Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975): Season 5, Episode 8 - Such a Lovely Man - full transcript

Richard Bellamy has decided that he wants a post in government, specifically an under-secretaryship at the Foreign Office, and begins to lay the groundwork for an appointment. As part of that, he realizes that Sir Guy Painter will have much to say about it all and invites him to dinner. Virginia cannot abide the man and tells Richard so but he begs her to be civil with him and think of his, Richard's, future. Soon however, it becomes very obvious that the has taken a romantic interest in Virginia. He begins to drop to see her unexpectedly and even makes her a gift of a rare first edition. Romance is also in the air below stairs where it turns out Ruby has been corresponding with a stranger thanks to an ad in the newspaper. Hudson and Mrs. Bridges insist that he be invited to tea so they can look him over. He too has a romantic interest in Ruby and proposes. Her response and the reason behind surprises everyone.

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[Knock on door]

Good morning, Hudson.

Good morning, my lady.

VIRGINIA: Oh, don't say
all those are for me.

HUDSON: No, my lady.


VIRGINIA: Thank you, Hudson.
Oh, shall I take his Lordship's?

Yes, my lady.

Uh...aren't those?

HUDSON: No, these are for
a member of the staff, my lady.

They're for Ruby, my lady.

For Ruby?
What on Earth?

Thank you, Hudson.


Whatever is she doing
with all them letters?

FREDERICK: Who've you been
writing to then, eh, Ruby?

None of your business.

Ruby, you keep a civil
tongue in your head.

Who have you been
writing to then?

HUDSON: Ah, now, Mrs. Bridges,
I think that Ruby,

like the rest of us,
is entitled to her privacy.

RUBY: Thank you, Mr. Hudson.

RICHARD: Virginia,

I wonder if you would do
something for me.

VIRGINIA: You sound
very doubtful.

I'm just trying to think what
you could possibly ask me to do

that I wouldn't be prepared to.

Oh, nothing desperate.

I wondered if you would ask
Guy Paynter to lunch.


Yes, of course.

Have you some objection?

No. No.

No, it was just that
I was looking at hats

at Helen Barry's yesterday
with Prudence.

RICHARD: Oh, did you buy any?

VIRGINIA: No, they were
all too expensive.

We just looked at them.

Mrs. Merivale was there though.

And she was buying hats,
half a dozen.


And Prudence said
that Sir Guy Paynter

had paid attention to three
Widows and two divorcees.

Oh, at different times
of course,

and married none of them,

and she wondered how long
Polly Merivale would last.

You know, I am devoted
to Prudence,

but sometimes she really is...

VIRGINIA: Rather catty.

RICHARD: Guy Paynter, like any
rich bachelor, needs a hostess.

A pretty, charming,
unattached woman

to preside over his dinner table

and help him with
his house parties.

We understand
the situation perfectly,

and so does everyone else.

Oh, I see.

I assure you, Virginia,
he's not the type of man

you would need hesitate
to have inside your house.

No, of course not, darling.
How absurd you are.

If you would like to entertain
him, then, naturally, we will.

Who would you like
to ask with him?

Mrs. Merivale, I suppose, since
she is his current hostess.

Now who else?
We owe the Bannisters...

RICHARD: But I really thought of
something rather more intimate.

Just ourselves,
Prudence possibly, and James.

VIRGINIA: Well, just as
you like, of course,

but I thought he always
had such big, lavish parties.


Well, I think I better
tell you the truth.

I hope you always do.

Like most rich men,
Guy Paynter is very influential.

And he uses his influence

He's a friend of Baldwin's
and Beaverbrook's

and quite often goes to Max's
little cabinet meetings

at the vineyard in Fulham.

I see.

And you want him to persuade
Lord Beaverbrook to give

more support to the League
of Nations in his newspapers.

No, no, not exactly.

I heard by chance --

Winston told me --

that the Undersecretary
for Foreign Affairs

is resigning on doctor's orders.

And you'll be offered the post?
Would you like that?

Yes, I would like that,

but I don't think
I shall be offered it.

I've been out
of government so long,

they all think of me
as an elder statesman.

But I still think I have
an active part to play.

Of course you have.

I know we were told we'd
all made a mess of things,

and after the war, we must leave
it to all the younger men.

But the younger men
are either cynical or dead.

But I feel I can put
my experience to good use,

and I would like to try.

VIRGINIA: Well, darling,
surely the government

are all friends of yours --
Winston, Austen Chamberlain.

RICHARD: Yes, but I can't very
Well go up to them and say,

"Well, I know you think I am
too old, but I am not."

I wouldn't dream of embarrassing
myself or them.

But if someone like Guy Paynter
casually mentioned my name

in connection with the post,

said that I'd been very active
with the League of Nations

and working on the treaty...

Well, he is very influential.


Oh, yes, really.

His father, old woodly Paynter,

put a great deal of money
into Baldwin Steelworks.

And I know that Guy himself gave
£10,000 to the Tory party funds.

And --

Money talks.

Well, of course, I'll gladly
ask him to lunch.

Do you know,
I'm hopeless at politics.

You'll just be
your own charming self,

and you'll captivate him
without even trying.

ROSE: Must be important,

because her ladyship
spent the whole morning

going through
her clothes with me,

then said she'd got
nothing fit to wear

and she'd have to get
a new frock for it.

