A Face in the Crowd (1957) Movie Script

Somebody's looking for you.
Oh, Miss Jeffries.
Good morning, Marcia. I think
we have just what you're looking for.
We always get a good haul
over the Fourth of July.
Good, come on, let's go.
Here she comes, Bill.
Won't you come in?
We'll see what we've got.
Oh, wait a minute,
I forgot my tape recorder.
- Boys, this is Miss Marcia Jeffries.
- How do you do?
Her uncle owns a radio station
here in town. KGRK.
She's been doing
a roving-reporter progran.
Maybe you've been listening to it.
A Face in the Crowd?
And a mighty nice
little program it is, too.
I know this is a little unusual.
But this morning, she's gonna do
her program from right in here.
So, Miss Jeffries, the jail of
Tomahawk County is at your disposal.
It's very simple. We just talk into
this little microphone in a natural voice.
We just sort of chat back and forth.
Now, look, it's completely informal.
So, if anybody wants to sing a song
or tell an anecdote or funny story...
Let me see, now.
Hey, Beanie, last time you were in here,
seems to me I heard you singing something.
I ain't got my teeth with me this time.
This is radio KGRK,
the voice of Northeast Arkansas,
bringing you its morning feature,
A Face in the Crowd.
Whose face? Why, it could be yours.
Or yours or yours, because people
are fascinating wherever you find them.
This is Marcia Jeffries,
looking for more faces in the crowd.
This time from the Tomahawk County Jail.
Okay, say something.
Don't worry, Ma, everything's fine.
Nicest jail I've been in
in this part of the country.
Hey, you. You can do something.
Just because I got black skin,
I ain't no minstrel, man.
I'm sorry, Miss Jeffries,
but they're just an ornery bunch.
Say, where's the drunk we taked in
last night with the guitar?
- What's his name?
- Rhodes. That's him lying over there in...
Well, go over there and wake him up.
Better watch him, he's mean.
Miss Jeffries would like to speak
with him. Wake him up.
Hey, wake up!
Morning, Mr. Rhodes, I'm from radio KG...
- Get away! Get away!
- The sheriff's here.
I don't care if the President
of the United States is here.
A man can't get
a little decent sleep in jail...
Who are you?
I'd like to introduce you
to our radio audience
- and have you sing a song and spin a yarn.
- Radio?
- Join me in a little back-fence talkin'
- Wait a minute, wait a minute!
Quit racing your motor.
What do I get out of this?
I mean Mr. Me-Myself-and-I.
- Sheriff?
- What's he in here for?
A week. Drunk and disorderly.
I think if you'd cooperate,
I might see my way clear
to let you out of here
first thing in the morning.
Me, too, Sheriff? I'm his manager.
Sheriff, the boys in here says
you don't keep your word any too good.
You live up to your end of the bargain,
and I'll live up to mine.
Well, okay. It's a deal. Tomorrow morning.
I'll sing you a song.
When I went east to Sarah Lawrence
that's a college I majored in music.
And I learned that the real American music
comes from the bottom up.
When George Gershwin played in New York,
it was black-tie music.
But the real beginning of it
was in folks who never owned a tie.
Now, I just bumped into a fella
you never heard of, name of Rhodes.
- Hey, what's your first name?
- Jack or Mac, what's the difference?
Calls himself "Lonesome" Rhodes.
Hey, now, don't be rushing me.
Cut that thing off a minute.
Give me a chance to lubricate
my Adam's apple.
Nothing like a little snake medicine
to put you in the mood.
Ain't Mama a beauty?
Oh, a guitar beats a woman every time.
You know, I never have seen a woman
I could trust like this old guitar.
Love my Mama guitar.
She's always there, waiting for me
to pick her up and hold her.
Never asks me for money or goes
cheating around when I ain't looking.
And if she gets a little sour, why,
I just give her a little twist like so,
and we're back in tune together.
- Hey, Lonesome, sing "Rye Whiskey."
- Lonesome.
"Hallelujah, I'm a Bum."
Oh, she can see that plain enough.
You know, ma'am,
whenever a bunch of fellas like us...
outcasts, hoboes, nobodies,
gentlemen loafers,
one-time or all-time losers,
call us what you want to...
whenever we get together,
we tell our funny stories.
Me and Beanie and the rest of these
hand-to-mouth tumbleweed boys
like you see in here.
If whiskey don't get us
Then women must
And it looks like
I'm never gonna cease
My wandering
But deep down,
when we get ready to tuck our heads
under our wings and go to sleep,
we ain't kidding ourselves.
We're so low-down lonely,
the fella we couldn't stand the sight of
this morning,
tonight, when they get ready to douse
the lights and plunge us into darkness,
why, that same fella seems like
our nearest, dearest buddy.
Ten thousand miles away from home
And I don't even know my name
But I ain't crying.
No, I ain't crying, because I'm gonna be
a free man in the morning.
Ha! You hear that, fellas? A free man!
The sheriff's gonna open this cage,
and I'm gonna be as free as a bird
in the morning!
Hey, maybe I can try
putting a couple of rhymes together.
Ah, sing something dependable,
like "Home on the Range."
I ain't gonna sing
no "Home on the Range."
No, sir, not if it means I rot in here
another month.
I'm gonna sing what I'm gonna be!
A free man in the morning.
Oh, good night, moon
Moon, you just fade, fade
Fade, fade away
Oh, good night, moon
Moon, you just fade away
And hurry up, Mr. Sun
Bring on a new day
Oh, bring on the sheriff
With his great big, old key
Bring on old Big Jeff
The sheriff of Pickett, Arkansas
With his great big, old fat key
To open up this nasty, filthy jailhouse
And make a free man of me
How about that, you got any objection
to being a free man in the morning?
- No, sir, I ain't.
- Ha ha!
Gonna be a
Free man in the morning
Free man in the morning
Free man in the morning
Or know the reason...
All right, I'm ready as I'll ever be.
Thank you, Lonesome Rhodes,
that was just fine.
You mean you had
that thing going all the time?
I'm a sneaky type.
Well, chop me up and sell me...
- You like him?
- Yes, sir.
By golly, Marcia, I think you've
got yourself quite a fella there.
Yep, quite a fella.
I sure would like to use him
on our early-bird show from 7:00 to 8:00.
Would you let me do that, Uncle J.B.?
- Number please, Mr. Jeffries.
- Hello. Get me the jail, Gladys.
- The jail?
- That's right, the sheriff.
Or should I say "our future mayor"?
You know, that boy may be bashful, Marcia,
but he's pretty sweet on you.
The only thing I'm interested in right now
is running the best radio program
in Northeast Arkansas.
Hello, Big Jeff?
- Rhodes?
- Yeah.
That was the agreement, J.B.
I was only holding him
on a drunk and disorderly.
I guess you got no idea
which way he was headed?
There's only two ways out of this town,
and I can't hardly see him going west,
because he just come from jail
over in West Pickett.
You'll likely find him on the east road.
Let's go after him.
There he is.
Hi. Morning!
- We've been looking for you.
- Yeah? What for?
Listen, this is my uncle, Mr. Jeffries,
who owns our radio station.
Well, how's it feel to be a free man
in the morning?
- Where you headed now?
- Port St. Joe, Florida.
Well, that's a long walk.
What's down there?
Oh, plenty of water
and plenty of fishing bridges
and snapper boats and tarpon rolling.
You know, I've always wanted
to catch me a tarpon.
What's to stop you?
I can't afford it. I got a radio station,
newspaper, printing business,
president of the Kiwanis.
I can't afford it.
- Come on, Beanie.
- Wait, we wanna talk to you.
Listen, I ain't got but four or five days
to make it to St. Joe.
Unless I steal somebody's car.
Now, you just wait a minute.
We got a job for you.
Every morning on our station,
7:00 to 8:00.
I don't want no job.
- Why not?
- It's too much like work, man.
You got any money?
Oh, Mama will always get me a little meal.
If it rains, I can sleep in a jail.
Come on, try it for a day.
How about if you had a plane ticket
to Florida?
You can put it in your pocket.
If you ever wanna go, you just go.
okay. I'll try it for one day.
- I'll turn around.
- Let's go.
Marcia, take him over to the hotel
and get him a room.
Maybe we better clean him up a little bit.
See you around, Beanie.
Get in the back.
Had a gal
Way down in Alabam'
I met her like a...
Gonna be a free man
Would you mind closing the door?
My goodness, ain't we fussy.
Look, this wardrobe you got, I think
I better send it to the laundry for you.
Nah, I'll wash it out myself. That way,
I can cut out anytime I feel like it.
So early in the morning?
How'd you like to come over here
and sort of, uh,
get acquainted early in the morning?
We really do have to hurry.
I bet you never sat on a hotel bed
with a man before, did you?
Oh, really?
Look, I'll meet you downstairs.
Free man in the morning
Free man in the morning...
Ladies, or I guess I should say "girls,"
boss lady of this here program
just shoved a piece of paper at me
says I ain't got but three more minutes.
That's what I got against working.
It's all tangled up
with that word "hurry."
You know, back in my little old town
of Riddle, we had a cousin named Harry.
We called him Cousin "Hurry"
because he was always running someplace.
Till one day he fell down
a flight of steps and broke his fool neck.
We put a sign on his grave says:
"He was in such a hurry,
he just couldn't wait to get here."
Shucks, I was getting ready
to add on a verse
about being a free woman in the morning.
I bet a whole lot of you
dream about that sometimes
with all them breakfast dishes piling up
in the sink
and them cranky husbands
to get off to work.
Ain't it a shame the way they get on you
about every little old thing
just 'cause they ain't got gumption enough
to take it out on the boss?
