It's pantomime.

I don't know how long
they're gonna be around,

but it'll keep you going
for a while.

Hazel, can I have
some more milk?

I'll get it.

Would you mind a suggestion
from your old uncle Clarence?

Find yourself a nice banjo player.

Now, don't forget, son.

Mommy will be talking to us in whispers
for a while, and we'll go along with it.

Make it a kind of game.
Quiet as a couple of mice, ok?

- Ok.
- Again.

- Ok.
- Good. Perfect!

- Hello, there, creighton.
- Shh! Not so loud, uncle Clarence.

I on.

You wait here, son.

Cleva's not here.

What? Where is she?

They don't know.
Nobody saw her leave.

Lon, I think she's just running
from everything that's happened.

Hmm. Including her son.

Look, give her a little time, lon.

Let her try and work it out.

No, no.

She's run out on him
for the last time.

So help me. So help me!

As I stand here,
she'll never get near him again!

In view of the testimony

and the default of defendant,
cleva creighton chaney,

the court grants to the plaintiff, chaney,
a decree of divorce.

In the matter of the custody
of creighton chaney,

it is the opinion of the court
that the plaintiff, chaney,

is unable at this time to give the boy
the environment of a normal home life.

Your honor!

Mr chaney, the court suggests
that you agree

to place your son in a foster home
until you've...

No! Nol

then this court must declare
creighton chaney a ward of the court

until such time as you can prove
permanent, gainful employment,

the establishment of a suitable home,
proper associations...

Why didn't you tell me
this could happen? Why? Why?

He... he's a good eater,
and I always get his breakfast.

He doesn't like oatmeal,
but any other cereal...

We set a good table, mr chaney.

You'll have lots of fun here, son.

All those children to play with,
and the toys and the swings.

You be a good boy, huh?
You know.

I'll come to see you
every week, every week.

And it won't be for long, son.

I promise you,
it won't be for long.

Hold it there, fella.

I been telling you,
you've got to have a pass.

And I've been asking you,
how do I get one?

Go to the front office
and get someone to ok it.

Look, I don't wanna steal any cameras.

All I want is somebody
to look at this press book.

I looked at it,
and I'll tell you again.

Go over to the bullpen.
Maybe you might get lucky.

But I'm not an extra.
I'm an actor.

Now, aren't we all?
Aren't we all?

- Hi, gert.
- Hi

- how's life among the 4007?
- Ha! We're down to 399

I just shot my husband.

Hey, hold it a minute. Oh, gert.

Yeah?

Set this fella straight, will you?

He says he's an actor
but doesn't want any part of extra work.

An actor?

Well! That's a novelty around here.

Hey, come here.

- Tell him the facts of life, huh?
- Sure.

Come along, friend. I'll even look
at your press book, if you insist.

Come on.

- Stage?
- That's right.

Well, that don't cut
much ice in pictures.

We're selling dreams, prince charming,
handsome knights in shining armor.

You mean I'm not the type?

- You want it straight, honest?
- Mm-hmm.

You're not any type.

You see, you're in movies
what we call an unsaleable commodity.

You're just a plain, ordinary guy
with a plain, ordinary face.

Well, that's straight and honest.

I know a lot of plain, ordinary guys
like you working extra.

Why don't you try it?
It helps them eat.

- Duchess, I just quit acting.
- Come on!

Oh, a big day today.
Four pictures shooting.

- Good morning, gert.
- Hi, Harry.

Two westerns, a sea epic...

- Hi, gert.
- Hello, Pete.

A society comedy, that's me.

A breath of riverside drive.

All right, Indians over here.
All Indians over here.

- Stick around.
- For what?

For what?

The assistant directors,
no less.

Let's have
all the bald-headed fat men.

All right, all the Indians
over here. Indians, over here.

All right, society people over here.

Five men, five women
and three waiters.

Action.

Now you turn around,
laugh at chaney.

Now slowly
start to wipe your face.

