Sparkle (1976) Movie Script

Come on now, choir.
Sing, children.
What's that?
Just a tune I'm working on.
Come on, girls. It's almost dark.
I don't want you
hanging around those steps.
Come upstairs to your own house.
Mama, it ain't even dark yet.
Just get on up here
and don't sass me, miss.
- See you later, Stix.
- Good night.
Later, little girl.
You make me sick.
Honestly, I can't see why those girls...
...spend so much time
out there in the street.
Only a good friend can say
what I'm about to say to you, Effie.
And you can say right back to me:
"It ain't none of your business,
Miss Waters."
But I think you'd better keep your eye
on that oldest gal of yours...
...because she's busting at the seams.
Sister? Oh, she's just high-spirited.
Always has been.
She takes after her father.
- Well, Sister, how pretty you look tonight.
- Are you here again?
- You mind your manners, young lady.
- Hi, Miss Waters.
- Sparkle, take off that dress.
- Hi, sweetie.
- Dolores, have you done your homework?
- Almost.
"Almost" ain't done.
- How about yours, Sister?
- Oh, I'm finished.
Let me see it.
Let you see it, huh?
All right.
Mom, you don't have to iron our clothes.
We're old enough to iron for ourselves.
You iron enough for them people
you work for. You ain't our maid.
Well, I enjoy ironing clothes
for those I love.
I suppose you love them crackers
you work for on Long Island too.
You better hush your mouth.
Go get your homework before I give you
this iron in a place you won't forget.
Yes, ma'am.
...I don't know
who teaches her such things.
You know it ain't right,
her talking to you like that.
All you've done for those girls.
Hi, Sparkle.
Let me help you.
You play real fine, Stix.
Just working out some new ideas
for when we start the group.
You sure smell good.
I used some of Sister's cologne.
You look real pretty too.
Sister fixed my hair this morning.
How come you're always
talking about your sister?
Because she's so fine.
I love her so much.
I wanna be just like her.
What about you?
What about me, what?
How old are you?
You sure are pretty for a girl.
Oh, I gotta go.
You ever been kissed?
- Don't.
- Why?
It's a sin.
Well, does it feel like a sin?
Feels so good it must be a sin.
- I gotta go.
- No, you don't.
I do. I promised.
I've gotta straighten Sister's hair tonight.
I did. I promised.
This better be something
worth my time and my trouble.
Now, would I lie to you, sugar?
I don't know. I must be crazy
coming down here with you.
For you, baby.
Where did you get this car?
Friend of mine loaned it to me.
Since when you got such friends?
I know it might come as a shock to you, girl,
but there's some things you don't know.
You stole it.
Woman, you is the most
suspicious thing I ever seen.
Go ahead, get in.
Go ahead.
These seats are soft, ain't they?
Almost as soft as you.
- Keep your hands to yourself.
- Come on, now.
You know I'm dying of love for you.
- Levi, where did you get this car?
- It's only the beginning, baby.
- The beginning of what?
- Of me and you.
Shortest story known to mankind.
Goddamn, baby. I get you this car
and I tell you how crazy I am about you.
And what more do you want?
I want the big time.
Well, you're sitting right next to it.
- Come on. Give me a kiss.
- No.
- Come on.
- No.
Open your mouth.
- Come on, open your mouth.
- No.
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Hey, baby, you something else.
Why do you keep on doing that
to your hair?
It wouldn't hurt you to get
a little glamour, honey.
You don't see no kink on
Miss Marilyn "S-for-Sexy" Monroe, do you?
Marilyn Monroe is a cracker.
If you keep on doing that to your hair...
It's not natural. It's not natural.
Would you hold still?
You want me to burn you?
- Sorry.
- Sparkle, I heard something on you.
Miss Waters told me she seen you
on the roof with Stix.
Ain't nothing wrong
with me talking to Stix on this roof.
Heard you was doing more than talking.
Heard you was messing.
