Barrymore (2011) Movie Script

Come, my friends,
there's sap in't yet.
The next time I do fight
I'll make death love me;
Come, let's have one
other gaudy night:
call to me
all my sad captains,
fill our bowls; once more
let's mock the midnight bell.
Kalamazoo, zoo, zoo,
zoo, zoo, zoo...
Yolanda in Kalamazoo
Once strolled after
dark by the zoo
She was seized by the nape
And humped by an ape,
As she sighed, What
a heavenly screw.
Just a minute.
I forgot the baby.
I'm gonna send a
wire, hoppin' on a flyer,
leavin, today.
Am I dreamin,; I can
hear her screamin'
got a girl in Kalamazoo...
My baby.
It goes where I go.
Its only objectionable
feature is that people are
convinced I carry
around my own ashes.
It actually contains vital,
life-sustaining potions from
my pharmacist at the Jungle
Club on Seventh Avenue.
Years have gone
by; my, my, how she grew;
I liked her looks,
when I carried
her books in Kalamazoo,
zoo, zoo, zoo...
I must be a frigging
masochist and, God knows,
an egoist - for here I
am, three months after the
attack on Pearl Harbor,
the whole world at war,
and I'm trying to
revive my puny career.
As well trying to
rejuvenate my sex life and
turn this limp noodle
into a bushwhacker.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I
cannot believe I forked
out good money to rent
this delightful dump for
one night, just to run
a few goddamned lines.
But, I'll be honest
with you, I had to.
I had to.
So do not be put off by
the disarray that you see.
All this will hopefully
be transformed into the
throne room of that
lump of foul deformity,
ruthless King Richard.
The Turd.
God he was
shit, wasn't he?
But I have an
affinity with shits.
You know, Richard was
my first real success.
It was a long time ago,
but it was the first time
they took me seriously.
So I've got to try to
get the old bastard up
on his feet again.
I need to be taken
seriously once more before
the man in the bright
nightgown comes for me.
That is, if my trusty
prompter ever arrives.
For the success of this
hazardous enterprise rests
not only on your approval,
but on the shaky ability
of an aging actor to
remember his lines.
Oh and if, perchance,
there are among you one or
two charitable angels, the
smallest gesture will not be
Hiya, Mister Jackson...
Ev'rything's O K A L A M A
what a gal,
a real piperoo.
I'll make my bid for
that frecklefaced
kid I'm hurrying to.
I'm going to Michigan to -
Have you ever seen
delirium tremens?
Well, a colleague of mine,...
...a bibulous fellow
thespian, had the best DTs
I've ever seen.
You might say, Henry's
bladder abhorred a vacuum.
Henry Malcolm Rogers,
known in theater circles
as the world's
best worst actor.
He kicked the bucket
last week at sixty-two,
but not from liquor.
He died of what in New
York is called a natural
death-he was hit a cab.
Hank drank a quart of
whiskey a day for forty years.
They tried to cremate him,
but he blew up and wrecked
the place.
Dear Henry, the only man
I ever knew with varicose
veins in his eyeballs.
There's really nothing
funny about booze.
Oh my God, I must be a
living advertisement for
all the friggin'
liquor companies in the world.
Look at these -
Restless little
buggers, aren't they?
I'm so far gone, I
haven't left yet.
But things are beginning
to click for me -
my knees, my elbows, my neck.
When I get out of bed,
I sound like
Carmen Miranda's castanets.
But I don't feel old... yet.
They say a man isn't old
till regrets take the
place of dreams.
That's it, isn't it?
And then our little life
is rounded with sleep,
blood clots, gout,
arthritis, dropsy,
ulcers and - oh yes
- hemorrhoids.
They're a pain
in the neck.
Sovereign panacea
for whiskey breath.
A tippler
from Riverside Drive
Had breath you
could barely survive.
He ate a banana, Read
George Santayana,
Then farted Chanel No. 5.
Allow me to disabuse you of
the prevalent notion that
Jack Barrymore is a
tragic figure.
Get this straight:
for a man who's been
dead fifteen years,
I've had
one helluva life -
You know, one summer
holiday on Staten Island,
my brother Lionel and I staged
a furious duel with these.
I was six - I
was the baby.
Lionel was ten.
My sister Ethel,...
who was nine going on
forty, saw us showing off
and got the idea of
putting on a play in the
barn behind the
boarding house.
All thirty-seven
guests came.
Each paid a penny.
I earned six cents.
Lionel, ten.
Ethel kept the
remainin... twenty-one
cents for herself.
Star billing and
production costs.
Lionel was irate,
threatened to quit.
But I was
completely happy,
because I hadn't
learned to count yet.
Jesus Christ!
I must have the DT's.
What the hell is that?
Oh, it's just a glove.
I thought it was a dead rat -
which reminds me of my father.
Not the glove. The rat.
Maurice Barrymore.
Matinee idol, complete
with Oxford accent,
monocle and top hat.
Ah that bastard.
He used to drag me along
on his nightly binges.
I wasn't even ten yet.
He'd stumble home at dawn
without me -
forgot all about me.
Just left me in some
dingy old whorehouse.
The girls were always
telling me how cute I was,
how much I looked
like my father.
Well I was damned if I
was going to be like him.
That madman.
God what a brute -
and he got worse.
He almost killed Ethel once -
had her by the throat,
then he ran off screaming
into the night, screaming.
I chased him for twenty blocks.
I didn't give a
shit how big he was.
