The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932) - full transcript

Sophisticated comedy: a trio of money hungry women who all have sugar daddies who keep them in the lap of luxury, even as they drive the men crazy. Each woman represents a different personality type, from sensitive, to kind-hearted, to difficult and untrustworthy. Set in the age of jazz, the twenties come roaring back with immorality and in-fighting.

The flower shop, please.

I'll wait. Schatzi?


What do you want?

We've got to go now. You better get dressed.

I'll be ready.

Well, you'd better be. It'd be terrible
if we missed it this evening.

Oh, Polaire, I'm dressed to go out right now.

The flower shop? Mr. Harris?

Listen, Mr. Harris, my girlfriend's fianc? ?
sent her some more of those orchids, Mr. Harris.

Six of them.


Yes, but Mr. Harris, you paid us twice
as much for six of them last week.

You mean, not even stockbrokers aren't buying
orchids anymore, Mr. Harris?

Well, alright, Mr. Harris.

Oh, I'll send them right down.

Hurry up, Schatzi.

I am hurrying.

Now, listen, Pops, and I'll tell you.

I just took the money you gave me for the car
and bought some more American telentel instead.

Yeah, Pops, you know, a car goes out of style,
but telentel goes on forever.

Oh, I didn't know you were in the shower.

Did you have a good time with Oscar
and the medicine ball?

Well, anyhow, Jean gets back today.

Yeah, Jeanie.

Yeah, I know you don't think she's in my class, but
you'll have to admit, she's awful good company.

Yeah. Besides, she's awful broke.

And you know what I think, Pops?
I think her stocks went down.

And there she was in Paris and didn't know
how to say 'sell short' in French.

And anyhow, her fianc?'s wife arrived.

And it seems that she's a
very narrow-minded person.

And she bought him his ticket,
so Jean decided to come home.

Yeah, and she's on the island of France
and ought to be in in about an hour.

Your bill, madame.

Bill? What for?

For the liquor, madame.

Forty-three dollars!

You said forty-three dollars?

You're going to make me believe...

... that I have drunk forty-three dollars
worth of liquor since I've been on this boat?

Oh, no, madame. These are only
the drinks you haven't paid for yet.

You mean, there are drinks
somebody else paid for.

- Well, yes, madame.
- But I haven't paid for any drinks myself.

That was my point, madame.

Well, don't let it throw you. This can be arranged.

- I'll send Hemming over.
- Bye.

Thank you, sir.

- Pardon me -
- Haven't I met you someplace before?

Oh, that's possible. I have been
on this boat for five days.

No, I don't mean that. No, I've seen
you somewhere before.

Was it the races?

- The races? Perhaps...
- I know it was somewhere.

St. Cloud. That's where it was.

I couldn't forget easily
a good-looking man like you.

You know, it's the silliest thing. My stupid maid
has packed my trunks and I have a foul bill here...

I'm sure she must've packed my checkbook.
Anyway, I can't find it. I wonder if -

- Oh, you must allow me.
- Oh, no, I couldn't think of that!

- My dear, how much is it?
- No, I couldn't really. Forty-three dollars.

Oh, I feel terribly.

What if we make it sixty?

I always believe in tipping admirably, don't you?

Oh, yes.

You're so kind.

- There she is!
- Hello! Jean!

Do my eyes deceive me or is she really alone?

And without a man.

I think she's afraid of catching colds.

Will you kindly take your suitcase
out of the small of my back?

I beg your pardon. I didn't know
it was the small of your back.

Well, you're a stranger to me, and
that's the small of my back to you.

- There she is!
- Hey, Jean!

- Jean!
- Hello, babies!

I'm back to New York and I'm
so happy to see you guys!

Oh, we've missed you, haven't we, Schatzi?

Oh, I'll say we missed you. We wanted you
to come home ages ago, like you promised.

Oh, I had a terrible time in Paris.

Oh, do you hear that?
She said she had a terrible time.

Trunks, ladies?

No, no trunks.

