The Trouble with Girls (1969) - full transcript
A traveling Chautauqua show. an educational and entertainment troupe, pitch their tents in a small American town with an ensemble of speakers, lecturers, teachers, musicians, and actors as manager Walter Hale must deal with a myriad of problems, including small town prejudice and politics, nepotism, union problems, and a murder.
I can see it! Here it comes!
Will Coolidge choose to run again?
Will Dempsey beat Sharkey?
Is Babe Ruth going to hit
60 homers this year?
Lucky Lindy had just flown the Atlantic.
Janet Gaynor won the first Oscar.
Al Capone was scaring Chicago.
But the really big event of the year...
...in thousands of towns
like Radford Center, Iowa...
...was the traveling Chautauqua troupe
that was coming to town...
...with its silver-tongued orators
and exciting entertainers.
There was one man who held
the dizzy troupe together.
He was the manager.
He wore a white suit.
And when he stepped down off
that big train on a hot summer's day...
...a town looked different.
It somehow came alive!
- How you doing, kiddo?
- White folks still ahead.
I'll tell you what.
- What's this for?
- You wear this button...
...it's like advertising space
for us, right?
- Well, that's the fee, baby.
- Got something for her?
- Have you got your tickets for the season?
- No, because it's so much money.
- Anyone can afford Chautauqua.
- Not us.
- Well, I don't have the time.
- She says it's all baloney.
Chautauqua's not baloney, ma'am.
It's a way of life.
Enjoy the week, ma'am,
as a guest of the Chautauqua.
Boy! And you didn't even wanna come!
- Where's Walter?
- I don't know.
- Would you find him?
- Right, right.
- Where's Hale?
- I don't know where he is now.
- But an hour ago...
- Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on, come on.
Good question. That is a very
I am glad that you asked
That's the kind of a question
that should be asked.
Hey, boss! Boss!
Now that you're the boss, give me
the chance to do something. Watch this.
- A manic-depressive duck.
- Hey, Walt!
Isn't she cute, Hale?
Can't you just see this adorable
little child as the lead in the pageant?
Yeah, she's something.
- Do we move it, boss?
- Right, roll it. Sure.
And thank you too.
Mr. Hale, now, I don't wanna
seem pushy or anything, Mr. Hale.
But wouldn't it be nice
if Lily-Jeanne could play...
in the little children's pageant?
- Mr. Hale, that would be very nice...
- I don't think it'll be a problem.
- Still got it?
Come on, kids.
I think it must be over here.
Make a mental note to yourself.
Make sure the college boys
know where the drugstore is.
- The old man says...
- Glad you're here, ma'am.
You gotta always check
the electrical equipment.
Last year, somebody pulled
the wrong switch...
...and the whole damn town
was dark for 11 hours.
- Now, what...
- Excuse me.
Could I get to both the French cooking
and the cannibalism lecture this afternoon?
You see, I'm interested
in all kinds of cooking.
French cooking is right back there and
cannibalism's going on in the main tent.
Nice to see you.
Stay away from the locals, kiddo.
You're the boss now.
Don't forget that.
This is very important. When it rains,
be sure you get a lot of old blankets.
And put them over the leaky parts...
Oh, for heaven's sake.
You're doing it wrong.
Let me show you.
Now, the boss says to be sure
to remember that the timetables...
...are not written in daylight-savings time.
You make an awful mistake...
Remember to push everything back
an hour or you'll get all mixed up.
Johnny! Get Hale.
And tell him I have to see him.
- Hale, Charlene wants to see you.
- I'll be there in a minute.
There, that was wonderful.
Okay, now, you can sit down.
It's out back. Next, please!
You made life cheery.
Get down. Get down.
Thank you, darling.
That was very good.
Will you stop fighting?
You don't wanna wake the babies.
You tell me when you're ready, okay?
Don't bark, darling.
How's it going, honey? Looks like
everything's under control in here.
- You look...
Just because I'm the shop steward,
you're trying to overwork me.
I know, it's the basic anti-union
tendencies coming to the fore...
...now that you're management.
- I'm not anti-union.
All bosses are.
Goes with the territory.
Don't you bedroom-eye me,
boss-man. I work here, remember.
I remember a lot of things.
Well, you get A for remembering.
But what is starting is finished.
Because we are on the opposite sides
of the bargaining table, buster.
I swear to you, if you don't get me
some help here fast...
...I'm gonna wire Chicago and you'll be...
- Honey, you know me.
- Before you can say "Daddy Warbucks."
- I'll take care of everything.
My, she sings with such emotion,
Now, would you like
to hear her recite "Rosa"?
Do you know, there isn't a dry eye in our
parlor when she does her "Rosa."
No, that's fine. Thank you.
- You're next.
- My hubby's in the committee.
And Lily-Jeanne's met your Mr. Hale.
He said she was something.
Well, thank you very much.
What would you two like to do?
Can you play "Darktown Strutters Ball"?
We just do the chorus.
Would you mind repeating the last
eight bars? That's what we'd get off on.
Her mother used to be a dancer.
Where's your mother?
What's the matter with you?
Where you going?
Well, I have to pick up Carol
at the Chautauqua, Harry.
- Well, I have tickets.
- You got tickets and everything.
Look, what about later?
Why don't you come back later? My wife
thinks I'm at a committee meeting.
