Cousin Bette (1998) Movie Script

WOMAN: Dr. Bianchon?
MAN: Baroness.
When will my suffering end?
- Bless you, Doctor.
- Dear Madame.
- Lovely... and noble creature.
- Go now.
- Doctor?
- It hardly seems the time.
However, one must, for the sake
of one's conscience...
Your bill, Madame.
I have squandered everything.
All of it.
- On Josephat.
- You were young.
And Valerie de Marneffe.
Took advantage
of your kind heart.
- Mademoiselle Tarquay.
- I'm your wife, not your judge.
I promise you now that I will
never, ever be unfaithful again.
I shall give up Jenny Cadine.
Jenny... Cadine?
Here... at your side.
As always, Cousin.
Do you remember our garden?
- At Saint-Aubin?
- The lilacs.
- Black as plums.
- I would like some at my grave.
You have always loved
beautiful things.
And you craved plain muslin,
dearest Bette.
Rooting around in the garden,
pulling up turnips.
Never without good Saint-Aubin
soil beneath your nails.
Countess Cabbage, we called you.
You never minded.
A family like ours could only
push forward one girl.
Your beauty benefited all of us.
- You tried to drown me.
- An accident.
How they beat you.
I don't remember.
I'll be gone before nightfall.
My daughter will need you
more than ever.
Oh... if only
I had seen her married.
Promise me you'll
take care of them, Bette.
I promise
I'll take care of them.
I'll take care of them all.
Let heavenly wings
enfold this angel...
and take her to her reward.
[Children laughing]
BETTE: Poor child.
BARON: Oh, Adeline.
BETTE: Terrible.
BARON: Your devotion to her...
SERVANT: Monsieur de Baron.
BETTE: Faithful Hector...
all alone.
[Weeping loudly]
- Perhaps I should go.
- No. Please.
I need you here beside me.
I hope I might speak candidly
to you on the subject of...
- Always.
- About a matter...
- Yes?
- A matter somewhat...
- A somewhat delicate matter.
- Don't hesitate.
I was hoping...
Well, you must agree...
- Mariette.
- Mademoiselle.
- A girl alone...
- Tragic.
Needing a mother. Who better?
Who a more logical choice?
Well, you know I love Hortense
as if she were my own daughter.
You don't think it
unseemly haste?
Don't you think we should wait?
- We should wait.
- On the other hand...
It is what our dear Adeline
would have wanted.
I'll tell the children.
Come and join us, please.
And bring your brother
and your sister-in-law.
HORTENSE: We're coming, Father.
BROTHER: Oh, God, what now?
[Man speaking indistinctly]
BROTHER: I don't know
what's the matter.
HORTENSE: Is Cousin Bette here?
SISTER: Quietly!
Children, I have
something to tell you.
Not that I could ever take
her place in your hearts, but...
Bette has agreed to be
our housekeeper.
Father, we can't afford
any additional staff.
BARON: You can keep that sewing
job of yours at the theater.
Extra income never hurt anyone.
- But I...
- No, no. Don't thank me.
Don't thank me. My little girl
will be looked after.
It is we who should be
thanking you.
Cousin Bette...
I cannot comprehend
why you'd decline my offer.
You'd be living with us,
instead of in this... hellhole.
Whoa! Whoa.
Whoever heard of a woman living
alone if she doesn't have to?
Good night, Cousin.
[Loud street conversation]
On the other side of heaven
I'll be waiting for you
Where the clouds are so soft
And the sky's baby blue
Stop, stop, stop, please,
Mademoiselle Cadine.
My kitten, you're singing
about lust and corruption,
sex and seduction.
Put a little crocodile in it.
Like so. Ahem.
[Music begins]
How can I sing? I'm smothered
in pigeon feathers.
I think we'll take supper now.
JENNY: You expect me to wear
this stinking thing?
I won't. It's shit.
JENNY: What idiot dreamed up
this abomination?
BETTE: I did, Mademoiselle.
Who is it?
Mademoiselle Fisher.
- I want her fired, or I quit.
- But, Jenny, she...
How do you think the costume
might be improved?
You've hidden all my charms.
Where's my bosom?
Where's my ass?
- And what do you suggest?
- Are you the costumier or not?
- That ought to do it.
- What have you...
- Perfect.
- [Laughter]
JENNY: See that she gets
a raise in pay.
We'll celebrate...
with a glass of champagne.
You're a brave soul.
Could've lost your job.
- I can sew it back up.
- No, it's bewitching.
Life is so boring.
Don't you think?
Perhaps not for you.
You're clever enough
to entertain yourself.
That's because you're not
a true Parisienne.
Nor are you.
You're a daughter of Lorraine,
a country peasant like me.
[Knocking on door]
MAN: Treasure...
your admirers are here.
My kitten!
[Man singing in Italian]
[Door closes]
[Footsteps approaching]
HORTENSE: How's your sweetheart,
Cousin Bette?
- He's not very well, poor thing.
- Delicate, is he?
Yes. And pale.
The color of moonlight.
- But who is he? Is he a prince?
- A prince to me.
What imaginations
old maids have!
Why, only last night
he had supper in my apartment.
- What did you dine on?
- Cheese... and a sip of wine.
- That's so little.
- He's an artist.
- I'd like to see him.
- Turn around. Stand up straight.
