Hollywood Ending (2002) Movie Script

You know who would be perfect
to direct this...
...not that I relishthe idea of
working with him, but my ex-husband.
He's perfect for this material.
She's right. It's his kind of story.
I love Val, but with all due respect,
he's araving, incompetent psychotic.
He's not incompetent.
They should lock him up andthrow away
the key. Don't take that the wrong way.
We'll wind up $20 million over budget
and no picture to boot.
I did apicture with him at Firestone.
He never fini... had anervous breakdown.
He was under alot of stress.
We'd just broken up.
Honey, he was fired off apicture here
at Galaxie before I took over.
They said his demands
were outrageous.
The light hadto be perfect.
The sun hadto be just right.
He demandedthey replace
the leading lady.
He wantedto reshoot dailies,
fire the cameraman.
He got shingles. They shut downthe
picture and found another director.
You don't have to tell me.
I was marriedto himthen.
But that was 10 years ago.
His best pictures were 10 years ago.
Then he became an artiste.
I amthe last personto defendthat
craziness, because it drove me nuts.
But Val cares about movies.
He was bornto do this material.
Ellie, we're talking about shingles,
headaches. Why open a can of worms?
He's mellowed, I'mtelling you.
Who better to direct this?
New York's in his marrow.
Just let me say this: Ruth.
- Yes, Ruth.
- No way.
He's great! I know we could get him.
He'd be safe.
We can put our foot on his neck.
Martin Ruth!
Val hasn't worked in years.
We could make a good deal.
Then watch him like ahawk.
We're goingto lose alot
more with Val!
I agree with Ellie. I think he's
the ideal director for this project.
But we won't use him,
because who needstrouble?
And why would he work with us,
given allthe personal baggage?
I'mtold he's in no position
to be fussy.
I can't stand it here!
What the hell am I doing in Canada?
Lori, they got moose up here!
Are moose carnivorous?
How can you be homesick? You got there
yesterday. You come home tomorrow.
Val! We're goodto go, Val!
Waiting on you!
Did my agent call?
Any word onthat TV movie?
The interracial abortion
The TV movie decided
to go with Peter Bogdanovich.
Oh, that's great!
That's just great!
You know, I love Peter.
Peter's abeautiful guy.
God bless him. Oh, God.
The client wants overhead coverage
of the spray cans.
One minute! This is humiliating! I'm up
here shooting a deodorant commercial.
I got two Oscars! Up here you don't need
Oscars, you need antlers!
Here's a funny script
about two fraternity kids...
...who invent amachine to turn women
back into virgins. It's very clever.
What'sthe matter?
When you asked me to come out here...
...you promised me I wouldn't just be
one of those bright women who...
...finds properties, goesto lunch 500
times developingthem,
then never gets one made.
Honey, "The City That Never Sleeps"
is greenlit. That's been your project.
Until I suggest the director.
...though you admit he's perfect,
I get shot down.
You weren't shot down.
It's arisky choice,
but an inspired one.
I think you want to help him
because you feel guilty.
Guilty? Why? Because I fell
in love with you?
I put in enough years
inthat marriage...
Right. You did nothing wrong.
I know, and I brought up
his name because...
...he would give youthe best movie
for that script.
He's probably too angry
to speakto you.
And he could ruinthe picture
to get even with me...
No, you're wrong about that. He would
be grateful. He needs a comeback.
Ellie, this is a very,
very expensive film.
It has solid box office potential.
He can do it.
You don't regret leaving him,
do you?
One day you look up and realize
that laughs are not enough.
I can handle him, Hal. Ijust got tired
of havingto allthe time.
Andthen, you know... I met you.
What are you doing home?
I quit.
No, Val, not again!
You quit over nothing again?!
Not over nothing.
I quit over abigthing.
They fired me. I thought that was big
enoughto quit over.
Oh, Val, that's just great!
I got the last plane out of Toronto.
Have you ever seen Canada? Now
I know why there's no crime up there.
I must say, you don't seem
too enthused at seeing me.
Can you blame me? Now you'lljust sit
around, talking about the good old days.
I got to get apicture. Someone has
to take a chance on me.
This is ridiculous. When you're cold,
you're cold.
my business manager put
away enough money
before he went to prison...
...for me to live on another 3
weeks, maybe.
Your agent called.
If you had come with me,
it might have been different.
Two people in a sleeping bag
is alot cozier.
Who'd go on for me inthe play?
For God's sakes,
it's an off-off-Broadway play!
Your understudy could have gone on.
Are you kidding? My understudy?
That'd be the night Steven Spielberg
comes. Or Harvey Weinstein.
They're not coming, believe me.
They're fasting.
I would have been so good
inthat Shakespeare movie.
Pelts. I traded with a fur trapper
between shots...
...so the trip wouldn't be
atotal loss.
Your agent sent over that script.
A script?
Why didn't youtell me about this?
"The City That Never Sleeps".
When didthis come in?
Well? What did youthink of it?
I think it has definite potential.
It's got areally good
Manhattan feelto it.
They're interested in you directing.
That's, uh, that's fine with me.
This isthe kind of material I can
do great. I can make this script sing.
This is New York. It's nightclubs,
the skyline.
- Want some water? I'm very excited.
- Me, too.
Who wants me?
Well, we have alittle sellingto do,
but Galaxie is making it.
- Hal Yeager?
- That's right.
He stole my wife.
Ellie'sthe one pushing you.
Pass! I'm not goingto work
with Hal Yeager and Ellie.
He's a Philistine and she's a quisling.
It's areligious conflict.
Calm down. It's everything
you've been looking for.
I'm frankly flabbergasted
they'd eventhink of me.
They didn't think of you. She did.
She convinced Yeager to fly
to New York and meet with you.
This guy stole my wife.
He doesn't holdthat against you.
It's business.
Can you believe that she would
leave me for Hal Yeager?
I still can't get my mind
around it. Mr. Slick...
The price of his haircut
could feed a family of five.
Calm down. You're getting all red.
And you're telling me he doesn't
want me? She'sthe...?
The nerve of that...
He's such amanicured phony!
May he fall on his blow comb
and get hot inthe wrong place.
Please, Val. Don't do anything
to killthis. It's a golden opportunity.
I'd rather do the geriatric diaper
commercial I turned down.
That's what the future holds
if this fallsthrough.
Of course I wouldn't.
This is aterrific script. I...
Come on, make some sense now.
A $60-million,
first-class feature film.
A big payday, which you need. And...
...if you score withthis,
you're back ontop.
A gift like this will never drop
in your lap again.
Just take the meeting with Yeager.
- And Ellie.
- Yes, and Ellie.
I'll get you half amillion dollars.
A lousy half milthey're offer...
They want to buy prestige at the Shrine
on Oscar night for ahalf mil?
There's no offer yet.
I reject their offer!
- There's nothingto reject.
- Well, I reject it anyhow.
You meet with him and be nice,
or I'm out of here.
I finally get an offer worthy of
my gifts and look where it comes from!
There is no offer yet. I am so tired
of allthis bigtalk...
...about how big you were ten years ago.
Things change. You can't get work.
- Part of me wants it badly.
- Andthe other part?
Also wants it. That'sthe problem.
- It only takes one hit.
- I know.
I want arole.
I'm not hired yet. He hasto meet me
andthrow his weight around.
Not just abit part.
I want to show what I can do.
I can't stick my girlfriend
inthe movie.
But I'm good.
I told youto take acting lessons.
I'm anatural. Classes would ruin me.
Ellie feels guilty, so this is her way
of clearing her conscience.
Great! Who cares how it came about?
This whole thing is creepy, Lori.
This is a woman I was married
to for 10 years.
We made love! I held her over
the toilet when she threw up.
From making love with you?
Not from making love!
From eating sushi.
I usedto hug her
when she was afraid of flying.
I kissed her ontop
of the Eiffel Tower.
I swam inthe moonlight
with her at Montauk.
Now I have to take
ameeting with her?
I have very mixed feelings. This guy
hasto show me he's changed.
He's not in aposition
to make demands.
Because it was over for him years ago!
All he's done for years...
...is garbage! I'm not saying
that as criticism.
The question is, do I let this has-been
make his comeback on my money?
He's not ahas-been. He's a very good
director who's fallen on hardtimes.
He brought it on himself!
He's his own worst enemy!
Think of the press angle.
Val Waxman does his comeback film
for Galaxie Pictures.
What good isthat
if he ruinsthe picture?
He won't ruin it!
No, because I'll fire him.
I won't take temperamental antics
from some "auteur" genius.
- Auteur.
- Whatever.
You're doing ajack story.
He can do this film better
than anyone else.
We'll see.
- You're so nervous.
- I'm not nervous. I'mtense.
You're nervous.
No, I'mtense. When I'm nervous, I bite
my nails. When I'mtense, I do this.
Just calm down
and act professional.
I'm fine. But this is a guy
who stole my wife.
Years ago, I would never have made
a film for him.
Now I'm auditioning for him?
It's crazy.
I would kill for this job.
But the people I want to kill are
the people offering me the job.
What isthat?
Inthe cab, I took ablue pill.
That wasto calm my anger,
but it had speed in it...