- It ain't true.
- It is so.
- It ain't true.
- It is so.
- It ain't.
- It is so!
You want Mama to hear you?
Want her to ask what you're talking about,
then you wanna tell her?
Ain't nothing wrong
with messing, anyway.
Make sure who you're messing with...
...stops down to the drugstore first
and takes care of some business.
You hear me? Don't come around here
with no big belly, crying, talking about... didn't know
what you was supposed to do.
And pick out somebody nice
with enough money in his pocket... you can stop down to the jeweler at
125th Street and buy you something nice.
See what Levi got me?
Levi Brown? You kidding.
Cost $ 17. Real diamond chip.
Levi Brown hustles for nickels.
It's about time Levi got some good luck.
Sure is a mighty small stone.
You're late.
Did you play
a number yet today, Shimmy?
How can I when there's no one
to watch the store...
...while I go use the phone
on the corner?
Well, the reason
why I am late is because...
I was having this dream
and I didn't want to wake.
Yeah, yeah. Just unpack this box.
And in the middle of this here dream,
there was this blinding flash.
Just unpack the box.
And right smack-dab in the middle
of this blinding flash...
...there were three numbers.
You dreamed three numbers last night?
Well, what is they?
I just got time to call them in.
Shimmy, what's that sign in the window?
Oh, fellows from Lotus Records
here this morning.
Giving free passes
to Brooklyn Paramount... the first 10 who buy
the Moonlights' new album.
Here, write those numbers down for me.
Well, what's it to Lotus Records
if you only give away five passes?
What are you talking about?
Let me have five passes.
I never asked you for favors.
You ain't supposed to.
You is an employee.
Now, what's those numbers, boy?
What's the matter?
I think I'm having a memory attack.
The numbers just flew right out of my head.
Well, they better fly right back in there.
You know, it's a funny thing
about my memory attack.
I got a feeling only one thing
is gonna cure it.
Or should I say five things
gonna cure it?
Yeah, all right!
- Yeah. All right!
- All right. Get on it.
And when they went... I loved it!
When that chick
gave you her shoulder.
- She gave it to him?
- They'd have no act...
...without that chick. She was fine.
- She got down.
I think you sing better than her any day.
Yeah, well...
- You up late, girl.
- Yeah?
- She right. You sing better than her any day.
- Well, she got men that know how treat her.
- Well, so do you.
- I bet she don't have to take no train home.
- Good night, sweet thing.
- Y'all take it easy.
Thanks, Stix.
You were real fine to invite us...
Hey, Levi. Look here, man.
We could start a group like that.
Hey, you know,
you and Sister can do anything.
- Oh, Levi too.
- At least your family got one smart female.
Simmons Hall has an amateur contest
every Friday night.
- Good night, Stix.
- Oh, yeah, I'm sorry. Good night, Sparkle.
Let's get together
and start rehearsing tomorrow.
- That's good. Good.
- I forgot the...
- Sister, you gonna sing?
- I know it.
Well, look, we ought to rehearse.
We ought to all be together.
Okay, don't leave, everybody. Everybody,
come on and give me the applause.
- Yes, sir. Yes, sir. The lovely Norton Sisters.
- Are you okay, baby?
- I'm okay.
- Confidentially, folks...
...they remind me of the Cookie Sisters.
You know about
the Cookie Sisters, don't you?
Lorna Doone and Nothing Doone.
- Who's this here?
- Paradise.
"Mae Belle Reese
from the Paradise Hotel."
There's a phone call for you out
in front at the desk, honey.
That's right, honey.
Go make that money.
- I think she's ahead of us.
- Heard she told a sailor...
...he had a small organ.
- Don't forget the doo-dahs.
The sailor said, "I didn't know
I had to play in a cathedral!"
Yes, sir. Let's see.
Who's our next contestant here?
I am.
Hi, little lady. What's your name?
I'm Doreen Baker.
