The Front (1976) Movie Script

Fairy tales can come true
It can happen to you
If you're young at head
For it's hard you will find
To be narrow of mind
If you're young at head
You can go to extremes
With impossible schemes
You can laugh
When your dreams
fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting
with each passing day
And love is either
in your heart
Or on its way
Don't you know
That it's worth
every treasure on earth
To be young at head?
For as rich as you are
it's much better by far
To be young at heart
And if you should survive
to a hundred and five
Look at all you'll derive
out of being alive
And here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among
the very young at heart
And if you should survive
To a hundred and five
Look at all you'll derive
out of being alive
And here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among
the very young...
At heart
Hiya, Howard.
Allie! Sheez.
How are you?
What are you doing here?
Why didn't you tell me
you were coming?
I just thought
I'd drop in on you.
God, that's so funny
because, you know...
I was just thinking about you
the other day.
I saw your show on TV.
Oh, yeah?
Yeah, what I had to do
to get to these clowns
to turn off the ball game.
This is Alfred Miller.
He's my friend.
He's a big TV writer.
This is Margo, the big waitress.
How are you? Pleased
to meet you.
Listen, I thought maybe
before the dinner rush,
we could take a walk,
play a little chess
or something.
Sure. Marg?
Can you take over the register?
Sure, Howard.
I mean, unless you're too busy.
For you?
Are you kidding?
It's good to see you.
Yeah, you too.
Hey, Howard.
What's the price on
the Kid Gavilan-Basilio fight?
It's eight-to-five,
I'll take Basilio, five times.
Okay, you got it.
You never change.
It's your move.
Howard, I can't work anymore.
What, like writer's block?
Well, what?
You're not sick, are you?
I'm blacklisted.
Yeah, all right,
but you feel okay?
I feel terrible.
But you're healthy?
I mean, besides your ulcer?
Howard, they won't
buy my scripts.
I'm on a blacklist.
Do you know what that means?
It's a list of names.
The studios have them,
the networks, the ad agencies.
You're on the list,
you're marked.
You don't work.
So, what difference does it make
if I'm healthy?
Well, you know,
it makes a difference.
So, what are you
blacklisted for?
I'm a communist sympathizer.
Well, you always were.
Well, it's not so popular
Hey, how many times
have I told you?
Take care of number one.
So, all right, who can you sue?
Nobody admits
there's a blacklist.
I mean, they just say,
"Your script's not good enough."
"You're not right
for the assignment."
You know, that kind of thing.
Hey, I know some people.
They're not exactly "people,"
but for $50,
they'll break a few legs,
and you're not bothered anymore.
That's not what I need.
What, you need money?
I happen to know a stock,
believe it or not,
which is low right now,
but it's going through the roof.
I need another name.
Yeah, I can see that.
Um... Rappaport.
Al-Alfred Rappa-
Arnold Rappaport.
Pseudonyms don't work. They know
we're all changing our names.
I need a real person, Howard.
Of course.
Someone, uh, they can believe
and I can trust.
Now, listen...
I wouldn't ask you
to do this-
Who would you ask?
I'd be insulted.
Well, nobody
would know about it,
just you and me.
When do we start?
Well, just wait a minute.
You'd better find out
what you're getting into.
You want to put my name
on your scripts.
It's not that simple.
I write the scripts.
I send them in under your name.
They buy the scripts, right?
It's perfect.
Then they're going to want
to meet the writer.
So? So you're going to
have to go in there,
really be the writer.
So I'll be the writer.
What's the big deal?
I can do it,
and I want to do it.
I'm your friend.
You're in trouble.
What's a friend for?
Well, these days,
you can get in trouble
being friends.
Life is risk.
I'm going to pay you
for this, Howard.
What do you mean, "pay"?
What is that,
a friend takes money?
10% from each script,
and no arguments.
You can use the money.
You're always in hock,
and I'd be paying that much
to an agent anyway.
Ten percent?
Off the top.
Well, how much
do you get for a script?
Um, $750, $1000.
It depends on the show.
Go home and write.
Your troubles are over.
What are you pulling here?
Huh? You owe me for
three winners already.
What am I?
Some kind of charity?
Don't get excited.
Your money's coming.
You book bets, you lose,
you pay off.
What? You don't trust me?
You know-
Hey, don't get me mad
on you, you hear, Howard?
We've been doing business
a long time,
so don't get me mad on you.
I don't understand you.
What do you do with your salary?
Flush it down the toilet?
No, I had a tip on a stock.
It looked good, so I plunged.
To who do you come to stocks?
Why don't you ask me?
I'm familiar with the market.
Ask me before
you flush your salary
down the toilet.
All right, next time,
I'll ask you.
Howard, Howard...
what's it going to be with you?
Mama and Papa would turn
in their graves.
I haven't found myself yet,
you know, but it's all going
to change, Myer.
You were always the smart one.
Did I get the lessons?
You could've gone to college.
Instead, you're a bum.
How much this time?
Uh... $600.
You said on the phone 400.
Yeah, I know.
Four gets me even,
then I'm blank.
I'm keeping strict accounts.
You said four, you get four.
Enough is enough.
I'm at the end
of my rope, Howard.
I got a business.
You know what it costs now
to feed one lousy mink?
You know what
a cutter gets today?
Yeah, thanks,
thanks for-
If you were realizing
your potential,
I'd say, "Fine,
that's an investment."
I'm working on it, Myer.
At that cockamamie job you got?
You call that a job?
With a head like yours?
I think you're going
to be surprised.
I'm serious.
The well is running dry.
Sink or swim.
The winner, number three,
Mr. Turf,
ridden by William Boland.
3-60 and 2-90.
The place horse,
number six, Stepchild.
The show horse, number 10,
Easy Whirl.
...Belmont Park
are a service of WTRM.
Each race...
Loews Sheraton.
Well, who wants him?
Who? Florence Barrett?
What do you look like?
Oh, yeah.
Yeah. This is-That's right.
This is Howard Prince,
the writer.
No kidding. Did you?
Yeah, you liked it?
Sure. No, I can meet-
When-afternoons are fine.
You know, I use the evenings
to write
because there's less noise.
Okay, great.
Tuesday's perfect.
Right. Ciao.
Yes, Old Gold,
the cigarette
with nearly 200 years
of tobacco know-how.
Uh, Florence Barrett?
The one with the hair.
I won't tell him, Phil.
You're the producer.
Do your own dirty work.
All Hecky has to do
is go talk to the man.
Why should he?
Who is this creep anyway?
Just because he worked
for the FBI?
Where does he come off
clearing anyone?
Where does anyone come off?
It's for Hecky's own good.
What's good about it?
I'm against the whole rotten-
I'm against it too.
Then do something.
I don't run the network.
Can I help you?
I'm Howard Prince.
You're Howard Prince?
I'm Florence Barrett.
I'm so glad you could come.
Phil, this is Howard Prince,
the writer.
Phil Sussman, our producer.
How do you do?
Sorry, I didn't connect
the name. Howard Prince.
That's a hell
of a script you wrote.
Where've you been hiding?
We looked you up:
no credits, no nothing,
out of the blue, just like that.
Well, I just took up writing
a short while ago.
Well, that's one hell
of a script.
You got more?
Are you kidding?
Howard Prince, I'd like you
to meet Steve Parks,
who plays the lead in the show.
It's a marvelous script.
Thank you very much.
And Hecky Brown-Who
plays with himself.
