The Gene Krupa Story (1959) Movie Script

How many times
am I going to tell you?
How many times?
Banging on pots
and pans
and garbage can
wasn't enough noise
for you,
and driving us
all crazy
by playing
on the washboard
with Mother's
that was not
enough noise either.
But it doesn't have to be noise.
There's music in drums, Papa,
I know there is.
I don't know how to tell you.
Well, sometimes,
it can be real quiet music too.
did you know
that drums were
the first instrument
man ever played?
It's true.
Did you know that?
I've been too easy
with my baby son.
Papa, I'm 18 years old.
Why do you treat me like a kid?
Why do you act
like one?
At your age,
I was already working
for eight years,
but I wanted you
to be somebody...
But I think I can be somebody
as a drummer.
Somebody fine, a priest, maybe.
But I want
to be a drummer.
Papa, if I told you why,
I'd be lying, I don't know why.
Now, listen
to me, my son.
In one month
from now,
you are graduating
from high school.
It is time
that you understood
that there are men
walking the streets
begging for work,
and you...
Where did you get
this thing with drums?
From the devil
No, Papa.
Then get rid
of them.
Didn't you hear me?
I can't, Pop.
Didn't you hear me?
How many times
am I going to tell you?
And tell you,
and tell you,
and tell you,
and tell you,
tell you?
Why don't you kick me too, Pop.
You might
just as well.
Don't talk, Eugene.
It's no use.
No, that's right,
because I'm gonna get me
another set of drums.
I don't know how,
but I will,
and if you break
I'm gonna get me another set,
and another after that,
because you're right,
I'm not a baby anymore.
I'm getting a chance to play
with a bunch of guys
at Austin High.
They formed a band,
and they play jobs for money,
That's what
I'm gonna do.
Oh, can't you see, Pop? I gotta.
Yeah, crazy, man.
Man, and I was
worried about
who was gonna fill in
for Davey Tough
when he cuts out
for New York,
but the good Lord
never closes one door
opening another.
Oh, hi.
We met last week.
Yeah, I know.
Would you like some?
Oh, thanks.
I was just trying
to remember
if I thanked you
for the gum.
You're funny.
I'm not.
Who were you beating
on those drums?
Well, that's how
you were playing just now,
like there was
some kind of devil
in those drums
you just had
to beat out of there.
There is.
His name is Nobody, Mr. Nobody,
and he wants me to be
just like him, see?
Hey, Eth,
how do you like that, huh?
He sure tore things up,
didn't he?
All right, you guys, come on.
That's enough playing
for ourselves.
Let's rehearse for the job
before my folks get home, huh?
Come on, Gene.
Hi, new boy.
Where have you been?
One, two...
Don't knock yourself out.
We're having a weenie roast
and swim party
at my house next Saturday,
and... you're my date.
Let there be you
And let there be me
Let there be oysters
Under the sea
Let there be wind
An occasional rain
Chile con carne
And some sparkling champagne
Let there be birds
To sing in the trees
And someone to bless me
Whenever I sneeze
Let there be cuckoos
A lark, and a dove
But first of all
Please let there be love
Let there be love
Ah, let there be love
What'll you have?
One of those.
Hey, do you think
drummers ever get
to live like that?
Not by playing
at marathons,
or that dime-
a-dance palace
you played
last night.
You know, I'll bet
everyone even has
his own room up there.
Do you?
I'm an only child.
Oh, that's nice.
Is it?
I always thought
having brothers
and sisters
was the nicest.
Are they all
like you?
Shy and so quiet,
until you get
behind those drums,
then boom! "Look out,
I'm coming at you,
so hear me good."
It's like... It's like
drums must have been
when they began,
back there
in the jungle.
Voodoo drums
making black magic,
getting everybody
all shook up, like--
Do you say those things
to surprise yourself?
I'll shut up.
No, no, I...
I like the way you talk.
Hey, I bet
you could write a book.
I'll bet I couldn't.
I'd much rather write music.
You father, doesn't he mind?
Does yours?
Uh... He wants me
to be a priest.
You love him, don't you?
Like he was God.
Uh... Hey, listen,
what are you doing
after graduation?
I know what I'd like to do.
Go to New York
and study
at the Juilliard
School of Music,
and maybe one day,
if God is good to me,
I'd-- I'd hear
a symphony of mine played
at Carnegie Hall, and...
I'd get married
and have a house
full of kids with--
Hey, drummer boy,
come quick,
I need your help.
Come on, hurry.
Hey, hey.
Can I bite
you lower lip?
I thought you needed help.
Oh, I do, baby,
I do.
Mm, with that moon
and that music. Mm...
Don't you want it?
Stop it, stop it!
Stop it.
Hey, thanks for the ride.
Nice seeing you.