Doreen Baker. That's a lovely name.
What are you gonna do for us?
- I'm gonna sing.
- You're gonna sing?
- What are you gonna sing?
- I'm gonna sing "Lucky Lips."
"Lucky Lips."
Well, with a face like yours,
you need something lucky on it, honey.
I'm only kidding, baby. I'm only kidding.
Here she is, folks.
Doreen Baker, all right?
Get ready.
They're gonna give him the hook.
We're all God's children.
We're all God's children.
And right now...
...some neighborhood kids got together
and started a new group.
So here they are, without further ado,
that sensational new singing group:
- The Farts!
- The Hearts!
l... I mean The Hearts, The Hearts!
And here they are, The Hearts! All right!
Did you hear them?
Did you hear them yelling
"More! More!"
Why, if we'd have been prepared,
we could have sung all night for them.
First prize. Who would have thought?
I would have thought.
Didn't I tell you we could do it?
This is just the beginning.
We're gonna take
this here prize money...
...and buy us an arrangement.
And maybe, just maybe, even have enough
to buy you girls some red dresses.
You'll see, baby.
We're going places now.
- Oh, you can do anything, Stix.
- Shoot.
Did you see it when Sister
came downstage and give them her stuff?
- They likely peed in their pants.
- She sure was fine.
Well, you were great too, baby.
I didn't do nothing.
You know, you sure look pretty.
You probably have
a lot of things to do now.
We won and everything.
Yeah, but I like being here with you.
You do?
Sweet, sweet baby.
Get him! Get him!
Okay, it's fine. He won.
Big money, man.
- Right here. Big money.
- One more.
- I'm not going again.
- Hey, you owe me two.
- All right.
- Come on.
- Oh, Satin, Levi Brown.
- Over here.
The man I've been telling you about.
He's looking for work.
Hey, Satin, your bird ready
to fight mine too?
Your bird can't fight again right away.
Any day, Roberto.
- I want 10 dollars to win.
- Give me 3 on that.
Take 10 dollars, man,
and put it on Roberto's bird. To win.
Hey, wait a minute.
Put 5 for me too.
Smart kid. Because Satin never loses.
- Hi, Mama.
- Hi.
- How's it going?
- Okay.
We've been rehearsing all day again.
Stix and Sister fight something awful.
Where are your sisters?
I don't know.
They all had something to do.
Seems like ever since
we won that contest...
...everybody's so busy all the time.
I don't see Stix around at night anymore.
Oh, Stix's real busy, Mama.
You know, trying to get us
into clubs and everything.
- Why, man? Why?
- I can't be no part of no singing group, man.
I got big contacts now, a whole bunch
of important stuff I got to do.
- Yeah, but our group is important.
- Oh, come on, man. You don't need me.
I ain't nothing but a backup singer
no way.
It's my big chance, Stix, man.
You know how long I've been waiting.
Yeah, but, man...
Mr. Daniels?
Mr. Warren.
Yeah, I came to see you about my act.
Three girls and t... One guy.
The Hearts.
The greatest group you ever heard.
Not interested in any new groups,
Mr. Warren.
Harlem has enough groups these days.
My clientele is interested
only in the special...
...not the ordinary.
This ain't no ordinary group. It's...
So sorry, Mr. Warren.
Hey, well, how about three girls?
Three great girls. Sisters.
Still a group, Mr. Warren.
Yeah, but you never seen girls like this...
...sing so fine.
Yeah, and they call her
the ugly one.
I'll let them sing one song
next Saturday night.
Now, you guys remember everything?
Why don't you get out of here
and leave us alone?
- Don't be nervous.
- Ain't nobody nervous.
You're the one making us nervous.
Dolores, don't rush
when you get out there.
Stix, why don't you go out front?
Don't worry.
- Take all the time you need, baby.
- Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
Let me see you do those steps
with the shoulders.
Ladies and gentlemen...
...Club Shan-Doo, in the past...
