My Reputation (1946) - full transcript

Tongues begin to wag when a lonely widow becomes romantically involved with a military man. Problems arise when the gossip is filtered down to her own children. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
- Good morning, Mr. Everett.
- Good morning, Anna.

Is Mrs. Drummond ready to see me?

Mr. Everett, I let her sleep late.
I hope you don't mind.

As long as I can get back to Chicago
by 12.

You go in and sit down.
I'll take her breakfast up right now.

Fine, fine, thank you.

Oh, Anna, there's such a lovely piece
in the paper about poor Mr. Drummond.


"The funeral yesterday
of Paul Drummond...

...prominent young business executive,
saddened many...

...especially those who remembered
his brilliant athletic career... Northwestern."
- Where's the bacon?

In the warming oven.

"Of late years,
he was prominently connected...

...with the Indian Hill Hunt Club...

...which is noted for its splendid
athletic records."

Good morning, Anna.

It's about time.
I thought you'd forgot.

- How's the missus?
- She's all right.

Think she'll want anything
special today?

I think she'll want us to go on
just the way we always do.

Good morning, Mrs. Drummond.

Good morning, Anna.

How nice the tray looks.

It's cooked just the way you like it.
You will eat some, won't you?

Thank you, Anna. Put it on the table.

All right, Mrs. Drummond.

I better put some cold water
on my face.

Oh, my eyes feel all gritty.

Mr. Everett's downstairs.

It's after 10. Oh, Anna, you shouldn't
have let me sleep so long.

There's such a lot to do...

But there isn't, is there?

Nothing to do at all.

What shall I tell Mr. Everett?

I'll eat my breakfast downstairs
with him so we won't waste his time.

All right, Mrs. Drummond.

Mrs. Drummond will be right down.

- Where are the boys?
- I kept them out of the house.

You know how noisy kids are.

Hello, Frank. I'm sorry to be late.

Only a few minutes.

Anna, let's not have quite so many
flowers in here.

Makes such a sickly smell.

Yes, Mrs. Drummond.

Oh, please, don't stand, Frank.
It's just that I don't feel like sitting.

- Would you like some coffee?
- No, thank you, Jess.

How neat you are, Frank.

That's what comes
of being a bachelor all your life.

Paul never picked up anything.

That was always one of
my wifely duties...

...hanging up his clothes.

Jess, do you feel equal to going over
these papers?

Of course I do. Please don't baby me.

Is everything all right?

Well, in the main, yes.

Paul left things in as good shape
as he could...

...considering he was ill for so long.

Can the boys still go away to school
as Paul planned?

Paul took care of that
with a trust for their education.

Of course, that money could be used
for other purposes.

No, I wanna do it the way Paul planned.

The only thing I'd hate
would be giving up Anna.

I feel responsible for her.
She's been with me so long.

Well, you can keep Anna,
but I suggest you let Dave and Mary go.

I'll do whatever you say.

Jess, this has nothing to do
with the money end of it.

But don't you think you'll find it
difficult to keep on here?

So many memories.

Memories aren't as painful
as people say.

This came four days ago.

Paul sent it special delivery.

It's for you.

Frank, I...

I wanna read it to you.

You were fond of Paul.

"My darling Jess, it seems strange
to be writing this to you...

...for you will be reading it
when I am no longer with you.

We've shared so much together
all these years...

...that I can't think of you without me.

Bring up the boys to stand alone.

Don't let people dictate
what you shall do or shall not do...

...because it would be impossible
for you to do anything...

...which is not fine and decent and true.

As far as my part of your future
is concerned...

...I read a poem somewhere once
that said:

Better by far you should forget
and smile

Than you should remember
and be sad

Thanks, Jess, for being my wife.

Your loving but unpoetic husband, Paul."


All right, leave it there.
You wanna race?

- Beat you to the door.
- Bet you can't.

Beat you, beat you, beat you.

- Oh, hello, Uncle Frank.
- Good morning, Uncle Frank.

Hello, Kim.

- Keith.
- Hi.

Oh, hello, Mother, we didn't know
you were here.

We thought you'd still be asleep.

Not much chance of that
with you two in the house.

We expected you down
to watch us swim.

I had some business to talk over.

Going to the ball game
this afternoon?

When do I have a chance to go
to a ball game?

- I'd sure like to see it.
- Me too. Cubs are playing the Dodgers.

Now, now, boys, not today.

Gee, I forgot. We're sorry.

Why don't you go if you want to?

Today? Well, Grandmother said...

That you should stay with me?

We like to be with you, Mom.

Thanks. I like to be with you too.

But we have lots of time to be together,
and ball games don't happen every day.

Go on. Tell me all about it afterwards
the way you did with Dad.

You? Why, you don't even know
what team Joe DiMaggio played for.

You see? Say, can we go pretty soon?

You better start right now.
There's not enough gas to drive.

We'd rather go on a train anyway.
Come on, if you're coming.

Okay. You sure you don't mind, Mom?

No, run along. Have fun.

- Come on, Keith.
- Okay, I'm coming.

You've done a fine job with those boys.

It was two-thirds Paul.

Couldn't you please stay for lunch?

I wish I could, Jess, but I have a board
meeting at 12. I must be getting back.

Could you join me
for supper tonight?

I'd be happy to come out here
again if you wish.

Thank you.
This is our regular night at Mother's.

- Promise me you won't worry?
- I'll try not to.

If you have any problems at all,
no matter how trivial they might seem...

...please call me.

I'll call you anyway, Frank.

By the way, what about a cab?

Oh, no, thanks, I think I'll walk.
The exercise will do me good.

It's Mother.

Oh, dear, I'm not dressed.

Well, you look perfectly dressed
to me.

Oh, not to Mother.

Bye, Jess.

- Good morning.
- Good morning, Mrs. Kimball.

- How is my girl?
- She's fine.

There she is. Jessica, come out
and see Mrs. Thompson for a moment.

I see Frank got you up.

I know. Anna let me sleep too long.

Good morning, Mrs. Thompson.

Good morning, my dear.

I hope you don't mind my telling you
what a lovely service it was.

Dr. Burrows spoke beautifully, I thought,
and the church was simply exquisite.

Yes, it was very well-arranged. Stella,
you might recall, it's only yesterday.

Thank you for telling me. Wouldn't
you like to come inside with Mother?

No. Ralph is going to take her
to the Ration Board.

She's having a fearful time.

Her car only gets nine miles
to the gallon.

They're doing everything they can
to break our spirit.

It's pure class prejudice.

Are you leaving now, Frank?
Ralph will take you down to the station.

Ralph, drop Mr. Everett at the station.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Mary, I don't have to go to the Board.

Now, Stella, don't be spineless.
Stick to your rights.

This is still America, I hope.

I'll call you later
about my income tax, Frank.

Come, dear.

My poor child,
you look simply awful.

You'd have done better
to have remained in bed.

Speaking of bed, you shouldn't
wander about in a dressing gown.

- What must Frank think?
- Mother, I am fully clothed.

It's the idea of it.

You're so innocent, you don't understand
others' minds don't run the same.

Frank is a gentleman,
but he's also a man.

- But, Mother...
- I stopped by for more black stockings.

And I got the perfect veil for you.
You'll need several, of course.

- Where are you going?
- We can talk while I'm dressing.