I'll see you,
fellows. thy will, Jesus.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou
amongst women,
and bless the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Papa, don't die!
Pray for me, Father,
because something is wrong.
I thought I had it made,
but... the rain drips,
and somebody walks
a certain way, and--
The rhythm beats
everything else out of my head.
I hear "Ave Maria,"
and my mind takes off
on a syncopated version of it.
Father, I know I'm profaning
something that's holy, I know.
I just can't help it.
I tried, I tried, I really have.
I know you have,
but becoming a priest
is a fulfillment,
not a penance.
If you feel certain
that it wasn't
meant to be
and you wish
to leave--
No, I can't.
I promised them.
I'll make it.
In six weeks,
summer vacation
will be here.
You'll go home,
get some rest and peace.
Fat? What do you mean, fat?
How can you tell I'm fat, huh?
Hey, come on.
Hey, Ed, how come you guys
are putting out
in a speakeasy like this, huh?
Oh, we're lucky.
Boy, the kind
of places
that'll let us
play our music,
you can count
on your nose,
so here we play it
the way we like.
Hey, Gene?
Boy, you know, we could sure
use you around here.
What do you say, huh?
What's to say, Ed?
A guy's going to be a priest,
he can't...
Well, you know.
Sure, I know.
What are you gonna do
all summer?
Oh, I don't know, my mother's...
I don't know, Eddie.
Gene, well, look,
maybe she wouldn't mind
if you just played
for the summer, huh?
Well, she...
Boy, that's it.
You really put me
on the sunny side.
Hey, hey,
did you hear about Davey Tough?
He went to New York
and made it
with Paul Whiteman.
No kidding.
Hey, hey, what's
she doing here?
Oh, it's...
We've been-- We've been dating
kind of steady, you know.
Yeah, I tell you,
it's crazy.
I just look at her,
and she knocks me apart.
I'll tell you something
even crazier.
I'm going to marry her.
Well, I haven't asked yet,
so don't say anything,
all right?
Oh, no, no.
All right.
Hi, Eth.
Hello, Gene.
Eddie told me
you might be around today,
and I-- I just had to come
and say hello
and catch
some of that scary drumming.
It always scared me.
Didn't you know that?
Are my eyebrows off
or something?
You've changed.
It's been a year, almost.
No more gum, huh?
I haven't changed
that much.
You remembered.
I tried not to.
Didn't you write
to anybody?
Well, it was better
that way.
You look good, Eth.
I feel good.
It shows.
Excuse me.
Hey, Eddie, hey,
what's that?
Oh, they're just testing.
See, in case of a raid,
the light blinks a warning
from the front door,
that is, unless you blow out
the man's fuse box...
if you remember how.
Yeah, come on, come on.
Hiya, Padre.
I asked you
not to call me that.
Okay, Padre.
You know
I love you too.
Come on, I'll even
buy you a drink
to prove it.
You know
I don't drink.
Even if I did,
I wouldn't drink
with a big noise.
Hey, hey.
What do you keep
tangling her for?
She's only trying
to get a rise out of you.
Every time she comes in--
She's nothing
but a big noise.
Look, just because one of her
boyfriends owns this joint--
Whoa, he not only
owns the place,
but he's liable
to open up your head
to see why you don't use
your brains
while you've still got them.
Mr. Krupa.
Hello, Mama.
Mom, would you like
to come in
and sit down, huh?
Come on in.
I love my baby
My baby loves me
What are you
looking for, Mama?
I wanted to know
where my son is working
and with what kind of people.
Thank God
that soon you will be going back
to the seminary.
Mama, I'm not going back.
I can't.
Don't say that.
I've got to, Mama.
Don't say it.
Mama, I can never be a priest.
I wish I could be,
but I just don't have it in me.
Mama, come on,
don't look at me
that way. I...
I tried, Ma,
I really tried,
for a whole year, but...
That life is
just not for me.
And this life is for you?
In dark cellars
filled with smoke?
Shameless men and women
drinking alcohol,
breaking the law,
while you entertain them.
This is the life
you have chosen?
This filth?
Compliments of
Miss Corregio, sir.
Take it away!
Listen, Mama, if the whole world
wants to drink and to go crazy,
how is that my fault?
All I want to do is
make my kind of music,
and I'm doing that.
Mama, did you hear the waiter?
"Sir," he called me,
not, "Hey, kid," "Hey, squirt,"
but "sir."
That's what I am
around here, Mama,
and I like that.
I have a job, money, friends.
Mama, why are you crying?
Being a musician
doesn't have to be bad.
Ma, where
are you going?
Aren't you at least
going to listen
to me play?
Here? Your father was right.
Mama, why don't
you tell me
what you used
to say about Papa.
Don't you dare
to mention his name
in this place.
You said it didn't matter
what a man did,
but what he-- but what he was.
