Kean (1956) Movie Script

Hamlet: This presence knows,
And you must needs have heard,
how I am punish'd
by a form of madness.
What I have done,
that might your nature... roughly awake,
was madness.
I here proclaim.
is of the faction that is wrong'd;
His madness is poor
Hamlet's enemy.
Give us the foils! One for me!
Set the stoops of wine!
The king shall drink
to Hamlet's better breath.
throwing in the cup
this precious pearl.
- No!
A palpable hit.
Another hit, Laertes.
Take my napkin,
rub thy brows.
Good madam!
The queen carouses to thy fortune!
Do not drink, Gertrude!
- Pardon, my lord. I will drink.
Laertes, come!
Pass with your best violence!
Have at you now!
How does the queen?
- She swounds to see them bleed.
No! The drink, Hamlet!
I am poison'd.
No! - The treacherous
instrument is in thy hand!
Unbated and envenom'd,
- The point! envenom'd too!
So, poison, your work!
I am dead, Horatio!
You that look pale
and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or
audience to this act,
Had I but time,
I could tell you -
But let it be.
Horatio, thou livest.
Report me and my cause
aright to the unsatisfied.
What noise is this?
Young Fortinbras,
prince of Norway,
gives this warlike volley
to the ambassadors of England.
I die, Horatio.
The potent poison
quite o'er-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear
the news from England;
But I do prophesy the election
lights on Fortinbras:
he has my dying voice.
So tell him, with the occurents,
more and less,
which have solicited.
The rest is silence.
You'll pay me for that,
you bastard!
Shut up and learn
how to fall!
His lucky lover!
She falls asleep crushed by Hamlet
and wakes up strangled
by the Moor of Venice.
His lover?
They say he's had 1002!
- Uh-hun.
Not one more, not one less?
Is he a lover or an accountant?
It's not a complicated calculation:
for 10 years he's been famous.
makes 1 woman every 3 days,
with two months of rest each year.
It's murmured a few great ladies
have had the weakness
to have him ascend to their level.
- Or better, the ease
to descend to his.
- No?!
Are you coming to Lord Mewill's too?
I think not, engagement parties
bore me. - What, dear?
We were speaking of the engagement
of Mewill with Anna Damby -
cheesemaker's daughter.
She wanted to be an actress,
but preferred a penniless aristocrat.
Lord Mewill's made himself
a whole new outfitting,
polished his house, and
renovated furniture and carriage.
At the expense of his future
father-in-law, naturally!
Right. The cheesemaker!
My husband will certainly come.
He prevents applause for the troupe!
See, the Crown gets the better
of Mr. Kean's caprices!
- Well what, Highness?
O the reception? I don't think I'll go.
I prefer you tell me about it.
I don't feel well.
Permit me? - Your health's
near to my heart.
I prefer to think that you
refusal has another motive.
See you, dear.
- If Your Highness permits...
You who fix
your eyes on absence
and speak to incorporeal air!
We didn't ask for an encore.
Your spirit burns savagely!
Everything! You made me cut everything!
Madam, the public's
still in the hall!
If you don't respect my art,
at least respect the poet!
I respect him so much
I avoid him being profaned!
Salomon! Where are you!
- Mr. Cochrane!
Listen well:
either I receive satisfaction,
or I never act here again
with this charlatan!
- You continue to make me promises
which you never keep, alas!
Salomon! Send away these people
and come help me in the dressingroom!
- We can't go in the dressingroom!
- The jeweller's there.
My mother acted with Garrick
and this charlatan
pretends to each me!
- Come here. Duck!
Hide me. Send him away!
I tried to,
but he doesn't want to go.
He says he has your note
for 400 pounds sterling
for the necklace given to Kitty.
Things that happen.
- Or don't, like the note.
You pick a moment when I love Eena
to have me pay for the necklace of a...
It'd be a betrayal!
The jeweller
lives on such betrayals!
You were marvelous!
Success without precedent!
An unforgettable evening!
I don't have time now.
Get rid of them!
You! Send her away
and the jeweller too!
Now go,
because he's really tired.
No! Not an eccentric genius,
a criminal!
I should be afraid? Afraid
of being strangled for real?
Yes, I'll get you
satisfaction, for sure!
The theater director!
For sure!
Pay attention...
Go away, Salomon! Go away!
Mr. Kean owes me 400 pounds!
- Come here!
Can I go in?
I'm the theater director!
You've put things in order?
- Yes.
Flowers in the dressingroom?
- No.
Why not?
- Florists don't give credit anymore.
No more credit.
- What?! If yesterday...
Yesterday! - A man's heart
can change in one night?
A man's heart, no,
a creditor's, yes.
I've had enough tricks
from this ham!
O well...
We'll see
how he recites in court!
Kean's debts
don't interest me.
They interest me!
When will I be left
to work in peace?
Do they really think I can
play "Richard III" in a hovel?
Courage, you're murdering
the greatest actor of the century!
Look how melancholy
your evenings will become!
Hey, Salomon, what's going on?
- With whom?
If they don't give me credit anymore,
it means box office is bad.
And if box office is falling,
it means I'm falling too.
- No way!
Tell me frankly:
Am I declining?
- No!
Don't be afraid of hurting me!
I want to retire from the theater
before disgracing myself at least.
Salomon, my friend,
can you swear it?
I still please?
- Yes!
Do I still please?
- Yes!
Swear it!
Please, where's
the dressingroom of Madam MacLeish?
O great, come here! Give it to me.
Really they're for
Madam MacLeish.
Here, put them in the dressingroom.
Take this to Madam MacLeish,
even it's too much for her.
Wait a second.
- Thanks.
Hey, you know who I am, right?
- Sure. - Bravo! Go with God.
Look what a beautiful black cat
you make me find in my dressingroom!
Take it out!
A black cat in my dressingroom!
But, look!
What legs I have, Salomon! - Eh!
They're better admired when you go in
the street with your bottom uncovered!
What did you say? Have you gone mad?
- No, no.
I'm not the one who's mad.
It's you who're too cynical!
So let's see: according to you
why should I take interest in money?
What's it good for?
- To pay for what you've bought.
Ah, yes? So it's no use to me.
I buy everything without paying!
But what time is it? Has a half hour
gone by since the play ended?
Yes. But give them
time to go home,
find an excuse,
put the husband to bed... Eh!