I was going to kill that
raving sonuvabitch.
Is that my inheritance?
Scares the hell out of me.
What's going on?
That you sir? Mr. Barrymore?
Let me know
when you want to
start running your lines.
I'm all set up and ready to go.
Well! Mr. Efficiency
has finally turned up.
Hello, Frank.
Hello, sir.
How've you been?
Fine, sir.
Keeping busy?
That's our Frank.
Traffic's bad, huh?
I took the train, sir.
Still living in Yonkers?
With your mother?
How is she?
Oh well that's life.
Dear old Frank.
I have but to discreetly
cradle my auditory orifice,
lean artfully in his
direction, murmur, "Line?"
And the forgotten words
waft their way toward my
eagerly awaiting ear,
unbeknownst to the
enchanted audience.
Anytime, Mr. Barrymore.
I have very poor and
unhappy brains for
I could well
wish courtesy would invent
some other custom
of entertainment.
Wait a minute, sir.
That's not from Richard.
How perceptive of you, Frank.
And what is it from then?
Right as usual
Frank... Pedantic prick.
Save me from him.
A horse! A horse!
My kingdom for a horse!
Mr. Barrymore, aren't we
taking it from the beginning?
That's the end
of the play.
Tedious boy.
All right, Frank.
Let us proceed
with the libretto.
Richard the Third
- Act one, scene one.
Forgive for a moment
I just eh...
Well, I'll just still
Start me off.
Now's a good
a time as any.
No. "Now" is the first word.
Now is the...
Now is the... what?
Now is the what?
Now is the the
winter of...
Now is the winter of what?
...Our discontent.
Now is
the winter of our discontent...
That's what I said!
Don't you listen, schmuck?
I listen!
Frank, don't prompt
me unless I ask.
If I ever need one, I will
just say, "Line".
Made glorious summer
By this sun of York...
And all the clouds that
lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of
the ocean buried.
God, that was a killer.
Let's take a break.
You've only
done four lines.
Oh shut up, Frank.
Please Mr. Barrymore,
we must be serious.
All right, Simon Legree.
What's next?
Now are our brows...
Now are our brows...
You know I can
recite two entire
plays by Shakespeare.
I know you've heard that
when I made pictures,
I use blackboards
once in a while, placed
in strategic positions.
Bound with victorious
Well, it's true!
What the hell's
wrong with that?
Bound with victorious
wreath es...
Doesn't mean I'm losing
my marbles, does it?
Bound with
victorious wreathes!
That's right,
keep after me!
Come on! Come on! Come on!
See? He never gives up.
Tonight all is well.
Franklin is at the helm.
What are you doing?
You know what
the manager says.
I do not give a rat's ass
what the manager says.
No drinking on
the premises.
No, no, the drink, the
drink - O my dear Hamlet,
The drink, the drink!
I am poisoned.
Maybe I should do Hamlet.
No, no. Too late.
Alas, middle-aged actors
shouldn't play Hamlet.
Although, I don't look
middle-aged, do I, Frank?
Not anymore.
Malevolent bitch.
Oh cruelty, thy
name is Franklin.
Condescending Gnat!
So, it's Richard
Crookback or nothing.
And if I don't do it.
Some other ham will beat
me to it. Right, Frank?
Right, sir.
All right, let's
get cracking.
You probably hadn't noticed,
but I tend to stagger.
My whole family staggers.
My father, God rest his soul,
was a great staggerer.
"Staggering is a sign of
strength Jackie," he would say.
"Only the weak have
to be carried home. "
Where were we?
Grim-visaged war -
Grim-visaged war hath
smooth'd his wrinkled...
Ethel sent me these.
Red apples have been the
Barrymore good luck wish -
or the family curse
- for generations.
Here Frank, chew
on that you walrus.
I don't know why
I ever went into theater.
Lionel and I wanted to be
painters - great painters
of the American spirit,
like Homer, Eakins,
Whistler, Bellows.
Ethel wanted to
be a pianist.
But, I loved my drawings.
You may not know this,
Frank, but I was for a
time political cartoonist
for the evening journal.
Really, sir?
Oh, yes.
Some of my happiest moments
were spent at Minnie Hay's
boarding house on 34th
Street - a hangout for the
tough newspaper crowd.
Magnificent wastrels!
How come ya always draw
Teddy Roosevelt standin'
in the tall grass?
Because, my dear fellow, I
never learned how to draw feet.
Another fatal flaw,
which got me fired.
I was so in love with my
goddamn profile back then.
All my drawings
looked like me.
So it was back
to the stage.
Dear old Ethel came to the
rescue - got me a job.
But acting isn't an art.
It's a scavenger
a junk pile of the arts.
It's just that we
three were trapped in
the family cul-de-sac.
The Barrymores
and the Drews!
The Drews and the Barrymores!
They wrote a
play about us.
We were the theater's
Royal Family
and I was the Clown Prince.
Somewhere along the way,
things got a bit shaky
but it's paid well.
That's the narcotic.
Yes, sir.
Do you think my fans will
remember me when I'm a has-been?
Of course they do,
Mr. Barrymore.
I don't know what I'd do
without him, but I'd rather.
Incidentally, Frank, why
haven't you been drafted?
The army didn't want me.
Why not?
I'm 4-F.
Flat Feet?
Weak eyes?
Well, W.C. Fields and I were
turned down for Home Defense.
You know what that
impudent girl behind the
registration desk said?
"Who sent you, the enemy?"