...so I took another pill
to calm downthe speed.
Well, this gets me back up
to speed where I want to be...
...for the meeting.
Great. Perfect.
That other pill I took keeps me
dry when it's raining out.
- Ellie! Wonderfulto see you.
- Hello, Al.
Hello, Val.
- Al, how are you?
- Nice to see you.
You know Hal.
I'm so glad you could get here.
Are they still having power
I readthere was aterrible power
failure in California.
- Al, you want somethingto drink?
- Coffee.
They saidthe electricity
was going off...
Come on in.
Since when do you wear suits?
You have milk?
You never wore suits.
Val, you look very good.
I'm okay. I've been having
some back spasms...
...and I have atorn rotator cuff,
and, uh, my knee, I have...
I have ahearing loss. It's so odd.
In my left ear.
What'd youthink of the script?
The script? Well...
...the movie it's based on
was a stupid little potboiler.
He's asking about the script, Val.
The rewrite is good.
Thanksto Ellie.
It's good. I thinkthis could make...
...atough, gritty,
New York big city movie.
You can't make any money just
in big cities.
Well, where wouldthis play?
It won't...
...appealto farmers,
or shopping malls in Biloxi.
I disagree.
Mounted properly, this picture
will have universal appeal.
Where do youthink
the demographics are?
The demographics?
You mean why the country got
so stupid suddenly?
My theory is fast foods.
The film's age group.
Where do you see it?
The age? Uh, this will appeal
to, you know...
...adults and...
...teenagers, young adults...
...and, kids, adolescents,
I think...
...toddlers, I imagine. Newborns.
Our marketing research showsthe
film has wide appeal for both sexes.
Yes, I agree. Andthen some.
- But the script has some holes in it.
- Oh, Val.
Like what?
Well, the climax, for instance.
I thinkthe climax comes...
...too early. It should come
fter the trial scene.
Didn't I say that? The inciting
event should come later.
Andthe character of Benny...
I feel we should shoot Benny with
ahandheld camera, not a Steadicam.
It should be nervous,
like his inner personality.
I don't know if I like that.
You said it could be
with a Steadicam.
How do you feel about this? What if
we shot the picture in black and white?
- New York is ablack and white town.
- Forget it.
Arty. It's arty.
Anybody have an aspirin?
Try one of these.
My herbalist gave themto me.
I can do this picture.
I have a feel for it.
I see it all, maybe
with a Cole Porter score.
Okay, well, let us discuss it.
We're talkingto other directors.
We'll let you know.
Maybe Irving Berlin
or something, because...
We have to discuss it.
If there ever was a Val Waxman
property, this is it.
We'll keep intouch.
- Anyone got aXanax?
- Zantac. I got an ulcer, too.
NotZantac. Xanax. It's a completely
different problem.
Can I talkto you for a second?
Listen, Val. Sorry.
It was great seeing you again.
- You've got an herbalist?
- Yeah, he's a genius.
In Beverly Hills, he's a genius.
In New York, he'd be low-normal.
We use a different rating system.
When we were kids, there were ten
foreign films a week inthe city.
Italian, French, Spanish...
Italian films. I love them!
Val Waxman. Any messages?
You sure?
Did you see my cat?
Isn't it neat?
- Anything?
- Not yet. No.
We were discussing Hitchcock. Truffaut
said "Notorious" was his best film.
I agree. A masterpiece.
What? You hate that movie.
The ending makes you crazy.
Because it's amasterpiece.
Every time I watch Cary Grant carry
Ingrid Bergman downthe stairs...
...I thinkthe Germans will
No matter how many times I see it.
Hitchcock was an artist,
but commercial.
You say that like it's good.
You have to be both.
He knew what he was doing.
In making movies, you have to think
about the audience...
...or you're just making movies for
yourself. It's artistic masturbation.
Right. You're anarcissist.
Then I'm a classic narcissist.
Have I told you my views
on masturbation?
For me, the nicest thing
about masturbation is afterward...
the cuddlingtime.
They're laughing. I'm not joking.
Want a weinie?
You got it. You're directing "The City
That Never Sleeps". Ijust heard.
I can't believe it.
I can't speak!
I got you ahalf-million, plus1/10th
point after quadruple break-even.
They're going backto L.A. tonight.
Could you meet Ellie for a drink?
Because you owe her thanks.
She went out on alimb for you.
She wantsto be sure you're both
onthe same page.
Hal Yeager is quickto hire,
quickto fire. You need Ellie
to run interference.
All right, all right.
I'll meet her at...
...Bemelmans Bar at 9:00.
I can spare 10 minutes.
I can't tell you...
My head's swimming.
A tenth of apoint
after quadruple break-even!
You are really a shark, Al.
Can I get a Beck's?
Since we'll be workingtogether,
I thought we shouldtalk.
It's fine with me.
As you know, Hal was
alittle skeptical at first...
...but inthe end, he's abusinessman
and very professional.
Let me set your mind at ease.
Don't worry.
Things will go very smoothly.
This is...
...abig shot for me.
I realize that...
...many people think
I'm difficult, but...
...I can be very professional, and
obviously Hal's very professional...
...and you're professional, clearly...
...so as long as business
is business...
I cannot understand how you could
leave me for that cheesy windbag!
It's mind-numbing.
Ijust don't understand.
And you carried on with him behind
my back for 2 months.
It was not 2 months.
Yes, it was.
You carried on behind my back.
And under my nose.
That'stwice a day.
Both places.
You're exaggerating.
I am not.
You were always onthe phone
with him. Exchanging glances.
Then you were exchanging fluids.
I can't believe I didn't see it.
You were too self-absorbed, trying
to be the great American film artist.
Don't tell me that. You were fine
till I startedto lose my audience.
Then you dump me and move
to Beverly Hills.
You hated California.
We both did.
You hatedtraveling everyplace
by car allthe time and...
...I hatedtraveling
by mudslide.
What could I do? Our marriage
wasn't going anyplace.
Where did you want it to go?
Where do marriages go?
After a while they alljust lay there.
That'sthe thing about marriage.
It was introuble. You don't see
what you don't want to see.
How was it introuble?
We didn't communicate.
We had sex.
Yes, we had sex,
but we never talked.
Sex is better thantalk.
Ask anyone.
Talk is what you suffer through
to get to sex.
You isolate everything. You can't
just compartmentalize like that.
A good marriage consists
of many parts well-integrated.
- Is one of those parts adultery?
- Never!
Absolutely! At the Plaza Hotel.
I got the bill!
You had escargot that afternoon.
It's disgusting.
Sex and snails withthat roast beef
from Beverly Hills.
You were so busy playingthe American
artist. That's what you were doing...
...playing. You felt it was important
to be uncompromising...
...andtemperamental and difficult...
God, difficult!
And starve and suffer.
You had allthe symptoms,
but not the disease.
You usedto think I was creative
and original.
I still do... as a filmmaker.
When you became creative
as ahypochondriac, that was it.
Those attacks were real!
- Oh, yeah?
- Yes!
The Black Plague, Val?
An allergy to oxygen?
Elm blight? Only trees get
elm blight... elmtrees.
Can I sum it up? You cheated on me,
liedto me, dumped me and...
We're here to discuss business.
I want to keep this professional.
Absolutely. I think we should rework
the script alittle.
It doesn't have
to be middle-aged people.
The character of Kelly Swain could be
coming out of college instead.
Out of law school.
Yeah. I think Galaxie would
like that.
We could maybe cast somebody
like Terry Tyler, or...
...find some talented new kid.
You are such a shallow jerk!
That you would leave me for a guy
who'sthe opposite of what I am!
With his ski lodge in Aspen
and his collection of vintage cars.
If I drove around in a 1939 Mercedes,
people wouldthink I was Himmler!
Hal is very smart
and abrilliant deal maker.
He's been audited by the best.
He's made some pretty financially
successful American films.
That says it all. He'sthe white line
downthe middle of the road.
You had your little flirtations, too.
There wasthat Italian model.
No. You were the only one
I was serious with.
My God, until you suddenly became
noncommunicative and unresponsive...
...and you dumped me andthen...
This movie will be a fun movie
to do, I think.
I have alot of ideasto discuss.
Good. And nowthat the studio's
agreedto you...
...you'll have their full support.
Thank you very much. I think I want
a foreign cameraman.
That's fine.
They get atexture inthe work American
cameramen never get.
A certain mobility.
I remember coming home
and picking up the extension
and you're talkingto this guy!
I hear my wife, lovey-dovey with her
lover saying she misses her lover!
He wasn't my lover yet.
Bull! He was your lover!
I recognize the voice...
Hal Yeager from Galaxie Pictures!
I think, "Why is my wife talkingto him?
They're making me a surprise party. "
- I thought they were planning my party.
- Were they?
No! They were having an affair!
Followthe story!
- I can't believe this.
- I'm going.
What? Wait.
We're discussingthe movie.
No, I'm sorry.
I won't bother you. I'll make sure no
one will interfere creatively.
How about Denise Daniels
asthe blackmailer?
I think she would be great. Or
Sarah Bedloe would be interesting.