Well, good-bye, dear. I'm late for work.
I hate to talk against my own kind,
but I never have seen a man yet
could appreciate how hard
you women has to work.
Why, they think running a little water
over a dish is all there is to it.
They never see you cleaning
the grease out of the sink
or wiping out of the oven the beef gravy
or the apple juice that sizzles over
the side of the dish onto your grill.
Now, how would he ever know that?
Listen to this one. "Dear Lonesome,
though I never set eyes on you..."
Hey, listen. "I know you must be
a saintly-looking man.
Only a saint could understand
the burdens of a housewife like you do."
They all say the same thing. Morning, Bob.
They love his voice, they love his guitar,
they love his ideas.
They should know some of his ideas.
You're not fooling me,
you're proud of him.
Let's work in my office.
Listen, there hasn't been mail like this
since you started the station.
- Hello?
- Shh!
Oh, hello, Wayne.
Huh? Oh, so, you liked the fella, huh?
Okay, I guess we could put you down
for three one-minute spots.
Thanks for calling. Good-bye.
What do you know? Advertisers actually
calling in to buy time.
Looks like this station's liable
to make a little money yet.
I'd go easy on that advertising, Unc,
'cause I don't think he wants to stay.
Marcia, you found him.
Now it's your job to keep him here.
That's the time, honey.
Every time you see this well run dry,
just come over here and prime her again.
That's right, Lonesome.
I'm afraid
that's gonna be your name.
My real intimate friends call me Larry.
You call me Larry, huh?
That's a good chaser.
You always drink like that?
Not always.
Back in Riddle, they was pretty strict.
Didn't allow us to touch hard liquor
till we was 10 or 11.
Now, is there really a town called Riddle?
Well, tell you the flat truth,
it's just a sort of a whatchacallit, a...
- Composite?
- Compost heap's more like it.
Where do you come from?
Oh, from all over.
Any town you mention for 500 miles,
I bet I lived in it a day or two.
- What'd your father do?
- He was a spieler with a two-bit con.
"Now, if each and every one of you
will hand me up your one-dollar bills,
I'm gonna favor you
with a five-dollar gift."
You still loved him, didn't you?
Ran off and left us
when I was knee-high to a beer barrel.
Your mother had to take care of you?
Never mind about her.
What about all those aunts and uncles
you're always talking about?
I wish I had a nickel
for every time I fell asleep
waiting for my old lady to come home.
When I'd wake up, she'd say,
"Shh. Your uncle's sleeping."
I'd say, "Uncle Lou?"
She'd say, "No, this is your Uncle Mike."
Or, "Uncle Moe."
Seems like there wasn't a town in Arkansas
or Missouri I didn't have an uncle in.
Yes, ma'am, my old lady sure was generous
about taking in relatives.
Yet you grew up so happy-go-lucky.
You put your whole self into that laugh,
don't you?
I put my whole self into everything I do.
You mean you turned down an invite from me
to go out with this tramp?
- Why, you wanna fight?
- No, stop it! Stop it!
Thanks for them pies, gals.
You're gonna spoil me.
Well, I reckon I've sung at you enough
for one morning,
so, uh, maybe I ought to wind up
with a joke.
Let's see, um...
Yeah. I got one.
Sheriff Big Jeff Bess.
You say that ain't no joke?
The fact he's running for mayor
strikes me as kind of funny.
You know,
back in my little old town of Riddle,
the way we elect fellas to office is,
we try to figure which fella can best
be spared from useful labor.
Like, you take the village half-wit.
Now, in most places,
he's gonna be put on town relief,
but, now, in Riddle,
why, as economy measure,
we make him the dogcatcher.
But now, uh, this sheriff of yours,
now, of course,
I don't wanna say nothing agin him,
but if you got any mutts around
you wanna get rid of,
just take them over to his place
to see if he can handle the job.
Here, Whitey. Here, Whitey.
Hey, look at that fool!
How does it feel?
How does what feel?
Just saying anything
that comes into your head
and being able to sway people like this.
Yeah, I guess I can.
Yeah, I guess I can.
And now an amusing example
of grassroot democracy in action.
It seems there's a small-town
radio personality
called, uh, Lonesome Rhodes
out in Arkansas
who literally sent a mayoralty candidate
to the dogs.
Larry? Larry?
Listen, just plow right through them.
Keep going and leave the rest to me.
Thanks for bringing up my breakfast,
Mr. Steiner. Larry, this is Mr. Steiner.
He's come all the way from Memphis
to see you.
Mr. Rhodes.
I'm one of the oldest theatrical agents
in the Mid-South.
I book a lot of acts
for the Grand Ole Opry.
I discovered Hank Snow and Webb Pierce.
And the first morning I heard you,
I said to myself,
"Abe Steiner, that man's got power.
Not just catchy songs and funny stories.
How would you like
to come to Memphis, son?
Mr. Rhodes, you put me in mind of
Will Rogers when he first came to Memphis.
I can make you a star, boy,
if you put yourself in my hands.
Shucks, mister, I'm just a country boy.
I ain't even sure I wanna stay
in this danged old radio business.
I'm not one of these high-pressure fellas.
But do you mind if I call you again?
Miss Jeffries.
Grand Ole Opry. That's the big time.
It never hurt none to play hard-to-get.
You ought to know about that.
You don't seem to be pining
for lack of company.
I get extra hungry in the morning.
You cold-fish respectable girls.
Inside, you crave the same thing
as the rest of them.
- Tell old Lonesome the truth.
- You're on in eight minutes.
It's so hot this morning,
the creek just give up.
I mean it was bone dry.
So, I think the young 'uns figure
they ain't got no place to swin.
But my boss, old J.B. Jeffries,
he's got a fine swimming pool
right here in town.
So, why don't all you kids just go on over
to his place for a ducking?
J. B. will be proud to have you.
Jeffries' big day!
...personality, Lonesome Rhodes!
You hear them?
You hear them splashing and a-yelling?
That's your curly-headed little darlings
enjoying J.B. Jeffries' kind hospitality.
- Mr. Rhodes. The phone for you.
- Shh! He's on the air.
- That's all right. Who is it?
- Who is it?
It's the program manager
at the Memphis TV station.
- He said Mr. Steiner told him about you.
- Well, shucks.
I can talk to him right here on the air.
Since all these folks out here
are my friends,
I ain't got nothing to hide from you.
Hello there, partner!
What's that? You want me
to come on your TV in Memphis?
With this kisser of mine? Ha ha!
All I gotta say is, you're a brave man.
Five hundred dollars a week, huh?
- Confederate?
- Five hundred dollars a week?
Shh. We can do better than that.
Partner, leaving Pickett's like leaving
my own flesh-and-blood kin.
Now, if I got to take leave
of these good folks,
why, I'd rather try it gratis,
for nothing, for a couple of weeks.
And if you ain't satisfied,
or if I get homesick for Arkansas,
why, back I come, and nobody gets hurt.
But now, if we find we get along,
you make it, oh, $1,000 a week.
Yeah, you get the idea.
Oh, yeah, and transportation
for yours truly and my little gal Friday...
not to mention Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday and Thursday Marcia Jeffries.
I'm glad you're going with him.
Take good care of him for me.
- I'll sure try.
- Take good care of yourself.
Come on, honey.
Come on, we'll be late. Come on.
- Come on, the train will leave. Come on.
- Board!
Bye! Bye, Lucy. So long, Luther.
You write to me, now.
I'll be thinking of you good people.
Boy, am I glad to shake that dump.
I was only kidding, honey.
You ought to know me better
than to believe everything I say.
Ha! Bye! Bye! Good-bye
and God bless you, good people!
If I'd known you was gonna put lipstick
on me, I'd have never come.
Stop complaining, you look beautiful.
Lonesome, this is Mel Miller.
The station's assigned him as your writer.
Writer? You're gonna have
the easiest job in the world
because I never learned much reading.
I'll just block out
the continuity for you.
What are you, Eastern college?
No, as a matter of fact,
I went to school over in Nashville.
I was Vanderbilt '44.
Okay, Vanderbilt '44.
Mr. Rhodes, we're ready for you now.
Hey, what are you doing to that makeup?
Now, this way, please.
Foot up here, look at the camera.
And relaxed, like this.
Ten seconds. Ready on one. Stand by, two.
And just be perfectly natural,
easy and relaxed, and real country.
Now, when that red light is on,
that camera is on you.
Now, put this in your mouth.
I think that straw
is gonna be a very nice touch.
And here he is, ladies and gentlemen,
a newcomer to Memphis television
but sure to become an old friend.
A Face in the Crowd, starring that
Arkansas traveler Lonesome Rhodes.
What do you want?
You know, I never have seen myself
on one of these things before.
So, if I stop and admire myself
on this, uh... what do you call it?
- Monitor.
- Yeah, monitor.
Show the folks what I'm talking about,
will you?
You know, the, uh...
the director said all I had to do was...
He said all I had to do was act
like I was looking straight at you.
But what he forgot to say
was there'd be a great big, old red eye
looking straight at me.
You know, that old eye does look
kind of familiar, though.
Reminds me of my old Uncle Abernathy
after a night of drinking
that fine old five-star corn liquor.
He put a star on the bottle
for every day it aged.
If a ocean was moonshine
And I was a duck
I'd dive...
I got too hot a fire in my boiler
to sing this morning.
What's the matter
with you big-city fellas, anyhow?
Hey. Don't you all ever go to bed
around here?
Last night I settled down
for my 12-hour nap in the hotel,
and "moly hoses," what a honking
and lights flashing on and off
and gals giggling on the street.
So, I called down to the desk
on this telephone they got in every room.
"What's going on here?"
I says to the clerk.