She won't come anymore.
- She'd be the first!
Yes, but I didn't love the others.
The more punctual woman
is the one you don't care for at all.
Maybe she came and didn't
find the secret door?
By now your secret door has
no more secrets for London ladies!
Or maybe she tried to open it
and couldn't?
No way,
I oiled it myself this morning!
Look: a child could
open it with one finger.
So, let's wait.
I detest waiting.
I detest waiting for Elena.
What're you looking at?
- Nothing.
You're wasting time
talking to be about this bastard?
Again? I don't want to hear
this bitch scream again!
Give me back my flowers!
- What flowers, madam?
Kean, you would please give madam back
the flowers her admirers...
I deny that madam has admirers.
- Ah!
The Prince of Wales!
Attention! His Highness!
Take care of it. - What should I do?
- Tell him I can't receive him.
You can't receive me,
Mr. Kean?
Without extreme and renewed pleasure,
naturally. - Beautiful dressing gown.
I dress evening
to please England,
I don't have the right to undress
to please myself? - Mh-mh.
Who made it?
- Perkins.
Ah. I'll order one
similar from him tomorrow.
It's the sixth time you
base something on my taste, Highness.
What's wrong with that?
- Nothing,
except that all Europe will be
wearing this robe next week.
You seem very excited this evening.
It'd be the unexpected pleasure
of your visit.
Come, Kean,
share your secret with me.
I've never had secrets for you.
- Maybe till yesterday it was true,
but today less so. - Till yesterday?
- Whom are you waiting for?
No one.
You don't trust me? No?
Well, it's embarrassing.
It's embarrassing
because a certain lady,
thinking I enjoy your trust,
asked me to tell you something.
What about?
Ah, yes, now I remember! Because of a
reception she couldn't miss...
The countess of Koefeld told you...
- Kean, my friend, you betray yourself!
You gave her an appointment in
your dressingroom and expect her.
So the countess of Koefeld
told you everything...
Okay, I'll be a good prince!
I have your confession, I can put
an end to your torture.
No, Elena told me nothing.
- Oh! - Don't believe me?
Want me to give you
my word of honor?
I have faith in your Grace's
word as in Sacred Scripture,
except in cases
when it's a question of women.
Too many times we've lied together
to the husbands.
Kean! You're in love!?
- A role I detest, moreover!
How about if I asked you
to renounce this woman?
You came for this?
- Exactly for this.
Then you're...
- Your rival? No! I'm thinking of you.
England can't lose
its best actor!
If you don't want to lose me,
leave me my passions.
I have to have them to be
able to express them. - Kean!
Give up this woman!
Let's say I ask you
in the King's name.
His Majesty is concerned
with my loves?
No, he hopes you leave
the ambassadress in peace.
You know with Denmark
we have important affairs.
I know. Cheese!
- Meaning?
Important affairs:
acquiring cheese.
Which our wholesalers
make in Copenhagen.
A strange balance, Highness:
on one plate
you put cheese,
and on the other you want
me to put my heart.
And if gold were added?
On the heart side?
- No, on the cheese's.
Here. Read.
What's this?
- Read it, go on!
"I renounce
for the sum of 4000 pounds
to encircle with my attentions
the countess..."
For 4000 pounds!
I thought you attributed
more weight to my word!
You should appreciate my
generosity. It's late,
Elena may not come,
in which case the 4000 pounds
will be a gift.
You really thing the countess
would prefer a reception...
To your dressingroom?
Ah, this certainly, old man!
Poor Kean! You really think our women
can last long with you?
Okay, okay.
Sign here that you agree.
Your women... Piff!
I know very well I'm nothing
alongside her, nothing!
Nothing alongside her husband,
who's a jellyfish.
Nothing alongside his peers,
or your peers!
All those who applaud me
and despise me,
to the point I no longer know
if I'm a king or a clown.
No, don't be afraid, Highness,
this is just Kean, the actor Kean,
preparing to play
his customary part:
Kean, a clown!
So be it,
for clowns they pay the debts, no?
Give me that paper.
So you sign?
I fear, Highness, that our conversation
has no reason to continue.
Thanks anyway,
for your offer.
O Elena, I wasn't still expecting you!
But who're you?
Not Elena.
- Who let you enter this way?
You. I knocked,
and you opened for me.
Anyone see you enter?
- No one.
The lady you expected
hasn't come.
So go away! Go!
Am I bothering you?
I'm helping you to wait!
The moment they knock,
I'll leave. I swear!
Sir, right now I don't know yet
whether to ask you for advice,
or ask asylum
in the Mayfair convent.
Go to the convent! Are you Catholic?
Hmm, Irish..
Usually I like
the Irish.
They drink well.
Do you get drunk a lot?
- Never!
Rather, not anymore...
at least for several weeks.
You were drunk December 15
and knelt in front of the
the queen calling her Polonius.
You did it again,
next, December 18,
and recited Hamlet's soliloquy
so movingly
that I couldn't
hold back my tears.
So you see... - Yes, but that
evening you were giving "King Lear"!
O good God! In public?
- So? King Lear's crazy anyway,
and people can't really object
if he thinks he's Hamlet.
On December 22..
- Enough!
But... you knew I was drunk
and applauded just the same?
To encourage you!
- Encourage me?
I'm always afraid
you'll lose your memory.
O gods!
O gods of eternal Olympus!
Luck you have
a great prompter!
So you applaud the prompter!
You, too.
- Ah, thanks.
It's moving, a man
who struggles with his own tongue.
Besides, I think you were unlucky.
- Unlucky?
I, Kean, unlucky?
But who are you? What do you want?
- I want to act.
I want to be an actress.
- An actress?
Come here.
- She wants to be an actress!
Not under the stairs!
What are you doing?
what is it?
- Shssh! Quiet.
- Who's there? - Come in.
...for you...
- An aspiring actress!
...and the little innocents!
Not a bad temperament.
And for you, there's the street.
For me, too!
I'd liked to have given you violets,
but they all withered
when my father died.
So? Is that it?
And there's the daisy.
- I don't remember more.
Want the truth?
- Yes.
The whole truth?
- Yes.
Go into the convent!
Go into the convent!
Salomon, you who complain there're
not enough actors in England!
Here's one ready for you!
Take her and throw her out! Go!
Put on your cape, go on.
