Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) - full transcript

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago.

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Hey, you, whoever you are.

- Are you awake now, princess?
- I want a drink.

- Oh, soon, princess.
- I want it now.

Oh, please...

...please get me a drink.

For Gods sake, baby,
don't hold out on me.

Is coming up, princess.


Those two flags just
ought about do it, boys.

Well, don't tell me that man with the
middle-age spread is Dan Hatcher.

Chance. Chance Wayne.

I never expected to see you again.
Not in these hereabouts.

Just because a man's
successful is no reason...

...to forget his old hometown.
- Anything I can do for you, Mr. Wayne?

Yeah, I want a suite.

Facing outside to the gulf.

Bedroom, living room, the best.

And also service that car out there.

The Cadillac convertible out front.

"Princess Kosmos."

"Princess Kos" what?

The Princess Kosmonopolis.

Hollywood, California?

She is traveling incognito.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

She is also Alexandra Del Lago,
the movie star.

She's not feeling very well. Car sickness.
I'll take her up by the veranda.


...get me Dr. Scudder
at the Finley Hospital.


Oh, is chance Wayne, all right, sir.
Big as life.

No, doc, he's not exactly alone.

Princess Kosmo
or something or another.

He said she's a moving-picture star.

Will you be right over? How soon?

Honey, try to get me Boss Finley
on the phone, will you, please?

Did you ever hear of
Princess Kosta-whatsit or...?


- What are you doing?
- Don't you want these unpacked, sir?

The princess is finicky
about her things.

I'll take care of that later.

Yes, sir.

And about that bottle...

I didn't see any bottle, Mr. Wayne.

- How'd you know my name?
- I used to wait tables...

...at the club when you'd come
dancing with the same young lady.

That pretty young lady.
Boss Finley's daughter.


- What are you called?
- Fly.

Just like the fly, sir.


And when you haul up the rest,
would you...

...bring up a bottle of vodka
and some ice?

Yes, sir.

And write yourself
a $5 tip on the check.

Yes, sir.

Now, shoo, Fly.

Is okay, princess. Is okay.

Good evening, doctor.

- Who's that?
- George Scudder.

Hello, doc.
How'd you know I was back?

Bad news travels fast.

Is very nice of you to make my
homecoming so warm and so friendly.

Your lady friend sounds like
she's coming out of ether.

The princess had a rough night.

- You hooked a princess? Gee!
- She's not using her real name...

Golly, I should think not,
checking into hotels with you.

George. You are the only
grown man I know...

...that still says "gee"
and "golly" and "gosh".

Well, I'm not as sophisticated as you.

Get me the Thomas J. Finley Hospital,

- How's Heavenly?
- Don't tell me she's why you came back.

Hello, this is Dr. Scudder. Any calls?

Well, you tell her the
cesarean scar won't be visible...

...to anyone except her husband.

At least, I hope not.

All right. I'll take care of that.
I'll be there in 20 minutes. Right.

You sure got the
bedside manner, George.

Well, I don't get much practice
since I was made chief of staff.

Oh, man. You've got it made.

Why did you come back here?

Well, I still got a mother
and a girl here, thas why.

Mother's been waiting
for the surprise that I got.

But you asked "How's Heavenly,"
not "How's my mother."

I'll take that. The luggage
in the bedroom, please.

Yes, sir.

Does a...

...chief of staff take a snort, George?


Your mother died a few weeks ago.

This is the death certificate.

Why wasn't I notified?

Well, you were.

A few days before she died,
I sent you a telegram.

The last address she had for you.

General delivery, Hollywood.

I got no telegram.

After she died, I sent you a letter.
And we never heard from you.

The church took up a nice collection...

...and she was nicely buried
in the family plot.

Don't you even care
that your mother died?

What is that you just took?

A pill.

What kind of pill?

Oh, benny. Benzedrine.

On prescription?

Yeah. Sort of.

A goofball makes the world
keep its balance.

- I don't understand you. I just don't...
- I don't expect you to, George.

I mean your coming back here,
after what I wrote.

- You'll be late, chief.
- I wrote you not to come back here ever.

I wrote how Finley
and Tom Jr. Feel...

...about your recent behavior
toward a certain young lady.

- And I also wrote you how that...
- Look, I told you.

Now, I got no letter, I got no telegram.
You got something to tell me, tell me.

I got no letter about
any certain young...

Something happen to Heavenly, George?
Is that it?

Something about Heavenly?
What else did you write in that letter?

Well, I see we can't possibly
discuss this in a civilized manner.

All right.

George, if something happened
to Heavenly, tell me, please.

- Give me that bag.
- First tell me.

First the bag.

Now, I'm gonna give you
the best advice you ever had.

Take that advice. Get out of town.

You know what the name
Boss Finley means...

...so don't try to see
Heavenly or talk to her or anything.


...I'll tell the clerk you're checking out.

Go wake Sleeping Beauty
out of her drunken jag and get moving.

And keep moving till
you're across the state line.

I ain't moving nowhere
till I see my girl.

You don't have a girl in St. Cloud.

Thas what else I wrote. Heavenly
and I are getting married next month.

Excuse me.

You drive carefully, now.

Operator? Give me St. Cloud 5...

What is the number
of the Finley residence?

Oh, no.

Thanks. I'll call back later.

Easy, princess.

Who are you?

- Help.
- Hush, now.

- I had a terrible dream.
- Is all right, honey. Chance is with you.

- Who?
- Me.

I don't know who you are.

Well, ill come back to you,
honey, as soon as...

- What are you looking for?
- Oxygen mask.

- You don't wanna overdo that oxygen...
- I need air. I can't breathe.

Will you hurry? I'm dying.

Hurry, right now.

Will you come...!

You leave me, please. Just leave me.

Operator, give me St. Cloud 525.

Cool drinks...

...and some cookies.
- Thank you, ma'am.

Finley residence.

Miss Heavenly?
Who's calling her, please?

Mr. Chance?

I'm sorry, Mr. Chance,
but Miss Heavenly ain't...

I don't know where she went.
All I know is, she ain't available.

I'll take it, charles.


Hello, honey.

This is Aunt Nonnie.


- Wait. Where are you?
- That phone call for me, Charles?

- No, Mr. Tom.
- Hang up. I'll try to call you back.

No, chance. No. Don't.

Aunt Nonnie, I gotta see Heavenly.

George Scudder was just here.
Did something happen?

I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Bancroft.

It is Mr. Bancroft, isn't it?

Can't you talk now?

Aunt Nonnie, have
Heavenly call me. Please.

She can't. I'll call you back.

Downstairs, in the cocktail lounge.
I'll wait.

- You shouldn't have done that, Tom Jr.
- Aunt Nonnie, you're a silly old maid.

And if he calls back, you just hang up.

I mean it, Aunt Nonnie. Just hang up.

Finley residence.

No, Mr. Chance.

She still ain't available.

We present this controversial
newsreel as a public service.

In 1930, Tom Finley ran
for his first state office.

You all know me. I'm just a
plain old dirt farmer, like you folks.

And Tom Finley was elected.

Tom Finley ran for governor.

I'm against loose government...

... loose money and loose women!

And Tom Finley was elected.

Tom Finley built a political machine
and became Boss Finley.

He also built a
plain old dirt farmer's shack...

... worth $300,000.

He sails from his private beach
in his private speedboat.

Boss Finley gave away
the offshore oil of his state.

The oil man made Finley a partner...

... and Boss Finley made his
oil partner the governor...

... and kept him in office
all these years.

Four months ago,
Professor Burtus Haven Smith...

... ran against Finley's handpicked man.

The only thing you have
to fear is Finley himself.

Next day, Professor Smith, fired.

His home was invaded by hoodlums...

... books and paintings
burned on the lawn.

Did you recognize any of them, sir?

No. They wore masks like this.

I found this button.

Yes, sir. I'm president of the
Finley Youth Club, and I'm proud of it.

But I don 't know nothing about
no book burnings or...

This thing, it could be dropped
accidentally on purpose...

...you know what I mean?
- But to date, there has been no probe...

... no police action, no arrests.

- Why?
- Shut that contraption off.

