Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein (2019) Movie Script

The sets have all been scattered
to the four winds.
All that stands is...
this fireplace.
But 40 years ago, this is where my father,
David Harbour Jr.,
conducted the noble experiment
of producing plays for television.
Hello. I'm David Harbour III.
And you may not know this about me,
but I come from a long line of actors.
Recently, I was confronted with my legacy
while I was battling rats
in my mother's attic,
and I discovered some lost footage
from Dad's old televised theatricals.
We've been logging that footage,
looking for insight.
Insight into my father.
Dad was a classically trained actor.
That's how I got into Juilliard!
But he was soon
confronted by changing cultural tastes.
So, why are you here?
His star fading,
he mounted a production
that was a desperate mix
of old
and new.
Why this play?
At this moment in time?
What were the psychological forces
at work?
But it was fucked up!
- I hate secrets.
- What secrets?
- Don't you?
- I need answers.
I told you, David. I told you not to dig.
Why this play?
Where to start?
The start of the story, of course.
But which story? And whose?
Did it begin when I created life,
or when I myself was created?
Am I a monster?
A man?
Who's that?
I hear them still.
But I won't listen.
Not anymore.
No, this is my version.
Could she have let herself in?
It makes no difference now.
She was there.
She was there.
Yes, yes.
The proverbial starting gun.
Don't touch that.
It's a gun.
Aren't you going to move it?
Why would I?
But you know what Chekhov said.
He said that if a gun
is onstage in the first act... needs to go off later in the play.
Your mother is dying.
Is there anything you can do?
I'm just trying to keep her comfortable.
I didn't become a doctor to play God.
Well, as impressive as it is that you've
created something akin to human life,
we need to make sure
that you can sustain that life.
You want to meet Frankenstein.
- You're Frankenstein.
- Yes, yes.
I'm Dr. Frankenstein. Common mistake.
For you?
Too much time on the island.
You want to meet Frankenstein's...
We best be going.
Yes. I see a storm is rolling in.
Mmm, it's not the storm, it's the dark.
I welcome the storm,
the wet lashings, the freezing wind,
the sting of the salt.
Don't get too close.
This was a successful introduction,
we're building on success.
A bite could set him back six months.
A bite?
So he's not fully socialized?
Oh, no. We'll have to work with him
for years
before it's safe for him
to even shake hands.
Oh! He's going for the gun!
Get out of here!
Stick to the protocol, you fool.
Remember, you're pretending to be me,
Dr. Frankenstein,
while I pretend to be
the life that you've created
in order to secure funding from her,
who represents the Research Institute.
But this is not going to work
if you don't stick
to the pre-approved list of things to say.
How am I supposed to stick to the list,
when she can say whatever she wants?
Use one of the default phrases.
For example,
"I have to get back to the lab,"
or, "My mind is in the lab," or...
better yet, just say nothing.
Remember to say no...
Is it safe?
The sea captain left without me.
Seems as though
I'll have to spend the night.
What made my father
such an incredible actor?
Was it the same things that caused him
to be a disinterested father?
I've recreated my father's office,
and I'll be bringing in
some of his colleagues,
hopefully to spark some memories.
Did my father have a compulsion
to court disaster?
Or like Dr. Frankenstein...
did he have a desire to play God?
Your father loved to challenge himself.
I mean,
he bit off a lot with this play.
That dual role, right?
- Frankenstein and the monster.
- No.
He was Dr. Frankenstein,
who sometimes pretended to be the monster.
So, uh... so, Joey Vallejo, the actor
who played opposite my father,
- the actor who played Sal.
- Joey.
Joey was the hot, young thing
at the time.
So, it was only natural
that he and your father would clash.
What? I thought
they got along really well.
- I thought that was...
- Oh, no. They were competitive.
And they shouldn't have been.
He needed Joey.
And Joey needed him, because Joey didn't
really know that much. Your Dad did.
If you could give one piece of advice
to aspiring actors, what would it be?
It'd be impossible for me.
I'd need to give three.
Enunciate. Enunciate.
He had no patience for the young actors
who wouldn't put in the work.
Right from the get-go,
when Joey came in to audition,
he was very, um...
Force of nature...
- Yes, he was very...
- Yeah.
I mean, I don't know
if you'd call it a force of nature.
- He was very... just chaotic.
- Ooh.
I mean, he didn't, uh...
He didn't know any of his lines.
He wandered around sort of aimlessly,
kind of knocking things over
on the desk and stuff.
What did he... What did he do?
What did he do in the audition?
He played a young...
- In the audition? What do you...
- Yeah.
It's so... It seems wild to me
that you would ask something like that.
- Wild?
- That we'd spend this much time
on this subject.
