Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) Movie Script

'Swounds I should take it,
for it cannot be but I am pigeon-livered
and lack gall to make oppression bitter,
or ere this I should have fatted all the
region kites with this slave's offal.
Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous,
lecherous, kindless villain!
O vengeance!
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
That was, of course,
a speech of Hamlet's
from a play I was lucky enough
to perform in on several occasions,
though not, as yet,
in the principal role.
- Our next tableau...
- (whooping)
...features someone
who has devoted herself
to the musical life of this city.
Amongst others,
she is patron of the Euterpe Club,
of the Brooklyn Orchestra
for Distressed Gentlewomen,
as well as, of course,
our very own Verdi Club.
Let us journey back in time to 1850
and the state of Alabama.
America's greatest popular songwriter,
Stephen Foster,
has run out of ideas.
(plays tunelessly)
- He's a desperate man.
- (audience laughs)
(audience laughs)
But wait. What is this?
(trill on piano)
Now. That's it.
It is the Angel of Inspiration
sent from on high.
( plays "Oh, Susanna")
At last Stephen Foster
can write his song.
I came from Alabama
with my banjo on my knee
I'm goin' to Louisiana,
my true love for to see
Oh, Susanna!
Oh, don't you cry for me...
- Hold her. Hold her!
- I came from Alabama
With my banjo on my knee
- (man) Bravo! Bravo!
- (applause)
The Angel of Inspiration,
featuring Madam Florence Foster Jenkins!
It's going very, very, very well.
I don't feel that I imbued
the moment of inspiration
with the intensity it deserved,
but it was a serviceable attempt.
Better than serviceable. It was good.
- My amulets, please.
- Armlets.
Has the impending potato-salad
catastrophe been averted?
Even as I speak, the chef has a team
out scouring Manhattan for chives.
No chives. What next, I wonder!
Unconscionable, but they tell me
there is a war on, Bunny.
(man) Valkyries on stage, please.
The overture has begun.
What about the sandwiches?
Ham and tomato, plain cucumber and
chicken with a hint of Dijon mustard.
- Actually delicious.
- Excellent. How do I look?
Now, schnell, schnell. Go on, quickly.
You're a very naughty Valkyrie.
( Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyries")
We now come to the finale
of our evening.
I should warn you
that the vision you're about to witness
will be both shocking and terrifying.
A battle is raging.
Volleys of arrows pierce the air.
Shields clash
and swords do their terrible work.
But swooping down from the clouds
comes the most terrible spectre of all.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the Verdi Club presents
the Ride of the Valkyries!
Oh! Oh, my God!
(applause continues)
(music ends)
(audience) Bravo!
It is my pleasure to present you
with this small token of our esteem.
Oh! Thank you. Shall I open it?
(audience) Yes!
Well, this is beautiful.
Thank you. Thank you all so very much.
You know, years ago
when I founded the Verdi Club,
I never could have imagined
that I would be here tonight,
25 years on,
with my beloved husband by my side.
Music has been, and is, my life.
Music matters. Thank you.
And at this dark moment in our history,
with our brave boys
fighting for civilisation itself,
it matters more than ever.
So I implore you to continue to support
the musical life of this city.
- Good evening, Madam Florence.
- Hello, Kitty.
- How did it go?
- Very, very well, thank you.
And now, my bunny, you must sleep.
I don't want this day to end.
I know, I know.
Shut your eyes.
Only if you recite for me.
Very well.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no.
Thank you, Kitty.
- Goodnight, Mr Bayfield.
- Goodnight.
A taxi if I may. Thank you.
- Thank you very much.
- Goodnight, sir.
Welcome home, darling.
- I'm a tad drunk.
- Oh. Lucky you.
- How was Florence?
- Magnificent.
And you?
I would say
I gave an adequate performance.
I wish I could have come.
- How was Augustus's play?
- Oh, terrible.
Finish it. I'm teaching first thing.
The oculist with bad breath and two left
hands, both of which tend to wander.
- I love you, St Clair.
- Hmm. With knobs on.
Good morning, Miss Rabbit.
Have you seen the reviews, Whitey?
Carlton Smith in the Musical Courier
says it was the event of the season.
Well, it jolly well was. Now...
No. Put it on the table. I'm getting up.
Bunny, that's not a good idea.
Last night...
On the table. Please.
We have to plan the Verdi lunch.
Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no.
You can't put Mrs James O'Flaherty
next to the baroness.
She slurps her soup.
Then let's serve smoked trout,
because I doubt that even Mrs O'Flaherty
could slurp a trout.
The Verdi luncheon always begins
with a soup. You know that.
How could we not begin with a soup?
There would be a riot.
In that case, let us put her
over here on the card table
between Mr and Mrs Levi.
- Perfect.
- No.
Mrs O'Flaherty
isn't keen on the... Jews.
We'll put her between Prince Galitzer
and Mrs Oscar Garmunder.
- (Bayfield) No.
- Yes. They're both deaf as posts.
- No!
- Yes!
Maestro Toscanini is here.
Charlie, cup of coffee?
Do show him in, Kitty, please.
- (Kitty) Please come in.
- Thank you so much.
Arturo. What a wonderful surprise.
You don't mind me visiting unannounced?
Oh, no. La mia casa la tua casa.
- I have a little gift.
- Oh.
My recording of the Bell Song
with Lily Pons.
Oh, Arturo, how very thoughtful of you.
Thank you.
You know, we are so looking forward
to that concert.
- Are the preparations going well?
- Very well.
Though there are some financial matters
that remain... problematico.
Madam Florence, without your help,
there will be no concert.
How much did he want?
A thousand. But he gave me a record.
( "The Bell Song" from "Lakm")
( Lily Pons sings "The Bell Song"
in French)
Filles des Parias
Elle court sur la mousse
Et ne se souvient pas
Le long des lauriers roses
Rvant de douces choses
(sings coloratura)
Elle passe sans bruit
Et riant a la nuit
(sings coloratura)
(audience) Bravo! Bravo!
I haven't heard a voice that good
since Caruso.
- Extraordinary little thing, isn't she?
- Hmm.
Can you imagine
what that must feel like?
To hold nearly 3,000 people
in the cup of your hand.
- Hmm.
- To share such profound communion.
Did you see Carlo Edwards from the Met?
- No.
- Well, he was seated to our right.
I gather he's coaching again.
Oh, is he now, Bunny?
I would like to take
some more lessons with him.
Then I shall phone him
first thing in the morning.
- I shall need a pianist.
- Yes.
Someone young. Someone... with passion.
( Liszt: "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2"
played aggressively)
- Oh, my hat.
- Not passionate enough?
He's raping my ears.
Make him stop, make him stop.
Thank you!
Thank you very much, Mr Zeigler.
Thank you, Mr Zeigler! Thank you!
Very good. We'll... We'll be in touch.
Thank you again.
Gentlemen, the chairs are not
for practical use. You have been told.
- Cosm McMoon?
- That's me, sir.
- What should I play?