Well, I don't know.
But I'll see.
Did Nita leave?
She didn't turn in her receipts.
What are you, some kind
of a wiseapple or something?
What's the snotty look for?
Now, come on, what's the look for?
It's dirty thoughts, kiddo.
That's why you have pimples.
Now, listen to me.
This is the third time today
I've caught you eating.
Yesterday you had four
...two chocolate malts,
...three pies and a banana split.
Now, you're not gonna
eat me out of business.
Because from now on, I'm gonna take
inventory around here twice a day.
And when I do, I'm gonna count
every hamburger patty, every bun...
You have something
you wanna say to me?
Come on, say it!
Can I have a little time off
so I can go to the Chautauqua?
Damn the Chautauqua!
We still got reams of single tickets
available for later in the week.
I got that feeling of trouble
right here in my shoulder again too.
Oh, yeah. The cannibals are complaining
that their mattresses are too lumpy.
- I told them to quit eating them.
- It was nice to have met you, Mrs. Bix.
- And you should be very proud of Carol.
- Yes, I am.
I can't believe it.
That lady said...
...that you were the most
talented kid she'd ever heard.
- She said Willy was good too.
- Oh, of course.
- What's in your hand?
- A dollar.
Oh, that's nice.
But to be the lead in the pageant...
This is the best thing that has
ever happened to us.
And to think that
I wasn't even gonna go.
I bet we're gonna get out
of Radford Center now.
I know we're gonna get out.
And we're gonna get you someplace...
...where you can really
get to be somebody.
- Where are you gonna go and when?
- Oh, well, I don't know when.
But probably New York or Chicago.
And I'm gonna get you a boyish bob
and all new clothes.
- Just because of the pageant?
- Oh, well, you don't understand.
Oh, well, I mean, I give you
that it isn't the Ziegfeld Follies.
But it's a beginning.
The Methodists make better
cookies than the Lutherans.
- Let me see.
- Just you wait and see. They'll all see.
This whole town will see, because
one day, we're gonna come back here.
We'll just be passing through. And they'll
all come to the train depot to meet us.
And I'll have on a long fur coat. I think
I'll even get you a dress from Paris.
That's Paris, France.
And I'll have on long, black gloves
and they'll bring me flowers...
...to the observation car,
where we'll be standing...
Bye, Mr. Hamilton.
You were a peachy Don Giovanni.
See you next year, Mr. Hayes!
The Pagliacci was great.
Miss O'Brien, those numbers
from Aida made me cry. Honest.
- Boy, it really works.
- What works?
My new way of remembering
There's so many people, I had to find
some way to remember all the names.
And it's easy. I think of people now
as different kinds of animals.
Miss O'Brien looks like
a Baltimore oriole.
So I reversed the B-O
and get O-B for O'Brien.
Hamilton looks like a leech,
treacherous. Aaron Burr was a traitor.
Traitors are treacherous.
Aaron Burr killed Hamilton.
Hayes looks like a rat.
Rats are in the hay.
You're a cuckoo.
From the moment I got up, my sore
shoulder's been killing me. I know...
- Hello, there!
- Good morning, everyone.
What you need Clarence for?
He's supposed to be looking
for my helmet.
- Oh, the hell with your football helmet.
- Mr. Hale!
Good morning, sir!
- Good morning.
- Mrs. Gilchrist, you look charming.
- We're... We're very upset.
- About what?
Well, we thought Lily-Jeanne
was gonna be the lead.
- But she's only the dormouse.
- Probably some mistake.
First I've heard about it.
Now, you know, I have been
a big Chautauqua booster for years.
I go back to the days when I was a kid
right here in Radford Center...
...and the Redpath used to come through.
I remember them all. L... Yes.
But this little girl
and the colored kid...
Now, I'm not against the colored.
There's no Klan feeling here.
We've got a few Catholic families in town.
We're broad-minded. It's not that.
There's even a Hebrew family.
But this little girl, Carol, and her mother...
- I'll check into it.
- Yeah, we'll check into that.
Well, thank you very much.
Pain seems to have moved
down a little bit.
Yale! Get Clarence and Rutgers
and the guys for a game of football.
Hey, great. Yeah.
- Hey, boss-man!
- That's you.
- We'd like to play for your show.
- Well, now, just a minute. We really...
It's all right.
Sing a song, go ahead.
- How long are you folks gonna be around?
- You're just passing through. We live here.
- Wanna see a movie?
- It's closed.
I could use the bathroom.
Hey, maybe we can buy something
in here. With the dollar!
Sometimes my mom gets things for what
they cost, because she works here.
I always get things for what they cost.
They tell you how much it cost
and you pay and get it.
- What it costs isn't what you pay for it.
- That's bushwah.
- My mom told me that.
- That's dumb.
- It's not dumb, it's business.
- Then business is dumb. Let's go.
What do you kids want?
- Morning, sir.
- We wanna buy something.
- How much you got to spend?
- A dollar.
Well, now, let's...
Let's take a look here.
Don't say anything about
that dumb cost thing.
Because your mother works here, I've got
to sell you things at what they cost me.
Where is your mother, anyway?
Out at the Chautauqua?
Listening to Gilbert and Solomon.
- Is that more than a dollar?
- A lot more.
- Hey, I've got an idea.
- How about some fireworks?