MRS. BRIDGES: She had me up
in the morning room

for over an hour going
through my receipts.

She looks like a cat

that's got at the cream.

Would you, uh --

Would you care for a wee ballad
concert, Mrs. Bridges?

You dropped something, Ruby.

- Oh, it's a photograph.
- Oh, let me see.

RUBY: No, give it to me,
it's mine.


[Gasps] Ruby, I know what
you've been up to.

You've answered
that advertisement

in the newspaper for a pen pal.

RUBY: I didn't.


Bringing all them letters
into the house from strangers.

You put them on
the fire this instant.

You don't know
where they've been.

I won't.


RUBY: I don't have to,
Mr. Hudson, do I?

Well, Ruby, I really...

I really don't think...

You can hardly write
to them all.

Oh, no.
I'll only write to one.

ROSE: How are you going
to choose which one?

RUBY: I already have.

FREDERICK: Is it the fella
in the photograph?

Here, come on, Ruby,
read us his letter.

ROSE: Go on, Ruby.

He writes ever such
a nice letter.

Well, I hope he knows he won't
get a nice answer from you,

not with your writing.

Go on.

RUBY: "Dear Madam."

Madam indeed!

"I should very much
like to engage

in corr-o-spondence with you.

I am 35 years old,

a bachelor of quiet dispos-


I should imagine, Ruby.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, go on, Ruby,
let Mr. Hudson read it, or Rose.

Yes, let me.

Ah. "I live at home
with my invalid parents

and am employed as a clerk
in the post office.

I like Hugh Walpole."

Who's Hugh Walpole?

Oh he's a novelist, Rose,
a popular novelist.

Oh. "And H.G. wells.

I am fond of good music

and listen to it
on the wireless,

though I do sometimes
go to the Queen's Hall.

I hope that, if your tastes
are similar...

that you will send me
your name and address

with a view to further

and possible acquaintanceship.

Yours truly, Herbert Turner."

"Possible acquaintanceship."

Here, you're never going to meet
him, are you, Ruby?

He might be Jack the Ripper.

FREDERICK: If he doesn't know
your name and address,

how's he written to you, Ruby?

RUBY Oh, paper sent
all letters on.

I just had to fill in a form
not more than 20 words,

and they printed it.

Part of the circulation war,
I imagine.

What did you say?

I said,
"Genteel young lady

wishes to correspond
with eligible young man."

That wasn't 20 words, Ruby.

Well, I couldn't think of
anything more to say.

I can write him a letter,
can't I, Mr. Hudson?

Oh, I suppose so, Ruby.

It's not
what I would recommend,

corresponding with
a stranger, but...

He looks just like
Rudolph Valentino.

My dear Polly,

My dear Polly,

I should love to come
to your charity concert.

I'm sure it's immensely worthy.
All charities are.

If only I could find
an unworthy charity,

I should give immediately.

So much more stimulating.

POLLY: How horrid you are, Guy.

As soon as you say
you would love to come,

I know it means that
you don't intend to.

GUY: Well, I will if I can,

but I may be obliged
to go out of London that day.

POLLY: By which, I suppose,

you mean you have a horse
running at Sandown.

PRUDENCE: I have a feeling
Sir Guy is one of those people

who is never obliged to do
anything he doesn't want to.

GUY: Oh, surely, Lady Prudence,
we all spend

a great part of lives
obeying hidden obligations.

For example, Lady Bellamy,

why are you giving this
luncheon party today,

instead of sitting comfortably
with your feet up,

eating an omelette,

reading the latest
Michael Arlen novel?

I'm glad you didn't
say Ethel M. Dell.

Why does one ever give
a luncheon party?

In order to buy a new dress
and show it off.

JAMES: Or to pass the hours

between 1:00 and 3:00,

which the more sensible nations
spend in the siesta.

RICHARD: To enjoy
political gossip

without having to sit through
parliamentary debate.

PRUDENCE: Well, I don't know
why one gives a luncheon,

but I'm not ashamed
to say that I come

because Mrs. Bridges
is the best cook in London.

And I trust we're going to have
one of her delicious puddings.

Lady Bellamy,
you can enlighten us all.

Why did you give
this luncheon?

Oh, dear, I know I should say
something very witty and clever,

but I can't think of anything.

I think one gives
a luncheon party

in order to see old friends
and make new ones.

Not necessarily from
any hidden obligation.

Well done, Virginia.

GUY: I detect
a disapproving note

in your voice, Lady Bellamy.

Luncheon is served.


How's it going, Mr. Hudson?

HUDSON: Very well, indeed,
Mrs. Bridges, very well in--

Oh, Ruby.

I should say it's been a most
successful luncheon party.


But I've always said, the less
politicians do, the better.

So I moved Heaven and Earth

to make Baldwin prime minister
instead of Curzon.

I didn't know that
you were responsible.

GUY: Well...

I played my part, among others.

I approve of Baldwin
because he never, ever

does anything at all
if he can possibly avoid it.

Perfect politician.
No, thank you.

But you can't believe
in just...drift.

Drift? Certainly.

Things always look
after themselves

if only they're left
to their own devices.

It's the violent action
taken by politicians

which, as often as not,

turns an unfortunate situation
into a disaster.

And what do you think the ideal
member of Parliament should do?

What he always does,
dear Polly, fortunately.

Spend most of his time arguing

about things that don't matter
in the very least.