"It ain't New Year's Eve by any chance?"
"No," he said.
"It's just 10:00 at night in Memphis."
So I pulled back on my duds
and I went outdoors to take a look-see
what all the commotion was.
Hey. Hey, Mr. Cameraman,
move that old red eye a little closer.
He's only been on two minutes
and already telling us what to do.
I wanna talk face-to-face
with them friends of mine out there.
Hey, which one of these holes I look in?
You know, one thing I could see right off
about a big city,
there's a whole lot of people in trouble
out there.
You don't see it much in the daytime
when everybody's hustling
and bustling around,
rushing from where they is
to where they ain't.
But it's at night, you know,
late at night,
around 4:00 in the morning
is what I call the "dividing line."
All you got left then is folks in trouble.
I wanna tell you good people something
that happened to me this morning
just before the sun was ready to come up.
I'm gonna tell it to you,
and see if it don't happen to you
the way it happened to me.
If it don't move your hearts
the way I think it will,
then you're just a bunch
of big-city pickle-hearts.
And I'm gonna pack up my one shirt
and the old Bible my daddy give me
and my cigar-box guitar,
and I'll just get me on home to Riddle.
He's telling the truth about one shirt,
but I have yet to see the Bible.
When he talks about walking the night,
I couldn't write it that well.
Now, come on out here.
Don't be scared of this thing,
least any more than I am.
This one?
Hey, a colored woman.
In Memphis, that takes nerve.
I told you, he's his own man.
Now, you just tell the folks
the same thing you told me.
Well, you see, it's my house.
It burnt down. She's got seven young 'uns
and there ain't no insurance.
Oh, Hilda, look who they're having
on television now. It's about time.
So she just walked around and around
because she didn't have
no place else to go.
I didn't know a single living soul
in Memphis.
Are you kidding?
What do you gonna bet
you got 20,000 friends out there?
And each one of them's ready
to prove it to you
by sending in half a buck
so you can get on back to Millington
and build a decent house
for them brats that are yours.
Now, please,
nobody send in more than four bits
because you may not be able
to spare it yourself.
Miss Cooley, maybe you think you just...
Every pot over $10,
let's cut a half for that house of hers.
And they gonna be a-looking out for you.
Ain't you, folks?
Yeah. Come in, door's open.
Lonesome, you should see
how the money's pouring in!
They need five girls to count it.
Young man,
you've graduated from sustaining.
You've got a client.
- What in the ever-loving world is that?
- It's a mattress company.
- That means you get your 1,000 a week.
- Get his shirt. Stand still, you slob.
- Here. Get your hand in here.
- There you go.
Yeah, yonder she comes.
Sure is prettier music
than a cigar-box guitar.
There's 18,541 of these things so far,
and we ain't hardly started yet.
Miss Cooley says thank you.
You're good people.
You folks are building a house.
Ain't nothing in this world you can't do
when you let the best side of you
take over.
Oh, I see my old clock-watcher
going this a-way.
He wants me to make sure
I leave time for the commercial.
You didn't know I had a sponsor, did you?
Neither did I till they woke me up
this morning.
He's a good-looking scoundrel, ain't he?
Heh! What? Yeah, I got the commercial
on me somewhere. Let's see, yeah.
See, it's... "Johnny Longshot's tip
for the daily double."
No, no, that ain't it. Let's see.
"Lonesome, darling, you ain't forgetting
your little Arkansas Annie?"
No, that surely ain't it.
This is it, this is it.
"Friends, comma, why not invest
in sleep insurance, question mark?
That is what you will be doing
when you buy your Luffler
Easy Rest Mattress, period.
Comes in six tasty flavors..."
- Isn't he wonderful?
- That's our next commercial.
Personally, when I'm dog-tired,
I can sleep on the floor.
One of the best night's sleep I ever had
was in a boxcar.
They say that a firm mattress
is better for your spine.
But if you're gonna follow that
all the way,
ain't it better to just go ahead
and sleep on the floor?
But if some of you softies
insist on sleeping on a bed,
I reckon you can do worse
than a Luffler Easy Rest.
End of commercial.
Maybe also the end of Lonesome Rhodes.
Seriously, I was on the phone
with Mr. Luffler for half an hour.
I'm sure he's seen us,
and he hasn't even looked around.
He says he's got a loophole
in his contract,
and if you kid his commercial once more,
he's going to walk right through it.
- Hey, hiya, Lonesome.
- Hi.
Oh, hey, hey. Boy, I almost forgot. Ha ha!
I got you a month's food ticket
at the White Owl
- for the plug you gave them this morning.
- Yeah?
Yeah. Guess you didn't know I do
a little "schlock-meistering" on the side.
You slip in a remark, innocent-like,
about one of these products,
and they pay off in kind.
A case of beer, free drinks
at the Yellow Rose Caf, all that jazz.
I tell you, boy, it mounts up.
Isn't that illegal,
stealing time from regular sponsors?
Illegal? Honey, nothing's illegal
if they don't catch you.
- See you around, Joey.
- Okay, Lonesome, see you around.
- Who was that?
- Joey DePalma, Luffler's office boy.
He won't be an office boy long.
Mr. Luffler told me he don't like me
to talk nasty about his mattress.
Shucks, I said you could get
a good night's sleep on one of them.
If you was real tired.
There I go again.
But I just can't get my mouth around
some of them things they wanted me to say.
Well, I'll try.
"And now a message of importance."
Now, you good people ain't so dumb
you don't know what's important.
Atom bomb's important,
and things like that.
I don't reckon a Luffler mattress
will break your back,
but it sure ain't
no world-shaking message.
Just in case you
won't be seeing me again...
Hey, fellas, come on.
Here's a little song to remember me by.
Give me a "E."
Well, good-bye, Mr. Luffler
And thanks for the ride
I like to have your money
But I'd rather have my pride
On these corny old commercials
We just cannot agree
So you can tear up my contract
Make a free man of me
- Gonna be a
- Free man
- In the morning
- Free man
- In the morning
- Free man
In the morning
Or know the reason why
- Yes, Mr. Luffler?
- Get me my lawyer.
Who? Who is it?
It's me, Lonesome. Larry.
Thought I'd say good-bye.
Just a minute.
Just thought I'd tell you
I'm gonna hit the road.
- Where to?
- Oh, what's the difference?
For Mr. Luffler.
He wants to fire me unless I promise
to show him my scripts in advance.
There ain't no scripts.
It's just me.
- It was me.
- Larry, stay, even on sustaining.
- Nah.
- What you did for Miss Cooley...
- No, I'm not my brother's keeper.
- You are, and you don't know it.
No, I don't kowtow to no mattress company.
See you in jail sometime.
we shook them up a little bit.
- Got a ride for our money.
- Larry.
You come here.
Did I call you a cold fish, Marcia?
It's short for "marshmallow."
My marshmallow.
This way, please.
Move it along.
Come on, move it, move it, move it.
Joey, the boss wants you.
That's terrible.
- Mr. Luffler...
- No more phone calls.
From the day that you hired Rhodes,
up to and including yesterday,
- our sales have increased 55 percent.
- I smell smoke.
Mr. Luffler, I know he's hurt
your feelings, but as a merchandise man,
I must say that a 55-percent jump in sales
is quite a painkiller.
- I'll think it over.
- You called for me, Mr. Luffler?
Yes. I can always get him back.
- They're for the credit department.
- Oh, yes, sir.
Joey. You're a smart lad.
Do you think I acted hasty in the firing?
If it were my product,
I wouldn't let anybody ridicule it.
- Now what?
- Your wife on one.
Yes, dear?
Would you mind your own business, dear?
And would you tell the ladies' garden club
to mind its own business.
Credit department.
Get me Browning, Schlagel and McNally
in New York City right away.
Don't worry, it's kosher.
- Mr. Luffler gave me a message for them.
- Know the number?
It's the biggest advertising agency
in New York.
Browning, Schlagel and McNally.
Now, try Information, huh?
Browning, Schlagel and McNally.
Long-distance from Memphis?
Just a moment.
A Mr. Joseph DePalma from Memphis.
He represents Lonesome Rhodes.
What a crazy business we're in.
This is about some joker
called Lonesome Rhodes
on a local Memphis sta...
Hey. He topped both CBS
and NBC down there.
Hello? Mr. DePalma?
Yeah, hello, I just thought
I ought to let you know
that Lonesome Rhodes
is being flooded with offers. Yeah.
Yeah, if you happen to be interested,
5:00 is our deadline.
Uh-huh. Right. I'll call you back at 5:00.
- Well, pleasure, baby.
- I caught that show on my vacation.
He's a living doll.
Well, could be.
E.B.D. and O. in New York City.
Marcia, you told me to pick you up
in time for the show.
- Oh, hey, have you seen Lonesome?
- You may find him in there.
Where? Here?
- Oh, you mean in here?
- Wait a minute, sir.
- I wouldn't barge in there if I were you.
- I'm not you.
Hey, hey, Lonesome. Lonesome boy. Hey.
Yeah, yeah, who is it?
It's destiny, that's who it is.
It's your destiny.
- Who is it?
- Hi.
- What? What?
- Honey child, I sold your show.
- To who?
- To the big time.
You ever hear of Browning, Schlagel
and McNally? No, you wouldn't know.
The advertising company.
Boy, I got them bidding
against the Cutner Agency, MCA...
- MC who?
- And a dozen others you wouldn't know.
Look, BS and M wants you
for The Vida Jakes Hour.
Eight o'clock, coast-to-coast. I told them
we'd let them know at 1700 hours.
- Boy, I tell you, we're on to New York.
- We are?
They asked if you had a New York agent.
Would you like to meet
your New York agent?