- Well, I really don't mind.
As long as it's not too loud.
( Saint-Sans: "The Swan")
- What loveliness.
- Hmm.
What is he playing?
Some Saint-Sans bullshit.
- Yeah.
- (sniggering)
You know...
You know, when I was...
when I was 16 years old,
my father told me that if I didn't
give up music and marry a dull banker,
he'd cut me off.
(both laugh)
That's true.
Sorry. It's OK, continue, Mr McMoon.
(resumes playing)
Course, he didn't understand musicians.
We'd rather go without bread
than Mozart, wouldn't we?
It's not even a choice for us.
Course, he did cut me off,
but I got myself
a little apartment in Philly
and I made a living
teaching piano to children.
And we'd play The Swan and...
That was my favourite.
Wow. Great story.
Yeah, it is, isn't it?
Course, he came round eventually
and then I was back in the will.
(holds last note)
Well, I must say,
I think you're absolutely ideal.
Did I mention that I also compose?
- And he also composes.
- Yes, I'm sure he does.
Well, you know, there are
some other candidates to hear, Bunny.
- (Florence) Hmm?
- Some more.
- Do you know any of them?
- I do.
They're all rather... heavy-handed,
I'm afraid.
The son of a bitch.
Madam Florence regrets she is unable
to hear any more candidates today.
- It's unbelievable.
- I trained at Juilliard...
I am so very sorry.
- Why?
- You're not her type.
Now, I must warn you, I work very hard.
I study an hour every day.
Sometimes two.
And my father didn't leave me
as much money as everybody thinks,
so I couldn't pay you
more than a hundred and fifty.
- A month?
- A week.
I'm not destitute.
A few pointers
as to how Madam Florence does things.
You will note that she carries a leather
briefcase with her at all times.
You are not to touch that briefcase
or to enquire as to its contents.
In the hall, Madam Florence
keeps a collection of chairs
in which people of note have expired.
- They're not for practical use.
- I understand.
She abhors all pointed objects,
so don't smoke in her presence or
hand her a knife or anything like that.
- Are you fond of sandwiches?
- Yes.
Good, good. Madam Florence
is inordinately fond of sandwiches.
And potato salad as well.
When we throw parties,
we make mountains of the stuff.
It would serve you
to consume both with enthusiasm.
- I shall.
- Good morning, Patrick.
So, here is a week in advance
and a teeny bit extra for a new shirt.
Thank you.
If you can forgive Madam Florence
her little eccentricities,
you will find her to be
a most generous and delightful person.
Ours is a very happy world.
Welcome, Mr McMoon.
Tomorrow morning at nine. Don't be late.
- I won't, sir.
- Good.
(man) Taxi! Taxi!
- (doorman) Good morning.
- (woman) Good morning.
- Mr McMoon is here.
- Oh, do come in, Mr McMoon.
This is the talented young man
I was telling you about.
- How do you do, Mr McMoon?
- My vocal coach.
Maestro Carlo Edwards, assistant
conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.
How do you do, sir? I saw you conduct
La Bohme last season.
Oh, no, please don't remind me.
(laughs) Carlo!
- He's kidding. He's kidding.
- (laughs)
- (Florence clears throat)
- I've learned everything.
- I'm virtually off score.
- Good. Then let's get started.
Here we are. The Bell Song.
Oh. Isn't it a little early
in the morning for Lakm, Carlo?
Not for a singer of your ability.
Whenever you're ready, Mr McMoon.
(plays intro to the "Bell Song")
No. No, uh, no.
A little more allegretto, please,
if you don't mind, Mr McMoon.
(plays intro)
(sings coloratura out of tune)
(voice swoops up and down tunelessly)
(voice cracks as she sings a low note)
(Carlo) Raise the soft palate.
(voice cracks)
(continues to sing coloratura
out of tune)
Use the air.
On the breath.
(sings quietly, still out of tune)
Project forward.
(sings loudly)
(voice swoops to a low note)
(mutters under his breath)
O va la jeune Indoue
- Fille des Parias
- Think of the mask, Florence.
Quand la lune se joue
La squillo.
Dans les grands mimosas
The voice is in the mask.
Quand la lune se joue
(squawking coloratura)
Dans les grands mimosas
Le long des lauriers roses
(Carlo) Yes.
- Rvant de douces choses
- Yes, yes.
(sings squawking coloratura)
Elle passe sans bruit
Et riant la nuit
(sings coloratura)
(sings sustained out-of-tune high note)
Stop there.
There's work to be done.
But you've never sounded better.
- (Carlos chuckles)
- Oh!
Hear, hear.
Maestro, it is true that a lot of
singers my age are on the decline,
but I seem to just get
better and better.
(Carlo) I know.
It's hard to believe, isn't it?
Well, I am so blessed.
There is no one quite like you.
I thought you were off score.
- Did you enjoy the class?
- Very much so.
- Yes, she's remarkable, isn't she?
- She is.
I thought you played very nicely.
Thank you.
Good. Same time tomorrow, then.
- Yes.
- Yeah.
- Goodbye.
- Bye.
(stifled laugh)
(clears throat)
(stifled laugh)
(laughs out loud)
- Oh!
- Oh, sorry.
Excuse me.
(Florence sings "Biassy" in Russian)
- Morning.
- Morning, Mr Bayfield.
Find a breath, Florence.
(bellows out of tune)
(speaks Russian)
- Afternoon, Mr Bayfield.
- (Florence sings coloratura)
(Carlo) Good.
(Florence sings coloratura)
- Appoggio.
- (sings coloratura)
- Lean into it.
- (sings coloratura)
Expand your diaphragm, Florence.
(continues singing coloratura)
Breathe. Breathe, Florence.
- (sings sustained high note)
- Good.
Faint melodies bring back old days
Soar like a bird.
Faintly the old music box plays
(Florence sings coloratura)
(continues singing)
One word. Authenticity.
Maestro, do you think
I'm ready... for a concert?
You'll never be more ready.
You have been absent from the stage
for far too long, Bunny.
Mr McMoon? Do you think I'm ready?
And perhaps I shall perform a monologue.
Or not. Or not.
I shall start to make arrangements.
Obviously I'll do my utmost
to attend the concert,
but I'll be away in Florida
at some point.
Oh, right. When?
Let me know when you've fixed a date.
One other thing.
Since I've been working so intensively
with Florence,
I've rather neglected my other students.
It might be best
if we were discreet about these classes.
I'd be mortified if Madam Florence
become the focus of any envy.
Well, thank you so very, very much.
Oh, she spoils me.
But then she spoils us all.
Doesn't she?
- Enjoy Florida.
- I will.
Mr McMoon.
- Could we speak, Mr Bayfield?
- Yes, of course. What is it?
Well, uh, I thought I was being hired
to accompany Madam Florence's lessons.
I'll be honest with you, Mr Bayfield,
I think Madam Florence
might need a little more preparation
before she sings in public.
- We've been rehearsing for a month.
- Well, I know.
