The Fan (1949) Movie Script

I'm offered two and six
for this handsome trophy.
Do I hear another bid?
It's going for two and six
to the party in the checkered scarf.
Next, lot 177.
What have we here?
One mother-of-pearl box, inlaid,
containing a fan.
Here's a beauty for you!
Regency period, Alenon lace
mounted on carved ivory sticks.
Absolutely perfect condition.
You'd never know that Jerry
had dropped his filthy bombs near it.
What's the bid
for this veritable treasure?
Wallington Limited.
There it is, right there.
The stamp of one of
England's most refined jewelers.
Think of a noble lady, all done up
in her silks and her settings
that must have held this in her delicate
or waved it at her noble Lord.
Oh, here's a name on it. Margaret.
Now there's a real lady's name for you.
Come up, come up.
Don't be frightened of the aristocracy.
This here is more
than an object of beauty.
It's genuine necessity, it's what
every English home needs this winter.
Something to set up a nice cool breeze.
- Twelve shillings.
- Fifteen.
Eighteen shillings?
I'm an auctioneer, not Father Christmas.
Who will give a proper bid?
- Young man.
- How much, madam?
I have no intention of bidding.
Why should I?
It's my own fan.
Madam, this here is a piece
of unclaimed property
salvaged from blitz buildings
to be publicly sold.
Well, it isn't any more
because I'm claiming it now.
You should have thought
of that sooner.
These lots have been on view
for the past month.
Come on,
I made a bid of 18 shillings.
All right, 18 shillings for the gentleman
with the big heart.
Do I hear a pound?
What are you talking about?
The fan is mine.
You really can't stand there selling things
that don't belong to you.
How do I know the fan is yours?
Well, I... I told you so.
- Oh, come off it, madam.
- I shall be delighted to have it back.
It's been stored at Edwards's for years
while I've been travelling.
That's right, you know.
There was a direct hit on Edwards's.
Come on, we haven't got all day.
Madam, can you furnish
any proof of ownership?
- Have you got a bill for this fan?
- Of course not, it was a gift.
You'll find me always cheerful
and willing to oblige.
I'll put the fan aside for a day.
If you bring in someone who knows you
and knows it's yours, you can have it.
That's quite absurd. Everyone I once
knew in London must be dead by now.
Sorry, madam, but you must find
someone to establish proof.
Madam, would you fill in this form,
please? That is the law.
I'm sure it is -
it's quite inconvenient enough to be.
Would you be good enough to tell me,
is Lord Darlington still alive?
- He sure is.
- Oh, you're an American.
I spent many years
in your stimulating country.
I get along very well with Americans.
After you've married one or two of them,
they don't seem like foreigners at all.
- Does Lord Darlington live here?
- Oh yes, we all do.
Oh, how picturesque.
This is the drawing room.
There is the dining room.
There's the chandelier.
And there is the painting
over the fireplace.
And you, young ladies,
you are perhaps, um...
I hadn't known that Lord Darlington
had ever visited America.
Oh no, we just rent our rooms here.
Oh, forgive me.
I've been away for so long.
It's rather startling to find
Lord Darlington letting lodgings.
Don't you know
there's a housing shortage?
This is an office now.
And just what office is this?
We work for an organization in the
States that sends food to people here.
I knew you were nice girls
the moment I laid eyes on you.
And does Lord Darlington
have an office here too?
Oh no, his rooms are
the way they always were.
Poor old guy, how could he live
any other way? He's a museum piece.
A museum piece?
My dears, Lord Darlington was once
the most dangerous man in London.
- Is he at home now?
- He never goes out before three.
Do you want to see him?
- Yes, please.
- Sure.
Oh, who shall I say?
- Just tell him a very dear old enemy.
- Okay.
- Hi, sweet.
- Good afternoon, my dear.
You're looking like a...
No, not at all like a rose.
You're looking like
an extremely healthy sunflower.
You know what? There's a lady
waiting downstairs to see you.
- Indeed? What is her name?
- She said she was a dear old enemy.
I didn't know I had any of them left.
Hope she doesn't keep me too long.
Enemies' conversations
are interminable -
friends get it over in a minute.
This is the hour for my walk.
Here's your little gloves.
Here's your little cane.
Here's your little hat.
My dear, somehow I believe
my accessories are the normal size.
- There. Are you okay now?
- I'm quite, as you say, okay.
Why, it is Lord Darlington!
Don't you remember me, Robert?
You must forgive me, madam,
but I have such a wretched memory.
Of course. At our age
we remember only ourselves.
But, don't you? Can't you?
Please make me young again
by telling me your name.
Hey Cynthia, have you got what came
down from Liverpool this morning?
You cannot expect me to refresh
my memory in this mad house,
- so if you will pardon me...
- Pardon you?
I'll do much better than that.
I'll accompany you.
Of course it was my vanity that
made me think you'd recognize me today
when yesterday was so very long ago.
Madam, I regret that
I'm contributing very little to the situation
and I'm pressed for time
so if you'd be good enough
to tell me who you are...
- Oh, come Robert.
Why don't you try and guess?
I am sorry,
but I have no fondness for games.
Good afternoon, m'lord.
Here it is, ready and waiting for you.
- I'm a bit late today.
- Oh, it's still fine and fresh, sir.
Who else but Robert Darlington would
wear primroses in this day and age?
Oh, you're quite perfect!
That is perhaps debatable.
I haven't got time to argue it with you.
What is it you want of me, madam?
A little attention, to begin with.
You might at least ask me how I am.
I never ask people that question.
They might tell me.
If it hadn't been for the fan,
I wouldn't have dreamed of looking you up.
But those idiots say that I can't have it
unless I bring in someone who knows me
and knows about the fan.
What idiots? Bring in where?
What fan?
Why, Lady Windermere's fan!
How do you know that name?
That's one name you remember,
isn't it Robert?
Because you loved her.
No man ever loved her as you did,
except her husband.
I think you've said enough.
- And assumed entirely too much.
- You wear them every day, don't you?
She was so much like a primrose herself.
So fresh, so exquisite, so innocent.
Who would have thought that you and I
would survive her and him?
They went together, he and she,
when the first bombs fell.
And that was best.
One could not live without the other.
I saw their graves.
There were primroses on hers.
- Please...
- You see, I loved her too.
And so I was glad
that you could not have your wish.
That you could not destroy
the happiness of her marriage.
I will not have you speak
to me this way.
I have never seen you before, I do not
know you and I have no wish to.
Indeed, you have seen me before.
I can show you the place
where you first saw me.
This shop!
It was once Wallington's,
the jewelers.
That was before the First World War.
Dear man, it was before the Boer War.
It was on a beautiful spring day,
but it was not a very happy day for me.
I had no money left,
simply no money at all.
In my hotel suite,
the bills were piled like snow drifts.
'I'd known other times like it before
but it's curious how one
never gets used to destitution.
That day, I'd come to Wallington's
to sell my sapphire earrings.
Pardon me, gentlemen.
May I fetch someone to serve you?
No thank you, not yet. I...
I want to look at
your charming frivolities.
Every thread
of the Alenon lace is perfect
and the design
is extraordinarily delicate.
She must have it, Arthur.
I think she will be delighted.
I'm glad you told me about this, Cecil.
It's the perfect tribute to an enchanting
wife from an enchanted husband.
Really, Cecil. What a salesman
you would have made.
