You Were Never Lovelier (1942) Movie Script

Hotel Acuna, please.
- What's his name?
- Eduardo Acuna. He's the big boss.
- Here's his office.
- Oh, thanks.
Oh, boy.
I'll get you later. Thanks.
I absolutely, positively
cannot interrupt Mr. Acuna.
He is busy.
Sorry, those are my orders.
Please don't blame me.
- When he's free, I'd like to see him.
- I ask myself the same question.
Why see Mr. Acuna when there are so
many pleasant people they could see?
Tell him Robert Davis
of New York is here.
- Robert Davis.
- Yes?
Mr. Robert Davis of New York
to see you, Mr. Acuna.
I never heard of him.
Tell him to go away.
Well, I must say, I'm used to
more cordiality than that.
He's making a big mistake.
Mr. Davis, you impress me.
What did you want to see him about?
- I only asked you a civil question.
- And I answered you.
- You don't mind if I wait?
- No, but it won't do you any good.
That's very nice. The wedding dress
and the lingerie, I approve.
You may go, and thank you.
Well, darling,
what's been going on here?
Eduardo had a slight disagreement
with Delfina about Julia's trousseau... now he's picking out
one himself.
It's my invariable rule to distrust
women's taste in clothes.
That's why he asked me to come by.
First time I heard of a father
selecting a trousseau.
You know as well as I do that women
dress for one another, not for men.
Delfina's mother put her in fluff
when I married her.
She's been in fluff ever since.
Does your son like fluff?
My dear, for the first few weeks,
he won't know what Julia's wearing.
- Will your wife forgive you for this?
- Forgive me? I expect to be thanked.
- And thank you, Maria, for coming.
- That's all right. Goodbye, Eduardo.
- Who are you, the florist?
- Do I look like a florist?
How do I know what a florist
looks like? Who are you?
Xavier Cugat, remember me?
Didn't I bring you down here
from New York for something?
My orchestra has packed
your Sky Room for the past two weeks.
That is something!
I never go to the Sky Room.
My cover charge is too high.
Of course! You're to play
at my daughter's wedding tomorrow.
Very well.
Play this softly and remotely,
as though you were not there.
Mr. Acuna, you can forget my name,
stay away from the Sky Room...
...underpay me, but you cannot
dictate how my orchestra should play.
You play this softly.
How I wish I was back at the Waldorf.
- Bob Davis!
- Cugie!
What are you doing here?
I just came down for a holiday.
I didn't know you were here.
A holiday? You didn't know
there was a racetrack here?
- Well, yes, and...
- And now you're broke again?
Yep, I gotta put these feet
back to work for a while.
But, gee, I like it here. You know,
the people, the city, the horses.
But this fellow, Acuna, he's tough.
He won't see me.
Acuna won't see him?
Why, in New York,
he won't see Acuna.
This, Fernando,
is the greatest man in the world.
Tell Acuna that Mr. Davis will give him
just two minutes of his time.
Oh, no. You tell him.
Yes, Mr. Acuna?
Remind me to give Cugat back
to the Waldorf. He annoys me.
Very funny man.
He kills me.
You know, actually I have a great deal
of influence with Acuna. What's that?
I didn't say a thing.
Just minding my own business.
Come along. I've a show to do. While
we play, we'll think of something.
Terrific! I've made up my mind.
We'll work together again!
- With you, we'll be better than terrific.
- I don't like Acuna's attitude.
- I'm going to change it right now.
- No, I have a better way.
I'm playing at his daughter's wedding.
You will sing, you will dance.
You will be sensational!
Acuna will come to you on his knees.
It's almost time, Julia.
Here's your something old, sis, and
a new coin for your something new.
Thanks, Lita.
And Mama's handkerchief
for something borrowed.
Here's something blue, Julia.
The bridegroom's supposed
to sleep on it, or something.
I suppose I should put
the coin in my shoe.
You'll be the next bride
in the family, Maria.
- Oh, no. Not me.
- Oh, but you have to be.
Papa made it very clear that we can't
get married until after you do.
He says it's our family tradition
that the girls be disposed of..., two, three, four.
And you'll be the oldest now.
Papa will get over that silly tradition.
No, he won't.
Papa never gets over anything.
You don't expect to marry those
two tennis-playing Romeos, do you?
But we love Tony and Roddy
They've even given us
their signet rings, see?
Why, you're babies.
You just don't know what it's like to be
so much in love that you cry all night.
You're right there.
It's all right for you to talk.
You turn men down by the dozens.
You've got an ice cube for a heart.
- Unaccustomed as I am to getting a...
- There's something wrong with Maria.
- She says she'll never get married.
- I did not say that.
You know, Papa, I think you'd better
put a cooling system in their room.
Now, you leave Maria to me.
Don't worry, she's next...
...and then will come your turn,
and then yours.
- Do we have to wait for Maria?
- Yes.
And this is a fine way to act
on your sister's wedding day.
Now, run along
and fix your pretty faces.
Getting nervous, dear?
We're going to miss you.
Has Mama forgiven you yet
for picking out my trousseau?
I don't know. Her door was locked.
She broke down and confessed
that she liked my dress.
These skirmishes I have with your
mother are not typical of married life.
- Aren't they, Father?
- No, they're just typical of me.
- I'm very difficult to live with.
- No, you're not, darling.
You're really just a little boy,
and I love you.
And I love you too, darling.
Will you hook me, Eduardo?
Delfina, don't you think it's about time
you learned to dress yourself?
It's so hard for me to believe I'm old
enough to have a married daughter.
It doesn't put any strain on me.
Where are the rest of my girls?
Oh, Maria! Lita! Cecy!
- Coming, Mother.
- Coming, Mama!
I want to see you all in a row.
Oh! I'm going to cry tonight.
You'd better start now. It's getting late.
Do you want some last-minute advice?
Just don't act too intelligent
on your honeymoon.