These are the fruits
of Boss Finley's rise to power...

How can a Christian TV network
tolerate those filthy, black lies?

- Right here, in the heart of America.
- Why, they ought to be...

Thank you, honey.
- Horsewhipped and shot.

And if I wasn't mayor and against
violence, I'd do it myself.

Well, if that TV report lied,
why not sue them for libel?

If they lied?

You know, you surprise me, Ben.

For a man who's smart enough
to run a big daily newspaper...

...you sure surprise me.
Can't you recognize New York...

...Red propaganda when you see it?

Do you call that TV newsreel fair?

Now, Maribelle,
we're all on the same side.

- Are we, Ben?
- Fair, you mean?

Well, your father's going
on the same network.

Same time, same freedom of expression.
I'd say that was pretty fair.

A lot fairer than burning books and...

You accusing me, Ben?

Why, Tom Jr. Hasn't got
a mean bone in his body.

He might be a hot-blooded
buck like his daddy...

- Now, Mrs. Norris.
- ...but he'd never resort to violence.

Never. And you have my personal
guarantee that whoever did do it...

...justice will prevail.

- Right, sheriff?
- Certainly.

What in tarnation are you laughing at?

Nothing, Pa. Nothing at all.

Then shut up!

- Yes, sir.
- Only idiots laugh at nothing.

- Yes, sir.
- When I was called from...

...the clay hills where I was born...

...barefoot and hungry, called by
the voice of God, which I was...

Will somebody pick up
that damn phone!

I ain't never forgot
what I was called for.

I didn't build a land
of milk and honey to see...

- Where you going?
- Get something for that cough.

Sit down! I've hawked
and spit all my life...

...and I'll hawk and spit
till the end of my days.

You can bet on that.

When I answer those charges
on TV tomorrow night...

...I expect you to be there.
- Why, you know me, Tom.

I expect you and your
Daughters of Dixie to be there.

God bless you, honey.

And I expect you to be there too.

I'll be there, Mr. Finley.
At the press table.

You'll be on the platform,
at my side, in my support.

No, sir. Not so long as you support...

...a gang of juvenile delinquents
called Youth Clubs...

- With a free hand to commit mayhem.
- Hold it!

Now, maybe you're right.

And maybe, just maybe...

...the Finley Youth Club
was mixed up in that shindig.

Thas why I'm gonna
publicly disavow, disown...

...and remove my name
from the Finley Youth Club.

And if my own flesh and blood
was one of them hoodlums...

...he's gonna pay, even though it
brings shame on the memory...

...of his dead mother.
God rest her soul.

They say I stole the oil rights.

Well, if I did, I stole it
for my state and my people.

I also fought the fertilizer trust.

I lowered taxes. I saved our hog-raisers
from the Chicago meatpackers.

A lot of folks like what I did
but they don't like the way I did it.

But if a bunch of hogs won't come
out of your garden when you holler:

Then you've gotta use language and
methods that hogs and pigs understand.

Do you understand, Ben?

Hi. Martini on the rocks.

Say, you get any phone calls here
for Chance Wayne?

No, sir.

Operator? I'd like to place
a long-distance phone call...

...to Miss Louella Parsons.

Thas right. Person-to-person,
from me, Chance Wayne.

Yes, Miss Louella Parsons,
the famous movie columnist.

In Hollywood.
The number is Crestview 1-4222.

Fine. Thank you.

Oh, man, don't you know only squares
drink gin martinis with olives?

May we have a couple
of gin martinis, please?

Didn't you hear the man?
Only squares drink gin.

Wait a minute. Leroy. Could you
make that a couple of gin martinis...

...with square olives.
- Scotty.

- Well, how are you? Bud.
- Hi.

Is that the hand that made love
to Jayne Mansfield?

Gee, I hope you didn't wash that hand.

Gee, I was about ready
to phone you guys.

Leroy, did you know
this is Chance Wayne...

...the famous Hollywood
and Broadway celebrity?

- Really?
- Sure.

All bartenders become movie stars.

Right, Chance?

Oh, well... What he's
trying to say is that...

...I had your job for too long.

You know, I designed
that uniform you've got on.

I copied it from an outfit Cary Grant
wore in this Foreign Legion picture.

- Looks great on you, kid.
- Really?

But kidding aside, fellas,
it is great to be back.

Louella Parsons don't answer.

She know is chance Wayne calling?

Operator? Yeah, well, then try...

Try Mr. Walter Winchell.

Little black book.

In New York at the Pla...

Oh, no, he's... He's in Hollywood.

Try Romanoff's.

Yeah. Or Au Petit Jean.

Thank you, ma'am.

Another round for everybody, on me.

Hey, man. I'll bet you got some...

...snappy numbers
in that little black book, huh?

The best.

But they're not always in
when you call.

Listen, I'm throwing
a party tomorrow night.

The old crowd,
for Princess Kosmonopolis...


- In every way.
- Yeah.

No, I mean, is mostly
a surprise party for Heavenly.

Well, I bet her old man
will be plenty surprised.

- What time?
- We can't.

- Oh, the TV rally.
- For Boss Finley.

Hey, Jackie. How about
a fanfare for a very important...

- Jackie!
- For a very...



...for remembering our song.
- Anytime.

- Was it written just for you, Mr. Wayne?
- Don't be square, man.

Don't you know that
all lovers got a theme song?

Excuse me.

- Sing it, Chance.
- Here's to the star of our crowd.

Here's to the man who made good.

Chance Wayne...

... will do a front-dive layout.
Swan dive.

Thank you, laddie. Sit down.

Not a drinking man yourself?

- Oh, no, sir.
- Well, happy days.

Takes talent to whip up
something soothing like that.


...you sure got
all kinds of talent, laddie.

You like Heavenly, don't you?

- I love her.
- Sure you do. We both love her.

- Yes, sir.
- Wanna marry her?

- Yes, sir.
- Thas the way. You're my kind of man.

You got ambition, ideas, youth. And the
good looks to go with them too. But...

...working in a cocktail bar.

Of course, I don't blame you.
Is not your fault.

A town like this got no
elbow room for a go-getter.

No opportunity for a man
who's going places.

Yeah, but Mr. Barnaby,
you know, sporting goods?

He promised me this job as a salesman
in promotional sales.

Small potatoes.

Let me tell you something, laddie.

This here is America.

Today you're nobody...

...tomorrow you're somebody.

But you got to think big, act big,
and you'll be big.

Now, I could set you up myself, but...

No, sir. I wouldn't want that.

Thas the way.

You're my kind of man, laddie.

In this world,
there's only one payoff window.

Number one, the winner, success.

Now, that can be you.

But a man who's going places...

...he needs a place
where he can climb, bust out.

A place like New York. Now, this here
is the ticket thall get you there.

Train leaves at 9:40 tonight.
This night.

I'm betting this $ 100 on you, laddie...

...that you come back to St. Cloud
number one, riding high on the hog.

Well, laddie.

But Heavenly, does she know?

She told me to wish you
luck and Godspeed.

Well, I know, but I wanna talk
to her, sir. We made a lot of plans.

I plumb forgot.

Heavenly and Aunt Nonnie left
for New Orleans this morning...

...taking a boat for Europe.

Don't you go forgetting her, now.

You keep in touch, laddie, you hear?

Mr. Wayne.

Mr. Wayne!

Long distance, Mr. Wayne.

They can't find Walter Winchell.
This is some secretary named Friday.


Yeah. Well, this is...

Well, when will Mr. Winchell be in?

No. Well, I'm calling for
Alexandra Del Lago, who's...

Disappeared? Oh, no, ma'am.

She... She has been searching
America for new faces...

...and she has found them, and she has
signed them to a personal contract.

Yeah, well, see,
she's producing this film...

...called Youth.


Starring Chance Wayne...

...and Heavenly Finley.

Yeah. They're leaving
for Hollywood tomorrow.

Boy? Pencil. Please.

Well, the princess is unable to come
to the phone right now. She's out.

No, out for a walk.

Well, sure. Call any time tomorrow.

Thank you.

Operator? Say, would you
try the Finley residence again?

Good night, mayor.
Good night, Mrs. Norris.