What do you mean no trunks?

I mean the hotel in Paris thought
they needed them worse than I did.

Oh, well, what you need is a good drink.
Come on up to my place and have one.

- Bet you could do with a little drinking.
- You bet I could.

You know, when they close these ship's bars,
you're so shut off from liquor!

- Oh, no!
- They ought to!

Broke? Am I broke!

- Oh, poor Jean.
- Yeah, I'll say.

Well, just as long as you're back.

Yes, we'll have fun anyhow, Jean.

Well, I could do with some fun.

They got all my clothes except what I got on.

And what's in that little black bag
I sneaked out of them.

And all my bracelets, except that one
I sneaked out on them, too...

... because I couldn't see letting them
see the real ones.

I got nothing I can call my own except my health.

- Any wonder I wanted to see you guys?
- No, no. It's no wonder.

Hey, that's my old comb!

- What's your comb?
- That's my comb!

- That's my old comb.
- Did you two start fussing already?

Well, now that we three are together,
we can put up our feet and make a few plans.

Plans? What for?

For you. We can lend you clothes
and we can lend you money.

- Huh?
- That is, some.

But the first thing to do is to put
you back in the swim.

I'll tell you what I'll do, Jean.

I'll lend you my good luck bracelet
that you've always wanted.

- Good!
- You can wear it til I change it.

And the luck will change, too, because I've
had my bad dimes turned on it.

You know, I can't keep things with a hole in it.

Oh, but it won't happen on a bad dime.

Why not? Mine looks alright.

Oh, you're a sport!

You can keep anything. Why bother?

I know what I'll do, Polaire.
Tomorrow I'll take it down to Carmen's...

... and have your bad diamond sawed off and
put in a permanent case with diamonds in it.

Well, that's certainly sweet of you, Jean.

Not a bean in the world,
and talking about diamonds!

You know, I don't believe I could've had any
better friends than you two guys.

And I want you to know that you haven't
got any better friend than I am.

Oh, that's sweet of you to say that.

Do you hear that? Sweet.

And as long as we three stick together,
I don't care what happens.

I'll just get even wilder.

And we wouldn't have broken up,
only I had to go fall in love...

We won't break up again, not if I can help it.

Cause you know that I'm for you,
and I know that you're for me...

... and there's no friends like old friends.

- Just the three of us.
- Against the men!

All the playgirls of New York!

And now for our plans...

What are you going to do?

Just a moment. Don't you worry about
Little Jean. She's going to be alright.

Why, I was just saying to myself this morning as
I looked out at that old skyline...

'Well, that's it. If the worst comes to the worst,
there's always Pops.'

There's always Pops.


Sure! Pops!

Oh, you remember Pops!

Oh, sure, we remember Pops.

What's the matter?

Pops isn't dead, I hope!

No, Pops isn't dead.

Maybe I ought to give Pops a ring and
let him know I'm back.

Just to prepare him.

Oh, no, dear, no. I wouldn't do that,
not if I were you.

No, Jean, she's right. That isn't
the thing to do at all.

Well, why not?


That you, Pops?

Yeah, Jean's here.

Guess I'd better call you back.

- Say, what's Pops to you?
- Now, isn't Pops a father to all of us?

Hey, what's Pops to you?

Well, you wouldn't expect a nice girl like me to
leave a kind, old gentlemen like Pops...

... in the old Metropolitan Club
without a thing to call his own!

You answer my question. What's Pops to you?

Well, he's my fianc?. Not that we're engaged,
or anything like that.

Well, you would fall in love and go away!

Well, this is a fine welcome home!

Looting the only man who was ever kind to me.

And promised to remember me in his will.

I never have any luck.

There's one thing that's certain, though.
At Pop's age, you won't have him long!

Now, you'll wish Pops no bad luck,
if you don't mind.

And now we'll have Polaire call up Dey Emery
and have him throw a party for you tonight.

And have him bring along some
nice friend of his who is fun...