If I was meant
to be a priest, Ma--
You are worse
than they,
because your father
taught you to know better.
We never worry
'Cause we're just
Yes, we're having fun
I didn't think
I could ever tell her.
You had to.
Yeah, I know, I know,
and the way she left...
I guess she knows
she can't stop you.
No one can.
How do you mean?
Well, your music's
all that matters to you.
Why can't she understand?
Still, she's right,
you know.
Oh, you--
Don't get mad.
She is,
about you not belonging
in dives like this.
Music like yours is being played
in theaters
and high-class hotels--
in New York.
Then that's where you belong.
Well, that's easy
for you to say.
Not easy at all, Gene,
because if you go,
Eddie goes with you,
and... and then there'd be
two of you to miss.
Hey, Eddie.
Did you ever think
of making New York?
Well, Davey Tough
Yeah, man, but...
Listen, maybe
she'll come too.
Well, she always wanted
to make that Juilliard
and Carnegie Hall.
MAN: A raid!
Come on, Eth,
let's get out of here.
Cooking is not
allowed in the room.
No practicing
after midnight,
and, uh, that'll be
one week's rent
in advance,
and don't try to sneak
your buddies in here
to sleep
on the chairs.
I'm wise to that.
Well, welcome
to the big city.
You know,
I think we should've
gone to the Y
like Ethel did.
What for?
Ah, we won't be
living in this joint
long enough
for it to matter.
Hello, big town.
Are you ready?
Ethel sure mends
a fine collar.
she does pretty good
with the socks too.
From rags to rags
in one generation.
Hey, Gene?
How about packing this town
and then
going home, huh?
Not until we've made it.
But it's been
over three months.
If there are no jobs for us,
what are we going--
Oh, there will be.
Don't worry about it.
Yeah, if we live
long enough.
Look, look,
I'm no mental giant,
so sometimes
I'm a little slow on the upbeat,
but you would rather
hock your drums
than play
bread-and-butter jobs.
Look, we didn't come here
to play at polka parties
or to whoop it up on a truck
at election rallies.
We came here to make
a certain kind of music.
And that's what we're--
And nobody wants us?
Well, they do.
They just
don't know about it.
Tell me something.
Tell me what it is
with you,
pride or something?
Look, I know
you're a hard-head,
but don't you
understand something?
That they want it
strictly from the cob,
Ted Lewis, and "Waltz Me
Around Again, Willie."
The manager.
Hi, Eth.
Hi. Any luck today?
Yeah, plenty.
All bad.
Seems like every
jazz man in town
has more experience
than us.
Why, where'd all this come from?
The market.
Well, what did you use
for money?
Money. I got a job.
Switchboard operator
at the Hotel Edison.
Good evening,
Hotel Edison.
One moment, please.
I'll connect you
with room service.
Good evening, sir...
No, sir.
There's nobody
cooking food
in this room.
Ain't nobody here
but us chickens.
What about
Carnegie Hall
and all
of the symphonies
you came here
to write?
Well, I can do both.
Ethel, what did you do
a thing like that for?
I mean, sometimes I just
don't understand you, Eth.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean
to jump all over you.
Did you?
Well, it's just that you've been
washing and...
and sewing and ironing for us
and now you want to feed us.
Ah, what's the matter with us
that you have to go out
and work for us?
Wouldn't you do
as much for me?
Or Eddie?
Of course you would.
I just found a job
first, that's all.
I... I got to run.
Talk to you later, huh?
Hotel Edison.
One moment, please.
Hey, Eth.
I'll make it up to you.
You don't have to.
Oh, I do, I do.
You're a wonderful gal, Eth.
You know that, don't you?
Oh, that's just
a rumor I started,
and besides,
I think you're wonderful too,
so we're even.
Good night, Gene.
Good night...
Cold Hands.
Are they?
Hold me, Gene.
So close that nothing
can ever come between us.
Don't look at me.
Eth, what
are we getting ourselves into?
Eddie's expecting to marry you.
No, he's not.
Not anymore.
He knows how
I feel about you.
Oh, I wish I understood you.
I wish you did too.
Eddie's one of the nicest
and best-looking guys.
He's a wonderful guy.
I'm no good for anybody else
but you, Gene. I never was.
Please never let me go.
Whew. Man, watch me
make a slob of myself.
I'm so tired
of those salt and pepper
Where'd you go?
Out. Looking
the natives over.
I don't want to be
in the way.
Listen, Eddie,
I, uh...
Look, I want you to know
I never tried to cut you out,
or make time or
anything like that--
No, I know you didn't.
You didn't have to.
That girl looks at you
like she's just sighted land.
You know, even while
you were at the seminary,
she was carrying a torch
for you
like the Statue
of Liberty.
I figured maybe she'd have
to get over it, but...
Look, I never really
stood a chance.