Bye, mayor. I'll get it, charles.


Well, who's calling?

Now, listen to me,
you lousy son of a...

Boy, you just got a natural talent
for being mean and ornery.

You want me to
like this yellow-bellied...?

I'd be grateful if you'd think
for once.

Whas to think about?
George told me lover-boy came back...

You already told me what George said.

But supposing Mr. Wayne
didn't just happen to come back.

Supposing he was sent for.

To smear his stink
over Heavenly and over me.

Isn't that a reason to go and...?

But supposing he is
just passing through.

- Well, which is it?
- Thas what you're gonna go find out.

- Charles.
- Yes, sir?

- Where's Heavenly?
- She's down at the beach, sir.

Lay out a suit and shirt.
I'm going into town tonight.

- Yes, sir.
- Pa.

Get the lead out, boy.

Pa, you didn't mean what you said about
disowning the Finley Youth Clubs?

After what you did to the professor?
I've got to.

Burning books, Halloween masks.
You're just plain stupid, boy.

Least you couldve worn white hoods
and burned a cross.

- The Klan wouldve been blamed.
- Oh, my.

You better stop laughing at nothing
or you'll end up in a nuthouse.

Without me you wouldn't have
won the election...

...and you're not gonna win this one.

- Bull.
- I got you more headlines...

...than the last campaign...
- You sure did.

Once for drunk driving and once for a
stag party cost me $5000 to hush it up.


Hey, you.

Yeah, you.

Whas Heavenly doing
down on the beach alone?

Just trying to be alone, I guess.

Sure you ain't arranged a meeting
between her and Mr. Wayne?

- No, Tom.
- But you did tell her he was back.

- Yes, Tom.
- Sister-in-law...

...you got a powerful lot to answer for.

You favored Chance Wayne...

...encouraged, aided and abetted
in his corruption of my baby.

That boy never could...

Could never knowingly harm her.

You're like your dead sister.


Hello, honey.

I don't like you out here all alone.

Why, Papa?
Afraid he might come along?

- Who might come along?
- Oh, Papa.

- I'm concerned, thas all. For you.
- That is very touching, Papa.

I'm only trying to save my baby
from being hurt ever again.

How? By insisting I marry
Dr. George Scudder?

And before him, a 50-year-old moneybags
you needed for your business?

Me? Sell my own flesh and blood?

More than once.

Remember the Texas oil tycoon?
And the Washington wheel?

All of them rich, all of them important.

Every one of them
had a powerful feeling for you.

There was a time when
you couldve saved me, Papa...

...by letting me marry Chance,
when we were both young and clean.

If he loved you so much,
why'd he run off in the first place?

You told him he wasn't good enough.

You drove him away to compete
with all those big shots.

- The point is, he went.
- Yes, and he tried.

Oh, how he tried.

And when the right doors
wouldn't open...

...he went in the wrong ones.

Oh, don't les fight, sugar.

Not you and me. Not when I need you.

For what, Papa? What are you
planning to use me for now?

Why, honey, ever since your angel mama
was took away from me...

...you and your brother are all I got
in the world to give my love to.

- That doesn't speak well for Miss Lucy.
- Who is Miss Lucy?

That certainly doesn't
speak well for Miss Lucy.

I ain't never heard of no Miss Lucy.

You never heard of the woman you keep
in a $50-a-day suite of rooms...

...at the Regal Palms Hotel?

That charges her clothes and
beauty treatments to your account?

And you say, "Who is Miss Lucy?"

Well, keep your love, Papa. Just give me
10 percent of the fortune you spend...

...on this woman you never heard of.
- You keep your mouth shut.

- You better tell that to Miss Lucy.
- You keep your mouth shut.

She doesn't speak
very well of you, Papa.

- She says you're not much of a lover.
- Who says Miss Lucy says that?

She wrote it with lipstick
in the ladies' room at the hotel bar.

Wrote what?

She wrote,
"Boss Finley can't cut the mustard."

That is a ridiculous lie.

Oh, Papa. I know
and everyone knows...

...that Miss Lucy was your mistress
long before Mama died.

I never harmed your mother,
as God is my judge.

Careful, Papa. Judgment Day
might be any day.

You listen to me, you ungrateful,
hypocritical slut.

Last week, in the state capital,
when I was speaking on the menace...

...to the chastity of womanhood,
a heckler almost caused a riot.

You know what he hollered?

"Hey, Boss Finley, how about your
daughter? How about her chastity?"

An honest question, Papa.
What was your honest answer?

That was my answer.

You have got an illusion of power,

I have power, and that is no illusion.

You just won't realize
that I'm fighting for my life.

I won't embarrass you any more, Papa.

- I'll go away. Tonight, if you like.
- You're going nowhere.

- You're marrying George Scudder.
- No, Papa, I'm not.

- We'll discuss it tomorrow.
- No.

- All right.
- Not tomorrow, not ever.

All right. Tomorrow night, you're coming
to the TV rally with me, missy.

You're gonna wear the white of a virgin.
You're gonna wear a smile on your face.

You're gonna face that crowd and
TV audience with pride and defiance.

- Thas gonna stop all those ugly rumors.
- I won't do it.

Then you won't.

And I'm gonna remove chance Wayne
from your life finally and for the last time.

Now, sugar, how do you want him
to leave St. Cloud?

In that fishtail Cadillac he come in,
or in the garbage scow...

...that dumps its filth in the gulf?

The choice is yours.

Sergeant, get my car out.

Did you have another attack, princess?

What was that strange noise?

- Oh, you mean the radio?
- Yes, it frightened me.

Well, some more oxygen?

No. No, I must look hideous in it.

No, honey. You just...
You just look exotic.

Yeah, like a princess from Mars,
or a big, magnified insect.

Oh, thank you very much.

- Well, maybe I ought to call a doctor?
- No. No, no doctors.

Get me my robe.

When something disturbs me,
I just get a little short-winded, thas all.

What is this place? A private hospital?

And you. What are you?

Are you one of those male nurses?

I take care of you,
but I'm not your nurse.

But you're employed by me, is that it?

For some purpose or other?

- Yep, you're footing the bills.
- I see.

- Do you, princess?
- Yes, I see.

I'm used to footing the bills. Hey.

Is your money there?
The jewels accounted for?

I'm looking for a pill.

May I have something
to wash it down with?

You're not going to give me water.


Oh, yes, Mr. Hatcher.

I'm afraid I made a mistake,
Mr. Wayne.

Those rooms you're in,
they're reserved for the Tv rally.

Well, I'm sorry too, Mr. Hatcher.

You see, Miss Alexandra Del Lago...

- Don't use my name.
...is sound asleep.

- But Miss Del Lago is in no con...
- Don't use my name.

Ask him how long he intends to stay.

- Well, that depends.
- Hang up.

Well, Mr. Hatcher, you wouldn't wanna
bear the responsibility...

...for what might happen
to Miss Del Lago if she is...

I said, hang up.

I wanna forget who I am.

Well, I only used your name to stop
them from evicting us.

Will you please shut up?
I'm trying to forget.


What are you trying to forget, princess?
Whare you trying to hide?

You're all out of focus.

Don't I have any glasses?

Where are my glasses?

Well, you had a little accident.

- Oh, what was that?
- You fell flat on your face with them on.

- Where'd you put them?
- Lf I was in that condition...

...I wouldn't know
where anything I had with me was.

Or anything I did.

By the way, did we do anything?

Mostly you've been
knocking yourself out...

...with one thing or another.

Did we spend the night together?

Oh, yes, ma'am.

But I did not molest you.

Well, should I thank you for that
or accuse you of cheating?

I like you. You are a nice monster.

Well, I was born a monster. And you?

One lens cracked.

I don't mind waking up in an intimate
situation with someone...

...but I do like to see who it is.

So I can make whatever adjustment
seems called for.


I may have done better...

...but God knows I have done worse.

Do you remember where we met?

Well, this much I do remember:
That I like bodies...

...to be silky-smooth, hard gold.

- Do you remember where we met?
- No.

- And the circumstances?
- No.

All I remember is us...

...driving through a town
called Tallahassee.