You allow Anna to walk over you.
There's dust on this banister.

Really, Mother, what time
have any of us had to dust banisters?

Hello, Grandma.
We've gotta have some money, Mom.

Go ask Anna for some change.

- Where are you going?
- Ball game.

On this day? I should think
you'd be ashamed, boys.

Mother, please don't.

It's okay, Mom. We're sorry.

Come on, Kim, let's feed the dogs.

Allowing them to go to a ball game.

They like it, they always went
with Paul.

People like to do a great many things
they don't do, Jessica.

I could see they were dying to go.

It isn't a question of their wanting.
It's the way it would've looked.

They're too young to have
their lives changed by their father's death.

They've adjusted themselves very well
so far.

Going to the ball game
was part of that adjustment.

I would call it
wanting in feeling.

You don't know boys,
you only had a girl.

I'm sure I never interfered
with the normal pattern of your life.

Well, this is the only black thing
in here.

It's wool. You'll have to hurry
and decide...

...which of your summer things
you want dyed.

I don't wanna wear black.

Not wear black?

- But you must. Have you forgotten...?
- Don't say that, Mother.

My dear child, you are a widow.

Nobody understand better than I
what that means.

You must learn to accept it.

People don't have to wear it anymore.

Our kind of people wear black.

Please don't insist on it, Mother.

I know you've always worn it.
I suppose you like it...

Like it? Why, how can you say
such a thing?

Have you no respect for the memory
of your father?

It has been 25 years.

I shall wear it until the day I die.

I don't understand you at all...

...knowing how deeply I feel
about a thing like this.

Quarreling with me on this day
of all days.

I see.

I'm sorry, Mother. I can't wear black.

I'll do anything you want,
but not that.

- Giving in to whims.
- All right, call it a whim.

A psychologist would call it a phobia
because that's what it is.

I've learned to loathe it.
The very thought stifles me.

It's right for you, perhaps,
but it isn't for me.

Please, let's not discuss it anymore.

I'm sorry I blew up, Mother.

Won't you stay here for lunch?

I think not.

Getting angry over such a small thing.

Obviously, I'm a disturbing influence.

Naturally, I expect you and the boys
to dinner tonight at the usual time.

Yes, Mother.

Good afternoon.
What can I do for you?

Hello, Al. Have you any weenies
and cold ham?

Weenies at this time of day? Oh, no.

Oh, Kim is so crazy about them.

We're having a farewell picnic.
They leave for school tomorrow.

Will he settle for bologna
and cold ham?

All right, a pound each.

Pound? You'll have enough leftover
for a regiment.

You don't know my boys.

Think the boys'll make the team
at Northwestern like Mr. Drummond?

- Kim will, I think.
- Twenty-four points, a dollar 38.

There you are.

Thanks, Al.

Oh, just a moment.
I'm in this for a living, you know.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry.

Thank you. Tell the kids goodbye
for me.

I will.

- Why, Jess, hello.
- Hello, Riette.

- Yes, dear. How are you?
- Hello, Baby.

What have you been doing with yourself?

I've been giving my extra time
to Nurses Aide.

Have you heard the latest dirt?

I'm in an awful hurry, Baby.
I have to pick up the boys...

Oh, you've got to hear it. You'll die.

Come over here, dear,
and let me tell you.

Phyllis is back from Reno
and she's playing around like mad.

None of us will speak to her
if she keeps it up.

Poor Phyll. She's on the rebound.

Poor Phyll, my eye.
She was a fool to divorce Jack.

She's going to find herself a drug
on the market with those two kids.

Tactful Tillie, we always call her.

I'm in an awful hurry.
I'll see you soon.

Hey, Jess, you come right over here
and let me have a good look at you.

Hello, George.
I just saw Riette in the market.

That's right.
Bring my wife into the conversation.

- You're a sight for sore eyes.
- I'm a sight, all right.

I'm in a hurry.
I have to pick up the boys.

Oh, you've got a second to talk
to an old friend.

The gang misses you, Jess.

- I've missed you all too.
- There's a remedy for that.

Stop by for a drink.
It'll be like old times.

- I can't tonight.
- You haven't changed.

I look a thousand years old,
but you're sweet to say so.

You always look good to me, baby.

Come on, George, let me go.
I really have to run.

All right, but you call us real soon
or we'll call you.

All right, George.

Guess what we're having for our picnic.
Bologna and cold ham.

Oh, boy, I could eat a bear.

- Angel cake too?
- With frosting.

I fixed you some baked summer squash
with cheese on it.


The point of having a Victory Garden
is to eat what grows in it.

I wish it had been the squash that died
instead of the peas.

Look, there's somebody
in the driveway.

Hey, look.

Hi, everybody.

Hello, Mrs. Drummond.
We've been waiting here for ages.

We wanted Kim and Keith to come
to the club for a party.

Hello, Kim. Hello, Keith.
I've got a houseguest with me.

She's cute.
You'll be nuts about her, Keith.

She's a little older than I am,
but she'll be just exactly right for you.

I know you don't mind
having Bill Hawks, Kim.

We're using the Hawks' membership.
Dad said...

...I've been running up such awful bills
for ginger ale.

Gee, it sound terrific, Gretchen, but
we're having a party here with Mother.

Oh, nonsense. Run along if you want to.

- What's her name?
- Penny Boardman.

She's absolutely darling and she's gonna
stay a whole month. Oh, please come.

Well, maybe we can ditch Droopy
after supper.

- Is it okay, Mom?
- Go ahead, have fun.

Gosh, that's marvelous.
I mean, it's just super.

Thanks, Mrs. Drummond. Come on, Kim.

Sure it's all right, Mom?

Of course. I'll go to a movie.


- Bye.
- Bye.

- Bye, Mom.
- Bye-bye.

- Goodbye, Kim. Don't forget to write.
- Fat chance of me forgetting.

- You'll be home for Christmas?
- Oh, sure.

Bye, Penny.

So long.


- Wasn't it swell?
- You bet.

Oh, Mom, we thought you'd gone
to the show.

No, I was too tired.

- Did you have fun?
- I'll say.

Boy, we sure pulled a fast one
on Droopy.

Yeah, but he's gonna be here
and you're not.

I bet you wish you weren't going away.

Droopy? Gretchen thinks he's a pill.

Oh, yeah?

You're not sorry to be leaving them,
are you?

Who's sorry?

Because it's still not too late
to cancel your tuition.

Gee, I'm glad we're going
to Dad's old school.

What's the matter, Mom?

Nothing. Go on, go to bed.

- You have to be up bright and early.
- Okay, Mom, bright and early.

Good night.

- Good night, Mom.
- Good night.

Say, Mom, did you say
there are winter sports?

- Oh, yes, it's in Massachusetts.
- Boy, I can hardly wait to get there.

How much you wanna bet
I make the hockey team?

Now, don't forget, boys,
Dad got good grades too.

He wasn't just interested in athletics.

- I haven't forgotten.
- Don't worry. He won't be ashamed of us.

- Here's your car, gentlemen.
- We'd better get on.

Oh, no, don't go yet, there's still time.
Remember your promise?

- About writing? Sure.
- How about you?

Oh, of course, Mom, I'll write,
but, gee, a fella has a lot to do.

All aboard!

Bye, Mom. Come on, Keith.

All right. Give me a chance, will you?