I don't know
how you feel
about her, but I--
Oh, I'm going
to marry her.
On the level?
First job I get.
She could die
an old maid that way.
Hey, guess who I met
in the lobby.
Who did you meet
in the lobby?
Davey Tough.
Yeah, sure.
I remember.
He said to say hello
and how come
we didn't make a dee-dee
some night.
All right, I'll bite.
What's a dee-dee?
Oh, I don't know, a session
at Dorissa Dinell's place?
The Lady Dee. Huh.
That's where all the big guys
drop in after hours.
Dorsey, Teagarden,
Red Nichols.
Dorsey, Teagarden,
Red Nichols?
Did you get
the address?
Then what are you
waiting for?
Come on, let's go.
Hey, Eddie.
Hey, man, long time.
Hi, Dave. You remember Gene.
Sure. How are you?
Ethel, Davey Tough.
Nice to know you.
Come on.
Man, somebody
wake me up.
How about this?
Oh, what a way to live.
I'm going to have a place
just like this, and soon...
way up high, with--
There goes
Red Nichols...
and there goes Dorsey.
And here goes Krupa.
With them?
Careful with those
drums, sonny.
Dorsey's the name,
And this
is my brother, Jimmy.
How do you do?
I'm Red Nichols.
Wow, you kick a lot
of drums, Jack.
Uh, Gene.
Gene Krupa.
Hey, Eth. Guess what?
Red Nichols asked me
to hang around.
He wants to talk to me
about working
in his band
for the new
George Gershwin show
"Strike Up the Band."
Isn't that wild, Eth?
Oh, Eth, I'm on my way.
My luck is changing, Eth.
I'm on my way.
This is no time to be sleeping,
we're all going up to Harlem
for some barbecued spareribs,
which Nichols says is the most.
No, no.
No, honey, that was last time.
No, no, I know, honey,
but this is a different place.
Yeah, and listen,
and then we're all going
up to Charlie Sims' after that
to play some--
Oh, darn it, I...
Gee, I forgot.
You've got school
in the morning.
Oh, I'm sorry, Ethel.
Hey, you should
have been
to the party
we went to
after we got through
with the club.
Oh, very, very, uh,
high society,
and you know
what it got us?
A record date with,
uh, Dorissa Dinell.
Only she'd never done
real jazz before,
so keep your fingers crossed.
A week from Tuesday.
Hey, wonderful.
That's my birthday.
Hey, that's right.
Well, that'll give us
two things to celebrate.
Oh, Ethel, Ethel,
I'm telling you,
more things
are happening.
I'm really beginning
to move now.
What with the...
Oh, darn it.
Honey, I'm... I'm not
going to have time
to take you
to lunch today.
I have this interview
with Down Beat magazine.
They're doing a thing
on Chicago jazz,
and after that, I'm meeting Red
with some friends for cocktails,
and then
I've got to meet
the man who runs
the Jack of Clubs,
and-- and then...
Honey, I'm sorry.
How about dinner
at the club?
How about a nice, quiet
sandwich somewhere,
just the two of us?
You say when.
I'll call you
later, huh?
Say, uh,
wish me luck, huh?
Can't you hear
The pitter-pat?
And that happy tune
Is your step
Life can be so sweet
On the sunny side
Of the street
I used to walk in the shade
With those blues on parade
But I'm not afraid
This rover crossed over
Hold it. Hold it.
Is this what you meant
by real jazz backing?
Because it sounds
more like a razor fight
in the dark to me.
All that racket.
And those drums.
I'm sure all that
would knock the needle
to hell and gone.
The technicians
will take--
I said I'm sure.
Dee-Dee, that's what
rehearsals are for.
I know
what they're for.
I'm not sure that they do.
I'm sorry.
I'll try
to hold it down--
Well, you ought to be.
Do we need these pots and pans?
After all,
I am not a cooch dancer
and we're not doing
"The Zombie's Mating Call,"
you know,
which may come
as a big shock to you.
Got a better idea.
Now you can bang
your pretty head off,
just to show you my heart
is in a good place.
Your what?
Snow again, junior.
I didn't quite get your drift.
I said,
"Thank God I'm not a mink."
Aren't you, though?
Can we try it
once again.
Tempo, Jackson.
She'll tear
your ears off
just for souvenirs.
Laying her pussycat
on my bass. Just who--
Grab your coat
And get your hat
Leave your worries
Leave 'em on the doorstep
Just direct your feet
To the sunny side
Of the street
Can't you hear
A pitter-pat?
I'd love to, Tom,
but it's my girl's
and I promised I'd take her
to a late show,
you know, and some supper,
and, well, I wouldn't want
to disappoint her.
Okay, Gene-o.
Tell her
happy birthday for me.
See you, Tom.
Now, that wasn't
so bad, was it?