Will you look at Parliament's
current exploit?

They are debating the abolition

of the death penalty
for cowardice in the field.

Well, I mean to say,
we fight a war

in which millions
of young men are killed.

What can it possibly matter
to some poor booby who runs away

Whether he's shot at
by a firing squad on the spot

or shoved back into the line
to be shot at by the enemy?

VIRGINIA: My son was

for cowardice in the field
and found guilty.

At his own request,

he was sent back into action
and was killed.

I'm sure it mattered a great
deal to him how he was killed.

And to me.

But --

I am so sorry.

Of course,
I had no idea at all

that you were personally
concerned in the question.

Even if I weren't, I hope
I would have the sensitivity

to feel for those who were.

GUY: I stand corrected.

Well, I think I'd better be off

before I disgrace
myself completely.

Polly, can I give you a lift,
or are you going to stay

and have your character

POLLY: Oh, you know my character

is beyond praying for,
let alone improving.

Lady Bellamy, thank you for
a most delicious luncheon.

POLLY: Goodbye.

GUY: Lady Prudence.



[Door closes]

Well, I think it's a shame.

After all the trouble we took,
everything to be spoilt

because of a bit of
unpleasantness like that.

I'm going to have my nap
before I change my dress.


Oh, don't tell me that girl's
still cleaning the saucepans.

No, she's in the kitchen.



You're not writing
that letter again?

RUBY: I've nearly finished,
Mrs. Bridges.

Have you made any blobs
this time?

RUBY: No, Mrs. Bridges.

MRS. BRIDGES: Careful!

Did you spell the name right,
what Mr. Hudson told you?

RUBY: E-L-GAR with a "G."


Oh, deary me.

RUBY: Can I go and post it now,
Mrs. Bridges?

Then he'll get it tonight.

Oh, well, I suppose so.

But you come straight back.

And don't you be late
with my cup of tea.

RUBY: No, Mrs. Bridges.

Not dressed for dinner yet?

Your book must be
an interesting one.

VIRGINIA: It's rather horrid,

a sort of thriller
by Hugh walpole.

I'm awfully sorry
about what happened.

RICHARD: Yes, I can understand
you being upset.

Pity you couldn't accept
his apology when he made it.

VIRGINIA: I didn't really
think he meant it.

Besides, it -- it annoyed me
that he obviously thought

he was so rich he could
say anything he liked

and people would put up with it.

I -- I hate to think of a man
like that having influence.

RICHARD: You mean
you hate to think

that I am prepared
to make use of it.

VIRGINIA: It's not that.

I can assure you, Virginia, that
things are always done that way.

A word here, a word there,

a little discreet

Things are always done that way
in politics of all parties,

and I'm sure
they always will be.

I think it's a great pity.

Possibly -- anyway, the whole
the thing was my fault

for asking you to give
the luncheon in the first place.

I know you don't want to be
a political hostess.

As Marjorie was?

For you, my lady,
delivered by hand.

VIRGINIA: Thank you, Hudson.

Sir Guy Paynter.

"Please forgive me.

I am proud to think my mother
would defend her son

as you defended yours.

Guy Paynter."

HUDSON: Sir Guy Paynter
is here, my lady.


I...was just writing to you.

GUY: I thought you might be
having some trouble

composing the letter.

VIRGINIA: Yes, I was rather.

HUDSON: Would you care for
some coffee, my lady?

GUY: Not for me, thank you.

Thank you, Hudson.

Thank you for the lovely roses.

GUY: I'm glad you liked them.

VIRGINIA: Sit down.

GUY: I really came
to see whether,

by any extraordinary chance,
you might be free

to come have lunch
at the Ritz.

Arnold Bennett will be there.

VIRGINIA: Oh, I've always --

And Birkenhead,
you probably know him.

And a rather interesting young
musician, Malcolm Sargent,

comes from Stamford.

VIRGINIA: What time were
you thinking of?

GUY: We'd agreed to meet in
the Long Bar of the Trocadero

for a cocktail first,
so if you really would do us

the honour of joining us,
we could go there in my car now.

Oh, but I'd have to change.

By "now," of course, I mean
in the hour or so that it takes

any woman to change from
one frock into another.

And to comb her hair.

I'm glad you understand
these things.

Oh, but what --

GUY: I shall make myself
at home here.

There's a lot to be learned
from someone's room.

VIRGINIA: And what do you learn
from this one?

GUY: That you have good taste
without ostentation...

family affection
without being a hausfrau...

elegance without snobbery.

I'm sure that's flattery, but I
must admit that I enjoy it.

Now, why are pleasant things
always called flattery

and ugly things the truth,
dear Lady Bellamy?

Virginia, do let us always
admit the truth to one another,

however pleasant it may be.

ROSE: Ruby, is that you?

RUBY: I'm just going, Rose.

Hang on!

I want you to get me a bit of
ribbon, yard and a quarter.

I'll give you that as a sample.

RUBY: But I can't, Rose.

ROSE: It's for Miss Alice's
night dress.

I don't know what
she does with them.

I think Thimble must chew them.

Here, I'll just
give you the money.

RUBY: But I'm going to
the pictures, Rose.

ROSE: It won't take
you a minute.

RUBY: Oh, there isn't time.

- What are you going to see?
- The Eagle.

ROSE: Oh, no.

Don't you never get tired
of Rudolph Valentino?

