Mae West (1982) Movie Script

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You gotta see Mama every night
Or you can't see Mama at all
You gotta kiss Mama
Treat her right
Or she won't be home when ya call
If you want my company
You can fifty-fifty me
You gotta see Mama every night
Or you can't see Mama at all
You've gotta see Mama every night
Or you can't see Mama at all
You gotta kiss Mama
Treat her right
Or she won't be home when ya call
I don't want that kind of man
Who works on the instalment plan
You gotta see Mama every night
Or you can't see
At all
- Well, seen enough?
- Oh, yes, sir, Mr Mickey, sir.
Er... I guess I seen plenty.
Oh, come on, boys.
We're just a lotta people
havin' a little fun here, that's all.
Take it easy!
Sit down! Sit down!
Take it easy.
All we want is the cast and crew.
West, I'm afraid you're
gonna have to come with me.
What have ya got
to be afraid of, Officer?
Court is recessed for one hour.
Hold it a second.
Hold it a second. Of course.
Everybody in time,
everybody in time.
- Okay, there.
- Please, Miss West.
- All righty, here you go, honey.
- Oh, thank you!
Thank you. Any time, honey.
God bless, bye.
Mae, you got a lotta fans.
Yeah, I think
the enemies outnumber 'em.
Say, how do I look anyway?
A little mussed?
- A bit. Go in and freshen up.
- Okay.
Mae, this judge ain't no bush leaguer.
Stop foolin' around with him.
Do you notice the turnout?
Great house, I love matinee.
Mae, this ain't
a dress rehearsal, damn it.
This guy'll send ya up.
You gotta behave yourself.
Ya gotta be good.
When I'm good, I'm very good.
When I'm bad...
I'm better.
Stop your fussin'.
Save it for the kids!
Today of all days,
you have them after, Jack.
Oh, you mean her debut thing?
Well, I'm not all that
warm to it anyway.
You're not gonna stay home.
I won't permit it.
- You're gonna break her heart.
- Oh, I'll be there.
Stick, plaster, bandages and all!
I'll never hear the end of it.
That doesn't mean I favour the thing,
and that's understood.
- Sit, sit down.
- What?
Sit down, I'll clean you up.
Father, what happened?
Your father had another fight
at the livery stable,
with exquisite Irish timing.
Fight, nothin'. It was retribution.
I rent a man a good horse,
he brings it back
all foam and welt marks.
Well, I put him in the hospital.
I used my fist on him first.
And then, the blackjack.
- You used the blackjack?
- To make a point, dear.
It leaves a lasting impression.
I need no motherin'.
I need no motherin'.
Jack, please.
Your cigar, please!
You know what it does to her.
Oh, Jack.
Jack! Come on.
Truth to tell,
I hope she messes up
and put an end
to all this crazy talk
about show business
and careers and the like.
The girl is gifted.
She's really gifted.
The girl is a girl.
And you all the time encouraging her.
I'll never understand it.
Mattie, you are the
source of this trouble!
Is that so?
That's fascinating.
- Come on inside.
- No.
Oh, Jack.
Go on, honey.
He's playing your cue.
Where's my spotlight?
I'm supposed to have a spotlight!
Thank you.
Landlord said this morning to me
"Gimme your key
"This flat ain't free
"I can't get no rent out of you
"Pack up your things and skidoo"
I'm over here!
I said, "Wait until
my Bill comes home
"He's my honey from the honeycomb
"He'll have the money
'cause he told me so this mornin'"
Landlord said,
"I gave you lots of show
"Wants my rooms
or else I wants my dough
"I'll wait for Bill,
if he don't pay, why, out you go
"Because it's movin' day
"Movin' day
"Rip that carpet up
from off the floor
"Take your oil stove, kid,
and there's the door
"It's movin' day
"Pack your foldin' bed and get away
"If you've spent every cent
"You can live out in a tent
"It's movin' day
"It's movin' day
"Pack your foldin' bed and get away
"If you've spent every cent
"You can live out in a tent
"It's movin' day"
What the hell is this?
Well, look at this.
If nerve was oil, she'd be
richer than Rockefeller.
If you're gonna preach,
preach at me,
but leave my daughter alone.
Why should I leave her alone?
Because she's different!
And we're blessed because of her.
The theatre is bad enough,
now it's men? Blessed?!
Now, you mark my words, young lady.
No decent men will have you.
Not for a wife, anyway.
Oh, Jack, stop it.
For once in your life, leave it alone.
It's a man's world, they tell us.
I guess you're learning that.
And I hate it, Mama.
And you hate it, too.
Don't hate anything yet.
I made my choice.
And out of that, I got you.
I wouldn't change it for anything.
You have your life ahead of you.
And you're gifted
and you're talented.
And, yes, you are special.
And you know it.
Listen to me, princess.
Don't stick yourself with one man.
Don't let anybody put you on a leash.
Make your own rules.
You hold the leash.
Your world's
not gonna be a man's world.
It's gonna be yours.
Promise me. Promise me
it's gonna be your world.
Promise me!
- I promise.
- Yes.
I ain't had no lovin'
Since January, February, June or July
Who's the new act?
Kinda like his style.
To stay outdoors and spoon
Say, friend, by chance you aren't
tryin' to move in on me now, are ya?
No chance to it from
where I'm standin', friend.
'Souse me, I'm gonna
go get dressed and go home.
Oh, hey, why go home?
Because you two
can't make up your mind,
- and I don't like confusion.
- That so?
Well, I think I know
how to clear that up.
- Right, friend?
- So, what are we waiting for?
Snow time ain't no time
To stay outdoors and spoon
So shine on
Shine on, harvest moon
For me and my gal
You're absolutely certain?