I bet he's just an awful
old bank clerk with a goatee.
That's where you're wrong,
So you really have a sweetheart?
Just as surely as you do not.
BARON: At this rate,
Hortense will never be married.
She's young.
She wants to be happy in love.
Money isn't so important
to a young girl.
She believes
she can live on air.
Talk to her, Cousin.
Tell her to be practical.
You've lived all these years
without love.
Hasn't made you unhappy.
I'll see what I can do.
MAN: I live mostly on my estate
in the Languedoc.
I find the presence of sheep
and cows very soothing.
Don't you, Mademoiselle?
My neighbor, the Count D'Artois,
argues that the goat's "'na-a-h"'
has more character,
but I find it disturbing.
SECOND MAN: As I always say
to my dear friend,
your father the Baron,
"'Hector, a title is good,
but money is better."'
Yes... my dear Hortense,
above all... reigns...
the holy... venerated...
substantial... beautiful...
...and all-powerful franc.
Do you, uh... know why I've come?
Marry me, my little butterfly.
Get up at once, Monsieur,
or I shall ring the bell!
- It's exquisite.
- Monsieur, get up!
- You won't marry me?
- Never!
I'll give you 200,000 francs for
a glimpse of your naked body.
- Never!
- But why?
You're... too... horrible!
I? The wealthiest man in Paris?
Prodigy parfumier
to the great Buritaud?
of the Legion of Honor?
Lord Mayor of Paris?
- And I'm horrible?
- She's spoiled.
She has no idea
what her situation is.
Monsieur Crevel,
it's possible I have
a more attractive proposition.
You know the baron is
the protector...
of the famous singer
Jenny Cadine?
An arrangement that makes him
the envy of all Paris.
- He's given her up.
- What?
For the moment.
If you like, I could arrange...
I would give 50,000
to snaffle that imperious,
half-baked aristocrat's mistress
away from him.
Oh, what a joke... if I got in
while he was snoozing.
You know, if I had to choose
between you and the baron...
I mean, Monsieur Hulot is
a clever, handsome man,
but... you, you're...
Meet me at
the Thatre des Varits,
Saturday evening at 10:00.
By all means.
At your service.
The idea of substituting...
a marriage contract for
true love makes my heart shiver.
Is that why you never married?
I dreamed of marrying once,
when I was very young.
Younger than you are now.
- Young and deeply in love.
- What happened?
- He married someone else.
- No!
- Did you ever see him again?
- [Baron humming]
[Man coughing]
[Rattling handle]
Oh... foolish boy,
what have you done?
Well, we won't speak
about it now.
Poor thing, sleep.
Don't be alarmed.
It's Mademoiselle Fisher.
I live downstairs.
Oh. Oh, with a head like that,
there's nothing like a good
onion soup and buttered bread.
MAN: I'm sorry. I...
BETTE: Let's not refer to
your foolishness of last night.
I know you're in
desperate circumstances.
Your rat traps have kept me
alive for weeks. Did you know?
I know what it's like
to be hungry without friends.
I have some savings.
I could help you if you like.
You are too generous.
You'll give me receipts
for the money I spend for you.
And when you are rich,
you can repay it all.
You shall be
the whole world to me.
I shall be your slave.
Will you do
everything I tell you?
Yes, of course.
Then I shall embrace you
as my own.
Here I have a boy...
risen from the grave.
Ding dong dong
Ding dong dong
- You're singing.
- What?
I've never heard you sound
so cheerful.
[Audience applauding]
On the other side of heaven
I'll be waiting for you
Where the clouds are so soft
And the sky's baby blue
On the other side of heaven
All the angels will sing
As you fly to me, fly to me,
On a gossamer wing
[Audience applauding
and cheering]
Why are you here?
BETTE: He has bold lips
and a sad smile.
HORTENSE: I knew it.
And he's terribly poor.
BETTE: Nearly starved.
HORTENSE: How romantic.
- How old is he?
- Twenty... five.
BETTE: Would you stop
interrogating me?
HORTENSE: Fifteen years
younger than you.
Now I know he can't exist.
BETTE: You little girls think
only yourselves can have lovers.
HORTENSE: Then prove to me
he isn't a fairy tale.
He's a sculptor.
He made this for me.
I've never seen anything
so beautiful.
And there's another. The Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
An antique dealer in my
neighborhood has it in his shop.
What's your sweetheart's name?
- Can you keep a secret?
- Of course.
Do you swear... on your happiness
in this world?
I swear.
- Wenceslas.
- Wenceslas.
Let me keep it, please.
Just for a little while.
It's so pretty.
It will cheer me up.
Just for a little while, then.
[Knocking on ceiling]
Here, Wenceslas.
Look what I've brought you.
Bette, you're amazing.
Well, eat one
and stop staring at me.
Have you been working?
You don't seem to progress
very far.
I'm not sure you deserve these.
Well, you know, dear lady,
there is a saying.
Life is more than work alone.
Make a fortune first,
and then you may have your fun.
And what if I die
before I get rich?
Oh, I won't let you die.
I have life enough for two.
By the way, Hortense thought
your bronze bird very nice.
What did your pretty cousin say?
- Who told you she was pretty?
- You did.
Your sleeve needs mending.
I've been neglecting you.
I imagine she must be the most
beautiful young woman in Paris.