- It's after the Fourth.
Well, I'll give you
a good price on them.
I'll give them to you for less
than they cost me.
- What'll we do with them?
- You store them someplace till next year.
Look, Carol, I'm just trying to do you
a favor, because your mother works here.
I mean, for a lousy buck, I'm gonna
give you this whole box of fireworks.
Now, if you don't want them...
...why, that's okay too.
We'll take them.
I'd hate to tell you what
I paid for these things.
Now, you're practically
stealing them from me.
But you're... You're good kids.
One thing, though.
If you get caught with them,
don't tell anybody where you got them.
They are illegal.
- Thank you, sir.
You! I wanna talk to you.
Bet you'd have heard me
if I'd said "lunch."
Children of yesterday.
Heirs of tomorrow.
Mary Artemesia Lathbury.
Well, how are you,
my little darlings?
And what do you have
in that glorious box?
Watch where you're going!
Nothing on earth consumes a man more
quickly than the passion of resentment.
Nietzsche. Keep the change.
There ain't none.
- I'm Mr. Morality.
- I know.
I'm certain, my dear, that you remember
that I always sleep with four pillows.
No, but I'll get them for you.
- Why do you sleep with four pillows?
- I sleep propped up.
Then, when I think of something
immortal in my sleep...
...I'm in a better position
to write it down.
You're a good man.
When you see a good man,
think about emulating him.
When you see a bad man,
examine your own heart.
You're a mighty good man!
Good men are the stars,
the planets of the ages...
...wherein they live
and illustrate their time.
Jonson. Without an H.
You're a safe driver.
I felt very secure with you.
Out of this nettle danger,
we pluck this flower safely.
You're not only handsome,
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- You're carrying it like it's something.
- Well, it is.
We gotta make it look like
If I make it look like it's nothing,
somebody will think it's something.
Because who would go around carrying
nothing like it wasn't something?
We gotta get it into the dried-up, rotten
tree stump on the other side of the lake.
And then tomorrow we'll take it down
to Willis Hood's stables...
...where nobody will touch it,
because all his horses died, and then...
- Get him!
- Get him!
- Get him!
- Come on, Clarence!
- Get him!
Hurry up! Come here!
Come on, it's important! Hurry up!
Hey, come on.
We got a big problemo here!
It was a real close game.
We were ahead, 110-97.
Right over here.
What have you been doing?
Just step right in here. I have something
very interesting I want you to see.
- What do we do with it now?
- Pick it up later. Let's go.
Yeah, look at that.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
- I mean the tent.
- What about the tent?
It's empty. And that
is the way it's gonna stay.
Unless you do something about this
problem we got with Miss American Labor.
She's giving you a lot of appus-crappus...
You send her over to the hotel before
the dinner break. I'll take care of her.
There's just one more thing.
The lead singer with
the Bible group has got laryngitis.
And the doctor...
...has put him on voice silence.
What do you plan to do about that?
Excuse me, sir. Ticket.
Guarantee Committee, sonny-boy.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Thank you. Now, ladies and gentlemen,
a legend in his own time.
To talk to you on immorality,
the immortal Mr. Morality.
Thank you. Thank you, ladies
and gentlemen, and good afternoon.
You know, in Chautauqua,
we used to say...
...that the greatest lesson we could teach
maturing men and women was...
Why don't you and me just take
a little stroll back to the store.
I've got a new case of booze. We could...
- Come on. Let's just go back.
- Come on, Harry. I wanna listen.
- Hemingway, who only last year
wrote that incredible novel...
...about postwar disillusion,
The Sun Also Rises...
...who said, "So far, about morals...
...I only know that what is moral
is what you feel good after...
...and what is immoral
is what you feel bad after."
Come on, let's just go back
for a little while.
My wife thinks I'm at a meeting.
We can all change. Change is one thing
that is certain besides death.
What you have been
is of little significance.
What you are is the essence.
Walt Whitman wrote, "I think..."
Come on, babe.
You can come back here later.
"I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not fret and whine
about their condition.
They do not lie awake in the dark
and weep for their sins.
Not one of them is demented
with the mania of owning things."
Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen...
...are we truly less than the animals...
...as Whitman feels, or can we be more?
Can we stop our complaining
and crank our new life starter...
...and try to begin afresh?
I say start afresh!
There is no such thing as immorality...
...once you yourself
have become a moral force.
Come on, honey. Be a pal.
It's just not right to use the kid.
- We've gotta use the mayor's daughter.
- Would you let me handle this?
Look, we've got a big problem.
With the rubes. And believe me,
that's one thing that can get out of...
Oh, I'm sorry. You're the boss.
Of course, you're not acting like a boss,
boss. But you are, in truth, the boss.
If you were acting like a boss,
you would tell her...
...what you, the boss, would like her, who
happens to be just an employee, to do.
Get rid of Carol, put
the mayor's daughter in the lead.
I'd quit before I'd do that.
You're quitting the company?
Oh, now, hold your horses, mister!
...subheading two of my Equity contract,
under standards of employment...
...states that the agreement between the
Chautauqua, hereinafter called producer...
...and me, hereinafter called artist,
states that if I quit...
...I must supply an acceptable
Equity replacement, paying...
Charlie, do you have to quote
that contract all the time?
- And forfeit two weeks of salary!
Not me, mister.