Oh, man, did you
put her down.
Time somebody did.
My compliments,
What are we
giving away here?
The most.
One sip and you're gone
from the vale of tears.
the tender weed,
or as the peasants say, "tea,"
and I don't mean oolong.
So that's
what they look like, huh?
Don't give me that,
How else
would you get
that crazy kick
on your drums?
Oh, come off it, Jack.
Do you think I need
anything like that
to get me out there?
Stand up, Dad.
They're going
over your head.
Drummer boy.
Do you have a minute?
Half a minute?
Haven't I heard
what you've got to say?
I'm trying to apologize.
Yes, sir.
Anything else, sir?
If I let you go away mad,
you'd spook me
the longest day I lived.
That's how I am,
and I don't like
to eat alone, so...
Why don't we have
supper or breakfast
or both
and get to like each other?
We ought to
if you're going to do
all my record dates.
I'm not going to bite you.
I'm not worried
about you biting me.
There happens to be a girl.
There always is.
Does that mean
we can't have a drink
and talk for an hour or so?
It's her birthday
and we're celebrating it
And you're afraid
she won't wait, huh?
And I thought it was just me
you were scared of.
Maybe if you called her
and asked,
"Pretty please?"
answer it, doll.
Come and scrub
my back.
Hmm. What a night.
Do you know
how much champagne
you put away?
Where are you? At home?
No, I'm uptown.
Yeah, I...
I had to call
and apologize
for not seeing you
last night or...
or telephoning.
That's all right.
Eddie explained
that you'd gotten hooked
into some extra work
and that you'd be busy
most of the night.
You must be exhausted with all--
Oh, never mind me.
What did you do?
I waited...
like the foolish girl I am.
Gee, I... I'm sorry, Eth.
Listen, Eth, I got to go now.
Can I see you tonight?
Can you?
At the club...
All right.
And, oh, listen, Eth.
Happy birth--
Thanks, Gene.
Hey, Gene-o.
Hey, something wrong?
My mother.
I invite her
to come and visit
and stay at the
new apartment, and...
I know she'd like to see
how well I'm doing.
She says she can't.
But she won't.
She says she prays for me
and she's happy for me
if I enjoy this life.
I wanted her to enjoy it. I...
I wanted to see her face
get happy for me.
Take it easy.
Okay, fellows. Come on.
One, two...
Go, Gene, go.
Go, Gene, go.
Go, Gene, go.
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go!
Can you hear that, Mama?
They're yelling for your boy.
Mama, they approve.
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go! Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go! Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go! Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go! Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go! Go, Gene, go!
Oh, you were
That was
Dorissa Dinell,
the singer,
and sitting
next to her
is Mark Hellinger,
the columnist,
and next to him
is Speaker Willis,
the top agent
in the business,
and they want me
to join them.
I see.
Oh, come on.
Don't say it that way.
Well, you have to,
don't you?
Nah. It's not that.
Well, you know
how important it is
for me to meet
people like that.
And I may get
Speaker Willis
to handle me.
And you don't
want me there.
You can say it, Gene.
Okay. If you want me
to stay, I will.
If you really want--
No, I don't.
Not like that.
After all,
I'm not your wife.
I'm just...
What am I, Gene?
Uh, I'm sorry.
I just don't want
to be in the way.
Ethel, you're not.
Good night, Gene.
It's just...
Hey, Eth.
Okay, let me
get you a cab.
I can manage.
Honey, you...
You do understand,
don't you?
I think I do.
How do you do, Mr. Willis?
My pleasure.
Using the drums
as a solo instrument.
I don't know how
anybody who looks
like his mama's
own angel-child
can explode
like that and...
and... and knock
everybody's plaster loose.
But I did try to reach you
all last night.
Well, how sick is she?
Not very,
but she is my mother,
and, well,
I haven't been home
in a long time.
I'm sorry, Eth.
It's funny. I...
I miss you already.
That's an improvement already.
like I told you.
It took a little longer
than I figured,
but I made it.
Ah, you talk
about class.
Hey, you haven't
seen anything yet.
Just wait until you see
the view. Come on, Eddie.
I'm telling you, you haven't
seen anything like this
except at Dee-Dee's,
only this is better.
Seventeen floors up
and all of Central Park
for your ashtray.
Huh. Not mine.
I can't afford it.
Well, you don't have to.
You're my buddy, aren't you?
I don't understand
Last month, you moved
to that beautiful place--
That was last month.
Eddie-boy, we gotta
try real hard
to be satisfied
with the best.
Well, that's what
making money is for,
to have a good time
before it all
caves in on you.
Yeah, like
the mine shaft did
on my old man's leg.
Hey, we've got a lot of fun
to catch up on,
and this is
the place for it.
Hey, I can't wait
until I see Ethel's face
when she gets back
from Chicago.