A bum out of jail in Pickett, Arkansas,
and a Memphis office boy! Hey.
I'm a roving gambler
Ramble all around
Whenever I see a deck of cards
I lay my money down
Go, baby!
Whenever I see a deck of cards
I lay my money down
I lay my money down
Here, will you sign this? Hey.
Oh, yes, I'll sign
Thank you. Oh, thank you.
Now, in the last quarter, gentlemen,
and Miss Valerie,
we have spent over $300,000
of General Haynesworth's money
to make this country Vitajex-conscious.
And all we've succeeded in doing
next chart, please...
is dropping from ten percent
of the market to seven.
Now, I...
Mr. Macey,
I'm late for the dog-food meeting now.
- Can I say my say and go?
- Yes, Doctor.
Now, I've gone over this product
pretty carefully in the lab.
Vitajex has a few grains of aspirin.
A little sugar
that might give you some energy.
But, well, frankly, general or no general,
we have nothing to sell.
Will you strike that from the transcript,
Miss Murray?
You know that General Haynesworth
always reads the product group reports.
I can't help it.
I was hired as a research chemist.
Dr. Wylie, there's nothing wrong
with Vitajex, is there?
It won't kill you,
if that's what you mean.
I'd say it's relatively harmless,
like a lot of the old patent medicines.
Thank you, Doctor. Now let's get
this train back on the tracks.
Miss Mills.
With all due respect
to our estimable television department.
He hates our guts.
And its sudden enthusiasm
for, uh, Lonesome Rhodes.
I think we need a dignified sell.
I'd like to see a 15-minute participation
on the Ed Murrow show.
Mr. Rhodes is here, sir.
Jim boy, don't you think it?
Well, I mean, it's irregular.
Well, I just thought if you and the boys
got a look at him, Mace,
you'd see why the TV shop is sold on him.
- Gentlemen, Lonesome Rhodes.
- Hiya, folks.
I come to help you sell these little
kidney pills, whatever the heck they are.
Hey, what's the matter?
Ain't you got no spittoons around here?
would you bring the gentleman a spittoon?
Now, what's your particular problem,
Mr. Fuzzy-Lip?
Sit down, Mr. Rhodes. You may as well know
Vitajex is the sixth sister
in the international drug family.
They're even getting ready
to put out a smaller pill and to cut the...
Jim boy,
before we make any hasty decisions,
- I'd recommend
- Shh, shh!
Look at these poor little white pills
you're trying to peddle.
Look kind of pale.
There's no charge to then.
Hey, I got an idea.
Let's make them yellow.
Yellow's the color of sunshine and energy.
Gives a fella that get-up-and-go
that sets him up solid with the ladies.
You get the idea? Like this:
"If you wanna be bright-eyed
and bushy-tailed,
why, just gobble up a handful of Vitajex,
and your battery's charged."
Ahh! Ha ha!
Whoo-wee! I am ready!
I mean, I'm in the mood!
My personality undergoes
a startling change.
I have a spittoon...
Oh, I'm gonna get you,
you little redheaded filly, you.
That's what Vitajex does to me,
and I ain't even swallowed them yet.
And you college geniuses
want dignity on your progran.
Back where I come from,
if a fella looks too dignified,
we figure he's looking
to steal your watch.
I'll move your merchandise.
Shh, shh, shh. Peace.
Oh, Vitajex
- What you doing to me?
- Voom, voom, voom, voom.
Oh, Vitajex
What you doing to me?
Voom, voom, voom, voom.
You fill me full of ecstasy
Voom, voom, voom, voom.
Oh, Vitajex, what you doing to me?
Ohh, ohh, ohh
What you doing to me?
What you doing to me?
You fill me full of ooh
And ecstasy
Puts the gleam in your eye
Puts the gleam in your eye
Keep your eye on that rating.
Do it again.
Vitajex puts the gleam in your eye
It fills you full of
Ooh! Ooh!
And each pill contains 97 units
of energy-giving endrocaine.
Vitajex, jex, jex
Makes you go, go, go
Vitajex, jex, jex
Keep your eye on that rating.
That's why Vitajex gives you
that get-up-and-go.
Do you have trouble
with your girl? Does she look elsewhere?
Here's how Vitapig solved his problem.
Oh, Vitajex.
- You fill me full of ooh and ecstasy
- See what I mean?
This is General Haynesworth.
I've just seen Lonesome what's-his-name
on the television,
and I like him.
Why don't you take Vitajex
like Lonesome Rhodes does.
She's talking about
the new large economy size.
I bought my boyfriend a ten-year supply.
- And now, the soft sell.
- Oomph.
Keep your eye on the rating.
- Vitajex, Vitajex, Vitajex.
- Vitajex, what you're doing to me.
- Now, the hard sell.
- Vitajex, Vitajex.
Vitajex, 39.8.
I-I'm willing to put myself on record.
I say he's a risk.
Uncooperative and unpredictable.
Why, we've spent
tens of thousands of dollars
to find out the key words
like "bracing" and "zestful."
Rhodes has the audacity to tear our copy
to shreds right in front of the audience.
Hey, General, where the heck are you?
General, if you'll forgive us,
we have to get back to town.
Why, hello, girls.
How's Princeton '28
and old eight for the stump?
Afraid I make these Madison Avenue fellas
kind of unhappy.
I'm not in the business
to make those fellows happy.
I'm in the business of putting the public
in a frame of mind to buy Vitajex.
- Exactly.
- Excuse us, dear.
- Of course.
- Poor old Mace.
He's already had one heart attack.
You're winding him up to another one.
- Well, General, that's his hard luck.
- Hello, Senator.
- Did you have a fine flight?
- Splendid, splendid.
I'll join you
when I get freshened up a bit.
That's my houseguest, Senator Fuller.
That's the sort of man I'd like to see
in the White House.
Don't they call him
the last of the isolationists?
Oh, maybe in some of those left-wing
New York papers.
Rhodes, I want you
to get to know people like that.
I'd like to sort of take you under my wing
and educate you.
Heh. Shucks, General,
I'm just a country boy.
Young man, never forget Will Rogers.
He was just a gum-chewing,
rope-twirling cowboy.
But he got to where he was
telling off presidents and kings.
General, my thinking is the second section
of the same train.
I've always gone in
for long-range planning.
Right now, Lonesome is merely popular.
Oh, very popular.
But Lonesome Rhodes could be made
into an influence, a wielder of opinion.
An institution positively sacred
to this country,
like the Washington Monument.
I suspect your idealistic young lady
disagrees with me.
But my study of history has convinced me
that in every strong and healthy society
from the Egyptians on,
the mass had to be guided
with a strong hand
by a responsible elite.
Let us not forget that in TV
we have the greatest instrument
for mass persuasion
in the history of the world.
I don't mean to flatter you, sir...
What? Oh, yes.
Let's have a go at it, shall we?
Roger. Roger!
Are you jotting this down?
First, I'll see if I can sell him
on the idea of a Life cover.
Remind me to call him for lunch.
I proudly dedicate to you
the latest hybrid iris
of our horticultural laboratory,
the unusfloratorum.
We girls call it the Lonesome Rhodes iris.
I christen thee the USS Rhodes.
And so, in behalf
of our great commonwealth,
I'm proud to dedicate
one of nature's wonders,
henceforth and forever
to be known as Mount Rhodes.
And now, Lonesome,
back in those difficult days,
you had a pal.
We flew him to New York tonight
to help recall the struggle and joys
of times gone by.
Because, Lonesome Rhodes, you lived it.
Hey, Lonesome! Ha ha!
Good to see you.
You ugly scoundrel.
Where you been anyhow, huh?
We gotta go out and get you
some good-looking clothes.
You've been looking ugly
about as long as I can stand.
White Plains, New York.
Thank you, thank you.
Yeah. Hey, listen to this, listen to this.
"Dear Lonesome, the boys in our ward
at the veterans' hospital
just got together and donated $9.75."
You ask me how I can keep going 17 hours
without sleep?
Man, this is better than sleep.
Didn't I tell you, kid? Didn't I tell you?
Do you still want me to hold this sign?
As general manager of the Sherry Towers,
it's my honor to present you a gold key
to the two top floors
of New York's finest hotel.
- To the very top, boy.
- Yeah, you can't go much higher than that.
Hello? Oh, Larry.
Oh, what? What time is it?
Marcia, you gotta come over.
I never should've let Joey
sell me on the idea
of living in a penthouse over the offices.
Twenty-five rooms to be alone in.
I feel like a shipwrecked fella
on an island.
Oh, Larry, I know that island.
It's populated by a tribe
of friendly girls.
Marcia, honey, do you believe me when
I say it's a matter of life and death?
Call me soon, doll.
Huh? Larry?
If you don't come,
I'll dive off this balcony into the park,
and I'm ten blocks from the lake.
Marcia, come out here a minute.
I had a girl up here tonight.
I get restless.
Well, I lied to you, but when it's over,
I'm more lonely than I was before.
Marcia, will you come out here a minute?
Look at all them TV aerials sticking up
like branches down there.
There's a whole forest of them
from here to San Diego.
All of them waiting to hear
what I got to say.
Is that what you woke me up
in the middle of the night for?
Marcia, what I'm trying to say is,
all of them millions of people
believing in me,
doing what I tell them to,
scares me.
Honest. General and all them big shots
trying to educate me.
Educate you or use you?
That's it, see?
The general says our country needs me.
I'm supposed to be an influence.
That's mighty tall grass, Marcia.
We're getting in deep, Marcia.
A thousand times deeper than we dreamed
when we were starting out in Arkansas.
I know on the set I'm beginning to act
like I just ate the western hemisphere
for breakfast.