Goodbye, Mom.



Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Wait, wait!

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

For the two little boys.

Okay, lady.

Well, there they go.
The birds have left the nest.

Oh, Mother,
please don't start sentimentalizing.

Can't a person say anything
to you these days?

Will you have tea with me?
I want to talk to you.

- I'm meeting Ginna at the Blackmore.
- This is most unpleasant.

Having to catch my daughter
on the run on a station platform...

...of all places, when I have
something important to say.

- What is it?
- Now, you needn't sigh.

It's a thought for your future.

Frank had dinner with me last night.

He's such a sweet fellow,
such a genuine, splendid character.

What are you getting at, Mother?

Before I go south, since you refuse
to go with me...

...I want to know
that my child's future's assured.

And I think that next to Paul,
Frank is by far the best man for you.

Oh, really, how can you bring up
such a subject at this time?

I have a feeling that Frank
would like nothing better.

What I think apparently
makes no difference.

May I remind you that at your age,
you can't afford to be particular.

I don't wanna discuss it now. I mean it.

We'll continue in the taxi.
I'll drop you at the Blackmore.

I'd rather walk. It's a lovely fall day.

Honestly, there are times
I could shake you.

- Of all the stubborn...
- All right, Mother, I'll ride with you.

Jess. Jess.


I just wanna get my bearings
a second.

You look tired, Jess.

- I needed that. Two more, please.
- Yes, ma'am.

Well, did the boys get off
all in one piece?

Yes, they've gone.

Ginna, isn't it awful the way things happen
between parents and children?

You bring them to the world,
they're yours.

They depend on you for everything.

But so soon, it changes.

They start to pull away
and you have to sit tight and let them.

If you don't,
it ends up like Mother and me.

You were certainly a model child.

I've been rotten to her lately.

I could kill myself for snapping at her.

I know how Ionely she is, but...

She's got to accept it, just as
you've had to accept the boys leaving.

I'm accepting it.

But I'm not liking it.
I can tell you that.


I haven't seen her since she got back
from Reno.

I'm afraid Phyllis is taking her freedom
a little too seriously.

Baby told me about her.

Oh, Ginna, women on the loose
can be such a mess.

I know.

How do I know I won't be like that
in a year or so?

Ever since I was 17,
Paul's been my entire life.

Before that, it was Mother.
Recently, it's been the boys.

Now what do I do when I have to
start out from scratch?

I'm scared, Ginna.

Scared to death.

Well, look who's here.

- Hello, George.
- Oh, hello.

I saw you two jabbering away.
You need a man to liven up the party.

We were discussing serious problems.

I'll see that you get over that.

- Going back to Lake, Jess?
- Yes.

I had to drive in town today.
I'll give you a free ride out.

You know what Riette says
about your driving.

I promise you on my word of honor
I won't go over 30 miles an hour.

If you can't take the word of honor
of an old friend, what's the world come to?

Why don't you, Jess? Anything's better
than the train, even George.

- You see, you're safe, no bones broken.
- Thank you, George.

Oh, you don't wanna go in yet.
Have a cigarette.

- Going to be in later on?
- Yes, I suppose so.

Riette's laid up
with one of her headaches.

I'll have to be home at dinner,
but I can say I have to go somewhere...

...on business later on.

- Well, George...
- I've always been crazy about you.

Don't be silly, George,
you must be tight.

Come on, grow up,
you're a big girl now.

Let me go, I mean it.

I promise you,
nobody needs to know anything.

They wouldn't suspect you anyway.

Let me go, George.

No hard feelings, Jess.

Lincoln, 24571.

Lake Forest, 31966.

Hello, Ginna?

Ginna, can I come in and see you?

I've got to. I can't stand it here alone.

Thanks, Ginna.

Come in, Jess.

I hope you didn't mind my phoning.

Of course not. Cary was asleep,
I was reading.

I have the kettle boiling for some tea.
You want some?

I don't know what's the matter with me.
I seem to be going to pieces.

Oh, what am I gonna do, Ginna?
What am I going to do?

I've tried, you know I have.
I've done everything.

I worked every day at the hospital.

But when the day is over
and I go up to that empty room...

...the house is closing down on me.

Everything's closing down on me.

Mother and having the boys gone.

Oh, what's the matter with me, Gin?
I can't seem to stop this crying.

Drink this, Jess.

I'm sorry, Gin,
it's awful to come here like this.

I'm so sorry.

Stop saying that.

If you don't get out of that house
and away from your mother... will end up in the sanitarium.

Oh, Gin, I've never been that ill
in my life.

It isn't only the body
that breaks down, Jess.

The mind can go too, you know.

It just makes me sick the way you've
let everyone manage you all your life.

You've got to start being yourself
for a change.

Circumstances have altered
your whole life.

You're no longer Mrs. Paul Drummond,
you're Jessica Drummond.

But your life's not finished.

It's happened to thousands
and thousands of women...

...all through the ages.

And now it's happened to you.

Listen, Jess, Cary and I are going
to Los Angeles on business...

...and you're going with us.
After the business part is over...

...we have the loan of a cabin
at Lake Tahoe.

There'll be snow by then.
It'll do us all good.

If I go anywhere,
I should go south with Mother.

All right, go south with your mother.

I, for one, am not gonna make
any decisions for you.

Nobody's asking you
to make decisions for me.

I'm the one who has to face Mother
with it, you don't.

Well, I'm glad to see you can stick up
for yourself.

I've been a beast to you, Ducky,
but I'm crazy about you.

Please go with us.
We could have such fun.

- All right, I'll go.
- Good.

Now let's put you to bed
before you change your mind.


Hey, you.

Hey, come here.



- Well?
- I...

Anyone who can do that to a ski
hasn't any business...

...wandering alone in the woods.

I know, sorry to bother you.
It's stupid of me.

But I've been going around in circles
for a long time, I just don't know...

Just one thing at a time, please.

I'm staying in the Grant cabin and
I know it's somewhere around here...

...but I can't seem to get my bearings.
- Not so fast, please.

Now, to begin with, you say
you're staying at the Grant cabin.

- Yes.
- All right.

Now, take a look
down through those trees.

No, further over to the right. Way over.

Now, I can see that you're a tenderfoot
all right, I can see the cabin.

Oh, I do see it now.

Well, good. Lesson number one.

Now, lesson number two
is how to get there.

Oh, I can get there now... Sorry.
Now that I have my directions.

I'm sorry to have spoiled
that wonderful hill for you.

Now, just a moment. It's a good mile.

In half an hour,
it'll be too dark to see.

You'll end up wandering in circles again.

I'm perfectly able to go straight down
through those trees.

Really? Well, you appointed me
your guardian.

And I intend to stay so
until I see you safely inside that cabin.

Now, the first thing is to get rid
of those skis. Hurry up.


Now, you can ride on the back of mine.

I can't, I'm learning.
I'll upset your balance.

Don't be frightened, I'm not exactly
an amateur. Come on, hurry up.

Get on.

Now, hold on.

No, no, I said hold on.
This way. That's right.

Now, just relax and let me
do the thinking for a few minutes.

Lesson number three.

When it's a question of breaking a leg
or losing a hat, just forget the hat.

Now look at that.

Now I know it's going to be dark
before we get to that cabin.

Cary. Cary, I think I see someone.