I made that mistake with your father.
That reminds me. Tell me something
clever to say after the wedding.
Oh, dear, I'm so happy.
Hurry, girls.
Now remember, keep in step.
I am going to cry.
I'm going to cry right now.
He didn't even look around.
Have your son pass the word. I have
three more where Julia came from.
- You two ask Papa now.
- While he's laughing.
Come on.
- Mr. Acuna.
- Yes?
We've been going with your daughters
Cecy and Lita for two years now and...
What do you want, a pension?
- All right, who's going to be next?
- I am.
- Maria has to catch it.
- Yes.
But I don't want it.
- Here's a volunteer groom.
- Let's have a double wedding.
- I'm between engagements.
- Here I am.
How about me?
Oh, you're all much too kind.
Papa! Papa! Did you see Maria?
She froze those boys.
Papa, you've just got
to do something about her.
Pardon me, could you please tell me
where I could find Mr. Acuna?
He went inside.
On second thought,
I guess old el groucho can wait.
Don't these overdone weddings
bore you to death? They kill me.
I say if two people want
to get married, let them.
They don't have to go through
a shindig like this. It's murder.
Oh, well, I'll admit my attempt
at conversation wasn't so hot.
Shall I try again?
It's a nice day, isn't it?
The air's nice.
And there seems to be
an abundance of it.
Say, look, would you mind very much
if I tear myself away from you?
But you don't understand.
Now, let's hear no more about Maria.
Run along, girls.
May I see you a moment, please?
It's very important to both of us.
I'm Robert Davis.
I came here to dance and...
Now, what is there about that girl
that made you go...?
She's beautiful.
She's beautiful, all right.
But she has a personality
like the inside of a refrigerator.
In addition to which,
she is my daughter.
She is? She is?!
She is. Now, what was it
you wanted of me?
Just your permission to go out
and hang myself.
Were you sleeping again?
Tell me, my dear Fernando,
why do I put up with you?
I don't know, Mr. Acuna...
...unless it's because I'm your
third cousin on your wife's side.
Ah, yes. Did you get Mrs. Castro?
Mrs. Castro is on her way here.
All right.
Now go back to sleep, Fernando.
I dare you to!
- Hi, Fernando.
- Good morning, Mr. Davis.
It's good to hear the voice
of a human being again. Sit down?
No, thanks. I'd like to see
Mr. Acuna if he's not busy.
This morning he's nervous.
He probably won't see you.
- How'd you make out?
- Oh, fine.
I opened my mouth too wide
and kept it open too long.
I want to apologize to the old boy.
Mr. Robert Davis wants
to see you, Mr. Acuna.
I don't lik e Mr. Robert Davis.
I don't want to see him.
Advise him to go back to New York
and don't be subtle.
Throw him out!
But look, Mr. Acuna, I just...
This is the first time anything
like this has ever happened to me.
Oh, lady.
Better not to go in there. Nervous.
- Good morning, Maria.
- Eduardo.
I'm a worried man. Maria,
besides having the same name... and my Maria have a lot
in common, haven't you?
Well, I'm her godmother,
we should have.
Would you say she has a personality
like the inside of a refrigerator?
I certainly would not.
But she freezes men to death.
She turns on that sophistication...
Sophistication, fiddlesticks!
Maria's as old-fashioned
as a hoop skirt.
Ridiculous! I know my own daughter.
You think you know
your own daughter.
I know there's something wrong.
She hasn't fallen in love
since she was 15...
...when she got starry-eyed about
that silly knight on a white horse.
- Lochinvar?
- Yes.
You'd think she'd have outgrown
a tin hero by now.
She's probably waiting
for a myth to come to life.
Oh, nonsense! Will you stop thinking
of Maria as a child? She's a woman.
I know women. They all fall in love
with an illusion. I'll get her over that.
Will you leave Maria alone
and stop worrying?
Someday, a man will come along
who will stir her imagination.
By doing something
more romantic than the others.
Such as?
Well, perhaps by sending her flowers
from an "unknown admirer"...
...intriguing her
with just the right kind of note.
Fernando! Get the two most
beautiful orchids you can find.
Bring them here for a note
to be attached.
Eduardo, don't you meddle with this.
If I don't do something,
she'll get hurt.
I won't stand by and let her waste the
best years of her life chasing knights.
Have you gone crazy?
You can't manufacture romance.
I'll create an unknown admirer
and see what happens.
I'll use my left hand
to disguise my writing. Clever?
You think you have the answer
for everything.
What if she falls in love
with your imaginary lover?
Don't worry. If the orchids
and notes intrigue her...
...l'll furnish the young man myself.
She'll never know the difference.
Dearly beloved...
Eduardo, I'm warning you.
- Papa! Hello, Aunt Maria.
- Hello.
What are you doing here?
Must I have an invitation
to my own home for tea?
- Is that you, Eduardo?
- Yes, yes.
What on earth are you doing here?
You'd think my only privilege
in this house was paying the bills.
Aunt Maria, it's good to see you.
- Wasn't that the doorbell?
- Expecting somebody, Papa?
No, why should I be expecting
somebody? Sit down, Maria.
Thank you.
I'm really upset with your son, Maria...
...and with your daughter Julia,
I went to the hotel
where they're honeymooning.
- What for? In the name of all...
- Don't speak when I'm interrupting.
To see if there was anything
I could do for them.
As if there would be.
I thought they'd want to discuss what
they intend to do on their honeymoon.
But they sent down word
they weren't in.
Perhaps they weren't, Delfina.
At the same time, they also sent down
for a bottle of champagne.
- I felt like...
- Wasn't that the doorbell?
Something's wrong with Papa.
He's always hearing bells.
Well, well, well! Orchids.
Shame on Tony.
He should save his money.
- How do you know they're not for me?
- Bring me the flowers, Cecy.
Why, there's a card inside.