...who plays the narrator.
Howie Prince!
They let you out, finally.
Darling, darling...
Darling, I've waited for you.
I was faithful to you.
It's been so long.
You know each other?
Never saw this man before
in my life.
Seriously, Mr. Prince,
a first-class script.
Oh, thank you.
Thank you very much.
We don't have too
much time, Mr. Prince.
That's why I asked you
to come right away.
We wanted
to meet you-
Your script's
a little long, Howard.
I'd like to suggest
cutting the kitchen scene.
I don't know how
you feel about that-
I think it's a mistake.
To me, the awkward scene
is the one
in the police station.
Don't you think?
Yeah, maybe.
Maybe not.
You know, it depends
on your definition of awkward.
Well, the police station
at least has some violence.
I'm not saying eliminate it.
I just think it can be trimmed.
What do you think,
Mr. Prince?
"Yeah," what?
You know, I think that, um...
I think that what-
There's a lot of facets here,
you know,
and it's...
I don't want to just answer
right off the top of my head,
you know,
because I don't think
that would be fair to you
or fair to the show.
Howard, I know it's not fun
to cut your script,
but television is television.
You decide and you cut.
I'm not the kind of producer
who disembowels
a writer's script.
I believe in the written word.
I need it tomorrow morning.
But you be happy with it.
I really liked
your script a lot.
Oh, yeah?
Thank you very much.
Most of the stuff I read...
I mean, yours had substance.
It was about people.
Well, I feel if you're going
to write about human beings,
that, uh, you may as well
make them people.
Freedom Information Service.
Who's calling?
One moment, please.
Mr. Hampton
from the network.
Yes, Tom.
Yes, of course.
Uh, first name: Howard.
You got an address on him?
Social Security number?
I'll check him right out.
No, it's no trouble at all, Tom.
That's what
you're paying me for.
Yes, as a matter of fact,
he's right here right now.
I'm sure we'll work
something out.
I'll get back to you as soon
as I know anything about Prince.
You too, Tom.
Carry on.
Sorry, Mr. Brown.
Everybody calls me Hecky.
I'm a household name.
I can't guarantee
you anything, you understand,
but if you tell me the truth,
I might be able to help.
I'll tell you the truth.
I'll do anything.
The question is, Mr. Brown,
what have you done?
Nothing. I'm an actor.
Six years ago, I marched
in the May Day parade.
I bought a subscription
for the Daily Worker,
but I never read it,
not one word.
Right from the mailbox
to the garbage can.
I was only trying to get laid.
This girl, this communist girl,
she had a big ass-
I am not interested
in your sex life,
Mr. Brown.
I was just telling you
that girl was the reason.
Was she also the reason
you signed a petition
for Loyalist Spain?
Did I do that?
And Russian war relief?
We were on the same side,
weren't we?
That girl with the big ass,
she was the reason.
Would you say, then,
that you were duped?
Tell me what it means
and I'll say it.
You want it in writing?
Tell me what to write.
It has to come
from you, Mr. Brown.
From your heart.
It has no value otherwise.
It'll come. Don't worry.
I'm an actor.
What do I know about politics?
My whole life has been acting.
People from all over the country
write me letters.
Write me a letter, Mr. Brown,
in your own words.
How you were duped,
how you feel about it now.
I'm against it 100%.
Whoever else you remember
was in that parade.
Who asked you to sign
those petitions.
It was such a long time ago.
Try to remember.
Sincerity is the key,
Mr. Brown.
Anyone can make a mistake.
The man who repents
I repent sincerely.
Write me the letter, Mr. Brown.
I'll see what I can do.
And I didn't even get laid.
Now, stand by, everybody.
We have 30 seconds to air.
Can I see opening shots, please?
Camera one.
Fine. Two's good.
Three, frame up, please.
Tilt up.
That's it.
It looks good.
Watch your boom.
All right, stand by
to dim the lights...
And, uh, okay...
Dim them down.
Looks nice.
eight... seven...
five... four...
three... two... one.
And fade up on three.
This is my station,
Grand Central,
where a million stories
start and finish.
And Hecky the Hackie
knows them all.
Tonight, have I got
a story for you.
Remember last week
you laughed a lot?
Well, tonight,
you may cry a little.
See for yourself
on Grand Central.
I'll go make up with my cab.
See you later.
A-doo doo, dee dee dee...
Pa, it's only $4000.
Why, it's almost nothing.
I can pay you back
in a couple of years.
Looks nice.
And ready to go in.
Right in... Tight close-up.
Stand by to go to black.
30 seconds to credit.
Studio 12.
Thank you.
I thought so too.
It was terrific.
Thank you.
Who was it?
Studio 12.
Well, thank you.
Yes, thank you very much.
Um, yes, I'll tell everybody.
Well, I think we got a winner.
Studio 12.
Hey, Howard Prince!
Bravo! Bravo!
I usually don't
drink wine at lunch.
It makes me sleepy.
Yeah? So why don't you
just take a nap after?
I have to work.
Well, then,
you know, I think-
I think we should go out
on a Sunday night.
I think it'd be better.
But you don't like Sunday,
so what about Saturday?
What about Friday?
Regular night?
Howard, I really
ought to tell you.
I'm involved.
I don't understand.
What is that, are you married?
No, but involved.
So what?
I mean, you telling me
that you're one of those
"one guy at a time" people?
Yeah? Okay.
Here's what I say
to you-
we go out,
don't bring him along.
Okay, so what does he do?
What, is he a writer?
What, a musician?
A stockbroker?
Well, that's interesting.
You know...
He's very nice.
Yeah, I was not
knocking it, you know,
because you do what you can do.
You know, I...
I got to ask you.
Did you see my new script?
It's even better
than the last one.
Well, you should
see the next one.
It's very exciting for me
to watch a new talent emerging.
May I ask you
a personal question?
Sure, feel free.
Why did you
start writing so late?
Well... Because,
in order to write-
Excuse me.
You got to get experience,
and you got to live,
and life is experience...
So I had to, you know,
get that experience.
Well, here in the city?
You do come from here,
don't you?
Yeah, I come from here,
but I bummed around a lot.
I was a boxer and a seaman,
and all that stuff
you got to be to write.
What, you don't believe me?
Well, should I?
No, but I did bum around a lot.
What about you?
Not a lot.
No, I didn't mean it that way,
you know.
Where are you from?
That's... That's very ritzy.
It's very proper, anyway.
I was very well-bred.
We're the kind of family
where the biggest sin
was to raise your voice.
Oh, yeah?
In my family, the biggest sin
was to buy retail.
Well, do you guys laugh a lot?
You know,
you and the stockbroker.
Thank you.
The character of the girl
in your script...
You write about women so well,
with such understanding.
Hey, uh...
This is all a la carte.
So, what about tomorrow night?
I'd have to tell him.
I don't know
if I'm ready for that.
Come on.
So you go out with me once,
and then you'll know better.
What? What are you
laughing at?
You're so unexpected.
Well, I didn't
expect you, either.
You call yourself a writer?
Modern American writing
started with
Huckleberry Finn, dummy.
It did?
Hemingway said that.
How about Hemingway?
You're low
on the moderns-
Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson,
All right, give me-
give me two Hemingways
and a Faulkner.
Hemingway, Heming-
There we are.
The Russians-
Brothers Karamazov.
No more Dostoyevsky?
What else you got?
Diary of a Writer.