- Come, little one.
Why do you treat her so?
- I'm really, really bad?
Worse than bad. Decent.
- In-decent..
Decent, which is much worse.
- But, with work...
I'm determined,
I assure you.
Very! Everything I want,
I get.
With determination, little cheesemaker,
one can even obtain... the moon,
which is just a piece of cheese
hung in the sky.
But one can't become an actress!
Am I right, Solomon?
You think it's enough to act well?
I act well, me?
- Yesssss!
I have determination, yes?
- Nooo!
One is born an actor!
Like one's born... a prince.
And they're two jobs
one more boring than the other.
Mr. Kean, I need to act.
- Why?
To live!
- Bah!
One doesn't act
in order to earn bread.
One acts to lie,
to escape oneself,
to be what one's not,
or because one's had enough
of being what one is.
One acts so to not know oneself.
Or cause one knows oneself too well. Yes.
We play heroic roles
because we're cowards,
roles of saints
because we're sinners,
and roles as murderers,
because we'd like
to kill our neighbor.
We act because we're liars
from birth,
because we love truth
and hate it at the same time.
And above all we act
because we'd go crazy
not acting.
Do I know it, maybe, when I'm acting?
Is there any moment
when I stop acting, I?
Look at me, right now,
for example, am I acting or...
Elena's carriage!
Throw out the little girl, Salomon!
- No! - Quick! I await you inside!
Go! Out!
Come, little one. You need to obey.
See how rabid he is?
Damn countesses!
Don't worry,
I'll take care of that!
What're you mean?
- Nothing, don't worry!
You go to the dressingroom
and try to keep him calm.
Stop! Stop!
Madam, would you be so good
as to accompany down the street?
O, but we know each other!
- I fear there's a mistake.
No, we don't know each other.
- How not?!
We were supposed to meet
this very evening.
Not here,
but it's the same, no?
A sign it was destined.
I'm very happy.
But you're not...
- Yes, yes. I'm Anna Damby,
the daughter of the Irish cheesemaker
who's supposed to marry Lord Mewill.
I'm glad you
declined to go to the reception.
For many it'll be
a big bother to go to a party
and then find
the party's not on anymore!
Go on!
Nothing! Nothing!
Master, you've been drinking all
evening! - Let me alone!
Okay. - I said
she wouldn't come.
So what?
Countesses are made like that.
Great evening! Even the aspiring
actress is missing!
And so Edmund -
Mr. Kean -
so encouraged me that
I decided to take the big step.
I want to become an actress.
I shan't marry Lord Mewill anymore.
So you ran away at the last moment?
It's a scandal!
Why? Being an actress
is perhaps less respectable...
I speak not of that, but of breaking the
engagement the eve of the wedding.
And it's a scandal that someone
your age rambles around alone, at night,
in streets near the theater.
- Stop! - It's a scandal
that at a party the best society's
been invited to,
from the prince to the ambassadors..
- Your husband went, yes?
Well, I bet he'll be very happy
to go back home.
Engagement parties
are so boring,
So boring that you didn't go.
Thanks, I'm here.
- Stay, I'll see you home. - No.
Look, madam, you
have certainly more experience than I
and maybe you're right to say
a young woman,
like me, must not be found
outside an actor's dressing room,
you want to be an actress too?
I don't understand what you mean.
If it's not acceptable that I go
see Mr. Kean...
Ah! So you were going
to see Mr. Kean?
- You weren't? - I, Mr. Kean,
I see him in the theater,
from my box, when he plays.
- Excuse me,
but I thought I saw your carriage
heading for Mr. Kean's dressingroom.
My carriage stopped
because you asked it to.
I was going home!
- Right.
The lady desires to go home.
- You're welcome.
Come to applaud me!
To applaud me!
I hoped to find you in better humor!
When someone's in love
and waiting for his own beloved...
In fact I'm in the best of humor!
- So she came?
Of course she came!
- I'm very happy.
And she's Irish too?
- Who? - Your beloved.
I've the impression
you've been drinking.
When there're two of you...
Usually one doesn't drink alone...
One wants to know what you want, you?
What do you want?
Don't scream like that.
People are sleeping at this hour!
Next, I already told you want I want.
I want to act.
Ah, yes?
You really want to sell yourself?
Is it really necessary?
- If you want to be an actress,
it's indispensable. You have to be
pretty, but very pretty.
Let's see, with the author, the
director, the leading man, naturally,
and, note well,
don't notice the extras.
In regard to the author,
I'm okay: Shakespeare's dead.
As for the director... he usually does
what the leading man wants.
That leaves the leading man.
Suppose you're going
to find in his dressingroom
our national glory,
our great Kean,
to ask him for help.
Well, do you think Kean would let
himself be moved by sentimentalism?
The actor Kean
knows life too well, little one.
And women.
Let's try to imagine the scene!
Here: I'm Kean, you're... you're you.
Go back upstairs and repeat the entry.
Let's see if you can improvise.
- I can come? - Come on, come on!
You make the entry, good...
I bow, very good...
Mr. Kean?
- Yes?
I want to be an actress.
- No, see? You start off wrong.
You must grasp the seed of the character
and follow its natural evolution.
For example, Kean, what is he?
Kean is a
- No! Kean is vain.
You have to court him a bit,
to get his imagination working.
I don't have imagination.
- Give in to your heart!
You have one, I hope!
- Silence!
In your house you're mistress,
but in the street we're all masters!
Start over!
- Let's go over there.
And you want to be an actress?
Learn to treat the public
as it deserves.
- Silence!
Entry, you! Come on, move!
She wants to be an actress
and has no imagination...
Go away please!
Here I'm finally at his door!
- Yes.
Dare I tell him
what he's incited in me? - Yes.
O, my God! My God!
- My God, my God...
Give me strength
for I fear I'm growing feint.
Okay, not bad.
What do you want of me?
Your voice!
- That's a good note.
Pardon, sir, my turmoil.
It's more than natural.
- For, modest though you are,
you'll understand
that your fame...
That's the right tone.
- ...your talent...
Good, go on like that.
- ...your genius
moves me even more than
your assurance of your welcome.
- But you're so good that...
I'm not in fact good.
Let's see the legs, little one. - Sir!
- What? You're irked, baby?
- Fanny!
You do it with the chicks now?
- What are you doing here?