Nobody ever sends me flowers.
After a woman gets married...
...her husband decides
she can't smell anymore.
Now, don't get that martyred look.
They're for Maria.
- For Maria?
- Why, they... They are for Maria.
Well, somebody's
just trying to be funny.
"Dearly beloved,
I send you orchids..."
- Let Maria read her own card.
- Go ahead, Mama.
It probably ends up with a joke.
"...because my heart is no longer mine,
now that I have seen you.
Be kind to these orchids.
It is not their fault that they can
never be as lovely as you."
Why, it brought tears to my eyes.
That note was written by a man
with a sensitive soul.
It sounded pretty silly to me.
A charming man sends you the most
beautiful note ever written...
...and you say it sounds silly?
"Your unknown suitor." And I don't
think much of his handwriting.
Well, perhaps he's left-handed.
How does this card strike you,
Aunt Maria?
If it had been sent to me
and I didn't know who'd written it...
...I should think it was pretty silly.
- Aunt Maria's right.
Whoever he is,
he'll have to do better than that.
Let me see the card, Maria, please.
- What are you two whispering about?
- Well, l...
I was saying that if that note
didn't warm Maria's heart...
...the next one, I believe,
may well start a flame within her.
Why, Eduardo, you remind me
of our courting days.
He was always telling me
how I lit a flame in him.
Sometimes I wonder
if it hasn't gone out.
I'll have you know that
I'm twice the man I was.
I would settle for half the man
you were, dear.
Here are the love lyrics you wanted.
The love songs and
the great love letters of Napoleon.
Just put them down and get out.
Right on time, 5:00.
You know, Louise, I'm beginning
to wonder what he's like.
She's in love at last.
I'm going to wear Tony's ring
where everybody can see it.
Now we can be secretly engaged
and tell everybody.
- No orchids for almost a week.
- Sunk again.
I guess we'd better
put our rings back.
Oh, hello, Papa.
When did you get back in town?
Just now. How's everything at home?
Oh, we're all right,
but Maria's in the dumps.
Maria, in the dumps? Why?
She hasn't received orchids all week.
No orchids all week?
How stupid of me!
I mean, tell her, of course, that
no one's been making a fool of her.
No, don't tell her anything.
Well, how does she know
the orchid sender didn't get sick?
Well, say hello to your mother.
See you soon. Goodbye.
Dearly beloved...
...although I have been
desperately ill... my delirium, they...
In my delirium,
they told me I asked only for you.
Have you got my number? 3790.
This time, he's shaving.
No, don't bring
a lottery ticket in here.
I can escape to the lobby
for a moment.
- I'll see you there. Right now.
- Did you give him my message?
Yes, and he said to have you arrested
for trespassing if you came in again.
Mr. Davis, give up.
He'll never see you.
Fernando. Send a bellboy
in here immediately.
Mr. Acuna?
There's money
and a note on my desk.
Take them,
buy two magnificent orchids...
...attach the note, then take the
flowers to my home. Is that clear?
Yes, sir. But first, could I see...?
Hurry it up! This is an emergency.
And bring back the change.
Yes, sir.
I'll be back.
"Dearly beloved, dearly beloved...
...dearly beloved, dearly beloved."
- I wouldn't take it so hard.
- I'm not taking anything hard.
Beware of note writers who haven't
the courage to court you face to face.
Even my clock's slow.
No, it isn't. Look, dear. Look.
"For Miss Maria Acuna."
Thank you, sir.
Thank you with all my heart and soul.
You're an angel.
Hoist the anchor, Cecy,
we're in again.
You know, I think
I've seen him before.
Louise, would you be a darling and
pick up the pieces of notes I tore up?
Yes, yes.
"Dearly beloved..."
Jumping blue blazes!
Jumping blue blazes!
Can't you even order a teapot
for that hotel without calling me?
Why do I put up with it?
All right, all right.
Maybe I can fly up next week.
In the meanwhile, start looking
for another profession.
One that won't require the use of that
addled fraction of a brain of yours.
Mr. Acuna, here's your change.
Two pesos, 50 centavos.
- What are you doing here?
- I delivered the orchids for you... you're going...
- You delivered the orchids?
I'm not gonna try to figure out how
you substituted yourself for a bellboy.
Mr. Acuna, I've been trying for days
to dance for you.
You're the only man who's ever
refused to see my work, and I resent it.
Get out of my office!
Now, look, this is a matter of pride
with me. I don't like to dance, see?
I came down here to get away from it.
Shall I have you thrown out?
You can't talk that way to me.
Honest, I'm an important guy.
Now, you're gonna see me dance
and like it.
Oh, no, I'm not.
Oh, yes, you are. Take it, boys.
One, two.
- Well?
- Excellent. Beautiful.
But I don't want it.
Mr. Davis... do something to me that results
in the most fascinating dislike ever.
- May I make an observation?
- You may make your exit!
Mr. Acuna, your overwhelming
graciousness bewilders me.
However, I bear no grudges.
When you change your mind, call me.
Out of my sight!
Thank you again for your welcome.
You let that jumping jack in my office.
You'll pay for this with every drop
of your anaemic blood.
You nincompoop! You worm!
You're fired! Now get out and never
come back, you diddling dimwit.
"Diddling dimwit"?
Welcome home, Papa.
I could have sworn
I heard you swearing.
Why, I thought you were...
Aren't you looking extraordinarily
happy about something?
- I am happy.
- Couldn't be orchids, could it?
And I'll let you in on a secret.
I know who's been
sending me the flowers.
You do? Now, look, darling,
everything can be explained.
- What do you mean?
- Tell me what you're talking about.
The orchids, the notes.
- I know who sent them.
- You do?
- Well, you don't seem brokenhearted.
- Well, why should I be?
- I'm glad you're taking it this way...
- Tell me what you're talking about.
- Tell me who you're talking about.
- Oh, Mr. Acuna?