...has been very privileged to present
some of the new discoveries...
...of the wonderful world of show business,
and tonight is no exception.
We would like to present for your enjoyment
and entertainment pleasure...
...the very sensational,
dynamic, lovely, talented...
...Sister and the Sisters!
Wonderful. We did it.
We did it. We did it.
- Calm down.
- That's the greatest thing I ever seen.
- You liked us?
- Liked you? Great mooga-mooga!
You were great. You had them
by the hair of their castanets.
Take it out. I gotta go see Mr. Daniels.
He say to me... He say to me:
- "Mr. Warren...
- You're crazy.
...l'd like to have a discussion with you
when you have a moment."
- A moment?
- A moment for Mr. Daniels.
I got weeks, years, days, months.
You were fabulous. Everything was...
- Hey, now!
- Hey, Levi!
Come on in, man.
I got big business to take care of.
Girl, you just the best thing I ever seen.
Hey, all of y'all was good.
Aren't you gonna
introduce me to your friends?
Oh, yeah. Y'all come on in.
- This is...
- Satin Struthers.
- Enjoyed your show.
- Thank you.
Some friends of mine
are having a party tonight.
Thought you'd like to come
so we can share your success.
- So I get a chance to know you better.
- I'd love to go.
She's coming to the party?
- Excuse me, I'll show Miss Taylor to her taxi.
- Fine.
A taxi?
Levi, help me show
Miss Taylor to her taxi.
- You son of a bitch.
- I'll meet you outside.
You son of a...
You dirty, rotten bastard!
Get her out of here!
Give me this damn coat.
Hold onto that, man. It belongs to me.
- Mr. and Mrs. Thompson?
- Yeah.
No luggage?
We're in town just for a wedding.
We didn't plan to stay over.
Miss Thompson over there,
how old is she?
- You got a marriage license?
- Sure.
- Here it is.
- I see.
Oh, here. Thank you.
I ain't never been
in no hotel room before.
Well, we getting too big
to make love on the roof.
Besides, it's getting too cold.
Look, Stix,
they got the toilet wrapped up...
...and the glasses.
And look, Cashmere Bouquet soap.
Hi, Mrs. Thompson.
All right, all right. Who is it?
I wanna talk to you, Satin.
Too early in the morning.
It's almost noon.
All right, what's on your mind now?
I've been working for you
a long time now.
- A few months.
- Yeah.
I've been a real good worker too, ain't I?
Yeah. Got no complaints. So far.
Yeah, well, I need
more responsibilities, man.
- Like what?
- Hey, I ain't making no money.
You're doing all right
the way I see it.
I got plans, big plans for the future,
and I need big dough.
Now, I'm ready and you know it.
Levi, let me decide
when you're ready, okay?
Yeah, okay, Satin.
Effie. Miss Waters, how you doing?
I didn't expect you to come by tonight.
Well, I just thought I'd come over and see
what all the carrying on was all about.
Well, you should have let me know sooner.
I'd have had a special table for you.
l... I mean, we just decided
a few minutes ago to come down.
We can sit anywhere.
Of course, if you don't have room
for the mother of the stars...
Well, there's room.
Wait just a minute, okay?
Levi, Effie's here.
I'm saving these seats for Satin.
Miss Williams, how you doing?
Hello, Levi.
- Miss Waters.
- Stix. Stix.
Where's Satin gonna sit at now?
He can sit with them.
Maybe ask for Sister's hand.
Maybe share a reefer
with Miss Waters.
Oh, hey, girl, you better hurry up.
We don't have much time.
Stix says an important record man
gonna be here tonight.
Oh, yeah?
He said he's gonna try and get us
to make a demo record or something.
- Demo, huh?
- Yeah.
Says he's gonna...
- What happened to your face?
- Nothing.
- Did Satin do that to you?
- Hey, that hurts!
I had an accident.
You had an accident all right.
You had an accident of the brain...