W.C. Replied, "Please correct
me if I'm wrong, my little
hermaphrodite, but is that
your truss that's chafing you,
or is your
tutu too tight?"
Did you have to tell them?
I didn't.
Well, how did they know?
I think they guessed.
Damnit, you're a good man.
To own up to a
thing like that.
I must say,
you've got guts.
I'm proud of you.
You're outspoken, honest,
incredibly frank - Frank.
You know, the quaint irony
of it is I've sometimes
wished I'd been born on
your side of the fence.
It's when I blamed women
for my troubles and think
all dames are poison.
Odd, that, considering I adore
women more than do most men.
Even though all four wives
were bus accidents.
Katherine, Dolores, Blanche -
Didn't Blanche come
before Dolores?
Katherine, Blanche, Dolores
- and then Eileen.
Elaine. You're right.
Funny how they all
aspired to be actresses.
Can you countenance that?
Well, I don't know.
I think they loved me.
I loved them.
Yes, I did, God knows.
But something tells me
however that there won't
be a fifth ex-Mrs. Barrymore.
I would rather set
fire to myself.
I, - that am not shap'd
for sportive tricks...
I, - that am not shap'd
for sportive tricks...
Oh, uh -
Nor made to court
an amorous...
To strut...
To strut...
Before a wanton...
Blue mirrors for eyes, a
taffy-haired debutante.
Every vowel a dipthong...
Oh, you spilt lemonade all
over my best whitepique hat.
Foolish girl.
For twenty years, Katherine
and I were ecstatically happy.
And then we met.
Who came after her?
Don't tell me. Tell me.
Blanche. That's right.
Known as Michael.
Yeah, Michael.
That's right...
She was Blanche when I met
her, But wouldn't you know?
She changed into
Michael, a regular Joe.
She had a face of
a Romney portrait,
and the soul of a marine.
But she kindled
fire in me.
I kindled fire in her.
We wore matching outfits.
She looked like
George Sand.
I looked like George Sand.
And then Miss Sappho of
1920 hove into view like
an oil tanker.
Mercedes di Acosta
was her name.
She doted on Blanche.
Mercedes was more
butch than Spartacus.
who can forget her handshake?
Ah, buenos dias, senor.
Que hombre!
And your wife,
Miguel, que mujer!
Put'er there, senor.
I don't have to tell you
that divorces cost more than
marriages... but goddamnit!
They're worth it!
Lord, the shit I put myself
through all those years.
I don't mean just
the marriages.
But those absurd
plays,... all those flops!
One goddamned cow
pie after another.
And then, out of the
Chaos, Ned appears.
My Warwick, my
king-maker, my Voltaire.
Ned Sheldon.
Age twenty-five, a
playwright, just out of
Harvard, with a
hit on Broadway.
He sees me perform in some
vapid little piece of fluff.
Jack Barrymore, when are
you going to stop wasting
your talent?
Talent? What talent?
I'm in the family
business, that's all.
Like dry goods
or hardware.
No, no, no, no, no
- but you don't
realize what
you're capable of.
You could be doing
the classics!
The classics? Please!
Prancing around
the stage in some
pantywaist get-up?
No, thank you.
Jack you're a coward.
What are you afraid of?
You've got the looks, the
heart, the ego, and the talent.
Oh, I admit, it's
a little raw.
You'll have to
work your ass off.
But if you do, you could
be what the theater's
searching for.
You could be the
next Edwin Booth.
Ah come on, you
flap-eared sonuvabitch!
I'm going to get that
Plantagenet nose of yours
against some
worthwhile grindstone.
Are you game?
Sure, I'm game.
Ned is as good
as his word.
He plots my career
like a Roman general.
He even writes
plays for me.
He got me started
on Shakespeare.
We were at the Bronx
Zoo, mesmerized by a red
tarantula with a gray bald
spot on the back of its head.
Oh, Jesus, what a
sinisterlooking Sonovabitch.
"Crawling power,
Neddie," I said.
"That reminds me of
Richard the Third. "
"Which you are going
to play," he said.
God bless you, Ned.
You made me reach for it.
You even bought
me a pet tarantula.
I called it Mercedes.
Mr. Barrymore...
Hold your horses, Frank.
Hold your horses.
One summer holiday, Ned
and I rendez-vous'd in Venice.
We wandered late at night
across ancient bridges.
We traveled the
Grand Canal.
We talked about
everything under the sun.
He talked, I listened.
Then on to Florence.
To that golden city...
Ned and I, we waited
for the sunrise.
As the dawn came, there it
was in all its glory -
the River Arno, the Uffizi
Gallery, the Santa Croce
where Michelangelo
and Galileo are buried.
And there we were at
four in the morning -
singing to all of Florence...
When that midnight
choo choo leaves for Alabam'
I'll be right there,
I've got my fare.
When I see that
rusty-haired conductor-man,
I'll grab
him by the collar
And I'll holler
Alabam'! Alabam'! Alabam!
C'mon, Neddie, dance,
you old bastard!
I'm going to sit this one out.
I think he knew more about
art and history than even
old Ruskin himself.
Ah, Ned- Give me that man
that is not passion's slave,
and I will hear him in
my heart's core, ay,
in my heart of heart,
as I do thee.
That was a helluva summer.
Mr. Barrymore? Mr. Barrymore?
Mr. Barrymore!
Last summer they put
me in a sanitarium.
I forget where
the hell it was.
Somewhere out
in the desert.
Full of rich old boozers,
who were there for the
express purpose
of drying out.