Then, down here in the boiler room,
I know I need advice.
Not the kind I get from Joey
or the Madison Avenue high-domes
who say "gesundheit"
before I even pucker up to sneeze.
No. And now, when I'm coming
to the top of the mountain,
I need you, because you level with me.
You're my lifeline to truth, and...
marry me, Marcia.
Will you?
That's what I called you over here for.
Can't keep anything alive up here.
Dust in this city kills everything.
Don't play with me.
Don't hurt me.
Don't hurt me.
An old-fashioned marriage
Is my kind of marriage
A marriage that never grows old
Marcia, there's a lady to see you.
- A lady?
- I guess so, she's got a dress on.
I don't wanna see anybody up here.
Okay, I'll tell her to pick it up
and move it out.
- I'm sorry, ma'am
- I... I... I...
I... I... Ahh.
You know,
some of you trade in your old cars...
Are you the...
I am Mrs. Rhodes.
You related to Mr. Rhodes?
But you're not his mother.
His wife.
All right, Beanie.
You know, the other day,
I was talking about divorce...
Ohh. Isn't he something?
You mind if I mute this brass a little?
you're Lonesome's new tootsie, huh?
Lonesome. That's a hot one.
I hope you have better luck
keeping him lonesome than I did.
I think you should understand I'm just
a business associate of Mr. Rhodes.
Ain't you the whole box top, though?
The floor manager of your program
is my brother-in-law's first cousin.
He told me where I could find you.
So you come off it, little lady.
You mind if I do?
I'm through with it.
I must say, Mr. Rhodes might have done me
the courtesy of telling me himself.
Oh, Mr. Rhodes don't do
no courtesies to nobody.
I could write a book about him.
Is that the purpose of your visit,
to collect some more material?
Oh, I came to collect,
but it ain't material.
Unless you get Larry to pay me
three grand a month,
not only will I not divorce him,
but I will make it plenty hot
for the both of you.
I already got some feelers
from Confidential magazine.
I'm not engaged to your husband.
Larry, he thinks he has to take a bite
out of every broad he comes across.
Then he calls them a tramp,
and he drops them, and...
All sort of psycho-something-or-other,
you know?
I caught him red-handed
with my best girlfriend.
He broke my jaw.
Seems to be working quite effectively now.
Mrs. Rhodes, if you'll excuse me,
I'm very busy this morning.
Well, tell Larry, three-G a month,
then he's yours.
Happy second honeymoon,
Austin and Wilma.
An old-fashioned marriage
Is my kind of marriage
It's a sincere-type song,
should be a big hit.
An old-fashioned church
An old-fashioned kiss
Needs a...
Oh, shut up.
Friendly greeting, Sunday-go-to-meeting
Just plain folks
Bible-reading, pork-chop-feeding
Just plain folks
Stew on the table
Mule in the stable...
These are our Barefoot Baritones.
- They're rehearsing our new theme song.
- Very catchy.
Lonesome just wrote it.
those two fellas over there wrote it.
Of course, their names aren't on it.
Now, General, General,
we wanted to show you this.
Lonesome Rhodes designed it himself.
A reaction machine.
You just push these little levers here.
It can laugh.
- Ahh.
- Ahh.
- Ain't that a booger, General?
- Most ingenious.
We're thinking of putting them
on the market.
The Lonesome Rhodes Automatic Reactor.
Mechanical laughter, mechanical applause?
What are we coming to?
We're coming to a bigger model,
that's what we're coming to.
I'm sorry to end this with you.
Been most interesting.
But I've got a date at my club.
Lunch with Senator Fuller.
What's the matter with you today?
General, I wish you had time to see
our whole operation,
the various departments.
Marcia, you're wound tighter than a clock
this morning. What's the matter?
Next time you propose to somebody,
you might consider
getting unmarried first.
Listen, Beanie told me.
It ain't as bad as you think.
See, I got a divorce
a couple of years ago in Mexico,
but the judge got indicted for fraud.
- So my ex claimed that the divorce
- Here are the latest ratings, Mr. Rhodes.
Whoo! Hallelujah!
Rhodes, 41.4. Opposition, 19.5.
Boy, that other fella's gonna be
jumping out of windows.
Oh, so, like I say, the ex claimed
the divorce was a fraud, too.
I got a good lawyer
working it out for me in Jurez.
He said if I come down there,
he'd get her off my back in 24 hours.
Larry, don't play with me.
I'm not one of your girls.
On a stack of bibles, Marcia.
Look, Saturday,
I'm going to be down in Pickett
judging the Arkansas
Drum Majorette Contest.
I'll go straight from there to Mexico.
The next time you hear from me,
it'll be from Jurez. Believe me.
- Dreadful. That is just dreadful.
- "Classics adapted while you wait.
We also take in laundry."
Yeah. That's a new one.
Hey, welcome to
the Black Hole of Calcutta.
- One place they didn't show the general.
- Naturally. Here you see the lepers
of the great television industry.
Men without faces.
Why, they even slide our paychecks
under the door
so they can pretend we're not here.
Ha ha ha.
But think of the satisfaction
of being even a small cog
in the great wheel of humanity
known as Lonesome Rhodes.
Ha ha ha.
Get her. Sounds like she's
coming over to our side.
Ha ha ha.
- Why don't you quit?
- Why don't you quit?
Because I'm deeply involved with him.
Spoken like a lady.
You got his introduction ready?
The hometown boy, not only making good,
but making everybody.
For a mild man, you sound vicious.
Didn't you know? All mild men are vicious.
They hate themselves for being mild
and hate the windy extroverts
whose violence seems to have
a strange attraction for nice girls...
who should know better.
"Today A Face in the Crowd
takes you on a sentimental journey
as Lonesome Rhodes,
your old Arkansas traveler,
goes home to the typical dirt-road,
cotton-picking town of Pickett, Arkansas."
Where America's favorite country cousin
first got his humble start,
and where he now returns
to the simple folks
who saw and loved him first.
To choose, on his latest
Face in the Crowd,
the lucky and talented girl
whom he will select from hundreds
of contestants
as Miss Arkansas Drum Majorette of 1957.
And here's the man you've been
waiting for. Here he is
Look at them. Look at them!
Ain't they the most?
I mean the most! Corn-fed gals.
Country people.
The heart of America.
The salt of the earth.
Hey, Beanie, Beanie! "L.R."
"We love L.R."
Hi, Lonesome!
Hi, you all!
- It's dangerous.
- What, baton twirling?
No. Power.
You gotta be a saint to stand off
the power that little box can give you.
I got a button! I got a button!
Ohh, it's wonderful.
Lonesome Rhodes, rah-rah-rah!
Friendly greeting, Sunday-go-to-meeting
Just plain folks
Bible-reading, pork-chop-eating
Just plain folks
Stew on the table, mule in the stable
Just poor folks
Bill and Mabel, Levi label
Just plain folks...
She's only 17.
She looks like a very sweet child.
Just plain folks
My heart is too full to say anything more
than welcome back to Pickett.
A great artist, a great humanitarian,
a great American.
Our very own Lonesome Rhodes.
fellow Arkansasians, fellow Americans.
I know I should start off
with a funny story
about them kinfolk of mine in Riddle,
but I just feel too humble this afternoon
as I look out upon
this fine representative body
of wholesome young American womanhood.
You know, I've been a fan
of baton twirling from way back.
I think it's a honest-to-God
American art form.
Here's a little number I just wrote
and recorded for the Gold Oak label.
Thought you kids might enjoy
twirling to it.
Here she goes, "Mama Guitar."
Oh, yeah. Our first contestant will be
Miss Suzanne McKinley of Beaglestown.
Let's have a real doozy, Suzie.
I love my Mama guitar
My mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
My mama guitar
Beats a woman every time...
And now Miss Linda Bruce from Ganderstown.
Go, girl, go!
A Mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
Hey, Mama...
From the town of Snakebite,
Miss Peggy May Polhodie.
Let's see you twirl it
and swirl it, Peggy May.
A mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
Hey, hey, hey!
My mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
You can walk away and leave her
And she won't sneak out and cheat
You take her on your travels
And she never has to eat
A mama guitar
Beats a woman every time...
I give you Miss Mary Jane Johnson
from the neighboring village
of Pocahontas.
And now Miss Betty Lou Fleckum.
A mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
You can tease her, you can squeeze her
Make her sing out sweet and blue
And if her strings get rusty
You can trade her in for new
A mama guitar
Beats a woman every time
Hey, Mama, Mama guitar
Hey, Mama guitar
Sweet Mama, Mama Guitar
I love my Mama, I love my Mama
I love my Mama, I love Mama
I love, love, love, love
Love, love, love, love
Love my Mama guitar
Love my Mama guitar
And I say that the winner,
by unanimous decision, and that's me,
is little Miss Betty Lou Fleckum,
Miss Arkansas Drum Majorette of 1957.
Oh. I'm so excited.
I'm so...
You're my idol, honest.
I pasted your picture
on the ceiling over my bed
so you're the first thing I see
when I wake up in the morning.
Well, bless your heart.
- Mike.
- Hey, that was a great show today.
Better make mine milk.
I have a family, you know.
- Hello, Faye, Sam.
- Mace.
- Good show, Dad.
- Yes, I think it had size.
Hi, Burl, Virginia.
- Mace, that baton bit was the living end.
- Thanks, Betty.
As Lonesome said,
it's an American art form.
Glass of water, Joe.
- Peach of a show, Miss Jeffries.
- Thank you.
Should boost the rating.
Poor Macey.
He lives on a diet of nitroglycerin
and Trendex ratings.
Call it a Bible, but it's really
a death warrant with decimal points.