Oh, yeah?
I can use that.
Remember, Howard,
you got to pay for these.
No credit.
Don't worry.
Listen, Danny,
I got hit very hard last week.
Long shots come in
like relatives.
Well-Well, soon.
Soon is soon.
Tomorrow, the day after.
what are you mad about?
It's a promise. Trust me.
Come on, Myer.
Jesus, I'm still an unknown.
What am I talking about?
Five thousand, probably.
You're making as much as I am.
That's how much you know.
Where's taxes and agents?
I got to buy books and paper...
Money goes through you
like Epsom salts.
You're a sick individual.
I'll pay you back.
I just sold another script.
Don't play me
for a sucker, Howard.
A man earns
and he still borrows?
First you pay back what you owe.
My dad's in the study.
You want a drink?
Me? No, thanks.
You look tired.
Yeah, this was a tough one.
Shit, they're all tough.
But it turned out good, I think.
Yeah? You really
work hard, don't you?
It's a terrible thing,
that blacklist.
You know, you having
to work like this.
I always work like this.
To work.
I was thinking, there must be
a lot of writers
who are blacklisted.
So how do they get along?
I don't know.
You know, it must be hard.
Yeah, it's hard.
You know, it's funny.
I got them so snowed.
I mean, two writers
wouldn't be any harder than one.
Oh, yeah? You think not?
What do you have to know?
It's a cinch.
Why not three?
Yeah, even three.
10% each.
Well, I don't know.
I could do three for 25%.
Well, I wouldn't want you
to feel cheated.
All right, make it 10% each.
Oh. What's the matter?
You don't think that's fair?
Oh, no, I think it's a bargain.
Hey, I got the time.
You know writers who need help.
I'm willing to help.
Oh, cut the crap, Howard.
Why? I'm running around
every place.
I got to take taxis.
You know, I got
to keep up appearances.
You want the money.
Come on, I'm offering a deal.
What, are you
some kind of romantic?
You know, that's
the trouble with leftos.
You got a thing about money.
You want the deal?
I want it, but I know you.
You're going to take off
and fly right up your own ass.
I'm willing to help.
Take advantage.
All I can say, Howard,
is thanks.
Yeah, it's no trouble.
I'm a Communist, Howard.
I want you to know that
right off the bat.
The Committee asked me,
I took the Fifth.
It's none of their business,
but I'm telling you.
It's none of my business.
Well, I think you should know
who you're fronting for.
I don't have to know.
They're trying to sell
the Cold War, Howard.
They're using the blacklist
against anyone who won't buy.
Herb, he doesn't need a lecture.
I'll send you some pamphlets.
I'll break your arm.
Leave him alone.
He knows who he's mixed up with.
Who's mixed up?
What Herb means is
we're not blacklisted
because we're kind
to dumb animals
or because somebody
lied about us
or made a mistake.
I know, you're out of work.
That's all I have to know.
What about taxes?
That's going to be a problem.
You need a deductible?
Take my advice-
natural gas.
I heard cattle.
Cattle is also good.
Filet of sole.
Vegetable cutlet.
Mushroom omelet.
Protose steak.
Eat in good health.
All right, the network pays him,
he pays us, less the 10%, right?
Then we just pay all the taxes
that we owe.
Nothing illegal.
No tricks.
Everybody declares
exactly what he earned.
What's he paying us for?
He's got to put something down.
We're his collaborators.
If anyone reads the returns,
connects him with us...
Can't we protect him better?
The IRS isn't going to care
as long as
the right tax is paid.
The FBI will,
and they've been
looking at tax returns.
Only in political cases.
He's not political.
You guys kill me.
They're beating your brains out,
and you're worried about taxes?
We're worried about you.
Don't worry about me, okay?
Just write the script.
I'll take care of my end.
Five pounds, sweetheart.
Have a nice day.
Three hundred?
Howard, have an orange.
Thanks, Uncle Howard.
Thank you, Uncle Howard.
Thank you, Howard.
But I'm Harry Stone, the actor.
The other Harry Stone, the
director, he's the one you want.
I'm blacklisted because
they think I'm him.
I understand.
I never joined anything.
A terrible mistake
has been made.
I sympathize.
I can only help people
willing to make a clean breast
of what they've done.
But I haven't done anything.
That's why I can't help you.
Mr. Hampton
from the network.
Thank you. Yes, Torn?
Yes, I've got a report
on Howard Prince.
No, no proof he's a member
of the Party.
Of course,
no proof that he isn't.
I suggest I keep investigating.
Well, no, I don't have to.
I can send you a bill right now
and forget about it.
You're the one who has to answer
to the American people.
That's all I'm saying.
You can't be too careful
these days.
No, I don't suppose
anyone can object
if you keep using him.
Nothing to object to...
So far.
Thank you.
You can use him.
Thank God.
He's the best writer I've got.
Hell, he's
the only writer I've got.
I don't know how he does it.
What about Hecky Brown?
He wrote the letter.
It wasn't good enough.
It's not my decision, Phil.
They tell me, I tell you.
What do I tell Hecky?
You decided he's not
right for the part.
You've changed the character.
You've fired actors before.
Tell him what you told them.
He'll know it's not true.
Can he prove it?
I should get back to the office.
Well, why?
What's the rush?
You're having
a script conference.
That takes time.
Then we ought to talk
about the script.
Oh, later.
Come on.
Hey, what's the matter?
You're the only writer I know
who never wants
to talk about his work.
I'm superstitious.
No, you're not.
Yeah, I am.
The way I see it,
you're either a writer
or a talker.
You're genuinely modest.
I admire that.
What... What...
Do you like sports?
I'm embarrassing you.
No. Do you-
I'm serious.
What do you think of sports?
I like swimming.
No, swimming's not a sport.
Swimming's what you do
so you shouldn't drown,
you know, and sport
is what you play
with a ball.
I used to play basketball,
in school.
You played basketball?
You'd be interested maybe
in playing one-on-one
Or, you know, if you ever want
to lay a bet, I'm-
Jesus, forget that.
Hey, you know, I'm-
You know, I'm...
I'm not just a writer.
I mean, I-
I want you to, uh...
I want you
to know-
I know.
You know?
How I feel about you.
That's what you know?
I don't have
to know anything more.
It's first-class.
You know, I've never seen
an account like yours.
Up and down, up and down.
One week a big deposit,
the next week-
If you don't mind my asking,
what does a man like you do?
Uh, futures.
Mr. Delaney?
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
We'd like to talk to you.
I've got nothing to say to you.
We thought you might
be ready to cooperate.
Nobody has to know.
See you again,
Mr. Delaney.
Keep walking.
You're here!
He's here!
We've been trying all over.
Thank God.
What's the matter?
I said I'd bring it
to you today.
Forget that one.
What do you mean, forget it?
I said, forget it.
You've got to
rewrite the old one.
What old one?
The one with the flashbacks
to the concentration camp.
You said that was great.
It's beautiful.
Well, Florence said she cried.
The scenes in the gas chamber,
I cried.
So then what, then?
The sponsor won't approve it.
You found him.
First, they said yes.
Now they say no.
Right when we're in the middle
of dress rehearsal.
You want to know why?
They're a gas company.
They decided the show
makes gas look bad.
I think we'll
make it a firing squad.
They killed Jews that way too.
Leave it to Howard.
He's the writer.
What is the excitement?
They want changes, you know,
make it a firing squad.