Oh, I've found a friend.
Let's go drink at The Black Cock.
And me?
- Ah, yes, the aspiring actress!
Come, come, what're you doing?
- The legs, no?
No, you had to refuse.
- Why? If I want to be an actress...
But it's not in your character.
You should say...
"What horror!"
- Here: "What horror!"
What're you...
- Silence! We're rehearsing, here!
Silence! That's better, though.
- What horror!
With voice more pitched.
- What horror!
Let go more.
- What horror!
With an offended air.
- Why?
Because I offended you!
I speak well, Fanny? - Sure,
you're a young girl.
- A young girl
without experience,
who's never had lovers,
who now runs home
because it's too late. Come, Fanny.
I've had lots of them, lovers.
- Ah, yes? How many, let's hear.
One, two..
- O! What a career!
Go to sleep, little virgin.
At this hour babies go to bed.
Come, come.
Accident or not,
you broke the keg and you pay for it!
Let's drink and then talk it over.
Eh, you're on the ball!
- Let me alone!
Come on, let's have fun.
- Let me go! Let me go!
You too come to gamble!
Poor Fanny!
Let me alone!
With all your troubles, you even
make love on credit!
When is born wretched
like me, dear Edmund...
I say even for you
happy times will return.
At times I think it'd be enough
not to be too unhappy. -Yes...
Happiness I've given up now.
You're in love with someone, no?
- Yes.
Always the same one you know.
- Fanny! Sing!
One day I'll marry you.
- I'm coming!
That day you'll come
to the old Kean
when hundreds of pounds
he's found for your dowry. Okay?
Give me a drink, Peter.
But this is persecution!
What more do you want?
- I knew you were to good
when it counts. If you help her,
why don't you want to help me?
What would you do
in such a position?
Why, what position?
- It's not a position for you.
Go away!
You've broken me, my sir,
my heart's bleeding.
Don't break this heart!
- Let me alone and listen. Learn!
...with such agony
Caress me, please!
Pour out the wine!
- Pour, Peter! - ...consoler!
Through strength or love,
may I forget you!
The intoxication that assails me
murmurs to me of you,
and to the bottom of the glass
descends a tear.
Pour me, pour me, please,
another consoling wine.
With my crying it'll join,
so that I'll forget.
Brava, Fanny! What a woman!
- There're few like her!
She's a sensitive woman.
- She's sentimental.
I like this place. It's fun.
Might I have a bit of Champagne?
Champagne? Dorothy!
A clear pint for the miss!
Production of The Black Cock.
- Give me a drink? - No!
It makes your nose tingle a bit.
- Good! - Ah, I'm happy!
I'm always bored
to be alone.
You need a husband, little sister.
- And you need a wife.
What do you think I'm here for?
I've never had bad intentions
regarding you.
I'm marrying you, you know?
- Hah!
What're you doing? No! You can't!
- That's old Bob.
I told you can't. There's already
too much confusion! Bugger off!
Definite, it's old Bob.
Who is he?
- Don't bother me.
Don't you see
the place is crowded? Down!
Is that you, you old carcass?
- Too honored, Mr. Kean.
The troupe, Bob?
How's the gang?
A big mess.
- What happened?
I hurt my foot.
I was in bed 3 weeks.
You're rested.
Not even the bed has managed
to keep me still so long!
Except that during those weeks
the whole troupe
nearly died of hunger.
Three weeks without eating!
It's happened to me, too.
Peter Patt, give some food to these
gentlemen. They're all my guests.
Edmund, it's been a while
since you paid your account.
Are you in condition
to pay it tonight?
You too, Brutus...
Here, catch!
A penny!
With all you make,
what do you do with the money?
Old Bob and his family!
Old Bob is a great artist.
He taught me the craft
when I was still earning
my bread on street corners.
Bob, I propose an exchange:
you'll give a show for me,
and with the proceeds
I'll offer drinks for everyone!
Tomorrow night I'll give a play for
you and the proceeds will be all yours.
Clear away the tables!
Stop! Dorothy,
take care of the jugs! Be careful!
Give me a little kiss?
- No.
Marry me?
- No!
Then let me act.
- Instead of marrying you, yes.
Want a drink, little one?
- Thanks! - Stop, stupid.
Why? If you won't marry me and
won't let me act, I'm going with him.
Take away your hands, you!
Mr. Kean, do you remember
the handstand on the bridge?
Yes, but those were other times!
What other times!
- Bet you can do it still.
No, I won't do it!
You've broken me, my sir,
my heart is creaking!
Don't despise the spectator,
the clown that stumbles!
Don't jeer him for having pity,
we're all charlatans!
By living
we're all acrobats!
It's a somersault like you make
to live,
skip three meals
like an acrobat.
If you call me clown,
do you think you are?
You're comic
even more than these comics!
And you, baby, if there's someone
too near you,
make him to ul-la-la
like acrobats!
Give me a drink!
Ladies and gentlemen,
tomorrow night everyone at the theater,
of the great Kean's show!
In honor and profit of his friends
and my debut!
You'll witness the debut of the
biggest bitch that even barked!
What is it?
What is it?
Calm, boys, calm.
What's going on?
My fianc, ex.
- Which "ex"?
Lord Mewill, my ex-fianc.
I think he's looking for you.
I told him
I was escaping for you...
What's this business?
Who's this imbecile? - A lord.
Don't turn around,
come over here.
I... I have to tell you something.
Last night...
- Yes? - He's coming down the stairs!
So. Elena did come. She loves me!
- You're thinking about that?
Elena loves me
and I'm about to flog a lord.
Go inside and don't move!
- But I... - Go!
Away from here!
What else do you want?
- I'm happy:
you love Elena, but you speak
to me as to a wife.
What do you think of this vegetable?
Must I do everything? - Over there.
Let me pass.
- O Lord Mewill! What a surprise!
I suppose you're here
in search of refuge...
It's rumored you wanted to force
a girl to marry you
whose dowry was convenient for you.
- Where's Anna Damby? - Who?
Peter Patt! Did you employ
a new hen in your coop?
As far as I know, no.
Where've you hidden Anna Damby?
- Find her!
Ah, I understand, sir. You want
to attach my name
to your enterprises.
- You, get out from in between!
Well, give me satisfaction,
and there'll be no more to say.
There's a small difficulty, friend.