But from time to time,
she can be a little...
- Hmm?
- ..flat.
- Flat?
- A tad. Well, just a tad.
Carlo Edwards
didn't mention any flatness,
and he is the leading vocal coach
in the city.
Jeez, Mr Bayfield, we can't be talking
about the same singer.
I mean, her vocal cords,
they don't phonate freely.
Her phrasing is haphazard.
As for her subglottal pressure...
it defies medical science.
Is her instrument quite what it was?
Perhaps not.
But as Beethoven said,
a few wrong notes may be forgiven,
but singing without feeling cannot.
Mr Bayfield, is there any way I could do
the lessons but not the concerts?
- No, I'm afraid not.
- But I have my reputation to think of.
Oh, really? And what reputation is that?
If you want to go back to playing
for tips in a steakhouse, be my guest.
Oh, Cosm, Florence is very fond of you,
she's paying you well and she knows,
well, she knows everyone.
But, Mr Bayfield...
And she has sung
in dozens of sell-out concerts.
She has a magnetism
that her followers adore.
I understand that, but what if less
educated members of the public show up?
No, you're right, we must exclude
the hoodlum element
and ensure that only
true music lovers gain entry.
These events take
all kinds of careful preparation.
So, five down and two to go.
And have you attended
one of Madam Florence's concerts before?
No, but I heard all about her.
Well, I'm afraid we're giving priority
to Verdi Club members at the moment.
But I came all the way from Brooklyn.
I'm so sorry. Next, please.
- (phone rings)
- Not a music lover.
You take over. Two dollars a pop.
Mr Stark, how very nice.
That's Mr Bayfield.
Yes, thank you for calling back.
The poster.
"President and founder,
Florence Foster Jenkins",
that should be larger, 28 point.
If asked, your favourite composers
are Mozart, Verdi and Beethoven.
Phineas, try to get this
through your fat head.
I am not interested
in your bullshit music club, OK?
Agnes, please.
My God.
June 4th, Saturday night at 8pm.
Oh, I do so hope you can be there.
Well, unfortunately we are rehearsing.
- Oh, on Saturday night?
- Well, we rehearse all the time.
Oh, my God.
It's Toscanini, the conductor.
Hmm, I thought it was Toscanini,
the anchovy paste salesman. Huh?
Finally, the line below that
should read:
"Directed by St Clair Bayfield,
eminent actor and monologist."
"Eminent", yes.
Kisses for Mommy.
Kiss monster.
Thank you, Mr Lipshitz.
Thank you very much.
St Clair, who is that vulgar woman?
- The new Mrs Stark, I imagine.
- What happened to the last one?
- Who is that man, anyway?
- Phineas?
- Hmm.
- He sells meat in cans.
- Very wealthy. Very generous.
- Oh.
I understand Agnes isn't a member.
She's new to the world
of classical music.
But she's very keen to learn.
Well, in that case,
I think we can make an exception.
- Four dollars, please.
- Thank you so much.
A whole world of pleasure
awaits you, Mrs Stark.
Well, you can never have
too much pleasure.
Oh, right.
So, that is two tickets for the Levis
and a dollar change.
- Thank you.
- Now, then.
Oh, Mr Bayfield. I am so excited.
Well, we all are.
I have put you in row E, Mrs Vanderbilt.
E for elegance. Four dollars if I may.
- Excuse me.
- Thank you.
They're getting through the potato salad
like gannets. Is there any more?
Let me check.
How's it going, Kitty?
Are we running low?
I think we should be fine, Mr Bayfield.
- Very good. I'll take that.
- Thank you, Mr Bayfield.
There's an Earl Wilson here.
Send him in. Thank you, Kitty.
(Kitty) Through there.
- Earl Wilson of the New York Post.
- How do you do, Mr Bayfield?
How do you do?
I read your column. It's great fun.
- Thank you.
- What brings you here?
I was hoping
I could get a ticket for the concert.
Oh, well, I'm afraid we're all sold out.
Oh? Carlton Smith
from the Musical Courier has got one.
So has Stubbs from World Bugle.
I'm not sure it's an event
that would interest the readers
of the New York Post.
My editor would disagree. There's
quite a buzz around town about it.
He sent me down here himself.
So, can I get that ticket?
Why not?
Thank you.
I just need the ticket.
It's both or neither, Mr Wilson.
Then I'll trouble you no more.
- Good evening.
- Good evening.
(woman laughs) Yes.
(woman) Darling. Augustus is here.
Ah, what a surprise.
- How are you, Augustus?
- (Augustus) Couldn't be better.
I hear your play was a triumph.
I am a second-rate playwright
and we all know that.
But I'm a first-rate friend, the latter
outweighing the former, I feel.
With knobs on.
- So, is it really true?
- What's that?
Madam Florence
is taking to the stage once more?
- Yes.
- Ah, it's been too long.
- How much are tickets?
- I'm afraid we've already sold out.
- You can't be sold out.
- I'm so sorry.
- St Clair, don't be a silly arse.
- Yes, don't be a silly arse, St Clair.
The concert is for true music lovers,
not mockers and scoffers
like you and your artistic friends.
When have I ever mocked or scoffed?
The lady is an eloquent lesson
in fidelity and courage,
and that's why we love her.
Please, St Clair.
Do you want to see a grown man cry?
Be a sport, darling,
and I'll make it up to you.
- No, I'm sorry.
- Please.
No. Non. Nyet.
(man) Tickets, please.
Thank you. Tickets, please.
You're very lucky to be here.
You've made promises
and I'm holding you to them.
I've brought some friends. Music lovers.
We'll see. I'm watching them carefully.
Carlton Smith. And Mr Stubbs.
We're greatly honoured.
I hope you enjoy the evening.
- We will, St Clair.
- Fingers crossed.
Tell the ushers that absolutely no one
gets in without a ticket. No exceptions.
And if Earl Wilson turns up from the
Post, they politely show him the door.
Mr and Mrs Stark. How very nice.
Will you forgive me?
I have an important nose to powder.
This is beautiful, isn't it?
Oh, God.
- All set?
- I guess.
They are going to adore you.
You have my word.
Too many? Too many feathers you think?
The perfect number of feathers.
Restrained and elegant.
- I'm so nervous, Whitey.
- Oh, don't be.
- Are you nervous, Mr McMoon?
- Somewhat.
You have a full and very warm house
and you are both
going to be sensational.
Hm-hm. Yes.
Break a leg.
House lights, please.
This is what we live for, isn't it?
This moment.
Oh, my God.
( "Adele's Laughing Song"
from "Die Fledermaus")
O noble sir
How far you err
You're really not discreet
Therefore my advice
is that you look twice
When judging those you meet
My little white hands are fine
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
My foot with its contour divine
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
- (sniggers)
- My speech so disarming
My waistline so slim and charming
No lady's maid could be
full of so much grace, you see
No lady's maid could be
full of so much grace, you see
Now you must own to your mistake
Your blunder almost takes the cake
Oh, how funny
- Ah, ha, ha!
