The House on Telegraph Hill (1951) Movie Script

This is San Francisco
as it looks from Telegraph Hill.
And this is the house
on Telegraph Hill...
where I once thought I would find
peace and contentment.
This is how it looks today,
but my story begins 11 years ago...
and 7,000 miles away
in another house near Warsaw...
in my native Poland.
My name is Victoria Kowelska...
and this was my home.
It looked like this in 1939
when my husband came home on leave.
And this is what was left
after the Germans had passed.
In one stroke,
I had lost my husband...
my home,
everything I held dear...
and had become one of the thousands
of miserable strays...
who were herded into prisons
and concentration camps.
- How the will to live survives
in a place like Belsen...
I do not know.
But I wanted to live.
I was determined to...
and I was just as determined that my
friend Karin Dernakova should live too.
I had met Karin, a fellow countrywoman,
in the camp.
But she was sick and frail-
too frail for the life of that camp.
And she had more to live for
than most of us.
Her infant son had been smuggled out
of Poland just before the war...
to an aunt in San Francisco.
And if she ever lived through this,
she would join them.
Just think, Vicki.
He's talking and walking by now.
And if he would see me...
he wouldn't even know me.
Please, Karin,
you must eat.
You must keep up
your strength.
What's the use, Vicki?
We'll never get out of here.
I'll never see
my Christopher again.
Hey! Let go!
You dirty hypocrite! You don't care
about her any more than I do!
You only stick to her like a leech
because she has rich relatives in America.
Oh! Oh!
Don't think she's going to
take care of you when we get out of here.
- Don't listen to her.
- She'll never get out of here alive!
None of us will ever
get out of here alive!
We are going to get out.
We are.
Eat your food.
You will come to America
with me, Vicki, won't you?
Aunt Sophie has
a big house on the hill.
She lives there alone
with my Christopher.
She will be glad if I bring you,
because you've helped me so much.
Oh, Karin.
Karin was my friend...
Karin was my friend...
and I fought for her survival
as I fought for my own.
But in the end, I was beaten.
I had done
everything I could for her.
I stole food, medicine...
and I fought off
the others.
I had tried to keep her mind filled only
with thoughts of her son and her aunt.
But with the German army on the run
and liberation only days away...
Karin Dernakova
and our dreams of America...
lay on the cold floor
of Belsen.
All of Karin's identification
was in that bundle.
Her aunt had not seen her
since she was a little girl.
I knew as much about
Karin's life as about my own.
Why not?
Why shouldn't I be Karin Dernakova?
Three days later,
I came before the liberators.
Karin Dernakova.
She's scared to death.
Tell her we're her friends- that we
wanna help her find her home, her family.
Yes, sir.
Get some water.
Here. Drink.
Tell her not to be afraid-
that nobody's gonna hurt her.
There. That's better.
- I'm all right now.
- You speak English.
A little.
I learned it at school.
I am sorry to make you
all this trouble.
You make us
all the trouble you want.
Yell if you'd like to.
You're entitled to it.
Some more of
the same stuff, sir.
- You're from Warsaw?
- Yes.
Well, you'll wanna go back home
as soon as possible, I suppose?
I have no home.
It was destroyed.
No, I meant,
back to your family.
No family left in Poland.
- My-My parents were killed.
My husband also.
- I'm sorry.
In other words,
you don't wanna be repatriated.
Oh, no! Poland does not exist
anymore for me.
- If you force me to go back-
- We're here to help people...
not to force anybody
to do anything.
I feel I should explain,
though, that the alternative
is a camp for displaced persons.
I'm afraid that isn't
a permanent solution either.
Do you have any idea
what you would like to do?
Oh, I-I will take care
of myself somehow.
I guess that's all for now.
Thank you, Major.
You're very kind.
Just a minute.
This must have fallen out
of your bundle.
It belongs to a Victoria Kowelska.
Who is she?
- She's dead.
- How do you happen to have this?
She was my friend.
We kept our things
She will not need this...
So now for better or for worse...
I was Karin Dernakova.
I was soon transferred to
a displaced persons camp.
The moment I arrived there, I sent
a cable to Aunt Sophie in America...
and signed Karin's name to it.
and signed Karin's name to it.
The answer came
in a few days.
- Karin Dernakova.
- Dernakova?
- Mm-hmm.
- Oh, yes.
Here it is. Just came across
from the message center.
I'll read it for you.
"Your cable address to Mrs. John Albertson
forwarded to us.
- Advise: addressee deceased."
- Please?
It means the person's dead.
"Exhaustive search revealed
all known relatives abroad dead.
"Address all further communications
to our eastern representative...
"Joseph C. Callahan, Attorney,
New York City.
"Signed, Bennett,
Compton and Maxwell...
attorneys for
the Albertson estate."
I'll make a copy for you.
And that was my answer-
a cable from an unknown lawyer
in the unattainable city of New York.
And my hopes gone
with that cable.
In that moment,
I nearly gave up.
But I'd lived with my dream
too long...
and the idea of getting to America
had become an obsession.
When the day finally came for me
to join hundreds of others...
and go aboard
the United Nations refugee ship...
we could hardly believe it.
We had spent the four long years
since the end of the war...
in waiting, hoping and praying.
Now we were actually sailing,
and we moved doubtfully...
fearful that at the last moment,
we might be snatched back.
But on that day in 1950...
when I reached New York and found
my way to the office of the lawyer...
who had sent me the cable...
I knew that I would never
let anything send me back.
Mrs. Dernakova, when you gave up
your child almost nine years ago-
I did not give him up.
He was sent to America to save his life.
the fact remains...
that others, not you, have taken care
of the boy since he was an infant.
It wasn't my fault that I wasn't able to
come here years ago to take care of him.
You know, of course, that after
Mrs. Albertson's death...
Mr. Spender
adopted the boy.
But he had no right to do that
while the child's mother was still alive.
We had every reason to believe
that you were dead.
- All the reports indicated it.
- As a matter of fact,
there is still some doubt that-
But you've seen my papers!
What more proof do you want?