- And before that?
- That water. Is that the Pacific Ocean?

No, ma'am, thas the gulf.

What gulf?

The gulf of misunderstanding
between you and me.

- Is not that funny.
- Oh, yes, it is.

Thas exactly what Bennie Taubman
said to me.

"Sweetie, sweetie," he said...

- No more gulfs between you and I.
- Bennie.

This comeback will be
the greatest success in history.

- Miss Del Lago.
- I'm worried, Bennie.

You leave the worrying to me.
Excuse us for a minute.

You've been a top star for 15 years.

You've got millions of fans.
Loyal, devoted.

Devoted to the way I used to be,
the way I used to look.

Bennie, I am scared.

- You? Never.
- Miss Del Lago!

You're a professional, an artist,
a personality.

Alexandra Del Lago is the sex symbol
of America.

- Say, Charlie, how about it?
- She's coming.

- Thank you.
- Playback.

Get me a little something, will you?

- God, no.
- Whas the matter?

I remembered the thing
I wanted to forget.

The stupid, senseless end of my life,
thas all.

No wonder I didn't want
to remember. I was no fool.

- You want some oxygen?
- No.

Where is it? Where is the stuff?

Did you leave it in the car?
I want it now.

Those pills aren't any good.

Is right here.

Well, that is a brilliant place to put it.

Hotel maid sometimes do clean
under mattresses, you know.

Wouldn't that be pretty?

A year in one of those model prisons
for distinguished addicts.

This is pretty high-class pot.
Where'd you get it?

You beautiful, stupid young man.
That is not pot.

Is hashish. Moroccan, and the finest.

Pop star. Is insanity.

The legend of Alexandra Del Lago was...
Was youth.

I was right. I told him I was right.

Why didn't I trust my instincts?

They've stood me in good stead
for many, many a year.

Where does one retire to?

There is no place to retire to
when you retire from the movies.

No place except oblivion.

One thing thall help you
forget oblivion is...

This. Is this.

If I had just been old.
But, you see, I wasn't old.

I just wasn't young. Not young.
I just wasn't young anymore.

Nobody's young anymore.

Stars in retirement
sometimes give acting lessons.

They give beauty hints,
they write gossip columns.

Princess, just smoke.

Oh, yes.


And after this...

...the mercenary young lovers.

- Like me?
- Yes, like you.

Your comeback. I mean, what happened?
You just didn't have it anymore?

Oh, I had it. I had the will
and I had the talent to go with it.

But the camera.

The camera doesn't know how to lie.

The screen is a very clear mirror.

There is a thing, God help us,
called a close-up.

Camera number one in position.
Finish your candles, there, boys.


The camera dollies in.

And you, your head, your face...

... are caught in the frame
with the lights blazing.

And all your terrible history
screams while you smile.

No. No, no, no. Hold it, hold it.

I told you I want a shadow right here
on her neck. You understand?

Not your fault, sweetie. You're terrific.

Okay, Charlie. We go again.
Right now.

- Camera, number one position.
- Playback.

- Quiet.
- All right, places, everybody.

And then, before you know it,
comes the night of the preview.

The first part of the film, I felt so safe.

- What did you say her name was?
- Alexandra Del Lago, stupe.

I thought she was dead and buried.

Sweetie, wait. Believe me. Please.

Miss Del Lago, one more picture, please.

She fell. Oh, poor thing.

- She's drunk.
- They're all drunks, all of them.

After that, flight.

Running away from that
frightful comeback.

I never stopped running until now.

- Know what you need right now?
- Yes, to forget again.

First we...

We let the hash take effect.

And then...

...we apply the magic formula.


Like we did in Palm Beach, remember?

That soothing, magical formula
called papaya cream.

Yes. Yes.

Papaya-cream rubs.

Were you one of those faceless
young bodies in Palm Beach?

Well, thas where we met.

Don't you remember, in your
private cabana, on the beach?

And you were breathless.
I mean, just like you are right now.

It was painful. Painful to see.

And you were the anesthetic
that eased my pain.

Yeah, and you were smoking.

Just like you are right now.

That feels so...

I don't remember your face,
but your hands are familiar.

There. That hash,
how'd you get hooked?

On my way to Europe,
running away from my comeback.

The ship's doctor gave me injections.

Did he know he was giving narcotics
to the famous Alexandra Del Lago?

He just knew he was helping a woman
suffering from neuritis.

The hashish came later. In Tangier.

How'd you get it into the States,
smuggle it?

Know another way?

You mean you smuggled it right past
customs, princess?

What are you trying to prove?

Nothing. No, I just...

Don't forget, you're the one
that introduced me...

...to this fine old Moroccan hash.

Boy, I doubt very much
if I have any vice...

...old or new,
that I could introduce to you.

- Ma'am, don't call me boy.
- You knew all about this stuff, Carl.

- My name is not carl, is chance.
- You called yourself Carl in Palm Beach.

I always carry an extra name
in my pocket.

Why, are you a criminal?

No, ma'am, not me.

I mean, you're the one thas committed
a federal crime.

Whad you do that for?

I thought you mighve
planted someone outside the door.

Don't you trust me?

Who taught you to rub
desperate ladies the right way?

And you say all you did
was manipulate the papaya cream?

- Well, more or less.
- How much more?

Ma'am, if we'd made love,
you'd have remembered it.

Well, what stopped you? Certainly not I.
And certainly not your ethics.

Whas the angle?
Why did you hold out?

I held out till you signed a contract.

Well, evidently I signed.

Why did you still hold out?

- I wanted to hold your interest.
- Well, you miscalculated.

My interest always increases
with satisfaction.

You mean you don't intend
to live up to that contract?

I can get out of that contract
any time I want to.

- Do you have any talent?
- For what?

Acting, baby.

Acting. A contract for acting
implies that you are an actor. Are you?

I've been an extra in movies
long enough to know that...

...I can be as big a star as some of them
she-men that have made it. Princess.


All I need is just one big break.

- Carl, it takes more than one break.
- Chance. Chance. Chance Wayne.

- You're stoned.
- Baby, there is no easy way to the top.

You can forget about magic formulas
and trick contracts.

Forget about this false dream.

Okay, say it, princess.
What is it you want?

Come here. Les comfort
each other a little.

Thas right.


You know something, honey?

That all that talk about narcotics...

...is been recorded on tape.

- Where did you get that thing?
- You bought it for me in Palm Beach.

To improve my diction.

- Comeback. The ship 's doctor
gave me injections.

Did he know he was giving narcotics
to the famous Alexandra Del Lago?

He just knew he was helping a woman
suffering from neuritis.

The hashish came later. In Tangier.

- Blackmail, is it?
- Thas very ugly language.

The language of the gutter is understood
by anyone who ever fell in it. Price?

I just want you
to live up to this contract.

- And thas not all.
- Money?

- And if I refuse?
- Well, you won't.

You wouldn't want the FBI
to get ahold of these recordings.

- Chance.
- Or the newspapers...

...and those bigshot columnists?
And the dirt magazines?

Princess, you got a big name
to protect. You still got a reputation.

I had, baby, I had.
I have been blackmailed by experts.

I hate to think what desperation
has made you think...

...that you can try to intimidate me.

Me, Alexandra Del Lago,
with this ridiculous...

Oh, chance, is silly.
Is so silly, is touching.

Is downright endearing.
Makes me feel close to you.

Now, I gotta see somebody.
I want some cash and I want your car.

Here. Here. Now, you'd better start
signing these traveler's checks, or I'Il...

Or what? Oh, put that away,
and that leaky fountain pen.

When monster meets monster,
one monster has to give way...

...and it will never be me.

Now, then, signed checks are payment.
Delivery comes first.

I have only one way to forget the things
that I don't want to remember...

...and that way is through making love.

Is the only dependable distraction,
and I need that distraction right now.

In the morning, we'll talk about
what you want and what you need.

Aren't you ashamed a little?

Yes. Aren't you?

More than a little.

Close the curtains, please.
Then come here to me.

And make me almost believe
that we are a pair of young lovers...

...without any shame.

Two things, Pa.

First, he's bedding in with a broken-down
old movie star, Alexandra Del Lago.