Oh, yes, sir, there's money in it.
Real money.
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Oh, her own room, of course.
Good, decent hotels.
All right, give it a try.
Go on the road, as you say.
anything goes awry,
you'll answer to this.
Oh, word of honour, sir.
I'll bring her back safe and sound.
- And rich and famous.
- For sure, sure.
Uh, my!
It's beautiful.
You made it.
Nothin's too good for you, honey.
You could still be a great designer.
Go to Paris, see the French fashions.
And I could join you.
We'll travel.
And we'll open up a shop.
And you'll be successful,
and we'll make lots of money.
Your father's
the money in this family.
You could've been a princess,
Mama, a real one.
Champagne Lil, huh?
Your father was the first one
who ever called me that.
Oh, Mama, he's so cru...
There's an awful lot you don't know
about your father and me.
He's the man I wanted.
How could he fool you like that?
He didn't fool me.
I fell in love.
Is that what love does to people?
I want you, Mae. I'm serious.
- Don't be.
- Why not?
'Cause I don't love ya.
Ah, Mae, c'mon.
I'd be good for ya.
Nah, it's just this
physical thing we got.
Oh, what's wrong with that?
I don't know, but you don't
appeal to my finer instincts.
Your what?
Finer instincts.
Well, what are they?
I don't know, but I must have 'em.
You really think
you're special, don't ya?
I know I am.
- What?
- Where'd this come from?
- That trinket?
- Yeah.
Oh, one of my fans give it to me.
"Fans", nothin'.
It's that guy down the hall, isn't it?
That damn knife thrower with the
handlebar mustache, isn't it?
Honey, when a knife thrower
gives ya somethin',
you don't turn it down.
Ooh, reminds me of the good ol' days.
Hiya, Sally.
They used to fight over me like that.
Of course, that was before
gravity took effect.
Ever thought about getting married?
No. No, I like my freedom.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
Why don't you marry Wallace there?
Play it safe.
Safe from what?
You know what I mean.
With all these men
tom-cattin' around,
sooner or later,
somethin's gonna happen.
Where's your freedom then?
Unless you're married.
Have someone to blame it on.
- Ready?
- For you, lover?
- Night, Mae.
- Good night.
- Good night, Miss West.
- Good night, Harold.
- I still can't believe it.
- Ah, you can believe it, all right.
- But that's as far as it goes.
- What're you talkin' about?
I married ya, Frank. Now, you keep
your side of the bargain.
Oh, yeah, but what's the harm?
This "love" business,
it's no good for me, I told you that.
Besides, if we was to
start livin' together,
why, what would my father say?
Honey, look, that's
what married people do.
And, besides,
he's fifteen hundred miles away.
How's he gonna find out?
I don't know.
But when I do things,
word just seems to get around.
Ah, c'mon!
Listen, you took an oath
to keep this marriage a secret,
and I'm holdin' ya to it.
Mae, I love ya!
Mae! Mae! Mae!
Hear that band a-playin'
at the Bon Ton Ball?
See those couples swayin'
up and down the hall?
Pansy Anna Lincoln
tells her partner
"I'm a-thinkin', honey
"Ain't that some band?
"That rag is grand
"I could keep on glidin' to it
till I drop
"Law, oh pshaw,
they're gonna stop
"Tell all the boys
to make a noise
"Make 'em play it some more
"Music man
"If you can
"Play one more encore
"'Cause I love it, love it
"Goodness, how I love it
"Such a swingin', clingin'
tune that's got me wingin'
"It's the most persuadin'
musical strain
- "Professor, please"
- "Please, please"
"Play it again
"Go on and rag it, drag it,
"Get your shoes in motion
"'Cause I'm floatin',
floatin' on a raggy ocean
"I could dance and dance with you
and never get through
"Because I love it, love it
most as much as I love you"
Hey, Sal, where you goin'?
Sal, what's the matter?
Oh, honey...
Who was it?
Not that pretty boy?
Yes, Harold.
Who else is there?
Yeah, Harold.
Thought he was too good to be true.
Who said he was good?
You mean, he's done this before?
Coupla times.
Well, honey,
if you know he's like that,
why do you stick around?
He's not always like that.
Where have I heard that before?
Sal, it's no good.
You gotta kiss him off.
I can't.
Why not?
Mae, I love him.
Well, that's crazy!
What do you think love is?
Good sense?
Well, it's not worth it.
To love somebody?
Mae, you gotta love somebody.
Or what are ya?
Just takin' up space.
Well, space
don't give ya bruises.
Get ya comin' and goin',
don't they?
If you love 'em,
or if you don't.
It's a man's world, honey.
I heard that before.
C'mon. Let's go.
I'm gonna get some air.
Miss West? Sure, I remember you.
The other night, backstage,
you asked about a single.
- If I had a single act.
- That's right.
And I got a swell spot for it.
What about Frank Wallace?
I can't just dump the guy.
Well, he won't starve,
if that's what's botherin' ya.
I'll book him on
another circuit with a...
lotta women.
Yeah? For how long?
Forty weeks.
How does that sound?
Sounds like he'll stay busy.
Okay, go ahead and do it.
Some boys take a fancy
to the girl next door
They like the little ladies
nice and quiet
I got somethin' 'bout me
makes the lions roar
When I do my dance
The monkeys riot
"Vulgar and disgusting."
Oh. "Cheap and shabby."
You just file those away.
Read them ten years from now,
if you've nothing better to do.
But they're right,
and we both know it.
I want it straight, Val.
What's wrong with my act?
You're asking me?
Well, sure.
You're the only
real gentleman in the company.
Well, at least I can trust you.
Besides, I like your act.
It's got style.
That's it, style.
And a little greasepaint.
Every year,
more and more greasepaint.