That's it. That's good.

Now reach behind you
and get your pie and throw it at Hank.

That's it, that's it.
Now start to wiping your face.

Get your pie, now, and pick it up
and throw it at snub!

That's it. That's good.

Now, snub, start to wipe your face.
That's it. Cut!

That's it. Listen, please, come on,
let's move on to the next set.

- Come on, strike that set.
- Come on.

Ok, the rest of you, come on!

Oh, I'm sorry, lon.

Well! Always did like chocolate, gert.
Always liked chocolate. Mmm.

Oh, and gert, thanks.

- Oh, forget it.
- No, I mean it.

Just before I was so deliciously
blinded by this chocolate pie,

I saw something!

If a guy can be enough things
in this business, he can make a living.

Now, listen. Don't start spending the
money. You've still got that face.

I've got a box full of faces, gert.
A whole box full!

- Morning, duchess.
- Oh, morning, lon.

Did you finish your bit
at mack sennett's?

At 6 o'clock this morning.

Good heavens!
Don't you ever sleep?

Nine cowboys, four Indians,
twelve arab horsemen,

four lascars, two with scars,
two dowagers.

No Chinese!

Four lascars, two with scars.

- Lascars? What's that?
- East Indian sailors. Mel

Make-up?

Make-up.

What's driving you, lon?

You're getting bits now,
even billing once in a while.

Why do you knock yourself out
working extra?

Need the money, gert.
I need the money.

Trying to get my kid
out of hock.

All right, you, you,

you and you.

Oh, and you.

I want that scar.
Report to wardrobe.

Hey, what's your name, fellow?

- Lon chaney.
- Chaney.

What're you trying to do?
Be a one-man crew on this ship?

You heard him, Joe.
He'll be looking for this scar.

- Er... hey, you.
- Yes, please?

I'm looking for a fellow called chaney.

Talk slow, please.

Er... me lookin' chaney, lon chaney.
Him actor, actor.

Oh, him actor.
Oh, yeah. Sahib chaney.

- Yeah. You know where he is?
- Oh, yes, yes.

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Him, him hide.

Him hear crazy uncle Clarence
come after him, borrow money.

Well, lon! You!

Hello, Clarence. You look great.

Yeah. Yeah. You, too.
What am I saying?

Oh, did you get that job
you wrote me about?

You're looking at George loane Tucker's
new public relations man.

That's movie talk for press agent.

- Hey, that's big stuff.
- You know him?

- No, could never get my foot in the door.
- Well, I've got the key.

Tucker's ready to start a picture
called "the miracle man".

There's only one problem.
There's a part that he can't cast,

a very special kind of part.

You wouldn't happen
to know an actor

who can twist his body
to look completely deformed,

and then unwind
before your very eyes?

I knew him once, sahib chaney.

- You're getting the drift.
- Mmm.

Did it once in "the mikado"
when he was a kid.

Only half did it.
This is going to be much tougher.

Tucker wants to see you tomorrow.

Oh, no.
Make it day after tomorrow.

Oh, it's too late.
I promised him.

No. Tomorrow's the day
I visit with my boy.

Oh, yeah, yeah. Ok, ok.
The next day. I'll fix it.

All right, on the set, folks.
Let's go. On the set.

Stick around
while I pick up the room rent.

The beggar and the miracle man
are part of the same gang of con men.

- Isn't that right, mr Tucker?
- That's right.

Now, this is the snapper
of the picture.

The phony miracle man is healing chaney
in front of the townspeople.

Chaney. Is it the same one
who was with kolb and dill?

Oh, a long time ago.
He's made hundreds of pictures since.

- Ready, mr Tucker.
- Ok. Excuse me, please.

Places, everybody.

- Are you sure you feel all right, lon?
- Yes, fine.

- Shall we try one, lon?
- Please.

Camera!

Action!

That was wonderful!
Perfect, lon.

Great, lon.
I hurt all over. Great!