A formidable creature named
Frau Himmler was in charge.
Ah, Frau Himmler, how
enchanting you look.
And how is Herr Himmler?
Dead! Kaput! Gone to Valhalla!
In that case, my Teutonic
tease, are you free to
join me in a nightcap?
Mr. Berryman,
Zis ist a clinic!
Ve haf House Rules.
Zere vill be no Schmoking,
no Profanity und no
Schumuggling in ze
Schnapps by your Hollywood
riffraff Crowd!
Then, perhaps, my Germanic
Geranium, a little romp
between the sheets?
Hanky-panky ist verboten!
Zere vill be no discussion
of S.E.X.
What vas, vas.
Down boy!
Have done thy charm,
thou hateful wither'hag!
Up your Wienerschnitzel,
you old Sauerkraut!
Ned gave me this.
Sixteenth century.
It's the real thing.
I love old things...
old friends, old times,
old manners, old books,
old trees, the old sun,
the old moon,
old wine in dim flagons,
old actors, old wagons.
Where was I?
In the sanitarium.
Oh yeah.
One night, when the Wagnerian
Vixen was looking the
other way, I escaped and
joined a lady of the
evening, a blushing flower
who shall be nameless.
Trixie Schumacher.
Trixie's pushing forty
from the wrong side,
but she sparkles like
a dental filling.
After a lively little
game of jumble-giblets
performed in the back seat
of a taxi, we were quietly
wassailing in the cozy
intimacy of the Beberly
Wilshire Hotel dining
room, when who should storm
in but my old journalist
friend, Gene Fowler.
Gene immediately proceeded
to berate, insult and
badmouth my poor,
soiled little dove.
I had no choice but to rise
in defense of Trixie's honor.
"Now stop right
there, Gene", I said.
"I will not permit you to
use such language in the
presence of a whore!"
"Yer damn right!"
said Trixie and hauled
off and slapped him.
She immediately
regretted it.
He was chewing tobacco.
I gotta tell you this.
Mr. Barrymore! Mr. Barrymore!
Shut up Frank! I gotta
tell you this.
Gene has a - Gene
has a - Gene has a
mother-in-law - from Hell!
I can't understand grown
men gettin' drunk and
actin' like fools in
front of decent people.
Don't you bring that
John Barrymore here anymore!
The fact is, he did bring
me home early one morning
before sunrise.
Don't wake Mumsie.
As if I wanted to.
While he was tiptoeing
into the kitchen to get
drinks, I got acquainted
with Chester, Mumsie's
beloved parrot.
Say something, Chester.
Don't just there, you
stupid Technicolor chicken.
Turned out, the bird
spoke nothing but French.
Bonjour, madame, bwak!
Bonjour madame, Bwak!
Bonjour madame, Bwak!
In no time, I had coached
Chester in the King's
English, downed my
drink and departed.
I was told that later on
when Mumsie passed his
perched and sang out,
"Bonejour, Chester",
the bird replied, "Bonjour,
madame, fuck you, bwak!
Bonjour, madame,
fuck you, bwak!"
Little drops of water,
Little blades of grass,
Once a noble actor,
Now a horse's ass.
Hello from Hollywood.
This is Louella Parsons
with a scoop on that bad boy,
John Barrymore.
His latest indiscretion
took place last night at
fashionable Chasen's
restaurant, where he relieved...
himself in a
potted palm next to a
table of delegates from
the Daughters of the
American Revolution.
I don't remember
the incident.
I don't remember
a lot of things.
Merciful amnesia.
Fat-assed old gossip!
Jack Barrymore, will you kindly
remember that I am a lady?
Your secret is safe
with me, madam.
I never liked Louella,
and I always will.
I, - that am not shap'd
for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an
amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd...
You've already
done that, sir.
I know I have,
but I like it!
I, that am rudely
stamp'd... line!
And want love's majesty...
And want love's majesty
to strut before a
wanton ambling nymph;
I' am that... line?
...Curtail'd of this
fair proportion,
Cheated one feature... line?
By dissembling nature...
By dissembling nature...
Don't tell me! Tell me!
Sent before my time Into
this breathing world scarce
half made up...
Maybe I shouldn't wear
these tights anymore.
Oh Jesus.
They originally
belonged to Ethel.
Lionel stole them and wore
them for his Macbeth tights.
When I got them, I wore
them for my Richard
tights, then my
Hamlet tights.
My dresser discreetly suggested
that they be laundered...
just once. Laundered,
you irreverent lout?
Have you no sense
of tradition?
I opened in these tights and,
by God' I'll close in them!
When I die, I shall
bequeath them to the
Cathedral of San Giovanni
Battista, to rest beside
the Shroud of Turin.
A king am I of
shreds and patches.
It's funny, the things
I remember of my London
opening of Hamlet.
There I was, a callow
youth of forty-three.
I remember waiting in the
wings, holding the theater
cat in my arms.
I called her my
little Ophelia.
Suddenly I hear my cue.
It's too late.
I have to carry
her with me.
What, wouldst thou be
a breeder of sinners?
I am indifferent honest,
but yet I could accuse me
of such things that it were
better my mother not borne me.
What should such
fellow as I do,
crawling between
earth and heaven?
We are errant knaves
all Believe none of us.
To a nunnery, go;
and quickly too. Farewell. "
Then afterwards, when
everyone had gone -
Frank, dim the lights.
What for?
Just dim the lights.
I waited till the theater
was dark and empty.