Ginna! Hiya, Ginna!

Jess, oh, Jess!

Oh, Cary, thank heaven she's here.

- No need for you to get pneumonia.
- I'll be all right.

I knew she'd turn up.

Oh, honestly, Cary,
sometimes I could brain you.

- Darling, I've been frantic.
- We had a slight accident.

I was gonna send Cary to find you
no matter what happened to him.

Oh, by the way, this is...

Oh, I'm sorry.

- I don't even know your name.
- Major Landis, Scott Landis.

- Cary Abbott. This is my Frau.
- Glad to know you.

- Hello.
- How do you do?

Come on, sit down, let's all have
a hot rum. You look frozen.

Thanks, I will.

- Stationed around here somewhere?
- No, I had a 10 days' leave.

I headed for the mountains
to catch up with my skiing.

- You'd spent the last 10 years...
- I didn't say the last 10.

They got me sitting
behind a desk. I'm not used to it.

My tongue's hanging out.

My winter sports are intimately tied up
with hot rum. Excuse me.

Now, just for the record,
what's your name?

Jessica Dru...

Drummond, but they usually
call me Jess.

I like Jessica better.

Jess reminds me
of a particularly stubborn mule...

...I once had trouble with in Texas.

You seem to have been around.

Oh, yes, we mule skinners get around
quite a bit.

Allow me, it's...

Thank you.

And now shall we start all over again,
Miss Drummond?

Mrs. Drummond.

- Is your husband here with you?
- My husband passed away this spring.

I'm sorry.

Well, here they are.
I hope they're good.

Well, thanks.

- Major.
- Thank you.

To Jess' safe return.

And to the St. Bernard who found her.

Wake up, lazy bones,
you're a punk hostess.

- I was only resting my eyes.
- Never will admit she's been asleep.

- Come on, let's go to bed, huh?
- All right.

Don't get up.

- Good night.
- Good night.

You're not gonna try to get back
to your cabin tonight, are you?

If you don't mind, I'd like
to bunk here on the couch.

Swell. Jess, see that
he has plenty of blankets.

- See you in the morning. Good night.
- Good night.

- Well...
- You're not sleepy, are you?

I ought to be, I haven't had
so much exercise in weeks.

Did you good.

I hate to think of leaving here
in four days.

No, I shouldn't say that.

Why not?

I have responsibilities.
I have two boys, 12 and 14.

Well, I suppose that's my cue to say... look too young to have boys
12 and 14.

You have an odd way of catching people
on everything.

You expect stock phrases?

- No. No, I don't at all.
- Oh, confess it.

You've been hermetically sealed
most of your life, haven't you?

Well, I suppose I have in a way.

Do you like it?

No, not entirely, but...

- When you're used to a thing...
- It's time to change.

You are very self-sufficient,
aren't you?

Well, I never even gave it a thought.

You see, I've never had much chance
to express me.

Even when I went to Europe,
I went with Mother and...

I know.

You stayed at all correct hotels
and spoke French religiously...

...while you were in Paris.

Oh, yes. I've seen hundreds of people
like you all over the world.

Guide book in hand, walking ruthlessly
from cathedral to cathedral.

Yes, I'm afraid you're right.

You know, I like you very much.

Now I suppose you're going
to rush off to bed.

Yes, I will.

Good night, Jessica.

Good night, Major Landis.

In case you're cold, Major Landis.

Well, we're all packed.

I hope Jess finishes hers in time.

It must be 30 below zero.

Wasn't it wonderful
that Scott happened along... give Jess such a good time?

He's very attractive.

I think he really likes her.

Jess really is the wife type.
She needs someone.


Do you suppose
he's the right man for her?

Talk to me.

What are you mumbling about?

I was thinking about Scott and Jess.

Oh, now, listen, my pet,
stop thinking about them.

For once, keep your fingers
out of the pie.

You're a hard-boiled mug.

And you are a matchmaking nuisance.

Good night, my pet.

Good night.

Oh, they turned out their light.

Oh, this nice warm room makes me
realize how cold it is outside.

- Me for the fire.
- And me for that bottle of bourbon.

Wasn't it a wonderful day?
I've never seen a ghost mining town.

That view of Donner Lake
through the trees.

No, my favorite was Donner monument
by the moonlight.

Why do people live in the city?
I could stay here forever.

- Oh, yeah, I forgot all about them.
- Here.

Just enough for a nightcap. Cheerio.

You know, you've made a new woman
out of me. I feel like a kid.

You look like one.

Why did you do that?

We were getting along so well together.

Because I thought it was a very fitting
ending to a swell four days.

I meant what I said.

I don't think you did.

How many times do you have to be told?

Just exactly what is your game?

Does everyone have to have a game?

Well, I don't know what it's all about.
You admit that we get along well...

...and we've spent most
of our days together.

You're grown up, or aren't you?

I'm afraid we don't understand
each other.

I guess we haven't from the beginning.

You better go.

All right.

Goodbye, Jessica.
Be sure and lock your door.

Oh, Mrs. Drummond, I surely thought
you'd eat something tonight.

Anna, bring in a plate and eat with me.

Why, Mrs. Drummond,
what's the matter?

Please, I want you to.

All right, if you want me to.

I'll answer it, Anna.

Why, Frank, how nice to see you.

I was out this way, I took a chance.

Thank you,
you're just in time for dinner.

- You needn't bother with me.
- Oh, nonsense, take off your coat.

I'll put these in water after we eat.
They're lovely.

- You're lovely too.
- Anna, Anna, look who's here.

Sit down.

Good evening, Mr. Everett.

I certainly am glad you came.

Thank you, Anna.

It certainly is nice having you make
a fuss over me like this.

Well, I'm terribly glad to see you.

You have a way of making people
feel at home.

You really look better, Jess.

I'm glad now you went away
on your trip.

Didn't you want me to go?

I suppose I wanted you to stay here
so I could look after you myself.

That's sweet of you, Frank.

You've no idea how nice this is,
sitting here with you.

It's nice to have you here.

It's no secret how I feel about you.

You and I know the same people,
we like the same things.

I think the boys like me.

Excuse me. I'll go.


Hello, Ginna.

Cary and I are at the Georgian Room.
Guess who's here?

Scott Landis.
He's with some other people.

Not really?

Frank's here.

I'd love to.



That was Ginna. She and Cary
are in the Georgian Room.

How are they?
Haven't seen them for some time.

They're fine.

They suggested we join them.

Well, would you like to?

- Lf you'd like to. It might be fun.
- All right.

You finish your dinner.
I'll hurry and change my dress.

Well, you look fine.

Oh, this old thing?
Oh, no, I wanna look glamorous.

Listen, Jess,
if you'd rather not dance...

I'm sorry, I guess
I'm just a little out of practice.

Let's sit down.

- Any success?
- No, not yet.

- Don't give up hope.
- What are you two up to?

Private monkey business, no doubt.

She has something on the fire,
but it isn't definite.

Oh, don't pay any attention to her.

Well, what would you like to drink
with dinner?

I said, what would you like to drink?

Anything you want to order.

- Hello.
- Oh, hello.

- Hello, major.
- Hello.

This is like old home week.
Nice to be back.

Major Landis, I'd like you
to meet Frank Everett.

- How do you do?
- Won't you join us?

No, thanks. Won't you sit down?