He was younger than your father.
That's what it boiled down to.
I'll sleep in the lab.
Under no circumstance should
Miss Macbeth be allowed down there.
When she comes back from the powder room,
you tell her you'd love to chat
but your mother is dying.
My mother is dying.
I think Miss Macbeth likes me.
Yes. Just try to act like me
when she returns, would you?
- I'm not an actor.
- What?
You say you're not an actor?
If you did say that, I...
I think I'd agree with you.
acting may not be what you think it is.
An actor...
shouldn't broadcast his emotions.
Be they anger, sadness, joy,
fear, even grief.
A performer who showcases his talent
is no better than a rich man
boasting about his billfold.
An actor shouldn't glide across the stage
more gracefully than a common man,
nor should he play the clown,
a studied simplicity in every gesture.
- I... I can't tell what to...
- Beware of the trap of accents.
Like the gangster,
with all these "deez" and "dems"
and "donz" that you wonder...
...why he hasn't spent
some of his ill-gotten gains
on speech therapy, huh?
Or the worst.
The baby,
the method actor,
who travels all the way back to infancy
in search of sense memories.
He rocks in the fetal position,
beckoning the audience to nurse him.
What's left, you ask.
In that sliver of authenticity,
a universe you shall find.
And that's how I got into Juilliard!
But I pursued science instead.
- You were my father's agent.
- David, it was 50 years ago.
Why now? What's the emergency?
Why not now?
I have unanswered questions, all right?
Well, you shouldn't be digging
in the dirt like this.
You're gonna get dirt
under your fingernails.
- I don't mind dirt under my nails.
- Mmm.
They'd have to...
They'd have to remove your nails.
That could be torture.
Uh, you're talking
about removing my fingernails?
What are you doing?
Are you threatening me?
No! No, no, no. Not near the gun.
I'm not curious about the gun.
You worry too much.
- Was that your niece?
- Yes, the little niece.
Well, it's getting late.
Got everything you need?
Sorry you have to sleep here.
Absolutely. And don't be sorry.
I told the sea captain to go on without me
so that we could discuss things
more frankly.
- Ah.
- Yes.
Now, tell me, Dr. Frankenstein,
what is it that you're hiding?
What do you know so far?
I know you need help.
I know you're all alone out here
on this island.
And I know I'm wasting the best years
of my life behind a musty old desk,
- when I belong...
- In my arms.
In a sterile lab!
I'm a scientist!
Who's down there?
Mother, is that you?
Where's my son?
I'm here, Mother.
You're not my son.
Okay, back to bed. Back to bed, Mom.
I like the morphine.
I know you do.
I recreated my father's office, down...
Everything. You know, I have the phone,
the stapler, pens, the gun.
My Dad's chili. I made this today.
Just hope it'll spark some memories
for you.
Hey. Have some chili.
Take a bite.
Let's see if any memories come back.
Mmm. Mmm, mmm.
- Yeah?
- Mmm.
Yeah. Yeah.
I remember.
I remember.
Is anyone down there?
It's Miss Macbeth.
You shouldn't be here.
I didn't know who to talk to.
And I suppose I...
wanted to speak with someone
who wouldn't fully understand.
Well, that's me.
Oh. You're modest.
Well, you're more of a gentleman
than that Dr. Frankenstein,
I'll tell you that much.
What did he do?
He made a cheap pass at me
the first time he had me alone in a room.
Oh, no.
Oh, you're taking it hard.
Well, he created me.
All I wanted was to work for him and...
study you.
Maybe he'd create a mate for you.
You'd like that, wouldn't you?
A steady girlfriend?
If she said yes.
She'd have to be a fool not to.
There's a purity to you.
You operate from pure instinct.
Like all the great actors do.
I don't know that acting is...
just about pure instinct.
Acting is...
Do you like that?
- It's called a kiss.
- Mmm.
It tickles.
Monster's Monster, Frankenstein
is brought to you
by the Juilliard School of Drama.
How will you get into Juilliard?
Chekhov Guns & Ammo.
You're gonna fire it.
And London, USA, which paid
for the honor of this advertisement.
The finer things don't need to be fancy.
That's why I like hit plays
and the beef Wellington
of London, USA.
There were too many sponsors
and too little money.
David insisted on flying over
his idol, the British actor...
- Aubrey, uh... whatever
- Fields.
I welcome the storm...
...the wet lashings,
the freezing wind,
the sting of the salt.
The greatest actor in the world.
The host of, uh, The Actor's Trunk.
Hello. I'm Aubrey Fields,
and this is The Actor's Trunk.
And today, our guest teacher
is a favorite of mine,
Mr. David Harbour Jr.
I think we can do some work today.