My dear Madame,
you must realize...
that there is a considerable fortune
involved here.
I think you are the one
who realizes it more than I.
Mrs. Dernakova,
the law is on our side.
Your aunt- I mean,
the late Mrs. Albertson-
left the estate to the boy
with Mr. Spender as guardian.
It is true that the law,
as you say, is on your side.
I am in a strange country,
and I'm alone.
But I have a feeling that here,
in some way, I will find justice.
I don't care how long it takes.
I will fight for what belongs to me.
And I will never
let you keep my son from me!
I, uh, think
you're being hasty.
We might be prepared to settle this
on some reasonable basis.
Just a minute, Callahan.
- Mrs. Dernakova?
- Yes?
I'm sorry to have
put you through this ordeal...
but, you see,
I had to be positive.
I'm sure you'll agree
there's Chris to consider too.
And if we both started there,
we might find some solution
to this problem...
without lawyers.
What's the matter?
Don't you like our food?
Oh, yes.
But I'm still upset.
Your lawyer's so very efficient.
Oh, forget about him.
Let's talk about you.
I didn't know I had
such a beautiful relative in Poland.
Don't look so surprised. Aunt Sophie
was related to me, too, by marriage.
If she were alive,
I would have been with her long ago.
- I sent her a cable.
- Yes, I know.
You know?
Well, look.
Let me explain.
You and your husband
had been reported dead years before.
My lawyer was convinced
we were dealing with an impostor.
We never heard from you again,
and that only served to confirm
our original suspicions.
If only you'd tried again-
written or wired or anything.
Well, I-I didn't know what to do,
where to turn.
I-I felt so lost.
Well, you've gotta
forget all that now...
and think of the future...
and Chris.
- You'll be proud of him.
- Tell me about him.
What does he look like?
- You'll be proud of him.
- Tell me about him.
What does he look like?
Well, he's a very
good-looking boy, I think.
He- He resembles you
in some ways.
He has your eyes,
and that same stubborn chin.
When he was a baby, everybody said
he'd look more like his father.
- When am I going to see him?
- He won't be back from school
for two weeks...
and I plan to stay
in New York on business.
Look, why don't you wait
and come to San Francisco with me?
I'm sure you could use the time yourself.
Shopping, for example.
But I have no money.
You have now.
This is what I had dreamed about-
like the days back home
in Poland before the war.
The feel of silk
on my skin again.
- What do you think?
- It's lovely.
Yes, but I'm afraid
it's also very expensive.
Don't worry about that.
After all, I'm still Chris's guardian.
I'm sure he'd want his mother
to look her best.
All right, then.
- Do you like it?
- It's beautiful.
I-I just have to put my shoe on,
and I'm ready.
May I help you?
I make no excuse.
I felt Alan was attracted to me, and I
was prepared to take advantage of it.
Was I in love with him?
I don't know.
But I did know that the best way
for me to be safe...
was to be married
to an American.
A penny for them, Karin.
A penny for what?
Your thoughts.
It's an expression we have.
Oh, Alan, I-
I couldn't begin to tell you
all my thoughts.
You've been
so wonderful to me.
I don't know
if I ever can, Karin, but...
I'd like to spend the rest of my life
trying to make up to you...
for all those lost years.
I want you to know, I'm no bargain.
I'm a very stubborn man...
set in my ways
and hard to live with.
And maybe
I'm too old to change.
I don't want you
to change, Alan, ever.
Three days later,
we were married in Connecticut.
And now Alan was bringing me
home to San Francisco.
There they are!
- Hello!
- Hello, Chris.
Chris, this is your mother.
- Well, what do you think?
Shall we keep her?
- Hello.
Hello, Chris.
- Hello, Margaret.
- Hello, Mr. Spender.
This is Margaret.
- How do you do?
- Welcome home, Mrs. Spender.
Thank you. I've heard how much
you've done for Chris.
- I'm very grateful.
- May I offer my congratulations?
Well, thank you, Margaret.
Well, let's go get the taste of the train
out of our mouths, huh?
And so, at last,
I came to the house on Telegraph Hill.
Wait till you see
the view in the daytime.
Come on, now, Chris.
It's way past your bedtime.
- Remember, now, you promised.
- Okay.
- Can I help you carry it?
- Thank you, dear.
If there's anything
that doesn't please you, just holler.
- We'll change it any way you like it.
- Oh, no.
I like it just as it is.
It's so old and beautiful.
It's getting pretty late, dear.
You must be tired.
- You can see the house tomorrow.
- All right.
Such a beautiful portrait
of Aunt Sophie.
I wish I had
known her better.
I never realized
you knew her at all.
Oh, yes. Once, when I was very little,
she visited us in Poland.
She looked so kind and wise.
She was that.
She was a wonderful woman.
I put your bags in your room.
- Well, thank you, dear.
- This is my room. You wanna see it?
Tomorrow, Chris.
Your mother's tired,
and it's way past your bedtime.
Yes, Chris,
I am a little tired.
I'll show you the whole place tomorrow,
if you want.
I know a place where you can see
Point Lobos. That's where they
used to send signals from.
- That would be very nice.
- Good night, Chris.
- Sleep well, darling.
I'll see you in the morning.
- Okay. Good night.
I, uh- I didn't know what arrangements
you'd want to make...
so I had the guest room
made up for the night.
- Thank you, Margaret.
- Good night, Mrs. Spender.
Good night, Margaret. There are
so many things you'll have to teach me.
I'll be glad to do what I can.
Here we are, right down here.
- This is lovely.
- I'm glad you like it.
Some people thought I was crazy to stay
on in the house after Aunt Sophie died...
but I-
I've always loved the old place.
You take that chair, for instance.
It's a monstrosity, isn't it?
I wouldn't give that up
for anything in the world.
When I was a kid, my mother and I
used to come out to the house...
on special occasions, you know:
Thanksgiving, Christmas,
Aunt Sophie's birthdays.
You see, we weren't immediate family.
More like poor relations.
But Aunt Sophie'd always have us up
for those family days...
and I always loved that chair.
I sat in it every time.