Then I walked out onto the
Haymarket stage and stood
there all alone -
except for the ghosts.
You that look pale and
tremble at the chance,
Had I but time - as this fell
sergeant, death, Is strict
in his arrest - O, I could
tell you - But let it be.
If ever thou didst
hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity
awhile, And in this harsh
world draw the breath in
pain to tell my story.
You know, there's one
moment in a lifetime when
all the stars seem to gather
together and become one -
Well, that
moment became mine...
Once, long ago, and
it was glorious...
while it lasted.
But I let it slip away.
You scared the
shit out of me.
What the hell
did you do that for?
We're wasting time.
Says who?
We've only got the
place for one night.
Stop bullying me!
I was about to tell
them my story.
What story?
The one about the...
old British bag.
The dowager story?
The dowager story.
Oh God, that one.
Well, make it fast.
Oh thank you
so much, Frank.
I'll try to accommodate
you as best I can.
During the run, a
dowager accosted me.
I do beg your pardon
Mr. Barrymore, but could
you tell me, in your
opinion, did Hamlet have
sexual relations
with Ophelia?
In my opinion, no madam.
Though I hear...
in a certain Chicago company...
Hamlet had fellatio
with Horatio.
Another prominent visitor
to the play was
George Bernard Shaw.
He came to see if this
American upstart would
fall flat on his face.
He very kindly delivered
his opinion of me by letter,
of to the press.
I call it "The Shavian
Uppercut" I carry it,
next to my heart...
"My dear Mr. Barrymore, I
thank you for inviting me
to your first London
performance of Hamlet.
You saved an hour and a
half by the cutting,
and filled it up with an
interpolated drama of your
own dumb show.
I wish you would
concentrate on acting,
rather than authorship,
at which, believe me,
the Bard can write
your head off.
Yours, perhaps too
candidly, G.B.S."
No, damn it!
I was a hit!
"Haymaker at
the Haymarket. "
That's what the
London critics wrote.
Listen, you fat-headed
Fabian, in those halcyon
days I had ideals!
I reveled in being
compared to men like
Keane, Forrest,
Mansfield, Booth.
One of my greatest regrets
will always be that
I couldn't sit in an
audience and watch me perform.
That doesn't sound
conceited, does it?
Does it, Frank?
Oh no sir.
Of course not.
I held onto those ideals.
You have to, when
you're up there.
If I wasn't going to be a
painter, at least I could
try to master the family
business -Papa's business.
"Oh yeah? Not with
that raspy voice of yours
you little prick!
barkers on Coney Island. "
Yes. He was right.
Some of the time.
But most of the time
he was just Daddy!
Da - da - da
- da -da - da!
Mad as a hatter.
He was treated
in every known way,
But his malady
grew day by day.
He developed paresis,
Had long talk with Jesus,
And thought he was
Queen of the May.
I hardly remember
my mother.
She died when
I was so young.
A fine comedienne,
Papa would say.
But her mother.
That's another story.
Grandma Drew.
She called me
her little Greengoose
"like the pretty lad in
the storybook. "
We called her Mum Mum.
She sent me to kindergarten
at the convent school.
One day I threw an egg
at another little boy.
Mum Mum rebuked me.
Now, look here,
Greengoose, one day you
may become an actor like
your daddy, and the egg
will be thrown
back at you.
I think Mum Mum was
a great actress.
She was also the first woman to
head a major American theater,
the Arch Street Theatre
in Philadelphia.
Yes, that was hers.
Eventually, she lost it.
She lost everything.
She didn't seem to mind.
Before she died, she said, "You
children are my pride and joy.
Ethel will be the luminous one.
She has starlight
on her head.
Lionel will be the stable,
solid, practical one.
But you, Greengoose, you
will dream too long and
too deep, and one day be
gravely hurt by your awakening. "
We lived in her Twelfth
Street house which we
called "The Tomb
of the Capulets"...
a Victorian monstrosity
with cavernous halls,
monastic rooms and two attics,
where Lionel and I slept.
Up the long, dimly-lit
staircase to bed I'd go, scared
to death of the gloom ahead.
I don't want to go
up there, Mum Mum.
It's too dark.
"You needn't worry,
There's nothing
to be afraid of.
Nothing can hurt you.
You have a
wonderful power.
Say that after me.
You can't hurt me.
I have a wonderful power.
Say it again and again.
Keep on saying it.
You can't hurt me.
I have a wonderful power. "
G'night, Mum Mum.
I'm coming up,
Lionel, be careful.
Don't pretend to be the
man in the bright nightgown.
It frightens me.
Oh God, it's black up there.
Where the hell am I?
Who's that over there,
standing in the wings?
Would someone tell me
who the hell that is?
What're you staring at?
It's just me. Frank.
Oh, yeah. Frank.
I'm sorry, I must have
taken a little detour there.
I'm sorry.
Goddamn, he looked
so familiar.
For a minute, I couldn't
think who he was.
Were you on a break?
No. Sir.
Who said you could
take a break?
But I didn't...
Where were you?
Where are they
when you need them? Line!
What line?
Any line!
If you do fight
against your country's... line!
your country's foes...
Your wives...
Your wives shall...
What's the line,
Frank? Your wives shall... what?
Your wives shall
but that's not
Richard's line, sir!
Well, whose is it?
I'll take it!
Your wives shall welcome
home the conquerors.
My wives wouldn't welcome
me home if I came bearing
the Holy friggin' Grail!
Each marriage lasted seven
years, like a skin rash.