What a salesman you make!
If I may say so, Lord Windermere,
you're wise to be guided by Mr. Graham.
His taste is faultless.
Robert, the only way a poor
man can indulge his taste
is by selling it.
Your wit is improving, Cecil.
I'm entirely persuaded.
I shall take the fan.
You should have your wife's name
on the fan to make it more personal.
A most thoughtful touch.
- How would you do that?
- Something very delicate...
An exquisite tracery of rubies.
- That's it.
- Excellent. Her name is Margaret.
- And her birthday should be on it too.
- Very good.
It's the 24th of April
and be sure to have it done in time.
- She'll want it at her birthday ball.
- It will be finished in ample time.
- Good afternoon then.
- Good day.
- May I be of service, madam?
- Lord Windermere is mistaken.
Lady Windermere's birthday
is the 21st of April.
- Lord Windermere said the 24th.
- I just told you he was mistaken.
You must remind him that he is wrong
as soon as possible.
Certainly. If you say so, madam.
But I can't help thinking
that Lord Windermere
would know better than anybody.
Not better than anybody.
Her birthday is the 21st.
Oh, I'm sorry. I came to see Wallington
for a moment. Of course I'll wait.
There's no need to.
I'm glad of a bit more time.
There are too many lovely things here
for me to make up my mind quickly.
Thank you for your most
altruistic indecision.
I think...
my idea of having rubies on the fan
should be worth ten pounds more.
I think five pounds is sufficient,
Mr. Graham.
I was going to bring in the Duchess
of Berwick to see the emeralds.
Very well, ten pounds, Mr. Graham.
Thank heavens, I remembered in time.
My wife's birthday
isn't the 24th, it's the 21st.
I already know, m'lord.
This lady was kind enough
to inform me of the correct date.
I'm sorry, I couldn't help hearing.
- I'm so glad you did, thank you.
- Perhaps you wonder how I knew.
Well, my most innocent vice
is reading the news of London society.
There's been so much about Lady
Windermere's birthday ball on the 21st.
Of course,
the 24th is our wedding anniversary.
My memory is always
in a state of confusion about dates.
I'm afraid it's even gone
into a confused state about names.
You cannot blame your memory
for something that was never in it.
My name is Mrs. Erlynne,
but you don't know me.
- But I do know you, I'm sure.
- No.
Perhaps Lord Windermere
wishes that he did.
- You came back too, Cecil.
- Why, certainly!
I thought of taking another look at some
of Wallington's precious little trinkets.
- I'm sure we have met.
- No, Lord Windermere.
I'm positive.
There's something about you...
I know this isn't the first time
I've seen you.
- And I hope it won't be the last.
- I've just decided to stay in London.
They say it's a very small place.
I hope it's true.
How remarkable that we should meet again
so soon, and in the same company.
I dare say you left a glove, Robert.
- Of course.
- But you've got both gloves on.
I carry a third glove to leave behind,
then I can return
and find out how my friends
have been improving their opportunities
behind my back.
They really don't deserve it,
Mrs. Erlynne,
but let me present.
Lord Darlington, Mr. Graham.
The two best dressed men in London.
But there is a difference between us,
Mrs. Erlynne.
You see, I live by my wits.
Lord Darlington is a much more
usual type. He lives on his money.
The witty so often
undervalue the rich
and vice-versa.
The settings on my earrings
are rather loose.
Will you have them tightened,
and send them over to me?
- To Mrs. Erlynne, Albemarle Hotel.
- Yes, madam.
Good afternoon.
No, I didn't sell
my earrings after all.
It, shall we say, came over me
that it was not going to be necessary
to part with them.
I knew one of you three men
would solve my problem.'
Is her ladyship at home, Dawson?
- Yes, m'lord, in the ballroom.
- In the ballroom?
Will you please get down
before I have heart failure?
I'm measuring how much garland
I'll need for the decorating.
I greatly admire your slender white neck.
It would grieve me to see it broken.
Darling, I wasn't in the slightest danger.
But it is sweet of you to worry.
Purely selfish. I'd hate to have
anything happen to you.
We've been married nearly a year and
I'm in the habit of having you for a wife.
Margaret, why won't you let people
do things for you?
- Must you do everything yourself?
- I love it.
What's the hurry with the garlands?
There's still three weeks before the ball.
I'm so excited. I think I'm going
to have the most beautiful birthday.
Your birthday is the greatest day
of history for me.
Thank you so much
for having been born.
- Dawson?
- Yes, m'lady?
- Is the tea ready, Dawson?
- Yes, m'lady.
Would you bring it in?
Here's a new offence. You've been
addressing these invitations yourself.
- The secretary could have done it.
- It's my birthday, it's my party.
They're my invitations
and I love it this way.
- Oh, what's Lord Darlington's address?
- Half Moon Street.
- What number?
- Just Half Moon Street will reach him.
- That will be all, Dawson.
- Just London would for that matter.
You didn't show me the announcement
of your birthday ball in the society news.
Why, there hasn't been any.
This is to be our own very small party.
- Are you sure there was nothing?
- Quite. I hate that sort of thing.
My aunt always said a lady should have
her name in the papers only three times.
When she's born,
when she's married and when she dies.
I was particularly careful
to avoid any report of our ball.
So there was nothing about
the ball in the papers.
Yes, this was their house.
This was where they were happy.
My dear lady, you've painted a very
pretty little picture of domestic bliss.
Arthur told me about it.
Now I'm supposed to imagine
an intimate little supper
with Windermere pouring out all his
confidences as well as the champagne?
Oh, no. Nothing half so formal.
He told me on one of his visits.
As a matter of fact, he called on me
at the Albemarle the very next afternoon.
- Windermere, the model husband
- Windermere, the model husband.
And you have accused ME
of trying to destroy their marriage?
I wanted to keep that marriage happy.
Madam, it does no good
to stir up these things.
Dead scandals have earned
the peace of their graves.
Here is where we really must part.
- Good afternoon, m'lord.
- I'm seven minutes late.
I was unavoidably detained
by an absolutely unforeseen occurrence.
We are quite ready for you, m'lord.
I cannot get used
to this strange new world.
The streets of London
are positively unsafe.
In broad daylight, one is badgered
by all sorts of insistent females
full of memories.
One is literally pursued.
Thank you, Simpson.
May I be of service, madam?
Lord Darlington is in there, isn't he?
- Really, madam, I...
- I want to talk to him at once.
This is most irregular, madam.
Madam, is there no place sacred?
Not when I want something,
and I want my fan, Robert.
I must ask you again...
I've told madam
this is unprecedented...
Please leave us,
we are very old friends.
Come along, Robert.
Come and verify my statement
and then I can have my fan back.
I can verify nothing for you.
But of course you can
when I help you
to remember a little more.
- Do you smoke?
- No thank you.
It may clear you memory.
No thank you, madam.
Please don't trouble,
let me light it.
- It's good of you to permit me to smoke.
- Will you permit me?
Do you enjoy it?
Not a bit, but I enjoy
the outraged looks on people's faces.
Including yours, Lord Windermere.
I'm not at all outraged, Mrs. Erlynne.
I find your vices most fascinating.
For instance, I could find no reference
to my wife's birthday in the... the society news.
- I lie so clumsily.
I can't imagine your doing anything
any way but gracefully.