- Hello, Bennett.
- Mr. Cerf?
Thanks for the drinks.
Miss J, just came for you.
One thing about being in this place,
it's just like being in the office.
Not quite. Joe, two more, please.
And this time, would you just
let the vermouth blow a kiss at the gin?
Oh, fine, our barefoot boy
won't be flying in tonight.
"Hopping over to Jurez.
See if you can get Arthur Godfrey
to fill in for me.
Tell him I'll do the same for him someday.
Counting on you to hold the fort."
Boy, this shoulder's getting
a permanent callus from holding that fort.
What's in Jurez?
Lawyers, quick marriages,
quick divorces.
Then this is it?
You're blushing.
It's these 60-to-1 martinis.
I suppose I should be a gentleman,
wish you all the happiness.
I think I'll just be a cad
and hope he chokes on a Vitajex pill.
You look nice.
- Looks like he's found an all-original.
- Let's make a spot for the bride.
Bride? Who?
Listen carefully,
this is front-page stuff.
Officer, I'm his fiance.
- Did he say "married"?
- Sure did.
Hey, fellas. This little lady
has just done me the honor
of becoming Mrs. Lonesome Rhodes.
We do'd it in Jurez!
Easy, fellas, I just got her.
They eloped.
- Stand back, guys.
- Go ahead, smile at them.
Miss. Miss, I'm Earl Wilson.
- What are your measurements?
- Oh!
What are you trying to do down there?
You out of your mind?
- Get it up there a little.
- That's it.
Their names are Tico and Pico.
Tico and Pico, kids.
Well, sir, here she is.
That's my little Arkansas sweet potato,
Betty Lou.
I ain't been so happy since the day
I fell into Grandpa Baskim's
hogshead of corn liquor
and just guzzled my way down to dry land.
Ha ha!
I don't reckon I'll be a free man
tomorrow morning.
But if this ain't freedom, man,
it's the next best thing.
Hey. And now you wanna see
what first caught my eye?
And what second caught my eye.
And what keeps on and on catching my eye.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I give you Mrs. Lonesome Rhodes
doing her unbelievable double-fire
baton-twirling dance
to the scherzo from the Seventh Symphony
by Ludwig van Beethoven.
- Mr. Rhodes.
- Tico and Pico.
- I could eat you up.
- Could I talk to you for a few minutes?
- I don't want agency jokers nagging
- This is desperately important.
I've been with Browning, Schlagel
and McNally for 17 years,
in full charge of the international
drug account.
And the general just told me
that he's taking his business away.
Your young Mr. DePalma
has wormed his way...
Look, Macey, Joey DePalma's
doing one heck of a job for me.
But you know this business.
It's cutthroat. If a...
Look, Macey...
Well, if a rating nosedives,
or if you lose a client,
even if it isn't your fault,
the account executive is the goat.
Mr. Rhodes, if I lose this account,
I'll be fired.
I've got a son at Princeton.
Mr. Rhodes, you've seen my...
you've seen my office.
A corner office with four windows.
You know how long it takes at Browning,
Schlagel and McNally to get a corner...
I was afraid to marry you,
and that's the truth.
The dirt-root, cotton-picking truth.
Last time,
you said you were afraid not to.
Both were true.
You sort of overawe me.
You know more than I do.
I can feel you being
so goldarned critical all the time.
You and that smart-alecky Mel.
And you don't really approve of me.
That's so, ain't it?
You're getting to be all the things
you used to harpoon.
See what I mean?
The bigger I get,
the smaller you make me feel.
- You take Betty Lou...
- Larry, don't try to explain.
Betty Lou is your public,
all wrapped up with yellow ribbons
into one cute little package.
She's the logical culmination
of the great 20th-century love affair
between Lonesome Rhodes
and his mass audience.
I wish you wasn't so bitter.
I'm not bitter.
If I sound stridently female about
Miss Drum Majorette, I don't mean to be.
I knew you married her
just as a way of not marrying me.
Look, Marcia,
I'm not forgetting what I owe you.
I'm gonna give you a healthy slice
of our whole operation.
Say, ten percent of my end.
And you won't have to lift your finger
with what I'm giving you.
Giving me? Giving me?
You're not giving me anything.
And you're not throwing me off the train
like poor Abe Steiner, either.
A Face in the Crowd was my idea.
The whole idea of Lonesome Rhodes
belongs to me.
I always should've been an equal partner.
Well, now I'm gonna be an equal partner.
I'm gonna get something I deserve.
- Doesn't sound like you, Marcia.
- And I want it on paper!
Okay. All right.
I'll tell Joey to draw up the papers.
Look at yourself in the mirror, Marcia.
You'll see a millionaire.
There's always Vanderbilt '44.
He's gone back to Memphis.
I think he wants to forget us both.
I thought he'd wait for you
till there was ice on the equator.
That's how long he did wait.
When newspaper people ask me,
"Walter, where do you get all that news?"
I invariably tell them, "I usually get it
from an awful lot of people
who promised somebody else
they'd keep it secret."
As for example:
Just what is Lonesome Rhodes going
to talk to General Haynesworth about?
"Oh, General."
"Oh, Lonesome Rhodes."
And now Mike Wallace
interviews Senator Worthington Fuller.
Senator Fuller, you mean to tell me, sir,
that you are not infected
with the presidential itch?
The itch?
Senator, is it not a fact
that you have a date tomorrow night
for what is known as "Madison Avenue
coaching" from Lonesome Rhodes
in General Haynesworth's
private projection room?
I have said it calls
for the closest scrutiny.
I am unable to persuade myself
and to believe in the belief that flagrant
squandering of American wealth
at home and abroad
is a road to a sound peace.
Thank you, all, and good evening, all.
I know that's not what
the American people want to hear.
- But I think I know what's best for them.
- We think so, too.
That's why everyone in this room
wants you to be the next President
of the United States.
But your problem is getting
the voters to listen to you,
getting them to like you enough
to listen to you.
Senator, I've got to be blunt.
Your TV appearances have been,
well, catastrophes.
Wouldn't you say so, Lonesome?
By the way, Beanie,
I asked you to check the ratings
when the senator was on Face the People.
Oh, excuse me. 4.2.
- Go right ahead, General.
- We've got to face it.
Politics have entered a new stage,
a television stage.
Instead of long-winded public debates,
the people want capsule slogans.
"Time for a change."
"The mess in Washington."
More bang for a buck.
Punch lines and glamour.
Yes, Mr. Pervis, even glamour.
General, my papers
have supported Worthington Fuller
from the first day he ran
for public office.
He's not a grandstander,
a backslapper or a baby-kisser.
That's exactly what he's got to become.
A majority in this country
don't see eye-to-eye with hin.
We've got to find 35 million buyers
for the product we call
Worthington Fuller.
- I think you underestimate the respect
- Respect?
Did you ever hear of anyone
buying any product...
beer, hair rinse, tissue
because they respect it?
You gotta be loved, man.
Well, I may be a bit old-fashioned,
but it seems to me
there is still a distinction between
politics and, well, the field you're in.
- Bull.
- I beg your pardon, sir.
Sorry if I tread on your corns,
but I said "bull."
Politics is people.
- Mr. Rhodes
- Now, John...
The general asked me to cut
my rehearsal short to come here.
- If you don't wanna hear my thinking...
- Do go on, Mr. Rhodes.
I'm sorry to make a disturbance,
but, General...
Senator, I'm a professional.
I have to look at the image on that screen
same as I'd look at a performer
on my show.
And I'll have to say
he'll never get over to my audience.
Not to the 65 million people
who welcome me
into their living rooms each week.
And if I wouldn't buy him,
do you realize what that means?
If I wouldn't buy him,
the people of this country
aren't ready to buy him for that big job
on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Look, I got a fella here,
know where I found him?
I don't think he'll mind my saying it.
In jail. He's stupid.
He's got no mentality.
He thinks with his feet.
But I trust those feet.
Now, if he don't laugh,
if he don't think the show is any good,
then I know there's
something wrong with it,
something people
just ain't a-gonna take to.
You see what I mean?
Now, Beanie...
what did you think of the personality
you just saw on the screen?
- Well, I
- Come on, give it to us straight.
Flatter than last night's beer.
You see your problem now, Senator?
How you gonna get this man,
this bush monkey, to vote for you?
Frankly, I don't know.
Well, maybe I do.
Do you know what you need
to lift your rating
from 4.2 to 51.7?
You need...
Now, hold on to your hat, my friend.
You need a whole new personality.
A new personality?
But, frankly, that's impossible.
Now, wait just a moment.
For instance, do you have a pet?
My wife and I have a Siamese cat.
My public love dogs.
One pitch with a hound
is worth 10,000 words.
That mutt didn't do Roosevelt any harm,
did it? Dick Nixon, either.
- That's good.
- No, I'm sure you're right.
How about a nickname?
Only dishonest thing about "Curly" Fuller
is the way he combs his hair.
- That's rather amusing.
- See?
Shows you got a sense of humor about
that fine head of skin you got there.
No hard feelings now,
we're talking television.
Don't press your lips together so much.
Gives you kind of a sissy look.
Keep your mouth relaxed, so you can say...
Once in a while.
Uh-huh. Sounds sort of crazy
to you, doesn't it?
No. I realize it's a new technique,
and I've got to face it.
- That's why I came.
- That's a boy, Curly.
You just put yourself in my hands.
I'll have them loving him.
I mean loving him!
You know,
that's just what he did for Vitajex.
He ought to be in the cabinet.
I'll be going to bed now, sir.
Good night, Sidney. Lonesome,
I don't know anyone in the country
who could've won the senator
the way you did tonight.