I pick up the phone to order
a corned beef sandwich,
she'stalkingto her
- I'll be back from L.A. in 2 weeks...
- This will be a fun picture.
...for pre-production.
I look forwardto it.
And about Hal Yeager...
...the word on him is
cross-dresser. Check it out.
I pick up the phone and she...
Hal, we're off
to areally good start.
Great. Tell me.
Val wantsto use
a foreign cameraman...
...which I think we should give him,
because he has areal visual concept.
He's chosen Kow Chan...
...a Chinese cameraman who's done
some really stunning work...
...mostly withthe Red Army.
He says he doesn't like his hotel.
He much prefer the Sherry.
Val wantsto go with Elio Sebastian
as art director.
Val saysthat Elio really knows
the streets of New York.
Every location is out there
waitingto be found.
Great. It saves us a fortune.
Withtwo exceptions:
Times Square and Harlem.
I have to buildthem.
We can't build Times Square
and Harlem.
He wantsto build
the Empire State Building? No!
Just the first 20 stories.
No, sweetheart.
It's not gonnahappen.
- Okay, I'll handle it.
- Good. Great. Listen, I miss you.
How'sthe weather?
Great. Really New York moody.
Grey and cloudy.
- That's how it is.
- Today's our first sunny day.
It's fabulous here.
Sunny and clear every day.
I have to run. I'm having
another skin cancer removed.
This is perfect. This view
is absolutely perfect.
No, I hate it. We're just going
to have to build it.
Build Central Park?
Forget what I said about mixing
real locations and sets.
Not to be amoney watchdog,
but if you build everything...
...I say this metaphorically...
it'll be over my dead body.
Okay, if not the whole park...
just the reservoir.
Buildthe reservoir?
Sure. You get a studio,
put in atank...
...fill it with a fewthousand gallons
of water. It'll work.
Wait! Trees behind it. New York
as a symphony in green.
Green I hate!
I never use green. No.
Tell Mother Nature.
Trees are green!
We can play it for the winter.
Use snow.
I buy that. A white background...
...to set off the two leads
in marvelous forties red!
What? What?
What is he saying?
No white. He cannot shoot
white background.
What have you gotten me into?
You know, I prefer green myself.
Green and red.
All I'm saying is, I think you're being
precipitous in firing him.
Look, I never wantedthis guy,
not from day one.
I beg your entire pardon.
May I offer for your consideration
a single concept...
Val, you don't have to lean
into the speaker.
He's out. I want him out before this
picture becomes a cost nightmare.
Hal, maybe if we had
atalk with him...
I said fromthe start
to use Harold Pappas!
Pappas is ahack! He's safe,
but uninspired. I can't work with him.
Then you should bow out now.
I said I can't work him.
I didn't say I wouldn't.
Val, Pappas has how many...
...nominations compared
to this Greenwich Village lunatic?
They spent more getting
those nominations...
...than he'd spend onthe reservoir.
What? I didn't get that.
Nothing, Hal.
I gave in onthe Chinese cameraman.
I've kept away from your picture.
I'm saying I'd feel more secure
with Pappas.
A wordto the wise.
Isthere anything about the part
of Benny I should know?
Only that he's a Broadway sharpie,
a gambler.
- Like Sky Masterson?
- Exactly.
Forgive me if this seems obvious...
...but he's a Runyonesque
bookmaker type...
...tough but softhearted
with his wife, whom he loves?
That's it onthe nose. Perfect.
Some guys were looking for you.
Seems you owe them some money.
I hope you didn't tellthem anything!
I could find myself in deep trouble!
Deep, deep trouble!
Thank you.
I'll wait for you.
If they give you 30 years...
...I'll be waiting.
If they give you 50 years...
...I'll be waiting.
If you get two consecutive
life sentences...
...I'll be waiting.
I thought that last girl
was interesting.
She read better thanthe others.
Yes, but Claire's supposed
to be classy.
Didn't youthink
she was abit cheap?
To be perfectly honest, I thought
she radiated stupidity.
I mean, her reading
was competent, but...
...my God, her persona,
it'strashy and dumb.
I think I'd like to use her.
She was interesting.
You're the director.
It's not that big apart.
But it's a featured role. Claire's
supposedto be a socialite.
This girl, Lori Fox, is a step
above trailer park.
I'd hardly call it trailer park.
I said a step above.
Well, I'd like to use her. I thought
she was perfect for the role.
Fine. It's your decision.
I'm just throwing out ideas.
Take 'em or leave 'em.
- Two for Yeager.
- They're clearing your table.
I'm so glad you could come in.
I really am.
I was here on business and wanted
an excuse to see you.
I know you. You're checking up on me.
Everything's going fine.
And Val?
Val's Val. He seems reasonably flexible
and most of his ideas are really good.
- I hope so.
- You'll see.
Right this way.
There's nothing making it
awkward personally?
No. I think he's acceptedthings
and moved on.
By the way, Andrea Ford's covering
the making of the film for Esquire.
Hey, Val! We were just talking
about you.
Ellie told me how wellthings
are going.
How are you? Everything okay?
- What are you doing here?
- What do you mean?
We usedto eat here allthe time.
Haljust came in on aplane.
That isthe best way to fly. What are
you doing inthis restaurant right now?
What? We came to get abite to eat.
Are you okay?
You're awfully fidgety.
Are you fine?
Are you okay?
I'm fine. You should go
to your table. It's crowded and...
I'm ready to go.
Oh, look! It'sthat woman
fromthe auditiontoday!
Hello, miss!
Very funny! Aren't you going
to introduce me?
Lori Fox, isn't it? Of course.
Yes, I think it was.
Val is such ariot. Stop kidding around.
Ijust wantedto put your mind
at ease that...
...eventhough I'mthe director's
significant other, I can still act.
- Mort, I thought you were in Aspen.
- I wish.
You know Ellie, my fiance.
- Congratulations. When'sthe date?
- New Year's Eve.
Oh, my goodness! How romantic!
Congratulations on your new film.
- You know Val Waxman.
- Sure.
We sued him for failure
to complete apicture.
Great. That makes me feel secure.
I'll see youtomorrow, Val.
Hurry! I'll miss my flight.
This is abadtime for youto go.
I'm very vulnerable.
I have to get into shape for the movie.
The spa will give me the discipline.
You're not overweight.
My God, I'm ahorse!
I have to appear in lingerie.
What if we need you?
My scene isn't until
the end of shooting.
What if I need you?
You'll be fine. You're abig boy.
You know I'm afraid
to sleep alone.
I keep thinking people are breaking
in or I lay awake...
...thinking of death and blackness
andthe abyss.
Oh! Don't forget to water
my cactus.
Well, call me every day.
I can't. They don't have phones
at the Dolby Ranch...
...to discourage secret
eating schemes.
Oh! Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!
I got to go!
And we want to see the earrings.
Other profile, please.
And cut.
Is it true your cameraman
speaks only Chinese?
Yes, Mandarin.
It's so hardto find a good Cantonese
cameramanthese days.
The neighborhoods
don't have them anymore.
Hal Yeager's known
to be very hands on...
...very hot-tempered, quickto replace
people. Doesthat bother you?
No, because they agreedto leave me
alone during shooting.
I have complete freedom.
How about working so closely
with your ex-wife?
It's not so close.
She'lljust be up and back.
There must be some bitterness...
...especially nowthat she's going
to marry Hal Yeager...
...the man she left you for,
who's now your boss?
Who are you?
Andrea Ford. I'm doing a story
onthe making of the movie for Esquire.
Didn't they tell you?
I'll be observingthe whole time.
Because I don't usually like
when journalists...
...hang aroundthe set when I work.
Thentalkto the press department.
But I won't get in your way.
I am ahuge fan.
Oh, huge. I have loved all
of your movies.
And you'll be hanging around,
doing a story?
Yes. You know,
I've alwaysthought of you...
...as akind of unique American
artist, really.
Well, I'm sure you won't be
inthe way.
There's plenty of room, and...
Val, I'm so sorry...
can I steal him for aminute?
There's some things we have
to go over.
I'll get him right back.
I'm so sorry.
You be careful. She's akiller.
She's akiller?
I didn't want her around,
but the press department...
...told Hal we'd get the cover
of Esquire, so she's here.
How is she akiller? She loves me.
Well, that's fine if she likes you.
Otherwise, she can be biting.
I hear she's all sugar and sweetness
to get in your good graces...
...then wham! She told Sean Madigan
how she loved all his films...
...and she was abig fan and he was
a unique American artist...
...andthen inthe profile she did,
she disemboweled him.
Well, if you happento fall
for that kind of flattery...
- I can handle it.
- You couldn't handle Shirley Temple.
Hey, give me abreak, will you?
I can't figure it out. It's okay
to have an affair with Hal Yeager.
Everyone's entitledto one psychotic
episode, but to marry the guy is crazy.
- I wouldn't talk, if I were you.
- What doesthat mean?
How long have you been living
withthat wind-up doll I met?
You know I don't like to sleep alone.
I'm not goingto marry her.
Andthat wind-up doll happens
to have a Ph. D.
In what? History of gym?
Will you give me abreak
withthe cutting remarks?