Yeah, if she gets back.
I thought her mother
was getting better.
I don't think she went
just because of her mother.
Do you?
Anyway, I got a letter
from her yesterday.
Yeah, she asked me
whether I thought
she ought
to come back or not.
How come she asked you?
Because I'm her friend.
And what am I,
her enemy?
Well, don't get hot.
You know, she wasn't
exactly happy around here--
Yeah, I know, I know,
but whose fault is it?
We were hardly ever
awake at the same time.
Well, you know what it is
for jazz-blowers.
If it isn't the job
six nights a week,
it's a rehearsal
or a benefit--
Yeah, or a new girl.
You know, you even had me
fooled for a while.
I really thought you were
going to marry that girl.
I am gonna marry her.
Yeah? Like when?
You want me to tell you when?
Do you want me to tell you?
Gene, don't you
understand something?
That she's not going to stand
still for all that goop?
That you're gonna
have to make a choice?
Why? Eddie, what good
is making good
if you can't have everything
that goes with it?
The parties, the kicks...
Oh, those gals
mean nothing to me.
You know that.
Well, why can't
she understand that?
I think she does,
Well, it isn't much,
but he calls it home.
But why?
This must take
every dollar he earns.
Yeah, and some
he hasn't earned yet.
Hey, Eth!
Hey, you know
Every time I see you,
you're looking better,
only this time,
you're looking
like the next time.
Welcome back, Eth.
Gee, I'm sorry I couldn't
meet you at the station, but I--
Lookit who I brung.
Hey, Bunny!
Uh, excuse me.
Bunny, baby.
Nice to see you.
You know Bunny Berrigan.
And Frankie Trumbauer...
Bix Beiderbecke...
Bix Beiderbecke.
How are you?
And me.
And me.
Come on in,
Come on. Come on.
Drinks for everybody.
Hello, Gene.
How are you?
Hello, pal.
marvelous party.
Look who I brought.
A couple of Ziegfeld
Follies rejects.
I got one more
to show you.
A little card trick.
A little card trick.
Watch this one, Gene.
Four of hearts.
Seven of diamonds.
Queen of spades.
Nine of clubs.
Nine of diamonds.
Ace of spades.
Four of hearts.
Queen of clubs.
Nine of diamonds.
Ace of spades.
Four of hearts.
Queen of clubs.
Where's the cards?
Where's the cards.
I can't do it
with the cards.
This one is an
imitation of a, uh...
of an airplane
that is...
Hey, uh, tell me,
you seen Eddie?
Sirota? Yeah.
Saw him leave with your girl.
a good question.
All right, come on.
What gives?
She wanted to leave,
so I put her in a cab.
Well, that's
how she wanted it.
She's a funny girl,
Yeah, hilarious.
Where'd she go?
Uh, to the Edison.
Smile like
you're glad to see me.
I am.
It doesn't always show.
Aren't you going
to invite me in?
No, Gene.
It's just a room.
A small room
without a view.
Oh, I get it.
You're mad at me
because I didn't meet you
at the station, huh?
That would have
been nice.
Well, didn't Eddie explain?
You think
I should have blown the whistle
on the whole party,
sent all of my friends packing,
the greatest names in jazz--
Then why did you
walk out?
all of a sudden,
I could.
Once, I...
I didn't think
I could ever stop
hearing those drums
in my head
or wondering
where you were
and what
you were doing
and whom you were
doing it with.
No, Gene,
let me finish.
I don't know
what happened
to that boy I knew
in Chicago, but--
He grew up,
all the way up,
only you
don't approve.
What I don't
approve of is...
is my being
a sometime thing, Gene,
a convenience.
Not even yours.
I tried to be,
but it made love
a dirty word, messy.
Don't talk that way.
How'd you
like me to talk?
Pretend that...
I'm going to stone you
out of my life, Gene,
even if it kills me.
I know nobody ever
died from that,
but it sure feels like
I may be the first.
Ethel, Ethel,
what is it you want?
Too much.
I know. Marriage.
You want us to live locked up
in each other's pockets,
like we--
I want you to say
good night.
Then why did you come back?
Because hope
can be very foolish.
Good night, Gene.
Waking skies
At sunrise
Every sunset too
Seems to be
Bringing me
Memories of you
Here and there
Scenes that we once knew
And they all
Just recall
Memories of you
How I wish
I could forget
Those happy yesteryears
That have left
A rosary of tears
Your face beams
In my dreams
In spite of all I do
And, and, and
Seems to bring
Memories of you
Your face beams
In my dreams
Where you been?
Way out.
Who's the
snake charmer?
Anita O'Day.
Not bad,
if you like talent.
Oh, memories of you
Look, Speaker,
I've been thinking,
and that's
not easy for me.
I want to front
my own group.
I think I'm ready.