- It was a brilliant piece of
- Shut up, I'm thinking.
Listen to me, as your adopted father.
You have only one flaw, the way you've
begun to suddenly shoot out of control.
Like this evening,
almost walking out on the senator.
And you're beginning to antagonize
the press. You'll grate.
Cracker Barrel.
Lonesome Rhodes' Cracker Barrel.
What's that?
My new show.
I want you to set it up right away.
Get me a whole bunch of colorful
country-looking characters
all sitting around,
listening to Lonesome Rhodes
sound off about everything
from the price of popcorn
to the hydrogen bomb.
You don't like it?
Well, just forget it.
All I've gotta do is pick up the phone
and I can get Tim Andrews
of National Motors
to back it for me in a minute.
I'm not just an entertainer.
I'm an influence, a wielder of opinion.
A force.
A force.
Now Shelton Cigarettes,
Best Friend Dog Food and Vitajex
bring you the voice of grassroot wisdom:
Lonesome Rhodes on The Cracker Barrel.
You know, boys, what really bugs me
about our limey cousins
is the way they keep on trying to act
like a first-class outfit,
when their store is having to close up
its branches all over the world.
- That's telling them, Lonesome.
- That's telling 'em.
He's getting more global every minute.
That's the Lord's truth.
Well, look who's stopping by
to chew the fat with us
around the old cracker barrel.
Senator Worthington Fuller.
- Hey! Howdy, Curly, how's my old bunkmate?
- How are you?
Fine. It's a real pleasant surprise.
- Come on in and meet the boys here.
- Hello, men. How are you?
Sit down here on the cracker barrel
and get your feet up on the stove.
That's a boy, now you look at home.
Well, here we are, all set for real...
Hello, Mr. Miller.
Long time no see, et cetera, et cetera.
- The usual?
- Oh, yeah.
And just let the vermouth
blow a kiss at the gin.
Yes, in just a little while,
I'm gonna be tossing some questions
at old Curly Fuller here.
I should say,
Senator Worthington Fuller...
- You waiting for someone?
- No. I'm just having a quiet drink.
I don't remember your doing that before.
Well, I have to talk to
a thousand people a day.
This gives me a chance to unwind.
...got from guzzling
too much rye whiskey.
We didn't know that swallowing
too much raw politics
can put a crease in your head
a whole lot deeper than that
homemade Kickapoo joy juice
that we used to concoct
back in Arkansas. Heh.
I wished you'd give me the real
cotton-picking truth about how you feel
on the subject of more and more
and more Social Security.
I'm glad you asked me that question,
I'd say that people today are obsessed...
I mean, real gone for security.
They want protection, coddling
from the cradle to the grave.
I say that weakens the moral fiber.
Why, Daniel Boone wasn't looking
for unemployment insurance
and old-age pension.
All he needed was his ax and his gun
and a chance to hew a living
out of the forest with his own hands.
- Real woodsy, ain't he?
- That's telling them, Senator.
You heard one that time.
Ha ha! That's a boy.
That's the spirit
that built this country.
Joe, would you turn that sound down
a little bit, please?
Not big government.
I'll say one thing for him,
he's got the courage of his ignorance.
Well, how's our old station in Memphis?
I didn't go near it.
I've been writing a book about...
I call it Demagogue in Denim.
Never had such a good time in my life.
Well, you look wonderful.
All those months he was calling me
Vanderbilt '44 and Frontal Lobe...
when I should've been
punching him in the nose.
Well, now I got the book
to punch him in the nose.
Is it gonna be published?
Came up to sign the contracts.
Publishers are real high on it.
They think the time is right
to pull the mask off him.
Let the public see what a fraud
he really is.
Mel, I wouldn't say that.
What would you say?
Well, it's just that it's harder for him
to be as simple as he was
with all those generals and senators
and political big shots
hanging around him all the time.
You're still with him.
Well, at least I tone down
some of the crazier notions
he wants to spout on the air.
And I seem to be the only person
he can talk to anymore.
I keep a lot of people
from getting fired, and...
well, there's an awful lot of money
at stake.
Our agency, the one we started
with International Drug Account,
is doing a gross business
of over 100 million a year.
- And how are the Mama Guitars selling?
- Mm.
Mel, I found him.
He's mine for better or worse, and I keep
doing my small bit to make him better.
Marcia, you know what you are?
You're the locker room
where he eases up after the fight,
win or lose.
You're the shock absorber for collisions
with ex-wives and models
and new wives and assorted tramps.
You're the little wheel of efficiency
without which the great
streamlined express called Lonesome Rhodes
plunges off the track
and leaps to destruction.
I can hardly wait to read that book.
Don't you worry, I've spared you
more than you've spared yourself.
I know.
I know.
I'll call you again sometime,
when I think you're ready.
Hey, Betty Lou,
take a look at this Gallup Poll.
I got Curly up from 3 percent
of the voters to 11.
Heh! Eleven! That's a lucky number.
He's gonna be in.
Hey, sweet patootie,
look who's home, your big papa man.
Ha ha!
You're not going to hit me.
Don't play the noble defender
of the sanctity of marriage with me.
I know where you've been
some of those nights
when Betty was waiting up for you.
You hit me,
and it'll be all over the papers.
As much as the people love you tonight,
they can hate you...
You're fired.
You're through with Lonesome...
I've got news that'll move you
and shake you.
I'm president
of Lonesome Rhodes Enterprises.
I own 51 percent of the voting stock.
You're in bed with me, Larry. In bed.
Get me Beanie.
Think I'll just freshen up my soda.
Get Mrs. Rhodes a "broomette"
on the next train to Little Rock.
You don't own 51 percent of the stock.
You're fired.
Oh, Lonesome. Lonesome, nothing...
nothing happened, really.
This program 's being
brought to you by Shelton cigarettes.
And ooh, Vitajex...
I'm gonna treat you like any performer
on my show that flops.
I got a contract with you.
You'll get your money every week
as long as you stay in Arkansas.
But I don't wanna go home.
Besides, Ed Sullivan wants me to do
my double-fire baton dance
on his show Sunday night.
You can do your double-fire
baton-twirling dance
in the ladies' room
of the Little Rock depot.
Marcia, can you hear me?
Get up! Wake up!
It's me, big me! The king!
Come on, Marcia, open up.
I said, hurry up on this door, Marcia.
Lonesome's back.
Just got rid of Betty Lou.
Sweet-talking little floozy.
She'd have ruined me,
that's what she'd have done.
- Fix me a drink.
- What are you doing?
We'll have to be more careful
than we used to be.
I'll have to stay married
till I get my new appointment.
- Your what?
- This is still top-secret.
The general's been talking to Fuller.
He's selling him on the idea
of creating a new cabinet post for me.
"In time of imminent crisis and danger."
That's the way the general puts it.
Who could rally the people
better than I could?
Hold them in line
right behind the government.
If we put Fuller across
the way I know we're gonna,
he's gonna owe me that.
Secretary for National Morale.
How's that sound to you, Marcia?
Secretary for National Morale.
General's asking Fuller
to shake hands on it with me
after the big banquet I'm throwing
tomorrow night,
launching Fighters for Fuller.
- Fighters for Fuller.
- Yeah, Fighters for Fuller.
How do you like that name, huh?
Huh? Huh? Huh?
I made it up. Everybody's nuts about it.
I got 20 of the biggest men
in this country
coming to my banquet tomorrow night
to get Fighters for Fuller rolling.
I got a retired admiral
from the Joint Chiefs, two governors,
some of them big investment-house boys,
and a cabinet minister.
- Which one?
- I don't know.
I told the general to pick one out for me.
And they're coming to your party?
Oh, honey. If I ask them, they gotta come.
Baby, they'd be afraid not to come.
I could murder them like this:
I'm afraid it's true.
What's true?
Right here, tonight,
you might have that much power.
See the new ratings this morning?
Just picked up another million.
This whole country's
just like my flock of sheep.
- Sheep.
- Rednecks,
crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus,
shut-ins, pea-pickers.
Everybody that's got to jump
when somebody else blows the whistle.
They don't know it yet, but they're
all gonna be Fighters for Fuller.
They're mine. I own them.
They think like I do.
Only they're even more stupid than I am,
so I gotta think for them.
Marcia, you just wait and see.
I'm gonna be the power
behind the president,
and you'll be the power behind me.
You made me, Marcia.
You made me.
I always say that.
I owe it all to you.
I owe it all to you.
All to you.
I know it. I know it.
I know it.
Turn the light out.
I'm tired.
Big day tomorrow.
Real big day.
Real big day.
Come on, come on,
I got to get some sleep.
Marcia, where you going?
Well, all I can say is,
tonight's show is gonna be a mess.
Now you tell me the show's in a mess.
Now you tell me.
Yes, but you see,
Marcia never showed up all day.
- She's the only one who can coordinate.
- Coordinate, hell.
You mean to tell me the success of my show
depends on one self-important,
neurotic, temperamental female?
I'm fed up with the whole lot of you
incompetents, nincompoops, bootlickers.
Would you like some hot coffee,
Mr. Rhodes?
Is that your subtle way
of trying to tell me I'm swacked?
Well, I'm not drunk, just disgusted!
- Okay, I'll handle it.
- Of course you will.
Ad-lib. Just keep up with me.
I've saved the show before.
Well, I just wonder what they do
with their afternoons.
- Wives and all.
- Ready, two.
- One more day like this, and I'm...
- Here she comes now.
Where've you been?
We've been trying to find you all day.
Take two.
- You know how important that is.
- I don't care.
We still haven't got
our commercials routine.
Take three.
I know that's kind of gone out of style,
like the corset.