I'm entertaining an old girlfriend
and her new husband.

Sounds a little complicated.

On the contrary, I get along well
with the husbands of my old girlfriends.

And by the way, if we hadn't parted
so hurriedly at Tahoe...

...I could have explained to you
I was gonna be stationed here.

I'll give you a ring. What about
giving me your telephone number?

It's in the book.

Well, thanks, nice to have seen
you again.

- Goodbye.
- Bye.

Well, here's...


No, really, I subscribe
to so many magazines already.

No, thank you, I'd have no use
for another cookbook.


That was somebody trying
to sell something.

Why don't you let me go on with this
and you go to the Hawks' for bridge?

Oh, Anna, it's no fun going around
with the old crowd anymore.

They're all very much married
and I feel dreadfully out of it.

Well, you ought to go out more.

All work and no play
makes Jack a dull...

You go this time.
It's never anything important.


Yes. Yes.

This time it's a Major Landis.

Yes, he's the man I met at Lake Tahoe.


Well, I never thought
you'd take the trouble to look for it.

How are you, Scott?

I'm working for the Red Cross.
What are you doing?

Well, don't work too hard.

Yes, I...

I can meet you tomorrow night.

At the Lakeside? Six.

I'll be there. Goodbye, Scott.

Well, what did he want?

I'm having dinner with him
tomorrow night.

- Are you going someplace fancy?
- I'm meeting him at his apartment.

Oh, and of course,
we'll go directly out somewhere.

Now what are you grinning about?

I'm just thinking
what Mrs. Kimball would say.

Is Major Landis in?
Mrs. Drummond calling.

- What's the name?
- Mrs. Drum... Mrs. Drummond.

Oh, yes, he's expecting you.
Room 503.

Thank you.

Five, please.

Jessica, what a surprise.
How are you, my dear?

Good evening, Mrs. Thompson.
I haven't seen you for months.

My, but you look well.

What have you been doing
with yourself?

- Oh, I went away for a while.
- Has mother returned yet?

Oh, yes. I mean, no, she's still south.
But I expect her back any day.

- Hello, Jessica.
- Hello.

I just stopped to say hello
to Mrs. Thompson.

Well, it's lovely to see you again.

Going down?

What a nice place you've...

It isn't mine.

It belongs to a friend who's loaning
it to me while I'm stationed here.

- Who was that dragon?
- A friend of Mother's.

Now I can understand
that startled-fawn look.

Quite a coincidence my seeing you
the other night.

- Did you have a nice time?
- Very.

I rather liked that Frank Everett.
He seems like a nice guy.

- He's not only a nice guy, but...
- But a gent.

I can't imagine you having
anything in common with him.

I don't mean that
the way you took it. I mean...

You know, you're what my old mother
would have called a caution.

How is that?

You know, if you hadn't been poured
into that icy mold of conventionality...'d be a good egg.

You're gonna hatch one of these days.

Anybody ever tell you
you had a nice grin?

Let's sit on the couch.
It's by far the coziest place.

Sit down. It's not a booby trap.

I thought perhaps it was.


Tell me, what did you do today?

The usual thing.

- How could it possibly interest you?
- Oh, but it does, very much.

Well, I went to the Red Cross
and rolled bandages.

And then I did my shopping
and then I had lunch with some friends.

Lunch? What did you have for lunch?

Consomm? and chef's salad,
that's all.

That's all?

- Well, black coffee.
- No dessert?

No, I never eat dessert.

I notice you haven't finished
your martini either.

Well, I would if you'd let me go.

Oh, well, that's very easy to remedy.
One, two, three, and drink.

Landis, make a note of this.

You mustn't waste your good
prewar gin on Mrs. Drummond.

Now, let's see.
What were we talking about? Oh, yes.

You were having lunch
with some friends.

I guess I've said all there is to say
about that.

Why don't you sit back and relax?

You're not a very relaxing person.

- Are these a family heirloom?
- No. I mean, yes.

They belong to my mother.

They do? Your mother. Well, well.

She's south.

She goes every year.
I usually go with her, but...

I'm looking forward to meet
your mother.

Why, I'm not sure you'd like Mother.

- Old school.
- Well, I couldn't have imagined that.

It's a cute hat.

I like the way you do your hair too.

Warm in here, isn't it?

Is it?

Well, with all this talk
of chef's salad and consomm?...

...I'm beginning to get a bit hungry.

- Would you like your dinner now?
- Oh, yes, I'd love it.

All right.

Any special place you'd like to eat?

- No. Any place. Any place at all.
- Any place but here.

I'm amazed at you. Have you gone
completely out of your mind?

Please don't use that tone with me,

- I'm no longer a child.
- You force me to treat you like one.

You refused rudely to go on a trip
with me.

Then you rashly drew
on your bank account... go on some sort of a junket
with Ginna Abbott.

And with what a result.
The whole town is talking.

A few gossipy old women
led by Mrs. Thompson...

...who ought to know better.
- She did it for your own good.

The idea of going
to a strange man's apartment.

Not even someone we know.

And from what I gather, a man
with a somewhat unsavory reputation.

Major Landis is a gentleman.

Frank met and liked him,
so did Ginna and Cary.

Ginna and Cary would.
Birds of a feather.

This is too ridiculous.

I'm 33 years old and I've done
nothing to be ashamed of.

- Naturally. You're a Kimball.
- What are you so upset about?

It's the principle of the thing.

You're a woman alone.
You have to be twice as circumspect.

The world allows considerable liberty
to wives it has never allowed to widows.

I notice, for instance,
you're no longer wearing black.

- Nor do I intend to wear it again.
- That's entirely your affair.

If you won't think of yourself,
at least remember your duty to Paul.

Keep his name out of this.
I've had enough.

I'm sick to think
I've taken it as long as I have.

- Jessica.
- You talk about duty.

It's your duty to tell them to shut up
instead of listening to gossip.

You talk about wanting to help me...

...but what you want is to drag me
into your ivory tower.

I won't allow you to, ever.

Jessica, come back here.
Where are you going?

To give those old biddies
something to gossip about.

- Is Major Landis in?
- Just a moment.

- He's in, but he's very busy.
- I'll go up anyway.

But, madam, he doesn't wish
to be disturbed.

- Five, please.
- Yes, ma'am.

- Hello, Scott.
- Well, hello.

I'm out of breath.

- I hope I didn't disturb you.
- No, not at all.

I happened to be going by the hotel
so I thought I'd stop in.

- What's this?
- Martini, of course.

- Expecting somebody?
- No, took a little time out to have one.

- Do you mind?
- Help yourself.

You know, it's amazing
how one can learn to like martinis.

It's an acquired taste, like anchovies.

Well, here we are, aren't we?

Yeah. What's next on the program?

I don't know. I suppose it's your move.

All right.

As long as I'm supposed to be
a partner in the crime...

...supposing you tell me
what it's all about?

Or don't you want to tell me?

Not particularly.

I suppose you know anyway.
You know almost everything.

The chicken's beginning to hatch,
maybe, huh?

Well, good.

I know I'm acting like a fool.

I hope you'll forgive me, Scott.

You're going home. Right now.

Yes, Scott.

As a matter of fact,
the reason I stopped by...

...was to ask you to drop in
Christmas Eve.

Oh, sure, sure.