- (laughs out loud)
- You amuse me
- For God's sake, woman, keep quiet.
If I laugh so! Ah, ha, ha
Pray excuse me
- Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
- Quiet. Shh!
Ah, ha, ha! You amuse me
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
(Mr Stark) Be quiet.
- Is she unwell, Mr Stark?
- A coughing fit.
(Bayfield) She needs fresh air.
This way, Mrs Stark.
(mumbles words)
So look through your glasses
and see...
- Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
- That's it. Shh.
- My costume, my air of grandee
- Control yourself, Agnes.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Your love is short-sighted
- Alas, you're benighted
- Shh!
- I am so sorry, Mr Bayfield.
- Not at all, not at all.
I wish you a speedy recovery, Mrs Stark.
She is the worst goddamn singer
in the entire world!
Honey, must you always embarrass me?
You seem to see her everywhere
It's very droll, I do declare
Oh how funny! Ah, ha, ha!
You amuse me! Ah, ha, ha!
Should I laugh so! Ah, ha, ha
Pray excuse me!
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Oh how funny! Ah, ha, ha!
You amuse me! Ah, ha, ha!
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Ha! Ha!
Ha, ha, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
Ha, ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
Ha, ha, ah, ah, ah,
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ha, ha
(shrieks) Ha, ha!
(sings sustained high note)
Bravo, Madam Florence! Bravo!
(man) Bravo! Encore!
- Bravo, Madam Florence!
- Alright, sit down.
St Clair, congratulations.
What a wonderful evening.
- Thank you, madam.
- Oh, Mr Bayfield.
I don't hear very well, but I just think
Madam Florence is magical.
Well, I know how very grateful she is
for your friendship and your support.
- That little McMoon.
- I'm so very sorry. Just one moment.
- What a find.
- St Clair, a delightful evening.
The Donohughes, how nice to see you.
Mr and Mrs Wallace.
(man) It was spectacular.
- Darling, the Fledermaus was thrilling.
- You were magnificent.
- Absolutely thrilling.
- Is everything alright?
I don't...
I don't feel very well, Whitey.
Let's get you home.
Dr Hertz is in Washington,
but he sent his colleague Dr Hermann.
If I may, please.
I didn't have time
to look at your medical notes.
The scarring is from syphilis.
When did you contract the disease?
On my wedding night.
My first husband,
Dr Frank Thornton Jenkins.
Something of an alley cat.
- How old were you?
- 18.
- Where did the chancre first appear?
- It was on my left hand, right here.
- Are you taking any medication?
- Just mercury and arsenic, of course.
- Any other symptoms?
- No.
She has seizures from time to time,
when she has overexerted herself.
(Dr Hermann) I see.
Well, there is a murmur
and some palpitations
but no indication the disease
is entering the tertiary phase.
The two and a half hours of coloratura
you performed this evening
- might account for the tiredness.
- (chuckles)
Bed rest until your strength returns.
I'll speak to Dr Hertz and let him know.
Thank you, Doctor.
Thank you.
I've known patients survive 20 years
with syphilis but never nearly 50.
I'm amazed. What is her secret?
Music. She lives for music.
And no doubt your love
has proved to be a panacea too.
We were fortunate
to have found each other.
Clearly. I don't mean to pry,
Mr Bayfield, but how is your own health?
Florence and I have always abstained.
Very wise.
I have several patients
who observe the five-year rule,
but it's no sure prophylactic.
Well, from the start, Florence felt
that my health was paramount.
Excitement stimulates the disease.
She needs rest, Mr Bayfield.
Rest, my love.
I can't help wondering
what my life would have been like
if I'd never met Frank Jenkins.
Well, he's in his grave now. Forget him.
But I could've...
could've given you a child.
We could've been a family.
We are a family.
A great and devoted family.
United by our love of music.
Are we not happy?
Shut your eyes. I'll recite for you.
Bright star!...
...would I... were steadfast
as thou art -
Not in lone splendour
hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
- Like Nature's patient, sleep...
- I think I'll read.
- Well, goodnight, my love.
- Night-night.
- "..recital at the Ritz-Carlton."
- (music and laughter)
"And the consensus was
that she'd never sung better."
"Her grace and brilliant personality
only added
to the remarkable quality of her voice."
"By the end of her performance,
the stage was a bower of blooms
and Madam Jenkins retired
to affectionate applause."
Make that "thunderous applause".
Oh, everybody, look who's here!
(man) Bravo! Bravo!
- Um...
- Oh, you don't mind?
I invited the showgirl.
She is simply adorable.
Darling, the concert was wonderful.
How is Florence?
She's absolutely...
Well, I couldn't not invite him.
Would you like a drink?
- In a minute.
- Oh.
(man) Hey, how about one more?
- Cosm.
- Good evening, Mr Bayfield.
No, thank you.
I hope you don't mind me being here.
Your friend Kathleen
was most insistent that I stop by.
Really? Well, you're very welcome.
You have a drink?
Hmm. (slurps)
- Maybe I should get home.
- No, no, no.
- You stay where you are.
- This is all a little awkward.
I mean, I... thought
you and Madam Florence were married.
We are.
But you live here with Kathleen.
Is she... your sister?
- No, she's my girlfriend.
- Oh.
- It's a little complicated.
- Yes, it is.
But, Cosm,
you have nothing to worry about.
Florence and I have an understanding.
Madam Florence...
she knows about Kathleen?
Well, she understands
that love takes many forms.
Believe me, there's no shortage of love
between any of us.
Surely you can see
I'm devoted to Florence.
Our marriage is a thing of the spirit.
It transcends this realm. It's...
- Yes.
- I'm very fond of you, Cosm.
I think of you as a chum.
Oh! That's kind of you, Mr Bayfield.
Seeing as we're talking
in a familiar fashion,
could I possibly ask what it is Madam
Florence carries in that briefcase?
- No.
- No?
Now, what do you say we grab ourselves
a couple of Manhattans
and go and join the hepcats?
- OK.
- (whooping)
Come on.
- Good evening.
- Hello.
Mr Corbin's friends
are all so personable.
Yes, I bet.
Here we are. To a friendship.
In one. Go.
( Louis Prima: "Sing Sing Sing")
Hey, Mr Bayfield, I wanna see you dance.
(all cheer)
No, no, no, no, no.
My dancing days are done.
Dance, St Clair, dance.
I wanna see you dance.
- No, I really... No. No.
- (man) Come on!
(all) Whoo!
(all) Whoo!
(knocking at door)
(knocking at door)
(Florence) St Clair? Are you there?
(knocking at door)
St Clair! Wake up!
I've got something
I want to show you!
(knocking at door)
St Clair, are you in there?
Oh, golly.
Mr Bayfield, wake up. Mr...
Madam Florence is here.
- What?
- That's her at the door.
- (persistent knocking)
- (Florence) I can hear you in there.
Wake up, wake up, wake up. Wake up!
- What's the matter?