I have apicture to do Tuesday.
I'mthinking about my work.
Okay. Now get some rest
this weekend.
Don't lie around worrying
about what could go wrong.
Don't worry. I won't lie around.
I got my hand onthe wheel, honey.
This picture's inthe bank.
Amanda, who is it?
I don't know. Uncle Al,
it's for you.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
You have to get over here right away.
Why? I'm at my sister's for a seder.
You have to get over here.
It's amatter of life and death!
It's open! Come in!
What is it? What's going on?
Why am I here?
Al, I'm goingto try to explain
thisto you.
I came home and started
to make notes onthe script.
We shoot Tuesday and I wantedto,
you know.
Andthen I startedto get nervous,
so I sat down onthe sofa...
...and I was doing my deep breathing
exercises, to stay calm.
And it was working,
and I startedto relax...
...and I dozed off. And I slept
for a while...
...andthen I woke up, Al, and...
...I can't see anything!
I'm blind! I'm blind, Al!
I'm blind, I'm blind! I can't see!
What do you mean?
What do you mean, what do I mean?
Like the guys inthe street
with dark glasses and accordions.
Well, are youtrying?
Al, you can't try to see.
You look around and you see
or you don't see. I don't see.
- How can you be blind?
- Howthe hell do I know?
Al, I'm scared!
What did you eat?
What'sthe difference what I ate?
You can't lose your vision
from aplate of tofu!
I never heard of this.
I did. Remember the actor Harvey Gates?
He lost his vision suddenly.
- From what?
- Grapefruit.
He had atumor the size
of a grapefruit on his brain.
And he went blind?
Yes, he went blind. And a few months
later, he went dead...
...which is worse than blind,
'cause your options decrease.
Relax. You don't have abraintumor.
Al, with all due respect...
...let me hear that from someone
who went to abetter medical school...
...than William Morris.
We'll get youto Dr. Mason.
You still use him, right?
No, Mason dropped dead
onthe treadmill. I use Koch.
I use Koch, too. Did you bump
into anything? Fall? Bonk your head?
I didn't bump my head. I have abrain
tumor, that'sthe story here!
The end is in sight! I see the wall!
I thought you couldn't see.
It's an expression! I don't actually
mean I see a wall.
It's in my mind's eye!
I remember when Ellie
and I took youto the hospital...
...because you were convinced you had
hoof and mouth disease.
Oh, God, Ellie. If I die, Al...
...tell Ellie I'm sorry I saidthose
thingsto her. I saidterrible things.
I called her all kinds of names.
Probably because
I never stopped loving her.
You're not dying.
If I don't die,
tell her she's atramp!
She's living with a guy,
the best you can say about him...
...is sometimes
he returns phone calls!
Dr. Koch? It's Al Hack.
Sorry to call on aholiday,
but I'm here with Val Waxman...
You can sit back now.
So what'sthe story?
Your optic nerve is normal. Your eyes
are normal. I don't see anything.
I don't see anything, either.
That'sthe problem!
Any tumor large enoughto affect his
vision so dramatically would show up.
I wish I was in as good health as he is.
This is atextbook scenario.
Physically, you're 100%
But just like someone who...
...has ahysterical paralysis,
apatient who...
...is fine, but can't walk, or apatient
who loses his or her voice...
...from ahorrible shock, or extreme,
...being a film director,
your inner conflicts have...
...expressedthemselves in atelling
fashion. You're psychosomatically blind.
- How can I get rid of it?
- By treatment.
By understandingthe roots
of your conflict...
...it's likely this blindness
will go away.
How quickly?
Real growth... is always very slow.
There goes my comeback.
You cannot breathe a word
of thisto anybody.
You have to tellthem, Al.
Ijust dreadtelling Ellie.
Are you nuts? They'll fire you.
Fire me? I obviously can't direct
the picture.
What? How can you blowthis shot?
What are youtalking about? I'm blind!
Nobody knows.
What doesthat mean?
What are you saying?
If you pull out of this project
because psychological stress...
...has made you go blind,
you'll never work again.
Maybe they can postpone it.
Because you're blind?
You direct this picture
and bring in ahit...
...or I leave you withtwo words:
homeless man.
I can't... How can I...
You muddle your way through
until your sight returns.
Al, I can't direct the picture.
I'm blind!
Have you seen some
of the pictures out there?
They'll catch me in 5 minutes.
Maybe, maybe not. If they do, you're
no worse off than if you confess...
...because you're finished
inthe business anyway.
I take one step onthe set,
I'll break my neck!
No, I'll come with you.
They won't let you. Actors get nervous
when agents hang around.
Listen, once you're onthe set, you'll
relax, you won't even need me.
I can't do this. I have to take someone
into my confidence.
Absolutely not! No! Never! Not ahint.
This can't get out.
You will direct ahit picture.
Sometimes God works in strange ways.
Notes on making
"The City That Never Sleeps".
First morning atmosphere is upbeat.
Lots of eager anticipation.
People moving lights.
Actors and actresses already
in costume and makeup.
Val Waxman is not the first one
onthe set.
Actually, a few minutes late.
This won't work.
No, it's working perfect.
I'll guide you.
- Am I goingto bump into anything?
- No, I'll guide you.
But I must look funny.
You look perfect, I'mtelling you.
Look at this.
Good morning. Would you like anything?
You want some coffee?
Yeah, su... No. No, thank you.
I'm okay. I'm okay.
The actors are here if you want
to blockthe scene.
Blockthe scene?
Val, are you okay withthe changes
inthe set?
Oh, the set. Yeah. It's beautiful!
How about the background color?
It's blue and, uh, brown and yellow.
Is it alittle dark?
Who are you?
Al Hack, his agent.
Al, can I speakto you a second?
I'll be right back. Don't worry.
Not that you're not welcome... you know
I love you... but this is a closed set.
He really needs me.
He likes me to be with him.
I know, but aman of your stature,
an agent...
...it intimidates people.
- You look great. You had any work done?
- Just here.
- Who do you go to? Not that I need it.
- Fred.
Oh, he's incredible.
Can you get me aprice?
I think we may be alittle too light.
Would you prefer
I take it one shade darker?
Well, you know, that's apossibility.
What do youthink?
What would you do?
I don't know. I could make it all match
the upholstery.
Yes, that's brilliant!
That's what I would do.
Chief, what alarm clock
do you want to go with?
That, that one.
- Which one?
- That one. Yes.
I'm sorry, which?
Yes. That one. Yes. Yes.
- The wind-up or the electric?
- The wind-up. I like the wind-up.
Why is it so difficult?
Excuse me. Can I see you for a second?
Just stay with me.
Al, this is not working.
Don't worry. It'll be fine. But this
is a closed set and I have to leave.
Listento me. Just go to Plan B.
We have no Plan B.
Plan B... we find somebody
who youtrust to help you.
Tell someone the truth?
Yes! Someone you can rely on. Someone
who's naturally around you...
...who won't look odd. Maybe the A.D.
What about the script girl?
We can't do that.
If they get caught,...
...they'll never work
inthe business again.
I have aresponsibility
to Ellie and evento Hal.
You have aresponsibility to yourself!
You have agent's ethics.
I can't go by you.
Don't hit me with oxymorons.
We're in a crisis!
Wait aminute.
What about the Chinese kid?
- The translator?
- Yes, the translator.
He's abusiness student at NYU.
He doesn't want to work in film.
If he's caught, it's no big deal.
- Well, he is always around me.
- See?
Val, I have the actors.
We're ready.
Don't worry. I'll get youto the set.
Just relax.
It'll be fine.
I'm acting so crazy.
Everyone will notice.
You have areputation for being crazy.
It'll work in your favor.
Watch out. One step, one step. Easy.
Very good.
Can I have Mr. Waxman's chair here?
The director needs his chair!
Thank you very much.
Here, sit. Your lucky chair.
Isn't that wonderful?
Sit. Be relaxed. Very good.
Good luck.
I can't work
with outside people watching.
Nobody's goingto be watching.
Do you like this one or this one?
I like that one.
This? 'Cause
this one's more appropriate,
but this one's more theatrical.
You can use this one if you like,
but I prefer that one. That one.
The first or the second?
I'd like to make my entrance
fromthe stairs.
What? Who ordered? Who ordered?
What's happening?
What's happening?
How should I kiss her?
You know, onthe mouth.
- What about my mouth?
- No, kiss her onthe mouth.
But we originally discussed
some passionate way of grabbing her.
Oh, well, use both lips.
Could I talkto you for just a second?
- Me?
- Just for aminute.
- They need me.
- Actually, the director...
- The director asked me to talkto you.
- Mr. Waxman?
Yes. It's a chance
to earn extra salary.
You seemto be a very responsible
young man. Are you?
You should move left.
You got me doingtwo things at once.
I don't know what you want.
You should cross left.
Me? If I crossto my left,
I'll bump into him.
- You needn't demonstrate.
- I'll knock him over.
Where isthe translator?
He's supposedto be on set!
I have a very important message
for you.
For me?
I'm here to help you.
I know about your secret.
Very good. That wasterrific.
Was it very good? Was it very good?
I don't see the dramatic impact of it...