But she's still famous and capable
of causing us trouble...

Second, Mr. Wayne don't show
any inclination to move on.

I told him...

- ...she's not well enough to travel.
- Bull.

If you roughhouse this woman,
every newspaper's gonna be down here.

But if we separate Mr. Wayne
from his lady...

...we could proceed more directly,
if it was necessary.

Right, sir. You're the doctor,
call an ambulance.

- Haul queenie to the hospital.
- Without her permission?

Say she's contagious.
Bubonic plague, typhoid fever.

- I'm not gonna let you involve me in this.
- Lower your voice.

- He's not gonna involve me in this...
- Doctor, laddie...

...you are already involved right up
to your scrofulous chicken neck.

I've done anything you ever asked me.

But one public mistake,
one slip, and we...

Laddie, you've got all the symptoms
of a nervous breakdown.

Now, my prescription for you
is a weekend vacation.

A change of scenery
to build up your backbone.

I'd say you're sickly. Critical.

Might be even terminal.

So you'd better leave quick. Tonight.

- See the doc don't miss his train.
- Yes, sir.

- Happy Easter, Fly.
- Thank you, sir.

- Happy Easter.
- Thank you, governor.

- Shall I ring her, say you're coming up?
- No.



Hiya, honey.
I'll be with you in a second.

How can you watch two TVs,
chop your toenails...

...stuff yourself with chocolates
all at the same time?

I already seen the movie.

Shut that damn thing off.

I said, shut it...!

My, my, my.

Ain't we in a mood.

Guess what I got for you,
for an Easter present.

I went all the way
to New Orleans for it.

Close your eyes, lover.

This is a mighty exciting surprise.
Don't look.


Is that for me?

Well, I surely don't intend to give it
to anybody else.

Oh, feast your tired old eyes,
daddy doll.

I sure do hope that this brings out
the beast in you.

Happy Easter, sugar.

For me?

You'll spoil me yet, honey.

Oh, why, is lovely.

Is a lovely Easter egg.

Am I supposed to eat it?

Open the top.

It sure takes a powerful kind of rooster
to lay this kind of egg.

Oh, darling, you shouldn't have.

Why not? You deserve
everything you get.

Oh, I'm so nervous.

Like it, sugar baby?

Is absolutely divine.

Is heavenly.

Thas better. Now...

...you go downstairs to the
ladies' room of the cocktail lounge...

...and you write on the toilet mirror
with this same lipstick:

"Miss Lucy is available to any punk's
got $5 and can cut the mustard."

You know, I don't very much
like my Easter surprise.

Hello? Operator, did you get
the Finley residence yet?

Aunt Nonnie?

Well, can you talk now?

Well, can I see you, then?

Well, I can... Where?

Well, how soon?

All right. I'll meet you there.

Aunt Nonnie, whatever it is
that happened, I can explain.

And listen...

...I got it made.

No, I really got it made.

All right.



Pure, hard gold, all right.

Yeah. Well, I'm glad
you're appreciative...

...but, you know, I'm going out pretty
soon and my credit is kind of shaky.

I would like to smoke, please.

No, no. Just one of the ordinary
cigarettes that only give you cancer.

What are those lovely bells?

Why, madam, it is Easter Sunday.

How fitting. I feel absolutely reborn.

Yes. The world and I are on
very good terms this morning.

Yeah, well, we made a little bargain
last night, remember?

Oh, yes.

Well, I will live up to my end
of the bargain...

...after I have put on my face.

The face I face the world with, baby.

Will you open the curtains, please?

There something out there
you're afraid of?

Oh, no, ma'am. The thing I want most
in the world is out there.

This town belonged to me once.

And will again.

Were you born here?

- On the wrong side of the tracks, but...
- Well, most of us were, baby.

You know, the set that I ran with
was a snob set.

You know, they had family,
big names, big money.

- All I had was...
- Beauty.

Say it. What you had was beauty.

I had it, and I say it with pride.


Well, the others were born satisfied.

Well, I had to get something better.
And I did.

I got it.

While my friends were
doing the conventional things...

...like flunking out
of state university...

...I appeared in the biggest stage hit
on Broadway.

I had my picture on the cover of
LIFE magazine.

And, at the same time...

...I was employing my other talent,

That may be the only talent
you were ever truly meant for.

I've wallowed in a social register
of New York...

...with discreet wives
in the millionaire set...

...and debutante daughters
in the horsy set.

Did they foot the bills too?

Yeah. But I always gave them
much more than I took.

To older women, I gave back a feeling
of excitement and youth.

To sad, lost women...

...a merciful display of affection
and temporary hope.


Understanding, tolerance.

You must have been quite
a successful enterprise.

- Oh, I was going places.
- Where?


My name was appearing in columns...

...I was promised this part
in a big Broadway play...

...Hollywood was nibbling.

I was getting to be somebody.

Then it was time for me
to come home for my girl...

...take her away with me,
like I promised.

And when I came home, oh, man.

This town just buzzed
with excitement.


She never asked about the others.
Well, she didn 't have to.

Of course, she knew that nothing I did
or was done to...

... could ever cancel out our love,
the pleasure we gave each other.

You know, the big difference
between people...

...is not between rich and poor
or good and evil.

The biggest of all differences
between people...

...is between those that have had
pleasure in love and those that haven't.

We interrupt this program to bring you
a bulletin from Washington.

It was officially announced
that United States ground forces...

... entered the Korean War today.

President Truman termed
the intervention a police action.

And I am positive there's no finer,
no braver, no more patriotic man...

...to lead our Dixie Regiment
than our own hometown boy...

...Chance Wayne.


All I could think was,
"This stops everything."

Just when things were going great...

...the end. Period. Even if I was lucky,
I'd have to start all over again.

You and a few million others.

Their jobs would be waiting for them,
but my trade was youth.

And war either makes you age fast
or die fast.

Imagine, a whole lifetime...

...full of hopes and dreams
and ambitions...

...being wiped out
by a 2-ounce accident like a bullet.

A bullet shot off
into space by anybody.

And my head and that bullet
at the same place at the same time.

Only, it wasn't a bullet that got me,
it was my nerves.

A month in a hospital,
a medical discharge.

And when I came home that time,
there was no parties, no banners...

...no picture in the newspaper.

- So you ran away again.
- Yeah.

And I finally made it to Hollywood.

And failed again.

That time.

But not this time.

Princess. Now, I've got a few things
to iron out right now.

But tonight you give this big
press conference, see?

You know, to tell the world about this
new discovery you signed up.

The last thing I want is publicity.

I know, but this will prove that
young talent is your real interest in life.

Which it certainly is not.

My real, my only, interest in life is me,
Alexandra Del Lago.

Besides, a movie starring
our special talent...

...would be banned in all 50 states,
censored worldwide.

Princess, I am taking your car.

- Well, when will I see you?
- Wait here.

I don't like waiting for anybody.


Morning, Miss Finley.

What is it, sergeant?

Nothing, miss.

Just sort of spying?

No, ma'am. Just sort of
watching over you.

Easter must be a very dangerous time.

Guess so, miss.

- The ladies ready for church?
- Miss Nonnie's already gone, sir.

- She took a taxi.
- I see.

- She get any calls this morning?
- The phone rang.

She talked to somebody.

No, sir, Mr. Finley.
I don't know who to.

Get my Bible.

Good morning.

Nice morning, Mr. Finley.

Thank you, laddie.
You look mighty sweet, sugar.

I would like you to call off
your bloodhound, Papa.

I would like you to behave
like a daughter should.

Well, did you meditate
on Mr. Wayne's future?

At the present, he is enjoying life...

...in the loving arms
of a famous Hollywood siren.

Hey, Pa, if Chance is living
with a real princess...

...does that make him royalty too?

It makes him what he always was:
A criminal degenerate and parasite.

Oh, I see.


She never blamed you for anything.

She always had...


I gave her nothing, Aunt Nonnie.

She lived Ionely and she died Ionely.

Gee, I'm glad to see you.

I came here to tell you one thing.

Well, I was sort of hoping
that you'd bring Heavenly.

Go away before is too late.
Before her father...