Let's see what Aubrey left us
in the trunk!
How can we use this tennis racket...
so that it's not particularly obvious?
A snowshoe, perhaps?
A cane of sorts?
A fencing mask.
That's when your father
used to tell people he went to Juilliard.
And that's how I got into Juilliard.
No, no, no. Never went to Juilliard.
- He did go to Juilliard.
- He never went to Juilliard.
I think that's a little hard to believe.
Actually, um, if I may.
Uh, that is true.
Your father didn't go to Juilliard.
Who are you?
I am a dramaturg.
I hired him as an assistant.
- He's a dramaturg?
- Well...
You're a dramaturg.
Hey, I sort of can't believe this.
I mean, Juill...
He went...
Juilliard was his entire identity.
Yeah, and he was ridden by guilt
over the lie.
He did begin to overeat.
He'd go to London, USA, three times a day.
What's taking so long?
I'm hungry, you give me cold beef.
He was seen going through a garbage can,
eating pastry.
And throwing away the meat.
Can you believe that?
To be clear, he wasn't eating
out of the garbage cans.
He was just throwing the meat
into the garbage can,
so he could eat the pastry alone.
So he lost this beef Wellington
commercial contract?
Well, they renegotiated him
down to nothing.
They took it as an opportunity to, uh...
get him for less, and they indeed did.
So, Chekhov Guns & Ammo stepped up,
and that's obviously
dirty money right there.
Chekhov Guns & Ammo.
You're gonna fire it.
- Part of the mob.
- Part of the mob?
But his marriage to your mother,
uh, was on the rocks.
His marriage to my mother
was on the rocks?
His marriage to whoever
he was married to at that time.
My mother is the only person
he's ever been married to, Graham.
- Well, it was on the rocks.
- You find that in your research?
- Whatever...
- It was on the rocks.
- It was on the rocks.
- Okay. I was fucking him.
- You weren't the only one.
- Yeah, I know.
He and I were great friends.
Hey, Monica.
Monica Fulton.
My favorite actress.
And I'm going to add to the trunk...
a frying pan.
on The Actor's Trunk.
I always put a food in the pan.
Right? So, for me, today, it's an egg.
You can be cooking the egg and...
you know, it's kind of passive... Honey?
Honey, breakfast is ready.
It's my son.
And then it's sinking in for me
in that moment. He's dead. He's passed.
Thank you.
- You look great, Monica.
- Oh, well.
I've lived a charmed life.
It's true. Because, you know, and...
- I'm grateful.
- I'm sorry.
- I'm sorry, Monica. I'm sorry.
- Everything's nice.
Can you just give us a second, please?
I've mistimed my entrance.
And I won't make the same mistake
with my exit.
- Monica, uh... No, don't.
- I'll just make sure I have my parcels.
Good morning, Miss Macbeth.
Not now, Sal.
I hate secrets.
Don't you?
Allow me to introduce myself.
I am Dr. Frankenstein.
This is my longtime assistant,
So you've been pretending
to be Dr. Frankenstein?
An elaborate hoax.
But... I assure you,
it was in the service of a greater good.
You can tell it to the chairman
of the Institute, after I file my report.
Your mother is dead.
- My condolences.
- Of course.
My mother.
Yes, of course.
His mother.
- Thank you for everything, doctor.
- I hope I was some small comfort.
- She loved morphine.
- Did she?
That's great.
there's no cure for death.
I don't know if there should be.
Life would be just a little less rich.
Oh, God. God.
My mother!
Why are you crying?
My mother!
Your father was very frustrated
with Joey.
He felt like he was
losing control of the play.
Crying was your father's catchphrase.
Now this sniveling kid upstages him.
- This little show-off.
- For Christ's sake.
The Crying Detective paid for my house.
Why are you avoiding
talking about your mother?
- I think the perp was in a hurry.
- Back to your mother.
If it was really...
the murderer's scarf,
then the murderer was...
Big Jim!
Things had been brewing.
It wasn't good between them.
They didn't like each other.
Really interesting.
- No, wait. Did they hate each other?
- Yeah.
They hated each other.
Joey kept on going,
and your father kept on going...
Nudging him, nudging him, nudging him.
Your father used his craft
somewhat like a cudgel.
Oh, God. Oh, no, God!
Why are you...
What are you doing?
I was imagining it was my mother.
And that's acting, sucker!
Joey just put his fist
through the set.
- That wasn't scripted?
- No way.
It's absolutely beautiful out there now.
Greens and blues,
and the most delicious yellows
you ever saw.
I think I might need some more time.
You're not going to turn me in.
Well, I want answers!
And no one's going anywhere
until I get them.
Is that why Dad stopped the show
and made an announcement?