RUBY: Oh, Rose!

ROSE: Anyhow, you can
get it on the way.

Here, you're a bit dressed
up for the pictures, aren't you?


You're going to meet someone.


- I must go, Rose.
- You're going to meet that man.

Oh, Ruby, you can't!

You don't know what he's like!

Guy said that Mr. Churchill
had decided to turn respectable

and abandon his more
disreputable friends.

And Lord Birkenhead said that
Winston turned respectable

is a man with a bilious attack
gave up food

on a strictly temporary basis.

[James chuckles]

I say, it really was
an inner circle luncheon.

Were you the only woman there?

Well, yes.

Oh, I felt rather conspicuous,
but it was very informal,

and they were all so kind to me.

This has just arrived
by hand, my lady.

Oh, thank you, Hudson.

JAMES: What's that?

VIRGINIA: Browning's poems.

A first edition, autographed.

JAMES: Oh, well that must
be worth a pretty penny.

Who's it from?

We were -- We were talking
about first editions

and which ones we would
most like to possess.

Well, I said that I would like
to have a favourite book of poems

so that every time I read it,

I could pretend that it was sent
to me personally by the author.

Guy said that
he had a first edition

of Browning's Men and women.

JAMES: May I see it?

"Just to thank you for being
such a perfect hostess."

I don't like it.

In my young day,
we went out with the butcher

or the milkman or the postman,
somebody respectable.

DAISY: Well, he may be
respectable, Mrs. Bridges.

MRS. BRIDGES: A man what
answers advertisements?

[Scoffs] I wouldn't trust no man
that answered an advertisement.

I really think you should
have stopped her, Rose,

once you knew
where she was going.

I mean, it's one thing to engage
in correspondence with a -- a...

Pen pal?

A pen pal.

It might even have improved
Ruby's mind.

But to allow her
to go and meet a man

who is, in effect,
a total stranger.

I couldn't stop her, Mr. Hudson.

EDWARD: Ruby is over 21,
Mr. Hudson.

But she is not well versed in
the ways of the world, Edward.

Here. Here, you don't
think he wants her

for the white slave trade,
do you?

Oh, I think that
is unlikely, Daisy.

Still, you never know.

Still, it's about time
she got back, isn't it.

Oh, Mr. Hudson, don't you think
we ought to send for the police?

HUDSON: Oh, I hardly think so,
Mrs. Bridges.

After all, we don't know
that anything is wrong yet.

Least we know his name,
Herbert Turner.

Yeah, if that is his real name.

Oh, Mr. Hudson!

[Door closes]

Hark, there she is now.


HUDSON: Ruby, you are late.

RUBY: Sorry, Mr. Hudson.

How dare you go out with
somebody without telling me.

You know Mr. Hudson doesn't
allow followers.

RUBY: Yes, Mrs. Bridges.

Well, what was he like, Ruby?

He was ever so nice.

Uh, would you like
a cup of cocoa, Ruby?

No. No, thank you.

I couldn't eat another bite.

Stood you a bit of supper,
did he, after the pictures?

Mm. we went to Stuarts.

And I had tomato fish cakes

and bread and butter
and ice cream,

and then we had a pot of tea.

Oh, well, no wonder you don't
want no cocoa then.

Well, I think
I'll go to bed now.

Good night, Mrs. Bridges.

Good night, Mr. Hudson.

Good night, Ruby.

She never said
what he was like!

VIRGINIA: Alpine strawberries.
But where did you get them?

GUY: Had them flown in
from Switzerland.

You said you'd never
tasted them.

VIRGINIA: I can see
I shall have to be

much more careful what I say.

GUY: If it makes
you feel any better,

you can look upon those
as a bribe.

I'm giving a political
house party at Shelbourne.

I want you to come
and support me.

I'm sure.

We'd love to.
When is it?

GUY: Weekend after next.

Oh, I'm afraid we can't.

Richard has to be in Paris.

Oh. Do you think
he'd let you stay behind?

I wasn't going with him.

He has a meeting with
a French Foreign Minister,

connection with
the League of Nations.

Well, of course,
I'm very disappointed

that Richard can't come,

but he's such
a public-spirited man,

I'm sure he'd approve
of your helping me out.

It's the third time
in a fortnight, Mr. Hudson.

We cannot stop the girl
going out, Mrs. Bridges.

And she has a right
to meet whom she pleases.

As long as she doesn't
bring him back here.

That's just what I want her
to do, bring him back here.

Well, I feel responsible
for her, Mr. Hudson.

After all, we don't know
what sort of a man he is.

HUDSON: Well, from his letters,
he seems to be

a very respectable
and well-read young man.

DAISY: Well, what's he want
to go out with Ruby for?

If you ask me, he must be
a proper Charlie.


I am having a private
conversation with Mr. Hudson.

I'll thank you to keep your
interferetiveness to yourself.

DAISY: Sorry, I'm sure.

Truth to tell,

I had wondered myself

whether he might not have
some ulterior motive.

We better have him
to Sunday tea.

Take a good look at him.

You don't mind then?

You don't mind then?

RICHARD: My dear,
I'm only too delighted.

The Shelbourne weekends are
famous, I'd hate you to miss it.

VIRGINIA: But won't it
look rather strange

if I'm there without you?

RICHARD: Why do you have
to refuse a pleasant invitation

because I have to be abroad?