Why won't they let me see her,
Aunt Nonnie? Because she and George...?

- I can't talk about it.
- Why?

Why? Now, why, Aunt Nonnie?

I just can't talk about it.

Please. Please help me, Aunt Nonnie.

You were always able to...

See, you were like a mother to me.

You always called me son.
Why did you stop calling me son?

Oh, Chance, go away
before is too late.

I am not leaving here
till I talk to Heavenly or see her.

Now, you tell her that.
Aunt Nonnie, I got a right.

Goodbye, son.

Aunt Nonnie.

- Aunt Nonnie, I'm taking you to church.
- No, Chance.

I'm afraid. Afraid for you.

Take your sister on in.

- Happy Easter.
- Happy Easter, mayor.

Well, look here.
Glad to see you, laddie.

Hold it, Mr. Finley. Thank you, sir.

Is no use, Mr. Finley, l...

Laddie, I hear you're consorting
with a genuine princess.

Guess that sort of makes you a prince,
don't it?

Happy Easter, Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Well, God bless you, Mr. Finley.

I once had a dog called Prince.

I had to butcher him to keep all
the bitches in town from being violated.

Deacon, I'm counting on your
support at the rally.

- Up, the rebels!
- Les see, now.

- When did you last visit us?
- Why won't you let me see her, sir?

I remember, you hit town last time
in a freight car.

You saw my daughter then...

...and you left her
carrying your bastard then too.

Let you see her?

Sure, prince, when I've had you
taken care of like my dog.

I remember, you hit town last time
in a freight car.

No, I'll get you dirty.

Hold me. Just hold me. Hold me.

What are you thinking?

I was just... I was just feeling
kind of peaceful and easy...

...listening to those freewheeling birds
coming home.

If we could just be like one of them
out there, just free as a bird.

No one in love is free
or even wants to be.

You know what I was thinking?

About those five days and nights
on those freight cars.

Thinking that, "Heavenly will make me
feel clean again.

She'll wash away all the..."

Whas it like...

...in movie land?

Oh, it is like no place
in this world, baby.

In fact, is not even a place,
is a state of mind...

...with a stone wall around it
a mile high.

"Strange birds, keep out."

No, is the strange ones that get in.
I know.

Why, I've been clawing away
at that wall...

...for over a year now,
trying to get on the inside.

This last year's been...

- Wasted?
- No.

No, just a run of bad breaks,

Nothing's wasted that teaches you
how to operate, how to beat the game.

Last year's the best investment
I ever made.

Oh, next time I'm gonna get lucky.

And then I'm gonna
take you with me...

...right through that stone wall,
first class, straight to the top.

Again, Chance?

I got the key now, baby.

I got the know-how. That Hollywood
merry-go-round is a pushover.

Today they're stepping on your feet,
tomorrow they're kissing your feet.

I know, I have seen it. Well...

...that merry-go-round
is gonna carry me.

Is gonna carry me all the way.

And then before you know it,
before you know it...

...I'm gonna have that brass ring,
that lucky brass ring right here.

- Which gets you what?
- It gets you the prize...

...honey, money, success, happiness.

No. All the brass ring gets you
is a free ride on a wooden horse...

...thas going nowhere except
up and down and round and round.

My papa sold you that phony dream...

...and you're still buying it.
How does he say it?

"All you need is one lucky break.
Something for nothing.

Beat the game, hit the jackpot."

Anyone can be a millionaire,
so everybody's got to try it.

Thas right. And why not?

There are a lot of ways you can make it,
and for me there is one quick way.

Now, just stick with me, baby,
and when I come back next time...

- Another next time.
- No, this time I got a job.

I got a big job in Palm Beach mixing
with all kinds of important people.

Take me with you. Please.

No, I can't, baby. Not yet.

You know, in this job,
I gotta travel fast.

And I gotta travel alone.
This is the job, baby.

This is the job thas gonna get me
inside that magic door.

All my life, I've been on the outside.
And time is running out.

Now, look around you. Boy, they got
places for the old and the sick...

...and the homeless,
but no place for the failures.

And failure is
a highly contagious disease.

What kind of job is it, Chance?

- Oh, baby, it is golden. Just gold...
- Chance.

Beach boy.

To a bunch of fat-bottomed
broads at this swank hotel.

- But is a beginning.
- Stay here. We'll find something.

Baby, I can't. Have you forgotten
whas expected of me?

I want you as you are.

Then look at me as I am.
I'm a nothing.

A nobody.

I couldn't write a check for $2
without getting arrested.

Busted. Flat broke.

I'm ashamed to go home
and let my mother look at me.

I always dreamed of
coming back here like a...

Oh, like...

Don't ask me to give up my dream.

Excuse me.

Supposing he comes over, Pa.

Well, sugar, is up to you.

Let him alone.

I'll be there with you tonight.
Just let him alone.

- I want him gone before the rally starts.
- Yes, sir.

Not here, stupid. See him alone.
He's to go quietly.

No fuss. No violence, you hear?

Yes, sir. You're the boss, Pa.

And don't you ever forget it.

No, sir.

Does this lovely hotel
have a hairdresser?

Oh, yes, ma'am. And a drugstore,
a cocktail bar...

...tennis courts,
everything to make folks happy.

Thank you.


Long who?

Long distance?

There is no Alexandra Del Lago here,

Who is it?

I am not...!

Operator, I ought to know who I am.

Just a minute. Just a minute.

- Chan...
- Excuse me, princess...

Whatever you are selling, no.

Excuse me, please.

I'm sorry, ma'am, but we can't hold
these rooms any longer.

What did you say?

Will you repeat what you said.

Ma'am, he says your checkout time
is long past.

My checkout time at any hotel
in the world is when l...

Is when I want to check out.

Who told you you could
come into my bedroom?

- Now, where is Chance? Mr. Wayne?
- I beg your pardon?

- Your companion. Now, where is he?
- Who wants to know?

This is the assistant manager,
and I am Tom Finley Jr.

Well, I hardly imagined
that you were a senior.

Out, both of you.

Hatcher, better wait for me
downstairs, please.

- Now, Miss Del Lago...
- I am the Princess Kosmonopolis...

Shut up.

Miss Del Lago, you ought to be
more careful of the company you keep.


Op... Just a moment, please.

Do you want me to call the police?

All right, you go ahead.
Do that, Miss Del Lago.

You tell them you spent the night
in an orgy with a criminal degenerate.

No, hon. Never mind.

Now, knowing him,
I figure you were victimized.

You're a rich, famous,
respected person, princess.

You don't want any trouble.

Thank you.

And now, if you are through
trying to frighten me...

...or shake me down, or whatever,
I would like to finish my breakfast.

Yes, ma'am. Go right ahead.

May I ask you
what Mr. Wayne is to you?

You may not.

He's... He drives my car.
He's in my employ. He's my driver.

What are you doing here in St. Cloud?

Okay, he brought you here. Why?

We're just passing through.

- Thas all.
- Well, fine. Just pass right on through.

But you tell that scum
to drive you out of here quick.

- On whose authority?
- Mine.

Well, even in this impossible place,
you couldn't represent the law.

There isn't any law
that covers the Chance Waynes.

Not after what he did to me
and to my family.

- What?
- You just never mind.

- What did he do?
- Never you mind.

You tell him that I said
if he don't pass through...

...his life ain't worth spit in the wind.

Well, sometime you come on back
and see us, hear?

We'll lay out the red carpet for you.


Well, so long, Miss Del Lago.

Nightfall. Now, you and him
be gone by nightfall.

You hear me?

Oh, where? Where did he put it?


Oh, Chance.



Operator. I want a bottle of vodka
sent up here at once.

Yes. Well, then send me
a bottle of anything.

And operator?

Operator, I want you to find
Mr. Chance Wayne for me.

Well, page him.

And try that happy
cocktail bar of yours.

- Change for a quarter.
- Thank you.

Did you arrange to have that
prescription filled yet?

I'll check, Mr. Wayne.

Hello? Professor Smith?

You can't beat Boss Finley
by making speeches about God...

...or by heckling him about chastity...

...because the Boss has a patent
on that jazz.

He's a low-down hillbilly.