You've got to write new scenes.
I'll go home and write them.
You don't have time.
I'll take a cab.
No, you don't realize.
Time is of the essence.
Look at us.
We're stuck here!
They're waiting upstairs
for the rewrite-
the network, the sponsor.
They don't approve,
there is no show!
They can't wait till tonight?
They want it now.
I'm supposed to keep you here
till it's done.
No, I can't write
except in my room.
We got a good office for you.
I guarantee you will not
be disturbed.
No, no, no.
I don't get inspired.
It doesn't have to be
inspired, only changed.
There really isn't
that much writing, Howard.
We have to be careful
not to lose the emotion.
Don't bother him with details.
He's got a lot of work to do.
Come on in.
Now, clear your mind and write.
Quiet, children. Quiet.
Boys and girls,
we have a very special visitor
to our assembly today.
Not long ago,
he sat in the same seats
you're sitting in now.
But because he worked hard,
and studied hard,
he is now
a famous television writer.
Hecky, um...
I don't know how to say this,
but I'm worried.
I'm not the only one.
Upstairs too.
Worried about what?
Here, Sussman, take a pickle.
No, no.
The show is a smash.
Yeah, well so far.
So far, so good.
I got to look ahead, Hecky.
Your quality, I don't know,
the character's not working.
I made up the character.
You loved it.
First impression was tremendous.
Don't get me wrong.
You think so too?
It's not her decision.
What decision?
I think you're wonderful, Hecky,
so does everyone else.
No one denies your talent.
Your personality
is too dominant.
You belong out front,
like Berle,
in one.
In a dramatic series,
you're throwing
the whole show off balance.
Who says?
A talent like yours needs room.
You know what you need, Hecky?
You need a show of your own,
where you can dominate.
As a matter of fact,
I got a few ideas.
We'll make some time,
get together,
and kick them around.
Is it the letter?
Absolutely not.
I wrote what that snake
asked me to write!
Wouldn't I tell you?
The problem is artistic.
Female of the species.
No, I think
you have to safely say
that Grand Central
is one of the few
television shows
where the writer
is really the star.
Yeah, but there's, you know,
there is a lot
of other people too.
You know, I mean
wonderful people.
I certainly understand
the importance of actors
and then, of course, directors.
Did you write in high school?
Did I write in high school?
Yeah, you had to.
It was Brooklyn.
Is that correct?
It was formerly Brooklyn.
Oh, Hecky!
You know,
I went around and I-
But the television form
is so different.
Oh, you know it.
And you're so terrific at it.
Well, you know, I didn't say it.
I wrote what you asked.
I was duped.
I didn't know what I was doing.
I'll never do it again.
What more can I say?
That's up to you.
I have to work.
I can't get work, Mr. Hennessy.
The doors are closed in my face.
My own agent, 30 years,
he won't even
answer my telephone calls.
I appreciate your situation.
I do, Mr. Brown.
I've helped people
in your situation.
Then help me, please.
Tell me.
I'll turn myself inside out.
I'll do everything
you tell me to do.
You make that difficult
to believe.
What else can I do?
I'll do it, believe me.
You don't know
what I'm going through.
I'd like to believe you,
but I have the feeling
you're not being entirely frank.
Give me a "for instance."
You'll see. I promise.
You marched in a May Day parade.
Only because of that girl
with the big ass.
Whose name you say
you can't remember.
Oh, what was her name?
Tessie? Bessie?
I wasn't interested in her name.
I was interested in her body.
Other people
marched in that parade,
other actors, directors.
You don't remember their names
I'm terrible with names.
They remember you.
I'm a well-known personality.
You talked with these people?
Some of them.
Some were kind enough
to write letters.
Then you know who they are.
So it's not so important
that I remember.
You know already.
Your sincerity is important,
your desire to cooperate fully.
I told you what I did!
I apologized!
I come to you
on my hands and knees,
Mr. Hennessy.
Please. All I want
to do is work.
That's all I care about.
I have a wife...
Two growing boys.
Plus a wife from before.
If the alimony doesn't come...
I sold my car last week
for peanuts.
A brand-new model.
All the money I made,
I ask myself,
where did it go so fast?
I can't pay the rent,
Mr. Hennessy.
Nothing can go out
if it doesn't come in.
Do you know Howard Prince?
I was on the show.
A big talent. Big.
Do you know him personally?
Only from the show.
Once in a while,
a bite to eat afterwards.
Do you think you could
get to know him better?
I'm not good
at that sort of thing.
Actors, inside,
you'd be surprised,
are very shy.
He knows you already.
You're very likable.
I'm sure he feels sympathy
for you.
What could I find out?
Who his friends are.
What he does in his spare time.
Where he stands
on the issues of the day.
Can't you ask him that yourself?
If he were a part
of the Communist conspiracy,
could we believe what he said?
And if he isn't?
We'd like you
to help us find out.
You want me to spy
on Howard Prince?
We are in a war, Mr. Brown,
against a ruthless
and tricky enemy
who will stop at nothing
to destroy our way of life.
To be a spy
on the side of freedom
is an honor.
And if I spy on Howard Prince,
I can work?
I don't do the hiring,
Mr. Brown.
I only advise about Americanism.
But in my opinion,
as the sign of a true patriot,
it would certainly help.
I quit.
Quit, quit, finished.
Resigned... Quit.
Let Sussman
do his own dirty work.
I won't be part of it.
No more, not anymore.
watching people destroyed,
crucified like Hecky.
I'm going to fight it.
I don't understand.
What are you talking about?
Howard, this is beautiful.
You quit your job?
I feel so relieved.
You have no idea.
I've been such a hypocrite
to take their money
and keep my mouth shut.
I still don't understand.
You quit your job?
They count on
our silence, you know.
People keeping quiet,
afraid to speak up.
Do you know
what I'm going to do?
Publish a newspaper.
Well, anyway,
a pamphlet-
Facts About Blacklists.
Do you like the title?
I've been on the phone
all morning.
People are dying to talk,
as long as
I don't use their names.
Oh, Howard, we'll shake them up.
I'll do the legwork
and you'll do the writing.
Hey, not so fast.
you're making a big mistake.
I believe in personal
responsibility, Howard.
If you believe, act.
Oh, but I don't under-
You're throwing away
a whole career.
You-You-You could-
You're a terrific script editor.
You could be a producer.
You'd be
the first woman producer
of a dramatic series.
If I keep my mouth shut.
So? That's not such
a terrible idea sometimes.
But that's what
they're counting on.
Florence, do me a favor.
Please, sit down.
Sit down.
Relax, will you?
You're going off the deep end.
Jesus, let me give you
some champagne.
I'm serious, Howard.
What do you mean you're serious?
You come bursting in here,
you're ready
to start a revolution.
For God's sake, Florence,
what are you trying to do?
I want us to fight them,
not get bought off.
I'm not mad at anybody.
We live in the world, Howard.
No, you live in the world,
I live right here.
Hey, come on,
what are you trying to do to me?
You know how long
it took me to get here?
I like it here.
I like what I'm doing.
For the first time in my life,
I got everything that I want.
I'm not trying
to take it away from you.
No, but that's
what's going to happen.
Howard, I'm only talking
about a simple commitment.
I didn't ask you to marry me.
Oh, Jesus, you know,
we got such a terrific
relationship going.
So why do you want to spoil it?
A relationship isn't
only sex, you know.
There are more important
I know there are.