...but it was improved fromthe random
chaos you were encouraging.
Oh, thank you. You didn't
like the random chaos?
Can we go again just for safety?
One more?
We're approaching ahallway right now,
so we'll walk slowly. Nobody's here.
Practically nobody. Be careful.
I'mtryingto be casual,
but it's extremely difficult.
Sorry, boss, you okay?
I thought you saw me.
I'm fine. It was all my fault.
I forgive you.
Sir, he's not there anymore.
You're talkingto air.
Why didn't you warn me?
I thought you saw him.
This is very weird for me.
- Once I did aid a deaf uncle.
- You're goingtoo fast.
Okay, slowly. It's very weird.
I helped out a deaf uncle
a few years ago,
but we didn't have
to hide it like this.
This is great.
Do we use this one tomorrow
or the big one?
Wow, these
are beautiful pocket watches.
I would go withthe big one,
Val, how do you feel
the first day went?
The first day was, you know,
like the first day.
It's a shakedown, where you weed
out the malcontents.
I'd love to speak with you for
a few minutes, if you're not too busy.
Sir, you said you wanted
to show me that piece of jade.
If you're busy, we can do this later.
Yes, I am. I have, uh...
Thank you.
That's all I couldthink
of to extricate you.
You realize there's no piece
of jade.
Yes, I get it. There's no jade.
Everything okay?
So far our conspiracy
has gone undetected.
Perfect. Val, I'lltake you
to your shrink.
Same drilltomorrow, Chou.
I'll practice casual banter.
Very good, good.
To observe Val Waxman directing...
...one wouldthink he has no idea
what he's doing.
I wonder if he is one of those cinema
geniuses who thrive on chaos...
...like Fellini.
He always seems distracted.
He never looks anyone inthe eye...
...and must be juggling amillonthings
in his mind.
It's easy to see why his reputation
is one of an eccentric.
I notice, too, what a great interest
he has inthe photography...
...as he is always conferring withthe
cameramanthrough histranslator.
How were the dailies?
Sir, I'm not a film student, hence,
apoor judge.
I study business and as an investment,
I wouldn't...
He cannot understand what you're doing.
He thinks it's very odd.
How were the performances?
I wouldn't know. But you heardthem.
Or is your hearing faculty failing, too?
My hearing is fine! But are they making
too many faces?
What about the scenes
without dialogue?
Well, I understandthem,
but I've readthe script.
But I must confess... careful, steps...
...there is a strong sense of,
um, incoherence.
Incoherence? Great. That's exactly
what I'm going for.
Well, how were they?
I'm happy. They were great!
Whichtake was best
of the robbery scene?
- The first one.
- The last one.
The first part of the last is better
thanthe last part of the first...
...but the middle take's probably
the most overall.
I smell magic here.
How's it going?
Okay. He confers alot with his
cameramanthroughthe translator...
...whichtakestime, but I got my foot
to the pedal. Pedalto the metal.
Put him on, will you?
I'll find him.
Carol, send some flowers
to Haley Joel Osment with a card.
"Congratulations on your Lifetime
Achievement Award. "
It's Ellie.
She wantsto talkto you.
I hear it's going pretty well.
Yes, as far as I can see.
Good. Listen, I want to come in next
week. Maybe look at some dailies?
I wouldn't do that.
I've stayed away for the first half
of the film, Val.
Nobody sees my dailies except me
andthe cameraman. That's our deal.
You usedto always ask
my opinion on dailies.
That was when you were
a sharp New Yorker.
No one with an herbalist
sees my dailies.
As filming reachesthe halfway mark...
...rumor has it Sharon Bates,
the leading lady...
...has developed a crush
on Val Waxman.
He seemsto resist...
...personal contact with anyone...
...but today she insisted he visit
her dressing room.
Excuse me. I'll see you later.
We'll discuss it.
Yes. Don't go far!
I'll be right here.
I understandthat you wantedto talk
about something with me.
Can I be frank?
Oh, yes. Of course.
I'm having areal problem working
with you.
Working with me? Why?
I feelthat something unspoken
has, uh...
...developed between us.
Developed between us? Like what?
It might be my imagination,
but the way you look at me is like...
...you're making love
to me with your eyes.
My eyes?
I'm a very direct person.
When I have feelings about someone,
I don't hold back.
You know, I thought we were going
to discussthe character.
That maybe you were havingtrouble
getting into the role.
Am I making you nervous?
No. I had atough day out there.
A lot of tough decisions...
...so I'm alittle frazzled, maybe,
but that's... I'm fine.
Come here. Why don't you sit
onthe sofa with me?
- The sofa.
- Just for aminute.
Oh, the sofa. The sofa.
Yes, okay.
Ijust really want your full attention.
The sofa's fine.
Oh, I don't need athrow pillow.
I'm comfortable.
If I trust a director
to direct me...
...I trust himto make love to me.
Let me just say this.
I'm abig believer inthat...
...but not while I'm working, because
I never mix business with pleasure.
I'm a dedicated artist, and...
...like a Trappist monk, I feelthe best
way to do a good picture...
...isto abstain until shooting
is over.
Uh, it's my adoration of cinema.
Cinemais ajealous mistress, and...
...I'm, you know...
that's just the way I am.
But we can wait till
after shooting's over, then...
What are you doing?
Me? Oh, when I feel emotionally
moved in some way...
...some people smoke,
I fondle walls.
I understand. I didn't mean
to upset you.
Oh, I'm not upset.
This happens onthe set.
If I act with a fine director
like yourself...
...I'd do anything
for him sexually.
Well, you shouldtake out a full-page ad
inthe DGA magazine statingthat...
...because you'll never stop working.
Is it possible to openthe door for me...
...because allthe heavy breathing
has steamed my glasses. Am I close?
Yes! So we'lltalk again.
Thank you.
Al? Al?
Thistime it's different.
What do you mean?
Thistime it's my father.
Johnny! Your father!
You can't kill your father!
They want him dead!
But he's your father!
Get ahold of yourself!
He's got it comin'!
Great! That's exactly
where it should be.
No, withthe camerathere,
it'sthe wrong direction.
It'll seem like she's looking
at the wall, not her lover.
I know screen geography!
Chan, am I right?
Should it be there?
He never understands
what the hell you're doing.
Believe me, I know!
Leave the camera where it is!
- He's a genius.
- Yes.
His style. The way he shoots.
It's so...
Was he difficult to live with?
Asthe second missus, did you consider
yourself a youngtrophy wife?
I thought this wasn't a gossip piece.
I'm just curious how youtwo met.
At the Golden Globes.
I thought it was interestingthat
when he won he thanked his...
Next time, warn me before I fall.
I tried, but the journalist wasthere...
Are you okay?
It's nothing. Just a fractured skull.
You want to go grab abite?
I can't. Al's coming.
I have an important meeting.
But I asked youto set aside
some time to discussthings.
It's not easy. I have alot
of meetings andthingsto do.
How about a drink later?
I can't. Maybe after shooting.
I'm sorry, could Ijust get amoment
with him alone?
Thanks. Okay, you've been avoiding me
since I got in. Why?
How? I let you see the dailies.
You made no comment whatsoever.
Well, I mean, I'm not a director.
I personally had difficulty
making sense out of them...
...but I assume once they're cut
together, you know what you want and...
They'lljust be great. I like them.
Then why are you avoiding me?
I'm not avoiding you,
for God's sakes. I'm busy.
I have alot on my mind.
Is it about the ring?
The ring? The ring?
Don't pretend you don't see it.
I know how you get...
No, no. Hey, your ring is beautiful.
I love the shape of it, and it's
probably very expensive, knowing Hal.
I'm not wearing it.
I knowthat. What, youthought
I thought you were wearing it?
I thought it might be causing
your strange behavior.
My behavior's fine! Everybody's
commenting on my behavior.
Remember when we got married and didn't
have time to get aring...
...and I hadto go get that thing
inthe novelty shop?
I got that ringthat squirted water
as apracticaljoke?
Little did I know our marriage would
turn out to be God's practicaljoke.
You certainly stayed in it long enough.
Inertia accounts for 2/3
of the marriages in America.
Yeah, but the other third
is love.
Let's just stickto discussing
the last two weeks...
...and post-production.
I got nothingto discuss. I'm waiting
for Al. He's always late.
- Lunch!
- He's here! Al's here.
He's so tense.
I kid him about being late, but...
...he's great. I love him.
- What's his problem?
- He's firing me.
Firing you? Why?
He won't work with me anymore.
He wants somebody else.
What'sthe problem?
He thinks something's getting lost
in histranslation...
...so his work comes out irrationally.
Tell him I love the dailies.
Sir, to be honest with you,
they're not very lucid.
Just tell him what I tell you
to tell him!
He wants me off the set
or he won't work.
With all due respect to Mr. Chan...
...we're onthe clock.
It costs $150,000 a day to shoot.
Explainthat to him, nicely.
I have a great idea.
Why don't we fire the cameraman
but keep the translator?
Hold on a second, Val. Ed's right
andthat's how it's gonnabe.
I can't fire the translator!
- Why not?
- Because I can't!
- Ching.
- It's Chou.