Everyone understands these
things nowadays.


JAMES: Father,
don't you think Virginia

is seeing rather
a lot of Guy Paynter?

RICHARD: Mm-hmm.

JAMES: Well, I, uh...

I'm not sure that it's
altogether a good thing.

RICHARD: Oh, she's perfectly
safe with him.

JAMES: Is she?
Now, why do you say that?

RICHARD: For reasons I could not
possibly mention to her.

JAMES: Well, he's not married,
is he?


He's not the, um...

marrying sort.

JAMES: Oh, you mean...


JAMES: Oh, I see.

RICHARD: He's devoted
to his mother.

A great number of ladies
have acted as his hostess

at his table
over the past 10 years,

and I daresay at least half of
them expected to marry him.

But I'm quite sure nothing
would horrify him more

than to have a woman
permanently in his home

or even temporarily in his bed.

Well, I'm damned.

I had no idea.

Well, of course, Virginia
is much too innocent

to understand these things,

but Guy Paynter is what one
might reasonably describe

as a "safe man."

He takes her to the theatre
and to the opera,

introduces her to a lot
of amusing people,

and I'm only too happy
for her to enjoy herself.

Well, I'm damned.

RICHARD: She'll have
a marvellous weekend.

VIRGINIA: I'm terribly sorry.

Have I kept you waiting?

GUY: Not for one single second.
Are you ready to elope?

[Virginia Chuckles]

Thank you, Hudson.

Here, I suppose
he does exist.

She didn't write all them
letters herself.

Oh, Daisy.

DAISY: Well, she could have
copied them out of a book.

[Knock on door]

MRS. BRIDGES: There he is.


- Yes, Mrs. Bridges?
- There he is now.

Sorry if I'm
a trifle late, Ruby.

RUBY: That's all right, Herbert.

They're through here.


RUBY: This is
Mr. Herbert Turner.

Mrs. Bridges.

HERBERT: How do you do?

Pleased to meet you.

Mr. Hudson.

- How do you do.
- Mr. Turner.

Mr. and Mrs. Barnes.

- How do you do.
- How do you do.

- And Mr. Norton.
- Mr. Norton.


HERBERT: Very pleased
to make your acquaintance.

It's very kind of you to allow
Miss Finch to invite me here.

Oh, great pleasure I'm sure.

HUDSON: Won't you sit down,
Mr. Turner?

Are we ready for our tea then,
Mrs. Bridges?

Oh, yes, all ready, Mr. Hudson.

Ruby, you sit there.

And this way.

Daisy, perhaps you
would be kind enough

to bring in the teapot,

and Edward
can give you a hand.

HERBERT: Allow me.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, thank you.


MRS. BRIDGES: You, um...

you live in Balham,
I believe, Mr. Turner.

HERBERT: Yes. My parents and I
share a house there.

Oh, a very pleasant area.

Oh, yes.

Unfortunately, my mother is
a martyr to rheumatism.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, dear.

Yes. And my father's health
has not been good

since he was gassed in the war.

EDWARD: Oh, in the trenches,
was he?

HERBERT: Yes. He was one
of The Old Contemptibles.

Was you in the army then?


I always feel very
awkward about it

because I was kept out by --

well, I know it sounds
ridiculous --

flat feet.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, dear.

HERBERT: Of course,
being in the post office,

I was considered to be in
a reserved occupation.

But, naturally, l volunteered,

and that is the answer
that I got.

They also serve
who only stand and wait.

Even with flat feet, eh?


Ruby, pass the sandwiches.

Ask Mr. Turner whether
he would like tongue or egg.

Or perhaps you'd prefer
one of my scones?


Well, I think I'll have
this first and a scone later.

I'll work up to it, as it were.


Daisy, close the hatch.

DAISY: Um, excuse me,
please, Mr. Turner.


DAISY: Thank you.

HERBERT: I see that you were
reading about the Sussex murder.

Shocking case, wasn't it?

I don't think he done it.

I think she hung herself.

DAISY: Sir Bernard Spilsbury
says she didn't.

EDWARD: Well, whether that chap
throttled her or not,

he certainly out the body up.

Not at table, please!

My fault.

I should not have brought
the subject up.

You are interested
in crime, Mr. Turner?

Well, I think we all are a bit,
Mr. Hudson, don't you?

Crime and murder.

I mean,
it's the drama of it all.

But I prefer what one might call
a better class of murder.

But still, you don't often read

about a murder
in The Tafter, do you?

My mother is a great reader
of The Tafter.

HUDSON: Oh, really?

Oh, yes, she knows
everyone in society.

When I told her that I'd had
the honour of meeting Miss Finch,

she was able to tell me

everything about
the family here.

Oh, yes.

She remembered Lady Marjorie,
Lord Bellamy's first wife,

and the Earl and Countess
of Southwold and everything.

HUDSON: Oh, well!

What do you think, Daisy?

DAISY: I don't know
what he sees in her.

FREDERICK: She's hardly said
a word since they arrived.

You know what I think?

I think he's found out that
our Ruby's a good listener.


MRS. BRIDGES: And that was
of our outing at Herne Bay.


I've lived a very quiet life,
too quiet really.

I am conscious of that.

What with the war and both
my parents being invalids.

How old are you, Mr. Turner,
if you don't mind my asking.

HERBERT: I'm 35, Mr. Hudson,

and done nothing,
as you might say.