All right. All right. Ease out of it.
Let's not be so frisky, huh?

All right, folks.
Let's break it up!

Let's get ready for the next set-up.

Say, lon, there's a freelance
magazine writer over there.

He's doing a story on the picture.
He wants to meet you.

- Dave Anderson, this is lon chaney.
- It was really something, mr chaney.

Were you ever
a professional contortionist?

No, just slack ligaments.

Oh, and dr shiels is on the set
in case they tighten up?

Oh, he's the studio's idea,
but he's a good friend.

I enjoy having him around.

Hey, tell me, you were married
to cleva creighton, weren't you?

What has that got to do
with "the miracle man"?

Just asking, mr chaney.
You had a son, too, didn't you?

Lon!

- Come on, come on. Simmer down.
- I get it all figured, all figured.

I make the grade,
I get my son back.

Now this guy comes along
and digs up the whole mess,

and what chance have I got?

What happened out there?

No more interviews,
no more questions.

Another newspaperman
comes on the set, I go off!

Look, lon, publicity
is part of our business.

We're not just a goldfish bowl,
we're a whole aquarium.

There's no room in the industry
for a mystery man.

- Why, if we were to...
- Just a minute, mr Tucker.

"Mystery man"!

I'm a deadhead from way back.
I haven't paid to see anything in years,

but you know something?
I'd buy a ticket to see a mystery man.

A change of face, nothing more.

I can hear the jingle
in the box office.

I can see the whole campaign now.

"Lon chaney, man of mystery!"

"Man of mystery"?

What do you think of it, lon?

And what happens with that guy
out there with his hot little scoop?

Oh, him?
He just quit the magazine business.

What?

Oh! I meant to tell you before,
he's on your payroll.

My new assistant.
He likes to eat steady.

What does that judge want?

I thought showing him this would be
the clincher, but the answer's still "no".

"The only concern of the court, mr chaney,
is the welfare of your son."

What does he call permanent employment
and a suitable home?

For months now
I've been working steady.

And this house that I bought
is not exactly a pup-tent!

You don't have to sell me.

His own room, a back garden,
school two blocks away,

and a summer place that starts
going up the day I get him back.

Just for the two of us,
where we can fish and talk

and... get to know
each other again.

Take it easy!

Take it easy! Take it easy!
You sound like that judge!

Look, lon, you never can tell. Whenever
you least expect it, it might break.

Yeah. Yeah.

Oh, lon, I... I forgot to tell you.
I asked a girl to stop by.

I should have mentioned it before,
hope you don't mind.

Well, if you think it's a suitable home
to bring a girl to, why, go ahead.

It's all right.
I'll go catch a movie.

Oh, no, no.
No, it's nothing like that.

Hello, lon.

Er... about that movie, it sounds great.
Think I'll catch it.

Hello, Hazel.

Come in. Sit down.

Er... can I get you something?

No.

Oh...

Oh, that... that locan!

Same old uncle Clarence.
He hasn't changed a bit.

Neither have you.
I don't know how you do it.

- It's been a long time.
- Mm-hmm. Three years.

- You still dancing?
- Well, that's what they pay me for.

I'm on tour now. A revue.
We open tomorrow night at the criterion.

Well, I'll... I'll have to catch that.

Sure, er...
Sure I can't get you something?

Oh, no. Thank you.

You're doing wonderfully well, lon.
I've seen a lot of your movies.

Well, you know, I grew up
on stories without words.

In Pittsburgh I sat down
and wrote you a fan letter.

- I didn't get it.
- I didn't send it.

Oh, that's too bad.
Could have used it.

You know, the kind of fellows I play,
pretty girls don't write to.

How's creighton?

Well, fine. Out in the valley.

Yes, I know. I ocan told me.

Would you like to see him some afternoon?
He always had a crush on you.

- I'd love to.
- I'll take you.

They're very kind to fathers.

Regular visiting hours.

- You'll get him back, lon.
- Oh, sure.