Well, honestly, I mean it.
I want you to meet my kids.

- I'd like to.
- You will come?

- Yes, but I'll be a little bit late.
- That's all right.

We don't start trimming the tree
until after dinner.

Well, that's fine.
I'll be there, reindeer and all.

- Goodbye, Scott.
- Goodbye. No.

Oh, yes.

Oh, stop grinning.

Going down.

Well, I see I'm in the right place.
I'm Major Landis.

- Glad to know you. Come in.
- May we take your hat and coat?

- Thanks.
- Mom, it's Major Landis.

You just missed a swell dinner.
Roast goose.

Maybe I can get a drumstick later,

With Uncle Cary around, fat chance.

Hello, Scott. Merry Christmas.

I'm sorry I'm late,
but they ran in a meeting on me.

At last I see the gem
in its proper setting.

Do you like it? I guess the boys
introduced themselves.

I'm Kim and he's Keith.

Hello again. Oh, I almost forgot.
I've got something for you.

Why, Scott. Presents?
You're slipping.

Isn't that what people do at Christmas?
Give presents?

And it's straight from the five-and-dime.

- Merry Christmas, major.
- Merry Christmas to you.

Glad to see you again.
You missed the first round.

- Thank you.
- This is Anna.

- How do you do?
- Very happy to meet you, I'm sure.

I always say there's no fool
like an old fool.

Well, I must get back to my kitchen.

Oh, Anna, let me help you.
All those pots and pans.

Nobody's gonna be messing around
in my kitchen.

- Not while I'm in it.
- Anna's a little high.

She even forgot her presents.

Hurry, drink her down
so you can catch up.

This tastes better than
the hot buttered rum at Lake Tahoe.

How about another one
for your long-suffering wife?

You know what happened to Anna.

Let's turn off this canned music and
get some of the real stuff from Jess.

Oh, no. I haven't touched
the piano for a year.

Go ahead, Mom.
Play "Silent Night, Holy Night."

That was Dad's favorite.

All right, Keith.
But I'm not sure I can get through it.

Come on, Jess, please.
It'll sound good to me.

- I hope so.
- This is like old times.

We're gonna all sing, aren't we?

I hope my pet carries a tune
better than last year.

Well, you asked for it. Here it is.

- Hello, Grandma.
- Hello, Grandma. Merry Christmas.

- Hello, nice boys. Merry Christmas.
- Why don't you come inside?

No, I've no intention of going in there.
I can't stay.

- Here are some presents for you.
- Thanks a lot. Swell.

You can exchange them.

I see so little of you
I don't know what you like.

We'll like them.
Why don't you come inside?

- We're having fun.
- No, I can't stay.

- Major Landis is in there.
- Major Landis?

- Not really.
- What do you mean, Grandma?

- Never mind what I mean.
- Are you coming in after all?

Well, since it's Christmas Eve,
perhaps I really should go in.

Okay. Come on.

- Look what Santa Claus brought.
- Mother, Merry Christmas.

- Hello, Mrs. Kimball.
- Merry Christmas.

I just drove by to deliver my presents.
Don't let me disturb your fun.

Merry Christmas, Virginia,
and you, Frank.

Merry Christmas.

- And you, Cary.
- Merry Christmas.

Mother, this is Major Landis.
Scott, my mother, Mrs. Kimball.

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

- I've heard about you.
- Isn't it time for the presents?

- I'll say it is.
- Remember, kids, just one apiece.

Now, Jessica,
I want to talk to Major Landis.

Yes, Mother.

I understand you met
my girl in California.

- Just where are you stationed?
- Chicago. Temporarily, of course.

Isn't that rather a coincidence?
First in California and now in Chicago.

Entirely a coincidence, I assure you.

In fact, I might be out of the country
next week. Who knows?

- Are you a friend of the Abbotts?
- Oh, no, no.

Your daughter introduced me to them.

And where, may I ask,
did you meet her, then?

I can't divulge that information.

- Why? What do you mean?
- Secret business.

- Are you joking with me?
- Oh, no, no.

Your daughter can tell you
if she wishes.


Just what did you go to California for?
Are you keeping something from me?

Let's not start that.
Not on Christmas Eve.

- Come, I have a gift for you.
- It's my fault.

- Can't we all start all over again?
- No, we cannot.

I can see that you're a thorough-going
scalawag, young man.

- I'm delighted to hear you say so, madam.
- Mother...

- And kindly stop calling me madam.
- Mother, please.

Now, Jessica, I know what I'm doing,
if you don't.

- Young man...
- Please, not young man.

I think you're in league with the devil.
Good night. Good night.

- Mother...
- Don't leave your guests, Jessica.

There went the spirit of Christmas.

Well, shall we try
and go on with the party?


Good night, Jess.

Goodbye and thanks
for the lovely present.

- I wish you'd let me call a cab.
- Nothing doing.

After that dinner, a walk
to the station will do us good.

In these shoes?
You may not know it, my darling...

...but after the first block,
you're carrying me.

- We'll see you later. So long.
- Goodbye.

- Hi, Mom.
- Good night, Mom.

Good night.

- Good night, boys. Sleep well.
- On Christmas Eve?

Don't dare you wake me up until 7.

The rest of the presents
can wait that long.

- Okay, Mom.
- It's nice to be home again, Mom.

It's nice to have you home.
Merry Christmas.

- Merry Christmas, Mom. Good night.
- Merry Christmas.

- Merry Christmas, Major Landis.
- Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, boys.

Well, Scott,
now you've seen me as I really am.

Home, children, Mother.

Of course, Mother was more
than I bargained for.

On the contrary.

I thought she was a wonderful
museum piece.

- Did you like my kids?
- Of course I like them.

They're yours, aren't they?

It was nice to have you here tonight.

You didn't invite me here on purpose
by any chance, did you?

Well, now that you mention it,
perhaps I did.

Jessica, I've got to talk to you.

Sit down, please.

Jessica, we simply cannot
go on like this.

You want to stop seeing me?

Of course I don't want to stop
seeing you.

But I know myself
and I'm beginning to understand you.

It'll only make you unhappy.
It's inevitable.

Go ahead, Scott.

Well, seeing you here tonight
in this house...

...that you once shared
with your husband...

Don't talk about that now, please.

Don't you see,
I've got to talk about it?

You expect a love affair
to lead to marriage and...

Scott, are you trying to tell me
you're not the marrying kind?

Well, I've never felt
that it was right for me.

Dutch courage.


Frank Everett's the type of man
for you.

- I don't love Frank.
- But there are others.

As long as I'm hanging around,
you won't find them.

Suppose you let me think for myself.

But don't you see?
There's no future in this for you.

I'll cross my bridges
when I come to them.

Well, women are funny.

- I guess I'd better be going.
- Don't take it so big, Scott.

I know what I'm doing.

I wonder.

You're not the only one
who can give Christmas presents.

Thank you, Jessica.

Shall I open it now?

I thought it would be nicer
if I gave it to you when we were alone.


It's kind of silly.

Apparently, we had the same idea.

Wait till you see yours.

- When am I going to see you?
- I'll call you tomorrow.

Good night, Jessica.

Good night.


Hello, Jessica.

Yes, I know.
I got in about a half an hour ago.

Sure, our date is still on.

A Landis would never renege
on a thing like that.

Do I sound funny?