I read the novels of H.G. wells

and I read about his heroes
who just existed, as it were,

and I think, "Well, that's me."

I hope you're not going
to throw up your job

and start wandering
around the countryside.

Oh, no, no, Mr. Hudson.

I've got a bit
more sense than that.

That is all right in novels
but not in real life.

No, I think
I've really lived,

as you might say,
by second hand.

What with my father being
interested in murder and crime

and my mother in
the aristocracy.

But, still, it is only
secondhand, isn't it.

Have you, um...

ever thought of, um,
getting married, Mr. Turner?

HERBERT: Well, I have
Mrs. Bridges, of course.

But I'm afraid that money
has always been a bit tight.


Until my recent promotion
that is.

I suppose I may as well admit

that is why I answered
the advertisement.

Because you thought you could
now consider the possibility?



Oh, here she is.

HUDSON: Please.

HERBERT: Oh, thank you.

Well, we'll be off.

I thought that we might go
to my parents'

to have a bite of supper
after chapel, Mrs. Bridges.

Oh, well, yes, Mr. Turner.

Only I don't want her
home too late.

Oh, no, no, Mrs. Bridges.
I would not do that.

She is a bit too precious
for that.

[Hudson chuckles]

Well, goodbye, Mr. Turner.

HERBERT: Thank you for
a most pleasant occasion.

HUDSON: I hope we shall see you
again very soon, Mr. Turner.

Reciprocated, I'm sure.

Come along, Ruby.

RUBY: Yes, Herbert.

Well, Mrs. Bridges,

I think you can start looking
for a new kitchen maid.

GUY: Ah, thank heaven for that.

GUY: Ah, thank heaven for that.

Can we have a bottle of
champagne please, Parsons,

and some caviar?

Do we have any amber caviar?
Not that horrid black stuff.

PARSONS: Yes, sir.

GUY: Why do one's guests

always have to take 40 minutes
to say goodbye?

They'll miss the train,
I know it.

They'll come tumbling back here

and insist on spending
another night.

I must say, I hope they don't.

Especially Margot.

One doesn't understand
the meaning of a long weekend

until one has Margot to stay.

Oh, exhausted!
Why does one do it?

VIRGINIA: You know you enjoyed
ever minute of it.

GUY: Well, "every minute"
is going too far.

It's very hard to enjoy
Winston's rendering

Of "My Old Dutch."

I've never admired
Lloyd George's Welsh hymns

as much as many pretend to.

VIRGINIA: But they enjoyed it.
That's the important thing.

The whole weekend has been
a great success.

GUY: Entirely because of you.

You are a splendid hostess.

No. I just like people.

GUY: And they like you.

We'll have some champagne

to restore ourselves
before we change.

I thought something
very simple in here,

and then I wondered if,
after dinner,

you'd like to see
Charlie Chaplin's latest film?

VIRGINIA: The Gold Rush?

GUY: One managed
to obtain a copy.

VIRGINIA: You don't mean
you have a private cinema here?

GUY: Yes, of course.

I don't often tell people,
because if I do,

then they insist on watching
Felix the Cat or Harold Lloyd

the whole weekend,
and I want to play bridge.

But as it's just ourselves,

I thought it might amuse you.


I didn't know we were going
to be alone here tonight.

Does it embarrass you?

Yes, it does rather.


That's what I love
best about you,

your delicious honesty.

My mother would adore you.

Would you come to a little
dinner at her house on Tuesday?

I'd love to meet her.

Richard gets back tomorrow --

No, not Richard.
Do you mind, just you?

She's a little bit
of an invalid, you see,

doesn't get about much.

But a small dinner party,
with just one person,

she can manage beautifully.

All right, Parsons.
I'll deal with that.

Very good, sir.

VIRGINIA: I wonder
how Richard's getting on.

This was to be
a very important meeting

for the League of Nations.

[Guy chuckles]

I think it's so touching
that he still cares.


I wish he could get a post
in the government again,

Where he could put
his talents to better use.

Yes, of course.

Not quite so easy
now he's in the Lords.

I believe there's a post

of Undersecretary of State
for Foreign Affairs

which is going to be vacant.

It would be nice
if he got that post.

GUY: Well, you know that I'd do

anything in the world
to please you.

So if I have any influence
in that direction...

You can be sure
I shall use it.

I must say
I admire his energy.

I feel like a holiday myself.

I did think of taking the yacht
on a long cruise this summer.

I was wondering
if you'd come with me.

Richard could join us
from time to time

if his conscience
ever let him escape.

I was talking to
the prince last week.

I think he'll probably
come with us,

and Freddie Birkenhead.

One or two others.

What do you say?

ROSE: Never seen nothing
like it in all my born days.

Do you know we even had
champagne in the servants' hall?

Champagne in the servants' hall?

Never heard anything like it.

EDWARD: Cor, that sounds
all right to me.

DAISY: Here, Eddie,
give these cases a rub up

when you've got a minute,
will you?

EDWARD: All right, if I have to.

Here, Rose, I bet you
didn't half eat well?

ROSE: Oh, yes.

Though, of course, it wasn't
as good on the last night

when the others had gone.

The others had gone, Rose?

ROSE: Oh, yes.

Well, the other guests
had to leave on the Sunday.

You mean her ladyship
stayed on alone?

[Telephone rings]

Oh, there now.