I've got it all worked out.

I'm gonna buy Buckingham Palace,
lay out a Polo field in front,

move in the Taj Mahal in back
for a swimming pool,

and then maybe the court will rule
that's a suitable home.

Oh, I'm sorry, Hazel.
I... I've been in a rut lately.

I on?

- Maybe...
- What?

I was just thinking...

Come on.

Maybe a suitable home
doesn't mean just a house and furniture.

I mean, maybe the judge feels
that a suitable home is...

Well, people.

A father, a mother...

You know, people.

Tell you what.

Tomorrow on the extras call sheet,
I'm going to put,

"wanted, one mother type,
preferably under 50,

"to fall in love
with actor and son."

I'm under 50, lon.

You said yourself creighton's stuck on me.
That's one of you, anyway.

- You'd do that for me, Hazel?
- For myself, lon.

I guess I've always
been in love with you.

Oh, Hazel.
Hazel, I wouldn't wish me on anybody.

Well, er... I'm willing to take my chances,
if you want me.

But I'm tough to get along with.
Ask anybody.

I don't know why I am, but I am.

That's the way it is. Ask locan.

I did.

Oh, well... locan.

Well, anyway, that...
That's what I was thinking.

I'll have to add another room.

Would it be so difficult?

Two truckloads of rock
and a couple of crushed fingers.

Oh, that locan!

Ah! Well, well, well, well, well!

- What do you think of this one, boy?
- That's a beaut!

Ah-ha!

Well, yeah.

Like him, huh? Got one on there?

Lon, there's still no sign of them.
You suppose anything's happened?

Huh? Oh, don't worry.
They'll be here.

Gosh, Hazel. I had a whopper nibbling.
You scared it away.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry, creighton.
I'll try to remember next time.

It's ok, I guess.
But, you see, trouts are very nervous.

She's your mother now.
Why not call her that?

I forgot.

All right, you two.
What's going on?

Can't men talk about men's business
without women butting in?

Call her "mom".

That'll be fun.

Cleaning the fish is my job, mom.
I better get started.

Hey, this dock's not very clean.

What were you two talking about?

He's getting pretty good at it,
isn't he?

Did you tell him to call me "mom"?
Do you think that was wise?

- Isn't it a better idea...
- He thinks she's dead.

It's best that way.

Here they are! Here they are!

Grandma, I'm glad to meet you.

And I'm glad to meet you.

You've grown.

And I'm strong, too.

I'm glad you came.

- Well! Clarence, how are you?
- Lon, how are you?

Papal

yeah, sure lots of kissing
going on around here.

Don't look at me.
Thanks for bringing them up.

No trouble at all. I always wanted
to know what "nowhere" looks like.

- What's that?
- That is a script.

Hal

oh, no. This is vacation.
Not allowed to read. My wife won't let me.

You beat me again.

I'm becoming expert.

- You all right, lon?
- Oh, just couldn't sleep, that's all.

- What have you been doing?
- Just sketching up an idea I had.

Oh, may I see it?

Is it a good script?

Doesn't matter. Not gonna do it.

Why? Because it might remind us?

Oh, lon, do it, if it's a good script.
The past can't hurt us.

And send a copy of the novel
to the New York office.

No, better not.
It'll take them a year to read it.

Send them a one-page synopsis,
short words.

All right, I will.

I'm lon chaney.
I've got an appointment with mr thalberg.

Oh, right in there, mr chaney.

Please sit down, mr chaney.

Mr thalberg?

Don't let it bother you.
It happens all the time.

Did you read the book?

One sitting.
Couldn't put it down.

That's the way it hit me
the first time, too.

You see, when I was a boy,
I was sick quite a bit.

They made me stay in bed.

I had nothing better to do, so I read
every book I could lay my hands on.

I'll never forget the first day I read
"the hunchback of notre dame".

Sent my temperature sky high.

Now... now I want to make it
into a picture.

And you know, between you and me,
this company can use a prestige picture.