Like what?
Human rights.
What about my rights?
I'm human.
What happened to my rights
all of a sudden?
I live here, it's clean...
Come on, what are you
putting me on the spot for?
You really want success,
don't you?
So, what should I want,
a disease?
Yes, I want success.
What's wrong with that?
More than anything else?
Florence, you're looking
to get me killed here.
I'm a writer.
I'm not looking for
any kind of trouble.
I don't want to make waves.
A writer looks for trouble.
No. Wrong.
A lunatic looks for trouble.
Florence, you're crazy.
You're behaving crazy.
You're out of your mind.
You've already said that.
There's really no need
in your repeating yourself.
I want you to go in
to Sussman tomorrow,
and tell him that
you made a mistake.
I should tell him?
Exactly. You should
go in and tell him
that you're sorry
and you should-
But I'm not sorry.
Florence, I don't think
you know exactly
what's good for you.
But I do know when
I've made a mistake,
and I made this kind
of a mistake before,
confusing the artist
with the man.
I just want you to know
I still admire the artist.
You're going?
I have a this club date
in the mountains.
I thought maybe
you could drive me.
Sure, you couldn't have
called me at a better time.
You know, when you work
as hard as I do,
you've got to make time
to relax.
Otherwise it's all work
and no play.
I guess you have
a lot of friends.
Me? The usual.
I like to pick up a phone,
get out, have a little fun,
but the important thing
is that you've got
to get right back to basics.
What do you like to do
in your spare time?
The usual.
The usual?
I used to love the usual,
but my ship has sailed.
Watch your step
around this place.
The broads up here,
take a look at them,
and you say to yourself,
"Where's this been
all my life?"
They come at you
from all directions.
It's like shooting fish
in a barrel.
Later on, you find out
you're the fish.
Yeah, well, don't
worry about me.
Don't make any promises.
These broads come up here
with their lawyers.
Yeah? You play
these places much?
Until I got in TV.
Do you know what I used
to get for one night?
Three grand.
That should come in handy now.
Do you know what
I'm getting tonight?
That doesn't seem fair.
And where is it written
it should be fair?
Come on, Howie,
you must have some friends
in the same position.
it's a pleasure.
How long? A year?
Two years?
It's a pleasure having you back.
Likewise. I'd like you
to meet my friend,
Howard Prince,
the great and famous writer.
Pleasure, Howard.
Any friend of Hecky's.
Come on, we'll go inside,
have a little drink.
I never drink before a show.
We'll have a little talk.
How's everything?
Oh, it's Hecky Brown!
Would you please
park my car for me?
Thank you.
You staying long?
Just the weekend.
You too?
What do you do?
I'm a...
A writer.
A writer.
You'll have a drink, Howard?
Here we go.
To a giant
of the entertainment world.
Business looks good, Sam.
Full up.
Loss leaders.
We give discounts so the
rooms won't stay empty.
To tell you the truth,
we're not even holding our own.
The upkeep, which comes
to what I want to mention.
The $500.
I already accepted, Sam.
I don't need your song
and dance.
You promised five.
I was hoping five.
I figured I'd steal a little
from the band,
from the dance team,
make it up that way,
but you know the unions.
They could shut me down.
You knew this
when you said five.
I was still hoping.
Last year I played this joint
for how much?
All right, today
is not like last year,
but I'm still Hecky Brown.
Don't you forget that.
You can't get Hecky Brown
for 250.
Maybe 300...
Out of my own pocket.
I piss on your 300!
Who else is offering that much?
Don't be foolish.
Face facts.
There's a cloud over your head.
If it was up to me personally,
I'd pay you the moon,
but business is business.
Now, you drove
all the way up here.
You want to go home empty?
Take the 250.
You said 300.
I'll see what I can do.
I need to be funny
Like some need cocaine
In a club
In a show
And the john in the train
When I enter, I entertain
Doing anything for a laugh
A laugh, a laugh
A laugh
Anything for a laugh
You were great.
You were really great.
Let's stop this pretense.
Room 904.
Isn't he fantastic?
I could watch him every night.
He's so hilarious.
You a guest here?
What do you do?
I'm a dentist.
I'm Sandy.
Herman Miller.
You have your own practice?
Yes, I do, but I got to get
another guy in with me,
because it's getting too big.
Are you, by any chance,
Only to my work.
Hecky, Hecky, what can I say.
I'm a well-known
Words fail me.
One of the great performances.
You can tell your children,
your grandchildren,
you saw one
of the all-time greats
without peer.
I did what I could.
But you said 300.
Maybe next month.
Out of your own pocket.
By popular demand.
What comes out of your pocket?
Tell me.
Hecky, will you stop?
Hecky, stop.
Tell me what's inside here.
Hecky, don't tickle me.
Hecky, will you stop
being so-
Appreciation? Sympathy?
Hecky, Hecky-
What comes out of your pockets?
You know what comes out
of your pockets?
What! Blood!
Blood comes out of your pocket!
Get him out of here!
Get this crazy-
I want to kill you,
you son of a-
I want to-
Get him out!
Get him out of here!
Out! Out!
Get him out! Get him out!
I want to-
I want to-
Get him out of here!
You fat pig.
You'll never work again!
I'm Hecky Brown!
I'm Hecky Brown!
You'll crawl in the gutter,
you red bastard!
You commie son of a bitch!
Come on.
Give me that.
Here's what I want you to do.
I want you to sleep
on the sofa tonight,
because you'll find
it's extremely comfortable.
It's brand-new.
You're going to like this.
Just stay here...
And, uh, open the window...
Let me make you
some coffee, okay?
It's all Brownstein's fault.
I wouldn't be in this trouble
if it wasn't for Brownstein.
Yeah, who?
Hershel Brownstein.
Who's Hershel Brownstein?
You can't make a deal with him.
That's the trouble.
He won't listen to reason.
Is that your real name?
Hershel Brownstein?
Lay off,
you hear me?
Lay off or I'll kill you!
Jesus, you know,
people change their names.
It's no crime.
What do you know?
Who the hell are you?
A newcomer.
Why don't you sit down?
Why don't you shut up?
You think you're so special?
Talent is no protection.
You do as they say or else.
I'm going to make you
some coffee.
This is a very nice
apartment. Very nice.
Thank you.
You have nice things.
Bookcases, hi-fi...
And nice furniture.
You like this apartment, I bet.
You worked hard for it.
You deserve it.
You'd like to keep
this apartment, right?
You know what we should do?
We should call your wife,
because you should
tell her, at least,
where you are tonight.
Where'd you go last week?
Nowhere is somewhere.
From the heart, please.
No credit unless
it's from the heart.
Here and there, you know.
Like, around and about.
What do you want me to say?
Where'd you go last year?
Year before, who'd you see?
Where did you march?
What did you sign?
That girl you go with,
on the show, what's her name?
A troublemaker.
I heard her talking.
Subversive. She's a red.
You like that girl?
Yes, I like her.
What's her name?
I told you.
Her full name.
Florence Barrett.
You know she's a red?
Stop it, Hecky.
I don't like this game.
Actually, I think you could say
that modern American fiction
began with Huckleberry Finn.
But what about Melville?
Especially today,
the sense of evil.
Oh, yeah. How could you
leave out Melville?
You must be so excited,
the show going from
a half-hour to an hour.
I was expecting it.
With those ratings?
After all, they're
no fools up there.
Do you think you can get
the same quality in an hour?