- It's Florence, she's here. Stall her.
- What?
- Stall her, stall her.
- Get out of bed. Out of bed. Up.
- What?
(knocking continues)
(knocking continues)
(Florence) St Clair, are you there?
Um, just a moment, Madam Florence.
- (Florence) Who is that?
- It's me, Mr McMoon. How are you?
(Florence) Mr McMoon?
What are you doing here?
Open the door at once!
(knocking at door)
Goodness me.
Oh! Where... Where is Mr Bay... field?
Oh, my hat!
- St Clair!
- Madam Florence, please, please...
(knocks on door)
- Whitey?
- Bunny. How very, very nice.
I was just reading
a little early Austen. Quite fun.
May I offer you some tea?
What is going on? Why is Mr McMoon
He lost his house key,
so I put him up for the night.
Oh. But what about the mess?
- There's a mess?
- Oh!
Good God.
When I said "help yourself
to a nightcap", I meant one.
Just look at the place!
Look what he's done, Bunny.
Aren't you going to chastise him?
Well, I... I am very disappointed
in you, Mr McMoon.
I do not approve of drinking.
What got into you?
I'm very sorry.
Never again, Mr McMoon. You understand?
- Reviews.
- What? Oh!
- What do they say?
- They're simply marvellous.
Come, come, come.
That's what I... I wanted to... Look.
Page seven. Here, here, down below.
Oh, da, da, da, da, da da...
"And the consensus was
that she'd never sung better."
"Her grace and brilliant personality
only added
to the remarkable quality of her voice."
"By the end of her performance,
the stage was a...
...bower of blooms and Madam Jenkins
retired to thunderous applause."
Bravo, Bunny. Bravo! Bravissima!
Oh, shh.
And I've had a simply darling idea
for the Christmas gift for the members.
- We're booked for eleven o'clock...
- Booked for?
- It's a surprise.
- Ooh.
So continue your ablutions, quickly.
Got a cab waiting downstairs.
And bring McMoon with you.
I've been looking for him all morning.
- I shall.
- Just hurry.
Yes, yes. There in a demisemiquaver.
She's gone.
- This is just ridiculous.
- I am very, very sorry.
I shouldn't have to hide in my own home.
It's humiliating. And there are rules.
- I think she was just overexcited.
- Well, you are to speak to her.
Yes, that's a very good idea.
I shall say, "Florence, although
you pay the rent on my apartment,
- would you mind not visiting?"
- Oh, shut up.
I won't go on living like this.
Do you understand?
What am I doing here?
I'm willing to share you, St Clair,
but... I need some dignity.
Of course, of course, of course.
I'm so sorry.
I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.
I don't know how.
Why don't we go away for a few days,
yes? Golf? Hamptons?
Good idea?
(Cosm vomits)
There you go.
Oh, good Lord.
Here we are! Oh!
We're going to make a recording.
And give a copy to the members
for Christmas.
- I'm so excited!
- It's a wonderful idea, Bunny.
But Dr Hermann was
very, very specific about excitement.
- Oh, phooey.
- So I think it'd...
- Come along.
- Come on.
Come on, come on, come on.
Like a bird on the wing
Like a bird
(sings piercing coloratura)
Like a bird
(sings coloratura)
Like a bird
(sings coloratura)
(sings sustained high note /
feedback squeal)
Bravo! It was wonderful, Bunny.
Oh! Flipping hell!
(Bayfield) Kathleen, try this one.
I did suggest it earlier.
It's a little shorter
and a little easier.
- Yes, I like this one, darling.
- And slightly to the left.
And swing
as though it's through molasses.
- Oh, yes!
- (squeals)
(gentle music plays)
You're listening to "The Firestone Hour"
with me, Richard Crooks,
on the NBC Radio Network.
We have a caller on line one,
Mrs Edna Hoffman of New Jersey.
Go ahead, Edna.
Mr Crooks,
would you play Brahms's "Lullaby"?
I'd love to. For anyone in particular?
My son Samuel. He's a flight navigator.
He's missing in action over Germany.
- Oh, my.
- Our hearts go out to you today, Edna.
And we'll all be thinking of Samuel.
( Brahms: "Lullaby")
Jimmy, I'd like you to have this
hand-delivered for me.
- And I'm gonna grab one of these cabs.
- Sure.
( "Lullaby" continues)
(knocking at door)
(man) Hey, McMoon, you got a visitor!
(Florence) Thank you very much. I hope
I'm not disturbing you, Mr McMoon.
Oh! Madam Florence.
I was out and about and I suddenly
realised I was in your neighbourhood.
- What a happy coincidence.
- Indeed.
- Is Mr Bayfield with you?
- No.
- May I come in?
- Sure.
I've brought you our recording.
Gee. Thank you, Madam Florence.
You're very welcome.
You haven't done your dishes, Mr McMoon.
Would you like me to do them for you?
No, you don't need to do that,
Madam Florence.
Well, they'll not wash themselves,
will they? I'll make you a deal.
I'll wash your dishes
if you play something for me.
How about that?
- Madam Florence, I can...
- Do we have a deal, Mr McMoon?
(Cosm) What shall I play?
Anything you like.
(plays tuneful melody)
That's such a pretty melody.
Is it yours?
- Yes.
- Oh.
(high-pitched humming)
(mumbles words)
You inspire me.
I shall write some lyrics for you.
Oh, wonderful.
There's a bird in the... in the trees
Madam Florence, do you mind if I ask
how you met Mr Bayfield?
Oh, well...
I was performing in a musicale
at the Waldorf, 1919.
And I was wearing a violet velvet gown.
I looked out at the audience
and I saw a man
with the most beautiful smile
I'd ever seen.
He had an aristocratic bearing
and that was that.
Of course, his grandfather
was an earl, you know.
Doesn't that make him an earl too?
Well, he wasn't on the legitimate line.
Nothing for him in England.
So he came here and became an actor.
He wasn't always successful.
Had to hide the reviews occasionally.
- You play so beautifully, Mr McMoon.
- Ah!
You know, I played for the president,
when I was eight years old.
- Really?
- Yes, I played at the White House.
- Really?
- Little Miss Foster, they called me.
And I had very high hopes
of becoming a concert pianist mys...
But then when the nerves were damaged
in my left hand, that was not to be.
That's too bad.
What happened to your hand?
Oh, it was just a...
I'm s... I'm sorry.
- I'm a silly woman.
- No.
Would you like a glass of water?
When Mr Bayfield is away playing golf,
the days can seem awfully long.
I understand that he needs his... sport.
But I miss him. I...
(sobs quietly)
I miss him terribly.
- He'll be back soon.
- Hmm.
Madam Florence,... he's devoted to you.
He told me so.
- (plays notes)
- Oh.
Are you OK?
Well, it's just
the change in temperature, you know.
It can be very painful, so... Oh.
Do you know the Prelude in E minor?
Oh, gosh.
(plays opening notes)
- That one?
- Hmm.
That's it.