And I don't think anyone around would mind
if it made a couple of dollars, too.

Oh, naturally.

The whole project
scares the New York office stiff.

They see it as ten reels of sheer horror,
with a monster playing the lead.

Tell me, mr chaney,
how do you see quasimodo?

I see him as a man deformed,
cursed, tormented,

laughed at as a freak,

but his tormentors never see
the heartbreak or the tears.

That's just what I want
the audience to see, mr chaney.

The soul of a man
that god made different.

If you can get that on film,
we've got ourselves a picture!

Can you really make him
look like that?

I started on the make-up
the day you sent me the book.

Do you know why I wanted you
for the hunchback, mr chaney?

No.

This project is so important to me that I
couldn't take a chance on just anyone.

Every time an actor was suggested, I dug
into his past to see what made him tick.

In your case, I dug rather deep...

All the way back
to Colorado Springs.

My parents?

You know what it's like
to be different.

Make people understand.

Make them see it
the way you see it.

- All right. Now we'll try this.
- All right.

Now we'll try this one over here.

- It's too tight, lon. It's too tight.
- No, it's all right, doc.

If you have it that tight, you won't be
able to wear it more than 15 minutes.

Let me worry about that.

If you're going to keep ignoring my advice,
why do you have me around?

You never can tell

I might catch cold.

You talk to him, will you, Hazel?
He pays no attention to me.

Mom!

We're up here, dear.
We're going to an unveiling.

- Hello, doc shiels.
- Hello, creighton.

Creighton!

All right. All right.
I'll get it later.

Horrifying but pitiful.

It's great, lon, just great!

- Hi, mom.
- Hi, dear.

Hi, pop. Uncle Clarence.

Creighton.

Say, pop! There's a great new joke
going around school.

"Don't step on that spider,
it might be lon chaney."

Very funny!

Darling, it's wonderful,
but isn't it very painful?

Only when I laugh.

What a poster you'll make!

Where'd you get this? Well?

A lady gave it to me.

What lady? Where?

She comes around school every week or so,
watches us play ball.

It isn't worth anything, is it?

Son, there are some drawings
on the back seat of my car.

Get them for me, will you?

Be at that school every day
until she shows up,

and bring her to me.
I want to see her.

- See who?
- Cleval

- all ready, sir.
- All right.

Cameras!

Action! Bring in the cart.

Hold it!

Get me out of this!

- Get me out of this!
- There's something wrong, sir.

Cut!
Get him out of the shackles.

What's wrong, lon?
Are you all right?

Oh, I'm all right.
I'm all right. I'm fine.

Still afraid of freaks, cleva?

That's a very startling make-up.

- You wanted to see me?
- Yes yes.

How much?
How much to leave us alone?

Nothing, lon.

I don't want a thing from you.

You've done a good job of raising him,
you and Hazel. He's fine.

Don't give me that.
You came back for something!

I wanted to see him.

Was that so terrible,
wanting to see my son again?

Your son? You have to care
for something to make it yours.

- You never even wanted him!
- Lon!

Come on! Come on!
I et's have it. How much?

- Lon, please.
- Don't bother. It's no use.

I on!

- Can we go someplace to talk?
- You can say it here.

Lon, try not to be angry with me.
Please.

I think creighton has a right to know
his mother's alive.

- I don't!
- He'll find out someday.

Unless he's heard it from you,
he'll hate you for it. Oh, tell him, lon.

And make myself a liar
in his eyes?

We won't talk about it anymore.
He's not to know!

- What's all this?
- Just fooling around.

Oh, at four it could be fooling around.
At your age, it could be an itch.

Ok, pop, I've been thinking,
with two actors in the family,

we'd sure have this business
sewed up.

Two actors, huh?
Where'd you get that idea?

An agent talked to me
on your set.

He said he'd get me a good part

if you'd let him bill me
as lon chaney junior.

Oh, son, there's always somebody around
looking to make a fast dollar.