...when you started running around
with that lowlife, no-good trash.
Oh, yeah? Well, why don't you
just get out if you don't like it?
- What?
- I said, get out!
Hey, lookie here,
this is my dressing room too.
It's my dressing room too,
and I said, get out!
Hello, gorgeous.
I thought the exterminator
was here last week.
Your other sister's so nice
and you're just as mean as you can be.
Hey, leave me alone.
Baby, will you help me find
a book of matches.
What are you doing? What is that?
Baby, your sister can't fly on one wing.
This here the girls' mama, Satin.
- Miss Williams, this is Satin Struthers.
- Pleasure.
Oh, and, Mrs. Waters here.
I've heard a whole lot about you,
Mr. Struthers.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Sister and the Sisters.
- We'll be there.
- Okay.
Hi, Mama. We saw you out there.
Didn't know you'd be here tonight.
Hi, Miss Waters.
- Did you like the show?
- Oh, very much.
Come on, Miss Waters,
let's wait outside.
Well, I just wanna tell the girls
how great they were.
You tell them later.
Mama, did you see them
going crazy for us?
Oh, yes, I saw them.
Theatrical makeup is terrible
for my face, Mama.
He's just gonna drag you... the gutter with him.
The gutter? How can you say that?
He's as bigtime as you can get.
I've lived in Harlem all my life.
I do know a rat when I see one.
You don't understand, Mama.
You don't understand.
...l've said my piece.
I'm going home.
Bye, dear. Have a nice day.
- Morning, Effie.
- Good morning, Miss Gerber.
Is anything wrong, Effie?
No, Miss Gerber.
I hope that if the time should ever come
when you need someone to talk to...'d consider me enough of a friend.
You haven't thanked me
for your fur coat.
I thanked you every way I could, baby.
No, you haven't.
I want you to crawl for me.
- You want me to what?
- Crawl.
Bitch, crawl, bitch.
Bitch, crawl! Crawl!
I heard the prettiest girl in Harlem
used to work here.
I guess she must have moved on.
Don't start with me, please.
All right?
Oh, Sister.
Don't touch it.
You gonna let that nigga kill you?
It ain't nothing a little makeup can't cover.
Sparkle went to get it.
A little makeup?
What else is that nigga pushing into you
besides his fist?
Nothing. Why don't you go out now
and leave me alone.
No, not this time.
Did you get it, baby?
- Let me see it.
- Give me that! Give it to me! Give it to me!
See what you did?
Do you see?
Sister can't fly on one wing.
Good evening, gorgeous.
You know...
...l've been thinking.
Oh, I hear you always thinking.
I been thinking that maybe you and me
ought to get together sometime.
Sounds like all that thinking
is doing you some good.
Well, ain't I been telling you that
all along?
I mean, an important man like you...
...I could learn a lot from.
Now you talking.
When do we start?
You know, you're really important,
you know?
Working so close with Satin and all.
He must trust you with everything, huh?
So, what you doing after the show?
Just free as a breeze.
Hey, where you going, baby?
I'm just gonna go downstairs in the lobby
and get some cigarettes. Okay?
Okay. Hurry back.
- I'll be back.
- All right.
- Operator.
- Hello, operator.
Would you give me the police?
- Is this an...
- Please, operator, it's an emergency.
One moment, please.
25th Precinct, Sergeant Riley.
- Police?
- Who's this?
Never mind who this is,
just listen to what I gotta tell you.
There's gonna be a big pickup
tomorrow morning...
...2:30, on the Manhattan Bridge.
A man by the name of Satin Struthers.
Thirteen-T-sixty-two, Roger, William,
six, Paul, John, Zebra.
Six, Mary, two.
Continuing. A male, 45 years,
5'11 ", 190 pounds.
Get on the radio. Pick up that car.
Halt! Halt or I'll shoot!
Levi's gonna be all right. You okay?
- Yes.
- You all right?