To get out of your predicament,
you must spend...
more time on your work and
less time imagining my cousin.
This wax should keep you busy.
And I've made you a schedule,
much like my own.
You work without distraction
from sunrise until noon.
And after a light lunch,
you resume work...
until dinner at 6:00,
except on Wednesdays,
when I dine with my cousins.
I've written it down for you.
If you follow this plan
and are productive...
Your life will change
for the better.
Look as if
we're just taking a stroll.
Strolling? In this neighborhood?
WOMAN: She's too little
for you, Monsieur.
BARON: Really!
[Woman purrs]
BARON: Cousin Bette
lives near here.
and she mustn't see us.
What are you up to?
Watch for Cousin Bette.
If you see her, tell her you're
in the neighborhood on business.
But, my dear...
Baffling women.
[Children laughing]
From an estate
at Chelon-Sermane.
She's bronze and quite delicate.
I don't care for wood nymphs.
What about horses?
Horses, Mademoiselle?
HORTENSE: What's that there...
in the window?
HORTENSE: Aren't those horses?
CLERK: Yes, those are horses.
Mademoiselle has a fine eye.
I... I... you startled me.
Count Wenceslas Steinbach.
Uh... uh...
[Man urinating]
I do beg your pardon.
Aah! What are you doing?
- How... how much is it?
- 1,500 francs.
If it were 1,200,
I'd ask you to send it to me.
It's an antiquity, Mademoiselle.
I happen to know
it was made this year,
and I've come to ask you,
if we can agree on the price,
to send us the artist.
We might be able to arrange
important commissions for him.
Come an hour from now
to this address, Monsieur.
Do not show this card or mention
my name to Mademoiselle Fisher.
- She is my cousin.
- Bette is your cousin?
I'm Hortense Hulot.
[Tosses coins]
BARON: Oh! Thank God for that!
What were you doing in there?
I spent my savings.
1,200 francs.
What could you possibly find in
there to spend so much money on?
A husband.
My bronze has been sold!
Aah! Wenceslas, put me down!
Who? Who bought it?
You're taking the day off
tomorrow. We're going shopping.
I'll buy you a new dress,
a new hat...
Wenceslas, tell me...
who bought the bronze?
The great parfumier,
Cesar Crevel.
Completely unexpected. Stidmann
had just opened the shop...
when the magnificent milord
pulled up...
six matching grays
with the parfumier himself.
He's the richest man in Paris,
you know.
With his mistress.
Perhaps he's furnishing
an apartment for her.
I've never seen you so giddy.
Come. Sit beside me
for a moment. Hold my hand.
Now tell me about your success
all over again.
I have to go. Crevel wants
the piece delivered immediately.
WENCESLAS: I must be frank
with you, Monsieur le Baron.
Things haven't been easy
for me here in Paris,
a foreigner, an orphan.
In other words,
you're penniless.
We all are.
I hardly know a count
or a baron...
who wouldn't have to beg
were it not for his title,
no matter how he got it.
You were born to yours, Count.
I was made baron.
Napoleon made me a baron.
The wars made me rich.
Hmm. What of it?
Wars can't last forever.
Monsieur, would you mind...
that is, would you object
if I were to pursue...
- My daughter.
- Yes, Monsieur.
BARON: This brandy is
twice the age of my daughter,
and yet it is considered
a young brandy.
It would be, yes, young.
Hmm. You could say
that I've forced it open.
- Hmm.
- Prematurely.
Do you feel equal to undertaking
a statue nine feet high?
- Yes, Monsieur.
- Good.
Hortense has great faith
in your ability.
She's asked me to obtain
a commission for you,
and perhaps I can.
The Imperial Guard
have subscribed a large sum...
for a statue
of my Uncle de Forzheim.
I hardly know what to say.
For my daughter's sake...
I'll stick my neck out.
Thank you. Thank you, sir.
You have just seen
Cousin Bette's sweetheart,
who is now mine!
BETTE: Your note said
you were desperate.
JENNY: Oh, I am, I am.
Something's happened,
and there's nothing to be done.
BETTE: What is it?
JENNY: I've become old.
- Twenty-four.
- A wretched age.
I may as well be dead.
Look. I've brought
your new slippers.
Don't try to console me.
Now... you were 24 yesterday,
and it didn't bother you then.
While I was walking in the park,
I came upon a hideous old woman,
face swollen and scratched.
She stank of stale wine
and sweat.
In her filthy tresses,
she had placed a beauty patch.
One red camellia.
- I knew at once who she was.
- You knew her?
She was known as Carribine.
When I was a young girl,
she was the most famous
courtesan in Paris.
Everyone envied her dazzling
shoulders, her milky skin...
She had a neck so smooth, it
might've been turned on a lathe.
Her trademark was
a beauty patch... a red camellia.
"'Carribine?"' I said.
"'No. Carribine is no more."'
"'She has left me."'
What will happen to me
when I'm no longer beautiful?
I'm not sure.
It's never been a concern.
I wish I were you.
No one's ever
wished that before.
Poor Carribine.
HORTENSE: Are you in love
with my cousin?
Bette? She's an angel.
Oh, yes. I don't know
what I'd do without her.
She's nanny, older sister,
and mother all rolled into one.
WENCESLAS: That she is.
I suppose I should tell her
about your visits.
- Of course. She'd understand.