When you change your mind,
I'll be up in Room 920.
Oh, Papa, that's who
I'm talking about. He's the one.
- He's what?
- The one who's in love with me.
- He is not!
- Oh, yes, yes.
I saw him bring
the orchids this afternoon.
Oh, I remember.
He sang at the wedding.
I tell you, he's not the one
who's been sending you the flowers!
If he is, he's a pest!
He's not only a pest, he's a dancer!
- How wonderful. I love...
- He's not for you! He's out of work!
Then you give him work,
for me.
Don't tell me you could do anything so
ghastly as to get mixed up with him.
And to think I was cool to him
at the wedding.
I forbid you
to fall in love with this man!
And besides, it's too late.
He's going somewhere.
New York, I hope.
Well, maybe I can change his mind.
You should read what he wrote to me.
No. No, on second thought,
I don't think your heart could stand it.
- Anybody can write a love letter.
- I'd like to see you try it.
Anyway, he's not leaving
South America...
...if I can help it.
And I think I can.
- What was his room number?
- My mind's a blank. I've forgotten.
I haven't.
920, please.
You ask him to the house tonight.
What's gotten into you, Maria?
Nice girls don't act this way.
- Nice girls don't feel the way I do.
- Why, you're brazen.
How could I be...
...with a heart like an ice cube?
- I didn't say that.
That gleam in your eye has nothing
to do with ice cubes. It's predatory.
Maybe you're right.
- 920, please.
- All right.
When I've signed those papers,
I'll ask him.
You're a very sweet papa.
Oh, and I'll have to hurry.
I've only got three hours to dress.
Bye, sweets.
- Why did you have to tell him off?
- Don't worry, he'll come around.
Oh, you don't know him.
You know, Acuna is the most
opinionated man in South America.
I'll show you.
See that nose?
That nose shows opinionation.
His ears indicate mulishness.
His forehead slopes like a tin roof.
- No intellect whatsoever.
- What about his chin?
Oh, his chin clearly indicates
weakness of character.
Handlebar moustache,
no sense of humour.
His droopy eyelids
indicate he's a dope.
Very flattering, Cugat.
- Oh, Mr. Acuna.
- The Sky Room is going to miss you.
In the meanwhile,
I will speak to Mr. Davis alone.
Sure, sure.
Will you excuse me, please?
Mr. Davis, I find myself
in an embarrassing position.
Think nothing of it, sir.
We all make mistakes.
- When do I start dancing?
- You do not start dancing.
- Didn't you come to see about...?
- One of my daughters.
The one you so gallantly referred to
as the "inside of a refrigerator."
But I'm afraid I don't follow you.
She thinks you're in love with her.
Would it be rude of me to inquire
if there's any insanity in your family?
And what's worse, she has the
illusion that she's in love with you.
- Oh, my. Poor child.
- It's not her fault. It's yours.
- I still don't follow you.
- You took her the orchids, didn't you?
Why, I left some orchids
at your door, yes.
But what's that got to do with the
idea I'm in love with your daughter?
She's been receiving orchids and
love notes from an unknown admirer.
- Then she thinks I'm the fellow?
- So you've stirred her imagination.
I don't want to stir her imagination.
I didn't write any notes.
Don't you think I know that?
I wrote those notes myself.
- You? Then there is insanity.
- No, there isn't.
All you've got to do is to
let her think you wrote those notes.
- I see. Then what?
- Then disillusion her.
- Tell her I didn't send the flowers?
- Of course not.
Her pride would be crushed. She's got
to believe that you admire her...
...and yet for her own happiness, she's
got to lose her infatuation for you.
That's easy. Just tell her I'm a heel.
I want her to discover that
for herself.
Yeah? How?
By being your own obnoxious self
when you come to my house tonight.
Oh, I'm coming to your house tonight?
To complete the disillusionment...'ll tell her you're sailing
for North America tomorrow.
But I'm not. I like it here.
I'll pay your transportation
and a bonus as well.
Thanks just the same, Mr. Acuna.
My only interest at the moment
is in your Sky Room.
If you do this for me, I'll give you a
contract to dance, at some future date.
Will you put that in writing
and leave the date open?
- Yes.
- Okay.
- What time shall I show up?
- At 9:00.
And don't stay too late.
- Something in my eye.
- A keyhole, no doubt.
- Until tonight at 9.
- And I won't stay too late.
Look what we found.
Is this your Robert Davis?
That's the one.
He brought the orchids.
He's "The Idol of New York."
I like his smile...
...and the twinkle in his eye.
- Remember Mama's advice:
Don't frighten him
with your intelligence.
- Just act simple and mysterious.
- I know, make an entrance.
Be casual, as though
I didn't know he was coming.
That's right. Come on, Cecy.
- Do I look all right?
- You're as beautiful as ever, my dear.
It just takes longer now.
Oh, I forgot. I had a pin in my mouth.
Did it go in very deep?
I'll probably look like
a Ubangi by midnight.
Hurry, it's 9:00.
If you giggle again, I'm going to
throw cold water in your face.
You think Mr. Davis wants to marry
into a family of gigglers?
Maria won't marry this young man.
She's not going to like him.
He has absolutely no good qualities.
That's not for you to decide.
I read in a book that a salmon swims
miles and miles to find a mate...
...and Maria has swum long enough.
Maria is going to wait
until the right man comes along.
Why should she? I didn't.
Oh, it's Mr. Davis. He can't meet us
scattered around the hall.
- Hurry, Mama.
- Come on.
- Good evening, Mr. Acuna.
- Mr. Davis.
- Did you receive the contract?
- Yes, sir.
Then I can depend on you?
Don't worry, she'll be disillusioned.
Maria, may I present
Mr. Robert Davis.
- We've met before, haven't we?
- Yes. No.
That is... In a way, but...
We will translate
that remarkable statement...
...after you've met
the rest of the family.