But every once in a while, I ask myself,
where's that un-modern uncomplicated,
but oh-so-happy one-man woman gone?"
Ain't no use getting ourselves all het up
about something we can't change.
Curly and I was out duck-shooting
over the weekend.
Brought my little movie camera along
to show you folks what it was like.
- Roll the film.
- Roll film.
Hit it.
Hey, you lunkheads up there in
the projection room, show us the movie!
You're off the air, Mr. Rhodes.
They can't hear you.
It's about time.
I wanna talk to you.
I can't tonight because
I gotta rush over to the banquet.
But first thing in the morning.
In my office, in the morning.
Twenty seconds, Mr. Rhodes.
Twenty seconds.
Who can take this? I quit today.
Even after the senator
had bagged his limit,
how he hated to leave that blind.
He says to me, he says, "Lonesome..."
Keep the door clear.
I'm surrounded by a lot of
dim-witted sons of...
Hey, you redneck scoundrels still here?
Why ain't you out working someplace?
Ha! Ain't that Curly Fuller
a duck-shooting fool?
- Real man.
- Sure is.
You know, when we was standing there
shoulder to shoulder in that cold water,
belly-button high,
and the sun is commencing
to smile in on us,
Curly looked at me, and he says,
the family that prays together
stays together."
That's what he said.
I tell you, that man is an inspiration.
A man among men.
The Cracker Barrel, starring
that irrepressible Arkansas traveler.
You're off.
I'm glad that's over.
I'm gonna start shooting people
instead of ducks.
For relaxation and for health.
The cigarette that cleans your tobacco
without a filter.
- And by Best Friend Dog Food...
- Take one.
...your dog's best friend.
And by Vitajex, that old
"Vitajex, what you doing to me" pill.
Well, hurry back, you all.
Remember what old Uncle Lonesome said.
The family that prays together
stays together.
All right, super, one,
and start the crawl.
This has been an FBN production.
Fuller, the great hunter. Heh!
He's shaking like this.
Oh, if they ever heard the way
that psycho really talks.
Choreography, Don Krantz.
Scenic design, James Fitzsimmons.
Costumes by Robert Hodes.
Unit manager, George K. George.
Can you really sell that stiff
as a man among men?
To those morons out there?
Shucks, I can take chicken fertilizer
and sell it to them for caviar.
I can make them eat dog food,
and they'll think it's steak.
Sure, I got them like this.
You know what the public's like?
A cage full of guinea pigs.
Good night, you stupid idiots.
Good night, you miserable slobs.
They're a lot of trained seals.
I toss them a dead fish,
and they'll flap their flippers.
Well, just a closer walk with thee
Why, he's a monster!
I'm gonna call the station
and give them a piece of my mind.
We'll fix you, jerk.
I knew he'd open his big yap
once too often and blow my three Gs.
Mr. Macey, I can hardly believe
that's the same Lonesome Rhodes.
It is, only this time
his personality finally came through.
Give me a drink.
Gotta hurry, boys.
Heap-big important date.
You better come in strong tomorrow,
I'll be loaded for bear.
Come on, Beanie.
Held the elevator for you, Mr. R.
The Lonesome Rhodes Express, going down.
- All the way down, lad.
- Yes, sir.
Federal Broadcasting Network.
That line is busy.
You can just tell him I'll never listen
to his filthy program again.
So we're slobs, are we?
You can tell Lonesome Rhodes for me...
I said, are we paying your network
100,000 an hour
to build up our business or destroy it?
Now, just a minute, General.
Get DePalma on the phone.
Remember, it was your advertising company
that brought Lonesome Rhodes to FBN.
I'd like keep this candle
from rubbing off on Vitajex.
I mean dissociate ourselves.
Lonesome Rhodes. That line is busy.
Board's burning up. What'd he say?
I don't know,
but it must have been a whopper.
Better come up fast
with a good replacement.
I got you down in a hurry.
Give him a buck for not stopping
to pick up the peasants.
How's your rating, Page?
No, I'm sorry.
Mr. Rhodes has left for the day.
No, I'm sorry,
there's no one in the studio.
That's right, DePalma, you know
your contract, the morals clause.
Any act abusing public confidence.
I think I've got just the boy
to fill the gap.
Yeah, Barry Mills. Mm-hmm.
He's a young Lonesome Rhodes
and a lot easier to handle.
Buddy, I'm just a country boy.
Don't spare the horses.
I've only got 30 minutes
to get into my dinner clothes.
"L.R.'s Blooper Tops Unk Don's."
I never seen what people saw in that guy,
but whatever it was, he's had it.
Like the sinking of the Titanic.
A night to remember. What happened?
Marcia, she went, uh...
- Where is she?
- She's still in the booth.
I hear you just wrote the ending
to my book.
Just a minute, I'll see if she's here.
It's him.
I've got her. I've got her.
Oh, Marcia, I need you.
Come over right away.
Nobody's come, everybody canceled out.
Fuller didn't even send me a wire.
The general sent me a wire.
The Secretary of the Interior
sent me a wire.
"Regret to inform you."
"Unavoidably detained."
"Unable to attend."
All of a sudden, everybody's too busy.
All of a sudden, I'm... I'm poison.
You laughing at me?
Huh? You laughing at me?
You think I'm washed up, don't you?
The same way I lost them,
I'll get them back again.
I'm gonna make them love me.
You're gonna love me.
Say you're gonna love me.
Say you're gonna love me.
You're gonna love me.
You're gonna love me.
All right, say you're gonna love me.
All right, you, say you're gonna love me.
Say you're gonna love me!
You're gonna love me!
- What's your name?
- Francis.
Francis, you're gonna love me!
Francis, you're gonna love me!
Love me, love me!
Get out. Get out. Get out,
you dressed-up black monkeys.
You turn my stomach. Get out!
He sounds like he's finally
gone through the roof.
Marcia. Marcia, how soon can you get here?
I'm surrounded by traitors.
That engineer, wait till I get him.
I'll fire him.
I'll burn him over a slow fire.
Marcia, if you don't come right away,
I'll jump!
- I'll jump! I'll jump!
- Jump. Jump!
Get out of my life!
Get out of everybody's life.
I don't believe you.
- In an hour, you'll be up there.
- Oh, Mel.
Why didn't you tell him on the phone
that it was you?
- Because it's hard to.
- Let's make it harder.
I think you should go up
and tell him face to face
before he blames it on 20 other guys.
Face to face,
and then maybe I'll believe you.
It's never as simple as that.
Finally, you gotta force complicated
things into simple channels like this.
Either you go up there
and tell him it was you who did it
and chop it off clean
so he never comes crying to you again,
or you hold his hand,
wipe his poor, perspiring brow,
fan his smoldering, dampened ego
so it can burst up into flames and burn...
Secretary for National Morale
is a job that I was born for.
Somebody ought to send for a doctor.
He's been screaming like that
for 20 minutes.
In a time of crisis,
who else could rally the people
like Lonesome Rhodes?
Who else could move the people to action
like Lonesome Rhodes?
Ha! You are looking at America's answer
to the crying need for national...
What you doing that for?
- He likes lots of applause.
- Beanie.
Maybe I'm just a country boy.
But if the president tries to stop me,
I'll flood the White House
with millions of telegrams.
I made him, and I can break him.
Yeah! Ha!
Yeah, you know I can.
Because the people listen
to Lonesome Rhodes.
Because the people love Lonesome Rhodes.
Lonesome Rhodes is the people.
The people is Lonesome Rhodes.
Beanie. More. Yeah, yeah.
Go, go!
Ten thousand miles away from home
And I don't even know my name
Oh, Marcia.
I knew you'd come. I knew you'd get here.
Listen, Marcia, I lost them.
But all I gotta do is talk with them
one more time.
Yeah, I'll tell them I just said that
to see how many is really listening.
Yeah. Sure, I'll have them eating out
of my hands again just like old times.
- Larry, it was me.
- Then I'm back on top again.
First thing I do when I'm back on top,
I'll get that sound man.
I'll get that dirty,
stinking little mechanical genius.
It was me.
It was.
It was me.
I held the key open.
On purpose.
I'm telling you this
so you'll never call me again.
Never again.
Okay, Marcia.
My marshmallow.
Good luck.
Good luck with Mel.
Let me alone.
Larry, I'm sorry. Forgive me.
Go on.
Listen, I'm not through yet.
You know what's gonna happen to me?
Suppose I tell you exactly
what's gonna happen to you.
You're gonna be back in television.
Only it won't be quite the same
as it was before.
There'll be a reasonable
cooling-off period,
and somebody will say, "Why don't we
try him again in an inexpensive format?
People's memories aren't too long."
And you know, in a way, he'll be right.
Some of the people will forget,
and some of them won't.
Oh, you'll have a show.
Maybe not the best hour
or, you know, top ten.
Maybe not even in the top 35.
But you'll have a show.
It just won't be quite the same
as it was before.
Then a couple of new fellas
will come along.
And pretty soon, a lot of your fans
will be flocking around them.
And then one day, somebody will ask,
"Whatever happened to... what's-his-name?
You know, the one who was so big.
The number-one fella
a couple of years ago.
He was famous.
How can we forget a name like that?
Oh, by the way,
have you seen, uh, Barry Mills?
I think he's the greatest thing
since Will Rogers."
- Marcia!
- Mel.
Don't leave me!
I don't figure him for a suicide.
Mel, if I'd only left him
in that jail in Pickett.
Marcia, stop it. You were taken in,
just like we were all taken in.
But we get wise to them,
and that's our strength.
- Come back, Marcia!
- We get wise to them.
Come back!
Don't leave me!
Don't leave me!
Don't leave me!
Don't leave me!
Come back!
Come back!
Come back!