("Prelude" continues)
- Drink?
- Rather.
Let me just take your bags, madam.
And may I say
what lovely legs you have, madam.
(Florence) I am singing
Like a bird on the wing
Like a bird
- St Clair, come in here.
- Yeah, one moment.
- Like a bird
- St Clair!
(sings coloratura)
Like a bird
(sings coloratura)
How did she get on the radio?
That was Florence Foster Jenkins
singing "Like A Bird" by Cosm McMoon.
We're getting quite a few calls
on that one.
We have Ed calling
from the military hospital...
- How did Richard Crooks get...
- Ed, you're on the air.
(Ed) Mr Crooks, the guys here,
we all love that record.
I lost my left leg and half my face
at Guadalcanal,
but that dame's got me feeling happy
to be alive.
Could you play it again? And please
tell us where we could find her record.
(Crooks) I don't think it's for sale.
It's a private recording.
Oh, thank goodness you're here,
Mr Bayfield.
Things have been going crazy.
It's difficult when you're away.
Yes, I'm very sorry, Kitty.
Tell me this.
- How did Richard Crooks get the record?
- She gave it to him.
He's been playing it all weekend.
The phone's been ringing off the hook
with people wanting a copy.
Cole Porter called.
It put Madam Florence
into one of her excited moods.
I'll talk to her.
She's not here. She's at a meeting.
- With?
- Mr Totten.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
- A-ha.
- Ah, Mr Bayfield, how good to see you.
And you, Mr Totten.
Is Madam Florence here?
- She's in the hall.
- Ah. Thank you.
- You have a moment?
- Yes, in a jiffy.
Do I see a pair of rabbit ears?
- Oh, Whitey.
- Bunny.
How was the golf?
It was nice enough, thank you.
This is my favourite place
in the whole world.
And I'm going to sing here.
- Uh-huh?
- I've booked the hall.
For October 25th.
And I'm going to give
a thousand tickets away to the soldiers,
because we must support our boys.
Well... (clears throat)
I applaud your courage. And...
And no one would enjoy seeing you
triumph here more than I, obviously.
But this place is just...
it's so big, you know.
It's nearly a thousand,
three thousand people.
Well, Lily Pons's voice filled it.
She's just a little bird.
Yes, but she's a young woman
with a young woman's strength and...
and perfect technique,
and it's... it's...
- My technique isn't perfect?
- No, it is, it is, it is, but I...
I just think
this might be too much for you.
Well, if Mr Churchill
had adopted that attitude,
why, Herr Hitler would be standing
on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
howling like a Doberman as we speak.
You're not strong enough, Bunny.
What if it... kills you?
Oh, then I shall die happy.
Death has been my constant companion
for almost 50 years.
I've lived day to day never knowing
if my body, if it'll succumb and my...
my... my... my reason desert me.
But I've fought and I've fought
and I've fought.
And I'm still here.
And I'm going to sing here.
But have I not stood by you?
If you truly love me...
...you'll let me sing here.
It was a lovely weekend.
It was, it was, it was.
We must... We must do it again.
Yes, we must.
Darling, please don't look
so out of sorts.
- She might change her mind, you know.
- No, I very much doubt that.
Well, let's just try
and be happy tonight, eh?
- And I'm trying.
- Yes, you certainly are.
You see, I just feel
that if we had not gone away,
none of this would have ever happened.
It's completely my fault, so...
Hey, guys, you're not gonna
believe this. You gotta hear this.
- Play it, guys.
- Guys, wait till you hear this.
( piano intro to "Like a Bird")
( Florence sings "Like a Bird")
(all laugh)
(woman) Oh, my God!
It's Florence. They've got her record.
(woman imitates Florence singing)
- Scum.
- Darling, ignore them.
- I will not ignore them.
- This is our night out, St Clair.
So you think I should just sit here
and have a jolly drink with you
while human vermin
laughs at my wife?
Is that what you think?
You will sit down or, so help me God,
I will leave you. Do you understand?
Excuse me, excuse me.
You have absolutely no right to this.
- This is a private recording!
- That's our record!
It is not yours!
Take your filthy
philistine hands off me.
Give it to me or I will call the police.
Give it to me now.
You dropped your mouchoir,
Mr Fancy-Pants.
Beat it, you hefty old sap.
Kathleen! Wait!
I cannot play Carnegie Hall
with Madam Florence.
Maybe you could speak to Mr Totten,
tell him it's not such a great idea.
- Surely he'd understand.
- It's too late.
She's given a thousand tickets
to the War Veterans Association.
Well, I...
What did Kathleen say?
...has left me.
Jeez, I'm so sorry. That's awful.
Please, Cosm, will you do it?
Mr Bayfield, I am a serious pianist.
I have ambition. I...
Oh, you think that I didn't
have ambition? I was a good actor.
But I was never going to be
a great actor.
It was very, very hard
to admit that to myself.
But once I had, I felt free
from the tyranny of ambition.
I started to live.
Is ours not a happy world, Cosm?
Do we not have fun?
Please, Mr Bayfield.
You see, we have to help her because
without loyalty, there's nothing.
- We'll be murdered out there!
- You think that I'm not aware of that?
For 25 years, I have kept
the mockers and scoffers at bay.
I'm very well aware
of what they might do.
But Florence has been my life.
I love her and...
I think you love her too.
Singing at Carnegie Hall is her dream.
And I'm going to give it to her.
The only question now
is whether you will stand
by your patron and friend
in her hour of need,
or whether you will focus
on your ambition.
Please, Cosm.
Will you play for your friend?
Thank you.
Oh, golly. Oh, golly gosh.
Come on,
you're gonna play at Carnegie Hall.
- How many people can say that?
- Oh, boy, we're gonna die out there.
(man) Hey, Tallulah, up here!
It's Cole Porter. And Tallulah Bankhead.
Tallulah! Up here! We love you!
Miss Bankhead, Mr Porter.
What an honour.
- Hi.
- (man) Tallulah!
Don't let anyone in who's drunk.
- They're all drunk.
- Me included.
- (vocal exercises)
- From the diaphragm, Bunny.
And again, lower.
From the diaphragm, Bunny.
Ha. Blow the candles out. Ha!
- Ha!
- Hate the candles.
- Ha!
- I don't have... (coughs)
- Where is Cosm?
- He will be here.
- He's very, very, very late.
- Bunny, you must relax.
- What if he's dead?
- He has never been late.
- (knocking at door)
- Oh, here he is. Oh, my goodness me.
(Bayfield) Oh, Colonel.
(colonel) Could I speak
to Madam Florence for a moment?
Of course. Please.
- Bunny, it's the colonel.
- Yes.
Ah, Colonel.
I hope the house is warming up nicely.
It sure is, Madam Florence. I'm not
surprised. You're the talk of the town.
- She sold out faster than Sinatra.
- I don't doubt it.
On behalf of the Marine Corps,
I just wanted to say thank you so much
for the free tickets.
The boys are very grateful.