That'd take a lot
of money, Gene, and--
Well, what doesn't?
Set it up
with a long tour
to break it in right.
Well, Gene,
I'm not sure I can.
If you can't,
I'll have to get
somebody who can.
You're pretty young
for a...
You know
what she said?
She said she didn't
want to see--
Can we talk about
something else?
Telling me she was
going to stone me--
I said, can we talk
about something else?
Hey, wait a minute.
Since when can't I talk
without checking you first?
Since you decided
to discuss her, that's when.
Like this. I don't want
her name kicked around here--
You don't want?
That's right, I don't want.
So let's talk about
something else, all right?
Well, let's not,
Eddie, buddy,
because I don't have
to talk to you at all.
Yeah, well,
that's all right too.
What's with
Mother Sirota?
Oh, what's with
Who's the girl
you were--
Shut up and give me
a cigarette.
Don't diddle it.
Go on.
Be somebody, Gene-o.
Put your miseries
out to pasture
and nobody gets you.
Do you hear that,
Nobody gets me!
Nobody gets me at all!
Oh, hey, listen, Eddie,
Eric here tells me
there's this crazy
bongo joint downtown
where the natives
really kick it in.
Want to come?
Sure, if I can drive.
Translate, please?
Last week you almost
got us pulverized
in that car.
So? That was last week,
and "almost" doesn't count.
Hey, what's the matter?
You want to live forever?
Okay, Eric, that's enough.
Nope. Just as long
as I can.
You're in no shape
to handle that buggy.
Half the time
you're not tracking,
the other half the time
you're not caring
or you'd be
plenty worried
about not being able
to hold onto
those sticks.
Who can't?
What's the matter?
Didn't you ever
have an accident?
Gene, you've got
to come down.
The way you've
been going, you're...
you're going to wind up
in a hospital.
That's the only
way to go
if you're going
to go at all: big.
No, not big. Bigger.
Everything's got to be
bigger for you.
Bigger, bigger,
then bigger
than that, until--
Oh, wow. My buddy's
been on the full moon.
Now you want to tell me
success is bad?
No, success is when you can
stop worrying about it.
Success is when
you can handle it,
and you can't,
not even nearly.
You're like all
wonder boys who stop--
Where are you preaching
next Sunday, Daddy?
Because I want
to be sure and miss it.
All I did was invite you
to a bongo session--
All right, all right.
So don't get hot.
Then don't go telling me
what to do!
wouldn't that be something?
Anybody telling you anything.
Look, if you're
gonna break your neck,
that's fine, but
you do it without me,
because this is where
I'm getting off.
Oh, come on.
What is this, a threat?
No, it's just something
I should have done
a long time ago, Gene.
He'll change his mind.
No, he won't.
Not this time.
Tough tiddlywinks.
He keeps raining
all the time.
Now, you know I don't mess
with that stuff anymore.
That's what's wrong
with you.
I thought I got you
off of it too.
You did, but...
Later. We'll
get it later.
This your coat?
Yeah, sure. Why? What's--
Hey, what is this?
An arrest.
Now, look, fellows,
if this is your idea of a gag--
These two envelopes,
one of them containing
37 marijuana cigarettes,
the other containing two,
one of them half-smoked.
Found in your
coat pocket.
In my pocket?
Now I know this is a gag.
Your man here
was a witness.
I've messed with some reefers.
Don't ask me why,
because I don't know.
Maybe I had to see
what everybody
was talking about.
Maybe I was low
and I thought it might be kicks,
like somebody drinks too much
or gambles
more than he meant to...
Or messes with a woman
he thinks is poison,
because that's exactly
what it is.
That stuff not only
threw my timing off,
but it made my... my sticks
kind of slippery, and...
All right, so if there's a rap
for having
messed with the stuff once,
I guess I've got it
coming to me,
but those reefers were not mine!
Miss Dinell can
testify to that.
Whoa, hey, hold it.
Let's not drag little old me
into this.
That's why we have
Mr. Harlock here,
who is only the best
lawyer in town,
and he says
possession of marijuana
is only a misdemeanor.
You plead guilty,
To what?
I'm telling you the truth.
I know you are.
Otherwise you'd have been
caught in the act
or they'd have been
found on you,
but the fact is,
they did find them.
I talked
to your valet.
It could look
very bad in court.
But who would want
to frame me?
Well, could be
A jealous woman,
a musician you fired,
a peddler,
a vice crusader
hipped on musicians.
You're a sitting duck.
Of course, we'll have
Miss Dinell on the stand.
No, you won't.
You get me up there
and I'm one
dead duckling.
You are
our key witness,
Miss Dinell--
The hell I am.
I'd never get rid
of the smell.
It's very important--
Forget it.
Now, if you'll
excuse me,
I've got a town
I'd better get out of.
Boy, there are smells
and smells, huh?