- Yes.
- Okay.
- Did you see Levi?
- No, they wouldn't let me.
He got shot in the leg.
Stix got him a lawyer, though.
I just don't know what's gonna be
this time, Dolores.
How could this happen to Levi?
Somebody blew a dime on me.
I think it was you.
Hey, you crazy, man.
What you talking about?
Somebody blew the whistle on me
to the bulls. I think it was you.
- Now, talk.
- Look, you crazy, man.
Don't you know Levi Brown's
my best friend?
Whoever blew the whistle
thought they would get me.
I'm the only one that knew Levi was gonna
make that pickup. Now, sucker, talk!
You're losing your touch, Satin.
You been beating up on women too long.
You finished, you know that?
Fellas you work for,
they're gonna bust you up.
And you gonna be right where you belong,
in the gutter with the rest of this shit.
I didn't drop a dime on you,
but I wish I had.
Dolores? Is that you?
Yeah, Mama.
Where you going?
- I'm leaving, Mama.
- You're leaving for where?
I'm leaving and I'm going away.
What do you mean?
I mean...
...I can't live like this anymore, Mama.
I gotta find another way.
Well, whatever troubles you got here...
...are going right with you
and that suitcase.
You don't understand, Mama.
Like, there's education
like there never was before.
Mama, we don't have to be slaves
to the white establishment anymore.
We don't have to live off
what the white man throws our way.
Thanking him for his chicken-shit pay
and chicken-shit jobs.
We don't have to run around
shining his shoes and driving his cars...
...and cleaning his floors
and being his...
Go on, now, say it.
Being their maid.
Yeah, Mama.
Being their maid.
...I seen you, ever since I was a little kid,
getting up in the middle of the night... take the subway
to ride for two hours... go to their house
to do their cooking...
...and to do their ironing
and do their cleaning...
...and wash the shit out of their toilet.
And for what, Mama? For what?
Then he says to Benny Palmieri,
"I only got two left."
Funny story.
Funny story, Moe.
But you should have left Benny
in Vegas.
I'd do it. But seriously, friends...
...let's have a toast
to our gracious host and hostess.
Moe and Lee...'re the tops.
Hey, and while we're toasting,
let's not forget why we're here tonight.
I'm sure Moe and Lee will join with me
in toasting the Lorenzo brothers...
...and our new business venture.
To the success of America's enterprises.
Hey, Effie, more champagne.
- Just one week, Mr. Daniels.
- Stix, I have to put another act in.
Well, just put someone in temporary.
Look, I know we can get it together
in a week.
Okay. One week.
I can't be no singer.
Tune Ann,
you're the best singer in church.
But that's church. That ain't
being on-stage before all them people.
Why, I'd shit in my pants.
Come in.
She's not here yet?
Did you call the house?
The phone was disconnected.
She'll be here.
She always has been before.
I would like to pay you
for tonight anyway, Stix.
I'm awfully sorry.
You are welcome here anytime.
Good night.
Thank you, Mr. Daniels.
Good night.
Wait, Stix.
- Wait, Stix, wait.
- I'm finished.
- Please don't. Come on.
- I worked my goddamn ass off.
And nobody gives a damn.
Dolores goes off, don't tell me nothing.
And Sister... What did I ever do
but try to make her something special?
- Stix, we could start again.
- Yeah, I'm going upstate.
What do you mean "upstate"?
A friend working up there
in construction...
...been making 5 or 10 dollars an hour,
he tell me.
What about us?
Well, you come with me.
I can't leave, Stix.
What's Mama gonna do now?
Dolores is gone.
Stix, what about Sister?
What about her?
I'm the only one
who cares about her anymore.
Then you stay.
What do you mean?
What do you mean?
Look, I gotta go.
Now, you're free to come with me
or stay.
Please, please don't make me choose
between you and my sister, Stix.
I ain't making you do nothing.
Stix, please, please,
please don't leave me.