And it takes a hillbilly to cut down
a hillbilly, and thas me.

Don't bother about my name.

You just appear at that rally tonight
and ask him one question:

Why did Boss Finley make Dr. Scudder
chief of staff at the hospital?

Operator, are there any calls
for a Chance Wayne?

No, I mean outside calls.

Well, page me if there are, will you?

Chance "High-Stepping" Wayne.

Hey, hey, Miss Lucy.

Honey, you used to be so attractive,
I couldn't stand it.

Now I can. Almost stand it.

Well, boy, you still look like
a million dollars, there, Miss Lucy.

Confederate money.

Hey, a year ago you would have
laughed at that.

- Well, I must be faint with thirst.
- Thirsty? Here?

Don't you know this is the land of
Bourbon, Sodom and Gomorrah Finley?

- Can I help you, Miss Lucy?
- Yeah. Drop dead.

What happened to your finger?

It got caught in your big,
fat blabbermouth.

Hey, honey, you wanna laugh?

Listen. Last night, Finley gave me this
for an Easter gift.

Well, he has always been generous.

Well, thas not all he gave me.

He gave me the treatment,
the full Finley treatment.

Ending up canceling my rooms,
my credit and my welcome.

And this morning, I was handed a ticket
to New Orleans. One way.

Well, that man has an irresistible passion
to see other people traveling.

Does he know you're back in town?

I would say he is
aware of my presence.

Whas in the pill, honey?

Well, when you are having fun,
this makes you have even more.

Are you? Having fun?

Baby, I'm having a ball.

Honey, I'm an expert
at pretending to have fun.

You are having a wake, not a ball.

Mr. Wayne? Phone, Mr. Wayne.

Isn't that Alexandra Del Lago?


Oh, Aunt Nonnie.
Yeah, is me, chance.

Miss Del Lago, will you
autograph this for me, please?

- I'm sorry.
- Not for me, for my little girl.

- Just write, "To my dearest Josephine."
- I'm looking for my glasses.

- Miss Del Lago, please.
- Some other time.

- Tell Heavenly that I will be there.
- You shouldn't be seen here...

...in this condition.
- Chance. Chance!

Get this drunken bum out of here.

Hey, hey, relax!

Relax, buster.


- You all right, princess?
- Oh, Chance.

If you'd stayed upstairs,
that would not have happened.

- Oh, I did. I stayed.
- I told you to wait.

I waited. I waited forever.
But then a young man...

Princess, not now.
I've gotta do something.

Will you just wait upstairs?


Chance, listen to me.
We've got to go away from here.

Princess, please, I haven't got time.

We'll just pretend that we're going
for a drive.

- Yeah, but...
- We'll forget about the bags.

I had a visitor, looking for you.

He was a horrible, vicious young man
with evil in his heart.

And he said that if we weren't
out of town by nightfall, he'd...

Oh, chance, I didn't know
where to find you.

And at first I felt panicky,
and then I got a little high again.

- I'm sorry.
- Look, I know, princess...

...but I gotta go now.
- Oh, Chance.

Chance, Chance, let me tell you.

Let me tell you the strange and
wonderful thing that happened to me.

I realized that your coming back here
and the things that you'd hoped for...

...poor baby, I knew that your comeback
had been a failure, like my own.

And at that moment,
I felt something in my heart for you.

Is a miracle. Is a wonderful thing
that has happened to me.

I felt something for somebody
besides myself.

You know what that means?

That means that my heart is still alive.
Still alive, Chance.

Well, you've got a wise heart,

Oh, I need you.
And we need each other.

We'll help each other.
You won't find me ungrateful.

Chance, I am truly ashamed
of last night.

I will never degrade you...

...nor myself.

I understand. Now, please, princess.

You want a screen test?

You'll have your test.
I'll honor that contract.

I'll make it good.
I'll make it even better.

Oh, princess, you are a glorious,
beautiful, lovely...

Monster. Drive, baby, drive.

Break every speed law from here...

No. No, baby.

- Princess, I got unfinished business.
- Don't leave me again. Not now.

- I got to.
- Chance!


Chance, you'll never come back.
They'll cut the life out of you.

- Princess, go up to the room and wait.
- No, please. Please, baby.

I can't be alone now.

Don't ask me to stay. Please.

Just give me this one last break.

Oh, Chance. Chance. Chance!

Don't send me back
to that room alone.

We could both do
with some comfort, honey.

Southern Comfort, 100 proof?

Thank you, miss.

Give the hicks a show, miss.

You show them you're a real princess.
Is good public relations.

Public? The public and I have always
enjoyed the very best relations.

Hi there.

Wouldn't you like to have a nice,
cool dip before lunch?

- Don't you go away, now.
- No, ma'am.


Dear, she shouldn't have gone anywhere
without you, should she?

No, ma'am, she shouldn't have.

Go away, Chance. Go away.
Leave here. Leave St. Cloud.

- Well, yeah, we'll leave here together.
- Is too late for that.

Baby, is just the beginning for us.

Now, no more next time.
This time, is for keeps.

We got it made, baby.

This is my passport out of here.
Right to the top, nonstop.

Let go, Chance.

Let go of my life.

But, baby, the door is opened.
This is a contract!

Now, is witnessed and notarized
and signed by Alexandra Del Lago.

She's my patroness.
She's my agent, my producer.

This is on the level.

- You've gotta believe me!
- I believe you.

All right, then. We'll leave here.

You and me and Princess Del Lago.
Tonight. Whenever you say.

Take your princess and go away.

Now. Before tonight.

You want me
to leave here without you?

Don't come back.

Don't call anymore. Run!

But, baby, what about you?
What about you and me?

Forget about me!

You want me to forget
that you're carrying my baby?

Yes! The way I had to forget!

Go back to your dream!

- You got the loudspeaker tested?
- Yeah.

- How about the TV setup? Okay?
- Yeah. Okay.

- I want you to stand by for a surprise.
- What kind of surprise?

I don't know. I got an anonymous
phone call, so just stand by.

Yes, ma'am, princess!

get the bill ready for suite 212.

- Miss Lucy, your bill's been paid in full.
- Thas what you think.

- Hold on.
- Tom Jr., they're checking out.

The princess lady
just asked for the bill.

Come here.
You just had to see him, didn't you?

You just naturally had to lay
in chance Wayne's arms like a trollop.

Folks, my daughter!

Who says purity and politics
don't go together?


I thought,
from the happy celebration...

...that you were being served on a platter
with an apple stuck in your mouth.

- What are you doing?
- Getting out of here.

- As fast as your car will take us.
- Oh, well. I have another driver.

A certain Miss Lucy.

A kindly soul who will drive me
out of this hellish nightmare...

...as far as New Orleans.

I'm still your driver, princess.
We're leaving here together.

What happened
to your unfinished business?


- Well, I'm back. Isn't that enough?
- In a word, no.

- Oh, princess, baby...
- No!

Don't answer that.


- Hello?
- I told you not to.

- Who's calling the princess?
- Will you please, please hang up?

Is Walter Winchell, in Hollywood.

Oh, no.

- Oh, no.
- Yeah, put him on.

- No. No!
- Yeah, she's right here.

Oh, how did he find me? How?

- It was you.
- Hello? Hello, Mr. Winchell?

Oh, yes.
Well, this is Chance Wayne speaking.

I called for the
Princess Kosmonopolis.


I mean, Alexandra Del Lago.
Last night?

Oh, yeah. She's fine, fine.

She just wanted to tell you about
this new star that she's discovered.

- Oh, sure, she can talk for herself.
- I can't.

- Princess, come on. He's waiting.
- Well, you tell him that I am dying.

And I just might.

You gotta meet it halfway.




Walter! Well, is that really you, Waldo?

Yes, yes, is me. Alexandra.

Thas whas left of me.


Oh, yes, yes, I did go to the preview,
but I only stayed a few minutes.

As soon I saw that first big close-up of
myself on that monstrous CinemaScope...

...I tell you, I ran right out of there!

I screamed for a taxi,
and I haven't been...

I haven't stopped running since.


Oh, no, no. No, no, I heard nothing,
read nothing, I just wanted oblivion.