This is Mrs. Acuna.
My daughters Cecy and Lita.
Mr. Robert Davis.
He can't stay long.
Sit down, Mr. Davis.
I accidentally read
one of your beautiful notes to Maria.
It's a shame that such a talented
young man is unemployed, Eduardo.
Oh, but didn't Mr. Acuna tell you?
I'm to dance in his Sky Room
starting tomorrow night.
- Isn't that so, Mr. Acuna?
- The date was left open.
- But you meant tomorrow, didn't you?
- Oh, of course he did.
And you're going to love
working for Papa. Isn't he?
Oh, I'm sure I will.
Oh, I almost forgot.
These are for you.
There's no note this time, because...
I'd rather you'd say
what you might have written anyway.
- Do you mind if I smoke?
- Oh, of course not.
No, thank you.
Have I said something wrong?
He thinks it's real.
I had it made
into a cigarette lighter, Mr. Davis.
Oh, I see.
For a moment, it looked real.
Oh, I guess it's killed
many a man in its day...
...but it's only an antique now.
But you wouldn't mind
pointing it that way a little bit?
- Of course not, but it's harmless.
- Oh, I'm sure it is.
Do you mind?
I could stand a little air.
There's lots of it in the garden.
- What if I'd killed him?
- Never mind him.
What about the vase?
Oh, now he'll never get back
into a romantic mood.
Maybe some music would
quiet his nerves. Come on.
After my notes, I must be
an awful disappointment to you.
Oh, on the contrary.
I like modest men.
Well, I don't know exactly
how to tell you, but...
I like bashfulness too.
Your city is so cosmopolitan, and this
shack of yours is so magnificent...
...frankly, I feel like
a duck out of water.
I think you'd fit in anyplace.
But I mean, I wouldn't fit into
this kind of life, your kind of life.
I don't like it much either.
But you don't know my kind of life.
- It's music and dancing, isn't it?
- Yes.
Well, we love your North American
music and dances down here.
Oh, but imagine a man like me
having to dance for a living.
I can't imagine a happier way
to earn one.
There's a great weakness
in my character.
- I'm a sucker for a horserace.
- They thrill me too.
I'd probably bet my last cent on
a horse. As a matter of fact, I did.
I have a gambler's heart myself.
You know...
...I think that's why
your notes intrigued me so.
Look, little lady,
as they'd say in Brooklyn:
"I can't bat in your league." I'm a plain,
ordinary guy from Omaha, Nebraska.
Just an old-fashioned,
everyday Middle Westerner.
Why, my grandfather
was a cattle raiser.
So was mine!
But you're streamlined. You're today.
Sister, I was raised amongst the
grasshoppers. I am strictly from corn.
It's getting late, Mr. Davis.
- It's your play, Eduardo.
- Well, I don't want that card.
Am I the first girl you never kissed?
I knew a fellow once who came
to a lull like this with a girl and...
He didn't know what to say.
I heard of a man once
who was in love with a girl...
...and afraid to say so.
Cugat. I promised to meet him.
I almost forgot. You'll forgive me
if I go, won't you?
- Of course.
- I'm awfully sorry. I promised to see...
Good night.
- Why, he's leaving.
- Good.
Mr. Davis.
- Doesn't Maria dance beautifully?
- Yes.
You should've seen her
dressing for you.
No dress was good enough,
even though she has dozens.
- Not that she's extravagant, Mr. Davis.
- I'm sure she's not. Good night, girls.
When Mama was away once,
Maria ran the house herself.
- Papa said the bills were cut in half.
- And what meals we had!
- Maria majored in domestic science.
- She did?
Everyone remarks on what
a perfect wife she'll make.
I agree. Absolute...
If I could just have my hat.
- Oh, of course.
- You must forgive the girls...
...they're just anxious for Maria
to get married so they can be married.
- Well, thank you very much...
- They don't need to worry any longer.
- I'd say Maria's falling in love.
- We'd miss her if she left.
We'd be willing to make the sacrifice
for her happiness.
Thanks. It's been so nice.
- Leaving so soon, Mr. Davis?
- Yes.
But I hate to.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Thanks a lot.
- Oh, you're very welcome.
Will you three stop interfering
with Maria's life?
Will you leave that to me?
- Oh, Maria!
- Oh, Maria!
- Isn't he just wonderful?
- How'd you make out?
The first time in my life I ever
really wanted a man to kiss me...
...and he had something else to do.
But the next time,
it's going to be different.
Eduardo, did you hear that?
- Hi, Fernie.
- Oh, no. Over my dead body.
- I'm not going to get fired again today.
- Must you clutter up the doorway?
- You betrayed me last night.
- Me? How?
By deliberately concealing
your true and obnoxious nature...
...and making yourself be charming.
- I did not.
Maybe there is insanity
in the female branch of the family.
They've conceived
a misguided affection for you.
- They think I'm in love with Maria.
- The mention of love between you...
...makes my flesh creep.
How you can be the father of such
a lovely girl absolutely amazes me.
- I resent that remark.
- I resent how you butt into her life.
But you have absolutely
no right to resent anything.
Mr. Acuna, I've arranged to fly back
to New York by the next plane.
- You've what?
- You can tear up that contract.
- I've decided to beat it.
- Oh, you have? Just like that?
Yes, sir, I'm going to dump
your entire asinine predicament...
...right back into your lap.
Oh, I see. You want them to think
that I forced you to leave.
Isn't that exactly what you're doing?
You want Maria to think you're a
martyr, sacrificed on the altar of love.
That idiotic statement didn't come
from your wife's side of the family.
Mr. Davis, you signed
a binding contract with me.
You'll stay here,
or I'll file an injunction.
- Yesterday, you wanted...
- That was before...
...your hideous display of charm
last night. Now I have a new plan.
You will live up to your contract
in the Sky Room...
...but you will keep away from Maria.