My troubles didn't come
from chasing women.
They come from
catching them.
Everyone wants to put
halos over my unworthy
head and then hold them
up with broomsticks.
Everyone except Ned.
For Ned Sheldon I don't
need a goddamned halo.
Oh, Ned.
What made you my friend?
What made you stoop to
serve this wretch, this
counterfeit of a man?
He was always trying to
save me, but I never listened.
And now, I'm lost...
Seeking a way, and
straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the
open air, But toiling
desperately to find it out,...
And from that torment
I will free myself,
Or hew my way out
with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and
murder whiles I smile;
And cry content to that
which grieves my heart;
And frame my face
to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors
than the mermaid shall;
I'll play the orator
as well as Nestor;
Deceive more slyly than Ulysses
could; And, like a Sinon,
take another Troy; I can
add colours to the chameleon;
Change shapes with
Proteus for advantages;
And set the murderous
Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and
cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it further
off, I...
I'll pluck it down!
Where's the nearest
toilet, Frank?
Just off stage right, sir?
Thank you.
Down one flight...
And past the stage door.
Nowhere closer?
An open window, perchance?
A sink? A cuspidor?
A jardinire? A potted palm?
You will forgive
me for a brief interval?
This is after all, an emergency.
Shine out, fair sun, till
I have bought a glass,
That I may see my
shadow as I piss!
To be, or not to be -
that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler
in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against
a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
To die, to sleep -
No more - 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 die, to sleep -
To sleep-perchance to
ay, there's the rub.
Mr. Barrymore?
Are you ready?
Persistent gnat.
When you first came to
London, you were the most
beautiful thing that London
had ever seen, weren't you?
And everyone wanted
you didn't they?
But you wouldn't let them
have you, would you?
Wynken, Blynken and
Nod one night...
Frank, I'm paying
you to prompt me!
You're paying me?
Don't get cute, Frank.
I don't care
about the money.
I just want you
to do Richard.
How can I do it,
unless you prompt me?
I have been prompting you.
Then, I can't hear you.
You're on the wrong side.
Yes. I don't like you there.
I like you over there.
You should be
on stage right.
No wonder I'm
forgetting lines.
It's all your fault.
Oh, stupid boy!
Hie thee to stage right
forthwith, or by my troth,
I'll knock your leek
about your pate.
Impudent jackanapes.
The Great Profile is
not this side... but this.
Say, who started the
notion... big nose, big dick?
Queen Johanna of Naples!
Jumbo Johanna.
A lady of
unbridled lust...
sized up a man's nose,
and if she liked what she
saw, brazenly groped him,
while murmuring in his ear,
"Nasatorum peculio. "
Latin for "big
nose, big hose. "
Well Frank, have
you landed yet?
Ready when you are, sir.
Richard's in his tent.
It's the night
before the battle.
Right. What battle?
Bosworth field.
Is this all the light
we're gonna get?
It's all we can
get for now sir.
Sound ready to go?
Yes, sir.
Then, give me
some wind, Frank.
Not a typhoon, bring it down...
come on, bring it down.
That's better.
You're supposed
to be asleep. Sir.
Get me started.
But you didn't say "line. "
I'm asleep.
What's next?
The ghosts appear...
The ghosts vanish...
Richard wakes.
Give me another horse!
Bind up my wounds!
Let's get outta here!
No, that's not right.
Let's start again.
Quiet on the set!
Is this my close-up?
What lens is that...
a 75?
Don't forget the filter.
Quiet! Roll 'em.
Give me another horse!
How many horses
does this guy need?
Will someone
throw me a line?
A line! A line!
My kingdom for a line!
I can't see the goddammed
blackboards from here.
My career's gonna be right
down here with the shit,
if I don't get this right.
Come on, Jack. Pull
yourself together.
Quiet! Roll'em.
I turn my body
from the sun.
Towards thee I roll,
thou all destroying but
unconquering whale.
Who the hell that?
Ahab? Jekyll? Hyde?
I remember nothing, I see
nothing, I hear nothing,
I dream of nothing but
Svengali, Svengali,
Svengali, Svengali!
My ghosts.
Are you lost,
Mr. Barrymore?
Do they sell flowers
on Mother's Day.
Yes, I'm lost.
"Wherefore" is
the cue, sir.
Oh. "Wherefore" is the cue.
Well, give it a little
louder sweetheart.
We can't hear you.
So far I've only needed a
hundred and six prompts.
Where the hell did you
get this goddamned thing?
Well, it's too small.
Or my head's too big.
My temples are throbbing
like hell.
Perchance it is tomorrow
morning's hangover
making a premature
Oh God, Frank.
I had the most frightening
thought while sitting
on the can.
What was that?
If I don't pay alimony
next month, can my wives
repossess me?
Well, can they?
I doubt it, sir.
I sincerely hope you're
right, Frank, because
I consider it the
most exorbitant of stud fees.
And the worst
feature of it is...
you pay retroactively.
I spend my entire life
trying to scare off the
hyenas snapping at my
heels with writs and
summonses, waiting to tear
every last bit of flesh
from my battered bones.
Quite frankly, Frank,
I've been pauperized.
Fortunately, I have
enough money to last me
the rest of my life,
provided I drop
dead right now.
You must have
been a beautiful baby,
You must have been a
wonderful child.
When you were only
startin, to go to
kindergarten, I bet you
drove the little boys wild...