FREDERICK: Dinner ready,
Mrs. Bridges?

MRS. BRIDGES: Yes, it is.

Now hurry up with
them vegetables.

They'll all get cold.

And, Daisy, will you take
the pudding in?

I don't know, we're all behind
today, like a donkey's tail.

FREDERICK: I'm so hungry
I could eat it.

- Eat what?
- The donkey's tail.


[Rose laughs]

HUDSON: Rose, you're wanted
on the telephone.

Me, Mr. Hudson?

Her ladyship's ladies maid,
they're asking for.

Oh, dear. I hope as how
I haven't left nothing

of her ladyship's
behind at Shelbourne.

HUDSON: I hope not, Rose.

POLLY: It really is the limit.

To sit in a taxi
for half an hour

just because there's too much
traffic in London

and it's all got jammed
together in The Strand.

If you ask me, too many people
have got cars.

[James chuckles]

Can I have tonight off instead
of next week, Mrs. Bridges?

Oh, well, I don't know.

RUBY: Oh, well, Herbert can't
get next week off, you see.

He has to work evenings.

MRS. BRIDGES: Well, perhaps.
Just this once.

But don't you make
a habit of it.

Come along, Rose,
it's all getting cold.

DAISY: Who was it, Rose?

ROSE: Fella from the newspapers
wanted to know

Where her ladyship
spent the weekend.

MRS. BRIDGES: You never told him
nothing did you, Rose?

ROSE: Of course I didn't.
What do you take me for?

Shall we say grace?

Well, did your stepmother enjoy
the weekend at Shelbourne?

JAMES: Oh, yes.
Yes, I think so, very much.

Weren't you there?

POLLY: Oh, no.

The Queen is dead.
Long live the Queen.

JAMES: I don't think
that's very funny.

POLLY: Nor do I.

Do you know where
she's going this evening?

JAMES: My stepmother, no.

POLLY: She is going to dinner
with Guy's mother.

I wonder if your father knows.

JAMES: Oh, I should imagine so.

POLLY: Ah, but I wonder
if he really knows.

I nearly got invited there,

just before I came here
to lunch.

I knew what it meant

It meant that after years
of fending off

every woman in sight,

like a demented, old,
oceangoing tug,

she had suddenly said,
"Guy, you must get married.

It would be good
for your career.

And besides, dear,
you need someone

to look after you
when I'm gone."

Hmm. It can hardly have meant
that with Virginia.

Because she's married already?

There is such a thing
as divorce.

JAMES: Oh, Polly, do sit down
and stop talking such rubbish.

I'm sorry if your friendship
with Guy Paynter

has been broken off,
but there's no need --

POLLY: Do you know why it did?

I cared too much.

Oh, not for Guy.

I don't like charm
and ruthlessness in a man.

One or the other,
but both together,

there's something
nasty about it,

like a female impersonator.

Well, if you felt like that.

POLLY: But all that money.

It's so beastly being poor.

Harry left a mass of debts.

All I have
is my widow's pension

and a pittance
that his parents give me.

And then along comes Guy,

and suddenly, a beautiful flat,
lovely clothes.

Just to mention something,
to have it.

To say, "I'd like to go to
New York," and you're there.

Or, "Wouldn't it be pleasant

to cruise on a yacht
in the Mediterranean,"

and it happens.

It's irresistible.

I'm sure Lady Bellamy
will find it so.

Oh, there's a wee dent developed
there, Frederick.

It'll have to go
to the silversmiths.

EDWARD: Mr. Hudson,
I think you ought to see this.

HUDSON: Something in
the newspaper, Edward?

EDWARD: In the gossip column.

RICHARD: "Lady 'B' --

Beautiful, young wife

of a Tory politician
in the House of Lords

acted as hostess last weekend
at a distinguished house party

given by a well-known
millionaire industrialist.

She so much enjoyed her visit,

which was not shared
by her husband"...

"that she outstayed
the rest of the guests

who left on Sunday afternoon.

She herself was driven back to
London by her host on Monday."

I don't know how they get
hold of these things.

I think we should have a word
with her, Mrs. Bridges.

MRS. BRIDGES: I quite agree
with you, Mr. Hudson.


Yes, Mrs. Bridges?

HUDSON: Rose, could you come in
here for a wee minute, please.

ROSE: Yes.

Yes, Mr. Hudson.

HUDSON: You saw
this newspaper, Rose?

ROSE: Yes, of course I did,
Mr. Hudson.

Edward passed it round
at dinner.

HUDSON: Do you know how
this item of news

got into the newspaper?

ROSE: Oh, the one about
her ladyship? No.

What did you say

to that man on the telephone
yesterday, Rose?

ROSE: I didn't say nothing.

Mr. Hudson.

HUDSON: What exactly did
you say to him, Rose?

ROSE: Well, he asked me where
her ladyship spent the weekend,

and I said he better ask her
ladyship if he wanted to know.

And then he said did I go with
her when she went away,

and I said, yes, I did.


ROSE: Well,
there's no harm in that.

What else did he ask?

He said, "When did her ladyship
get back from Shelbourne?"

And I said it
wasn't up to me to discuss

her ladyship's
social engagements,

and I put the receiver down,
and that's all.

Don't you believe me,
Mr. Hudson?

HUDSON: Oh, I'm sure you believe

that you are speaking
the truth, Rose,

but I'm afraid you must
have let something slip.