- Is that supposed to be brilliant?
That will let her know that you
merely used her to get the contract.
Naturally, then, she will loathe you.
That's just dandy. Then what?
Then, to show you how little
you've meant to her...
...she will immediately fall in love
with a more acceptable young man.
One of many whom I will invite
to my home in the immediate future.
- You think she'll fall in love quickly?
- Mr. Davis...
...I have an instinct about emotional
responses of the feminine heart.
Don't you think
I ought to explain to Maria that...?
- Why, I thought perhaps...
- No.
Our mutual aim
is that she loathe you, isn't it?
I guess so.
- I was just thinking...
- No.
You do the dancing,
I'll do the thinking.
Fernando, in making out the guest list
for the wedding anniversary ball...
... I wanna include the most
outstanding and charming men...
... who have ever been guests
in my home.
Yes, sir.
Wait a minute!
I thought I discharged you yesterday!
Mrs. Acuna told me to forgive
your display of temper, so I have.
I forgive you, Mr. Acuna.
Oh, thank you very much.
Not at all, sir.
I'll prepare the list.
"Mr. And Mrs. Acuna request
the pleasure of your company... the 25th anniversary
of their wedding.
Fancy dress."
I can't believe
it's been 25 years, Delfina.
That's because
you aren't married to Eduardo.
I might have been
if you hadn't seen him first.
- Where's Maria?
- Tennis lesson.
But her mind isn't on the ball.
She's still trying to figure out why
Mr. Davis didn't kiss her, I guess.
- Oh, hello, Fernando.
- Good afternoon, Lita...
...Mrs. Acuna, Castro, Cecy.
Mr. Acuna sent me with his approved
list of young men he wishes invited.
- Oh, swell!
- Let me see.
I don't see Mr. Davis' name here,
Fernando. Mr. Robert Davis.
It seems that Mr. Robert Davis
is not on Mr. Acuna's approved list.
He's the only one on my list.
- Hello, Aunt Maria.
- Hello.
- Fernando.
- Hello.
Do you know why Papa
left Mr. Davis off the list?
He said something about Mr. Davis
devoting himself to the Sky Room...
...from now, henceforth.
- Thank you, Fernando.
You know, we're expecting you
at the celebration.
Thank you, Mrs. Acuna.
You honour me. Sweet.
- Bye.
- Goodbye, Fernando.
I'd be interested in meeting
your Robert Davis, Maria.
Well, I haven't a thing to do
right now.
How nice. Neither have I.
A little faster, Cugie, please.
Once more.
One, two.
Hold it.
Well, hello.
- Does your father know you're here?
- No, why should he?
- Mrs. Castro, may I present...
- Why, I remember you.
- So you're Maria's Robert.
- Yes... Well, I don't know. Am I?
Won't you come in and sit down?
We are special emissaries
from Mr. And Mrs. Acuna.
We're asking the pleasure of your
company on Wednesday evening.
- Thank you.
- At 9 p.m., but... can come earlier if you like.
Are you sure Mr. Acuna
wants me to come?
Oh, he'd be devastated if you didn't.
And so would I.
You were coming back
in half an hour, weren't you, Auntie?
Oh, yes, in a half an hour. Goodbye.
Won't you sit down?
Well, this is a pleasant surprise.
We were just running over
a little thing from Harlem.
But I don't suppose
you've heard of Harlem here.
Isn't that where the zoot suit
with the reet pleat comes from?
- I'd like to hear it. May I?
- Certainly.
Oh, Cugie, let's have it.
Are you sure he's coming?
Does Papa know?
Do you think he'll propose tonight?
Well, if he doesn't,
it won't be my fault.
My, isn't Papa handsome?
Just think, Papa, you've been
married longer than we've lived.
Well, I consider that a very fortunate
coincidence, my dear.
It just occurred to me
that I neglected to ask Mr. Davis... come to the house tonight.
That doesn't bother you, does it?
- Should it, Papa?
- It's just, I thought it unforgivable...
...that he didn't call on you
after starting his contract with me.
He hasn't sent
any more orchids, has he?
- No more notes?
- Nope.
- You don't seem upset about it.
- I'm not.
Well, that's fine.
There'll be some handsome
young men tonight.
I want you to have a happy time.
I expect this to be
the happiest night of my life.
That's a good girl. I knew you'd let Mr.
Davis know exactly where he stands.
Yes, Papa,
that's just what I intend to do.
Papa, Grandma's here. Hurry!
Thank you very much.
Very kind of you.
- Congratulations.
- Oh, Maria.
What's going on between
your wife and my husband?
They're always whispering.
This is a fine time
to suspect your husband...
...on your wedding anniversary.
Well, I don't know.
You're such a fool,
and you think you're so smart.
Why, Maria actually
seemed happy...
...when I told her
I hadn't invited Mr. Davis.
- Oh, Mr. Davis.
- We're so glad to see you.
Thank you.
Congratulations, Mrs. Acuna.
- It's so nice of you to ask me.
- We're happy to have you, aren't we?
- Delighted. Aren't we, Papa?
- Yes, indeed.
Congratulations, Mr. Acuna.
It gives us all an opportunity
to say goodbye to him.
- Goodbye?
- Goodbye?
He received an offer from New York,
didn't you, Robert?
- Well, that is...
- Insisted on taking tomorrow's plane.
Didn't you, Robert?
Yes, I guess I did.
- Oh, Mr. Davis, you can't!
- We won't let you!
I'm sure Mr. Davis
knows what's best.
- For him.
- You must induce him to stay.
I have no alternative. He asked me
to tear up the contract.
- Didn't you, Robert?
- Yes, sir.
Grandma wanted to meet you.
- Isn't she a lovely girl?
- I've never met a lovelier one.
Remember, I have
my own chapel at home...
...if you'd like to get married
without the usual Acuna fuss.
Granny, we...
You don't understand.