You wonder, don't you,
how I knew about your wife's birthday?
- Of course, I came here to ask you.
- I'm indebted to your curiosity.
But you must let me stay
clothed in mystery.
Mystery is a most important garment
in the wardrobe of an adventuress.
- Adventuress?
- Yes, does the word shock you?
To me it only means
one who loves adventure.
You must have had many of them.
In Paris, Constantinople,
Cairo to Shanghai.
Oh yes, there were quite a few.
Although they were all
of a certain sameness.
I'm ready for a different sort.
I've decided to try
the most challenging of all.
The adventure of making a place
for myself in London society.
A beautiful woman alone?
The odds are against you.
Yes, a hundred to one.
But they're the kind of odds
I prefer. Don't you?
- You appeal to my sporting sense.
- I know, I meant to.
- How will you make your start?
- I thought you'd tell me that.
- Well, be seen at the opera.
- Splendid, I'm so fond of the opera.
The singing never interferes
with the conversation.
May I help to see that you get
a box for the season?
- Naturally.
- And you should go to the races.
I'm not so fond of racing.
I never gamble except with my future.
Besides, racing is for the many.
I want something more difficult.
I want to start right in
with the... favored few.
That is decidedly the more difficult.
Still it can be done.
With your aid of course.
Look, here's the kind of thing I mean.
The finals of the Mask and Foil Club
on Saturday next at Temple Gardens.
Now, the Mask and Foil Club
is ideally select.
Besides I love to watch fencing.
Are you a contestant?
No, I'm the referee. Cecil Graham
and Lord Darlington are the finalists.
Mr. Graham told me
when he called this morning.
If Cecil is that quick at the tournament,
Darlington had best look to his laurels.
It should be a splendid match.
Is Lady Windermere going?
Mrs. Erlynne, I'm afraid it's almost
impossible for you to go to the fencing.
- Almost impossible?
- The tickets are reserved for members.
Yes, but surely you could arrange that
a... shall we say, friend, could come?
Well, you see...
it's a matter of subscription.
It's a very old club and they're quite strict
about these things.
In short, you don't think
an adventuress would belong there.
No, no. I...
I didn't say any such thing.
Yes you did, dear Lord Windermere.
You said it in all sorts of languages.
I... I think I should go now.
I still don't know
how you knew my wife's birthday.
I'm glad. I keep my mystery.
You're very kind
to have let me stay so long.
- I've made you keep someone waiting.
- Oh no, you haven't.
They're my own inventions.
I always keep them inside
so that when a gentleman calls they
provide an opening for a conversation.
We didn't need one, did we?
- I hope we meet again soon.
- I'm sure we shall.
Probably at the fencing match,
Lord Windermere. Good afternoon.
I'm heartbroken
to have kept you waiting,
but business matters,
you know how they are.
Or rather, I hope you will never
need to know, Lord Adolphus.
Augustus, dear lady, Augustus.
Augustus Lorton.
Yes, of course.
How could I have confused it
when Augustus has always been
one of my favorite names?
There's something so regal,
so Roman Empire about it, it suits you.
You were saying when my...
my matter of business interrupted us?
I'm so fortunate in having this letter of
introduction to you from Mr. Whistler.
Oh yes, Mr. Whistler.
What a dear disagreeable man.
This is the sketch he did
for the 'Lady in Silver' -
his portrait of me done years ago...
too many years ago!
Dear Jimmy.
I so wish I could paint.
Oh, there are always
such quantities of artists.
You, I'm sure, have rarer gifts.
I know you're someone famous.
Where is it I saw your name
in print only lately?
Oh, I know!
Aren't you a member
of the Mask and Foil Club?
I'm second vice-president.
How wonderful of you!
Do make yourself more comfortable.
- Won't you have a cigarette?
- Thank you.
Mr. Whistler has indeed done me
a favor, in introducing me to you.
Oh no, Lord Augustus.
The favor is to me.
- Why don't you sit here?
- That will be fine.
- Do you think it's going to rain?
- I don't think so.
Look, there's Darlington, all ready.
Thank you, Lancelot.
Excuse me a moment.
- Good afternoon, Arthur.
- Hello. I hope you're in good form.
- Well, I hope I won't disappoint you.
- Excuse me, Margaret.
I want to apologize, Lady Windermere.
Now, what have you done?
I told you the other evening that even
you could never look more beautiful.
Now that I see you today,
I find I was wrong.
I wonder why a man
thinks he's pleasing a woman
when he says things to her
he doesn't mean.
- But I do mean them.
- I hope not.
I like you very much, you know that.
But I shouldn't like you if I thought
you were what most other men are.
You're better than most. Sometimes
I think you pretend to be worse.
If you pretend to be good,
the world takes you seriously.
If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't.
Don't you want the world
to take you seriously?
No, but I want YOU to take me seriously,
Lady Windermere.
Why me?
Because we might be great friends.
And you may need a friend someday.
I think we are good friends, and will be
so long as you don't spoil our friendship.
What's the matter with Darlington?
Has he given up already?
Lady Windermere,
it would have been much kinder to me
if you'd come heavily veiled
and swathed in thick shawls.
I shall have the most terrible time
keeping my eyes on my opponent.
It is useless to protest, all men
are bound to pay you compliments.
Compliments are the only things
I can afford to pay.
Do you remember there's a match
you're supposed to take part in?
Do you think the rain will hold off?
It looks very threatening.
I don't think it will rain.
What do you think, Robert?
- Your guest, Arthur?
- Mrs. Erlynne?
Augustus is a fool.
You must pay me a great deal
of attention this afternoon, I shall need it.
Tell me who people are.
Well, there is my sister,
the Duchess of Berwick.
Who on earth is that with my brother?
Do you know her, Mr. Hopper?
What an interesting face!
You must introduce me to her.
And next to her,
Lady Agatha, my niece.
And there is Lady Windermere.
Her name is Mrs. Erlynne.
She lives at the same hotel
as I, the Albemarle.
- Is there a Mr. Erlynne?
- I don't think anybody knows.
She looks like an edition deluxe
of a wicked French novel
meant especially for the English market.
They say she has quite a past.
She looks as if she had
at least a dozen.
Well, Arthur, are we going to start?
Perhaps we had better postpone
the match.
Due to the inclemency of the weather
or the arrival of Mrs. Erlynne?
All right, let's start.
Are you ready?
En garde!
- Agatha?
- Yes, Mama?
We are going inside.
I won't risk ruining my new hat
to see whether Graham touches
Darlington first, or Darlington Graham.
Come along with us, Margaret,
or you'll be drenched.
I can't leave.
The match isn't over yet.
My dear, they can't possibly
go on in this weather.
Look, Arthur is calling the match now.
All right, it's finished.
My dear lady, do hurry for the carriage
or your lovely hat will get soaked
and it will quite break my heart.
Maybe I can heal your heart.
I'll allow you to buy me a new hat.
Touch, Lord Windermere.
The heavens are with you this time.
Come, Augustus.
Wait for me.
- Kindly leave that sign where it is.
- I beg your pardon, sir?
- This house has been let, I'm the agent.
- It has not been let.
But Lord Windermere will sign the lease
this afternoon.
Oh, he will?
Extremely interesting.
You there!
Have you completely lost your mind?
- What are you doing?
- Well, as you see, dear boy,
there's no end to what I'd do
for an attractive woman.
And she's damned attractive.