They figure they can get one
with you.

But he says
he can make me an actor.

Son, to quote
the great Richard Mansfield,

"actors are not made.
Actors and idiots are born."

You mean you won't let me?

Son, I've always tried to do
what was best for you.

Let me go on trying
a little longer, huh?

Anyway, have you forgotten?
I finish my job tonight.

We've got a whole week
at the cabin.

I don't want to go.

Creighton? Creighton.

What is it?

Oh, a crazy idea he's got.

Like wanting to be an actor?

I want more than that for him.

Lon, don't hold him so tightly.
Don't smother him.

He loves you more
than anyone, anything.

You can't ask for more
than all his love.

Tell him I'm leaving
for the cabin tonight.

He can come along
or stay home, either way.

Action!

Cut!

- Very nice, dear. Very nice.
- Thank you, mr chaney.

That was great, lon. Really.
Really, just great.

There's Hazel and creighton.

- Hello, Hazel, creighton.
- Thank you, lon.

Oh, hello, uncle Clarence.

The car's outside, pop,
and the gear's all loaded.

We can go
as soon as you're ready.

Wonderful, son.

I've got one more shot.
I'll hurry them along!

It's always the same.

I wind up apologizing
and doing what he wants.

Creighton!

- I'm sorry, mom.
- What started the ruckus, anyway?

He caught me fooling around
in his make-up box,

copying one of his faces.

He's got a thousand of them,
but you should have heard him.

- What'd you say?
- Huh?

A thousand faces!

Thalberg's been after me
to start a new advertising campaign.

"The man of a thousand faces".
How's that?

Son, if I get a raise,
I'm gonna give you half.

Er... make it a new fishing rod.

What's he stalling for?
He's got six more changes yet.

Well, Irving. What do you think?

I like it.

Lon, we're moving
the starting date back a week.

Oh? And when did you decide
to do that?

Hazel phoned.

Ah-ha... won't upset things
too much, huh?

You see, er... it's the last chance
my boy will have all summer

to get up to the cabin.

I got him a job downtown
with a brokerage firm.

I'm afraid one of these days
your wife's gonna charm me out of my job!

But that's only one reason
I came down, lon.

- What's the other reason?
- Your new contract.

Qil

lon, we've got to sit down
one of these days and thrash it out.

Irving!
Draw it up. I'll sign it.

It isn't that easy.
There are terms, clauses, conditions.

Listen, you know, the fine print.

Can't we just shake hands
and call it a deal?

And how do I explain that
to the legal department?

Have your secretary
make out a memo.

"Mr thalberg and mr chaney
shook hands."

- Phone, mr chaney.
- Thanks.

Probably Hazel.
I better get on that memo.

Hello, honey. Huh?
Almost finished here.

Yeah. I'll be home in about an hour.
Maybe sooner.

Everything packed?
Creighton get home yet?

Any minute now.

Yes.

What, lon? Yes. Yes, dear.
All right, I will. Goodbye.

Cleval

cleval

please come inside.

- Oh, no!
- Yes please.

Do you really want me to?

Lon won't be home
for at least an hour.

He'd be very angry.

I know. Come in, please.

For a long time now
I've known you were coming here.

I've seen you there
at the end of the drive.

Until today I didn't have the courage
to do anything about it.

It's... it's very beautiful.

Thank you.
Can I get you something? Some tea?

- Oh, don't bother.
- Oh, it's no bother at all. Vera, please.

Yes, mrs chaney.

Come on, sit down.

Do you live nearby?

I'm working on a farm in the valley,
as a cook.

On my day off, I...

I always promise myself
I won't come here.

I know it can only mean trouble.

I say I'll go shopping
or to the movies.

And here I am.

I haven't bothered creighton.

It's just that...

I just have to see him
every so often.

I'm sure I'd do
exactly the same thing.

I feel so guilty about him.

I always have, all these years.

I just didn't know
how to handle it, Hazel.