... who would like to meet a nice girl
who is fun, too.

You don't mind doing that
for Jean, do you, Polaire?

Sure, I'll call him.

Give me Worcestershire...

No, nevermind.

Well, there's one thing that has got to be
understood before Jean meets any friend of mine.

And that is, she's got to lay off him.

Now, why bring that up?

Because you never lay off anybody
who belongs to someone else.

- Oh, is that so?
- You never want anyone else to have any fun.

Oh, is that so!

So you don't meet any friend of mine until you
sign a paper saying you've changed your habits.

I'll change any habits of mine that don't suit you,
the day you change your face for one I can stand!

You don't have to stand anything about me anymore
than I do about you, you poor, blonde wop!

- You call me a blonde wop?
- Stop it, both of you!

- She can't help it if she's Italian!
- You dirty, little -

- Oh, I did, of course.
- See?

Well, she may have started it,
but you gave a good cause.

Oh, you always take her side.

I take the side of the party that's
right, and you know it.


If you don't stop scrappling,
I'll send you both home.

It's undignified.

- Ms. Big Mouth!
- You scubbleraff!

Look what you did to her!

It's hers anyhow!

Now get her a towel and wipe that beer off.

Alright, now see if there's anything
besides beer in this joint.


Oh, my goodness, you ought to be ashamed of
yourself, fighting about a man you haven't met yet.

How do you even think to get into
a scrapple all the time?

Oh, well, I always think she was on the level,
and more fun than -

Well, I always said you were more fun,
too, as far as that goes.

Well, I'm not anymore. I'm broke
and disillusioned, and that makes me bitter.

Well, one thing, no one can pan either
one of you to the other.

Oh, well, you can have my
good luck bracelet anyhow, Jean.

- I'll give you my red fox fur.
- Oh, that's sweet!


- You will call Dey Emery, won't you?
- Sure I will.

Tell him not to bring any of his old mates.
Get a regular guy or nothing.

Having girl trouble, Dey?

Girl trouble? No, Father, why?

You've rolled your dice,
but you haven't moved your men.

Oh, I'm sorry, Father.

Six to the five, aha.

- Alright, double you.
- Take it.

Yes, you rang for here?

The telephone for Mr. Dey, sir.

Telephone... telephone.

Tell them he'll call back.

- It's a lady, sir.
- Of course it is.

It's always a lady.

- I believe it's 'the' lady, Mr. Dey.
- You'll have to excuse me, Father.


Oh, hello, darling.

Listen, darling, will you be sweet
and give us a party tonight?

Of course. I'd love to!

Well, now, you've got to bring along
someone nice for Jean.

Who will you get?

I'm not going to tell you now.
Wait til you meet him.

Goodbye, darling.

- Wild oats, Billings. Wild oats.
- They're only young once, sir.

I haven't forgotten.

Your play.

If you had the sense you were born with,
you would've given me that red dress back.

Say, if you owe me five pairs
at sixteen dollars each.

Oh, will you quit scrabbling and shut up!

Shut up yourself. Every time I lend you a pair,
you manage to get something stuck in it -

You keep talking about stockings!

When I think of the champagne I lent her...

Where's my ermine coat?

Your ermine coat...

Yeah, you borrowed it from me last winter
and didn't give it back.

- You gave it to me!
- I lent it to you.

You gave it to me for Christmas!

I lent it to you for Christmas.

- Hello.
- Please, to a table. How about right here?

Well, what have you done on your trip?

They'll kill us, blind us, or burn holes
in our clothing.

- They've got good cordon rouge here.
- Yes, expensive.

- Did I ask you the price of it?
- No, you didn't.

If you don't know who I am, you better ask
the other waiters.

Now, put some champagne on ice,
then bring the ladies over.


Where are these friends of yours?

Unhappy to be kept waiting in speakeasies.

You know, I can call up five-minute girls, here,
London, Paris, Berlin...

Have four hundred and fifty here in half an hour.

You won't though, will you?