Well, it is a problem,
no doubt about it.
It's like going from
a short story to a novel,
but one thing I've learned
in this business,
if you've got the talent,
you got the quality.
Phil. Howard.
I want you
to meet Hubert Jackson.
Jackson Supermarkets,
you know, out on the island.
Congratulations, gentlemen.
Thank you.
Hubert's a great fan
of your show.
Never miss it.
Thanks again.
But he's a little concerned
about some of the actors
that you've been using.
We go for the best,
Mr. Jackson.
Well, in my opinion,
some of them are pretty pink,
Mr. Sussman.
That's just the makeup.
I told Hubert
that we are
as concerned as he is.
Not that they are,
of course. The actors.
We take every precaution.
The slightest hint.
I know my customers.
If they think a company
is sponsoring reds,
they just don't buy
their product.
How do they know?
I tell them.
Put a sign right up
over the product.
Yes, I thought you might
send Hubert
a list of the actors
you plan to use.
Let him look them over,
give you any ideas he has.
You'll get full cooperation
from us, Hubert.
Nothing to worry about.
Thanks, boys.
How many stores that guy got?
Three, maybe four.
He's got three stores,
he tells a whole network
who to hire?
Who wants trouble?
Nice to see you again,
Mr. Prince.
Here's your check, Herb.
Here you go, Bill.
And yours didn't come yet, Allie.
Because you were late
with the script, remember?
You got to watch that.
Oh, by the way...
Here's your script back.
It needs a rewrite, I'm afraid.
What didn't Sussman like?
Well, I didn't show it to him.
What do you mean,
you didn't show it to him?
It wasn't ready.
Come on, Allie.
You know.
I can't hand in
anything, you know.
My name's going on that script.
I got a reputation.
I'll try to write
up to your standards, Howard.
You know, it's possible
that maybe going to an hour
is a little too much
pressure for you guys,
because I've been
noticing the stuff lately,
and it's thin, fellows.
You know what I mean?
The key word, I think,
is "substance."
I've been reading
what you-
the Eugene O'Neill plays,
and I would like, if possible,
something more
along those lines.
But more laughs.
Exactly, you know, but gutsy.
Incidentally, I think-
I think I made a deal
for a new series.
Well, we've got our hands
full here, Howard.
So you put on
a couple more writers.
I mean, I need a pilot script.
How about Eugene O'Neill?
He's dead, Herb.
What's the subject?
It's a woman reporter,
which, I think, is a great idea.
You know, and I got
the perfect actress
to play the Pa"-
Her and a Howard Prince script.
We'll look around for somebody.
Right, but good, Bill, good,
because blacklisted
is not enough.
Scrambled eggs, loose.
White fish.
Let's see...
Eggplant steak.
Eat in good health.
I'm going to kill you.
I'm going to kill him.
You little rat.
Hey, hey, AI,
take it easy, please.
Look, this is ridiculous,
because I've been
calling you now
for three weeks,
and you don't answer me.
Nothing, you know, and I mean,
what's the big deal?
We had a little argument.
We don't think alike, Howard.
We don't believe
in the same things.
Jesus. What, do you think
I like the blacklist?
I hate the blacklist.
But you...
Did I send money
for your pamphlet?
Giving money is easy.
Oh, yeah, what's easy for you
is not always easy
for everybody else.
You know, you see trouble,
and right away
you run to get a gun.
Or a pamphlet, you know...
I'm just looking all the time
not to get killed, that's all.
So is that
such a big difference?
We have to break up over that?
Yeah, maybe we do.
So, what do you say?
You want to stay broken up?
You think I want
to make you lose everything.
You think I'm intolerant
and demanding,
and maybe I am, but that's me.
Well, then...
Then I need more time,
because I've never
met anybody like you,
you know?
Hey, I tried to get us tickets
to the Paul Robeson
concert, you know,
but it happened to come
on the same night as the
basketball game, so...
We'll go to a
basketball game, right?
I have tickets for the concert.
All right,
so here's what-
I'll give up the tickets
to the basketball game,
and you give up the tickets
to the concert,
and we'll go to dinner.
Florence, I miss you.
I miss you too.
So we'll have a date.
A subpoena?
For me?
To appear before
the House
Un-American Committee.
Well, what do you mean?
How do you know?
They found out upstairs.
It hasn't been issued yet,
but any minute now.
But I'm not a communist.
So you go and tell them that.
I tell you. isn't that enough?
Howard, you've got to go.
I don't like it
any more than you do,
but if you don't do it,
you don't work.
Why don't they all just go away
and let us do the show?
Who needs this?
You know, Phil...
I didn't believe Florence
when she told me that about you.
That crazy broad.
You know, because I know
it was very tough
for you to fire Hecky...
I had a migraine for a week.
Phil, it just takes one guy
to say no to them.
Just one.
What can I do, Howie?
You can be that guy.
No, I'm serious.
If just one person says no...
You know, especially
a guy like you.
You're respected,
you got a big name...
Tell them no.
Who the hell are they?
Come on, Phil, take a stand.
The real you.
Get me Hampton.
Hello, Tom? Phil.
There is no reason Howard Prince
has to go to that committee.
That's right.
It's our network.
Who the hell are they,
telling us what to do,
giving us orders?
No, no, no.
You listen to me.
He doesn't have to go.
What are we, sheep?
We make a stand, Tom.
We tell them
to lay off his back.
We tell them
to stop threatening.
Piss off, or they're in trouble.
We fight, Torn.
We show them there are
some people they can't scare.
We tell them flat out,
"Howard Prince doesn't go."
You got to go.
Howard, you've got
nothing to worry about.
Nothing to worry about at all.
You see, we've dealt
with the committee before,
and they're, well, they're
really very understanding.
They understand our problems
and we understand theirs.
And what about my problems?
You're cooperating.
That's all they care about.
Now, this friend of yours,
Alfred Miller?
We went to school together.
And you had no idea
that he was a communist?
He was only 12.
You have no idea now?
We never talk about politics.
Let's see, now. The two men,
Delaney and Phelps?
They're friends of Allie's.
All right.
And the girl, Florence Barrett?
That's just sex.
Is that why you gave money
to her pro-communist
You know, we were going out,
and she wanted
to start a magazine,
so how was I supposed
to know what kind?
That's hardly credible,
Mr. Prince.
Uh, Mr. Hennessy...
You and your staff
have done a splendid job.
The network
appreciates your efforts,
but Mr. Prince is being
entirely cooperative.
I think that I can handle
the legal end.
Thank you very much for coming.
Good luck, Mr. Prince.
Howard, don't mind him.
He's only doing his job.
I still don't see
why we can't fix it.
You know, I mean,
like pay somebody off,
because how much-
how much could it cost?
Because they're
just congressman.
It won't be necessary.
You see, they've agreed
to an executive session.
No reporters, no publicity.
As a matter of fact,
you won't even have
to go to Washington.
They'll send
a subcommittee here.
Now, what we'll do
is write you a strong
anti-communist statement
to go along with your testimony.
You will be out of there
in no time at all.
Take my word for it.
Howard, all they want
11s a friendly witness.
So I'll be a friendly witness.
Hi, Howard.
Is he here?
Hey, very nice.
You got to lay off health foods.
Jesus, when are they going
to operate,
get rid of that ulcer already?
Then how am I going
to know when I'm mad?
Nobody knows how
to relax anymore, right?