But I don't understand all this.
She must be rich.
She's taken this house.
Who is she? Where does she come from?
Why hasn't she got any relatives?
Damn nuisance, relatives I know, but
they make one respectable.
Why are the women so down on her?
You should hear what my sister says.
Don't tell me the Duchess of Berwick
has met her.
Not yet, but she's heard things
about her, didn't leave a rag on her.
It doesn't matter,
she's got an really fine figure.
Mrs. Erlynne, I mean, not my sister.
Oh, I don't know what to do.
Sometimes one would think
I was married to Mrs. Erlynne.
She treats me with such indifference
and when I complain about it, she's
so clever, she can explain everything.
Do you mind if I have a word with her?
She can't get into society,
can she Arthur?
Where is she?
Upstairs, deciding on the mood
for her bedroom.
Would you introduce her to your wife?
Would you do that, old boy?
Mrs. Erlynne, will you please tell me
what this is all about?
Brocade is always handsome,
but it rather ages one.
I wonder about tartan,
billows of tartan.
I do love tartan.
So fresh and spring-like!
Help me decide, Windermere.
What do you think?
This lease was sent to my solicitor
for my signature and my check.
I'm supposed to take
this house for a year.
With an option for another.
Clever of me to think of that!
- For 350 pounds.
- Guineas, my dear man.
And I had to be most pathetic
to the agent to get if for so little.
It's a charming house, isn't it?
What has made you think that
I am going to provide you with a house?
Good reasons.
I could tell them to you,
but mystery fascinates you, doesn't it?
I have no intention of presenting you
with this house.
Perhaps you haven't at the moment.
But in a little while you'll be absolutely
astonished at the change in you.
Your self-confidence
is entirely misplaced.
Oh no, it isn't. You will want to give me
this house for two reasons.
It will make ideal campaign headquarters
for my siege of Lord Augustus.
Am I supposed to encourage
Lord Augustus to marry you?
Oh dear me, no. I'll do that.
It will require
only the most primitive technique.
All sunshine one day,
complete indifference the next.
And there you are, or rather, there I'll be.
Lady Augustus Lorton.
I dare say you'll make him
an admirable wife.
He will think so,
and so probably shall I.
But I require your financial assistance
before we're officially engaged.
He will propose eventually,
but it would hasten things considerably
if I had the added attraction of a dowry.
He can so easily think
that I inherited it from a third cousin
or a second husband,
or some distant relative of that kind.
Nothing ostentatious,
say... 2,500 pounds or so.
Mrs. Erlynne, you are the most
outrageously brazen woman I ever met.
Thank you, I always enjoy being
described with a superlative degree.
Do you really mean that I am
to give you a house and a small fortune
because I called on you once?
You are fascinated by me, admit it.
It rained the other day,
Lord Windermere... for you.
But now the sun is shining... for me.
Will you kindly tell me why you feel
you can practice this extortion?
- I'm going to tell you.
- Mrs. Erlynne? My dear lady.
I quite forgot Augustus. It's so easy to.
I'll send him away at once.
- Come back later and I'll tell you then.
- I must insist that you tell me now.
- Come back at five o'clock.
- I shall be busy at five.
Not that busy.
I'll see you at five o'clock.
I'm coming, my dear Augustus.
Poor Arthur, he was furious with me,
with himself, with everything
because he knew
he would come back at five o'clock.
- And did he?
- Promptly.
You know how curious men are.
- I'm sure you satisfied his curiosity.
- Certainly.
- May I ask how?
- In the simplest possible way.
By telling him the truth.
There is nothing like a lifetime of lying
to make one realize
how effective the truth can be.
You understand that, don't you,
Lord Darlington?
- My life was not devoted to lying.
- It didn't have to be.
You let the lies come to you,
and then used them most adroitly
in your attempt to break up
the Windermere marriage.
Yes, but I honestly loved Margaret
and I had no hope until I heard
those stories about you and Arthur.
His visits to you, and his paying
for your house in Curzon Street.
That gossip was a godsend to me.
It was my chance.
- And you took it.
- And I took it.
I knew she was going shopping that day
so I waited for her
and followed her
to the Burlington Arcade.
It was too great a temptation.
And you know that a man can resist
everything except temptation.'
If I had known you were coming
this way today
I would have covered the street
with flowers for you to walk upon.
Good morning, Lord Darlington.
I've been so busy, I almost forgot
to get slippers to dance in.
You're always the sweet exception.
Other women think first of their costumes,
then of the occasion for them.
You know a great deal about women.
It's rather too bad
you've made it your only study.
I admit it was a waste of time.
I found that out
when I began to study you.
I'm not sure I like
being observed so closely.
What will you forbid me next?
To look at flowers, to see the sun?
What a fascinating puritan you are.
The adjective was quite unnecessary.
Perhaps I am rather a puritan.
After my mother died,
my father's sister took charge of me.
She taught me to remember
what the world is forgetting,
the difference between right and wrong.
- She allowed no compromise?
- Nor do I.
I wonder if you wouldn't
consider a compromise
in a case such as I happened
to hear of recently.
The case of a young married couple.
The husband has become involved with
a woman of rather doubtful character.
So doubtful in fact that there is
no doubt whatsoever about it.
He calls on her constantly
and he's said to be paying her bills.
Don't you think that in this instance
the wife has a right
to seek consolation elsewhere?
You mean because the husband is vile
the wife should be vile too?
- Vile is a terrible word.
- But it's a terrible thing, Lord Darlington.
Look, Agatha.
There's Lady Windermere.
My dearest Margaret,
how pleased I am to see you!
Agatha, tell Lady Windermere
how delighted you are to see her.
Yes, Mama.
How do you do, Lord Darlington?
Do have the good sense to leave us.
There are two things a man
should never find out about a woman.
What she really thinks of him
and the size of her shoes.
I suppose we shall see you
at Lady Windermere's ball.
It's not a ball, it's only a dance.
It's small and early.
Very small, very early and very select.
We know that. I don't know
what the rest of society is coming to.
One meets the most dreadful
people everywhere.
They certainly come to my parties.
Yours is one of the few houses
left in London where
I can take Agatha
and feel perfectly secure.
By the way, Margaret, have you sent
an invitation to Mr. James Hopper?
I don't know Mr. Hopper.
He's that Australian
everyone is taking so much notice of.
His father made a fortune by selling
some sort of food in circular tins.
Most palatable, I believe.
I fancy it's the thing
the servants always refuse to eat.
- Mr. Hopper is quite taken with Agatha.
- Of course, I'll send him an invitation.
I'm so much interested in Australia.
Agatha has found it on the map.
It must be so pretty with
all the little kangaroos flying about.
Australia is a very young country,
isn't it?
Wasn't it made at the same time
as the others, Duchess?
How clever you are, Margaret.
No, no Darlington.
You mustn't dream of talking to Agatha.
You're far too wicked a man.
Come now.
As a wicked man I'm a complete failure.
Everyone says I've never done
anything really wrong in my life.
Of course they only say it
behind my back.
Goodbye, ladies.
What does he mean by that?
I suppose we shall never find out.
- Come on, Agatha.
- Yes, Mama.
- Goodbye, Monsieur Philippe.
- Au revoir. A dans 15 jours.
Margaret, you tell him dear.
He never understands my French.
He must come from some little village
where they speak a sort of patois.