Came to think of it as my chair.
It was a symbol to me then of this house,
the life that was lived in it.
It still is.
Come in.
- Thank you, Cai.
- Good night, sir.
Good night.
I always have a glass of orange juice...
just before going to bed.
- Oh.
- Now, don't forget.
I'm a native Californian.
Mmm. Good idea.
Why did Margaret have
the guest room made up?
Oh, I suppose I should've sent her
some instructions...
but I wanted to leave
everything to you.
I think this room
is big enough for both of us.
I hope so.
But I do think you'll be
more comfortable here if I take
the guest room for the night.
And then tomorrow, we can go
downtown and pick out everything we need.
Alan, I love you.
I had come halfway across the world.
And, now, suddenly,
in this pleasant room...
a little of the fear I had once felt
in Belsen came back to me.
Whether it was
my own conscience...
or meeting with little Chris...
or something in the house itself,
I couldn't tell.
I had a strange feeling
that Aunt Sophie saw through me.
I wondered-
if I could have spoken to her-
whether she would have
She did look kind and wise.
Yet, I couldn't rid myself of the feeling
that something was wrong in this house.
Karin, what are you doing down here?
Well, I-I couldn't sleep.
I just came down to see
Aunt Sophie's picture.
It's kind of a strange hour to be prowling
around the house looking at pictures.
I'm not prowling, Alan.
I'm sorry, but you seemed so tired.
And you?
You haven't been to bed at all yet.
I came down to look over
my mail. I wanted to see if
there's anything important.
Margaret heard me coming down.
She brought me a sandwich
and a glass of milk.
Oh. Margaret has been
in the house a long time, hasn't she?
Ever since Chris was
brought here from Europe.
He needed someone to
look after him.
She's been very faithful.
You know, one thing
about Aunt Sophie.
She knew people inside out.
She picked her out of 50 applicants
to take care of Chris.
Margaret has...
many unusual qualities.
I believe you.
I also think
she's a very unusual woman.
Are you going
to be much longer?
No, just a little while.
You better run along to bed.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Hi!
- Hi!
- It's late. You always sleep so late?
- I was very tired last night.
I've been waitin' for you since 7:00.
Oh, you shouldn't have done that.
Oh, it's all right. I'm always up early.
Comin' down soon?
Well, it will take me
a while to get dressed.
Okay. Hurry up.
Hey, good catch.
You're learnin' fast, Mom.
What's the matter?
Hurt your hand?
No, darling.
It didn't hurt at all.
That's good.
Come on! Throw the ball!
You've missed not having
your mother very much, haven't you?
Sure. I guess so.
But you were so little
when you were brought here...
you couldn't possibly
remember her.
Well, Aunt Sophie
always talked about you a lot...
and cried for a long time
when they told her you had died.
And you?
Did you cry too?
I-I don't remember.
It made me feel kind of funny.
But, anyway, it isn't true.
- Come on! Pitch!
- Pitch?
- You know, throw it.
- Oh.
Oop! Oh! I am so clumsy.
Don't worry. You'll learn, Mom.
Hey! Good one! Yippee!
To the lady of the house,
past and present.
May your days in this house
be as rich and rewarding as hers.
Thank you, Doctor.
Great character.
Don't make 'em like that anymore.
Nobody knows that any better than I do.
She was a wonderful, wonderful woman.
She had a wonderful
sense of humor.
In fact, she'd laugh her head off if she
could see this little votive group...
gathered under her portrait,
drinking her vintage wine...
growing mawkish over her memory.
- Hello, Alan. Dr. Burkhardt.
- Marc.
- Mr. Whitmore.
- Hello, Marc.
- Mrs. Whitmore. You look lovely tonight.
- Thank you, Marc.
There's a rumor around town
that you've gotten married.
Comes with a great wailing and gnashing
of teeth from the direction of Nob Hill.
Darling, may I present
Marc Bennett.
He's an old friend. We've known
each other since grammar school.
- My wife.
- Mrs. Spender.
Is something on your mind, old boy?
Frankly, yes.
I, uh- How far behind am I?
Oh, I'd say you had
a pretty good head start.
I seem to have
run down suddenly.
- How about a nice, friendly push?
- Sure.
- Champagne all right?
- Whiskey with a little water,
if you don't mind.
- But don't drown it.
- That would be a catastrophe, huh?
Fix it for you myself.
You don't remember me, do you?
You're making things
tougher for me by the minute.
- That accent- is it Polish?
- Uh-huh.
And what red-letter day did I meet
a beautiful Polish lady?
On the most important day
in her life, Major.
The camp at Belsen. Of course.
But you've changed quite a bit.
No wonder I didn't recognize you.
I've often wondered
what had become of you.
I don't believe you remember
anything about me at all.
Oh, but I do.
I-I even remember your name.
It's Victoria.
Victoria Der-
Dernakova, Major.
And it's Karin, not Victoria.
- Mm-hmm.
- Here we are.
Thank you.
- Dinner is served.
- Thank you, Cai.
May I claim the right
as an old friend of the household?
Looks like you have already.
Be a shame to wake him,
even for ice cream.
- Faker! A favor for a favor.
- Thanks!
Oh, don't you like it?
Oh, sure. But, Margaret-
- Yes?
- Well, she usually doesn't
let me eat after dinner.
Oh, but this is
a special occasion, isn't it?
- Oh, sure.
- And maybe we just
won't tell Margaret, huh?
She'll find out.
Is something wrong, Mrs. Spender?
Nothing at all, Margaret.
I just brought Chris a dish of ice cream.
Chris doesn't usually eat
just before going to bed.
Well, I just thought with everybody
having fun downstairs that-
Of course, if you prefer him
not to have it, I-
Why, not at all.
It's up to Chris.
What do you think, Chris?
I can put it in the icebox
for lunch tomorrow.
We find it better to let Chris
make his own decisions.
I see.
It will taste better
at lunch, Chris.
- Good night, dear.
- Good night.
I am sorry, Margaret.
I didn't realize-
Oh, it was my fault, Mrs. Spender.
I should have told you.