Why, er... are you
up there in the first place?
Just wanna entertain.
It's what I've always wanted to do.
How'd you put your act together?
It just kinda developed.
That, er... shuffle
that you use in the opening,
now, you copied that from Lou Roth
at Minsky's, didn't you?
Yeah, I did.
A... And that shimmy,
where'd you get that?
- I got that in Harlem.
- Aha.
And, in Utica, I saw
five guys up on a stage...
You pay attention, don't you?
You watch all the acts, don't you?
That's the problem.
That is what makes
a trouper, not an original.
You steal a piece here,
you steal a piece there.
You stitch it together.
It's mechanical, it's obvious.
Maybe it works, but suddenly
there are ten copycats out there,
stealing the same act.
Now, is that what you want?
Now, what is it that you want?
I wanna be a star.
Oh, the stars
are not pieced together.
One of a kind.
Look inside yourself.
Nobody could really steal from a star.
The best they can do is imitate them.
Look inside yourself.
- Miss West?
- Yes?
My name is Dorset.
I work for Mr Timony.
- James Timony?
- That's right.
He's here in town for
a few days on business.
- Yeah?
- He'd like to see you.
Oh, well, we've never even met.
Say, how'd he know
I was in Chicago, anyway?
I think he'd prefer to
answer that in person.
Tell Mr Timony I couldn't wait.
No, no,
no, third place won't do.
You tell that manager of mine
I want the pennant next year.
I'm sellin' the team,
you understand? All right.
Now, Miss West, I'm terribly sorry.
The stock market went crazy today.
Won't you forgive me?
Please, come in.
All right, everybody out.
- Mr Dorset!
- Yes, sir.
I'll see you in court tomorrow.
- Yes, sir.
- Ten a.m.
- Yes, sir.
- Out, out.
Mary, out, out.
Now, Miss West,
- Oh, er... thanks for the flowers.
- Oh, don't mention it.
You're, um...
Your man there tells me
that you flew in to Chicago.
Yes, I did.
You own your own airplane, huh?
Yes, I do.
Your mother asked me
to look in on ya.
See how you were doin'.
I thought, er...
I might see the show tonight,
and then, er...
if it's all right with you,
afterwards, we might have
some supper together.
Supper, tonight?
I don't think so.
Mr Timony, ya haven't
said a thing about my act.
I'm a lawyer, Miss West.
What do I know about the theatre?
You're a man...
ain't ya?
You have feelings.
I most certainly do.
Might I suppose you do as well?
Well, you gotta understand,
this is all kinda new to me,
and I've never been out with
such an influential man before.
- And do you like the feeling?
- Oh, I don't know.
It's so unfamiliar.
That can be fixed.
I could get used to this.
What's wrong?
Are you afraid of me?
- No, it's just, er...
- It's what?
I hate cigars.
Never could take 'em.
Well, what else don't you like?
I'd be afraid to tell ya.
How about some champagne
to clinch the deal?
No thanks,
I never touch the stuff.
Oh, no, Jim, no!
To new friendships.
To new friendships.
And to many more evenings like this.
Doesn't it get to be
an expensive habit,
smashing things up like that?
There ain't nothin'
I wouldn't do for a friend.
You never did answer
my question...
about my act.
Oh, yes, your act.
Seems like awfully hard work.
Well, I guess it does, at that.
There's somethin'
I don't understand, though.
I know the stage
is pretence and all,
but where's the real you?
The one I see here is
far more appealing, more exciting,
more sensual than the
one I saw at the theatre.
Well, I couldn't put that up on stage.
And why not?
Oh, I don't know.
If I was ever to
put the real me up there,
you'd be gettin' me outta jail.
And what's wrong with that?
- Oh.
- I'm serious.
I'm a good lawyer.
Try it once.
See what happens.
- Jail, huh?
- Mm-hmm.
It gets a little cold
here in Milwaukee.
I just noticed the piano player
blowin' on his hands.
Yes, well...
just stick around, honey.
A thrill a day keeps the chill away.
Hey, ya like that one, huh?
Well, I'll admit I'm a little crude,
but, er...
ya haven't seen my good side yet.
Mr Conductor, if you please.
Watch the eyes, boys.
Ain't it hot?
Some boys take a fancy
to the girl next door
They like the little ladies
nice and quiet...
Don't sound like much fun, does it?
Oh, it seems there's
somethin' 'bout me
Makes the lions roar
And when I do my dance
Those furry little things
just go crazy
Oh... ho!
I guess you noticed, boys.
I put my whole heart into my work.
Here I'm all the time thinkin'
I have to invent somethin'.
Why, there's no big secret to it.
Bein' myself up there,
that's all it takes.
You're starting to get the idea.
Whaddaya mean,
startin' to get the idea?
Take a good look in that mirror.
What do you see?
Mae West.
To be sure.
All of her.
Now, that costume, it leaves
nothing to the imagination.
Don't sell so hard.
The game
is illusion.
I been sellin', huh?
Been givin' it away
like a free lunch, huh?
You must learn to economise.
Never drop the seventh veil.
Suggest the world,
but withhold the prize.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Look at me.
I am not the most gorgeous
creature you ever saw,
but when I walk out
onto that stage,
and face that audience,
I have to make them
I am.
Now, while we are
on the subject of beauty,
look at your eyebrows.
Who are you working for?
The Fuller Brush?
Oh, and, my dear, that hair.
The way you wear it,
it makes your face look fat.
Yeah, that's what I said, fat.
Come along, sit down.
Come on.
See, if... if I bring
your hair back, like this,
and down, over your shoulder
it gives your jawline
a longer line, see?
Here, now look.
Hmm, look.
- Oh...
- Now, that's magic, isn't it?