After what happened,

at the time, it...
It just seemed easier to run away.

- It's creighton. Stay and talk to him.
- Oh, I couldn't.

- Oh, please.
- I wouldn't know what to say.

I shouldn't have come in.

I've got to get to the bus station,
the last bus.

Who was that, mom?
Anyone I know?

Someone you did know,
a long time ago.

Hello!

Where is everybody?

Up here, lon.

Coming up!

I thought you'd be ready.

You, too? What is all this?

I'm not going.
Something more important came up.

More important? Like what?

It's just that I can't go
with you, that's all.

Well, I'd still like a reason, son.

Boy, you in some kind of trouble?

No, nothing like that.

Well, if it's that job I got you,
that's easily fixed.

There are other jobs.
Just... just say the word.

Look, let's forget it, huh?

Son, we've been together
a long time.

We've never had
any secrets before.

Haven't we?

What do you mean by that?

I'll tell you what I mean.

I saw her today. My mother.
My real mother!

Why did you lie to me, pop?
Why did you tell me she was dead?

Son, you've got to understand.

I understand.

I understand you lied to me.
I understand that much!

She ran out on you
when you were a baby.

As far as we were concerned,
she was dead!

- I was just trying to protect you.
- Were you, pop?

Son!

Creighton!

Creighton! If you go to her,
don't bother to come back!

I knew it.

I knew she'd take him from me.

I told him who she was, lon.

I couldn't lie to him
any longer.

He had every right to know.
Cleva had every right to see him.

The only harm was in your mind.

He's her son, too.

Well, he's gone to her now.
Are you satisfied?

What were you really
afraid of, lon?

That he'd open up his heart to her
and you'd lose part of him?

You wanted all of his love.

He's had all of yours,
with nothing left over for anyone else.

Well

I'm sorry.

- Is lon still around?
- When isn't he, lately?

It's after midnight again.
He's in his dressing room.

Hey, locan.

Maybe you can do something
with him.

He's had us working
day and night for a month.

Some of us have families
who've forgotten what we look like.

I'll do what I can.

Got a cold?

No, it's... nothing.

Maybe you ought to slow down.

You didn't come here this time of night
to ask about my health.

Well, lon, I thought you'd like to know,
I... I found them.

Cleva and the boy.

Would you like to go see them?
I've got the address.

Tear it up.

Lon, he's just a kid. He's working like
a dog trying to support both of them...

He wanted it that way.

And who told you
to go look for him, anyway?

Who asked you to interfere?

But, lon, I've known the kid
since the day...

From now on, stay away from him.

If he wants to see me,
he knows where I am.

He won't come to you.
You'll have to make the first move.

Me go to him?

Get down on my knees
to my own son?

Beg him?
Is that what you're asking me to do?

That's exactly
what I think you should do.

Well, you can stop
thinking right now!

And you can stop
bothering me, too! Out!

Make it a thousand and one faces, lon.

This is one
I've never seen before.

Mind if I come in a minute?

I know I don't look dressed
for the barricades,

but I've just come
from a revolution.

The premiere of "the jazz singer".

Lon, you should have
seen that audience!

When jolson's voice
came from the screen,

I could hear the bells tolling
for silent pictures.

You haven't heard a word I said.

Oh... I'm sorry, Irving.
What were you saying?

Nothing much.

I was just trying to tell you
about a modern miracle.

Pictures that not only move, lon,
but they speak.

Oh, yes, sure. Talking pictures.

It's the horse and the automobile
all over again. No use trying to fight it.

I'm afraid some of the old favorites are
gonna fall by the wayside, a lot of them.

Well, everything has to come to an end,
and I've had a long run.

Who said anything about you, lon?

You're gonna be bigger than ever!

We're going to remake
"the unholy three".

You're still gonna play
all the different characters,

only this time
with voices to match.

A thousand voices!

Oh, yeah. Sure, Irving.
We'll talk about it sometime.