We have no use for a chapel.
We've just heard that Mr. Davis
is forced to leave us.
You chose exactly
the right word, Maria.
Our dear friends, 52 years ago
in a little village in Brittany... beloved mother
and father were married.
When they came to South America
they brought a song...
...and a happy tradition with them.
This music was played
at their wedding...
...and 25 years ago,
at Delfina's and mine.
And now, in honour
of my beloved mother...
...and in tribute
to my charming wife...
...I have asked Mr. Cugat
to play that music for us tonight.
Hey, you've got to make Davis
so jealous that he won't leave Maria.
If he takes a plane,
it's gotta be on a honeymoon with her.
Will you do it?
Well, well,
what are you waiting for?
Listen, old man, I started this dance
with Maria, and I'm going to finish it.
Go out there and cut in on him.
Keep after him until he's so jealous
he can't stand it.
Mr. Davis, how dare you
attack a guest of mine!
- The jester was getting out of hand.
- And getting in my hair.
- I will not tolerate this sort of thing.
- It was our fault, we egged him on.
But falling in the pool
was his own fault!
Everything that happens
in the Acuna family is my fault.
I work long hours, I do as I'm told,
and where does it get me?
In the end?
Oh, so it's you!
You chose your costume well, fool!
Mr. Acuna, I have stood enough.
Fernando, I didn't know.
I guess it was partly my fault.
It's not your fault I'm distantly related
to this fuddy-duddy by marriage.
- What was that again?
- You will bark at me no longer!
I resign, and don't take advantage
of our family connections... try to get me back again.
Oh, let's tell the truth.
We were trying to help ourselves.
We're sick and tired
of being old maids.
We wanted
to make Robert jealous... that he'd propose to Maria
before he left.
- You're wasting your time.
- Well, why?
Because I'm not in love with Robert
and he's not in love with me.
I think we've embarrassed
him enough.
Don't let it upset you, Robert.
Maria was bound to come
to her senses sooner or later.
Kind of settles your problems,
doesn't it?
Would you mind
if I said goodbye to her?
Not at all, not at all.
Why did you say that
to Robert out there?
What else could I say?
Everybody's trying to push him into
marrying me. Even Granny tried it.
If you ask me,
I don't think he needs any pushing.
There's something I've got to say.
Take her in the garden.
You can say it much better out there.
The air's nice out there, remember?
I just wanted to say that...
Gee, you're beautiful.
It's funny, I had so much to say.
And now I can't think
of a darned thing.
Where was I?
You said I was beautiful.
Oh, yes, I did.
Look, would you mind turning
the other way, please?
I can't concentrate
when you look at me like that.
I was only kidding.
Oh, you're terrific!
What's the use?
Is that what you wanted
to say, Robert?
Well, that's only the first part.
I don't quite know how
to tell you the rest.
Well, maybe I can make
it easy for you.
I love you too.
Oh, doctor, you've struck a nerve!
Well, Robert,
did you say goodbye?
Not exactly.
It was more like hello.
I can never say goodbye
to her, sir.
- I love Maria.
- You don't say.
Well, that's just too bad.
It would be
if she didn't love me too.
That's poppycock.
You heard what she said.
Yep, I was there. You weren't.
- You're leaving on tomorrow's plane.
- Yeah, but with Maria.
You'll do nothing of the kind!
Sit down, Robert, sit down.
This is going to hurt you,
and I admit, I'm sorry for you.
Maria isn't in love with you.
She merely thinks she is.
That's good enough for me.
- How will she feel when she finds out?
- Finds out what?
That you weren't
her unknown admirer?
That you agreed to deceive her
in exchange for a contract?
Well, that's not a very pretty way
to put it.
A woman doesn't mind you lying
when you compliment her...
...but she'd never forgive a lie
that made her a moonstruck ninny.
She's not. And I haven't been
exactly lying to her.
Besides, you got me into this.
Did you know that Maria
found a romantic ideal at 15?
- No.
- She did.
His name was Lochinvar.
You don't mean that fellow
on a white horse?
A sort of knight?
She cherished a dream
that she'd meet a man...
...that measured up to that ideal.
- I don't believe that.
She's a big girl now.
Have you taken a good look
at her lately?
At heart, she's still the same
romantic girl.
You were just an accident, my boy.
It might have been anybody.
Any man who arrived
when she was ready and waiting...
...for the lover who intrigued her,
who brought her orchids.
There'd come a day when
the illusion I created would vanish.
Suddenly, she'd see you
as you really are.
And that's...? That's bad, huh?
For Maria, yes.
I'm sorry.
I try to appear hard,
but I'm a fake, Robert.
At heart, I'm a sentimentalist.
I pity you, but I love my daughter.
I want to see her happy.
Don't you?
Of course I do.
If I go north, will you promise
that she'll never know...
...that I didn't send the notes?
- I give you my word.
It's just that I want her
to remember me... she thinks I am.
I'll let her keep her memories.
As a matter of fact,
I'll compose a farewell note...
...that she'll treasure
as long as she lives.
It's best that I don't see her again.
I wouldn't know what to say.
I'll say it.
I'll break it gently.
Thank you, sir.
We're awfully sorry, Fernando.
We didn't mean to get you in trouble.
I'm going to insist that Eduardo
ignore his resignation.
Oh, Mama.
While you're there, will you
put in a good word for Robert?
Of course, dear.
"Dearly beloved... long as my heart beats, I'll never
forget the softness of your lips...
...the pounding of your heart
against mine.
Yes, my dearest, darling Maria...
...I will always cherish the exquisite
torture of our stolen kisses...
...our sweet stolen moments together.
- Maria, my secret love."
- Maria?
You and Maria Castro!
Now I know what all that
whispering's been about.
- You bluebeard!
- Delfina, give me that note.
The "softness" of her...
The "pounding" of her...
To think that you,
lovemaking with Maria.
The godmother of your own child.