- Ah, yes?
A peer of England
can't fight with an acrobat!
True! What was I thinking!
Right! You're a lord!
And I'm an acrobat!
You can't fight with me. A lord
can't fight with an acrobat.
You sit on the Supreme Court,
you make and unmake the laws
and the gates of palaces
open at the sole sound of your name!
But it's so great, this name,
it'll end up being squashed!
Remember, friends, we can
never be on a par with a lord!
Agreed, sir,
we shan't fight!
But what would you say,
eh, if I... if I hit you?
Peter, did I hurt you?
Such manners!
- Excuse, I didn't see you.
I'll put it on the account too.
- Yes.
Peter Patt, host, come here!
What's happening?
- They're killing each other!
No, Excellence, it's just a scuffle.
- You're the boss. Stop them!
You stop them,
with your guards if you can.
I saw! It's a scandal!
- What a scandal!
In the glorious tradition
of The Black Cock!
Goodnight, milord.
And don't be afraid:
no one will hear
what happened in town.
But you'll hear from me!
Good night!
- Good night!
Bravo, Kean!
Bravo! Bravo!
The guards!
Get out, get out, go away!
Sailors! On board!
- Everyone out!
On board!
Peter Patt, do have a bottle left?
Bravo, here!
Turn off the lights!
- Tiffany, come! Close the doors!
Quick, girls!
What disaster! - What disaster?!
The most beautiful night of my life!
Boys, music!
Come with me! Up, up!
Peter Patt, come! Come!
Go away, get out!
Get out, you beasts!
Note: 8 chairs of which 3 are
irreparable. Clean this up!
But what's this stuff?
They destroyed all the mugs.
Let's see,
have you checked the plates? 2, 4...
So, we're missing 16... 17.
No, unlucky number!
Tonight Mr. Kean
will pay for the damages.
Tonight Kean will ask for
another 2 pounds in loan.
If not for the place's attraction,
not even a nose would stick in!
He's awake! The revelry recommences!
No, the knocks from here,
from the closet.
Who can be in the closet?
Thieves! Thieves! Even the partridges!
Note: 4 partridges stolen!
One moment! Who's there?
Oh! Finally.
Who's this women?
- What do I know!
She slept here?
- Don't know. What're you doing here?
I knocked a half hour last night,
no one responded.
So I went to sleep.
This is mine!
You've very uncomfortable rooms
in this inn!
Ah, now I remember...
Get to work, guys.
You were in the company
of Mr. Kean last night?
Where's Mr. Kean now?
- Sleeping. He's changed companion
and doesn't want to be
This is a very
shady place, you know?
If it's shady,
at least come here. - Salomon!
Watch out not to break...
- You're here too? Very well.
Ah, what a hellish night!
Pete, give me something to drink.
I don't know, water...
Water at The Black Cock?
I'll give you something to put you
back on your feet. Go away, little one!
Can I wait for him with you?
- Yes, wait for him!
Often, before noon
he doesn't wake up.
A great awakening! I've been
till now talking with the guards.
The jeweller has had
seals put on Kean's house.
Where he'll go sleep, then,
I don't know.
And if this weren't enough,
La MacLeish has disappeared
saying this time
she'll no act again.
And the other actresses, in solidarity
with her, won't replace her.
Here you are.
- Thanks.
So the theater has to be shut.
- No, nonsense. There's me, no?
You? To play whom?
- Desdemona.
Kean told me
I'll play.
But no!
- But yet! - But no!
Want to know more about me now?
- Yes!
When did he say this?
- Last night, here.
Here, see the effects
of a hangover! I know...
It's true that rather than
shut the theater,
we could let
even you play Desdemona.
- No, terrified!
I'm great, you know?
- Yeah?
If you behave like that,
you offend me.
And I was thinking of having you
come live with us.
- When I've married him.
Married whom?!
- Have I many rivals?
Look, daughter, we'll speak
about this another time.
Now do something nice:
go to the theater and ask for Lucy.
Who's this Lucy? Another lover?
- No. The seamstress, old, ugly...
Try one
MacLeish's costume,
but above all, I tell you,
study the part! - Yes.
Relax, it'll all go well.
I'll see you in the theater.
- He's waking up.
No, wait, I'm coming too.
I have to take him back to the theater.
Hurry up, up there!
- Now! I'm lowering the backdrop.
Go, go, go!
Master! Send Salomon
to identify your guests!
The theater is filling up
with beggars, with sailors!
We don't make a penny!
- The box office is theirs.
There'll be no boxoffice!
- They'll be content with the show.
Salomon, see about it
and come right back!
I've a headache, rheumatism,
and don't remember a thing.
"It is the cause.."
How's it? "It is the cause" and next?
- "Let me not..."
"Let me not name it to you,"
enough cue.
"Let me not name it to you,
you chaste stars."
"It is the cause, let me not
name it to you, you chaste stars."
"It is the cause..."
"Yet I'll not shed..."
"I'll not scar her skin,
more smooth than alabaster,
"whiter than snow.
Yet she must die...
"She must die...
"else she'll continue to sin
with other men.
"else she'll continue to sin
with other men.
"to sin...
What're you doing? - Here I am!
- How'd you groom this wig?!
- Okay, master, I'll do it right away.
Ready right away.
Here: modestly,
a little masterpiece.
I look good?
Come to bed, my lord.
- What's this?
Desdemona. - Don't joke,
call MacLeish.
She's not here. - Okay, replace her.
With this woman I can't play.
We decided last night
that I'd play. - Yes?
Yes, you promised me. - Did we also
decide to say "tu"? - Yes.
Last night?
What did we two do last night?
- Many things... - Ah.
You took my hands...
- Your hands and...
That's all.
Your hands! I'm getting old!
It's time to retire.
So I took your hands and
proposed you play Desdemona?
- Okay...
you'll play. But take that
that muck off your face!
You'll see, it'll all go well!
I'm interrupting?
- Can I offer congratulations?
All London's talking of you
and the girl. Talk of marriage...
Elena! - I see the marriage
has already been celebrated.
You were consuming...
- No, it's...
Congratulations and farewell!
- No, stay! Little one, go away.
Hurry. You have to dress.
I told you to go away
- But... - You're leaving?
How many times
must I repeat it? Go!
I hear!
What more do you want?
Didn't you say you'd have me
go over the scene again?