But Chris has always been
a very impulsive child.
I found the best way to handle him
is to let him discipline himself.
- Good night, Margaret.
- Good night, Mrs. Spender.
Five pounds.
Nice avocado today. Zucchini.
- I recommend the zucchini.
- Major.
With a touch of garlic and mozzarella,
there's nothing like it.
All right, get the lady
a couple of pounds.
- The real stuff, now, from the basement.
- S, signore. The best.
Small world, isn't it? Germany,
Telegraph Hill, and the New Union Grocery.
You do your marketing here too, Major?
Only since I found
it's where you do yours.
Besides, we didn't have a chance
to finish our talk the other evening.
Well, it isn't pleasant for me to talk
about things that happened in the camp.
I'd like to forget about them.
That's, uh-That's not what I wanted
to talk to you about.
I was telling my cook
about that chicken dish I had
at your house the other night.
She can't swing it without the recipe.
Don't laugh. I'm a San Franciscan.
Eating's serious business with me.
I thought the law
was your business, Major.
Technically, it is. You see, my father's
death put me in a curious situation.
According to the sign on the door,
I'm the senior member of the firm.
But most of our clients seem to wanna
do business with the junior members.
One of 'em's 65, the other's 62.
So that leaves me twiddling my thumbs
and cleaning out ashtrays.
- And finding new recipes for your cook.
- Exactly.
If I give you the recipe...
will you tell me something too?
Blackmail, huh?
You and Alan
do not like each other. Why?
Where did you ever
get an idea like that?
I saw you together at the house.
Well, the fact is that Alan thinks
I've had things too easy all my life.
You know, a rich man's son,
lazy and drinks too much.
Unfortunately, he's right.
- Two pounds mozzarella. The best.
- All right, Tony.
I'll take these too.
Well, I think
this is everything.
I'm sure you have
some good points, Major.
Oh, I suppose so. I'm kind to animals.
Handle a boat pretty well.
And you play
the piano beautifully.
- And I make beautiful circles
on a bar with a highball glass.
- Thank you, Mrs. Spender.
- Let me know how
you like the mozzarella.
- I will, Tony. Good-bye.
Bye. Well, now that that's all settled,
how about lunch?
- I'm afraid I couldn't.
- Why not?
'Cause you're married now?
Believe me, I'm very much
aware of it, and I respect it.
Husbands are husbands,
and friends are friends.
And, who knows? Someday,
you might need a friend.
Some other time, perhaps.
They are expecting me home for lunch today.
- Good-bye.
- Good-bye.
Oh, I'm sorry!
I'm not fast enough for you.
Chris, a little playhouse.
You never told me about it.
I don't play in it anymore.
It's no good.
- Oh, we will fix it and use it again.
- Here's the ball, Mom.
- Come on.
- We had one at home.
- It was so much fun.
- Don't go in there.
Is there something
you don't want me to see?
No, but it's dangerous.
- Chris, what happened there?
- It was the explosion.
What kind of explosion?
My chemical set.
It happened a long time ago.
Come on, Mom!
Let's play some more ball!
Tell me, darling, were you hurt?
No, it was nothing.
It just made a loud noise.
Well, I'm going to ask Alan
to have it fixed.
No! Please don't, Mom.
- Why not?
- 'Cause he doesn't know anything about it.
He wasn't here when it happened.
You won't tell him, Mom, will you?
Of course not,
if you don't want me to.
We'll just keep it between us, okay?
Okay. Thanks, Mom.
- Come on! Pitch!
- Pitch.
Good one!
Throw it overhand, like that.
- Is there something
you wanted, Mrs. Spender?
- Oh.
I'm sorry, Margaret.
I-I was looking for you...
and I couldn't help admiring
this beautiful album.
- Was it Aunt Sophie's?
- Yes.
- She gave it to me.
- Oh.
What is it you wanted, Mrs. Spender?
Oh, I-I just wanted to ask you...
what exactly happened
in the little playhouse?
- The playhouse?
- Yes.
Did Chris take you there?
No. I-I came upon it by accident.
I asked Chris,
but he didn't want to talk about it.
He did say there was an explosion
from his chemical set.
Oh, nonsense.
His chemical set
was just a harmless toy.
He must have stolen
something from the kitchen-
some cleaning fluid or something
that caused the explosion.
Chris thinks Mr. Spender
still doesn't know, but...
of course, you told him, Margaret.
No, I never did.
Margaret, you should have.
Well, Chris was terribly afraid Mr. Spender
would punish him. He begged me not to tell.
But Chris should have been made to
understand never to do a thing like that.
He could have been killed.
Well, he wasn't.
He wasn't hurt at all.
I saw no reason to make
an issue of it then...
and certainly there's no reason
to make an issue of it now.
I'm not trying
to make an issue of it, Margaret.
But, surely, you can't blame me
for being worried and-
and very much concerned.
Concerned. How long have you
been concerned about Chris, a few weeks?
I've been concerned about him
all his life, night and day.
And, now, you tell me
that you're concerned...
about something
that happened years ago.
Even then, it was I
who comforted him, not you.
Thank you for being so frank.
Now I know where we stand.
From the moment I came here,
you've looked upon me
as an intruder in this house.
That's why you dare
talk to me like this.
Well, I'll tell you something.
You're wrong, Margaret.
You are the intruder, not I.
- Are you giving me notice, Mrs. Spender?
- Yes.
I was a fool
not to do it long ago.
Very well.
I'll start packing at once.
- Alan?
- Hello, darling.
I thought you would
never get home.
What's the matter?
Anything wrong?
No, not anymore.
I had it out with Margaret.
She's leaving.
You what?
Have you both gone crazy?
- Do you want to hear what happened?
- I don't care what-
- This is ridiculous!
- But, darling...
you wouldn't say that if you'd
heard how she talked to me.
She acted as if
Chris was her child...
and she even accused me of deliberately
turning him against her and you.
Oh. So it's about Chris.
Well, can't you see, darling?
Margaret is jealous...
because the boy's become
so attached to you.
You should be the first
to understand that.