I'm sorry I had to break in on you, lon,
but I just had to tell you.

That's all right.

Just remember, "the unholy three"
is yours anytime you want it, lon.

- Thanks, Irving.
- Good night, lon.

Good night.

Quiet!

All set.

Ready, lon?

Roll them.

Speed.

Action!

We've got nothing
to worry about.

This is the greatest set-up
since thievery was invented.

We're gonna lift every hunk of jewelry
in this town that's worth taking.

Cut!

Let's just try it once more.

That was the seventh take.
Now, what is it, now?

Sorry, lon.
Your voice sounded a little gravelly.

- The Mike didn't pick it all up.
- Oh, that's great! Great!

We used to think
we could make pictures.

Lights, a camera
and some acting.

Now, everything is sound.
Are you noisy enough?

Sorry, lon.

Oh, I'm sorry, Jack. Sorry.
Just letting off steam.

All right. All right. Open up.

- What? Again?
- Just pretend it's caviar.

- Say "ah".
- Ah.

- Ah.
- Ah.

Ah.

- Ah.
- Ah.

Oh, doc, you must love tonsils,

the way you keep looking at mine
every chance you get.

Well, this picture ends tonight.
And tonight you go to the hospital.

This time there's no point arguing.

Those tonsils are badly inflamed.
Probably have to come out.

But I've had them all my life.
They're old friends.

All right. All right.
Let's wrap this thing up.

I... I need a rest anyway.

- Hi, uncle Clarence.
- Creighton.

Cleva.

What brings you
to this neck of the woods?

Your dad's been in the hospital.
I wondered if you knew.

We read about it in the papers.

Had his tonsils out.
Sort of a second childhood, huh?

It wasn't his tonsils.
It's malignant.

Your dad doesn't know it,
but it's hopeless.

Irving!

Imagine! Tonsils at my age.

This just couldn't wait, lon.
I've got one I think you'll really go for.

A story of the French foreign legion,
"the bugle sounds".

Feels pretty good.

We do it in Africa,
right with the foreign legion.

Well, how about Hazel?
She go with me?

I'll put it in the contract!

Never been anywhere,
have we, honey?

- Gonna be great, isn't it?
- Wonderful.

When do we go?

Well, there's a lot of preparations, lon.

Like getting you well, first.
Drink this.

You heard me!

Look, if I do, will you go away
and let us talk?

- Down the hatch!
- Down the hatch!

Not too long, mr thalberg.

Lon, read it and let me know.
I'll come back and we can talk about it.

You'll have some ideas, I'm sure.
You always do.

Oh, before we get too deep into this,
I'd like to take a run up to the cabin.

I do my best thinking up there.

Well, we'll have to ask dr shiels
about that, lon.

Irving, he's on your payroll.
Don't ask him, tell him.

- Right. See you, lon.
- Right.

Thank you, Vera. That's fine.

Irving, I don't know
how to thank you.

If he's busy thinking
and planning,

he won't have time
to ask too many questions.

We'll keep him that way.

He wants to go up
to the cabin, doctor.

There's no reason
why he shouldn't.

Skillet's all set to go.
All we need is some trout.

Now's the time...

Now's the time
to catch the big ones.

Well! What are you doing here?

Mmm... figured two surprises
were better than one.

Mrs chaney, have I told you lately
that I love you?

Hmm. I don't remember.

Well, I do.

It's true.

How's your mother?

She's fine.

I think you should know.
She was against my leaving you.

Pop, she was working on a farm,
cooking for 30 men.

I-I couldn't leave her there.
I had to take care of her.

Yeah, I know.

I should have been proud of you, but instead,
I kept steaming myself up to stay mad.

You know how I am,
I don't let go easy.

But I'm learning.

Hazel! You've got two starving men
on your hands. When we gonna eat?

I've been ready for hours.
Just waiting for the fish.

Well! Bring them in.

He wants his make-up case.

He sends all of you his love.

And he asked of us all.

Forgiveness.