Well, I hope you didn't think that
was an idle boast.

As long as it wasn't a threat, I don't care.

Well, I've got the three best bets
on the whole West Side for you tonight...

... and my own girl's one of them,
so give them a break.

Well, don't think that I'm unanxious to meet them.
Variety, you know, is the spice of life.

- Well, there we are.
- Well, where are they?

I think you'll find the ladies at the bar.

Please! You are a large volumen.

- ... at six hundred.
- Five hundred!

- What's that?
- Somebody you'd be crazy to meet.

- Well, tell me.
- Surprise!

- Oh, tell.
- You'll see.

Well, here we are.

Schatzi, Jean, and Polaire.

Always together, thicker than thieves,
and out for no good.

I call them the Three Musketeers
of Riverside Drive.

- Faith.
- Hope.

- Charity.
- Ta-da!

- You should be on the stage.
- Oh, we've been.

- Ladies of folly.
- Yeah, plenty of folly!

Oh, we've been glorified. If it hadn't been for
Mr. Frenchman, we'd all be married and settled down.

- You're Mr. Emery, aren't you?
- Yes.

- Yes, I've seen you often at the races.
- The races?

Oh, maybe it was the polo. I wouldn't
forget you. You are good-looking, you know.

Yes, isn't he?

- Yes, I never forget a face. I'll sit by you.
- Only that happens to be my place.

Alright, alright. I don't see why you have to
be so fussy.

Beggars can't be choosers.

Any old port will be fine.

Shall you introduce me, Dey, or shall
I do that for myself?

Not unless you insist.

I always like to know who I'm talking to.

You mean to say you didn't know he
was Boris Feldman?

No, I didn't. Wherever are the refreshments?

Well, how about this?

- That's the best you've got.
- Allow me.

Thanks. Caviar?

Don't speak of food while I'm drinking my dinner.

I'll just take a sandwich if you don't mind.

A large club.

- The lady will have a large club.
- One large club.

Anything for me, old man. I'm having mine.

- Well, what do you do?
- I play the piano.

Is that all?

Well, I took tambourine lessons, but I gave
them up when I was very young.

Oh, dear, a comic as well.

He happens to play a little better
than anyone else in the world.

- You've heard me?
- Why shouldn't I have heard you?

I'm allowed in public places.

I thought you two could get together about music.

I take piano lessons myself, Mr. Feldman.

I just love music.

Yeah, I hate it.

- You'll like mine.
- We shall see.

Oh, quit scrappling, Jean. Don't spoil the party.

- I'm going home.
- Oh, no, no, no.

I don't know where home is, but I know I'll
find it a lot quicker by myself...

... than I will hanging around
you two false blushers.

I come back from Paris after all
I've been through...

... and you talk big about
helping me get a new start in life.

And the best you can offer me is a piano player!

Oh, Jean, for Pete's sake!

Piano player, that's a good one!

- Not a piano player. A pianist, please.
- Well, same thing to me.

Yeah, but this piano player happens to get paid
twenty-five hundred dollars every time he plays.

How often do you play?

Well, never less than three,
never more than four times a week.

Three or four times a week at twenty-five -

Well! I'm not too proud to apologize!

- You've made the party!
- Well, now that we've got that point settled...

- Not bad, this, eh?
- I'll tell you more about it in the morning.

You can tell an awful lot about the liquor
you drink the night before...

... by where you find your hat the next morning.

- So your first name's Jean.
- That's the first name, yes.

- What year were you in the follies?
- Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies.

But it was years and years ago.

I want to talk to you in the bar.

Quite a pleasure.

Boris Feldman is a great fellow.

- Wasted on Jean.
- Jean's wasted on him.

- So it seems.
- That's the point, isn't it, darling?

I'd like to say something first though.

Well, go on and say it.

- You're Italian, aren't you?
- You must be a traveling man.

In a way.

But I know women. A blonde Italian
is the most beautiful thing on earth.

- Are you Russian?
- Russian from the Bronx.