And when it came to
winning blue ribbons,
You must have shown the other
kids how, I can see the
judges' eyes as they
handed you the prize I bet
you made the cutest bow.
Oh! You must have been a beautiful baby,
'Cause baby look at you now...
Have you noticed that
Wagner had the decency to
write his Wedding March
in the tempo of a dirge?
But the truth is, I could fall
in love again, just like that.
The one thing in the world that
still excites me is a woman.
How divine a thing.
How I miss them.
Most of all, wife
number three.
Beautiful Dolores.
She made such a success of
our marriage, I had to get out.
But, between you, me
and the lamppost,
I wasn't good enough for
any of my wives.
But I didn't tell them.
I let it come
as a surprise.
Frank, you wouldn't by any
chance have something to
drink, would you?
'Scuse me, sir?
A little tonsillar
Something to
wet my whistle.
Not on your nelly.
I beg your pardon?
Not a chance!
Oh... I see.
So, we'll go no
more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be
still as loving,
And the moon be
still at bright.
For the sword
outwears its sheath,
And the soul
wears out the breast,
And the heart
must pause to breathe,
And Love
itself have rest.
Maybe we should get
on with it, sir.
Yes, maybe we should,
Frank, maybe we should.
Oh god, where were we?
Where were we?
Oh, God, I shall despair.
That's right.
the line? "I shall despair?"
Yes. So say it.
Stop stalling
and say the line!
I know you can do this.
You're just wasting time.
Now wait a minute!
Wait a minute?
That's all we've been
doing - Waiting!
All you've been
doing is whining!
Just say the line!
Cut the bullshit!
Who the hell do you
think you're talking to?
You - you
miserable old ham!
Well, screw you, you
nasty little faggot!
I was a good Richard!
No! You weren't!
You were a great Richard.
You were a great Hamlet.
Well, what happened to me?
I have of late,...
but wherefore
I know not,...
lost all my mirth, forgone
all custom of exercises;
and, indeed, it goes
so heavily with my
disposition that this
goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me a sterile
promontory; this most
excellent canopy, the
air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof
fretted with
golden fire,...
why it appears no other
thing than a foul and
congregation of vapours.
What a piece
of work is man!
How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculties!
In form and moving, how
express and admirable!
In action, how
like an angel!
In apprehension,
how like a god!
The beauty of the world!
The paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is
this quintessence of dust?
Man delights not me;
no, nor woman
neither, though by your
smiling you
seem to say so.
I wasn't smiling, sir.
I know that, Frank.
Shall we get
back to Richard?
Yes please.
I'd like to get
back to something.
For the love of Christ.
I want to be something,
whatever, the goddamned role.
How else am I going to peer
into the wings filled with
stagehands in dirty
undershirts, crates,
dust, clutter and junk
- and say fervently,
"Come to the window, Cynthia.
Obeserve the crescent moon
rising over the sea. "
And then there's
the audience.
Ay, there's the rub.
Whether it's Barnum
& Bailey or Broadway,...
...they're still the same
great hulking monster with
two thousand eyes and
twenty thousand teeth,
breathing out there in the
darkness, withholding, teasing,
waiting -
...waiting to make or
break men like me.
Oh, that darkness!
That darkness.
This is obviously going
to be a vintage Richard.
Perhaps I should've
snuck up to the mirror.
For a moment, I thought
it was my father.
You know, when I do a picture,
I try to get Bill Daniels.
He's the best
cameraman I know.
He makes these oxen
dewlaps disappear.
Garbo won't make a
picture without him.
When we shot Grand Hotel
at MGM, Bill got rid of these
sweetbreads under my eyelids
and this moose's lavaliere.
Ah, vanity!
Of course, Lionel
isn't vain.
Lucky fellow.
I wish I was like him.
He doesn't give a damn
how he looks onscreen.
I've made five pictures
with my brother.
He's always moaning at
the director...
Now look here! I know
Jack is doing treacherous
things behind
my back to steal scenes,
rolling his eyeballs or
showing his goddamned profile.
That's a laugh.
Lionel is the
master upstager.
Our last picture together
was Night Flight.
The big scene
was all mine.
There wasn't a chance in hell
that Lionel could steal it.
The director bet me ten
smackers that he couldn't
manage it this time.
The cameras started
grinding away.
I had all the dialogue.
Lionel turned his back to the
camera, walked slowly to the
door for his exit, and
just as he got there...
he reached around and
scratched his ass.
There's a brother
to be proud of.
Poor Bastard.
He's broken his hip twice,
got hooked up on morphine
and is now confined
to a wheelchair.
Poor Lionel.
Poor Lionel? What am I saying?
It's the best gimmick
an actor ever had,
and he'll agree with me.
Jack, nothing greater
could have been contrived
for me than the character of
the grouchy but likeable old
grandfather in a wheelchair.
Mmm mmm mmm...
As a result, I'm now a
first class hypochondriac,
and I'm enjoying
it immensely.
He's always been
a hypochondriac.
He feels bad when he feels
good, because he knows
he'll feel worse
when he feels better.
God bless my brother.
Back in '23 he told me he
was getting engaged to be
married a second time.
"Not Irene," I said.
"Jesus, how awkward!"
What's awkward about that,
you miserable jackass?
I happen to have been
to bed with her myself.
He didn't speak to
me for ten years.
Oh, well, we made up at last.
He's always
nagging at me...
Jack, you're such a
snob about pictures.
They're so much easier
than the theater.
When a movie's finished, your
performance is in the can.
Or in the toilet.