Who's goingto replace you?
No one knows who the newtranslator
will be or whenthey'll find one.
What about the caterer?
He has no reasonto always be
onthe set.
And you wanted someone who wouldn't be
ruined whenthey're caught.
If! I said if!
There is no one. I was quite perfect
for the assignment.
Ellie is goingto be
aroundtillthe end of...
And she does suspect something. I...
Wait aminute!
Ijust need you for aprivate minute.
Al, if this is about being
onthe set...
...even if Galaxie made an exception...
...these actors are not going
to allow it.
Come here. Sit down.
- Why?
- I need your help.
Okay. What can I do for you?
This isthe end of the line for Val
if he doesn't have ahit.
He will. He could do this material
with his eyes closed.
Right. But if for any reason
he strikes out here...
...his last hopes
for a career are over!
Al, let me put your mind at ease.
While the dailies are not
what I expected...
...I'm sure he has a vision.
Don't worry about it.
Look, if aproblem came up...
...alittle problem where he needed
alittle behind-the-scenes support...
...for the last few weeks,
you'd, you'd...
I'm startingto get
that Val Waxman chill.
What's going on?
Can I level with you?
No, I mean, really level.
Pull no punches.
What is it, Al?
It's nothingthat can't be dealt with.
He's just... he's blind.
You want to be serious? Because
we're already behind schedule.
The cameramanthrew his little fit
andthings are going crazy...
He's blind. He can't see at all.
But don't panic.
It's not atumor, or...
...a disease of the optic nerve.
It's not permanent. It's... it's...
What is it?
It's apsychological disorder.
It's psychosomatic. That happens.
This is not happening.
It's not happening.
He's onthe set now faking it,...
but someone hasto help him get
throughthe rest of the picture.
The rest of the picture? What...
How long hasthis been going on?
Since day one.
The Chinese translator...
...was his secret agent till now,
but now he's gone.
We need someone who can stay close
to him and not look suspicious.
Are youtelling me he has directed
everything up to this point blind?!
No one knows. He didn't want
his career destroyed...
...by another disaster story
about his work problems. No one knows...
...andthat's because
of the translator and me.
No one must find out.
I'm serious, Al.
Nobody. Not anybody onthe crew...
...not the drivers, the actors,
not anyone from Galaxie.
I knew you'd understand.
May the day June 19th rot in hell
for all eternity.
- Isthat the day you married Val?
- It'sthe day he was born!
Now don't get upset, please.
No wonder he's been avoiding me
and acting so strange.
He didn't want anybody to know.
That self-destructive...
Psychosomatically blind!
That hypochondriacal neurotic.
And I say that with all due respect!
You campaigned
for himto get this job.
No one must know.
Yes, and what you have to do...
...is be his eyes
for these last couple of weeks.
You've mellowed.
No more impossible neurotic symptoms!
I should have had my head examined!
I thought I had abraintumor!
Be sympathetic!
You couldn't get atumor if youtried.
You're not mature enough.
What can I do? If the picture fails,
I go downthe drain!
- If Hal finds out...
- He won't. It'sthe home stretch.
What is making you blind?
When will it stop?
Did youtalkto your analyst?
What did he say?
He doesn't have a clue.
He just doesn't know.
That's just great.
What are you goingto do?
Edit it blind, too?
Put inthe music blind?
Go to the premier blind? At least
you won't be able to readthe reviews.
What if it doesn't leave me?
What if I stay blind?
I don't know. I'll be in California
at my swimming pool.
You'll probably have to learn Braille,
get a dog, workthe subway.
- Aren't you goingto put me to bed?
- Put youto bed?
I can't do it by myself!
Al always puts me to bed!
Oh, God. Val, isthis project headed
for disaster?
Relax. I can handle it.
Beethoven did his symphonies
while he was deaf.
Are you comparing yourself
to Beethoven?
Can we not get
in amusical discussion?
How could you do this and not think
about anybody else?
I mean, this is my movie, you know?
Everybody's givingtheir life's blood.
Give me abreak. Everyone's getting
paidtop dollar.
You're marrying abillionaire.
Only I go inthe toilet if things fail.
I don't think Hal's going
to see it that way.
Hal won't know, unless
youtell him during pillowtalk.
Youtwo probably
don't have pillowtalk.
He probably has sex with you
while he's onthe phone.
You're fine. I'll see youtomorrow.
Don't go! You have to put me to bed.
Al alwaystucks me in.
He's your agent. There's no limit
to what they do.
Ellie, come on.
You usedto be very maternal
toward me.
You were infantile. You needed it.
Except in bed.
Then you were ahot number.
I was a small-town girl and you were
onthe cutting edge of everything.
How'd I go fromthe cutting edge
to the buttering edge?
How'd I end up inthis mess?
This is not the first time
we've been introuble.
We've been in some pretty
sticky situations.
- Not like this.
- Yes, because I can recallthem.
You know, it wasn't all...
We've had our share of...
...situations, no question about it.
Like losing our car in a crap game?
Absolutely. That was a disaster.
I told youthen... never trust amale
with a fixed nose...
...but you didn't listen.
It was humiliating for us.
Do you remember...
...staying up all night in Paris
listeningto jazz and ending up in jail?
To this day, I can't figure out
how you got us in jail.
Me? As I recall,
it was your shoplifting.
Because you wanted chocolate croissants
and I left my wallet at the hotel.
You were so demanding allthe time.
No, it was your command of the language.
Never use the familiar with apoliceman.
It's funny, because
my unfulfilled life dream...
...wasthat you and I would live
in Paristogether.
I was willing. You were the one
who always lost your nerve.
It's funny... it seems
like so long ago now.
It's amazing howthings change, isn't it?
Yep, they do.
Andthose days are over.
I'll see youtomorrow.
Your agent will come inthe morning
to take youto the bathroom.
The movie is in its last two weeks.
Val Waxman's ex-wife, who was very
hands off when shooting began...
...is now very much involved.
I notice that Val relies alot on her.
They are in constant conference.
They lunchtogether every day and,
I suppose, discussthe work.
She isthe only one besides
the cameraman and newtranslator...
...who Val allowsto see the dailies.
- How were they?
- Really great. Really great.
Great. Great.
Everything's going fine.
The dailies are really great...
...and we're pretty much
on schedule.
I had my doubts, but you proved me
wrong. Maybe he is anew man.
Great. Really. Right.
I'm coming in for the last few days.
I have business.
There'sthe wrap party
and I'm being honored at a dinner...
...and Val and I should have
aprivate talk about...
...post-production and editing.
Have our picture takento dispel
the rumors we didn't get along.
Yeah, that's right. All right.
Take care. Can't wait to see you.
Quick union question... can ahyphenate
marry abelow-the-line person?
That's for legal.
I have to tell you
about my nightmare.
I dreamt last night that...
...Hal found out everything.
That he... somehow...
...just knewthat I was...
...blind andthat I had been blind
fromthe beginning...
...andthat I was directing
the picture blind with...
...the translator's help
and with your help.
And inthe dream, I spoke
to my shrink...
...and asked him how long it would
last, and he said indefinitely.
And, and Hal got furious
with me, and...
...furious with you
for helping me.
It was just terrible.
I was, I was just screaming,
and, and...
You know, it...
I haven't really had
a good night's sleep...
...I don't know how long.
The anxiety isterrible.
Thanks for getting me back.
Al will be here soon.
Will you be okay?
I'm fine.
We had some close callstoday.
I have to tell you, I'm very
worried about Hal finding out.
- Well, I told you my nightmare.
- No, you didn't.
I told you before. Remember?
You didn't. What did you dream?
I told you.
I went into great detail.
You didn't tell me athing.
Well, it smelled like you.
It smelled like me.
What are youtalking about?
I told you my night...
I told you. Didn't I?
No. You didn't. Did you?
I don't know. Did I?
No. What are youtalking about?
Before, when I was saying
my nightmare in detail.
Oh, God! Oh, God, Val!
That journalist, Andrea Ford...
we wear the same perfume.
You didn't...? Oh, God.
Are you saying I told her?
- Did you?
- Did I?
Did I tell her?
If youtold her, that's it.
We are so... That's it.
Oh, my God.
- Lori.
- Ellie!
Val? It's... it's Lori.
Hi, Val.
Yes, I know it's Lori.
You're home unexpectedly.
You're a week early.
I got bored. But I'm almost ready
to shoot my part!
I'm so excited!
Yes, but this
is so completely unexpected.
I wastoo busy working out to call.
God, they drive you!
But look at me.
Don't I look great?
Look! It's really hard.
You can hit it. Val, help me
with my bags.
The bags?
Doesn't it look good?
No! Val, don't let your producer
lug my bags for me.
No, it's fine.
I forgot she existed. My God.
You can't stay here, Lori!
No! You can't stay. Because...
...Ellie and I have
gotten backtogether.
Yes. We, we have.
We thought about it and felt
that we had made amistake and...
I can't lie to her, Ellie.
You know, it's not fair.
She can't stay. Three's a crowd.
I'm speechless.
I'm sorry.
The heart is very unpredictable.
It's not like the liver or spleen.
Am I still inthe movie?