You don't ever hear this tootsie quit!
You gonna let one of the hired help
talk like that?
- I may have to fire her.
- So I'm fired? Okay. Same paragraph...
...subheading three, says you have
to supply the Equity replacement...
...pay me two weeks'
...and my transportation,
first-class, back to Chicago!
You shouldn't have fired her.
That's gonna cost us!
- I didn't fire her.
- And for being such a peach of a guy...
...you can find yourself
another standby pianist.
Because I'm not going to be
your helpful Ella Cinders anymore.
You're just hounding me because
I'm raising money for a strike fund.
Now look what you've done.
And until I'm replaced, paragraph 13,
which is between force majeure...
...and incapacity, states that
the artist, namely me...
...will be in charge of all aspects
of the children's pageant.
So, kiddies, Carol stays,
and blah-blah to the Gilchrist girl.
- How are you gonna take care of that?
- Good question. I know how to handle her.
Watch, you watch.
Listen, honey... Wrong honey.
- What'll I do with the laundry?
- All right, just put it right in there.
He told me to put the laundry in there.
Yeah, I heard him.
Oh, I've got a thing about towels.
I used to have a thing
about my blanket.
That's not a real smile.
What have I got to have
a real smile about?
You don't have anything in your eye...
...you don't have an earache
or a cold in your nose, pimples...
Yeah, and I don't have
a standby pianist either.
- What's that?
...a standby pianist is a kind of pianist
who stands by for the regular pianist...
...in case the regular pianist
is not available to stand by.
Oh, I thought it was something dirty,
the way you said it.
I used to play in an all-boy band.
The money wasn't much,
but fun like you can't imagine.
- Well, this doesn't pay much either.
- That doesn't make any difference.
Actually, it doesn't...
- I'd work for anything.
Even nothing, to be able
to be in Chautauqua.
You have got yourself a deal.
You're dealing too fast, pal.
Sorry. I got all the time in the world.
- You got all the money in the game too.
- We're here all week, mister.
- A big 10. Next?
- I'll stick.
There's the power.
- I'll take one card, please.
- One card.
- And a little four. Hope it helps.
- Thank you. Just that.
- A little joe.
Hello, Nina. Lucky 13.
- Pay 20.
- I win!
- That's it for me.
I'll be back, pal,
and maybe we can raise the limit?
- Sure thing.
Oh, I'll be here. With bells on.
Stop being stupid and listen to me.
I've been trying to talk to you.
I have been too busy.
I am on a break now
and do I have to talk to you?
- Good. Let's go to my place.
- Oh, no. This is business talk.
Don't make it sound like pillow talk.
- Listen to me a minute, honey.
- "Miss Honey," boss.
Hey, if you guys got an extra minute,
why don't you help me.
- I can't believe you'd stoop this low.
- What do you mean?
- You're not gonna get away with it.
- Get away with what, toots?
Oh, don't you "toots" me. You know
damn well what I'm talking about.
Are you sure you feel all right?
That's it. That's it.
No feeling. No feeling!
How could you have feeling
and hire a child...
...as your standby pianist
and not pay her?
You should be put in a home for the silly.
You don't go around threatening
a shop steward, mister.
Look, I don't know what the hell
you're talking about.
Now, don't tell me you forgot you hired
the innkeeper's daughter...
...as your standby pianist at the
munificent salary of nothing.
Or maybe that's what you all do
and then you have to drink...
...to forget the venal and corrupt acts you
daily perpetrate on the working class.
Well, she's joined the union.
And the standard-form Equity
minimum contract, as agreed upon...
...by the Managers' Protective Association
and the Actors' Equity Association...
...affiliated with the
American Federation of Labor is in...
Is in effect.
She's no fake.
Her scaled salary began this afternoon...
...when she was hired,
according to paragraph two...
...of rules governing minimum standard
contract, entitled "Rehearsals begin"...
Would you mind shutting up a minute?
- I'll remember these intimidations.
- I swear to you, I didn't hire her.
Maybe Johnny did, but I didn't.
I wouldn't hire somebody
and not pay them.
Is that what you want
to talk to me about?
If you're finished,
there's something I wanna say.
- Oh, now, Walt, I'm sorry. I thought...
- Oh, that's all right. Just forget it.
Now, I'd like to start negotiating
with you on another matter.
- Y is a crooked letter.
Now, be serious.
Why do I have to sit down?
You don't have to sit down.
Do you have to smoke that cigar?
It makes you look like
a caricature of a capitalist.
- No, I don't have to.
- Thank you.
Now, let's get this business meeting
started, kid. Have a seat.
All right, as long
as we're going to negotiate.
Oh, we're going to negotiate.
- Well, what's the first order of business?
- Well, I have a few opening remarks.
- The most important part...
...of labor and management relations
is the spirit of cooperation...
...between negotiating parties. Agreed?
If negotiations are to be meaningful...
...then relations between negotiating
parties must be honest and intimate.
I've always liked you, Charlie.
You're bright, you're not a phony.
You always say what you mean, you're
great-looking and you're fun to be with.
Now, what's on our agenda?
Well, there's no reason why,
with our solid base...
...that we can't start to negotiate
any number of things...
...that could be more meaningful...
...in all kinds of areas.
Meaning that the relations between
negotiating parties can be better served...