Will you kindly
stop torturing yourself
and come to breakfast?
I feel like
I've been to the dentist.
- Oh, Jim!
- What do you think?
Oh, honey, it's beautiful.
You know how
I feel about diamonds.
Here, lemme help you with it.
Ah, and a very proper setting it is.
Jim, I don't know
how to thank you.
Oh, you don't, huh?
Maybe I do at that.
Now, what is all this, anyway?
- I'm just makin' some changes.
- Yeah?
Tryin' for some style and class.
I'm not gonna throw it
in their faces anymore.
Like Val says, I wanna
give 'em elegance, and grace...
and magic.
I'm gonna give 'em me.
See see rider
Just see what you have done
Oh, see see rider
Just see what you have done
You dirty dog!
Well, you made me love you
Now, now your gal has come
And you know
I don't like sharin' nothin'
Ain't no more potatoes
Frost has killed the vine
The blues ain't nothin'
but a good man on your mind
Oh, the blues ain't nothin'
but a good man on your mind
Oh, see see rider
Just see what you have done
Ya really did it this time, boy
Hey, see see rider
See what you have done
Well, ya made me love you
Now that your gal has come
- Mae!
- You got 'em?
Ooh, lemme see.
- Later editions.
- Oh! The Writer!
- They always hated me.
- Not anymore. Look.
Well, whaddaya know?
How does that make you feel?
Pretty good.
- Good enough to marry me?
- You know, I almost could.
Then c'mon,
let's make it permanent.
I'll take such good care of you.
Oh, I take good care of myself.
Besides, I'm not the
cottage and apron type.
What kind of an answer is that?
Honey, you know I care about you,
but now just isn't the right time.
But... But why not?
Because I'm havin' fun with my career.
I worked hard for for this.
I wanna enjoy it.
I'm even buyin' my own diamonds.
I can't get tied down right now, Jim.
Besides, I got an idea for a new play.
- A play?
- Yeah, I wanna write.
Is that what you been doin'?
Writin' a play?
Yeah, for Broadway.
Mae, we can still get married.
Ah, kiddo, you told me you wanted
to see the real me in my act,
and ya got it, didn't ya?
Well, this is the real me, too.
I got ideas and I wanna
get 'em out onstage. I wanna write.
Mae, what do you know about plays?
I don't, but I'm gonna find out.
But you just found out
about vaudeville.
That's right, so now it's time
to move onto somethin' new.
Hey, you're gonna drive me crazy,
I can see that.
Yeah, well, when this
thing gets on the boards,
I just hope they can
take the temperature.
No, no, no!
Did I hear ya say "no", Mr Eisner?
It's phoney! You're acting!
Stop acting.
Trust your instincts.
- Instincts, huh?
- Yes, your instincts.
I'll tell you about men!
I can take 'em,
or I can leave 'em alone!
I'm just like a man in my romances.
Here today and gone tomorrow.
Men are conveniences to me,
and nothing more!
There, you see?
Now it's alive!
I didn't do anything
out of the ordinary.
Oh, but you did.
That sultry walk,
that unrepressed sensuality.
Why, you reek with it.
You have it all over you.
In your eyes,
your mouth, your voice.
The way you move your body.
Well, I guess we can stop
worryin' about him. Huh, girls?
There, that movement there.
Now do the other thing,
your hand to your hair.
- Oh, this?
- And the look,
where you lower your eyes,
and then lift them again.
That, shifting your weight
from one hip to the other.
- That's sexy, huh?
- Unbearably.
Maybe that's what we
should call my play. Sex.
Yes, why not?
Oh, well, how do ya like that?
He just turned my sex problem
into a career.
The judge is ready
for you now, Miss West.
Let's see you get yourself
outta this one, honey.
Sergeant Kirk,
would you tell the court
and the members of the jury
what you saw?
Yeah, well,
what Miss West did was, er...
What you noticed most,
I guess, was her, er...
Er... If I could say out loud...
was her, er...
All right, all right.
Just a moment.
You actually saw her navel?
No, no, sir, but there was
something in her middle.
I'm sure of that.
Something in the middle, I see.
And can you describe
these movements for us?
Why don't I just get up
and do it for him?
Mae, they'll hang ya.
They're gonna hang me anyway.
- Sergeant, we're waiting.
- Yeah, well, er...
Well, sir, this, er...
this navel of hers would, er...
would move,
up and down, er...
and then left to right.
I, er...
Maybe you should say
"east to west",
because then it would go
north to south.
You really had to be there to see it.
Quiet! Quiet in the courtroom!
Miss West, you've been found guilty
of corrupting the morals of youth.
Have you anything to say
before I pass sentence?
Nah, just go ahead
and pass the hemlock.
Bet your pardon?
Well, corruptin' the morals of youth.
That's what they got
Socrates for, ain't it?
Miss West, are you attempting
to show contempt for this court?
Why no, Your Honour.
I was doin' my best to conceal it.
Hiya, boys! Got any questions?
Miss West, I'm Warden Schleth.
Lovely day for a walk
to the joint, ain't it?
You ain't hard to look at, Warden.
Really? Well, er...
I'm honoured to meet you.
I'm almost sorry your stay
is gonna be so short.
- Oh, yeah?
- That is,
speaking for myself, of course.
Well, ten days can be a long time.
'Course, there are ways
to make time fly.
This is kinda rough on the body.
I'd like to wear my own underwear,
if you don't mind.
Still rainin', huh?
How do ya like that?
How does it
feel to be a jailbird, Mae?
- I don't believe I know you.
- George Kane of the Mirror.
Yeah? Well, if it's all the same to you,
Mr Kane, I prefer "Miss West".
As far as jail's concerned, well,
I can't say I minded it much.