What a woman.
You worry about the darnedest things.

You get dressed
and make yourself beautiful.

Yeah, I'll be there
as quickly as possible.

By the way, how are the boys?

They've gone to a party?

All right, kids, go out in the hall
and have some sandwiches...

...and cider if you want it.

I'm as hungry as a bear.

Isn't this a fun party?
I love to come to Gretchen's.

This is my first New Year's Eve party
with all the trimmings.

- This apple cider's good.
- Try one of these. They're super.

Let's sit over here.
I wanna talk to you.

All right, Keith.

Say, Penny, are you my girl?

Well, I kind of thought so.

You see, I have to go back to school
in a few days...

...and I wanna get things
sort of settled.

I mean, whether
you're gonna write to me regularly.

You know, a guy likes to know
where he stands.

You know I'll write.

Kim. Kim Drummond,
you come back here, Kim.

I don't see why you can't tell me
what happened.

I had to ask Droopy to the party.

After all, his mother and father
are here.

- Let's go home.
- What's the idea?

Keith, make him stay.

He's mad because we asked Droopy
to sit down with us.

That's not it at all.

It's because what people say
about your mother.

They've been saying that
all during the holidays.

Wait a minute.
Kim, what were they saying?

L... I'll tell you on the way home.

Your mother always came here
for New Year's.

All of a sudden, she doesn't.
No wonder people are talking.

If that's the way you feel about it,
I'm glad we're going home.

Don't come back here ever.

I never wanna speak to you again
as long as I live.

Come in.

Boys, you're home so early.

Keith, dear, come and hook me up.
I'm in a dreadful hurry.

Are you going to the Van Ormans'
after all?

No, I'm going to Chicago.

Well, everybody expected you
at the Van Ormans'.

Who's everybody?

Well, everybody at the party.
Your friends.

Oh, no. I told Mrs. Van Orman
a week ago I wasn't able to come.

But I'm terribly flattered.
I didn't know I was so popular.

Mom, did you go to the fights
with Major Landis?


Boys, if you have anything
on your mind, I wish you'd tell me.

You never went to the fights
with Dad.

Dad never asked me.

Well, you came home on the train
from Chicago at 4:00 in the morning.

They made a lot of jokes about that
at the party.

And all that stuff about Lake Tahoe.

And you running after Major Landis.

Have they been telling you
these things?

Not us, but everybody else.
I didn't believe it.

Mom, none of it's true, is it?

Not their interpretation of it.

We kind of hoped you'd say
that they were all liars.

Listen to me, boys.

There are two sides to everything,
even gossip.

I've done nothing whatever
you need be ashamed of.

I don't wanna discuss it anymore.

One of you answer the door.
Anna's out.

I'll get it.

Mom, you ought to see it
from our side.

I don't wanna discuss it, Keith.

- Good evening.
- Good evening.

- May I come in a minute?
- Sure.

- Is your mother ready?
- I'll tell her you're here.

Coming, Scott.

- Hello, Scott.
- Hello, Jessica.

- Anything wrong?
- No, nothing.

I'm sorry about this, boys.

There's nothing more I can say now.

- Good night.
- Good night, boys.

Scott, do you mind stopping by
the Van Ormans' with me...

...for a few minutes?
- Lf it won't take too long.

They won't hold that reservation
after 11:30 in Chicago.

It won't take long.
201 Lakeshore Drive.

Yes, ma'am.

- Happy New Year, Johnson.
- The same to you, Mrs. Drummond.

- May I take your coat?
- No, thanks. We can't stay.

Good evening, children,
Happy New Year.

Mrs. Drummond,
I'm so glad you came.

Thank you.

- Hello, everybody.
- Hello, Jessica.

Darling, so you did decide
to come to the party after all.

How sweet of you.

I want you to meet Major Landis
of whom you've heard so much.

- Hi, major.
- Mrs. Van Orman, our hostess.

How do you do?

So nice to see you at last,
Major Landis.

Mr. And Mrs. Hawks,
Mr. And Mrs. Hanson.

Mr. And Mrs. Moore.
All very old friends of mine.

I'm surprised you could remember
all our names.

Hello, Jess.
Come on over and have a drink.

We're way ahead of you,
but come and have a drink.

Scott, this is Mr. Van Orman.

- How do you do?
- How are you?

What will you have to drink?
You soldiers can hold your liquor.

I started with bourbon.
Might as well stay with it.

- What will you have, Jess?
- Nothing. We can't stay long.

The boys told me you missed me
so here I am.

Well, of course we miss you.

New Year's just doesn't seem to be
New Year's without the Drummonds.

George, will you see
that Major Landis is kept amused...

...while I speak to Riette?
- Well, can't it be said here?

No, I'm afraid not. Come on.

- Didn't I see you at the fights, major?
- Oh, yes, last Thursday.

- Good fights, weren't they?
- Swell. Happy New Year.

I'll get this off my chest in a hurry.

The boys came home from the party
upset by some things they overheard.

- Why pick on me?
- Because it happened in your house.

I don't wanna know who did
the talking...

...but I'm asking you to put
a stop to it.

I did the talking.

Since we're letting our hair down,
I think you're behaving abominably.

Is being seen with a man
such a dreadful crime?

It's the way you're seen
which we don't like.

What is this nonsense
about Lake Tahoe?

You don't expect us to believe... went there
for a pleasant little rest cure.

No wonder the boys distrust me if
that's the kind of thing you're saying.

How can you do it, Riette?
What right have you?

The right of a friend who hates
to see you make a fool.

A friend should come to me and not
allow gossip that even children hear.

I'm terribly disillusioned.
I don't mind saying so.

Well, how do you suppose we feel?

We thought you missed Paul

But it's obvious that you forget
pretty quickly.

Oh, I see.

It isn't on account of Paul
you're saying the things you do.

You resent me for being able
to make a new life for myself.

Then you admit you're guilty?

That's all you got out
of what I've been saying?

Really, Jessica, I'm giving a party.

I haven't got time
to go into a discussion of ethics.

Don't look like that.
Let's join the others.

And I won't embarrass you
in front of your handsome friend.

I'm afraid I don't care enough

Then why did you bother
to come here at all?

Because I was still coward enough
to want to save my reputation.

How quaint.

You know, I've been a coward
all my life.

And I'm not going to be one anymore.

No matter how hard it is
to strike out on my own...

...I'm gonna do what I think
is right for me.

Even if it means breaking
with everything in the past.

That includes you
and these so-called friends of mine.

I'm afraid we're going to be late.

Yes, Scott.

Good night, Riette,
and a very happy New Year.

- Good night.
- Come on, Scott.

Let's go to Chicago
before we lose the table.

- We don't have to.
- No, I wanna celebrate.

It's wonderful to get something
off your chest.

Come on, we'll see the New Year in
with bells on.

All right.

- Chicago.
- Yes, sir.

Happy New Year!

They say that the person you're with
as the New Year comes in... the person you'll be with
all during the coming year.

I know it's going to be true.

This place has a particular
sentimental value for me.

- Do you know why?
- I think I can guess.

Suppose I hadn't been here
that night?

- I don't like to think about it.
- Jessica, l...

Don't ask me if it was coincidence
that brought us together again...

...because, well,
I might tell you the truth.

Well, I think we should be
getting home. It's rather late.