What scene?
We'll do it later. Out!
Elena! Elena, there's nothing
between me and that girl.
You admit
it's very difficult to believe.
But it's all your fault, Elena.
If you'd come last night, I...
My fault?! My fault if the girl
deserts her marriage reception
to take refuge in your
I came.
And yesterday, as today, I had to
note my place was already taken.
But there's nothing between me
and Miss Damby. Nothing, I swear!
They say you made revelry
all night long.
I suffer, Elena!
I've poison in my veins...
What's wrong with you?
- I'm jealous!
That's it. I'm jealous.
- You, jealous?
Yes, yes, dying of jealousy,
And whom are you jealous of?
- You know well.
The men who court me
are more than one.
The more don't count.
I saw him last night,
how he presses you close.
I saw him!
O, you don't mean to say
that the Prince of Wales...
Yes, yes, the Prince of Wales!
Why'd you go into his box?
He invited us,
it's not the first time.
You should have refused.
- One cannot.
Yes one can. You spoke to him?
- Of course!
What did you talk about, Elena?
- I don't know... Nothing.
See, I knew it.
- Okay, then everything.
Everything or nothing,
it's the same.
Mouths speak to say nothing,
eyes say everything without talking.
He was watching you, I suppose.
- It was inevitable. - He loves you!
Come on, Kean, the Prince of Wales
doesn't even notice I exist!
The Prince of Wales asked me
yesterday in this room to give you up.
See, the news enchants you, it's clear.
Are you crazy?
Only I don't understand how
the Prince Wales could guess
...that I love you.
If I see you again
next to him, I'll go ape.
O my Othello!
But I can't keep myself all alone
watching you
pressing in your arms
that girl.
Which girl, Elena? Which?
You're playing with her tonight
and won't see my anymore!
Elena, we're doing "Othello."
All I do is strangle her.
If you dislike her, you'll enjoy that!
Don't joke. That girl
must not appear. I don't want it.
Okay, I promise. But I don't want
you to go into the prince's box.
My divine!
May I?
- One moment!
You'll be back after the show?
- Yes, give me back the shawl.
No, after the show.
I want your collateral. Bye!
Come in!
Master, they've already given
the second signal.
So, we do the beard?
- No, no beard tonight.
come here and listen to me.
Send for a bouquet of flowers for me.
I advise,
the most beautiful flowers in the world.
While you're at it, get another
for La MacLeish. Small,
- La MacLeish's not here, you know.
You're playing with the little Damby.
- No, with her,
you well know, I'm not going to play.
And if the first time I said no,
now it's no, no and no!
I promised. Understand?
- But La MacLeish isn't here.
At this hour I can't find anyone.
You're playing with La Damby.
No, I'd rather play with you.
Get ready.
Me, Desdemona?
- What's wrong with that?
In Shakespeare's time
there were often young men in
women's parts, and it went very well.
First of all,
it's been 300 years.
I'm no longer a young man.
take off this earring!
Listen, the people,
till proof to the contrary,
come to the theater to hear me,
only me. Clear?
Get away!
I think I've done for you
more than a mother
could for a son,
but you will not drag me
into abjection. - No? - No.
Then tonight I won't go on.
Tell Cochrane.
Ah, no. - Not that either?
Wait, I'll do it.
Cochrane! Cochrane!
Curtain up!
- Curtain down!
- How so, "curtain down"? - I said down!
Mr. Cochrane, what do I do?
What's with you?
- Tonight I don't go on.
The audience's already in the theater!
- No matter!
Send them away. - As you like,
the boxoffice isn't mine. - Fine!
I'm happy to liberate the theater
of your beggar friends! - Fine.
Come here.
- What is it? - Come here!
Look, they're all here
Old Bob, Peter, Easton, all of them.
We're here. Thanks, thanks!
Quick! Wait, you! Go ahead!
I don't remember anything!
I'd like to go over it again.
Come with me.
Listen, little one:
look at me, look at me, all the time.
- Cape!
Little one, are you afraid? - No.
- You mustn't be afraid.
Watch me always. If you make a slip...
Where's the front of this wig?
If you slip,
cut out your line, okay?
If you forget... Look
how you brushed this wig!
If you don't remember, say "I love you!"
In love dramas it always works.
The earring, quick! Voice, just
the voice. I'll take care of the rest.
Go get ready. Leave me!
The word's yours, Brabantio.
- Pardon me, Excellency.
Courage, old clod!
Go tow your Shakespeare.
Someone with vile means,
has abducted your daughter.
He'll be judged
according to the laws.
What can you say to this, Othello?
Most grave and potent signiors,
My very noble and approved
good masters,
it is true, I have ta'en away
this old man's daughter,
but it's also true
I've married her.
The very head and front of my offending
hath this extent,
no more.
Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless'd with the soft phrase
of peace: for since the age of nine
these arms of mine have used their
dearest action in the tented field.
And therefore little
shall I grace my cause
in speaking for myself..
Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
of my whole course of love.
Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me
the story of my life,
the battles, the sieges I witnessed,
the victories brought back.
And I related them to him...
You don't think there's a mis-
understanding? Perhaps Elena's waiting
for me to come for her?
We might send someone.
No, it's just that my wife is
the least punctual woman in the world.
I apologize for her.
- ... of my life as a nomad.
Of vast caverns I spoke,
and squalid deserts,
of the cannibals that each other eat,
the Anthropophagi
and men whose heads
do grow beneath their shoulders.
This to hear
would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house-affairs
would draw her thence:
Which ever as she could
with haste dispatch,
She'd come again,
and with a greedy ear,
And often did beguile her
of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful
stroke that my youth suffer'd.
My story being done,
She gave me for my pains
a world of sighs:
She swore my story wondrous,
truly wondrous,
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.
As you see,
there's a misunderstanding.
The countess doesn't know
you're my guests.
Excuse us, Highness.
...if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him
how to tell my story.
And that would woo her.
When he wants,
he can recite, this damn man!
You'll see, within 10 seconds
there's applause.
She loved me for the story of
the dangers I had pass'd,
Go away!
And I loved her that she did pity me.
We can't
make His Highness wait.
Nothing discourteous.
I'm sorry of seeing the show
from the shelter of the proscenium.
Ask the prince to excuse me.
Elena, at times
I really don't understand you.