You're just being kind, aren't you?

Princess, tell him
about my screen test.

- One moment, Walter, I'm breathless.
- Tell him to break it in his column...

Go in the bathroom and stick
your head under cold water.

Walter, now, tell me,
do you really think so?

You're not just being kind,
are you, because of old times?

Grown, did you say? My talent?
Well, in what way, Walter?

- More depth?
- Tell him about me.

- More what? What did you say?
- Me.

More power?

- Well, God bless you. God bless you!
- Come on, now, cut the chatter.

Tell him you've found a new
leading man with a bright new future.

Walter, that is very,
very sweet of you.

I don't even care if you're not altogether
sincere in that statement, Walter...

...because I think you know what
the past 15 years have been like.


Whas that, Walter?

They want me?

They really want me?

Well, for what part?

Who? Who wants me?

Oh, dear Lord.


Walter, please excuse me.

No, no. Excuse me. I'm crying, dear,
and I haven't got any Kleenex.

Come on, talk to him about me.

- Oh, Walter...
- Me, me, me!

Walter, what?

No, no, I didn't read the reviews.

Who cares what the newspapers say?

What did they say? Tell me.
Tell me word for word.

Before the festivities, let us all
bow our heads in silent prayer.

Mrs. Maribelle Norris
will sing while we pray.

Good night, professor.

Can't we do this
without hurting the girl?

Do you wanna get rid
of Boss Finley or not?

Yes. Oh, no!

Oh, Walter, the New Yorker magazine
praised it.

Oh, I'm too overwhelmed. I'm...
Walter, I'll have to call you back later.

- I can't believe it. I can't believe it.
- Hello?

My picture has broken box-office records
in New York and L.A.

- Get him back on this phone.
- Variety says...

...that I am the biggest boff
in release today.

- Princess, I took care of you.
- I've gotta go to a clinic for a week.

- I delivered my end.
- A week or 10 days.

Would you shut up and listen!

Bennie. I'll have to get him to cover up
my tracks these past few weeks in hell.

- Get Winchell back on this phone.
- What?

Tell him about me!

What? Tell him about a beach boy
that I picked up for pleasure...

...a distraction from panic?

Now? Now, when the
nightmare is over?

And involve my name
with the name of a...

A blackmailer.

You've just been using me. Using me.

When you ran out on me downstairs,
you ran out on this contract too.

Just a short while ago, I needed you.
Oh, how I needed you.

Well, now I need nobody.

I climbed up alone.

And I will climb back alone.
Back to where I belong.

I will live alone and I will work alone.

I know exactly the kind
of gold-plated hell I'm going to.

But you, you have gone past something
you couldn't afford to go past.

Your time, your youth.
You've passed it.

Is all you've had, and you've had it!

Look who's talking.

Just look at yourself.

What do you see in there?

I see me.

Alexandra Del Lago, artist and star.

Now you look at yourself.

What do you see?


A nameless face, thas what you see.
Oh, I remember faces like yours.

I remember young men
with dreams like yours.

I remember their eyes,
I remember their voices...

...I remember their smiles,
I remember their bodies.

But their names, their names have gone.
They're just nameless bodies.

Well, you remind me
of one in particular.

What was his name? Franz something.
Franz, Franz...

- Albertzart. Yes, Franz Albertzart.
- Are you through? Have you finished?

I saw Franz a few years
later in Monte Carlo.

He was with a woman of 70,
and his eyes were older than hers.

But she held him.

She led him by an invisible chain
through a string of hotels...

...and casinos and bars
like a blind, obedient lap dog.

Chance Wayne is Franz Albertzart.

Oh, no. Look, I'm not Franz anybody.
Princess, I'm your next leading man.

Princess, now, look, you've gotta
open the right doors for me.

I know you're gonna do this for me.

I have been knocking on those doors
of success till my insides are bloody.

Thas how I've been knocking
on those doors, with my bare insides.

You will open only one door:

The door to my car as my chauffeur.

You will wake me in the morning...

...as my butler or my lover,
depending on what I want.

In a few years, you will be through
with your good looks...

...and I will be through with you.

And that is the truth.
Can you face the truth?

Are you ready to be my chauffeur?
My next Franz Albertzart?

Oh, don't you know I would die first?

I would. I would rather die first.

And here he is.
May the good Lord protect him.

Our Tom.

I am here to answer charges against
my good name and character.

Thirty years ago,
the voice of God told me...

...to save this sweet land
from pollution.

Well, I am here on the same
sacred mission tonight.

To save us from outsiders
who wanna corrupt our way of life.

Boss Finley!

Hey, Boss Finley!

What way of life you talking about?

You mean the way your daughter...

The way your virtuous Miss Heavenly
had a secret operation...

...at the hands of Dr. Scudder?
- What are you waiting for?

An illegal operation,
performed in your hospital.

Aided and abetted by you.

- And forced on her without her consent.
- That is a dirty, black lie!

- Did God tell you how to rob us blind?
- Show yourself!

- Listen to me, folks!
- How to use your office for gain?

- Listen to me!
- Come on, get him out of here!

I have dedicated my life to God,
home and country.

My life is an open book.

Listen to me, folks!
Folks, listen to me!

Chance, we're leaving.
Right now. Together.

Murderer! Baby killer!

I'm going to send a boy
up for my luggage.

You had better come down
with my luggage.

- I am not part of your luggage.
- Chance.

Whatever I am,
I am not part of your luggage.

All right. You know whas going
to happen to you if you stay.



Chance, dear, I... Well, is...

- You forget something, princess?
- Well, yes. Yes, I did.

- These, maybe?
- Oh, yes.

Of course, last night
they were worthless...

...but now, after my comeback...

...you know,
they're worth a small jackpot.

- In cash.
- On the house.

Chance. Please, let me help you.

- Goodbye, lover.
- At least let me take you away.

- And good luck.
- I'll wait for you in the car.

Princess, each of us has his own
private hell to go to.

- Find your sister.
- Take it easy, Pa.

She'll run off with that punk.

- No, he's gone. Checked out.
- That won't stop her.

Will you let me handle this?

Mr. Finley.

How would you
answer the charges...?

I am shocked, shocked,
to find our state overrun...

...by backstabbing Bolsheviki
and Red rabble-rousers.

Get the governor on the phone.

Are you aware it was the Finley Youth
Club hoodlums that started that riot?

What riot?

I'm only aware that decent Americans
were defending freedom of speech...

...which I have yet
to receive the benefit of.

Oh, Miss Finley,
would you care to make a statement?

- Miss Finley?
- Hasn't enough been said already?

Sure, Aunt Nonnie, folks will think
we got something to hide.

Sugar? Heavenly, baby.

Precious, your papa's talking to you.

You came here
of your own free will...

...and I hereby give you just as much
freedom to speak your piece, right now.

Take me home, Papa.

Good night, folks. Good night, you-all.



Mr. Chance, is me, charles.

Don't stay here, Mr. Chance. Don't!

Don't stay here.

Please, Mr. Chance,
don't stay here now.


Well, lookie here.

Thought you'd be halfway to california
by now with that tramp actress of yours.


Don't you ever speak the name
of my sister again.



- Don't you know?
- Kill him.

No. Just gonna take away
lover-boy's meal ticket.

Put him down there.



Bring him over here.

Look at yourself.

No woman will ever again
pay to love that.

- Chance?
- Go in the house.

Hello? Yes, ma'am, just a moment.

Pa, phone. Governor calling.

- Chance?
- Hello, governor. How's the family?

- Fine, fine.
- Night, Aunt Nonnie.

Oh, baby, what did we do to you?

Don't cry.

Don't cry, baby. Is all right.
Is all right.

What you heard was lies. Just lies.
The press will be here in a moment.

I want you here with me
to answer questions.

He sure busted up that dream of mine.

We're leaving.
We're leaving here right now.

My daughter will be here
to answer any and all questions.

Heavenly! Get in the house!


Papa, I'm never coming
into that house again.

Wait. Hold it, governor.

I'll call you back.

Come back here!

Come back!

- Nonnie, she can't leave here. Not now.
- Why?

- Me. What about me?
- You? You can go straight to hell.