This Joey kid shows him up,
and then he has to regain control or...
- were there darker forces at work?
- This is all family stuff
- because you can't get over it?
- No, it's not...
Hey, look. I'm re...
I'm recreating the office here, okay?
- Yeah, yeah. I see.
- I want some memories. I'd like...
I'm compiling the footage. This is...
- Why don't you just write a bio about it?
- You're digging yourself
deeper and deeper.
I don't understand.
I don't understand either.
- But I hate secrets.
- What?
I hired a forensic accountant.
And a former detective
of the Hollywood vice squad.
We put together this dossier,
but there's a lot of things about him
you may not wanna know.
- Your father wasn't a choirboy.
- He was a real piece of shit.
- You believe he didn't go to Juilliard?
- Hmm. We didn't have that.
Juilliard was locked up tight as a drum.
So there might be other things
you don't know?
- Like what?
- Oh, I don't know.
- Maybe that he murdered Joey Vallejo.
- No, nothing like that.
Wasn't that a car crash?
I mean, Joey Vallejo did die
under mysterious circumstances.
And then, they're your father's own words.
If his car went over a cliff...
I wouldn't miss him.
You're threatening to kill Joey Vallejo?
I'm not threatening to do anything.
All I'm saying is that I think that it was
one Joey Vallejo too much for this world.
Very easy way to kill someone
is to cut the brake line of their car.
I have the sad news to announce
that Joey Vallejo is no longer with us.
He was younger than your father.
That's what it boiled down to.
I'm so happy he's dead.
- His alibi checks out.
- Yeah, that's solid.
Look, your father did plenty of bad stuff
without making him out to be a murderer.
Oh, like what?
Don't make me wave this gun around!
Is it a prop gun?
Or is it a real gun
that just fires blanks?
That's the prop gun from the play.
Jesus, there's a lot of material.
Now, an announcement,
the likes of which...
I never thought I would have to make.
But when...
Sal said,
"That's acting, sucker,"
that was not acting.
That was an unauthorized ad-lib.
Only I am allowed to ad-lib
for the benefit of all.
But Joey Vallejo took it upon himself.
And he might be a movie star,
but this ain't the movies, kid.
We're keeping him on a tight leash.
We've cut most of his lines
for the remainder of the play.
So, welcome to the theater, kid.
I created life.
That much is true.
And I created it
in my own image, why not?
But what I haven't told you is that...
he was beautiful.
He was brilliant, he was...
better than me in every way.
He was perfect.
He read poetry.
"I weep for Adonais, though he is dead.
Oh, weep..."
And recited it from memory.
"Though our tears..."
He played chess.
He sang like Art Garfunkel.
He graced me with his friendship.
He even...
befriended a small crab in a tide pool.
While he may have been perfect,
the world...
was not.
And he began
to rage at its imperfections.
One night, when he was on the bluff,
raging and screaming,
I went to comfort him,
and he pushed me,
and began chasing me around the rocks.
I knew if he...
caught me,
he'd kill me.
I lost my...
best friend that day.
How am I ever gonna make a guy
like that again?
We can do it together.
I can tell the chairman
that you need my help.
I don't need your help.
I'm the great Dr. Frankenstein!
All right. I'm sorry if I overstepped.
So, what happened to the monster?
I shot him.
You shot Frankenstein?
I had no choice.
What do you mean you shot Frankenstein?
You're Frankenstein.
A common mistake. I've learned to stop
correcting people years ago.
I know, I keep getting it wrong.
Yes, but you're not Dr. Frankenstein.
Are you saying he's not?
Assuming the story that you've told
is true, and I have no reason to doubt it,
either Dr. Frankenstein shot the monster,
or the monster shot Dr. Frankenstein
and stole his identity.
It's impossible to say.
I'll run the lab
until we find out who he is.
Until then, Sal, do you have some ropes
we can use to restrain him?
- Oh, sure.
- What are you doing?
You've been with me for years.
Look at me!
You know
that I'm the real Dr. Frankenstein!
If you are, I don't like the way you've
condescended to me most of my life, and...
if you're the monster...
No! You'll never restrain me!
Sounds like something a monster might say.
Monster? You're the monster!
Miss Macbeth...
was the monster.
Of all the angels on Earth!
Oh, no!
Not the niece!
My father was a monster.
But in the years to come,
I'll work to preserve his legacy.
And present it in the best possible light.
Let's go. I just wanna roll.
This is, um...
The finer things in life
don't need to be fancy.
- That's why I like hit plays.
- Do it again.
It's the beef Wellington.
That's what I've been saying, isn't it?
- Yes. So eat the steak.
- I, uh... I...
And that's how I got into Juilliard.