...by what is sometimes called
"getting into bed with each other."
What is your proposi...?
I mean, what do you propose?
- Use the mayor's daughter.
- What did you say?
- I said, use the mayor's daughter.
- That's what I thought you said.
- You no-good bastard!
- Hold it!
What's he doing to her?
Look at that!
- I think I'd better...
- Shut up and deal.
- Damn it...
- You're talking to a lady, buster!
Now, get me out of here!
Wait a minute!
Wait a minute!
Sorry. There's somebody in here.
That sure is a lot of fireworks
for a dollar.
- Just for a little while.
- Come on, let me...
I swear to you, you brush me like this
and I'll tell your kid about us.
- Now, how would you like that?
- I'd kill you if you did.
- You're kidding.
- I'm not.
I tell you what. I'll pay you.
I'll start paying you.
Be right with you.
- Well, well, well.
- Good morning.
I was just on my way out to the grounds. I
thought I'd come in for a little something.
I get a little tired making my breakfast
on a hot plate in that room.
I'll bet you do.
Well, name your poison.
What would you like?
Toast and coffee
and a couple of eggs up and easy.
- Up and easy?
You know, I don't usually work
behind this counter.
You're the story lady, aren't you?
Do you happen to know
any good traveling-salesman stories?
My stories are for children.
Kids have to learn sometime,
you know what I mean?
I think so.
You know, I've found that...
...you never know where
you're gonna learn something.
You'd be surprised at,
even in a small town like this...
...what you can learn.
May I have some cream
for my coffee, please?
- How are things, Mr. Wilby?
- Things are empty.
at your damn Chautauqua.
- Hello, Mrs. Bix.
- Oh, hi there. It's nice to see you.
- Thank you. How are you?
- Oh, good. How's Carol doing?
Oh, fine. She says she'll be
very good in the part.
- No, I mean, is she being a good girl?
- Oh, of course.
Carol's just like her mother. She's...
She's always a good girl.
If you don't get Miss Samuel Gompers
here to let the mayor's daughter...
...play the part of Alice, I'm telling you,
we are going to be in terrible trouble.
Did you get that straight
from your shoulder too?
Just tell her.
Don't take any more of her appus-crappus.
Just tell her that other kid is out and
the mayor's daughter gets to play Alice.
How are you, tall, dark and loathsome?
Looking for another negotiating session?
- Well, as a matter of fact, I was...
- Forget it.
- Now, look, Charlie...
- We've got a problemo.
But the boss will tell you all about it.
Oh, it's serious, but there's a simple way
you can work it all out. Tell her.
Hey, why didn't you tell me
she was that good?
- It's a question of principle.
- Look, principle has nothing to do with it.
It's talent that talks. The kid's really great.
No matter what anybody says
or what happens, she stays in the show.
Come on, hit me.
I'll play these.
- That's 20.
How about that?
Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen.
- That's it.
- Thank you very much.
Now, where do you think
that ace came from?
I am a lucky child.
Looked like a fast deal to me, Chowder,
what do you think?
Now, wait a minute.
Game's not over yet, buddy.
Let go of my arm.
It's the one I deal with.
- Oh, is it really?
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait.
We'll talk to him later.
You scare the pants off me.
My key, if you please.
I told you this last winter...
Oh, Mr. Drewcolt.
I can't wait to see you do some scenes
from Romeo and Juliet.
I just love Romeo and Juliet.
There is something
I've always wanted to know about them.
What is that, my dear?
Do you think Romeo and Juliet
had premarital relations?
Only in the Des Moines company.
That's the way it'll have to be.
Stubborn as mules.
What do you got there?
A bunch of laundry
for the lady channel-swimmer.
What's the matter?
No Chautauqua next year.
- How come?
- The three grumpy bears...
...won't put up the guarantee.
No guarantee, no Chautauqua.
This town really stinks, doesn't it?
You've just gotta help me get out of town!
- Mr. Hale?
- Yeah, I'll think about it.
You mean it? I could kiss you!
- Don't answer it.
- I have to.
- It just might be for me.
Have you two met?
This is Maude, our channel-swimmer.
- She checked me in.
- I gotta run Maude down to the lake.
I warm up a lot.
- They offered me a tank for the winter.
- Oh, really?
- In vaudeville. But I'm not gonna do it.
- Why not?
Six shows a day, swimming
back and forth, back and forth...
...back stroke, side stroke,
breast stroke, Australian crawl.
Maybe I could float for the supper show.
- Hey, Betty, I got a job for you.
- Nifty. Who do I accompany?
This last layer of grease
is simply like your axle grease...
...which is placed on the body
to keep the wet and cold from the skin...
...for as long a time as possible.
In my 14 hours and 21 minutes...
...10 minutes shorter
than the then-record...
...I was freezing
the minute I hit the water.
Not until I reached the French coast
did I realize someone...
...in trying to save some money,
had covered me with goose fat.
Geese are the worst animals in the world.
Nothing they have to give
is good for anything.
I suppose some of you are wondering
why I didn't notice...
...that I was being covered
with goose fat.
Well, it wasn't my job.
Plus, it was cold.
Plus, I had goose flesh about this
whole thing right from the beginning.
Plus, when I set out for France...
...I was so busy trying to figure out
what direction France was in...
...that I didn't notice that they were
covering me with goose fat!