The wife of your best friend.
Writing a love note to her
on our own wedding anniversary.
- You wretch!
- Delfina, I can ex...
Don't try to change the subject.
Say something!
Delfina, give me that note!
I regret having to say goodbye,
Mrs. Castro. You've been most kind.
You'd better go into the library,
Mrs. Castro.
- Your name is being bandied about.
- What's that?
The pistols are on the table.
Retribution day is here. Acuna's
going to get what's coming to him.
- How? Why?
- He was caught red-handed...
...writing a love note to Maria Castro.
Maria Castro?
- I'm innocent, I tell you.
- Don't touch me, you scorpion.
Oh, Juan, we'll have to bear
this disgrace together.
And we have grown children.
This letter was written to your wife
by my husband.
Let the reptile's own words
convict him.
We caught him writing it.
He jumped like he was shot.
- Did he admit it?
- I admit nothing.
You keep out of this!
I'm talking to your wife.
I gave him the best 25 years of my life.
Do you deny you wrote this note?
I ask that my daughters
leave this ridiculous scene.
And I demand that they stay.
They'll learn a lesson in matrimony
they'll never forget.
Eduardo, I am a jealous man.
Will you please take that injured look
from your fat face?
- Did you write this note?
- Yes, I wrote the note...
I'm sure that Papa can explain
everything if you'll just give him time.
- Yes, if you'll just give me time.
- Well, we're listening.
Well, this isn't the time.
And what have you to say,
you brazen thing?
My dear, sweet, darling wife,
will you please shut up?
I'm not speaking to her again anyway.
If you wanted my husband, why didn't
you come to me and ask for him?
I don't want your husband.
There she goes,
laughing at me behind my back.
Beg pardon, Delfina, right in your face.
Oh, whispering women!
Going to his office every day,
and him, writing letters!
- He's a fiend.
- You don't know...
...what you're talking about.
- Don't argue!
If Delfina says he's a fiend,
he's a fiend.
- They're insane, Maria, both of them.
- I am insane, Eduardo.
It's an insane world when
my best friend and my own wife...
Eduardo, we must confess.
Did you hear her?
She wants to confess.
We'll confess nothing.
Not here and not now.
- You'll have to be patient.
- I'll have to be patient?!
Hold that gun.
It might go off, you know.
Now, look, I can explain everything.
Mr. Acuna was not writing that letter
to Maria Castro.
He was writing it to Maria,
his own daughter... a farewell note from me.
- From you?
He wrote all the notes you received,
and he sent all the orchids.
I don't understand.
He just decided that Maria
should have an unknown suitor, so...
Is that true, Eduardo?
You were very considerate, Papa.
But how did you come into all this?
When I delivered the orchids, Maria,
you jumped at conclusions.
So your father had to ask me
to act as your admirer.
Well, how did you bring yourself
to make such a sacrifice?
The truth is, I wanted this contract...
And that's how Papa paid you
for being attentive to me.
- In a way, but later...
- Later you got tired of the assignment.
You got in too deep.
So Papa wrote a goodbye note
for you to send.
I apologize for all the embarrassment
this has caused you, Aunt Maria.
It was partly my fault.
I knew your father
was writing the notes.
Well! Everybody knows now.
I guess nobody had
any way of knowing...
...l'd make such
a complete fool of myself.
Congratulations, Robert.
I hope Papa paid you well.
You earned it.
If I had written the notes...
...I would have meant every word
your father said.
Please, Maria.
He's working overtime, Papa.
You should give him a bonus.
Will you ever forgive me, Maria?
She may, but all my life, I'll be
haunted by your frightful suspicions...
...that I could have been unfaithful.
- Oh, Eduardo!
Go and see that our guests are happy
and leave me with my conscience.
- Eduardo...
- Don't say anything.
I know, you're a jealous man.
- Remember, I warned you.
- I remember.
My boy, a woman's advice
isn't worth listening to...
...but any man who doesn't take it
is a fool. And that's me.
I've been pretty much of a dope
For some time,
it was a positive pleasure...
...for me to dislike you.
It gave me a nice, warm glow.
But now I must confess that I've
conceived quite a fondness for you.
What you just did smacked of nobility.
I didn't want to see you
shot full of holes.
Making that confession before Maria,
to save me... must have been painful.
- It wasn't any fun.
Do you think she'll be all right now?
Thanks to my meddling, no.
I wonder if she'll ever forgive us.
Mr. Acuna, would you mind very much
if I didn't take tomorrow's plane?
You have my permission
to court Maria... long as your strength holds out.
But I'm afraid it won't
do you any good.
If these orchids aren't out of here
by the time I get back, I'll...
I'll set fire to them.
Oh, Miss Maria, can't you see
how desperate he is?
All right. He made love to you
under false pretences...
...but he's serious now.
You've forgiven me.
You can forgive him.
I can't forgive him for what he did
to make me love him.
What about the things you did
to make him fall in love with you?
When you've got a fish hooked,
haul him in.
Don't you let another orchid
in this house!
- Miss Maria Acuna.
- Right this way, boys.
Now, don't give up, my boy.
You're bucking the man
she thought you were.
- That fellow on the white horse?
- Yes.
- I have an instinct for...
- For what goes on in a woman's heart.
- I know.
- I know this.
Every woman wants to be swept
off her feet and carried away.
Tell me, just what did this bird
Lochinvar do about his gal?
Well, he put on his best
suit of Sunday armour...
...and rode up to her father's castle,
or whatever they lived in.
There was a dance going on,
or something...
...but Lochinvar rode into the patio,
or whatever they have in Scotland...
...and swept the girl off her feet,
onto his horse and rode off with her.
I think.
Well, I've tried everything else.
Robert! Robert!
Wait, Robert!
Before we go any further,
I've got to get something straight.
This Lochinvar fellow.
Never heard of him.
That's all I wanted to know.