The shoes need stretching.
My little toe hurts me
whatever I do with it.
- He'll bring another pair.
- Yes dear, I understood that.
- Agatha, darling?
- Yes, Mama?
See those shiny buckles over there,
aren't they charming?
Yes, Mama.
- Go over and look at them more closely.
- Yes, Mama.
Dear girl, she's so fond of shiny things.
Such a pure taste.
I do so admire you, dear Margaret.
You're being so brave about this.
- Brave about what, Duchess?
- And wise.
But the best thing you can do is
to take him to Vichy for the waters.
- Take whom?
- Why, Arthur of course!
Then you can keep him
under your eye all day long.
I assure you, my dear, that on several
occasions I had to pretend to be very ill
and I was obliged to drink
the most unpleasant mineral waters
just to get my husband out of town.
He was so strongly susceptible.
But he'd never give away
any large sums of money to anybody.
He was too high principled for that.
My dear Duchess, won't you tell
what you are talking about?
My husband and I, believe or not,
married for love, just like you and Arthur.
We all begin like that.
And before the year was out, he was
running after all kinds of petticoats.
Every color, shape and material.
Please, Duchess,
what is all this about?
Wicked women get our husbands away
from us, but they always come back.
Damaged, of course, but they
come back. What pretty slippers!
Do you mean wicked women in general
or some particular wicked woman?
- I mean Mrs. Erlynne, naturally.
- Mrs. Erlynne?
I've never heard of her.
What is she to do with Arthur?
Everyone looked on Windermere
as such a model husband.
Please, Duchess. Is it necessary
to discuss this in front of...
- He can't understand a word I say.
- I can't either.
That woman has actually
taken a house in Curzon Street
and they say that Arthur goes there
four or five times a week.
She must have got
a great deal of money out of somebody.
It seems she arrived in London a few
weeks ago without anything to speak of.
Now she has a charming house, drives
a pony in the park every afternoon
and all this since she's known
poor dear Windermere.
But her house and her horses
can't be due to Arthur.
Margaret, tell him I'll take these shoes
and I'll take them with me.
Somebody is giving her money
and it isn't Augustus.
He's head over heels about her,
exactly what one would expect of him.
But he's given her nothing.
I know because I examine
his check book every night.
You look in your brother's check book
without his knowledge?
- Of course I do. Agatha?
- Yes, Mama?
- Well, get the shoes dear.
- Yes, Mama.
- You're not going to cry, are you?
- You needn't be afraid, Duchess.
I don't believe a word of this gossip
and besides, I never cry.
Quite right, my dear.
Crying is the refuge of plain women.
But it's the ruin of pretty ones.
- It was a pleasant evening, wasn't it?
- I loved it.
We should go to the theatre more often.
Society is at its best there.
All the chattering comes
from the other side of the footlights.
So different from the opera,
isn't it?
Did you hear what somebody said
about the opera?
They enjoy it because the singing
never interferes with their conversation.
- Who did you hear say that?
- I don't know.
Somebody told me
somebody had said it.
So late in the season,
people repeat almost anything.
I'll recommend you as a hairdresser
to all my friends.
I should be glad to serve them,
but my heart wouldn't be in my work.
If it should be, I'd kill them.
Are the plans for your birthday party
all in order?
I really think I've attended
to every single thing about the dance.
No, I haven't. I didn't send a card
to Mr. Hopper.
I must do it at once.
- You must do no such thing.
- I promised the Duchess.
You can keep your promise
in the morning.
You didn't tell me
you saw the Duchess.
- I met her at Philippe's.
- How many reputations did she destroy?
Oh, she was rather interesting today.
She talked about you.
What did she say about me?
Except, of course, the highest praise
for my character and for my tailor.
I didn't pay much attention to most of it.
In fact, to any of it.
She did say you were extravagant.
It seems you've been buying houses
and horses and all sorts of things
for some mysterious lady
that recently came to London.
Mrs. Erly, or Eryl,
I really don't remember.
Well, I'm glad
you don't pay much attention to her.
Why should I?
You remember what she told us
about Lady Jansen and her husband
and that incident in the South of France.
Come, let's have no more horrible stories.
Did you see anyone pleasant today?
- Yes. I met Lord Darlington.
- Oh, Robert?
I saw him too,
or rather I caught a glimpse of him.
- He went past me in Curzon Street.
- Curzon Street?
What were you doing
in Curzon Street, Arthur?
I was endeavoring to get
from one end of it to the other.
Why do you ask
such nonsensical questions?
I don't know. I suppose I must have
nonsense in my head.
You're tired, darling, that's what it is.
You need a rest, I think we both do.
- Why don't we go abroad after the ball?
- That's curious.
- What is?
- You're suggesting that we go abroad.
The Duchess suggested it too,
she thought it would be a very good thing.
Then for once the Duchess and I agree.
Even she can't be wrong always.
No, I suppose she can't always.
- Is something wrong, darling?
- No, I was just thinking.
- What about?
- Lady Jansen.
She and Lord Jansen no longer live
under the same roof. She left him.
I said that the Duchess
had to be right sometimes.
It has to do with the law of averages.
- Arthur, what's the matter with you?
- What's supposed to be the matter?
- You just shouted.
- I didn't do anything of the kind!
And if I did, you show me the man
who can discuss the Duchess of Berwick
without losing his patience.
And you show me the woman.
Margaret, what on earth are you doing?
Of course.
You couldn't wait to see what
your birthday present was.
You know what happens to little girls
who can't wait
and steal a look at their gifts, don't you?
Don't look so frightened.
I'd love to give it to you now.
You needn't wait a moment longer.
Happy birthday, Lady Windermere.
Oh, it's lovely, it's enchanting.
You're an angel, Arthur,
you're my good angel.
You've kept me from doing something
I should've been very much ashamed of.
- What could you do to be ashamed of?
- I couldn't sleep.
My mind kept going round and round
about the Duchess and Lady Jansen
and houses and horses
and mysterious women
and about how the Duchess
was right sometimes and...
Then when you said
you'd been in Curzon Street I...
I kept thinking.
Suddenly I just had to know.
It wasn't about the birthday present.
- It was because I was going to.
- Going to what?
Because I was going to look
at your check book.
Margaret, that isn't like you!
I know.
Wasn't I an idiot? All this fuss and worry
when all I needed to do is to ask you.
Darling, you're so tired,
you must go to sleep...
You would have told me, wouldn't you?
- It's nearly morning, come to bed.
- Wouldn't you?
- Please Margaret, it's so late.
- Arthur, tell me now that it isn't true.
Will you stop this foolishness?
Have you been paying money
to this woman?
- Then I must find out for myself!
- You don't understand.
Things are not always what they appear.
- Mrs. Erlynne, 600 pounds.
It's insane to misconstrue circumstances.
- Mrs. Erlynne, 400 pounds.
- Things seem to be what they're not.
Mrs. E, 700 pounds. Mrs. E...
Oh, it's all true!
- I only ask you to trust me.
- Trust you, after what I've just seen?
After the money
you've given and given to this trollop.
- You mustn't say such things about her.
- Why mustn't I?
Because they're wrong.
As long as I've known Mrs. Erlynne,
her conduct has been beyond criticism.
- Perhaps it's true that many years ago...
- Please, spare me the story of her life.
Listen to me.
Mrs. Erlynne lost everything,
threw it away if you like.