Given the sacrifices you have made,
it's the very least I can do.
Some things are worth dying for.
Hmm. You take the words
right out of my mouth.
Colonel, you'll forgive me.
I must prepare.
- Of course. Break a leg.
- Thank you so much.
- Oh.
- That's what you say, isn't it?
Yes. Yes, of course. I'll try.
Thank you, Colonel. Thank you.
Those were kind words.
Now, we are ten minutes away
from going on stage.
- Bunny, you must relax.
- Where is he? Where is Cosm?
(rowdy chatter)
(soldier) Don't look at him!
Look at me, Tallulah!
Whoa, yeah, baby!
(raucous chanting)
(shouting and whistling)
Somewhere I'm sure...
Are we supposed to be here?
Where is that silly, silly boy?
I don't have an answer, Bunny.
I wish I did.
We know the traffic is terrible
and I'm sure he'll be here any moment.
Here! My briefcase.
I want you to keep it close.
- Half the audience is drunk.
- You were told about the soldiers.
- What did you expect?
- But this is Carnegie Hall.
- You took the money, though, I notice.
- Listen! They're hoodlums.
Hoodlums! Hoodlums as you call them,
Mr Totten,
who have been risking their lives
for our country
and I would be grateful if you show them
the respect they deserve.
Madam Florence, they're tearing
the place apart. You must go on.
- (Florence) My pianist hasn't shown.
- Then you will have to sing a cappella.
Cosm! Where have you been?
I got jumped by a bunch of sailors.
They were most disrespectful.
Let's straighten you up.
Five minutes, please, Mr Totten.
- Not a second longer. Please.
- Shh!
- On the left, babes.
- Left? You know I like the right side.
- Oh, for God's sake, Agnes.
- Hello, honey.
- Would you look at that!
- Cover yourself up!
- Marry me, blondie!
- Over here! Here!
- Oh, nuts.
- Give me some fries with that shake!
Oh, baby!
Oh, baby!
- What?
- Behave yourself.
Alright, alright.
You've seen everything
you're gonna see. Sit down.
Oh, God, what a grouch.
- Read your programme.
- (soldier) Hey.
- Read your programme.
- Yeah, alright.
Well, it's quite a house, Bunny.
I spy Cole Porter
in the front row no less.
Cole Porter?
- (Bayfield) Tallulah Bankhead is here.
- Oh, my hat.
What have I done? I can't do it, Whitey.
- I can't go on that stage.
- Oh! Sit.
- I can't. I've made a terrible mistake.
- Sit.
- She has to go on.
- A moment, please, Mr Totten.
- No, no, no!
- Thank you. Goodbye.
Listen to me, Bunny. Listen. Those men
out there, they've seen horrors.
Their bodies have been smashed,
their minds torn to shreds.
They need joy. They need... music.
You can heal them, Bunny.
That is your purpose. Believe it.
- But I'm afraid.
- Don't be. Don't be.
They're going to love you.
You'll be great, Madam Florence.
We can do it.
- Jenny. May I have my briefcase?
- Thank you.
And a pen, anyone?
Madam Florence, you must go on now.
I'm adding a codicil to my will.
Because I would like you to have
a little something when I die, Cosm.
Thank you, Madam Florence.
Mr Totten, would you mind
witnessing right here?
Right here.
- Oh, thank you very much.
- Not at all. Now will you please go on?
House lights down, please, Mr Totten.
Now, then, Little Miss Foster,
make me proud.
(chatter continues)
- (audience member) Shh!
- (chatter fades)
(audience members whoop)
Go ahead, go ahead.
(plays rousing intro)
(sings shrieking coloratura)
Valse caressante
Verse anciente
Calls up the joys of les nuits d'antan
(raucous laughter)
Song that sings in my ear
when I'm in your arms
(mumbles words)
- Good work, Mr Bayfield.
- (sings faintly)
- (man 1) Get her off!
- (man 2) Somebody call the cops!
(man 3) Stop singing!
Wait, wait, wait.
(man 4) It's a joke!
(man 5) Get off! You're garbage!
Hey. Hey!
(whistles) Give the dame a break!
She's singing her heart out.
Yeah, and her heart
sounds like a dyin' cat!
- A cat dyin'?
- Hey, she can't sing!
You kiss your mother with that mouth?
Sit your ass down. Shame on you!
Shame on all of you!
You better cheer, assholes.
- Cheer! Cheer! Bravo!
- Yeah, come on.
Bravo, Madam Florence! Bravo!
Clap. Clap!
Get up on your feet. Bravo! Come on!
Sing, Madam Florence!
- You're beautiful.
- Enough.
I love you. Sing!
Bravo! Bravo!
(audience chanting)
Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!
Sing! Sing, Madam Florence, sing!
- Sing!
- Sing, Florence!
Sing, Bunny, sing!
(plays intro)
Valse caressante
Verse anciente
Calls up the joys of les nuits d'antan
Song we sang on the night
when I'm in your arms
Air that captured my ear
that will ever charm
- She's worse than my mother.
- On the breeze
Bring back sweet old memories
Valse caressante
Verse charmante
How the music we used to know
Brings back the memories of long ago
- Mr Wilson, are you leaving already?
- Here you are, sir.
- She's only just started.
- I've heard enough. Thank you.
Oh, she just needed a little warming up,
that's all. Listen to her.
And your coat, sir.
I have never seen such a pathetic,
vainglorious display of egotism
in my life.
That you encouraged Mrs Jenkins
to make a spectacle of herself
is quite simply unforgivable.
- Will you be writing something?
- Yes, and it will be the truth.
Isn't the truth that a lot of
hurt people are having some fun?
- Did you not notice?
- Music is important.
- It should not be mocked.
- How dare you?
She has done more for the musical life
of this city than anyone.
- And that includes you.
- Do you mind?
(sings coloratura)
You're nothing but a jumped-up hack.
Name your price, Wilson.
What is it? 100? Is it 200?
- $300, that's my final offer.
- You're insane.
- 500.
- (cheering and applause)
Listen! Listen to them, hack!
( sings "Queen of the Night")
Figlia mia non
Figlia mia non
(sings coloratura, out of tune)
(sings coloratura, out of tune)
(yelps the last note)
Figlia mia non
Figlia mia non
L'orren do mio voto
Ah! Ascolta, o ciel
(sings coloratura)
(sings sustained out-of-tune high note)
(wild cheering)
- (whoops)
- Yeah!
- Congratulations, Madam Florence.
- Oh, thank you, Kitty.
- The phone hasn't stopped ringing.
- Oh, hasn't it?
Now, you are pooped, Bunny. Straight
to bed or I shall be very, very cross.
Oh, yes, alright.
Well, Mr McMoon, we did it.
We did it.
- And goodnight.
- Goodnight.
- And you'll come kiss me goodnight?
- Of course I will, yes.
Oh! I played Carnegie Hall.
God darn it, Mr Bayfield,
Cosm McMoon from San Antonio, Texas,
played Carnegie Hall.