Never been there before.
Besides, it gave me
time to work, to think.
Did you learn your lesson?
They put you in there for punishment.
- Did it do any good?
- Sure, it did me good.
Lotta good. Made me famous.
Thanks a lot, fellas. I love ya all.
Over here!
Over here, smile!
We love ya.
Diamond Lil.
You are Diamond Lil, aren't you?
Who d'ya think I was?
Mary Magdalene?
You shouldn't speak
disrespectfully of God
and those who serve him.
Oh, yes, I read your Bible.
A lot of it's about me.
Ya know, I always did
like a man in uniform.
Yours fits ya perfect.
So why don't ya come up sometime?
I'm home every evenin'.
Sorry, I'm busy in the evenings.
Say, are you tryin' to insult me?
Why, not at all.
I'm just...
busy, that's all.
You don't fool me,
pretendin' to be good.
I met your kind before.
So why don't ya
come up sometime?
Don't be afraid.
I won't tell anyone.
Er... Another time, perhaps.
Now, you can be had.
Miss West, are you going to
continue with your Broadway shows?
Mae, you finally got a real hit.
How does it feel?
"Miss West",
if you don't mind.
- How does it feel?
- This ain't my first, you know.
Sex ran 385 performances.
But this is more than
just a hit, Mr Kane,
'cause I'm Diamond Lil,
and she's me.
We're each other, ya understand?
So I got it made.
There's nothin' stoppin' us now.
You hear that?
There's nothin' stoppin' us now.
How do you feel about men, Mae?
- How do you feel about men?
- Men?
Why, I think of 'em en masse.
I never set out to make 'em
a career, of course.
It just happened that way.
- Ain't that right, honey?
- That's right, sweetheart.
Miss West.
Oh, and Mr Timony here...
Miss West, what's the secret
of your success?
There ain't no secret.
I got a certain somethin',
and the word just got around.
Where do you come from?
From France.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
What's your name?
My name is Dinjo.
- C'est vrai?
- C'est vrai.
Ah, oui!
I'm bilingual.
How long's it been going on'?
This Dinjo character?
About a month,
and in the wackiest places.
- I saw...
- Never mind about that.
- Are there others?
- Well, er...
Two boys from Yale,
a fellow from India...
Then, there's that wrestler.
- Big guy, about 300...
- That's enough.
I know you know.
- What?!
- Sure.
You hired private detectives
to follow me all around
St Louis, Chicago.
Been doin' it for months.
Got one here in San Francisco, too.
And you never said anything to me?
Why should I?
We both knew about it.
Mae, I want all this to change.
I want you to be faithful to me.
- Now, look who's talkin'.
- Well, it's different with a man.
Where have I heard that before?
Well, it is!
Now, listen.
I heard enough of that talk
from my father,
and I don't need it from you, too!
You comparin' me to your father?
In some ways, you're a lot alike.
The hell you say!
I'm not like your father.
I'm not like anyone!
I don't want you goin' around
thinkin' you're not man enough.
Ya are.
You're terrific.
It's just natural for me
to have men around.
- Natural?
- Yeah.
Is that your word for it?
I never lied.
I never claimed to be faithful.
And you won't give it up for me?
I won't pretend, Jim!
I gave up my law practice for you.
Gave up half my business
interest to manage you,
and to be with you, and you
won't do this one thing for me?
There's no bridle on you, Jim.
Why'd you wanna rein me in?
You think about
your image, then, Mae.
We built you into something.
This ain't no dime store deal anymore.
We're in the big leagues,
and you're actin'
like some cheap tart.
And those newspaper guys'll
drag ya through the street.
Then let 'em drag!
Take it or leave it.
Is that what you're tellin' me?
I guess so!
Thank you, Father.
Well, whaddaya know?
The Iron Lady cracks at last.
Sorry about your mother, but, er...
how about a comment?
How do you feel, Mae?
Tell us.
Don't, Jim!
"Miss West", you get me?!
Nobody calls her Mae.
I know, Daddy.
I know.
- Hello, Mae.
- Mr Kane...
- Miss West, Miss West.
- I thought I left you back in New York.
Keep turnin' up, don't I?
Like a bad penny.
Welcome to California.
Land of sunlight and censorship.
Out here they got a thing
called the Hays Office.
Whaddaya think? Can the bad girl
of Broadway out it in Hollywood?
I just hope the film
can take the heat.
Hey, Miss West!
Miss West...
Stop playing!
- Miss West.
- Mm-hmm?
Al Kaufman, Paramount Pictures.
We're delighted to have you
here in California.
Well, thanks a whole.
Mr Timony, we've sent
you numerous scripts.
You keep turning them down.
Miss West needs her own material.
In case you're unaware,
Mr Kaufman,
she's a very successful playwright.
You refer to the stage, Mr Timony.
This is Hollywood.
And, on film,
she's no leading lady.
For one thing, she's more
than a little overweight.
On top of that,
she's forty years old.
Everywhere I go,
I set box-office records.
I mean,
all the way across the country.
Miss West, there's a
depression on out there.
You're gettin' five thousand
dollars a week.
No, now let me tell you
what the trouble is...
-Mae, wait a minute, wait a minute,
-No, let me finish.
I'm Miss Honky Tonk,
Broadway's bad girl.
You're all afraid of me.
Well, that's all right.
It's your privilege.
Here's your money.
All $30,000 of it.
Better count it, I'm goin' home.
Miss West, just a minute, please.
We don't want your money.
I have a feeling,
a strong feeling,
that Night After Night will be
a very good vehicle for you.
That's George Raft's picture.
It's his vehicle.
Have you read it?
Read it?
Why, I went over it with a
microscope to find my part.
I have four scenes in the whole movie.