- She certainly would.
She wants nothing more
than to see me happy.
[Dogs barking]
MAN: Down!
[Bell chiming]
[CIock chiming]
WENCESLAS: Just imagine it,
Leda lies on the ground.
It is the moment she succumbs.
BETTE: Wenceslas?
It's time for lunch.
The bird is close upon her,
and if my sculptor's art
can make bronze tremble,
then I shall depict the bird
trembling with desire...
...poised over her.
Is that Cousin Bette?
WENCESLAS: It's not.
Oh... oh... what time is it?
I have to go, my darling.
Well, what?
It's 1:00.
We always have lunch at 12:00.
You weren't in your room.
Where have you been?
- Walking.
- That's ridiculous.
- Why were you walking?
- I was restless.
Muddled, really. I thought
a walk would do me good.
- Work does you good.
- I work night and day.
You call those little red
wax figures and sketches work?
If you lock me in a cupboard,
what good art I'll make then.
If fine works could be
manufactured like nails,
blacksmiths would make them.
Well, sarcasm won't
buy the groceries,
let alone pay what you owe me.
Mademoiselle, I hardly need be
reminded of the debt I owe you.
My God!
You've snatched me from death
only to make me your slave!
I'd rather be dead.
- Where are you going?
- I have... to...
Speak up.
- I'm going away.
- No. Please!
Wenceslas... forgive me.
Do you know what it's like...
to be shut up in a Ionely room
night after night,
with only the sound of the rain
on the windows...
to lull you to sleep?
Now I have you.
I can blow out my candle
when I go to bed...
and see you in my mind...
...imagine your wild hair,
your eyes...
Your beautiful hands.
It's all right. I'm here.
I'm still here.
MAN: And in the campaign
of 1805...
I led the Grenadiers
from Vienna to Austerlitz.
Through six feet of snow.
BROTHER: Cutlets?!
MAN: And these were my reward.
From the emperor himself.
Father, I've spoken twice to the
cook about the price of cutlets.
We can't afford them. We must
discuss our financial situation.
Not at dinner, Victorin.
You're giving me indigestion.
- May I be excused?
- You may not.
Hortense, your uncle is your
most ardent admirer at present.
Hortense has still
to be married, then?
Time enough for that.
That's what you say, you bad
seed that refused to blossom.
[AII laughing]
Oh, don't worry.
Monsieur Steinbach's in.
He hasn't been out
even once today.
[Coin clatters]
- Don't squirm.
- [Giggles]
If you'd just pay attention to
fashion, you wouldn't be plain.
Ah, and most important...
I think the cousin of
the legendary Adeline Hulot...
If you want to be my friend,
don't mention her name.
I only meant to say
she was beautiful.
Do you understand me?
Sorry, I didn't know.
Of course you didn't know.
How could you know?
You don't know how
I was sacrificed to Adeline.
They slapped me
and caressed her.
I went dressed like a drudge,
she like a lady.
I dug the garden,
peeled the vegetables.
She never lifted a finger
except to tie her ribbons.
You've made me look ridiculous!
JENNY: Let's not fight.
I need my strength.
I have to spend two hours
with Crevel tonight.
Where did you get that?
The baron.
But it was purchased
by Cesar Crevel.
Yes. He must have
given it to you.
Oh, how you mix up
these old men of yours!
Crevel gave me this.
But it can't be.
They say the young artist
is devilishly handsome,
and he lives with a hag.
A dragon who won't let him
out of her sight.
The baron is backing him since
he is nearly his son-in-law.
- Oh...
- Are you all right?
Oh, water. Water.
My head is on fire!
I'll see them... all of them...
...fallen in the dust.
Fallen lower than I am.
Give me your hands.
You're frightening me.
Are we not both...
daughters of the soil...
...and blood of the Voges?
We are.
Do you trust me...
as you would a sister?
And will you help me... you would a sister?
- Yes.
- Then you will be the ax.
And I'll be the hand
that wields you.
For whom are you making
the lovely box?
You gave me a fright.
Oh, Stidmann asked me
to throw it together.
These flowers are hortensia.
What of it?
Why have you never made
anything for me?
Would it have been so difficult
to design a little box for me?
[Wenceslas laughs]
- And you say you love me.
- I do love you, Bette.
Then marry me.
No one has ever told me so
plainly before how hideous I am.
Oh, no. I'm just shocked by...
I have a very deep
affection for you.
- Marry me, Wenceslas.
- That's insanity.
Was it insanity to bring you
back from the dead?
Was it insane to spend my nights
working beside you,
handing over my life savings?
Please, Mademoiselle...
I do love you.
You'll always be
the mother I lost.
Let me be happy, my good angel.
I love a divine young girl,
and she loves me.
May God protect you.
MAN: Everyone knows
if the baron died tomorrow,
Hortense would be left
to beg on the streets.
How can he have hatched
such a wedding?
MAN: I made him a small loan.
Seventy thousand.
What a happy occasion, Baron.
Must've cost you a fortune.
Yes. Amazing how you manage.
CREVEL: Hector,
I was telling the prince,
it seems romance counts
for everything these days.
I've been rejected by your
daughter for a penniless artist.
But I find myself consoled.
I hope you don't mind.
She implored me to bring her.
Mind? Certainly not.
Why should two old friends like
us quarrel over a... petticoat?