All she wants is a chance to get
her life back again, to have a new start.
That's all she wants from me
or from anyone else.
- I've tried to help this woman.
- So I can see from your check book.
Margaret, believe me.
I've done nothing to hurt our love.
You have. You thought
because I had no father or mother
that you could humiliate me and
degrade me and I'd do nothing about it?
It drives me mad when I think of you
and that woman
congratulating each other
on my ignorance.
Laughing and smirking together
while I trust in you.
I wish to Heaven, I could find
a way to hurt you
and her as you two have hurt me.
And I will find it, I will!
You'll see that I will.
- Good afternoon, Bessie.
- Good afternoon, madam.
- Has anyone called?
- Lord Windermere has been waiting.
If I'd known you were coming
I never would have coaxed Augustus
into playing that second set.
The house is beginning
to look like a house, isn't it?
I've been involved with masses
of upholsterers and drapers.
I had to plead, virtually on my knees,
with the carpet dealers
or there would have been
no new carpets for months.
I'm sorry, Mrs. Erlynne,
but there will no further need for carpets
or anything else for this house.
- And why not?
- Because you're leaving it.
You're leaving London, leaving England.
- Margaret knows everything?
- Not everything, but enough.
- Who told her?
- Some 'friend'.
I'm sorry I didn't tell her
the truth myself from the first.
Curious. I regret my bad actions
and you regret your good ones.
All London is gossiping about this house
and the money I gave you.
- You take these things too seriously.
- Mrs. Erlynne, I wanted to help you.
I didn't realize how things would seem
and what people would say.
You must leave London.
You're breaking your word, Arthur.
You promised me the chance
of a new life, a secure and decent life.
- I know I did.
- Well, you haven't given me that chance.
I've not yet assured my position so that
Lord Augustus will ask me to marry him.
- I can't help it, you must go.
- Please don't give me orders, Arthur.
I shall stay in London
as long as I choose.
- Yes, Bessie?
- I beg your pardon, madam.
This has just been delivered
by special messenger.
You don't want to cause Margaret
any more pain, do you?
I've never seen her
as she was last night.
Today, she locked herself in her room,
there's no telling what she might do.
I can't lose her.
If I do, I lose life itself.
- And what about my life?
- Must you always think of yourself?
Don't you realize that if you stay here
Margaret will find out who you are?
If she does find out,
will the world come to an end?
- It would for her.
- You'll not hound me out of London.
I've made mistakes, yes,
and I've paid for them.
And now you come to me
and tell me I must pay again
and go on paying for the rest of my life?
Well, I won't do it.
My account is settled
and I'll pay no more.
I too have been paying
for your mistakes, Mrs. Erlynne.
And I'm willing to pay considerably more
to end any further demands on me.
I'm making out this check to you
for 10,000 pounds.
It's drawn on the Paris branch
of my bank.
Payable only in Paris
and only within the next three days.
I won't go and that is final.
The club train leaves at 10:45 tonight.
There is no emergency
to excuse your conduct.
You're disposing of my life
with utter selfishness,
and now you add vulgarity to cruelty.
You're the lowest of all thing,
you're cheap.
I'm leaving the check
on the mantelpiece, Mrs. Erlynne.
Good afternoon.
As long as I live,
I'll never forget that moment.
There was a check of 10,000 pounds
from Lord Windermere to be rid of me.
And there was an invitation to her
birthday ball from Lady Windermere.'
It was the most precious invitation
I ever received.
The most precious invitation
from his wife?
From my daughter.
Margaret, your daughter?
I didn't know.
- I never knew.
- Of course you didn't.
It was my career to keep everybody
from knowing it.
How could I have acknowledged
a grown-up daughter?
I never admitted I was more than 29,
30 at the most.
29 when they were pink shades
30 when they were not.
But why did you become separated
from your husband and your child?
Why does any woman leave
her husband and her child?
- For another man.
- Who in turn, abandoned me.
I'm sorry.
Arthur was the only one
who ever knew my secret.
More than anything in the world,
he wanted to spare Margaret
the humiliation of knowing
her mother was a woman whose name
was a scandal
in every country in Europe.
He was right to shield her.
I realize that now
more clearly than ever.
That night
I went to her birthday ball.
I forget why.
I wanted to defy my son-in-law.
Perhaps I longed to see my daughter.
Anyway, I went to the ball.
Mrs. Erlynne.
Yes, madam.
- Good evening, Lord Windermere.
- My dear Countess!
- And Margaret.
- Good evening, my dear.
- Excuse me.
- It's been so long.
- Good evening, Arthur.
- Hello, John. Nice to see you.
How dare you
come to this house tonight?
It isn't especially daring
to accept an invitation.
- How did you get that?
- A messenger, a special one.
Such a dependable service,
don't you think?
You're not going in. I'll have
your carriage called at once.
Manners before morals,
Lord Windermere.
Good evening, Cecil.
Lord Darlington.
Good evening, Lady Windermere.
I am Mrs. Erlynne.
It was so charming of you to invite me.
You must have known how delighted
I'd be to meet on your birthday.
Good evening, Mrs. Erlynne.
Your house is enchanting.
I'm sure you chose the decorations
yourself. One can tell such things.
And your fan, what a lovely thing!
A birthday present?
- Yes, from my husband.
- What exquisite taste your husband has.
I congratulate you, Lord Windermere.
And with all my heart,
I congratulate you, Lady Windermere.
- Many, many happy returns of this day.
- Thank you.
Excuse me.
Lord Augustus,
you have quite neglected me.
- I haven't seen you since this afternoon.
- I had no idea you were coming.
Excuse me.
- You should have told me.
- Isn't a surprise pleasanter?
I give you my word
I have nothing to do with this.
- I've no idea how she got the invitation.
- I sent it to her.
May I dance with your wife,
or are all her dances reserved for you?
I should be delighted, Lord Darlington.
I thought I knew Arthur well
but apparently I don't.
Very shrewd of him to invite her.
Nothing looks so much like innocence
as an indiscretion.
I invited Mrs. Erlynne.
You did? Why?
I don't know. I asked her
because I was hurt and angry.
I wanted to show him,
I wanted to show them all.
I was going to make an example
of how I was going to insult him.
- But why didn't you?
- I couldn't.
She's so different
from what I thought she'd be.
When she stood there,
I could do nothing at all.
It takes a thoroughly good woman
to do a thoroughly stupid thing.
You played right into her hands,
you helped her to achieve triumph.
Please take me out onto the balcony.
It's so bright and loud in here.
Tell me what I am to do.
You said one day I'd need a friend,
I didn't dream it would be so soon.
But I need one now.
Will you be my friend?
No Margaret, I cannot be
your friend any longer.
Between you and me,
there is no friendship possible.
There is passion, enmity, worship, love,
but no friendship.
- I love you.
- Please Robert, don't.
I 've loved from the first moment
I saw you.
And now is the time to tell you
I want to take you away.
I want you to leave this house tonight.
I offer you my life, Margaret,
my whole life.
Do what you want with it,
but please, please, take it.
I can't, I'm afraid. I'm a coward.
You mustn't be. You must be brave,
this will take courage.
I wish I could lie to you,
I wish I could tell you
the world doesn't matter, but it does.
The world and what it will say
matter far too much.
There'll be a time of pain,
disgrace even,
but remember I'll be there beside you.