And you, you should be
the first to understand...
that Margaret and I can never live
together in the same house.
Now, look, Karin.
Margaret has given years
of her life to Chris.
You can't just dismiss her...
like a servant that
stepped out of line.
You're upset now, darling. But when
you've had time to think it over...
you'll realize I'm right.
If Margaret said anything to you
she shouldn't have, she'll apologize.
I'll see to that myself.
Come in.
May I speak to you
for a moment, Mrs. Spender?
Please, come in.
- What is it, Margaret?
- About yesterday,
I should like to apologize.
I said things I shouldn't have.
I'm sorry.
It doesn't matter. Mr. Spender
wishes you to remain. You know that.
But things will be very difficult if you
feel that I can't be trusted with Chris.
What happened between us
has nothing to do with Chris.
I never doubted that you have
Chris's welfare at heart.
It's kind of you
to say so, Mrs. Spender...
but I'd feel better
if you accepted my apology too.
Very well. I accept it,
if that makes you feel better.
Isn't it time to bring
Chris home from the party?
I'm leaving right now.
Oh. Alan.
What are you doing in there?
I-I was just looking around.
- Looking around?
- Mm-hmm.
- For what?
- Nothing, Alan.
Nothing. I-
I just wanted to see
the inside of the playhouse.
- Mom?
- Mom!
- Chris!
Darling, I'm so glad to see you.
- Tell me, did you have
a good time at Jimmys party?
- Mm-hmm.
- Did he like your present?
- Yep.
- Tell me all about it.
- Well, we went out on a pony ride, and-
Darling, will you please
tell me what's bothering you?
I'm tired, Alan.
I-I have a headache.
I don't mean now.
I mean this afternoon in the playhouse.
You shied away from me
as if I had the plague.
If I hadn't grabbed you-
I completely forgot
about that wall.
- Forgot?
- I should've had it fixed
right after the explosion.
But I didn't realize
it was such a hazard.
What's the matter now?
You-You know what happened
to Chris in the playhouse?
Well, of course I do.
Wasn't I supposed to know?
Well, Margaret told me
just the other day that you didn't know-
that she never told you.
Oh. Well, you must have misunderstood.
After four years, I don't suppose
Margaret remembers herself how it was.
But it's certainly nothing
for you to start worrying about now.
Your hands are like ice.
Is something going on in
that funny little head of yours?
- Something you're keeping from me?
- I'm not keeping anything from you, Alan.
You make me feel as though
I've failed you somehow-
as though I haven't been
the husband I wanted to be.
No, it isn't you, Alan.
Sometimes, things come back-
things I want to forget.
I can't help it.
You must be patient with me.
I'll be all right.
Of course you will, darling.
It takes time.
We'll just have to try harder to-
to make you forget.
Chris? You forgot
to make up your room again.
I didn't forget.
I'm just goin' to market with Mom now.
- I'll do it when we get back.
- Oh, Chris, you promised.
Go right in and do it now.
I'll wait for you.
Would you like me to go
to the market for you, Mrs. Spender?
Cook said he wanted
the chops for lunch.
Ooh, that's right.
No, I'll go, Margaret.
I'm sorry, darling.
You'll come with me next time, okay?
Chris? Chris?
Are you hurt, lady?
What happened?
- You better cut the motor off.
Somebody, get an ambulance.
- Yeah, I'll go get one.
- I wouldn't move around, lady.
- What happened?
- They're getting an ambulance for you.
- Did anybody see what happened?
I-I don't want an ambulance.
I'm all right.
You better let me take you home,
huh, lady? Where do you live?
Home? No, I- Please,
will you take me to a telephone?
Yeah, sure. Sure thing, lady.
Hello. Mr. Marc Bennett, please.
Oh? Put her on.
Hello, Karin. How are you?
An accident?
Are you all right?
Oh. Yes. Well, let me call Alan-
Oh, no, I don't want Alan to-
Marc, please, don't call Alan.
I want to see you alone, now.
All right. I just thought that-
I'll be right there.
What's the address?
So after the man brought me here
to the telephone, he sent for a tow car.
And then he kept insisting
I have a doctor look at me right away.
- He should have. It was
a terrible thing to have happen.
- Oh, Marc, it didn't "happen."
It wasn't an accident.
He made the brakes so they wouldn't work.
- He's trying to kill me!
- Hey, hey.
Let's not go off
the deep end again.
You've had a bad shock.
Now, who's trying to kill you?
- Alan.
- Alan?
Oh, Marc, please believe me.
I'm not hysterical now.
He wants to get rid of me.
I've felt it for a long time.
Can't you see it, Marc?
Aunt Sophie left everything to Chris.
Alan is his guardian.
If something should happen to him...
Alan would get the estate.
And Chris could have been with me
in the car this morning.
He wants us out of the way.
It's for the money, Marc.
Don't you see?
You don't, do you?
But why would he marry you?
He didn't have to, you know.
He may have been attracted to me.
I don't know.
But you don't think
he was going to let...
the boy's mother take everything
away from him, do you?
There's one way to find out.
Come on.
Your master cylinder's bone-dry.
These are hydraulic brakes.
No fluid, they don't work.
- How come no fluid?
- A leak, right here.
A break in the line
going to the front wheel.
That's an unusual place
to spring a leak, isn't it?
Well, it don't happen every day,
but it can happen.
Look, you've been over
this thing pretty thoroughly.
Is it possible that somebody might have
tampered with that brake line deliberately?
Anything's possible.
My guess is you hit a rock or something.
- Okay, thanks.
- Yeah.
I suppose you think I'm crazy.
But I cannot help it.
I cannot help what I feel.
Karin, it's no news to you
that I'm not very fond of Alan.
I think he'd do almost anything
to hold onto the nice, cushy
life he's made for himself.
I don't think he'd be crazy enough
to try a thing like this.
I don't know.
I don't know
what to think anymore.
I'm sorry to have given you
so much trouble for nothing.
For nothing?
I told you once, you might need a friend.
You came to me as a friend.
I don't consider that nothing.