[Children shouting]
[Music stops]
Wicked boy.
You should have told me
it was Hortense you loved.
I thought you had deserted me,
but now you are my cousin.
Thank you for being sweet,
I owe my happiness to you.
I'm sure you'll have
all the happiness you deserve.
[Music resumes]
[Baby crying]
JENNY, SINGING: What is the fire
that burns forever?
Who is the beast
that never dies?
What is the blade
that cuts so deeply?
Who is the god
that hears no cries?
Nothing you do, nothing you say
Nothing, no, nothing
can take it away
Nothing can cure,
nothing can save
Love is the master,
you are the slave
You are the slave
What is the storm
that gives no warning?
What is the flash
of blinding light?
Why is there darkness
in the morning
While an inferno burns at night?
Nothing you do, nothing you say
Nothing, no, nothing
can take it away
Nothing can cure,
nothing can save,
Love is the master,
you are the slave
You are the slave
[Wenceslas and Hortense
Love is the master,
you are the slave
You are the slave
You are the slave
How can one improve upon it?
- Italian?
- Greek.
- Intimidating.
- Not at all.
MAN: I mean, the space.
It's larger than Medais.
So is my talent, dear friend.
This mountain of marble is to be
my first major work.
It is to my future works...
what Raphael's "'Marriage
of the Virgin"' was to his.
Show me the plaster model.
There isn't one.
- You are a genius.
- Ah, it's all up here.
You know what they say. Between
the plaster and the marble,
a masterpiece may be ruined.
Claude Vignon wants
a studio visit.
Claude Vignon?
He's lining up next season's
salon exhibition.
Will next week do? You'll
have made progress by then.
I intend to do nothing but work.
I will snatch fire from heaven
like Prometheus.
Are you sure
you don't mind taking him?
BETTE: Going out again?
You always know how to deal
with the difficulties of life.
What is it?
Wenceslas hasn't worked a day
since we've been married.
A sensible girl
marries an artist...
after he's made his fortune.
He talks about working,
but nothing has been done.
The committee is threatening
to take back the commission.
[Knocking on door]
Hello, Elizabeth.
Will you be long?
I'll be waiting in the carriage.
I don't want to go.
You'd be wise
to keep an eye on him.
An eye on Wenceslas?
What begins as a flirtation
more often than not...
- Is Daddy a flirt? No.
- Especially for an artist.
You're the flirt, aren't you?
A man with
a passionate temperament.
- What is it, rabbit?
- Never mind.
I'm sure there's nothing
to the talk.
Wenceslas worships
his beautiful young wife.
He hasn't a devious bone
in his body.
- No.
- No.
- Idle gossip.
- [Baby cries]
Don't give it another thought.
WENCESLAS: The noble soldier,
heart and muscle bursting
the bonds of his marble prison,
daring the enemy to meet him
on the field.
Marble speaks to me
in a cold language.
Bronze whispers hotly.
I've always said
it's a question of temperature.
Sometimes I sit for hours...
and listen to the murmur
of the marble.
Champagne at once.
We're about to conquer Paris.
- I'm not feeling very well.
- None of this is real.
What is real is the secret
language of the stone.
It tells me when
I'm ready to create.
It shouts at me,
"'I am ready. I am ready now!"'
Or..."'Not yet. Not just yet."'
Let bankers and politicians
meet deadlines.
Let carpenters and shoemakers
produce on demand.
It's inspiration
I'm speaking of.
A vision. Mystery.
The mystery is how much longer
they'll wait for the statue.
MAN: I have a case
of diphtheria.
I've always said you were the
only sensible one in the family.
Deplorable. Bottomless pit.
He'll end up in the poorhouse.
You can always turn
to a moneylender.
- He'd never stoop so low.
- Oh... one never knows.
His name is Vauvinet.
Nothing you do, nothing you say
Nothing, no, nothing
can take it away
Nothing can cure,
nothing can save
Love is the master,
you are the slave
VICTORIN: Father, we must speak,
or I'll do something desperate.
Still a young devil, am I not?
I must point out that our
financial resources are limited.
- Oh, money. Always money.
- It's far worse than I thought.
According to my calculations,
we need 75,000, or...
- Go to Wissembourg.
- You owe him 85,000 already.
- Try Nucingen, then.
- You owe him 37.
What about
your Uncle de Forzheim?
If you don't repay him,
he'll end up in debtor's prison
before we do.
Now, Louis Phillipe
or Americana?
[Violin plays]
Last month,
they only held 60 francs.
You'll make a pauper
out of me yet.
And what coquette
has had the privilege...
of making a pauper
out of you, Monsieur?
[Both laugh]
- We've reviewed your situation.
- Yes.
- And it doesn't look good.
- No.
But... I think we can help you.
Your background and
your excellent credit record...
give us confidence that...
- Yes?
- You will make good...
on any financial assistance
we extend.
- Oh, certainly.
- So...
We are pleased to inform you
we can lend the full 75,000.
- Oh, stupendous!
- At an interest rate of...
Twenty-five percent.
Baron Hulot!
Sweetheart, it's your Hector.
- Jenny, my darling.
- Hector.
The sign said
you were indisposed.
- I wasn't expecting you.
- I couldn't wait any longer.
- Oh, my pet, my prize.
- Mmm.
- Mmm.