Four very good scenes.
Two of them with George Raft.
The public will
remember you, Miss West.
Excuse me, Mr Kaufman,
they remember me already.
We're wastin' our time.
No hard feelings.
Things just didn't work out.
C'mon, Jim, let's go.
- Miss West?
- Yeah, that's me.
I guess you don't remember me.
Bill LeBaron.
Oh... Why, yeah, sure!
- How are ya?
- Fine, thanks.
- Jim, you know Bill.
- Hi, Jim, nice to see you again.
- Hello, Bill.
- Yeah, you wrote, um...
- A La Broadway, sure.
- Was a lotta years ago.
You remember that Irish maid sketch
that I wrote,
and then you rewrote?
Oh, well,
I played around with it a little.
Well, you made it
a hell of a lot better.
You know, I'm producing
Night After Night.
- Oh, really?
- And I was wondering,
could you take your scenes
and rewrite them for me?
I'll give you a free hand.
Wait a minute.
You mean to say
I can take those scenes
- and do 'em my way?
- Right.
What is all this, Archie?
- We are shut down, Mr Kaufman.
- Yeah, I can see that.
Apparently, Miss West prefers
to direct the picture herself.
Isn't that so, Miss West?
Mr Mayo over here
wants to out the camera
after my line,
but you can't do that.
You gotta stay with me
as I go up the stairs.
It's a waste of film, Mr Kaufman.
The scene's over after
she's delivered the line.
No, it ain't.
If you out there,
you'll kill the laugh.
- We're shut down over that?
- Yes, sir.
Over that.
- Let's see the scene.
- All right, then.
- Miss West.
- Mr Mayo.
Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.
Goodness had nothin'
to do with it, dearie.
It's funny, Archie.
Here comes Raft.
Ah, George, what do you think?
Mae West stole
everything but the cameras.
Well, boys,
looks like we got ourselves
a brand new movie star.
Yes, she is.
She is not.
Mae West is not a movie star.
Mr Timony, surely you can
look at this from our position.
Diamond Lil's about the gay nineties.
Movie audience is young mostly.
High school, college kid.
They don't anything about that period.
They don't care about that period.
Maybe you should stop
following trends, Mr Kaufman,
and set them.
Perhaps if she had an established star
working with her, like, er...
Cary Grant.
She's found some new guy
named Grant, Cary Grant.
The stilt walker?
Sorry for having taken your time.
Well, whaddaya think my time is for?
Haven't you ever met a man
who could make you happy?
Sure, lotsa times.
Well, I've gotta be
getting back to the mission.
That oughta be interestin'.
Well, it's just one of
those things I have to do.
Well, good night.
Come up again...
Well, it won't be long now.
Cut, print.
Next setup over here.
What do you think?
I think they're very good together.
Do you think she's a star?
Only the audience
can say if she's a star.
- Miss West!
- That Cary Grant,
he's a pretty good lookin' guy.
Give us the lowdown.
Anything goin' on
between you and him?
- Are the two of you secretly married?
- How about it, Miss West?
Miss West, you know that
Vanity Fair says
you're the greatest female
impersonator of all time?
But listen,
are you really a man?
Take it from me, Mr Kane.
She's all woman.
Oh, I bet she is.
Yeah, and I got about
a thousand references to prove it.
A thousand references?
I don't need a thousand.
Three'll do. Three'll do.
- Well, if you got the time.
- All right, everybody out.
All right, that's enough.
She's been very kind, hasn't she?
Thank you, we'll see
you all some other time.
Just one more, c'mon.
- Hurry, hurry. This is the last one.
- C'mon, c'mon.
- Out.
- Goodbye.
- Thanks, fellas!
- Be talkin' to y'all soon.
- Okay, boys, there you go.
- Thank you, sir.
- And you.
- Thank you, sir.
Yeah, yeah, thanks a lot.
- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you.
- Well, whaddaya know.
- What?
It's from Kaufman.
What does it say?
"Thanks for saving our studio."
Oh, Mae, you're on top now.
Stage and screen.
You can do anything.
Anything ya want.
Jim, I got this idea for a picture.
I really like this Cary Grant.
- I think that we could make a great team.
- Oh, Mae, wait a minute.
- What?
- There are other things.
- What?
- Other things.
What other things?
You really don't know, do ya?
What don't I know?
Ah, Mae,
your career's not everything.
Sooner or later, the
curtain has to come down.
Gotta have someone
to come home to.
Someone you care about,
someone who cares about you.
Yeah, you keep talkin'
about my career
like it's some separate thing.
Like it's not part of me.
Me and my career are the same thing.
Mae, I want a family life.
I want a home.
I want children.
Mae West is not a mother!
No, and Mae West
is not a wife either.
- But she's gonna be.
- I am not!
- I want you to marry me.
- I'm already...
What did you say?
Yeah, I'm already married.
Guy named Frank Wallace,
back in 1911.
And when did you
plan to tell me about that?
I don't know.
Didn't amount to nothin'.
Fact is, I...
kinda forgot about it.
You really take the cake,
you know that?
Jim, don't be angry.
You lied to me!
Who am I to you, anyway?
Some bum you just picked up?
I got fifteen years invested in you.
Fifteen years of my life.
And, all of a sudden,
you just turn around to me
and you say,
"Jim, I forgot to tell ya,
I'm married."
You know,
I'll never understand you.
No man in the world
wants to get married!
Well, I do!
But it's not a natural state!
It's just something invented
by women to hang onto men!
You really got it all
figured out, don't ya?
Yes, I do!
Well, I wish you luck.
Where you gem"?
You find yourself another manager.
You just lost this one.
No-one walks out on me.
You're not writin' this scene.
I am.
What's your hurry?
I, er... just gotta go.