I don't want to go
in that box, okay?
Here comes the lady;
let her witness it.
but with your back to me. Your back!
My noble father,
I owe you my life
and my education.
But like my mother...
- Desdemona! I can do it legitimately,
with the Moor, my lord!
I changed my mind. Let's go.
- Thanks..
Get off the stage.
You speak! "Decide..."
Decide between you,
either for her stay or going:.
Honest Iago,
my Desdemona must I leave to thee:
Go! Time presses!
Jump to the finish!
Look to her, Moor,
if thou hast eyes to see:
She has deceived her father,
and may thee.
My life upon her faith!
O, finally!
I feel so guilty, Highness,
for recommending this mediocre show,
that I didn't dare pay my respects.
It's a show for the curious.
We're here to see the new actress.
And this is
an aristocratic audience?
The audience at our tavern
is more educated! accompany
my wife to Cyprus.
Quick, the curtain.
Even the cat on stage! Give me it!
What were thinking,
letting the cat loose?
Down! Down!
We're here to be insulted
by Mr. Kean, Highness.
A show like this
is an outrage for the spectators.
Don't be so hard
on poor Kean.
Besides, his best moment
is at the end of the last act.
Can I help?
Please, countess.
Look! Lord Mewill! Lord Mewill!
Perhaps more man
than actor! - What you say!
I saw him also in Richard III.
Did you like him in that too?
A lot!
- I don't argue, a question of taste.
You've come to applaud
your ex fiance.
Let's see what face he makes
when Kean strangles her.
Silence, it's starting!
It is the cause
- Louder!
It is the cause,
the cause,
my soul,
let me not name it to you,
you chaste stars.
...the cause...
I don't want to shed her blood,
but she must die,
else she'll continue to sin
with other men.
First put out this light,
and then this other.
Am I mistaken or is he dedicating it
to us? - You're surprised?
But once I've put out thy light,
I cannot give thee vital growth again.
A kiss.
One more.
And I will kill thee,
and love thee after.
One more...
Shut your eyes!
...and this the last:
O! So sweet was ne'er so fatal.
Rest so...
in death.
Othello strangles Desdemona
with the proof of her crime.
A handkerchief
of exceptional proportions...
It's not a handkerchief,
it's a shawl.
My wife's right: it's a shawl
of veil. I've one like it too.
He who strikes
is loved by heaven!
May I ask the gift
of your shawl? - O... what an idea!
Will you come to bed, my lord?
Have you pray'd to-night,
Come to bed!
Are you insane?
Have you pray'd to-night?
- Ay, my lord.
They've changed
the theater into a salon, those ones.
I would not kill thy unprepared spirit.
"Heaven have mercy on me!
Heaven have mercy on me!"
Mercy on me!
Heaven have mercy on me!
I love you! I love you! I love you!
It's clear!
Flippant! You don't love me!
And this is not the time for lies!
"Heaven have mercy on me!"
that's what you should be saying
at this fatal moment!
That's how to act!
Now he changes the text, too.
Go on!
Why that blood in your eyes?
Why that blood in your eyes?
Why that blood in your eyes?
- I can't go on.
What blood!
Why that blood in your eyes?
Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!
It's becoming a comedy!
Yes, enough! Enough!
Enough! Enough!
Kill me! Strangle me!
Won't you ever kill her?
Why are they doing this to me?
- Who?
May I pray Your Highness
to be silent?
Where do you think you are?
At court? In a salon?
Outside you're prince,
but in here I'm king. King!
This isn't a game!
This is work for us!
And the work of others is the unique
thing the lazy should respect!
Enough, Kean!
Why ruin yourself?
And if I enjoy ruining myself?
- Imbecile!
To the most beautiful!
Do you want to be Desdemona,
You ham!
- Who spoke?
Mewill! Beware, beware. Princes
can still intimidate me,
but with baronets I'm a lion!
Stop your mouth or I'll smash it!
Everyone's against me, eh?
You come every night and
scream "Bravo!" and throw me flowers!
I'd almost come to believe
you loved me!
Whom were you applauding? Eh?
Whom were you applauding?
Othello, perhaps?
That bloody madman? Hah!
No, you applauded Kean,
your great, dear, national Kean!
Well, look at your Kean!
The man!
No applause? Strange!
You love only the false, you!
Close the theater!
Kean is dead prematurely!
Quiet, murderers!
It's you who finished it!
Making a boy into a monster!
So, perfect.
Calm! Silence!
What good is it to whistle?
There's no one on stage. No one.
No, I don't count. I'm pretending.
To entertain you,
ladies and gentlemen.
To entertain you.
Curtain, curtain!
Go, go, go!
Gentlemen, gentlemen, let me talk!
The show is suspended.
Kean, the great Kean,
the sublime Kean, the irreplaceable
has gone crazy.
He's insane.
They massacred him.
Poor Kean!
They won't let Mr. Kean
get away with it.
I think...
- What do you think of this ham?
...that despite everything...
- Yes?'s been a rather
enjoyable evening.
The whole night sleepless!
In other words, I'm the director of
the theater! I'll go wake him up!
I'm not responsible
for what might happen!
Then he's truly insane?
- Enough to be locked up.
What type of madness is it?
- Frenzy.
The symptoms? - He's punching!
- Punching what? - Everything. Right?
We'll wait till he wakes up!
My theater!
- Don't scream!
I had to see police
in my theater!
Go open the windows.
I'll try to wake him.
Mr. Kean! Master!
The best bed I've ever
slept in.
What time is it?
- 10:00.
And this is your sun?
Better mine, on painted canvas.
What's new?
- That you're very unwell.
So says the doctor.
- Ah, yes? He saw me?
No, he saw me,
but it's the same.
He ordered you not be moved
until the crisis is over. - Really?
Either that or go to jail!
No one gets less than ten years
for lese majesty.
Plus what the judge'll give you
for the jeweller's complaint.
The constable and police
are waiting outside.
- To know if you're sane or insane.
It's best to stay insane,
you're saying, eh?
For a few days, then you ask
mercy. - You're mistaken.
If I turn back,
I'll do consciously
what yesterday I did blindly.
- You'd do it again? - Yes.
It's not enough for you, the harm
to that poor girl?
Anna! Where is she? - Ah, I warn you
I'm ready to do anything
to prevent you
getting to her.