You got to kind of roll
with the punches.
What about the subpoena?
Don't worry about a thing.
Did they write
a statement for you?
I'd let you read it,
only you'd start bleeding again.
Don't worry about it, really.
You just-You know,
take care of yourself.
Worry about who's going
to write the scripts
while you're in here.
We've got a very good writer.
You won't be ashamed.
Named by his own brother-in-law.
Visiting hours are over.
I'm Dr. Prince.
This is a consultation,
you know.
These are my associates.
Howard, why do you think
they want you to testify?
I'm a feather in their cap.
I'm a big writer.
Howard Prince.
Why do you think
they want you to name names?
They've already got our names.
Why do they need you
to tell them again?
So it makes them look good.
So what?
Howard, they don't care
about names.
They care about getting
people to give names.
They want to show
there's nothing
they can't get people to do.
Fellows, if I don't cooperate,
you don't work. Nobody works.
Is that what you want?
Maybe we're laying
too much on him.
Why should he take the rap?
Because I want him to know
what he's doing.
I'm helping.
You're helping them.
No, I'm using them.
I'm-I'm smarter than they are.
Howard, the time
for this bullshit is over.
Who does it hurt
if I'm friendly?
Where is the personal crime?
I tell them that
you're my friend
from public school.
They-They already
got your name.
You said that yourself.
He's right.
They can't do
anything more to us.
Why can't he just cooperate?
Tell them the truth?
He won't have to.
The network's made a deal.
He says the committee's great,
they leave him alone.
Yes, and everybody
gets what he wants.
That's what this is about,
right? Stop worrying.
You know, they want publicity.
They want Howard Prince
as an example to scare people.
To shut them up.
I think he should
take the Fifth.
They'll blacklist him,
he takes the Fifth.
What's the Fifth?
The Fifth Amendment.
Your right
not to incriminate yourself.
Why do I have to take anything?
It's all fixed.
They might ask you questions
you don't want to answer.
But if you already answered one,
like did you know Alfred,
you don't have that right
Then, if you don't answer,
they can cite you for contempt.
Yeah, but I'm going to answer.
Maybe he should.
What can he tell them?
I don't trust the committee
or the network.
Take the Fifth.
I don't want to take the Fifth.
You can't cooperate!
Don't be a loser all your life.
You quit looking for an out!
Look, do not aggravate yourself.
You want that milk now?
Oh... Howard.
You did a big favor
for all of us.
I don't have to tell you that.
Who's asking?
You saved our ass.
Don't you think I know that?
You did what a friend does.
If I cooperate,
your ass is saved again.
You can't be on their side.
So, all right, fine.
What do I do?
I tell the committee
to shove it?
So then, you don't work,
nobody works.
You let me worry about that.
Yeah, and what about me?
What-What do I do?
Go back to the cash register?
I can't believe this guy.
You're laying here,
you can't use your name,
you're bleeding,
and you're telling me
what to do?
Al, can we ask him
to do what
he doesn't believe in?
Protect yourself.
Take the Fifth.
You know, you're always
looking for a middle
you can dance around in.
Well, I'm telling you,
this time
there isn't any middle,
and you can't lay
any of it off on us.
Whatever you do,
you're doing for yourself.
Open up in the name of the law!
Get out your guns, men.
Nobody move.
This is a raid.
Everybody, everybody out.
We understand you have
a girl in your room.
If not, why not?
Do you have
a little tootsie for me?
Have we met before?
You know you scared me?
I was in the neighborhood
and suddenly
everything went black.
Am I disturbing you?
Are you kidding?
If you really want to know,
I came to apologize
for that terrible night.
I wasn't myself.
You had every right.
Two rights don't make a wrong.
I gave you a hard time
and I'm sorry.
Silly. Have a drink.
Before the sun
is over the yardarm? Never.
A wee touch of scotch.
How's it going?
Not bad. Club dates.
Out of town, but not bad.
Scranton, Allentown, Altoona.
You didn't know
I was a big hit in Pennsylvania,
but my wife found a job,
the kids eat,
we all have our health.
To a prince of a Prince.
You know, I never learned
how to sip a drink.
When I was very little,
every evening before supper,
my father would pour
a shot glass full of whiskey,
mumble a prayer...
And down it went.
I thought that was the way
you drank.
How are things going with you?
I hear terrific.
It's nice when nice happens
to somebody nice.
It doesn't happen too often.
Are you sure
I'm not being a nuisance?
Of course not.
Did you know Johnny Parker,
the actor?
Mm-mm. No.
He couldn't get arrested.
Wife, three kids,
you can imagine.
He drove a cab for a while.
Finally gave that up.
He came from someplace out west.
Oklahoma, Texas,
some place like that.
He owned a little farm
that his father left him.
He showed me the pictures.
You'd go crazy
in a place like that.
But he could grow his own food,
so he went back.
We had a party for him.
Everybody cried.
Six months later,
right in the middle
of that miserable property,
they struck oil!
You're kidding.
Honest to God. Oil!
He's a millionaire.
So you see...
Every little cloud
has got a silver lining
Come on, let me
make you another drink.
No, no, no, not really.
I came, I apologized.
It's time to go.
Well, you know,
what we should do
is we should
have dinner sometime.
I'd like that very much.
Well, what about tonight?
Tonight? No, no, I'm busy.
So, all right,
so what I should-
I'll call you.
Don't call us, we'll call you.
If I had a buck
for every time
they said that to me
when I first started...
Of course,
I don't have to tell you
later on,
the shoe was on the other foot.
Well, I really will call.
I know you will.
I was making a joke.
You don't mind
I came without phoning?
Come on, are you kidding?
Well, some people mind.
You're a good man.
You know what I think I'll do?
I'll call you tomorrow.
Take care of yourself.
The water is full of sharks.
Thank you, sir.
Where have you been?
I was so worried about you.
I called
and there was no answer.
You know, I was just
walking around.
Are you all right?
You know, I've been thinking
about a lot of stuff.
Well, I saved you your dinner.
I kept it warm for you.
Do you want a drink?
Yeah, but just a drink.
I saw you at the funeral today.
You did?
I didn't see you.
Well, I couldn't handle it.
I couldn't handle it either.
You're lucky you're a writer...
and not an actor.
At least with a writer,
if he gets blacklisted,
he can always still write.
An actor, what's he going to do
if he can't show his face?
How would you feel
if I was-
if I was not a writer?
Howard, I know you.
Whatever else
you might have to do
to survive,
you'll find time to write.
Well, but suppose
I said that, uh...
that I was not a writer.
I know you as a writer.
I love you.
I'm not a writer.
Don't be a defeatist.
Other guys wrote
those scripts, not me.
I put my name on them.
They were blacklisted.
I was helping them out.
It's my name and their scripts.
That's a very bizarre statement.
I'm not a writer, Florence.
I'm a front.
I front for blacklisted writers.
You're not a writer?
No. I... I...
I couldn't write a grocery list.
You never wrote
any of those scripts?
Nothing. Not one.
I'm practically illiterate.
You never wrote anything?
Hey... Jesus.
Don't get
I'm not confessing to a murder.
Look at you.
Look, you're all white.
Let me get you a drink.
I don't want a drink.
You know, you should
put your head
between your legs, I think.
You let me think
that you were-
Well, why not?
What did you want me to do?
For God's sake,
I was like a spy.
Did you want to?
Did I want to?
Of course I wanted to.