Somethin's wrong.
What is it?
Oh, nothin'. Er...
It was great, it was great.
Everything they say about you's true.
But what?
I coulda been anybody.
Hiya, Val.
Morning, Mae.
How'd you sleep?
D'you see him leave?
Um... You mean the young blond guy?
Yeah. Cute, huh?
See him?
I didn't see anyone.
How many pages did you
get written yesterday?
I dunno, I'm...
- I'm havin' trouble with that.
- You want me to read what you've written?
No! Don't read it, it stinks.
How about we
take a long weekend?
Palm Springs.
Too hot.
You owe yourself
some time off, Mae.
Don't you think?
I'd go crazy
with too much time off.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
It'll come.
I build my whole career
around one character,
and them censors,
them Holy Joe reformers
are tryin' to kill it off.
Am I tryin' to harm anyone?!
How about we drive
up to Santa Barbara?
Who do you know in Santa Barbara?
I just thought it might be fun.
Whaddaya say?
You miss him, don't you?
I never thought I was
makin' him so unhappy.
I never meant to do that.
Why don't you
just pick up that phone,
call him in New York,
and tell him just that?
Oh, I couldn't do that.
You cannot go on being a fugitive.
From what?
From life.
Ain't we bein' poetic this mornin'?
one of these days you are
going to need someone.
Really need someone.
Who's goin' to be there?
Mr Timony, Mr Abrams on the phone.
Not now.
It's the third time he's called today.
Not now.
It's about
the Madison Square Garden deal.
What shall I tell Mr Abrams?
Whatever you like.
Here, here's your receipt.
You're now the proud proprietor
of the Brooklyn Bridge,
and when that one wears out,
I'll spell ya...
Supposed to be,
"I'll sell ya a new one."
I'm sorry, Eddie.
- Cut!
- Can we try that one again?
Mae, sweetheart,
what seems to be the problem?
- Anything I can do?
- Nah, I just keep blowin' lines.
Maybe I just need to
get away from it for a minute, huh?
Of course. All right,
let's take a break, everybody.
Go on out for a coffee,
be back in ten minutes.
- Er... Miss West?
- Now what?
Two lines here
I find very disturbing.
First, "I wouldn't even
lift my veil for that guy."
The question being, of course,
what would you lift?
Mr Abbey, I'd hate to have your mind
on a good, long morning.
Um... One more thing, Miss West,
if you wouldn't mind. Er...
Now, this...
This here, coming from you,
is good deal worse.
"I wouldn't let him touch me
with a ten-foot pole."
- What's wrong with that?
- It's... It's perfectly obvious.
You know anybody with a
ten-foot pole, Mr Abbey?
Cheer up,
your reinforcements just arrived.
Er... Excuse me, Mr Abbey.
Um... Mae?
What are they doin' here now?
We're in the middle of shootin'.
Well, unfortunately, Mae,
you don't choose a time.
They do.
Those local yokels
from the Hays Office
have really got you runnin',
don't they?
It was supposed to be tonight.
I can't help that.
Please, just be careful
what you say, hmm?
Yeah, well, when people
get shocked easily,
they should get shocked more often.
Miss West, may I present Mr Driggs.
Reverend Bragg.
Mr Abbey, you already know.
Ain't that right, Abbey?
And, er... Father Cox.
Well, fellas, what's the beef?
Sins of the flesh, Miss West.
Oh, wait a minute.
I never took my clothes off.
I never even show my legs.
I don't use profanity.
We know that, Miss West.
It's a question of attitude.
You know, you can do more
with one lifted eyebrow
than a whole army of Ziegfeld girls.
- That a compliment?
- Well, yes, in a way.
But it's because of this talent
that you can...
without intention, of course,
have a harmful effect.
What's the harm in laughter?
C'mon, boys,
the country's in a big mess.
The Depression is killing off
people's spirits.
All I wanna do
is make 'em laugh so hard,
they wanna forget they wanna cry.
We don't think you're funny,
Miss West.
As a matter of fact,
we think you're obscene.
Do you know
what I think "obscene" is?
Are you guys
gonna talk out against war?
Are you gonna speak against
Mussolini and Hitler?
Are you gonna censor war?
Well, what...
What Miss West means is...
We understand you're
going on national radio.
Yeah, that's right.
This Sunday.
The Bergen-McCarthy Hour,
a little promotional
for the new movie.
You know, Charlie McCarthy's
one of my favourites.
Hello, short, dark and handsome.
Hello, tall, blonde and terrific.
Yeah, well, listen, Charlie,
are these yours?
Charlie, where did you get those keys?
Ah, b-b-b-b-b...
You better tell him, Mae.
Well, if you wanna know,
he came up to see me
and I showed him my etchings.
Is that all there was to it?
Just etchings?
He's so naive, you know.
Why don't you come home
with me now, Charlie,
and I'll let you play
in my woodpile.
Well, I don't know.
You weren't so shy the other night.
You didn't need any
encouragement to kiss me.
- Did I do that?
- You certainly did.
And I got the marks to prove it.
Slivers, too.
Tonight, we turn back time,
and step into the Garden of Eden.
Under a spreading fig tree
rests one Mr Adam.
Eve, obviously,
is bored beyond endurance.
Listen, Adam, honey,
I want a little excitement.
What for? This is Eden.
Everything is
peaceful and quiet and safe.
Adam, you don't know
a thing about a woman.
Oh, you apparently forget.
You are originally one of my own ribs.
Yeah, a rib once,
and now I'm beefin'.
Well, then, what do you want?
If trouble means somethin'
that makes your blood run through
your veins like Seltzer water, well...
Adam, my man, give me trouble.
That's right.
A telegram to Lenox Lohr,
President, NBC Radio Network.