Oh, say!

Hello, Pops. Did you call me up?

No, I'm not at home.

I'm with Jean and Polaire.


Oh, in a sort of a dress store.

You know my trouble, more than anything
else in the world?

Well, it might be your income tax,
and it might be your waistline.

Neither. Getting rid of the women
who fall in love with me.

- No!
- I'm serious.

Women who love me and won't let me go.

Oh, how do you count for that?

Well, in every man's life, he has one dream
that he's sure will never come true.

He dreams that there's always some woman
somewhere who will say...

'Nothing ever lasts. I knew this wouldn't...

But I never had anything like it before,
so good luck, and goodbye.'

Are you leading up to calling me your dreamgirl?

I may be.

- But you're going to fall in love with me.
- No, tell me more.

I'm going to play just for you.

- Play the piano?
- I'll tell you.

If you don't fall in love with me after I
play for you tonight...

... you can take the price of
a mink coat home with you.

Five thousand dollars, what do you say?

Is it a bet?

And what do I get if I win?

Well, that has its prize, too.
Anything, everything.

Oh! I'll take you up!

Waiter, I'm looking for a place to wash my hands.

There's a room there, for gentlemen. But
don't let that stop you. You go right in.

Pardon me, is that yours?


Well, just to make it legal. You bet this
against the mink coat. Is it done?

Is it done? Mister, I'm human.

Sorry, ladies and gentlemen,
two o'clock. Closing time.

A speakeasy that closes at two o'clock
is practically a tearoom.

Well, I think we'll have to go
before they put us out.

Suits me, I've got a golf lesson
at nine in the morning.

- Is anyone getting up at nine in the morning?
- Yes.

- If you're going to be home.
- Or do you want Boris to come to my place.

- He'll give you a telephone call.
- Where do you live?

Central Park West.

I think we'll go to my place.

This is the way to listen to music.

Just lying around, half-cockeyed, in the dark.

That's the way to listen to anything.
Music or a lad.

This is the life, alright, only some
people don't know it.

Say, Dey, what do you think of Jean falling asleep
on Feldman's playing...

... and now she's sleeping on Polaire's?

Well, she said she didn't like piano players.

I know, but that's a fine way to act
when they invite you to their house!

That's that.

- Well, shall we have some lights?
- Certainly, if it doesn't disturb your friend.

What time is it?

- Why, it's after four.
- After four!

Gee, I got to go home. I can't sit up
all night listening to you play the piano!

I've got a golf lesson at nine in the morning.

I'll go upstairs and get my coat.

When is Feldman's birthday?

Gee, Polaire, you've been holding out on me.

I didn't know you could really play.

I can't, really.

But you can, really. I knew you had something.

I see you think I've got a
pretty talented girl, Feldman.

Yes, that's why I want to talk to her.

I don't want to talk. I hate people who can talk.

So do I. But tell me, where did you learn
what you know about music?

Somebody sat me down at
a piano stool when I was a kid.

What made you get up?

That's a long story, and I hate long stories.

Yeah! So do I.

Come on, everybody, let's have a little drinky.

Come into my study. I can talk to you better
there. And we won't disturb your friend's slumber.

Well! Perhaps a little more music might help.

Well, I'll be -

- I could make an artist of you.
- No, you couldn't.

- I haven't got the guts.
- Now, don't talk like a fool.

Why not? I am a fool.

I've got just enough sense to realize
that you're a divine artist which I object to.

Well, why do you object?

Because nothing that's divine is any fun.

And anything that's not fun
is out as far as I'm concerned.

- Honey, come up here.
- Oh, I'd rather not.

Well, I'm not proud.

Oh, lay off, Jean. Dey isn't njoying
this any more than you are.

Well, why doesn't he stand up for his rights,
then, and do something?

Rights? I haven't any rights.

- Polaire's not my property.
- Well, Feldman's mine.

All the men to pick from, and you
had to bring a piano player!

What's wrong with that?

- Don't lie to me.
- I'm not lying.