You are. Definitely.
For sure.
Okay. It's okay.
I'm fine with personal rejection, really.
Thank God I kept that other apartment.
Try to understand.
No, no. It's fine. I totally understand.
I'm still inthe movie, right?
- Yeah. Sure.
- You're inthe movie!
Here, help me withthis.
Take it.
Val, come on! My incense burner's
inthere. Be careful.
We were in my apartment,
inthe bedroomtogether...
...reminiscing. It was great.
And I wanted so muchto kiss her,
but I can't see!
Why do youthink you could
have kissed her? She's engaged.
This blindness,
I got to get finished with it.
This is crazy, not just
for my work, but...
...you know,
I want to lead anormal life.
Tell me about the movie.
There's nothingto tell!
It's a...
...remake of a 1940s movie about...
...a father and son
who don't get along.
The kid grows up to be a gangster and
some people hire himto kill his father.
You have a son, don't you?
Yeah, from aprior marriage.
It's interesting...
It's very interesting...
how you never bring him up.
We don't speak.
Why not?
Because he's got, you know,
orange hair...
...with nose rings and nipple
rings and lip rings and...
...he, you know,
plays drums loud and...
Isthat any reason...?
No, but he gave a concert
and ate alive rat at it...
He hastattoos all over his body.
Once we were discussing music... he
threatenedto push me downthe stairs.
What happened?
It worked. He pushed me down
a flight of stairs.
How were you as a father to him?
I was fine. I was very nice to him.
I loved him.
I took himto sporting events
andto the ballet and opera.
I encouraged his friends and,
you know...
...let him play music
and stood behind him and...
And we had a discussion and he shoved me
down a flight of stairs.
Where's his mother?
She's marriedto amillionaire in Brazil.
She's a very nice lady.
So when you live withthe plot
of this movie every day...
...and it parallelsthe situation
with your son, how do you feel?
Well, I feel angry, because...
I'm angry, you know.
I alwaysthought when he got older,
we would be friendly...
...and he would have a family,
and I'd be part of it, and...
You must miss him.
We never speak.
You've blinded yourself
to the situation.
Listen, can we not digress?
I'm here to discuss my psychological
loss of vision.
Meanwhile, Hal Yeager's coming in a week
and I don't want himto catch me.
No, he'll be staying at this suite,
as usual.
He'll have you up for one
of his man-to-mantalks,...
...so you'll be alone with him...
...for half an hour.
Straight ahead.
What if it's longer?
No, it never is. His concentration...
Sorry. My bad.
His concentration's only good
for ahalf an hour. He's abusy guy.
I'll never get downthe hall.
No, Al will get youto the front door.
I'll meet you at the door and get you
throughthe hallto the suite.
We should just start.
You go straight ahead...
one, two, three, four.
Hal's at the first chair to your right.
- I'm lost. Where should I be?
- You can't be lost yet.
If Hal'sthere, you should come
forwardtwo more paces...
...to the right of the first chair.
The desk isto your left...
that's right... four paces.
Four pacesto the... desk?
But you should start
fromthe first chair...
I can't findthe first chair!
- Where am I now?
- No, wait. That'sthe desk.
The desk? Where should I be?
Three pacesto the left
of the first chair, where Hal is...
...so the second sofa
over here would be right.
I'm getting confused. Two paces left
+of the first chair...
...to the right of the sofa,
or of the desk?
To the left... right...
of the first chair.
- So there's a chair onthis side.
- Yes, the second chair.
- There's a chair here someplace.
- Yes. One, two, three.
Did I get the chair?
If I'm facingthe first chair, is it 8
pacesto the left of the second sofa...
...or 8 pacesto...
Two pacesto the desk...
If they give you 50 years...
...I'll be waiting.
If they give youtwo consecutive
life sentences...
...I'll be waiting.
- Cut!
- What did youthink?
I knew you could do it.
I think you were great.
You like what I did with my cigarette?
Your cigarette?
That was something. That was really
something. That's just me, but...
Yeah, I thought so, too.
The cigarette was great.
Good! I rehearsed it all
last night.
- That's great.
- It shows.
It's hardto believe youtwo
are backtogether again.
You know what? We sort of like
to keep that quiet.
Oh, don't be silly.
She knows our secret.
What's withthe...
You know.
We let the world know.
We, we, we...
We should do this again, because it'll
be a while before I get a chance to...
Gosh, it's like two dogs in heat.
- We have to go to that meeting.
- No, no!
I was just getting started,
That was great!
Thank you.
Two paces past the clock isthe...
isthe first sofa.
No, wait. Two paces...
Three paces isthe first...
The bureau is past the clock.
Two paces past the first clock is...
Wait. Four steps. You're going
to do it. Don't worry.
Have courage.
Let's go. I got him.
I'll wait inthe lobby.
Would you excuse us? I want
to talk with Val man-to-man.
Sure. I'll go make a few phone calls.
I'll see you boys later.
So, Ellie saysthings are going
very smoothly.
I said, I hear things
are going smoothly.
Yes, I... One. Two.
Are things going smoothly?
Yes! Yes! Things are fine.
Good, good. Sit down.
No, not there. Over here.
- Where?
- Here. Onthe sofa.
Onthe... the sofa?
The sofais, isto, to, to the...
Jesus. Are you okay?
- You all right?
- I stumbled. I came up short.
Today was arough day filming.
I'lltell you what. Let me get you
a drink. You'll be fine.
I have some terrific Irish whiskey.
It was a gift.
I don't want anythingto drink.
No, this will help you...
...relax after arough day. I insist.
- I'll be okay.
- Here you go.
Jesus. You really are overworked.
My goodness!
...you're happy withthe dailies?
What can I say? Everything I've seen
so far has been great.
Great. And you definitely
don't want me to see them?
I get so embarrassed when...
Ijust thought maybe you'd
like an outside opinion.
Somebody with some distance
can be very objective.
Ellie sawthe dailies and she,
I think she likedthem.
Yes, I understand. You know, I see...
...a great deal of rough cuts...
We're not anywhere near arough cut.
- I don't cut picture as I go along.
- Val?
Whenthe picture's over,
I cut it together.
- Val?
- Yes?
You seem distracted.
Distracted? No. I did have
a difficult day today, but...
Okay, you're right. A deal's a deal.
I promised I wouldn't peek.
I know it makes you nervous.
Ellie made it clear
how you like to work.
People think we studio heads
have no sensitivity...
...but we want to make a good picture
every bit as much as you do.
It's just we knowthe realities
of the marketplace.
Will you stop moving your head?
It's very distracting.
No... I'm sorry.
Thank you.
I'm just feeling alittle...
I'm okay.
As long as you're satisfied.
I am. And I know you will be.
Good. Listen, come look at
what we've done for the poster.
- The poster?
- Yeah. Come here.
Come here? Me?
Yes, well... I'm coming.
Desk? The desk?
Where are you...? Come here.
You are overworked.
- I'm nervous.
- I'm impressed.
You've been working hard.
What are you doing? Have you
developed anervous disorder?
Yes, I have alittle arthritis
that sometimes kicks in.
So, do you like them?
- Like what?
- The posters.
Yes, they're great.
- Which one?
- They're all great.
My favorite, number two.
This is just great.
It's a strong graphic and...
I knew you'd love them.
If I did see them, I'd never tell.
- See what?
- The dailies.
No, see the problem is,
I get embarrassed when...
Okay. Okay. You're right.
A deal's a deal.
You know, soon we'll wrap the picture...
...and cut it together, then...
Am I barred fromthat, too?
No, Ijust want to present the best
possible thing I canto you.
This is a $60-million movie.
I'm not usedto...
...being kept inthe background.
Between you and me,
this is my valentine to Ellie.
A lot of people didn't think you
and I could worktogether.
Personality clashes andthe personal
history. But if two people are mature...
I'll let myself out.
It's okay. Don't worry.
Yeah, isthe yacht available?
I want to do the whole honeymoon
onthe Amalfi coast,...
...but it hasto be that yacht.
Because only that yacht is romantic
enough for my honeymoon.
All right. Okay, good.
You okay?
- Yes!
- Come on. I'll show you out.
- I know you've had arough day.
- The front door.
There's more, Mr. Yeager...
...but those few hours
are a good selection.
Okay. Wally, thanks. And listen,
this is our little secret, okay?
Yes, sir.
Ladies and gentlemen, the National...
...Society of Video Sales...
...is proudto honor the movie
industry's man of the year...
...the incomparable Hal Yeager.
Time was we made more money
at the box office than video sales.
Nowthe big push we give
a film'stheatrical release...
...is really just aprelude
to making it alarge hit...
...in your over-the-counter sales.
Boy, they loved you.
I thought they would...
...lift you up ontheir shoulders
and carry you aroundthe room.
Ijust toldthe truth.
- You're drunk.
- A little.
- A little?
- Okay, alot.
It's not easy sittingthrough 3 hours
of adulation.
Frankly, I don't know how you do it.
I can't rob them of the opportunity
of demonstratingtheir gratitude.
No wonder we both have to drink
so much at these affairs.
If I wasn't abit drunk,
I wouldn't bringthis up.
Bring what up?