"Sir, you have mistakenly
chosen Sunday night
"to air a totally indecent,
religiously scurrilous
"piece of pornography.
"Your association with such vulgarity,
and with Miss West,
"will be brought to the attention
of federal authorities."
Al, Al, I was just
talking to the head...
- No more phone calls.
- But when I tell you who it was...
I said I'm takin' no more phone calls.
Will you look at this?
Some senator from Massachusetts
wants the House to investigate radio.
Here's a guy that wants the
station's licence revoked.
Today it's the stations,
tomorrow the theatres.
My God, it's Armageddon.
Mr C wants our decision right now.
The calls keep coming in, Al.
What do you wanna do, Al?
We got a company to run.
Let's dump her.
Ah, perfecto!
Nectar of the gods.
Godfrey Daniels!
Call this a dressing room?
Why, in Paramount, I had
closets bigger than this one.
- C'mon, you know it's a good deal better...
- And now they expect me to give up
half my writing credits. Fields comes in,
and does some lousy changes...
Ah, my little brood mare.
I told you not to call me that.
Oh, pardon me, dear,
no offence intended.
Come on, Bill.
That blonde tripped me.
Come on, sit down over here.
Thank you, Valentine, you are
an officer and a gentleman.
Bill, go home and sleep it off.
Madam, are you implying
I partook of the grape?
You're soused.
That's "sous".
Accent aigu.
Bill, stop tryin' to be
so cute and go home!
We'll shoot around ya.
Shoot around me?
Shoot around ya.
Yeah... Oh, forget it.
May be right, a little nap.
Kind of a afternoon restorative.
That son of a sea cook.
The gin is in the orange!
Godfrey Daniels!
Maybe he'll be better
on the next picture.
They have an option now
for two more, you know.
- With him?
- Mmm.
Once is enough.
I'd rather not work.
Must be boring.
I thought I told you to
call my secretary, Mr Kane.
- Doesn't seem to like me.
- She's not alone.
What's with this Wallace guy?
He for real? Were you really his wife?
We had been married,
but I never was a wife.
What's with this psychic stuff,
this mumbo jumbo?
I hear talk of sances, some medium,
some Jack Kelly.
I'm lookin' for answers to
questions you've never asked.
Almost three years without a picture.
Still gonna do that silly musical
over at Columbia?
- I might.
- Better than nothin', I guess.
Let's go.
Ain't easy, is it, Mae?
It's a dream, Mr Kane.
Hello, sweetheart.
Oh, honey, it's good to see ya.
Oh, Jim, no man ever
understood me the way you do.
Nobody understands you?
Half the time you don't
understand yourself.
That's why I came back.
Oh, Mae, whatever it's like with ya,
it's a hell of a lot worse without ya.
How's that picture?
Oh, Jim, it's...
Oh, don't worry.
We'll fix it.
We'll fix everything.
I think it's time we leave this town.
And go where?
I don't know.
Maybe we should go back to
Broadway and get arrested again.
Whaddaya think?
Take Diamond Lil to Broadway.
Oh, Jim.
Right now.
Don't stick around for me.
You haven't missed an
opening of mine for thirty years.
I want you to do it, Mae.
I want you to do it for me.
Bravo! Bravo!
Frankie and Johnny...
Frankie and Johnny were...
Frankie and Johnny were lovers
Oh, Lordy, how they could love
Swore to be true to each other
True as the stars up above
He was her man
But he was doin' her wrong
Frankie went down to the corner
Just for a bottle of beer
Said, "Oh, oh, Mr Bartender
"Has my lovin' Johnny been here?
"He is my man..."
"But he didn't come home"
Bartender said to Frankie
"I won't tell you no lie
"He left here 'bout an hour ago
"With a gal named Nellie Bly
"He's your man
"But he's doin' you wrong"
Frankie went down to the hotel
Happy to see her passin' by
There in the room was her Johnny
Makin' love to Nellie Bly
He was her man
But he was doin' her wrong
Well, Frankie,
she pointed her pistol
Said, "Johnny,
one thing you oughta know
"I'm aimin' to
pull this here trigger
"And shoot you
where you hurt me so"
"You are my man
"But you're doin' me wrong"
Johnny saw Frankie a-comin'
Out the back door he tried to scoot
But Frankie just triggered that pistol
And the gun went...
He was her man
But he done her wrong
This story has no moral
This story has no plan
This story only goes to show ya
That there ain't no good in a man
He was her man
But he done her
The reviews!
The reviews are out.
They love you.
Listen to this!
Brooks Atkinson in The Times.
"A fine, full-bosomed woman
"with lots of glitter and gaudiness,
"Mae is an original,
unclassified phenomenon."
You got that?
"An original."
"About as wicked as a
sophomore beer night and smoker,
"so what was all that
patrol wagon rumpus about?"
"It is twenty years since
Mae singed New York..."
"...with the study of anatomy,
"but Mae's holdin' out all right
"and has, in fact, become
part of American folklore."
How do you like that?
American folklore!
You've done it, Mae.
You've opened the door.
Opened it?
Hell, you...
you kicked it in.
Honey, you've won.
You're hereto stay.
They loved it, Jim.
I really think we started somethin'.
If only Hollywood
could see it, huh?
Oh, they will all right, honey,
in about another
twenty years or so.
And you'll be ready for 'em,
won't you?
Oh, gee, I wish
I could be there with ya.
Long time ago, you said,
"One day, the curtain
was gonna come down."
Well, it came down tonight.
I'm goin' home to nobody.
Oh, but Mae,
you're a great success.
It could be...
if you were here with me.
Thank you for that.
Jim, I realise
it's too late for this, but...
I love you dearly.
I really do.
Good night.