When it's all over, when you no longer
have his name but mine
the world that is so quick to turn,
will turn back again to respect you.
You said you make no compromises,
make none now, be yourself.
Not now, I can't answer you now.
I offer you my love and my life.
I offer you more than that,
I offer you your pride,
your self-respect, your honor.
Leave this house with your head high.
Leave all that is ugly and tarnished
and corrupt forever.
But suppose... suppose Arthur...
Suppose Arthur what?
Suppose Arthur came back to you,
is that what you're thinking?
If he did, you'd take him,
wouldn't you?
Poor Margaret.
In a week, you will be driving
with this woman in the park.
She'll be constantly in your house,
she'll become your closest friend.
You're right, my dear,
you have no courage.
- Please, give me time to think.
- No.
Our moment came, you refused it.
Now it is gone.
Our lives touched.
They'll never touch again.
I'm leaving England tomorrow.
Goodbye, Margaret.
Isn't that Darlington?
Oh, Arabella, allow me
to introduce Mrs. Erlynne.
Good evening, Duchess.
I think next to your brother,
I am your most fervent admirer.
He talks about you so often. Everybody
knows what a brilliant talker he is.
Everyone knows where he gets it from,
of course, it runs in the family.
As a matter of fact, the last time
I was in Monte Carlo
they were all quoting your absolutely
deathless remarks.
Were they really? In Monte Carlo?
You must tell me.
- Agatha?
- Yes, Mama?
Have you kept the last three dances
for Mr. Hopper?
- Yes, Mama.
- Could I possibly have this dance too?
I doubt that she has one left,
but we can ask her.
- Have you this dance left, Agatha?
- Yes, Mama.
You're indeed in luck, Mr. Hopper.
Take care of my little chatterbox.
What charming things you say,
Mrs. Erlynne.
Tell me more about Monte Carlo.
- Isn't this our dance, dear lady?
- I wish it were, Augustus, but
our host insists on dancing with me.
Don't look so dismal, Arthur.
Everything is going beautifully.
From tonight,
the odds are greatly reduced.
I'm sorry, but I don't know
what you mean.
The odds against my being received into
London society were a hundred to one.
Tonight I have been received
by your wife, my position is secure
and Lord Augustus
is ripe for the plucking.
I cannot imagine what made Margaret
ask you here tonight.
- I don't know what will come of it.
- Nothing but good.
I'm planning to have
a little talk with Margaret.
Please don't,
please don't cause us any more trouble.
Would it cause more trouble if she
understood about those checks to me?
What will you tell her?
How pleasant it is to have a son-in-law
who dances so well.
What are you going to tell her?
Leave it to me.
I never rehearse my conversations.
It will be some heart-warming little story
about your friendship for Augustus.
Arthur, I must tell you
everyone is remarking
what a handsome couple
you and Mrs. Erlynne make.
How civilized of poor dear Margaret
not to be jealous!
- Agatha.
- Yes, Mama.
- Come here, Agatha.
- Yes, Mama.
- Has Mr. Hopper...
- Yes, Mama.
- And what answer did you give him?
- Yes, Mama!
Did you hear that, Mrs. Erlynne?
Dear Agatha always says the right thing.
Mr. Hopper, come here!
Agatha has told me everything.
How cunningly you two kept your secret!
You may kiss me, Mr. Hopper.
You don't mind my taking Agatha
off to Australia, Duchess?
Australia, with all those horrid
kangaroos crawling about?
We'll talk about that tomorrow.
You must come at lunch, of course.
- You'll join us, won't you, Mrs. Erlynne?
- With pleasure, Duchess.
- Well, run along, children.
- Yes, Mama.
Till tomorrow then, at luncheon.
Aren't we going to dance at last?
I believe the next one's a polka
and I just learned it.
I can hardly wait,
but first I want to talk to our hostess.
Oh, Mr. Graham?
Have you seen Lady Windermere?
Look for Lord Darlington
if you wish to find Lady Windermere.
And look for Lady Windermere
if you wish to find Lord Darlington.
So much information
based on so little evidence
is always the mark
of a spiteful mind.
You should be more careful, Mr. Graham.
Would you take me
to Lady Windermere, please?
I believe her ladyship is out on
the balcony. I just took her cloak to her.
Is she alone?
I believe so, madam.
Lord Darlington left a while ago.
Yes, madam?
Are you quite sure you don't know
where Lord Darlington is?
He attended
Lady Windermere's ball tonight.
I know that! Would he have gone
to his club, perhaps?
I couldn't say, madam.
Will you go to club and see if he's there?
It's most important.
- Take a cab.
- Very well, madam.
- Oh, there he is now.
- I'm afraid not.
His lordship always uses his latch key.
- I'm sorry, Lord Darlington is not at home.
- Good.
- Please, do what I told you.
- Wait, where are you going?
To get a cab
and see if his lordship is at the club.
That will not be necessary. But get
the cab and wait at the corner, please.
Very good, madam.
- I'm so glad I found you.
- What do you mean by interfering?
Lady Windermere, you must leave here.
You mustn't make this terrible mistake.
- How do you know what I'm going to do?
- Oh, I know these things. Too well.
Did Arthur send you?
Is he afraid of the scandal?
No, he doesn't know you're here.
I told him you'd gone to your room
with a headache.
Go back to your husband.
Don't throw away his love.
The day may come
when you will starve for love.
You go back to my husband, he's yours.
I must say after seeing you tonight
I understand him only too well.
- You're quite irresistible, Mrs. Erlynne.
- Please go back home.
I shall stay here with the man
who has offered me his life.
Yes, he offers you his life
and then he takes yours and destroys it.
I've learned that.
I've learned that too well.
Listen to me.
We do silly things when we are hurt.
Don't spoil your beautiful young life
on my account.
Your husband loves you
and in your heart you know it.
What do you know about hearts?
Women like you have no hearts.
They're bought and sold.
But can you imagine yourself
trying to live by your wits?
Trying to fight against a world
that wants none of you?
That will allow you no place in it?
Think of yourself if you can,
despised and ignored by every woman.
Think of the men who look at you,
guessing and making bets about you.
Don't worry, Mrs. Erlynne,
that won't happen to me.
I thought that too but it could
happen to you just as it happened to me.
I was just as young as you,
just as beloved,
just as mistaken.
But you... you'd be lost, child,
you couldn't stand it.
There is only one thing
that I can't stand...
Don't say it, it isn't true.
I mean nothing to Arthur.
The money that he gave me
was really a gift from Augustus
who didn't want to write his own checks
because he was afraid of his sister.
You're most accomplished
at clever little stories, Mrs. Erlynne.
I hate to admit this but you're jealous
of a woman who could be your mother.
Don't mention that name.
You're devoted to her memory,
aren't you?
Think of her now.
Think what she would say
if she were alive.
She would tell you to go back
to your husband,
that your place is with him.
I don't understand.
What makes you say all this?
I once ruined a man's life,
just as you're about to ruin Arthur's.
But we don't ruin a life
and go scot-free.
We ruin ourselves
from the moment we do it.
I don't want anyone
to stand in front of you one day
and tell you that you're a woman
that can be bought and sold.
Come, I'll take you home.
- I want you at nine o'clock tomorrow.
- Yes, m'lord.
Come, quick.
My cloak!
- Good night, Robinson.
- Good night, m'lord.