- Mmm!
- Ahh!
- Yes...
- Yes.
- Yes!
- Yes!
- Now!
- Now?
- Now! Now!
My darling, I've never seen you
so amorous. I'm speechless.
- Then don't speak.
- No.
[Jenny moaning]
BARON: What?
BARON: Good God, man!
CREVEL: Baron.
JENNY: Hector, you know
Monsieur Crevel, don't you?
We're going to supper.
You may join us, old dear,
under one condition...
that you immediately drink
two bottles of champagne...
to catch up.
- We're at the quacking stage.
- Quack!
- Quack!
- Quack.
[Jenny giggling]
- Jenny, how could you!
- How could I what?
He's practically a dwarf.
Listen... have you got 600,000
for a new house and furniture?
Can you pay me
30,000 francs a year?
Oh, you're crying.
The empire is dying.
I salute the empire.
Oh... just look how seriously
you take the thing.
Goodness knows, you ought to be
thankful. I'd have ruined you.
You've spent thousands already,
and everyone in Paris knows
you haven't any money.
I have money! I have money.
Please, I have money.
I love you.
Please don't leave me.
Send in Monsieur Crevel
on your way out.
Naturally, Mariette, who has
served us since she was a child,
will stay on,
as will the gardener Bertron.
The rest of you
will have references.
So... to bring this
painful matter to a close,
let me express my regrets...
and pay a small amount,
on account, to each of you.
Mademoiselle Olivier.
- Ah... here is my father!
- Hector! Dear!
HORTENSE: He'll know what to do.
BETTE: What happened?
And only last week, a new pair
of boots and a green velvet...
Stop. My dear, creatures like
that don't know what love is.
- Oh, Cousin...
- You're lucky to be rid of her.
And there is your honor
to think of.
My honor?
You're the Baron
Hector Pierre Hulot.
Well, you can't let
such an affront pass.
- N-No.
- You must have satisfaction.
Yes! I must have satisfaction
from that... that... businessman!
My pistols!
- One!
- Crevel's as good as dead.
He's never held a pistol before.
- Two!
- We could all be in danger.
- Three!
- Why won't you discuss it?
MAN: Four!
BARON: You have dishonored me.
- Five!
- And stolen my little songbird.
- Six!
- But...
MAN: Seven!
CREVEL: Baron, please!
- Eight!
- I'm half your size!
- Nine!
- There must be another...
Ten! Turn... and fire!
Hector! I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!
BARON: My knee! My knee!
My friend! What have I done?
Cesar, my friend.
My dear friend.
- Who would like to be first?
- Hector.
[Booing and jeering]
Thank you, Mayor Crevel,
for those kind words.
This is a glorious day.
A day that represents a double
honor for the Hulot family.
the courage of my uncle,
General Pierre Hulot
de Forzheim...
his lifetime of service
to the Emperor Napoleon...
and to our country as a soldier
in the grand army of France.
And this historic occasion
also marks the debut...
of my brilliant and talented
Count Wenceslas Steinbach.
We have all waited with keen
anticipation for this moment.
And so, without further ado...
[Crowd outside gate booing]
After all I've done for you!
Practically bankrupted me
with this studio... for these!
"'A poor piece of work."'
What have you been doing
in here?
An artist can't always
please the rabble.
Rabble?! Rabble?!
These are the opinions
of the critics!
Blockheads. Ignoramuses.
Oh, shut up!
Shut up, or I'll have you
thrown in jail.
You've humiliated me, ruined me!
You must pay back the
commission... every penny of it.
Listen to this.
"'Steinbach should give up
large-scale sculptures...
"'and concentrate
on romantic groups,
"'small figures, jewelry."'
I'm going to the ministry.
I'll make a personal apology...
and assure my colleagues that
all the money will be repaid.
It's all right. We'll simply
return the commission.
- It's gone.
- Gone?
What do you mean?
Well, surely it's not gone.
You can't have spent 200,000
francs in less than a year!
How do you think
we've been living so well?
If by living well
you mean your imported marble,
your restaurants,
your entertaining,
your flashy wardrobe...
So now it's my fault. I see.
In all this time, I've bought
a baby's pram and a new parasol.
WENCESLAS: Congratulations.
Perhaps we should announce it
in the paper.
Perhaps you'll find
a few sympathetic readers.
Well, let me make myself
perfectly clear.
If anyone thinks I'll take
responsibility for his debts,
they are mistaken.
I'm already up to my nostrils
in debt because of Father.
I won't be left holding the bag!
WENCESLAS: I'm sick of it...
...of you, of your family,
of that endlessly crying baby!
You're mean and cruel!
If you're so holy, why don't
you go out and get the money?
- All right. I will.
- Ha!
You want me to get the money?
Because I can get it.
- Do you hear me? I can get it!
- That's a joke!
Artists should never marry.
I know someone
who'll loan you the money.
Oh, what imbecile
would lend me money now?
Someone who has
a special interest in art.
You must come
and meet her personally.
- Her?
- Jenny Cadine.
The baron's mistress?
Hortense would never agree.
Then you must go
without her knowing.
What else can you do?
But listen, Wenceslas,
I love you both too much...
not to warn you of the danger.
If you go, you must hold fast
to your heart.
The woman is a demon.
And I would never
forgive myself...
if you were unfaithful
to my niece.