I gotta go.
If I stay around here,
I'm gonna kill somebody.
Thank you, honey.
You sure are a comfort to Effie
in her time of trouble.
You're a nice girl...
...but I think you better
stay away from that cake.
- Hey, Stix.
- Hey, how you doing? How you doing?
- Okay.
- Is...
Everybody in the kitchen.
Hi, everybody.
Would you like some coffee?
No, thanks.
I was wondering...
- Well, I was hoping...
- Sparkle is in the bedroom.
What do you want?
I'm looking for a girl singer.
Didn't you know?
This family is fresh out.
- Sparkle...
- When did you get back?
A few days ago.
- My granny's been real sick...
- A few days ago.
Must have been out when you called.
- Look, I know how you feel.
- I know you do.
It's funny.
One brain in this room thinking
for two people.
Since when do you know
how anybody feels about anything...
...except yourself, Mr. Stix Warren?
Look, Sparkle,
we got a lot to talk about.
But unless you talk about it, you know?
Just give me a chance.
Give you a chance.
Wanna hear something funny?
When you first left...
...I wasn't sure if I would
be able to live without you.
Yeah, I used to sit in this room and wonder,
will I get through another second?
Can you imagine a person so unhappy...
...they don't know if they'll
live through another second?
I got through the seconds, Stix...
...the minutes, days, months, weeks.
I'm doing fine without you.
Just fine.
Sparkle, no matter
what you think of me...
...I came back
because I want you to sing.
Why you think I've been
so busy since I been back?
Got me a job at the record company.
Lined up all my old contacts...
You who were always so good
at business, Stix.
- Business. Business.
- Baby, it was for you too, and it is now.
- I want you to sing, Sparkle.
- What have I got to sing about?
Stix, what have I got to sing about?
I loved Sister too.
What happened to Sister
happened to Sister, not to you.
You got your whole life. I mean...
I want you to sing.
Don't bury yourself with your sister.
Get out of here.
Get out!
Nobody ever understood
Sister except me.
- Don't you ever, ever use her name again.
- Sparkle.
- Sparkle, listen.
- Get out of here.
Get out.
I heard Stix put his grandmother
in a fine home...
...where she'll be taken care of
real good.
That's nice.
Some folks think he's a fine boy.
I'm one of them.
Mama, do we have to talk
about this again?
Well, honey... ain't like you being so...
So unfair.
I told you a long time ago.
I said:
"Spark, a man's got to do
what he's got to do."
Now, I know he run off and left you,
but he came back, didn't he?
Just to make records.
Stix is right to want you to sing, honey.
Why, I hear you in church singing
for Sister...
...and it like did break my heart,
the glory of what God gave you.
I don't feel like singing, Mama.
But just go see him,
so you give yourself a chance.
Do you feel like running it again?
I'm tired.
Well, how does your voice feel?
You know, I think you're ready
to make a record.
A demo?
No, the real thing.
Finished product.
Background singers.
Big orchestra, everything.
- It makes me nervous.
- You nervous?
You know how much
I gotta come up with?
How much?
Ten thousand dollars or more.
There's only one man I know
got that kind of money.
Mr. Gerber.
Sit down, sit down.
- You want some soup?
- No, thanks.
You ever had matzo ball soup?
- No, I don't think I have.
- I knew you never had it...
...because if you've ever had it,
you could never say no.
Another bowl of soup.
- I heard a lot about you from Sparkle.
- And I heard a lot about you from Effie.
Now that that's out of the way,
how much money you want?
Ten thousand dollars.
If she's good, why not let a record company
finance the record? That's their business.
It's also their business to sign her up for life.
This way, we make it, it belongs to us.
What are you putting up as collateral?
My word that I'll pay you back
with any interest you name.
Thank you.
Nobody is gonna give you
any money with that collateral.
Hey, listen, Mr. Gerber, Sparkle's got
more talent than anybody that I know.