Anyway, I think this party's seen better days.

Why don't we all go out somewhere for breakfast?

Yes, well, I'm for that. I'd do anything to get
that spell out of here.

Playing the piano for my personal property!

- I can make you work.
- I tell you, I'm too lazy.

I'm no good. I know I'm no good.

If you're good enough for Boris Feldman,
then you're good enough for the world.

Would you kindly leave us alone?

I just wanted to tell you that Mr. Emery's
taking us all out to breakfast.

Well, if he takes you out,
I'll be perfectly satisfied.

No man living can make a crack like
that to me and get away with it.

Dey, would you mind stepping
into this office with us?


I don't want to take advantage of my friends, Dey.

But you're very fond of this girl. I've
made her a proposition.

Let her study with me for two years,
and I'll make her rich and famous.

Well! I don't see where that's
taking advantage of me.

She won't have me make her
anything but notorious.

I don't want to be famous,
and I don't have to be rich.

I never give advice except when I'm tight, so...

I think you better take him up,
and do what he tells you.

Even if that washes up everything
between you and me?

Well, why does that follow?

Doesn't it, Feldman?

Obviously. She'll have to travel with my
company, go on my tours.

Spend her summers in Europe studying.

Now, will you tell her that I can offer her
more than you or will you stand in her way?

Well, I don't want to stand in her way, but -

Well, then maybe at some point,
you'd mind stepping out of your way.

I've chosen.

I'm sad for him, but I may be of some
use to myself.

When do we start?

Right away.

That's a little sudden.

No, it isn't. It's better to have everything
straight like that. It's... simpler.

- You are a sport, Dey.
- Oh, that's alright.

But, don't forget me, if you
fall off the piano stool.

None of that. You're mine now, and I'm jealous.

Always in the course of a long evening,
somebody always drinks a toast.

Usually with less excuse than I've got.

Well, here's to Polaire's future.

Polaire's future? Why?

Because she's promised to give me her hands.
I did not say 'her hand'.

And I'm going to help her to make them famous.

He thinks he can teach me to play the piano
well enough to get paid for it.

She's promised to work.

- I'll get you some coffee.
- I'll help you.

Thanks, no. I keep my coffee
in the strangest places.

Just a moment.

Do I win that bet?

What bet?

Did you or did you not bet me a mink coat that
you'd make me love you?

I did.

Well, you haven't made me.

Five thousand dollars, didn't we say?

Five thousand, yes.

Count them yourself.

That's what I call high, wide, and handsome.

Handsome is as handsome does.

- I'll even return your handkerchief.
- You can keep that.

Thanks, though. I didn't win it.

I won much more.

I can't remember when I've had
a more profitable evening.

- I'll be going home, I guess.
- Wait a minute.

I suppose you know you've made
a little fool of yourself?

I've always known that, my dear.

Oh, yeah? Well, this party certainly
dies a death. I'm going home.

What's your hurry? I'm not thinking of going yet.

Alright, then, take off your coat,
and stick around awhile.

I'm cold.

Alright, keep it on, then.

Come on, Dey, let's go in the kitchen
and get some coffee.


What's this?

Well, when I did that, I was hot.

Your messages have never been
exactly subtle, have they?

They usually work.

Which one were you planning to ask for,
Feldman or Dey?

- My business.
- I'm sorry, Jean.

Can I help it if Feldman likes me?

Try it on Dey.

He's a swell guy.

Oh, don't bother me. I'm busy.

I thought you'd gone.

I'm waiting for the Marines to drag me out.

I've done my best to get rid of them.

I'd rather you told them that I've gone home.

You're shy. I like that.

I'm just not used to letting people in on my
business the way you do.

- Where are you going?
- I'm going home to get some things.

Well, it's just ten minutes to five.

I'll give you those ten minutes.

I'll be back.

No. Not while Dey's still here.

Has she gone?

- Yes, she's gone.
- I'm going, too.

Well, goodbye.




- I suspect w