- The dailies.
- What dailies?
Val's. "The City That Never Sleeps".
Well, I'm hopeful. You know?
You can't judge a film by its dailies.
They're just bits and pieces
out of sequence.
You have to wait till it's cut.
Well, I was very disappointed.
- You sawthem?
- That's just between us.
- How?
- I was disappointed.
I can't believe you. You... I can't...
He trusted you.
Honey, I didn't get to run a studio
by kowtowingto every director...
...who thinks he's Orson Welles.
But you gave him your word
that you wouldn't do that.
Honey, unless he has some vision
of howto cut thisthing...
...we're on very shaky ground.
No. I disagree. I disagree.
I thinkthe dailies are...
Are what? Nothing makes sense!
The angles, performances, coverage.
There is no coverage!
I trust his instincts.
This was supposedto be anice,
commercial picture.
And you weren't to look at it
until he was ready to show it to you.
I gave into those demands
to please you.
This guy could have come in
and begged for the job
and he wouldn't have gotten it.
The point of this isthat you said
one thingto his face...
...then did something else
behind his back.
You make it sound sinister.
I'm responsible
for a very huge chunk of money.
I have a studio to run.
Yes, I know, I know, okay?
If you're disappointed, it's me you
should be disappointed in.
What doesthat mean?
Because, well, I saw some
of the footage. You know.
And I was alittle baffled, okay?
But you know what?
Look, maybe I should have told you.
I don't know.
But half of it was
inthe can anyway, and...
Look, he's a genuine talent,
Who saysthat we're right?
The guy's a genius.
Well, let's just hope he has
a vision of howto cut it together,...
...for all our sakes.
He never hasto know I sawthe dailies.
I'm not tampering.
And you should have warned me!
I mean, I don't ever want to wonder
about your loyalties.
Look, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I'm drunk.
Let's just... call it anight.
Val, checkthe gate?
Thank you, everyone. See youtonight
at the wrap party.
You all did atremendous job. Please
use taxis or designated drivers.
I know you're happy
to be leaving New York.
What isthe thing you miss most
about L.A.?
Miss most about L.A.?
I miss my support group. They're
really helping emotionally.
I'm amember of a support group
of film executives...
...who can't affordtheir own G-5s.
- Have you seen Val?
- He's not here.
Great. A director
who misses his own wrap party.
I called him at home.
He's not there. I'm worried.
Hi! Hi, Ellie! Over here!
Oh, you have to meet them.
Excuse me. Excuse me. Hi.
This is Sandor.
Where's Val?
Uh, he didn't come.
Oh, my goodness. Everybody's
so sophisticated. I love it.
Your father's here.
- You're joking.
- Tony?
- Tony?
- Don't bump into anything.
I'll wait outside.
- What's wrong with you? Are you blind?
- Yeah.
- Psychosomatic.
- How did you know?
You never get any realthings.
I'lltake youto the couch.
Keep walking.
Okay, turn around.
There you go.
Sit down.
- Don't ask me why I came.
- I didn't.
Aren't you curious
after the last couple of years?
Are you going
to officially disown me?
I came for the exact opposite reason.
I want to make friends.
I was never mad at you.
What do you mean? You pushed me down
a flight of stairs.
I was high. Inthose years I did drugs.
I did acid and peyote.
Where did you learnto do drugs?
From you. Youtooktranquilizers
and mood elevators.
There's a difference between
that and breaking into a drugstore...
...so you can buy hashish.
That's over. That was stupid.
What happenedto us?
How did we grow so far apart?
You know, we used
to do thingstogether.
I played with you. I took you fishing.
I didn't want to go fishing.
I didn't take you against your will.
Then you wantedto go fishing.
You wantedto learnthe violin.
I got you a violin.
That led me to the drums.
How did violin go to the drums?
That I've never understood.
It's music.
An electronic band where
you rip off your shirt...
...and eat alive rat is not music.
We sold out that concert.
Don't call it a concert. Heifetz
at Carnegie Hall is a concert.
If there's abrownout, Heifetz will still
be on key, but your guitarist won't be.
You come here to knock me?
I came to...
...hold out an olive branch.
Olive branch? What isthis,
the Israeli parliament? I'm your son.
I know you're my son.
That's what I'm saying.
I want usto get backtogether again.
To, you know, to go fishing.
I hate fishing.
I don't mean literally go fishing
in water! I, I...
I'm sayingthat I love you,
despite the orange hair...
...and nose rings and nipple rings
andthe tattoos.
No wonder I went blind!
Can I help it if I took a quantum leap
from your values?
What's wrong with my values?
I don't understand.
I was nice to your mother.
I didn't steal anything.
I never consumed any rodents.
How is your mother, incidentally?
Great. They're in Rio.
She has no trouble accepting me.
Of course she doesn't. You're here
and she movedto the equator.
I want to be friends with you.
I respect what you do. You have
to respect my goals.
I did some dopey things. I apologize.
Let's not make abig deal.
We don't have to go fishing,
but we have alot in common.
We're bothtryingto do something
original. You with film...
...and me with alive rat.
Tony, Tony, Tony.
By the way, I changed my name.
It's not Tony anymore.
It's not? What is it?
Scumbag X.
Oh, that's nice.
It's much better than Tony Waxman.
I love you, Scumbag.
Events moved pretty rapidly once
the movie wrapped.
Ellie stayed in New York and helped
Val fake his way throughthe editing.
They spent alot of time together.
Andthen, suddenly, one day...
I can see!
I can see!
I can see!
I can see! I can see!
Everything looks so beautiful!
The city looks...
...incredible! I can...
- I can see!
- Are you sure?
You look so beautiful.
You look so great.
You look so beautiful.
I swear.
You're like a different person.
You mean I was never pretty?
You were always pretty!
But now you're beautiful.
I can see! I... I...
I can't believe this!
I can see! You look so beautiful.
I'm overwhelmed.
That's how it is when you go blind
for a while.
Oh, Val! Oh, my God!
Come on!
Call Dr. Kevorkian.
This isthe worst...
This looks like the work
of ablind man.
Come on. You're scaring me.
Hal meansto previewthis in 2 weeks
to get some audience reaction.
The audience will rush
into the projection booth...
...grab the print and hurl it
into the sea.
Here are the rest of the cards
the audience filled out.
They're practically unanimous.
"An incoherent, stupid waste
of celluloid. "
"Would you recommend
this filmto a friend?"
"Only if I was friendly with Hitler. "
They're alljust terrible.
"How would you improve
this movie?" "Arson. "
That'sthe audience,
not the critics.
The reviews will be good,
thenthe public will go.
"What would you callthe genre?"
"Early American garbage. "
I'm crushed over the reception
the movie got.
Some of the reviews
were particularly scathing.
- I hope Val's okay.
- That's not what I want to talk about.
I got an advance copy
of the story Andrea Ford wrote.
She hasn't turned it in.
She wanted comments from me.
I triedto talk her out of it.
Andrea Ford is
a cheap tabloid gossipmonger.
I thought it was abad ideahaving her
hang aroundthe set...
She said Val Waxman directed
the picture blind.
Throughout shooting he had psychosomatic
blindness. Was I wrongto deny that?
He shot the whole picture without
ever seeing it?
Otherwise, you'd have gotten
the movie you wanted.
She wrote that you knew
and helped him hide it.
Only the last few weeks.
I found out pretty much
after the boat had sailed.
And you didn't tell me.
I knew you'd be apoplectic and Val
couldn't affordto lose another job.
Under those circumstances, I...
You cared more about him
than you did about Galaxie.
I truly believed he could pull it off.
The two of you were seen kissing
passionately onthe set.
We were faking. We told his roommate
we'd gotten backtogether...
...so she wouldn't move back in
and find out he was blind.
Did you fall back in love
with your ex-husband?
You cantell me the truth because it
really doesn't much matter now.
I think I never stopped loving him.
Whenthis story hits,
he'll never be employable again.
You don't needthe story.
I thinkthe reviewstook care of that.
Don't spend 30 seconds
on what those critics said.
They're the lowest level
of the culture.
Thistime they're right.
The movie is incoherent.
The performances are all over the place,
the camerawork is unfocused.
Worse has been said about my work.
Ijust eat another rat.
Jesus. I hope Ellie is okay.
I always liked Ellie.
Isn't she marryingthat Neanderthal,
Talk about blindness.
She was right under my nose for so long
and I didn't appreciate her.
Blindness as ametaphor.
That's great.
Guess what?
Your movie. The French saw
your movie in Paris.
They say it'sthe greatest American film
in 50 years!
You're kidding.
You're being hailed as atrue artist.
A great genius!
And France setsthe tone
for the rest of Europe.
I already have offers for youto make
amovie in Paris. A love story!
Paris, France! Where they talk French.
It's like New York.
This isthe best news.
It's unbelievable.
Here I'm abum, but there...
...a genius!
Thank Godthe French exist.
This is my life's dream...
we're goingto live in Paris.
I can't tell you howthrilled I am.
Are you sure? It's abig step.
I'm absol... You know,
you look so beautiful.
Every husband should go blind
for alittle while.
You didn't forget the Dramamine,
did you?