She's gonna make it big.
And I'll find somebody someplace...
...who'll give me the money.
- Sit down, sit down.
All I said was that you ain't gonna
get the money from anybody.
I'm going to get the money if I like her.
- Like her? You'll love her. She's fantastic.
- lf I like her...
...this will be the deal: I'll borrow
the money from associates...
...and you will pay me very handsomely
for the use of that money.
- Do you understand?
- Yes, sir.
Eat your soup.
Okay, one more time.
Let's try to cut one again.
And Sparkle, just relax, baby,
and let it flow.
Hold it. Hey, hold it.
I just don't think I can do this.
Sure you can.
Hey, look, you did just fine
yesterday in rehearsal.
Okay, everybody, just... Just relax.
Let me hear it one more time
over the speakers.
Let's cut it, y'all.
We made it.
We made the charts, look.
Number 37 and climbing fast.
Oh, Mama.
The next stop, Carnegie Hall.
There it is.
All back plus 16 percent interest.
Now, how's that for a businessman?
You should feel real proud of yourself,
I am.
And I'm real proud of you too
for taking a chance on us.
I'd like to talk over something with you,
kind of what I'd call a sticky situation.
Well, my turn to help you.
I'm real glad you feel that way about it.
You see, the business associates
I borrowed the money from...
...they're quick to recognize a good
business investment when they see one.
And you're doing very well.
- They want more interest on their money?
- No, it's not like that.
- They would like you to keep their money.
- Keep their money?
Keep their money and consider it
an investment in the future.
- The future of what?
- Sparkle.
Her having a hit record right off
and being young, they feel...
...with the record business
growing the way it is, you know...
...Vegas, TV...
- Now, wait a minute.
You mean, for a measly $ 10,000, they
wanna take profits from me and Sparkle?
Now, don't get excited.
Look, a deal is a deal...
I made a deal with you.
And I paid you back every cent,
plus 16 percent interest that you asked for.
You know, our business is finished.
It's not as simple as that, Stix.
A deal is a deal.
Listen, you weren't born yesterday.
I didn't just walk up to some nice banker
and ask for $ 10,000.
You been around.
You know what we're dealing with here.
Look, you a nice man, Mr. Gerber,
and I really like doing business with you.
But who you do business with
is your business.
Wait a minute, Stix.
My associates, if they let you off the hook,
then they look weak...
...and they consider it
very bad business to look weak.
Wait a minute. Stix.
Stix. Stix!
What a surprise.
What you doing here so early?
- Can we talk?
- Yeah. What about?
Well, Lee Gerber
came to see me last night.
She found out about Mr. Gerber's business
affairs and the people he's mixed up with.
...she asked me to come here and
talk to you because she's afraid.
She said they're out to get you
unless you do what they want.
Don't you think Stix can
take care of himself?
Don't you know they messing with
a boy from Harlem?
What you worrying your pretty little head
over nonsense for anyway?
What you should be worrying about... what you gonna be wearing
to the concert tonight.
Besides, Mrs. Gerber don't
know everything.
I got it all under control.
Look, go ahead and
get yourself together, okay?
Evening with Ray...
Where could Stix be?
Oh, you know Stix.
He's out there telling
the orchestra how to play.
Or he's showing people to their seats.
Or he may be selling tickets
at the box office.
That's one thing he ain't doing,
because it's all sold-out.
Hey, how's your pants, Tune Ann?
Ask me in an hour.
Oh, I better see if
the other girls are ready.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen...
...and welcome to Ray Charles
at Carnegie Hall.
And to start the program off,
a great favorite of Ray's.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Sparkle Williams and the Soul Ladies.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. You're all making us feel
real good up here.
My friends and I wanna sing this next song
that goes back with me a long time.
I'd like to sing it for my sister.
No, I'd like to sing it for all my sisters.
And especially for my man, Stix.
He's out there somewhere.
I hope they can all hear me. Thank you.