Robert, old boy! Whoa, cabbie!
- Augustus, what are you up to?
- Come on to the club for a drink.
- I just came from there. It's closed.
- Closed at two? That's ridiculous.
Let's all go to the Cafe Royal.
In my opinion, we all need
a good night's sleep.
- A very good idea.
- You may well talk, a married man!
Arthur, you're coming along with us
to a bachelor's.
- How about having a drink with you?
- Of course, come in.
Let's go out through the back door.
I'm afraid we shall have to wait
upon ourselves. I can't find Hoskins.
- Soda or water?
- Water, please.
Robert, we were just saying
what a great evening we all had.
- Yes, delightful.
- No, no, no. Don't drown it.
Make mine a small one.
I really must go home in a moment.
I shouldn't leave Margaret alone.
Don't go yet, old man.
You'll only weaken her.
- Was Margaret not feeling well?
- She had a headache.
Probably the excitement
of her first ball.
By the way, why did you leave
so early tonight, Robert?
I had some other important matters to
attend to, I'm leaving England tomorrow.
- Isn't it very sudden?
- Quite. Would you care to play cards?
I can't. I promised Mrs. Erlynne
never to gamble or drink again.
He's actually keeping half his vow.
That's the worst of women,
they're always reforming men.
Yes, they always find us bad.
I don't think we men are bad,
I think we're all good.
No, we're all in the gutter.
But some of us are looking at the stars.
- You're very romantic tonight, Robert.
- You must be in love. Who's the girl?
- Come on, Robert. You can trust us.
- Who is she?
The woman I love is not free...
...or thinks she isn't.
Don't let it worry you.
There are only two tragedies in life.
One is not getting what one wants,
the other is getting it.
- Come on, Augustus, I'll take you home.
- I don't want to go home yet.
- Don't be silly.
- This is the best joke of the season.
Augustus, don't be a fool.
Don't you realize...
He's talking of pure love
but has a woman in his room.
My fan! They found my fan!
- Show him the fan!
- What fan?
Show us, Cecil. Come on.
Perfectly ridiculous,
it must be some mistake.
It's my wife's fan,
there can't be any mistake.
Arthur, I assure you I have no idea
how that fan got here.
- That's no explanation. You must know.
- I'm sorry but I don't.
Then you certainly won't object
to my searching your rooms.
I'm afraid I must object.
You cannot search my rooms...
You swine!
Here, take my fan
and leave the rest to me.
Come, come.
I'm going up these stairs.
Will you let go of me!
I'll not leave here...
I'm so sorry, I think I left my fan here.
Oh, there it is.
No, this is isn't mine.
Well, isn't that stupid of me?
This is Lady Windermere's fan.
I must have mistaken it for my own
when I was leaving the ball.
I'm so sorry. Will you please return
this to your wife, Lord Windermere?
Please send mine to my house before
tomorrow night as I'm leaving for Paris.
- Could your man escort me home?
- Yes, of course.
And Augustus, would you tell
your sister, the Duchess
that I shall be unable to lunch
with her tomorrow? Thank you.
- Did the young lady, I mean...
- Yes, madam. I put her in the cab.
You would be doing your master
real service
by not telling him that there was
another lady in the house tonight.
I understand, madam.
Good morning, Dawson.
Good morning, m'lord.
I had no idea Your Lordship was up.
I slept in the study. Have any of you
found a fan? Someone left it here.
A fan? I don't think so, m'lord.
At least, not yet.
Several of the ladies left
various gloves and handkerchiefs
and her grace, the Duchess of Berwick
left a galosh, but I've seen no fan.
I will enquire of the others.
Tell them to try and keep quiet,
I don't want her ladyship to be disturbed.
Her ladyship left the house
half an hour ago, m'lord.
- Did she say where she was going?
- No, m'lord.
Very well. Try and find the fan.
Rosalie, did her ladyship say
where she was going?
- She was going to deliver a package.
- What package?
It was a fan, my Lord. Her ladyship
had me put it in a small box for her.
Thank you, Rosalie.
My dear child, you've come to see me.
It's hard to believe. It's lovely to believe.
I had to see you. I can't accept
your sacrifice, it's too much.
You must be calm.
Come and sit down.
- You look pale.
- I don't mean to.
- Didn't you sleep well?
- No, of course I didn't.
Mrs. Erlynne,
think what you did last night.
You threw away all your hopes,
all your safety. All your life.
What does a child like you know about
my hopes and my safety?
I saw you ruin them just to save me.
Why did you do it?
Perhaps because your hopes
and your safety and your life
are more precious than mine.
Or perhaps it was because
I'm very fond of you, Lady Windermere.
I can't let you do it.
I'm going to tell Arthur everything.
- No, you mustn't dream of doing that.
- But I owe it to you.
If you think you owe me something,
pay me by silence.
Don't spoil the one good thing
I've done in my life by telling it.
I know your mother would think that.
I know that she'd want above all
that you keep Arthur happy.
I think your father would want that too.
Yes, I know he would want
my happiness.
He had so little happiness himself
after my mother died.
He loved her very much.
They say people don't die
of broken hearts,
but I know that he did.
As you see, I'm packing again.
Packing and unpacking,
that's the rhythm of my life.
I'm rather glad. London is too full
of fogs and serious people.
Whether the fogs produce
serious people, or
the serious people produce fogs,
I don't know.
Oh, there's your carriage.
And there's your Arthur.
Good, at least I can tell him
how foolish I was to suspect him.
You'll do nothing of the kind.
Not that you are not foolish,
but to admit it and to a husband...
Here, I came to give you back your fan
and I've forgotten to do it.
I'd rather like you to keep it,
to remember me by.
Oh, I should love to have it.
I hate to say this...
Goodbye, Lady Windermere.
- You'll write to me perhaps?
- I don't think so, child.
Our lives will lie so very far apart.
We belong to different worlds, you know.
I used to think that,
now I know better.
There's the same world for all of us.
Yes, I tore up
Lord Windermere's check.
Perhaps I shouldn't have.
But it gave me so much pleasure to do it
that I have never regretted it.
Oh, I've needed the money
a thousand times.
But I've learned a thousand times
that money isn't very much.
Yes, if it could buy back your twenties,
or your thirties, or your forties.
Even your sixties!
How did we come to talk about all this?
The fan. You know, the fan
you found at the auction.
Oh yes, and I was so proud
of my memory.
Now I've gone and forgotten
what happened just this morning.
You know, I always wondered
why you were at my house that night.
- In fact, sometimes I almost thought...
- You thought I came to see you?
Oh, what indestructible vanity.
No, my dear.
Every other woman in London,
I don't doubt, but not me.
Mrs. Erlynne, I find we have
so many things to talk about.
It would give me great pleasure
if you would dine with me one evening.
Robert, Robert, we're grown-up now.
Besides, my dear,
you must save your coupons.
I shall be so happy
to have the fan again.
After Margaret had gone
home that morning,
she sent me a bouquet
of red and white roses
and her fan in the mother-of-pearl box,
the fan with her name on it.
- Come on, let's go and get it now.
- Oh, I...
Ready, m'lord. It's such a treat
to press a fine Cheviot nowadays.
Oh, I see.
Thank you, Simpson.
How easy life is for men!
A freshly pressed suit
and they're young again!
My dear.
- Good day, Simpson.
- Good day, m'lord.