What you need is somebody to teach you
how to relax and enjoy life...
something Alan never learned.
He's been so busy trying to get up to
that house on the hill that...
he's been blind
to everything else.
I must go home, Marc.
Well, at least you stopped
calling me "Major." That's a net gain.
- Where have you been?
- I was hungry, and...
I went down to the kitchen
for a glass of milk.
You'd better come to bed.
It's very late.
Yes, dear. In a minute.
- Yes?
- Fowler? Marc Bennett.
Say, my client
will be here in a few minutes.
Can you give me any idea
what your report will be on those gloves?
I think I can. I wanna run one more test
just to double-check, but-
I see.
No, I'll be right here
waiting for it, thanks.
Alan. What are you doing here?
Me? I just went up
to see my insurance man.
Where are you going?
To the dentist.
I have an appointment.
- Dr. Lipman?
- Mm-hmm.
Darling, he's in
the medical building.
Oh. Oh, you're right.
I-I wonder how the taxi driver
could have made such a mistake.
Well, I'm glad he did. It gives me
a chance to give a beautiful lady a lift.
As a matter of fact, it's, uh, almost 4:00.
I'll wait for you.
We'll drive home together.
4:00? I didn't realize it was so late.
I-I'm afraid
I've missed my appointment.
Well, you can
see him tomorrow.
I'll tell you what. Let's have an
early dinner and take in a movie, huh?
- Hello, Margaret.
- Good evening.
- Where's Chris?
- He's in his room listening to the radio.
- Any calls?
- Mr. Marc Bennett.
Did he leave any message?
He just said he'd be in his office until
6:00 if either of you returned by then.
Thank you, Margaret.
Mr. Bennett, please.
Mr. Spender calling.
- Relax, darling.
It can't be anything important.
Hello, Marc?
I understand you called.
Oh, fine, thanks.
How about yourself?
Tonight? Just a minute.
Karin's right here. I'll ask her.
He wants to take us to dinner tonight.
What do you say?
- Whatever you like, Alan.
- Well, Karin says she'd love to.
Sure. 8:30's fine.
Mm-hmm. I'll see you then.
What's the matter, darling?
I was just thinking, I've spent
so little time with Chris today.
Oh, stop worrying about Chris for a change.
It'll do you good to get out.
Yes, Alan.
Oh, will you excuse me? I-I promised
to call Chris and say good night.
- You must have a crystal ball.
- What do you mean?
- Your call this afternoon. May I?
- Of course.
- I was just gonna call you.
- Really? Anything special?
- It's about Karin.
- Karin?
This afternoon, coming down
from Charlie Decker's office,
I ran into her in the lobby.
She almost jumped out of her skin
when she saw me.
I could have sworn she was on her way up
to see you. Was she, Marc?
Why didn't you ask her?
I did. She told me she was going up
to see her dentist.
- Well, that seems to settle it, doesn't it?
- No, not quite.
You see, her dentist happens
to be in the medical building.
That's quite a long way
from your place.
So she made a mistake. So what?
People don't make mistakes like that,
unless it's part of a pattern.
Look, I'm not very good at riddles.
What's on your mind?
I'm worried about Karin.
I don't have to tell you
what she went through in Europe.
I've tried everything
to make her forget.
I blame myself for letting her drive.
That accident on the hill
didn't help her nerves any.
A thing like that would play
hard with anybody's nerves.
Of course, but with her it seems to-
I don't know.
Suddenly she's become suspicious
of everything and everybody around her.
I talked to Dr. Burkhardt about it.
He suggested I take her to a specialist.
I know you've never thought very
much of me, Marc- too pushing
and ambitious for your taste.
Well, maybe you're right.
But Karin's made
a difference in my life.
My only ambition now
is to make her happy.
And I'm helpless.
The harder I try, the more
I realize that... I'm losing her.
It's ironic, isn't it?
Yeah, life's full
of little ironies.
And I'm afraid it's something
you're gonna have to work out
between yourselves.
Would you like to dance?
Go ahead, darling.
The report from the chemist, Marc-
what does it say?
I'm sorry, Karin. There wasn't a trace
of grease or oil on those gloves.
But those spots, Marc,
those dark spots.
Ink. Nothing but plain,
ordinary blue-black ink.
Karin, I'd like to tell you
that Alan is a black-hearted monster...
capable of the worst crimes
in the book.
I can't, 'cause I'd be lying,
and I-I can't lie to you.
I know you've been through so much-
those years at the camp, and-
But you've got to
snap out of this mood.
Oh, I'm not hysterical, Marc.
Please believe me.
I've realized now, there was
something wrong from the beginning:
the way they tried to keep me from coming
to America; the cold, heartless cables...
some lawyers send me that Aunt Sophie
was dead, and not a word about Chris-
- What lawyers?
- I don't know.
I don't remember their names.
- Why? Is it important?
- No, I-I just wondered.
I can show you the cable.
Alan doesn't know, but I still have it.
I could bring it to your office.
- All right. Why don't you?
Like to get a look at it.
- All right, Marc. Tomorrow.
- I'll bring it to your office
in the morning, huh?
- All right.
Oh, no.
After what happened today,
I-I shouldn't go there again.
Where could we meet?
Well, let me see.
The yacht basin at the marina.
Any taxi driver will know where it is.
- Thank you.
- Wait a minute.
It's my turn now.
My secretary searched all the files
and checked with everybody...
and says there's absolutely no record
of this having been sent from our office.
But it is signed, "Bennett, Compton
and Maxwell." Your firm, Marc.
- Then I'm right.
Alan sent the cable himself.
- It's possible.
But see, this is dated May 31, 1945.
My father was still alive then.
He handled your aunt's affairs.
Alan could have showed him
the cable just as he told you.
And unfortunately, now there's no way
of finding out what actually did happen.
Look. First thing Monday morning,
I'll call Callahan.
That's the lawyer
you met in New York.
- He may be able to tell us something.
- I hope so.
Now, don't be afraid.
I've got to get home now.
I promised to take Chris to the ball game.
You are afraid, aren't you?
Sometimes, yes.