In future, if any gentlemen
of the press telephone,

I will ask you
to inform me immediately.

Well, I don't know
why you should think

it was me, Mr. Hudson.

I never told that reporter

that her ladyship
stopped over 'til Monday.

What about

that gentleman
friend of Ruby's?

If Ruby had mentioned it to him,
he could have passed it on.

Oh, Rose!

Well, he's the only one what's
come new into this house,

and it was you what said
he took an uncommon interest

in what went on upstairs.

Ulterior motive.

VIRGINIA: Richard.

[Closes door]

You didn't go out to dinner.

I decided to dine at home.

I thought you might be back.

VIRGINIA: I'm -- I'm sorry
I'm so late.

We went down to Brighton.

RICHARD: You and Guy?

VIRGINIA: And some others.

He had a new Lagonda
he wanted to try out.

RICHARD: Virginia,
I want to ask you something.

You remember I asked you to do
me a favour a short time ago.

I want to ask you to do me
a much greater one now.

I want to ask you not to see
so much of Guy Paynter.

VIRGINIA: Someone showed you
that piece in the newspaper.


VIRGINIA: And you thought

it might damage
your political career.

RICHARD: No, it's not that.

I've been made to feel my age
rather often lately.

But I find I'm still
young enough to be jealous.

Oh, Richard.

I am so glad.

HUDSON: There is one thing
certain, Mrs. Bridges.

We could never again allow a man

who gives information to the
newspapers to enter this house.


EDWARD: Well, we don't know
it was him, Mr. Hudson.

FREDERICK: It could be why
he took up with Ruby,

so as to get little titbits
to sell to the papers.

ROSE: Yes, and what's he going
to try and sell next?

HUDSON: Precisely, Rose.
We cannot risk it.

She said she thought he might
pop the question tonight.

Oh, Mr. Hudson, suppose he does.

HUDSON: Ruby will have to give
in her notice immediately.

We certainly
couldn't risk her becoming

a source of information
for the popular press.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, Mr. Hudson!

HUDSON: Either that,

or we will have to ask her
never to see him again.

DAISY: No, Mr. Hudson,
now you couldn't do that.

EDWARD: She'd never get another
chance, not Ruby, Mr. Hudson.

DAISY: Here she comes.

ROSE: Is he with her?

No, I don't think so.


RUBY: Yes, Mrs. Bridges.

What are you going to
say to her, Mr. Hudson?

HUDSON: Well, Rose...

MRS. BRIDGES: Don't you think
we ought to see her

on our own, Mr. Hudson?

I don't see that, Mrs. Bridges.
I mean we're all involved.

Yeah, any of us
could have been suspected.

ROSE: Yes.

RUBY: Excuse me, Frederick.

FREDERICK: Oh, sorry, Ruby.

MRS. BRIDGES: Did you have
a nice evening, Ruby?

RUBY: Yes, thank you very much,
Mrs. Bridges.

ROSE: Did he have anything

special to say to you, Ruby?

Oh, yes.
He asked me to marry him.

DAISY: What did you say, Ruby?

Well, I thanked him
very much for the honour.

But I said I wasn't interested.

You don't mean to say
you turned him down?

Of course I did.

Oh, he was all right,
but he hadn't much go in him.

And he was nothing
like his photographs.

He wasn't a bit like
Rudolph Valentino.

Sir Guy Paynter is here,
my lady.

Show him in, Hudson.


- Good morning.
- Good morning.

Thank you for your letter.

Was good of you
to send it round by hand

so that I should get it
as soon as possible.

VIRGINIA: l...had to refuse

Guy's very kind invitation
to go on his yacht this summer

because Richard and I
are going to Austria together.

I really only looked in
to pick up the book I lent you.


Yes, the Browning poems.

Oh, yes, of course.

Thank you for lending it to me.

No, no, no, not at all.


- Major Bellamy.
- Goodbye.

GUY: Thank you.

Rather cheap of him
to take the book back.


I think effeminate men
often are rather cheap.

JAMES: Effem--

Does father know

that you know?

Oh, no.

He'd be terribly embarrassed.

Besides, I'd rather
he didn't know.

I'd love to know

who gave the newspapers
that piece of gossip.

Oh, it was that wicked, old
Valentine Castlerosse.

He was there at Shelbourne.

I sat next to him at dinner.

He was furious because I was
asked to stay on 'til Monday,

and he wasn't,
so he put it in his column.

Would you care for some
cocktails, my lady?

No, thank you, Hudson.

As soon as his lordship
gets back --

[Door closes]

Oh, is that him?

HUDSON: My lord.

RICHARD: Thank you, Hudson.

What did Mr. Baldwin want?

He offered me the post

of Undersecretary of State
for Foreign Affairs.

VIRGINIA: Oh, Richard!

Well done, father!

But you don't mean that Guy --

RICHARD: Guy left a note
to Downing Street this morning

saying he thought
I was much too old

and recommending someone else.

Baldwin said that's what
made up his mind.

He said he'd always
considered me for it,

but he didn't want someone
who was in Guy Paynter's pocket.



Oh, Ruby, not again!

RUBY: Holiday brochures,
Mrs. Bridges.

The advertisement said,
"Get the cruising habit."

those letters down at once

and get on with mashing
the potatoes.

RUBY: Yes, Mrs. Bridges.

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