A lesson learned.
Anyway, those of you that are
planning on your longer dips...
...now, believe me, axle grease
may be a little hard to get off...
...but it gives you much better
...than your inferior animal fats.
The water was cold...
...and it was dark that early morning...
...and 14 hours and 21
minutes ahead lay:
I never eat anything that will bloat me...
...before my long swims.
And a little chicken soup...
...that is not too hot...
...is the only nourishment that I take...
...after I have been out for a while.
When I swam from Los Angeles
...the year before last, all I had was
a little warm chicken soup...
...which I sipped a short distance
from my outboard.
I don't like noise while I eat.
And assuming a sort of sitting backstroke,
I just sip along.
I said, pardon me.
I can 't believe he's dead.
I mean, it's so funny around here
Well, Mr. Wilby was always very nice
to me and Carol...
I mean, Carol and I.
Could it have been
an accident, constable?
If my wife finds out how much I lose,
she'd kill me.
Wilby was the big loser.
He lost to that dealer all the time.
Chowder say he get
into a scrape with that fellow.
Well, Harry and this kid
had been at each other all week.
Not on account of because Harry
...but on account of Harry thought this kid
was slipping hisself cards.
Well, he told me and
then when he said to the kid...
...he thought he was slipping hisself
a fast card, the kid swung at Harry.
Sure, I cheated a little, I'm not gonna lie
to you. But I swear, I did not kill him.
- Did you punch him?
Look, he grabbed me by the arm
and swung at me first, just like that.
Chowder never said that.
Nobody said that.
- Honest, Walt, that's what happened.
- It was a crooked game.
We'll give the money back.
- I didn't cheat all the time.
- We'll still give the money back.
You wouldn't think you'd let
a palooka like this into Chautauqua.
Everybody that's ever played in his
old card game knows he's a palooka...
...trying to put it over on the rubes.
Snotty big-city kid.
Gonna get to be a fat cat,
going from town to town in the Bible belt.
Yeah, really hang it on us.
Well, we'll see, kiddo.
Look, you let me tell you, mister.
I swear to you I didn't kill him.
- I belted him because he took...
- You don't have to tell me nothing.
- No, but you don't...
- No, no.
When the trial comes up, that's it, see?
That's when you can say what you did
or what you didn't, okay?
I mean, what do you got
the sweats for, kiddo?
- I don't...
- Don't answer me.
You don't have to say nothing no more.
You got two minutes.
He was no damn good, Walt.
I mean, you could smell it.
Lots of guys are no damn good,
but I wouldn't kill them.
It scares the pants off me, Walt.
I mean, I could be in real trouble.
If you'd tell me what you're looking for,
I might be able to help.
- I am looking for your football helmet!
- My helmet?
You see, things are so well in hand...
...that I figure I could probably
take a few days off...
...and just kind of go out and kick
the old ball around with the kids.
There it is!
Because there's practically
nobody from town...
...coming to the show anymore...
...and our star attraction...
...Senator William Anthony Cluster...
...who might have filled
the tent tomorrow night...
...and pulled us out of the hole,
can't make town.
- Isn't that spiffy?
- Wait a minute. Just wait a minute.
That was to be our next hop.
- What do you mean "was"?
Past tense of "is." They're canceling
because of the murder.
How's that for luck?
Look, it is a tough spot, Johnny...
...but it'll be okay. I can take care of it.
- Oh? How?
- It's easy. I'll just go kill myself.
Walt, who do you pick
in the Dempsey/Sharkey fight?
And by a sleep,
to say we end the heartache...
...and the thousand natural shocks
that flesh is heir to.
'Tis a consummation
devoutly to be wished.
- To sleep, perchance to dream.
- I've been looking for you.
- What else is going wrong?
- I wanna talk to you.
- What dreams may come...
I've been thinking.
Yeah? About what?
About what you said
about talent being important.
What did I say?
Well, you said it was talent
that really counted.
You're the first management person I ever
heard say anything positive about talent.
And you've chosen to take a stand
against the company rats.
And it's a whole new picture of you.
I like it. It's very encouraging.
I'm glad something's
encouraging around here.
That's awful about Clarence...
...but let me tell you,
that Mr. Wilby was really no good.
I overheard him talking to...
What's her name? Carol's mother.
They were... Oh, there she is.
They were yelling
and screaming at each other.
Just took one look at him and you knew
he enjoyed picking the wings off people.
Yeah. I'd gone into the drugstore
You know, the restaurant isn't open early
and I get tired eating in my room, so...
Hey, look, thanks, honey.
What's the matter, Miss Bix?
You all right?
I'm sorry. What?
Well, I was thinking.
Why did you give me those free tickets?
I mean, why? How come? Why me?
There was no reason.
You just happened to be there.
We give a bunch of them out anyway.
Your kid was cute.
It's a good thing, the Chautauqua is.
I mean, it's a chance to learn, you know?
I got to thinking...
...well, that someday...
...I don't want Carol
to be embarrassed by me.
That's why I been going.
- Is the drugstore gonna stay open?
- How would I know?
I was just wondering, that's all.
You know, no reason.
"Is the drugstore gonna stay open?"
How would I know?
I was just wondering.
Just forget it.
Just forget it.
Carol's got a lot of talent, Miss Bix.
She's got a big chance.
She's kidding herself.