But not when I am with you.
That's what I want to talk to you about.
There's no sense in our going-
Oh, Marc. No, not now.
It- It isn't right.
What is right- for you to
go on living with Alan, feeling
the way you do about him?
For us to exchange polite small talk
every time we meet?
- Is it wrong for me to say
that I'm in love with you?
- No, Marc. No.
But it is wrong
for someone to lie, to cheat...
even if only to find
happiness and safety.
Now what are we talking about?
About me. I'm not
Chris's mother, Marc.
Karin Dernakova died in Belsen.
I took her papers
and stole her name.
- Victoria.
- Yes. Victoria Kowelska.
That's my real name.
- Victoria Kowelska.
- But, Marc, you didn't hear what I said.
- I'm not Chris's-
- Sure, sure. You're not Chris's mother.
What do you want me to do-
a starved, scared, homeless girl
who saw a chance for
a better life and grabbed it?
I saw Belsen too, Karin.
But I am trapped now by my own lies.
Even if Alan lets me go,
he will never let me have Chris.
- And I will not leave him
behind in that house!
- Well, that's it.
You've been living with this
on your conscience so long,
you've magnified these things.
Oh, no. Please don't think that.
Chris is in real danger.
- You've said that before. Nothing
is gonna happen to Chris.
- Something is going to happen.
If I only could
make you believe it.
- I love him so much, and he needs me.
- I know he does.
- I'm gonna talk to Alan. I think-
- Oh, no, Marc.
Alan mustn't know
I told you anything.
There must be a way
to prove all this to you.
Will you stop
tearing yourself apart?
Take Chris to the ball game.
Have some fun for a while.
- Karin.
- Hmm?
I said, take Chris to the ball game.
Get away from the house for the afternoon.
- Yeah.
- Would it help if I call later...
when I find out
what Callahan has to say?
- Yes, call me. Maybe I-
- Now, don't do anything silly.
Chris will be all right.
Oh, I-I hope so.
- Hello, Margaret.
- Good afternoon, Mrs. Spender.
- Where's Chris?
- He's having his lunch.
He said you were taking him to
the ball game. I'll tell him you're back.
All right.
Margaret, uh-
Would you mind
very much taking Chris to the game?
He has been counting on it,
and... I have such a bad headache.
- Why, I'll be glad to take him,
if you like.
- Thank you.
Good-bye, darling.
Have a good time.
- And, remember, just one hot dog.
- Okay, Mom. And I'll keep
the scorecard for ya.
Bye, Mom! Bye!
- Bye!
- Good-bye!
"Death came yesterday"-June 3.
But the cable was sent in May.
She wasn't dead then.
- Hello, dear.
- Oh, Alan.
Well, go ahead.
Finish your call.
It's not important.
- Well, who were you calling?
- My watch stopped. I wanted
to find out the correct time.
It's about a quarter of two.
Um, 14 of.
- All right.
- Margaret called and said
you weren't feeling well.
- I thought I'd come home
and keep you company.
- Thank you, dear.
It was just a headache.
It's gone now.
But, darling, if you have work to do,
please, don't let me hold you back.
I'm all right now.
Well, of course, I can always
find something to do. Um-
Okay. Put on your coat and come along.
The drive will do you good.
Oh, I don't think so, Alan.
I'd rather stay home.
Why don't you go?
No. The work will keep
until tomorrow.
Why, you haven't eaten a thing, Karin.
Why don't you try the souffl?
It's excellent.
Yeah, Mom. It's swell.
- I'm not hungry, darling.
Would you like to have mine too?
- Yeah, sure!
If you don't mind, I'll go to the library
and read while you're having your coffee.
Well, go ahead, dear.
I'll join you in a few minutes.
- Good night, Margaret.
- Good night, Mrs. Spender.
- Good night, darling.
- Good night, Mom.
I think I'll have
my coffee with you.
You're even more jittery tonight
than usual, darling.
Wrong number, I guess.
Well, maybe he just
changed his mind...
whoever it was.
You look tired.
You're going to bed right now.
Come along.
I-I think I left
a cigarette burning.
Feeling you left something behind,
you forgot something-
I could have sworn
I left a cigarette burning in there...
and I wasn't even smoking.
Come in.
I'll take it, Cai.
Yes, sir. Good night.
Good night.
You do look tired, dear.
You drink your juice, and we'll turn in.
I left my book in the library.
I'm going down to get it.
Now, how do you expect to get enough
sleep if you stay up reading till all hours?
Just for a little while.
Please, Alan.
Just a minute, darling.
I'll get your book for you.
Hello, Operator?
Thank you.
Oh, don't forget your juice, dear.
It'll help you sleep.
Uh, no, I don't think I want it tonight.
It doesn't taste right.
Well, what's the matter with it?
It seems a little bitter.
Tastes fine to me.
Come on, dear.
Doctor's orders.
The trouble with you is
you don't know how to relax.
Come on, dear. Don't fight it.
Just close your eyes.
Aren't you going to bed, Alan?
What is it, Alan?
Why do you look at me so?
I was thinking about a day
not too long ago.
We met in Callahan's office?
You were scared out of your wits,
but you carried it off magnificently.
I thought then, "This woman has
everything: breeding, brains, fire.
I could be happy
with a woman like this."
Then something else said,
"Watch out. She'll give you trouble."
Trouble? What trouble
could I give you, Alan?
Why, don't be stupid, Karin.
You know very well what sort of trouble.
Alan, what are you afraid
I'd take away from you?
- Is it the money?
- Money?
How scornful you are of money-
you and Marc Bennett-
all you people
who were born with it.
I should never have had
to worry about money either.
Aunt Sophie's family had been wiped out
in Europe. I was her only living relative.
And what did it get me?
A job as a clerk in the
shipping office for $40 a week.
But it's all over. This is the last time
I'll have any trouble with your family.
You- You Poles
must be made of iron:
you, Chris, that old Aunt of yours.
Then it wasn't just Chris and me.
You had to kill
Aunt Sophie first.
You sent me the cable that she was dead,
and- and then you killed her.