I have one bottle of good champagne
in the ice chest.

Shall we have it
when you take me home?


I'd like to have a last glass with you.
That is, the last glass on New Year's.

Kim, are you asleep?

- No.
- I'm not either.

Did you hear a noise downstairs?

I guess Mom's home.
What time is it, anyhow?


Maybe she didn't have
such a good time.

- You know what I'd like to do?
- What?

When we hear her coming down the hall,
let's yell "Happy New Year."

- She'd like that.
- Okay.

- Hurry up, Jessica.
- Coming.

- Here's luck to us, Scott.
- Luck.

This is by far the best.

I wish now
we'd stayed here by ourselves.

Do you realize we didn't even know
each other three months ago?

Jessica, there's some...

I suppose it's foolish of me
to make plans for the future...

...but I don't know,
I can't get out of the habit.

- Plans?
- Of all the things we can do.

It's so lovely here in the spring.

We can swim in the pool
and have picnic suppers.

Maybe you don't care for picnics.

Not particularly.

No. I guess you're not the picnic type.

I'll see if I can borrow Mother's
cottage at Lake Geneva.

And you and Cary and Ginna and I
can go there for a weekend.

I don't know whether or not
the canoe is working...

Listen, Jessica.
I've got to give it to you straight.

This is our last evening together.
I've got my orders to go to New York.

Seven o'clock this morning.

That's why I brought you home
so early.

I suppose I should've told you
when I got the news...

...but I just couldn't bring myself
to do it.

You were having such a good time.

I knew it would be sudden,
but I didn't expect it to be this soon.

- Is this it?
- Yes. I'll be shipped out.

- Can you tell me how soon?
- I don't know.

All I know is that it will be sudden.

I think I always knew
it would be like this.

I'm going to New York too.
I don't care how little time there is.

All that matters is
that I can be with you.

Oh, darling, I knew I'd lose you

You warned me and I accepted it.

But now that the time has come,
I can't let you go, I can't.

You don't think I want to,
do you?

I don't know anything except
I love you. I was afraid to admit it.

I thought when you did go away
I could pick up my old life again...

...and forget you, but...

- You still need to do that.
- Now I don't wanna forget you.

Don't talk like that.

Don't you understand?
I'm happy loving you.

You would've been better off
never to have known me.

Don't say that. Don't think it.

All I wanna hear is you want me
in New York... much as I wanna be there.

You know that I want you
more than anything in the world.

Then nothing else matters.

Maybe I can get a reservation.
I'll keep on trying until I do.

- Don't worry, please.
- Jessica.

You must hurry and pack
and so must I.

I'll meet you at the station
at 7:00 on the dot.


Mom, are you going away?

- We heard what you said on the stairs.
- Yes.

I'm going to New York. I have to hurry
and pack and be at the station before 7.

- Why?
- Major Landis is going away.

I want to see as much of him
as possible before he does.

You'll be leaving in a couple of days.
Anna will see you off.

I'm awfully sorry to have to go while
you're still on your vacation, but...

...try to understand.

I have to hurry.

Kim? Keith?

Hello? Yes?


They are?

I'll be there as soon as I can.

Come in, Jessica.

- Where are they?
- They're in the drawing room.

- How long have they been here?
- Only about 10 minutes.

Just a moment, please.

I haven't asked the boys
what has happened.

They have never been close to me.

For that reason, I know there must be
something very wrong at home...

...for them to have come
to me for help.

All I beg is that you think carefully
before you go into that room.

Otherwise, I'm afraid that you'll regret
this bitterly all the rest of your life.

Now, go to your boys, my dear.

Boys, I don't know what to say
or how to begin.

What good did it do to run away?

We don't wanna live at home anymore.

- Keith, what an awful thing to say.
- You lied to us.

- We don't know what to believe.
- I told you the truth, always.

They all said things about you
and Major Landis.

And now you're going to New York
with him. It proves they were true.

We'll never believe
anything you say again.

Mom, don't you remember Dad at all?

Don't say that, please.
You know I remember Dad.

You've forgotten him.
Nobody remembers Dad but us.

That isn't true.

Can't you understand that I might
learn to care for someone else...

...and still have a place
in my heart for Dad?

But you belong to Dad.

It doesn't make any difference
whether he's dead or not.


Will you try for a few minutes... think of me as someone
other than your mother?

How can we? You are.

All right.

Then just sit down and listen.

I don't know whether or not
I can make you understand.

You know how terribly ill Dad was
for almost two years.

He didn't want you to see him suffer.

I knew how he felt
so I kept things from you.

Dad always liked life.

It wasn't life for him
to have to stay in bed.

Especially with so much pain.

After he died...

...I tried in every way I could to forget
the two years of his illness.

You see...

...I wanted to be able to remember
the good times with Dad...

...when we were all together.

But I was so terribly Ionely...

...all I could think of was Dad
toward the last.

Remember the night
before you went away to school?

You went out with Gretchen
and Penny.

I had to bite my lips to keep
from asking you to stay with me.

And with you gone away, I...

I got so I dreaded coming home.

If I hadn't gone away with Ginna
and Cary and met Major Landis...

...I don't know
what would have happened to me.

Does he mean
as much to you as Dad used to?

Don't say "used to," dear.

Dad still means just as much to me,
only in a different way.

I can't explain it.

Someday, when you're older...'ll understand that
one can give all one's heart... more than one person...

...and still remain sincere and loyal.

The first time you fall in love,
it's all so exciting and wonderful.

It can only be like that once.

But second love can be just as true
and just as deep.

Boys, I lost Dad.
And now I'm losing Major Landis.

He's going to be sent away.
I'll probably never see him again.


It's very hard to lose someone
you love.

Don't cry, please.

Oh, Mom.

I want you to be happy.

I try to understand,
but, golly, it's so hard.

It's so hard.


...can't we go home now?

Oh, Keith.

I'll say good night to Grandmother
for you.

- We're going home, Mother.
- I'm glad.

- I knew you'd do the right thing.
- Thank you for helping me.

Oh, my dear child, I did nothing.
It had to come from you.

And I know how much it's taken
out of you.

It's hard to do what is right

- I know.
- Funny.

I never thought you could do
anything else.

I haven't always been old, Jessica.

Young people resent conventions.

But as you grow older, you realize
that conventions were established...

...because there was need for them.

Now, go home and get some rest,
my dear.

- Good night.
- Good night.



Oh, darling, I can't go to New York
with you. I can't leave my boys.

They ran away.
They don't understand about us.

- Ran away?
- I got them back.

I tried to explain,
but they're too young to understand.

If I go now, things will never be
the same between them and me.

Scott, please try to realize
why I'm letting you down.

- Please forgive me.
- There's nothing to forgive, darling.

You have to face responsibility.
You wouldn't be you if you didn't.

I'll always love you.
Nothing will ever change that.

- Board!
- Oh, Scott, this is it.

- We have to say goodbye.
- No, Jessica, not goodbye.

I haven't enough time to say
what I'd like...

...but you know how I felt
about being tied to anything.

Well, I've changed.

And, darling, when I come back,
and this time I know I'm coming back...

...will you be waiting for me?

Oh, Scott.


- Yes or no?
- I'll wait, no matter how long.

- I'll wait.
- Bye, darling.

- And you won't be too Ionely?
- I'll never be Ionely again.