Everybody kids theirself.
Oh, I listened to that speaker talking
about how everybody can start afresh.
I've got to believe that you can't.
Oh, no, you can't.
Not unless you just wanna kid yourself.
I mean, what chance do I have?
I'm here in Radford Center. Period.
And all you can do is sit.
Maybe it would be different
if it were Davenport...
...or Jasper or Keokuk
or even, say, Decatur.
You're there, you know. Period.
I mean, who's got a chance?
You go to work...
...and your hands get red
and your legs get tired.
Mister, you tell me,
where you gonna wash up and go to?
Everybody just kids theirself.
You could get out of town, you know.
Boy, that's a laugh. On what?
You should get...
You should get Carol to a place
where she can have a really great teacher.
See, you've got a good chance, Miss Bix.
Clarence doesn't have one at all.
Why doesn't he?
- The town has already made up its mind.
- I don't want to know!
I mean, that's tough, mister,
but nobody's got a chance...
...because that's love!
What are you talking to me
about him for?
I'm glad they got him.
That's all I care about, him.
Could I ask you a question, Miss Bix?
It's a free country.
Do you really think Clarence killed him?
I mean, just between us.
Who do you think did?
I don't know, Miss Bix.
But if somebody did it in self-defense...
...I know a way to get them off
just like that.
And in addition to getting them off...
...I know a way they can make
a big bundle of money.
A big bundle.
Examine the funnies, you'll see they say
more than anyone thinks they're saying.
They're saying something that's today.
The only reason I read the funnies...
Maggie and Jiggs are a typical American
husband and wife.
She rules the roost with a rolling pin
and he hates to come home.
And Happy Hooligan's
a typical American underdog.
- It's a social protest.
- Listen to me...
I see that, but...
The only reason...
Moon Mullins is everybody's dream
of getting by, doing nothing.
Lord Plushbottom is an indictment
of the ruling class.
The only reason that I read the funnies
at all is because they're funny.
What can you expect
from a Princeton man?
Do I know the killer?
I think so.
Give me a hint. Is it one of us?
Well, I can't tell you anything right now.
- Who is it?
- It's me. Open up.
Just a minute.
He's not here.
I heard two voices.
I was just talking to myself.
Let me tell you something.
I don't know what you know about law,
but I majored in economics and...
- Cup of coffee?
- No, thank you.
I went to law school for six months.
Let me tell you, smiley...
...there's a big crowd of people out there
buying tickets to hear a murderer confess.
I know. There will be 2000 people.
If it is true and you do have
...and Hale is exploiting the poor,
sick, unfortunate creature...
Whoever he is, for personal gain,
and you haven't gone to the police...
...you can be locked up for harboring,
aiding and concealing.
You will be accessories before the fact.
That's not nice.
You can go to jail for five years
and be fined $5000 in the bargain.
But if it's not true...
...and Hale is the lying, conniving
charlatan I think he is...
...then every nickel you've collected
will be impounded...
...and so will all the equipment...
...and you're all in the pokey for fraud.
Now, how does that sound?
You think about it...
You too, Rasputin.
You don't mind if we take the killer into
custody right after confession, do you?
Or are you planning to have
the trial here tonight too?
Good evening. Good evening.
It's a nice night, isn't it?
Where's the killer, boss?
I'd really like to meet him.
You know, I'd...
I've met a lot of rotten people
in my life.
This may sound silly, but I've never met
a real killer face to face...
...that I know of.
There was that Miss Boyle,
my fourth grade teacher.
She was mean, ugly.
She was a real killer.
Hard marker too.
- The killer hasn't shown up yet.
- The killer's on the loose?
That's just keen.
All we need is another killing.
It's not that kind of killer.
Once they get the taste of blood, l... You...
"Kind of killer"?
You mean there are kinds?
There are good killers and bad killers?
The ones you love and the ones you hate?
A killer you kind of like a lot, but you
wouldn't want your sister to marry?
Can I give the marching band parade rest?
- They played extra.
- When do you expect the killer to arrive?
Or should the band march everybody
in there out to watch your hanging?
- Thank God.
- It's a...
...peach of a night.
- The killer has struck again!
- She's the killer.
Try to sober her up.
I'll stall giving the money back.
Okay. Let's start to...
You're the college kid.
What do you do when a girl
you're out with gets this drunk?
I've never been that lucky.
Wait a minute. Wait. Don't...
Don't leave me alone with her.
...turn on me.
We at Chautauqua are very proud
of everyone who's a part of Chautauqua.
Not just the lecturers and the performers
you've seen on our stage...
...but people like our...
Our young college men here.
And your own Betty Smith at the piano.
All right, now. That's the...
Come on, now.
Here we go.
Oh, boy. I love that song.
Pick you up!
Listen. Hear that?
How about something
with 15-part harmony?
Fifteen? There's only four of us.
Everything is going
around the mulberry bush...
Oh, good heavens.
Here we go,
around the mulberry bush...
Oh, wait. We're just gonna
sit you right down there.
Who are you?
I'm one of the good guys.
You guys get back there
and help Johnny.
When we first came to Radford Center,
I ran into three kids...
Or rather, they ran into me.
Come on up, kids.
Yeah, you. Come on up.
Get over to the junior tent, tell Charlene
to bring Carol and Willy here.