Just like that, huh?
Just like powdering your nose.
You think it's easy to kill somebody?
It takes time and patience
and courage... and a strong stomach.
Oh, stop it. Stop it.
I don't want to hear any more. You're mad!
If it's madness not to let
someone take from you what's
rightfully yours, maybe I'm mad.
But everything I've done,
I've planned with a perfectly sane mind.
I've never wavered for an instant,
and I'm not wavering now.
This house is mine.
The money's mine.
It's gonna stay mine.
You don't know what I went through
with that old woman...
your Chris.
Had to turn myself inside out,
dance attendance on the kid
like a monkey on a stick...
just so she'd write me in
as guardian for the boy.
You think I was gonna
give all that up...
just because you decided to come back
from the grave, walk in and take over?
Alan, I don't care
what happens to me anymore, but...
please, in heaven's name,
leave Chris out of it.
He's only a child.
He can do nothing to you- nothing.
Nothing... except take everything
from me and kick me out of the house-
- if he ever comes of age.
- Alan!
Don't worry. Chris is safe.
I'd have trouble with Margaret
if anything happened to him.
And you were the one
that wanted to get rid of her.
However, Chris is not of age yet.
That's a long way off.
And what are you going
to do now, kill me?
I understand that Dr. Burkhardt
has been giving you...
prescriptions for your insomnia.
He seemed quite upset when I told him
I was the one that had the insomnia...
worrying about
your strange behavior.
He'll be grieved, the little doctor...
when he hears that you've been
hoarding your sedatives to...
take them all at once...
in a glass of orange juice.
Oh, A-Alan, you must
call the doctor right away!
- Not quite yet, my dear.
- No, listen to me. I-
I didn't drink the juice you gave me.
You drank it.
- You're lying.
- No, no. I-
- You're lying!
- I am telling you the truth.
I-I was afraid.
And when you were downstairs,
I put what was left in the
pitcher in a fresh glass and-
and poured the juice you gave me
back into the pitcher.
Hello. Hello, Operator-
Something is wrong
with the telephone.
The library.
The library.
What is it?
What's happened?
She- She poisoned me.
- No. It isn't true. He tried to poison me.
- Get a doctor, quick.
I tried to call, but something
is wrong with the telephone.
Th-The library.
Th-The receiver's off in the library.
H- Hurry!
Gotta keep awake.
I gotta keep moving.
Keep- Huh? Oh, no.
You ju- stay away from me.
I'm sorry, sir, but the line is busy.
It's been busy for the last 40 minutes.
Are you sure there
isn't trouble on the line?
Oh. Did you get the doctor?
Doctor- is he- is he coming?
- Everything will be all right, Alan.
- Karin-
- Isn't there something more we can do?
- Get out.
Margaret. You must believe me.
He wanted to kill me.
You took him away from me.
You tried to take Chris away from me too.
But you won't have either of them,
whatever happens.
Get out! This is still my room.
Now get out!
- Lie still, Alan.
- I'm gonna be all right, Margaret.
Something wrong, Mrs. Spender?
- It's Mr. Spender. He's taken-
Make coffee, lots of it. Hurry.
- Yes, ma'am.
I'm gonna be all right.
You remember, Alan-
after the accident in the playhouse...
I told you that nothing was
to ever happen to Chris again.
N-Nothing did. I-
I gave him my word.
Your word. If only
I didn't know you so well.
If I hadn't kept Chris from
going with her in the car the
other day, he might be dead now.
I did it for us, Margaret. It was so-
so we could be together again, you know?
- Like old times?
- Old times.
- Old-
- And how long would it be before
you'd try again with Chris?
How long before you'd finally kill him?
Oh, darling.
I heard noises. I woke up.
It was a dream, darling-just a bad dream.
Come on. I'll tuck you in again.
Where's that doctor? He...
should've been here a... long time ago.
- He isn't coming.
- Huh?
You left the receiver off the hook, Alan.
Remember? The phone is dead.
No, Margaret-
Margaret, you-you-you take the car.
You get somebody.
- You can't let me die.
- How many times have you
let me die, Alan?
- No. I'll make it up to you,
Margaret. I swear I will.
- It's too late.
You're going to die, Alan,
and that way, at least Chris will be safe.
No. It can't be!
I've w-worked for...
planned for-
I don't know how long it was before I
realized that the doorbell was ringing.
And that was you, Mr. Bennett?
Yes, Inspector. It was after 10:00 when
I finally located Callahan in Washington.
He said he'd never had any word
from our office on the Albertson
matter and dealt only with Alan.
So I called the house
to have a showdown with Alan.
Kept getting a busy signal. The operator
said the phone was off the hook...
so I drove right over
and called the station.
By the time your men got here,
Alan was dead.
Well, I'm going to have to take
that governess downtown for questioning.
- Why? She didn't do anything.
- That's just it.
She deliberately didn't call the doctor.
She admits it. Harold,
where's that governess, Miss-
- Upstairs to put the boy to bed.
Kid couldn't hold his head up.
- Why did you let her take him?
She didn't put him to bed.
She took him away! She told me
she'd never let me have him!
Cover the back stairs
and the garage.
Oh, Marc, you see?
He's not here.
He's all right.
He's fast asleep.
Yes, he's all right now.
He didn't want to go into his own room
alone, so I brought him in here with me.
He fell asleep almost at once.
I'm going to have to ask you
to come down to headquarters, miss.
- I'm ready.
- Margaret, I know you're not
to blame for what happened.
What do you think the charge
will be, Inspector?
That'll be up to
the district attorney.
Everything will be all right, Margaret.
I'll be your witness.
My conscience will be my witness,
Mrs. Spender.
- I'm sure the D.A.
will wanna talk to you too.
- We'll be available anytime.
- We'd better go.
- Go? But where?
I'm taking you to my mother's place
for the time being.
I don't want you to spend
another night in this house.
Yes, Marc.
- You don't have to apologize
to her anymore.
- Do you think she'd understand?
She'd approve. I know.
She might even approve of me.
Then all I can do is to thank her
for everything.
Let's go.