CREVEL: Madame!
HORTENSE: Good morning.
Thank you for coming
at such short notice.
Fair lady, at your service.
My dear, kind Monsieur Crevel...
I've asked you here for a matter
of the greatest importance.
I've thought long and hard
about your offer.
- My offer?
- 200,000 for a glimpse.
- That was a year ago.
- I'm ready.
- But why now?
- Do not ask for explanations.
Only do this one thing for me.
You can be sure there is nothing
my gratitude will withhold.
- One thing?
- Well, give me... give...
No, do not give, but lend.
Lend to the one whom you once
called your little butterfly.
I need 200,000 francs.
Ah. I see.
Get up, my dear.
You need only ask. The daughter
of my dearest friend,
you'll be denied nothing.
You'll have your money
within the hour.
Oh... thank you. Thank you!
BETTE: Monsieur Crevel,
thank God I've caught you.
CREVEL: Mademoiselle Fisher,
what is it? Good heavens!
- Hortense told me everything.
- She did?
- Your life is in danger.
- It is?
There... across the street
behind the lamp.
- What?
- Count Steinbach.
- There?
- He knows about you.
- He's in a rage.
- Surely, if I explain...
You know these aristocrats
with their points of honor.
- Yes.
- Go back into the bank.
I'll deal with Wenceslas.
But what about Hortense?
I promised her.
Give me the money...
without him seeing.
And you'll give it to Hortense?
Of course. Brilliant.
[Chorus singing]
[Singing] The eulogy is droning,
you see a reddish glow
You hear a dreadful groaning,
and down the hatch you go
[Chorus singing]
[Cheering and applause]
I look good enough to eat.
My dear, this is my cousin,
Count Wenceslas Steinbach.
Yes, I recognize
Count Steinbach.
I had the pleasure of being
present at your wedding.
How good of you to come.
JENNY: As I see the composition,
Samson has awakened
with his hair shorn.
Delilah is on her knees,
Iooking adoringly
at the man she has destroyed.
It is her power
that I would depict...
her passion that brings
everything to destruction.
No one has ever spoken
to me like this.
Can we really have been
talking all night?
But that's not
why we're here, is it?
Mademoiselle Bette indicated
I'm happy to loan you the money.
- On one condition.
- Yes?
You must create
my Samson and Delilah.
Mademoiselle would perhaps do me
the honor of posing for Delilah.
- I must go now.
- Mademoiselle, wait.
- Don't leave.
- Oh, yes, your money.
I don't care about money!
It isn't the money,
you understand.
It's... the principle
of the thing.
I understand.
- Lf you don't pay us...
- I understand.
...we will kill you
and your wife, your baby...
and dump your bodies
in the Seine.
- Do you understand?
- I understand. I do.
More cod?
- Where is Wenceslas?
- Oh, shut up, Celestine!
[Plate shatters]
Come, come, dear. Things are
never as bad as they seem.
Mademoiselle Cadine,
you are like the goddess Diana...
fierce, yet tender.
It breaks my heart.
They say that you are fickle...
and out to conquer
every heart in Paris.
I am an artist. I can look
into a block of marble...
and see a tiger or a girl
with garlands in her hair...
...and a moaning in her heart.
Which am I?
MAN: The public is waiting.
JENNY: Tell them I'm indisposed.
Mademoiselle Cadine,
you cannot be indisposed.
You have a performance
in ten minutes.
In ten minutes,
I'll be with the man I love.
You're too beautiful to be in
love with anyone but yourself.
[Jenny sighs]
If you're not on-stage
by curtain, I'II...
- You're fired!
- Have you lost your wits?
No, I've found them,
dear sister, all thanks to you.
- You're talking nonsense.
- Is it nonsense? I think not.
Wenceslas and I are in love.
Soon we'll be leaving Paris.
Leaving Paris?!
Back to the country.
Back to Lorraine.
I'll be a peasant again...
stink of hard work
and long nights of love!
You a peasant! In those shoes?
You couldn't survive a day
without Paris.
You'll have no admirers,
no servants.
- You can't even open a jar.
- I'll learn.
We had an agreement.
You were to steal Wenceslas
away from Hortense!
And so I have.
But you weren't supposed
to fall in love!
Miraculous, isn't it?
Where are you going?
To the Rochet de Cancal, a night
of savage sex and dinner.
Remember Carribine... and what
happened after she retired.
How will I recognize you when
I stumble over you in the park?
Your black velvet choker,
I think.
BETTE: Hortense! Poor thing.
Is there no news of Wenceslas?
Have you spoken to Stidmann?
Has he seen him?
Where can he be?
He's never left me alone
for so long.
I found this in his studio.
"'I love you as I have never
loved anyone before.
"'lf you love me
as much as you say,
"'meet me at the Rochet de Cancal
in my private suite at 6:00.
"'A thousand kisses,
your Jenny Cadine."'
Help me dress.
Damn! Again, again!
- Pull!
- Father, we've come to say...
No, not now! Not now!
She's sent for me.
We've got to go!
You see? She's had enough
of that fat shrimp Crevel.
And now she expects me to drop
everything and run to her.
Well, I won't do it.
No, I shall make her wait.
Can't you make this thing go
any faster? Use your whip, man!
BARON: No, I won't dissolve
in her arms the way I once did.