And he was brilliant.
Utterly, utterly brilliant.
(clears throat)
- We did it.
- Yes, I think we did.
(both laugh)
Mud in your eye.
- Thank you, Mr Bayfield.
- Hmm?
Thank you for everything.
Oh, no, don't thank me.
No, I... I had the night of my life.
Down in one. Go!
Kitty. Would you mind
bringing a blanket?
- Mr McMoon is staying the night.
- Of course.
Madam Florence is already asleep.
- Oh, good, good. I'll get on, then.
- Goodnight, Mr Bayfield.
Kitty said you were asleep.
(Florence) No.
You will buy the papers
in the morning, won't you?
Yes, of course, of course.
Stay the night.
(both chuckle)
I love you so, St Clair.
I love you, my bunny rabbit.
- Hey, Georgie boy, catch!
- Wahey!
Wake up. Wake up.
The Post, please. Thank you.
Oh, God.
She must never see this. I'd like every
copy of the Post that you have, please.
- But I got regular customers.
- I'm sure they'll manage.
I think so too.
I'd also like the Bugle, the News
and the Correspondent.
- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you.
"Madam Jenkins's performance
conquers Carnegie Hall."
Oh, my hat!
"Only the night before at Carnegie Hall,
Sinatra entertained
3,000 of his bobbysox followers."
The piece was spiteful,
vicious and wholly inaccurate
and it has caused a great deal of upset.
Do I need to remind you
that Madam Florence
is a very close personal friend
of Arturo Toscanini's?
It would be such a pity if the Post
were excluded from Carnegie Hall.
Thank you for your understanding,
Mr Thackrey. Thank you so much.
Thank you.
I bought up every copy of the Post
within two blocks.
Well done, and I very much doubt
that the piece will be
in the afternoon edition, so...
a few more hours
and we're in the clear.
(Florence) St Clair!
(Kitty) "Madam Jenkins wore
a series of extraordinary costumes
of great elegance and beauty."
Whitey, Whitey. Read the thing
about the simultaneous something.
- "Even their simultaneous reflexes...
- Sinatra fans.
...were as nothing compared
to the applause and community spirit
afforded Madam Jenkins."
- Oh, bravo, Bunny.
- And all the reviews are just terrific.
But no Post?
I don't think they covered the concert.
Oh, the Post
always covers Carnegie Hall.
Well, then, I shall find a copy.
Now, are you sure you should be
getting up? You must be so tired.
The baroness and some of the others
are gathering for lunch downstairs.
I'm going to join them.
Now, Florence,
that's really not a good idea.
What on earth
is the matter with you today?
Well, after the first half,
I was pooped.
- Oh!
- Well...
Your voice was as fresh as the morning
dew till the very last, Florence.
Hear, hear.
(woman) I don't remember
such a wonderful night.
And, you know, people were fighting
for tickets outside.
- Why, I was offered $20 for mine.
- What?
- That's a great deal of money.
- I know the reason why.
Excuse me.
What was the high point of the evening
for you, Mr Bayfield?
I'm sorry, Baroness, what did you say?
What was the high point of the evening
for you?
Well, there were so many.
No, it was your
Queen of the Night aria, Florence.
- Oh, yes.
- Yes.
It's an emergency.
My boss has no paper this morning.
- I'm sorry, this one's mine.
- But...
No, you can't have it.
Excuse me, ladies.
- Mr McMoon, has he got a sweetheart?
- (Florence) I really don't know.
I realise this is absurd,
but is there any way we could persuade
you to part with your newspaper?
Well, no, you couldn't.
This one's mine.
How much?
What is going on?
I'm not taking your money.
50 bucks?
- (sighs) Well, if you insist.
- Thank you so very much.
It's very, very nice of you.
Get rid of it.
(woman) Anyway,
she's old enough to be his aunt.
I don't know. I really don't know.
- Where's Florence?
- She's gone to powder her nose.
A-ha. Thank you.
She's gone to powder her nose,
Mr Bayfield.
Oh, quite. Quite.
- Silly of me.
- My great niece isn't married.
- You mean the podiatrist?
- What, with the lovely hands?
- Madam Florence? It's you!
- Oh!
We saw your show at Carnegie Hall
last night.
- It was wonderful.
- Thank you. Thank you very much.
- We've never laughed so hard.
- My ribs are still aching.
You have an enormous comic talent,
Mrs Foster Jenkins.
It was so funny.
Oh, thank you very much.
Um... Um...
I must be on... Good afternoon to you.
And don't pay any attention
to that review.
That hack knows absolutely nothing.
Well, my second cousin twice removed
has been married twice before
and both times
it was a complete disaster.
But you're not putting her forward.
Is everything alright, Mr Bayfield?
I think I just need a little air.
Excuse me, ladies.
- The Post, please.
- Oh, sorry, lady, all sold out.
- Already? How come?
- You won't believe it.
This guy comes by this morning,
takes all the copies I got.
An Englishman.
What did he look like?
Oh, tall. You know, your gentleman type.
- Why did he buy all of them?
- I don't know.
20 bucks he gives me.
Then he dumps them in the trash.
708, please.
(horn blares)
(horn blares)
(horns blare)
Watch where you're going!
(woman) Oh. Sir! Sir!
Madam, are you alright?
Bunny. Bunny.
Bunny, it's me, it's Whitey.
Get a doctor. Quickly. Quickly.
My darling, it's me. It's me.
It's me, my precious.
I'm going to turn you over.
Speak to me, Bunny. Please.
Please, my darling.
(man) Where's the doctor?
( Saint-Sans: "The Swan")
It's me.
(whispers) Bunny.
I'm here. Can you hear me?
(piano music continues)
(struggles to speak)
- No, no.
- (gasps)
No, shh, shh. Shh, shh.
Shush, my love. Shh, shh.
Shh, shh. Shh, shh.
Rest, my beautiful. Rest.
Was everyone laughing at me
the whole time?
I was never laughing at you.
Yours is the truest voice
I have ever heard.
(chuckles quietly)
( "When I Have Sung My Songs")
- When I have sung my songs
- Listen...
(sings tunefully) To you
I'll sing no more...
'Twould be a sacrilege to sing
At another door
We've worked so hard
To hold our dreams...
I love you, my bunny.
Just you and I
I could not share them all again
I'd rather die
With just the thought
That I had loved so well...
The audience, they were applauding.
And cheering.
That I could never sing again
No, I could never
Never sing again
To you
People may say I couldn't sing,
but no one can say I didn't sing.
(Bayfield) Bravo, my love.
(Florence) Like a bird
(sings coloratura)
Like a bird
(sings coloratura)
(sings sustained note)
- Do you wanna try another take?
- Well, I don't see why.
That seemed perfect to me.
Faint melodies bring back old days
Faintly the old music box plays
(sings coloratura)
Lords and ladies to and fro
By candlelight in stately dance
Now turn with coy and smiling glance
Now glide, now curtsy low
(sings coloratura)
(continues to sing coloratura)