Of course, Ethel doesn't
approve, but then, that's Ethel.
Oh, Jack, Jack, you've
sold out to Hollywood.
Come back, come back to
your home in the theater.
Come back! Come back!
Oh, Ethel, go fuck a duck.
You too, Lionel.
It's all so ridiculous.
Broadway versus Hollywood,
Hollywood versus Broadway.
What's there to compare?
Gomorrah with palm trees
or Sodom with subways
It's all the same.
What were you last
in, Mr. Barrymore?
I believe it was
Joan Crawford.
Oh! What movie!
Something for RKO.
I can't recall, thank god.
Of course, my trusty
blackboards were strewn
all over the set.
"Goddamn it, Jackie, why
don't you learn your lines
like everyone else?"
Because, Anatol, precious,
my memory is full of beauty...
Paradise Lost, the Queen
Mab speech, the great Sonnets.
Do you expect me to clutter
up my mind with donkey-doo?
Those kidney-faced baboons
for whom I labour are some
of the most uncultured
asses in the world.
"Are you sure you want
to make that picture?"
I said to Sam Goldwyn.
"You know, it's
about two lesbians. "
So? We'll make 'em Americans.
Come on, Mr. Barrymore.
What do you want, Frank?
What do you want?
We're wasting time.
What the hell do you care?
You're getting paid for it.
Okay, that's it!
That's what?
I've had it!
Where the hell do you
think you're going?
I'm getting my coat. I quit!
You're a spoiled child!
You've always gotten
everything you wanted.
and now that you don't,
you can't take it.
You're not going
to do Richard.
You haven't got the guts.
You're worse than a drunk...
you're a coward!
Jesus. There's the whistle.
Now they all know I'm crazy.
Don't go, Frank!
Don't go. Please.
Please help me.
If I don't finish this, or
they'll put me away.
Frank? Frank?
Frank? Come back here,
come back, please.
I'm sorry Frank.
You just watch me.
I have a wonderful power!
All you host of heaven!
O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell?
Hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews.
Grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up.
Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while
memory holds...
While memory holds...
No, no, no, no, no.
It's no good, no good.
I can't do it, Mum Mum.
I can't do it anymore.
What's the line? What's
the line? What's the line?
What's the line,
what's the play?
Don't go Frank.
You haven't left have you?
Huh? Frank?
You still there?
Still here.
Did you know my father
wrote his own epitaph?
He walked beneath the stars
And slept beneath the sun;
He lived a life of going to-do
And died with nothing done.
We had to commit
him to Bellevue.
He was only fifty-one.
A lethal combination of
absinthe and syphilis.
At his burial, the straps
around his coffin got twisted,
so they had to hoist the
whole goddamned thing up again.
How like Papa... a curtain call.
Frank, I really think I'm going
to need something to drink.
I'm getting the shakes again.
Would you like
some black coffee?
No. Thank you.
May I ask you something?
Go right ahead, Frank.
Well, why don't
you try AA?
why not? I'll drink anything.
Sir? Are you all right?
No, I am not all
right, thank you.
I'm way-laid by regrets.
I can't go back to
that room in the sky,
to childhood, to anything.
I've pissed it all away.
There's nowhere to go.
I can't stop running.
I fled Him, down the
nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the
arches of the years;
I fled Him, down
the labyrinthine Ways
Of my own mind; and in the
mist of tears I hid from Him,
and under
running laughter,
From those strong Feet that
followed, followed after.
Well, Richard, Hamlet...
all my old pals,...
...I'm free of you now.
She called to me from
the foot of the staircase.
I saw you come into this
world, Greengoose,
and now you're
seeing me out.
That's a fair exchange.
Oh Mum Mum,
don't say that.
Oh, but it's true.
Actors are like
waves of the sea,
They rise to separate heights,
then break on the shore
and are gone, unremembered.
Nothing as dead
as a dead actor.
Not even a doornail.
Frank, you can douse
the lights now.
What'd you say?
You heard me.
You can't quit now.
Do as I say!
No! I won't let you!
The long day's task is
done, And we must sleep.
No more a soldier.
- Bruised pieces,
go; you have nobly worn.
I pray you, leave me
a little;
Nay, do so; for indeed,
I have lost command.
And if you want to
avoid domestic strife,
don't marry in January.
And that goes for the
other months, too.
But, sir...
You haven't
come to the end.
Oh, yes, I have.
I won't fool
myself any longer.
Vat vas, vas.
And you don't
fool me, either.
I know who you are.
He sent you, didn't he?
The man in the
bright nightgown.
Well, I'm damned if
I'll go quietly.
I have a wonderful power!
I was ever a
fighter, so...
one fight more, The
best and the last!
I would hate that death
bandaged my eyes,
and forbore, And bade
me creep past.
Mr. Barrymore, don't
you want your apples?
No, no, you keep them.
No more red apples for me.
Jesus, if only Eve had
offered Adam a daiquiri,
we'd still be in Paradise.
I got
a girl in Kalamazoo...
Don't wanna boast, but I
know she's the toast of...
Would they were wasted,
marrow, bones and all,
That from their loins no
hopeful branch may spring,
To cross me from the
golden time I look for!
Why, love forswore me
in my mother's womb:
She did corrupt frail
nature with some bribe,
To shrink mine arm up
like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious
mountain on my back,
To disproportion
me in every part,
Like to a chaos,
Then, since this earth
affords no joy to me,
I'll make my heaven to
dream upon the crown.