- The countess.
She's here. - Anna?
- No, the other one. Her, her...
Elena! What'll I tell her?
- Have her come in.
Please. - Elena, you!
You, despite all the risk!
You've forgiven me?
A woman always forgives
follies done for her.
Let me look at you: you're pale,
beautiful! I'm happy to look at you.
I confess that I hesitate long,
but our common danger...
Common? - Oh, Kean! Flee!
A horrible trial threatens you!
Only in France of Belgium
will you be safe.
I? flee?
You don't know me, Elena.
You forget that another name
will be pronounced in court.
True! You're compromised, too.
The shawl you left with me...
- Yes? - The prince knows its yours!
- Let's flee together, Elena!
That's not possible!
- Why? The carriage is ready!
O, Kean! - Yes, Elena.
- But Kean... - What do you fear?
O, Kean!
- Yes.
My honor.
My husband would die from it.
Well, me or him, it's worth
saving the younger.
My babies, Kean.
- Babies? You don't have any!
I swore to have some.
- To whom?
To my husband, as God is witness.
- God took no note of it.
He's interested in conservation of
the species, not in a particular family.
Kean! I've loved you
to the point of adultery,
don't ask me too add
In one word, you refuse.
- To refuse... to accept...
It's anguish to choose.
If you must ruin me, stun me first,
make me drunk with words,
prove to me
that I'm the universe for you
and that you'll be
my everything! My everything...
- What did you say?
Come on,
weren't you expecting my line?
How dare you?
- Elena, the comedy is ended!
Want to recite a soliloquy now?
Take me away!
- Okay, we're ready!
Here we go!
- O no, stop!
What now?
- We're leaving? - Certainly!
You've no regrets?
- I, no. You?
Where will we go? Rome, Madrid, Paris?
- Amsterdam.
I don't like Amsterdam.
- Me neither. Patience...
So choose your place.
On the gallows, in prison,
to the ends of the earth if you want!
My God!
It must be beautiful, real passion.
- Eh, right. It must be very beautiful.
Up to you, Elena. This is what
you came for, no?
And good luck!
Good luck? - Yes. You have still
to play your best scene.
Which scene?
- With the Prince of Wales.
The Prince of Wales!
- Like in comedies, see?
Have him wait a moment.
Don't you think it'd be inconvenient
for you to arrest me in person!
Dear Kean, if I send you to prison,
everyone'll be sorry for you,adore you
and hate me.
So I let you go free.
That way they'll adore me
and hate you.
I refuse the grace.
- What? You're so set on prison?
Highness, Mr. Kean can give up
his wish for jail.
The constable's waiting outside.
For 4000 miserable pounds!
But I offered you yesterday
For a pact that didn't suit me.
Nor does it suit me today.
You're really in love?
- Let's not speak of this, I beg you.
There's... there's someone
waiting for you in my dressingroom.
- Yes. Strange, isn't it?
She came to me to ask
my complicity for an encounter with you.
- Yes, her.
But, you give her up like this
after all you've done?
I've no other choice, alas.
Go in, Highness.
Poor Kean!
Elena, I'd never have hoped
to find you here.
O, Highness!
Here's the gift
you asked me for.
Elena! My divine!
How much do you want them to give m?
Just the time to rest.
What do I do outside?
- Lift your feet:
I want to be arrested alone.
Ah, one thing: if you see
Anna Damby, tell me... - What?
No, don't tell her anything
A real plebiscite of sympathy!
I'm ready, sir.
- We too are ready
to remove the disturbance.
- How?
The case is closed!
Someone has paid your debts!
Someone? Who?
Who else should pay an actor's
debts if not his audience?
Mr. Mortimer! We open the doors!
Art triumphs over matter.
Will you act again for us?
Will give us again
those unforgettable evenings?
What's going on?
- The public adores you!
I've taken in 4000 pounds
in half an hour!
Look here! Look here!
Bob! You're here too!
- Bob launched the subscription,
All the boxoffice of last night...
You'll have 1000 nights more!
- Let's hope!
I've only one real friend!
- Thanks!
Peter Patt! You're here too!
Okay, I'll come! Thanks, friends!
Till tomorrow. Thank you!
Ehi! What are you doing here?
Let me go!
- Let me go!
Till tomorrow!
Thanks! Till tomorrow! Anna!
Look, stupid! I've never accepted
money from a woman, understand?
How could you do it?
- My father's very rich.
Beh, this is the height!
The king of actors
accepts the charity
of the little queen of cheese!
- O, charity...
One thing: what do you do on stage,
when a word of the text seems wrong?
What's that have to do with anything?
- You replace it with another, no?
Yes, sure. And with what?
So replace
"charity" with... - With?
Dowry! It has a nice sound, no?
Ah, bravo! I knew it!
I was right not to trust you...
You're going into prison, eh?
- Effectively, Highness.
I'm getting married.
Almost the same thing.
You'll present the young lady to me?
- Ah, no, Highness!
This one I'm marrying.
- What're you saying?
I'm becoming bourgeois.
- No!
Yes, I'm persuading myself that
alas the age of toys is over.
And above all that you're a rival
too dangerous for me.
Speaking of which,
Elena's still in the dressingroom?
Yes, but her I'm sending back
to Denmark.
If you don't love her anymore, what joy
and I feel stealing her from you?
Yes, but she's so beautiful, though!
- Yes, this is true.
Also yours isn't bad.
- I can't complain.
Know whom she reminds me of? - Whom?
- The little Jenny.
Maybe something in her look.
- Not just in her look.
Know whom Elena reminds me of, though?
- No. Whom?
The Duchess of Nonancourt.
- The Duchess of Nonancourt!
She's more voluptuous, but...
- Much more voluptuous!
So good luck, Highness!
- Also to you, ham!
Throw away this stuff!
I already told you, I don't act again!
Ask your father to take me in.
What's he do? Cheese?
Yes, I've always dreamed
of making cheese.
Mrs. Kean,
I want to make cheese.
Mr. Kean,
I want to be an actress.
Let's not start over!
- Mr. Kean, I want to be an actress!
What are you doing?
The legs, no?
- But you're supposed to refuse!
Why, if I want to be an actress?
Not in your character.
You have to say, "What horror!"
What horror! - Better!
- What horror! - Better,
With voice more pitched! - What horror!
- With a more offended air...