You think I liked lying to you?
Come on, Florence,
you know that lying
is not in my nature.
I don't believe
this is happening.
I have to testify.
Try and keep your mind on that.
But it's like
you're a complete stranger.
So we got off on the wrong foot.
The wrong foot?
I was sworn to secrecy.
For God's sake,
we're on the same side.
Didn't you trust me?
I wasn't allowed.
Well, did you think
I'd lose interest in you?
You were in love with a writer.
Interested in you?
I don't even know you.
You know, I shouldn't
have said anything
because now you're
totally hysterical.
Nobody is hysterical.
When were you going
to mention it?
When we were 90?
I mentioned it tonight.
Because you're in trouble.
Yes, I'm in trouble,
for a very good reason.
Who was I spying for, Hitler?
I was helping
blacklisted writers.
Think about that for a minute.
You lied to me.
What are you really, a druggist?
You want to know what I was?
I ran a cash register.
You were a cashier?
That's exactly
what I mean. See?
Unless it's a writer
or an artist,
you know, catch you
in bed with a cashier...
That's not fair.
You wouldn't have
looked twice at me.
It is not what someone does,
it is who he is.
And you don't even know
who I am.
Did you ever give me the chance?
I'm giving you right now.
All right.
Who are you?
I still don't know who you are.
I only know who you're not.
Who is Howard Prince?
Hey, Florence,
I got to tell you,
you know, it's not easy
being in love with you.
You know why?
Because what you're
looking for all the time
is, like, a knight
on a horse or something,
which is not Howard Prince.
You know who Howard Prince is?
I'll tell you.
Howard Prince is his own man.
What does that mean?
Well, I think
you're going to find out
when I come back
from the committee tomorrow.
What am I going to find?
You said it was all fixed.
Well, I've been
thinking about it.
You know, everybody's
telling me what to do.
But, you know,
I don't see why I have to.
What are you going to do?
Well, I'll work something out.
Are you going to tell them
that you're not a writer?
I'm going to tell them
exactly what
I want to tell them.
Howard, that committee
is dangerous.
They're out for blood.
You can't fool around.
Take my word for it.
All those people, Allie
and Sussman and everything,
they're wrong,
because I can
beat that committee,
and I can beat them my own way.
Hey, what's the difference?
I'm telling you,
I'm not going to wind up
back at that cash register.
Take my word for it.
And I'm not going to do anything
that makes you ashamed of me.
Trust me.
Can you trust me?
And we would like
to thank this committee
for allowing Mr. Prince
to appear
and voice his approval
of the great work
that you're doing
for our country.
Communist subversion
is a real and present danger,
and you can rest assured
that it will never be tolerated
on the network
that both
Mr. Prince and I
have the honor to represent.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, sir.
This committee is here
to help keep America
just as pure
as we possibly can make it.
Well, I can't think
of anything more important.
Well, I would like
to commend this committee
on the job that they're doing.
Thank you.
Just a few questions,
Mr. Prince.
We know you're a busy man.
Mr. Prince,
do you happen to know
an Alfred Miller?
Alfred Miller.
If you'd just
tell the committee...
So I can't know why?
Mr. Prince,
you don't have to worry.
Anyone that comes here
and tells the truth
has got nothing to worry about.
Which Alfred Miller?
Do you know Alfred Miller,
the writer?
Uh, when you say "know,"
uh... you know, can you ever
really know a person?
I think, you know-
I grew up with an Alfred Miller,
but do I know him?
Would you say, do I know him?
Can you know-
In a biblical sense, know him?
Am I right?
Would that be the same
Alfred Miller
you met with several times
in Hammer's Dairy Restaurant?
Who says I did?
Is it or is it not true?
No, I asked you first.
Is it true?
I don't understand. Is anybody
accusing me of anything?
If you would
answer the question...
Which question?
You asked one question.
I answered that question,
and then-
Do you know Alfred Miller?
You already asked that question.
Howard, what are you doing?
What do you mean?
I'm handling it.
Don't worry.
You're under oath.
If you don't answer,
they can hold you for contempt.
Well, I am answering.
I'm just not replying,
that's all.
Oh, don't split hairs.
But they can only get me
if I don't answer.
If I answer without replying,
I got them.
But you're getting them mad.
So what? What can
they do, throw me out?
Do you know Alfred Miller?
Hey, are you guys aware
of the fact
that every week,
busloads of communists
are coming in over the border?
I mean, is anybody
doing anything about that?
We are not concerned
at this time
with anything other
than the communist conspiracy
in the entertainment world.
But how come?
Why aren't we doing
something about it?
I mean,
why isn't everybody armed?
You know, everybody
should learn to use a gun.
I think it's a big mistake
that anyone who goes
to military school-
You send them there
when they're bad.
Mr. Prince, this committee
is just as concerned
about the threat of communism
as you are.
Since your memory is unclear
about Alfred Miller,
do you know any of these
other people?
William Phelps...
Herbert Delaney...
Florence Barrett...
Hershel Brownstein,
also known as Hecky Brown?
He's dead.
Did you know him?
Mr. Prince...
Now, you came here
to cooperate today,
did you not?
Will you excuse us a moment,
Mr. Prince?
I thought we had an arrangement.
With the network.
I think he's
doing this by himself.
Why don't we
hit him with contempt?
He's not giving us grounds.
We can't let him get away
with this.
He hasn't even
taken an amendment.
There's got to be something
you can nail him on.
Mr. Prince,
let me ask you another question.
Do you know a Patrick Callahan?
at the Friendly Tavern,
where, I believe,
you once worked
as a night cashier.
I did?
Do you know Daniel LaGattuta?
Doesn't he sell fruit?
You placed bets for Mr. Callahan
and Mr. LaGattuta,
did you not?
In... In a-
In a strictly friendly way.
I remind you that placing bets
is a crime.
Howard, is this true?
You were a bookmaker?
Not professionally.
Oh, my God.
Uh, Mr. Chairman,
may I have a word
with you, please?
They're willing to make a deal.
Give them names, right?
They're being very reasonable.
You don't have to give them
more than one.
Yeah, which one?
Well, it's up to you.
Look, they've got you
over a barrel.
You can go to jail.
What's one name?
If it bothers you,
give them Hecky Brown.
He's dead anyway.
What difference does it make?
A token is all they want.
Something to show
your cooperation, that's all.
Is the witness ready to proceed?
Yes, ready,
Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Prince, I ask you,
for the record,
did you know Hershel Brownstein?
Howard, you'll go to jail.
Also known as Hecky Brown?
Be practical.
Did you know this man
as either Brown or Brownstein?
Either name will do,
Mr. Prince.
Tell them.
Brown or Brownstein?
Just the name.
Are you refusing to answer?
Will you talk?
I don't recognize
the right of this committee
to ask me these kind
of questions.
And, furthermore,
you can all go fuck yourselves.
Fairy tales can come true
It can happen to you
If you're young at head
For it's hard, you will find
To be narrow of mind
If you're young at head
You can go to extremes
with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams
fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting
with each passing day
And love is either
in your heart
Or on its way
Don't you know that it's worth
every treasure on earth
To be young at head?
For as rich as you are
it's much better by far
To be young at heart
And if you should survive
to a hundred and five
Look at all you'll derive
out of being alive
And here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among
the very young at heart
And if you should survive
to a hundred and five
Look at all you'll derive
out of being alive
And here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among
the very young...
At heart