I shall blow in like a...
a bitter wind. Icy.
Brutal. Oh, sweet...
My darling Jenny, sweet girl.
You have a heart,
and you've just revoked.
- Ah. Excuse me.
- Hector Hulot... here?
How can he show his face
in a place like this?
There isn't a patron here...
to whom he doesn't owe
10,000 francs.
Or more.
Huzzah! Baron Hulot!
What nerves of steel, man.
As fearless as ever.
[Jenny laughing]
BARON: Jenny, my darling!
JENNY: Oh... Wenceslas...
[Jenny and Wenceslas moaning]
- What the devil?
- Father!
- Hortense?
- Hector!
Oh, my God.
How can she have done this?
Would I invent
something like that?
You hurt her. She wanted to deal
an equally painful blow.
She was leaving the studio?
Covered... head to foot
in plaster dust.
God... my own wife.
I was coming to tell you
the terrible news.
- Your father-in-law...
- No. Hector's dead?
Would that he were. He's alive,
but as ruined as your Samson.
Everything I touch I destroy.
All this for Jenny Cadine.
I would sacrifice
a thousand Samsons for her.
She is my life,
my inspiration, my...
But, you see...
She can't have you.
No one can.
I found you,
brought you back from death.
You're mine.
You will always be mine.
Why is it, Baron, that out of
ten beautiful women... least seven
are utterly bad?
I... shall... blow that...
rascal's... heart to...
...kingdom... come.
Yes. I don't doubt it.
I wonder...
What can a man do
to make a woman love him?
I suppose it's ridiculous for
men like us to want to be loved.
We can't be more than tolerated.
A woman is
an inexplicable creature.
It's lovely seeing you
looking so well.
Shall I come tomorrow?
I think, perhaps, a spin around
the lake in your contraption.
Very well.
Adieu, dear friend.
I'm going home.
You... cut a fine figure.
- Monsieur?
- Madame.
- Monsieur?
- Madame.
May I speak with you?
I believed you to be
a man of your word, Monsieur.
Indeed. And so I am.
I have lost my husband...
because you failed to fulfill
your promise to me.
What do you mean?
You swore to go directly
to the bank...
for a loan of 200,000 francs.
- I did go.
- That is a lie.
No! I remember perfectly.
I went immediately to the bank.
I gave the money to your cousin.
- Where is it?
- Where is what?
- Where is it?
- What are you doing?
The pouch Crevel gave you!
It was intended for me,
and you kept it!
I want it. I want it! I want it!
But you have it.
I gave it to Wenceslas
that very day.
I went directly to his studio.
He was on his way to the park.
- The park?
- To meet you.
No. Not to meet me.
To meet her.
He's given it to her.
Oh, my dear.
The devil has a sister.
- How could he?
- For the sake of their pleasure.
Men commit
the most appalling crimes.
It's in their nature,
so it seems.
- Do you want him back?
- I don't want her to have him.
There's only one way to get
a tigress to drop her meat.
- My darling.
- Wenceslas.
Why aren't you dressed?
It took longer than
I thought it would to pack.
I have so many things.
None of which
you'll ever be needing again.
Still, I couldn't part
with any of it.
- Hurry, my love. Come.
- But I have to change, silly.
- I have a carriage waiting.
- I'm tired. I want a bath.
- There's no time.
- No, there isn't, is there?
Do you love me?
Yes. You're my first and only
love. I'll never know another.
Never know another?
I should say not.
Kiss me. Hold me.
Jenny, if we don't leave now,
it will be too late.
- Please, Wenceslas...
- Why are you behaving so badly?
- It's just I've been thinking.
- Yes?
Well, why can't we stay
in Paris... just a little while?
- Stay?
- Yes.
JENNY: Where is Bette?
She should be here.
I need my slippers mended.
For God's sake, Jenny,
you don't need slippers.
Oh, but I do. I have
a performance in half an hour.
What are you saying?
I'm not leaving.
I'm not leaving Paris.
I've grown bored with you.
Is that plain enough?
Don't look at me like that.
It breaks my heart.
What heart, Mademoiselle?
- You'll have to go now.
- But we...
[Jenny screaming]
- No! No!
- Oh, my God!
- No! No!
- Wenceslas!
- Oh!
- Somebody get a doctor!
- Oh, Wenceslas!
- Wenceslas...
Madame Hortense Steinbach,
you are hereby placed
under arrest...
for the murder of your husband,
Count Wenceslas Steinbach.
Cousin Bette!
My dear girl...
how shall I live without you?
No! No!
Life is so boring,
don't you think?
[Piano plays]
Farewell, my friends
Who tread the paths of glory
Who, day and night,
are greeted by success
My artist friends,
I tell a simple story
And I abide
at a humble address
But then,
I need so little from existence
I've got my life,
a crust of bread to eat
My eyes are dry,
I gaze into the distance
And sing a song of freedom
in the street
My eyes are dry,
I gaze into the distance
And sing a song of freedom
in the street
[Bell rings]
[Distant explosions]
Thank you, Mariette.
Do be careful. It's hot.
[Loud explosions]
[Baby crying]
Hush, hush.
You must have your nap.
You're going to grow up
to be a great artist one day.
My little Wenceslas.
My own.
Yes, you will.
[Women singing in Latin]
[Bell tolls]
[Cheering and applause]