What's the matter, boss?
If you got nothing to do but listen,
I can explain it.
Is that a proposition?
Here they are: Cathy, Leonard and Bill.
I don't like to eat when I'm sleepy.
Do you know...
...that when you drink water,
My father used to get a glass
of hot gin...
...dissolve a candy bar in it,
put a hair on top.
- I'd rather be drunk.
- I just bet it's no fun to be fat.
Poor fat people.
Poor, poor, poor!
I think I'm going to pass out.
Miss Bix. Miss Bix,
you've got to sober up.
I can't hear you when I'm passing out.
It's your only chance. I'm telling you.
Get a bucket of water.
We've got the whole town out there,
Where are you going?
To vamp until you get her ready to speak.
- Let her have it, kid. Go ahead.
- Thank you.
Well, I just don't think he liked my singing,
but that is all right...
I used to be more of a dancer...
...than I was a singer.
Give it to her.
You remember Carol and Willy
from our pageant.
The one responsible for all this
is Charlene, our story lady.
Compared to you,
Rasputin is Saint Francis of Assisi.
Using this poor child's mother like that.
Charlene, Carol and Willy
will do a number for you.
With you too, Mr. Hale.
I've gotta sober her up.
You've got about as much chance
as a snowman in the YWCA.
This kid is much better
They might see your forked tongue.
Yeah. How'd you like to see the kids
do a number by themselves?
- She's getting more than anybody else.
- She's coming around nicely.
Take a deep breath.
Take a deep breath.
- How is she?
- Stand back, boys.
She's almost ready.
- Well, almost.
- I gotta give the money back.
- How much more time have we got?
- About a chorus and a half.
- She's still out of it.
- And they hung Nathan Hale.
Don't let her go, folks.
Charlene is a very colorful performer
on her own.
Get your claw off me, dimples.
Charlene would like to do a little song
that we made up to pass time on trains.
Why don't we do it together.
I gotta get back there.
You leave the stage and I quit.
H-E-L-P. Let's show
the nice people how we can play.
That's it. Come on.
Smile for the folks.
Up, up. That's it.
Oh, wait. Not me. No, no.
- Just keep belting her. It might work.
- Well, I can't...
I'd better not.
I don't know my own strength.
- Would you mind...?
- I'd love to.
Accompanying the children
back to the junior tent.
I hope my hatred is showing.
I told you, I quit!
...Iooks like the big stall is over, folks.
As the iceman said
when his truck broke down:
"I can't deliver."
But I promise you...
I killed Harry Wilby...
Thank you, thank you so much.
He's going to have his own show
next year and I'm going with him.
- I'd go anyplace with him.
- He'll be the best manager in the circuit.
He's probably gonna be Mr. Chautauqua.
He knows how to use anything.
He's a rat. He's immoral.
I tell you, there wasn't a dry eye
in the house.
We've got the guarantee for next year.
Absolutely. He is terrific!
Rotten, mean, ugly.
Just like Miss Boyle,
my fourth grade teacher. He's right...
Where is he? Where is he?
- Hale. Hale. Where's Hale?
You'll miss the train.
I was hoping maybe I could talk you
into changing your mind.
I said I quit and I meant it.
- I wish you wouldn't.
- Oh, no chance, buster.
Okay, okay, kiddo.
Look, I know it looked like
I was using Miss Bix.
How could you say that?
It's the only way she could get
a fair trial in this town.
The constable admitted that to me
this morning and so did the mayor.
- My hero.
- They would have hung her.
No maybes, Charlie.
That poor lady.
Just between us,
I gave her the senator's salary.
With a bundle like that,
they can leave town right after the trial.
- Would I lie to you?
What are you gonna do, Charlie?
Oh, I've got all sorts of plans.
Summer's young and...
Look, I know it's my fault.
I mean, about you quitting and everything.
You really bailed me out last night.
I couldn't have done it without you.
Well, another gold star
for my memory book.
But I still quit. Q-U-l-T.
I can't hear you.
No, but I can.
Why don't we just forget the whole thing
and you go get on the train, huh, toots?
- Now, there you go "toots-ing" me again.
- No, I'm pleading with you.
I made up my mind.
I know I'm out there...
...on that proverbial limb...
...and the tree's awfully shaky...
...but that's the way it's got to be.
I checked the Equity contract
you're always quoting from...
...and you do have to pay your own fare.
And your replacement's.
So, what I'd like to do,
I'd like to give you some money.
Just to kind of help you out,
you know, just to tide you over.
No, it's yours. Go ahead, take it.
I don't know what I've done.
- You're kidding.
- Three new, fresh, crisp $ 100 bills.
Where is she?
I sure would hate to leave somebody
like that here in Radford Center.
This is almost the end of our story...
...and it was close to the end
of Chautauqua too.
By 1934, the tattered,
big, brown Chautauqua tents...
...were folded, stored for the last time.
Chautauqua trains chugged out of town,
never to return again.
The victim of radio, the phonograph,
pictures that talked, the Model A...
...hard roads and sophistication.
Chautauqua 's gone now,
but something has endured...
...something more than a memory...
...because no one who ever saw
...will ever forget its excitement,
its fun, its joy.
In its time, it was the most
American thing about America...
...and we're not saying that.
President Theodore Roosevelt said it.
Nowadays, we just say it was the end.