Just a moment, please.
It's for you.
I'm not here.
It's your mother.
Ma, don't cry.
There's nothing to worry--
No, I don't want you to come.
Because you'd only
get yourself hurt
by all the news--
I know that doesn't matter
to you, Ma, but...
And I love you for it,
but what good would it do?
I want to see you too,
but not now, not this way.
Ma, why didn't you want
to see me
when things were going good?
Why now, when--
No, Ma.
I needed you more then.
Why didn't you ever
understand that?
Yeah, I will.
Yeah, on my way back
to New York.
Now, you take care of yourself,
you hear me, Ma?
Please try not to worry.
You see, I got myself
a real great lawyer. Yeah.
Thanks, Ma.
I do too.
Well, for a man who
just took a bum rap,
you're doing--
What rap, Mr. Harlock?
Look, it's all over
and done with,
and as soon as I pay you
the rest of the tab
and blow this town,
it'll be
like it never was.
only I, uh...
Look, I can't
pay it now.
I'm kind of broke,
but, uh, only until
I get to New York.
Gene Krupa!
Long time no see.
Nice to see you.
Gee, when'd
you get back?
You're looking great.
It's about three or four weeks.
Listen, uh, did Willis
talk to you about me?
No. No. About what?
About your drum spot.
Do I hear an offer?
For you?
Oh, marone,
what I wouldn't give
to have you
on those drums.
Well, here I am.
Yeah, but Gene, how could I?
That pressure's
worse than ever.
Do you know
what would happen to me
if I was to give a job
to an addict--
Is that what you think I am?
No, of course not, Gene.
I know you're not,
but they
don't know it.
They think you are.
Kid, they'd crucify me
with my head
hanging down,
and then we'd both
be out of the business.
You mean I can't even
work for you, huh?
It'd be like
cutting my own throat, kid.
I'm sorry.
I'll see you,
What's going on, Speaker?
Because something sure is,
and let's not waltz me around.
Well, the heat's
still on, Gene.
If a musician
so much as smiles
on a bandstand,
he's suspected
of being a dope fiend.
So nobody's
exactly anxious
to stick his neck out,
not even for you.
You should have told me.
Letting me walk around,
embarrassing everybody
like I was a two-headed beggar.
Come on. It'll pass, Gene.
Six months or so,
after the election,
then all these reformers
will be back in--
And just what do I do
for those six months or so, huh?
Go nuts banging away
on my practice pad,
too ashamed
to look at anybody in the face?
Because that's what I am,
and it's not a good feeling.
Something may turn up.
Yeah, sure. Sure...
If I beg long enough
or crawl long enough.
Well, I'd rather
cut my tongue out.
Dope peddlers
stop me in the street,
call me up at home and...
Give me
anything at all.
Well, anything at all
is liable to be
pretty far out of town.
It can't be far out enough,
because this town
is like it died and left me,
and good riddance.
If you're sure, Gene.
How many watches
do you think
I have left
to hock, huh?
You missed the tempo change,
Mr. Jones.
Mr. Jones.
Didn't you mark it?
Oh, I got it.
I hope so.
This is my eighth year
with this hotel
and nobody's going
to compromise my standards.
Well, nobody's going
to compromise mine, either.
Look, you may not know
who you're talking to.
I know precisely
who I'm talking to, Mr. Jones.
I owed Willis a favor,
which is why I took
the chance with you.
Now, you just behave
and play my music
precisely as it--
Your what?
I've heard
better music
coming from
a squeaky floorboard.
Much better.
On the house... Krupa.
All right, all right.
I'll go quietly.
When I tell you to.
With your name
up in lights,
this joint'll be
Gene Krupa in person.
The champ himself
on the comeback trail.
Well, not me.
I'm no freak in a sideshow.
You're a great star.
Let's do it my way,
cookie, huh?
Anguish and absurdity,
that's all it is,
so get tall, man.
Get tall, and to hell
with them all.
Open up
the Golden Gate.
Get off of me.
Well, how else you
going to stand it?
Get off of me, I said!
I'm sorry.
You see what I mean?
Look at those hands.
Shaking like they were
waving goodbye.
No wonder you can hardly
hold onto those sticks.
Now, who's going
to believe it?
Here I am,
a million miles from nowhere,
locked up
in a dead letter office, and...
and you drop in.
What are you doing
in a joint like this?
How are you, Gene?
Surprised, mostly.
I guess I could do
with a couple of shaves
and a pressing, huh?
You look good, Eth.
I spent all day trying.
What brought you to Philly?
A train.
I finally found out
where you were,
so I thought I'd come down
and catch some of that
scary Krupa drumming.
You shouldn't have.
Oh, you don't belong
in a dump like this.
Neither do you.
How long has it been?
Oh, eight months... Years.
I don't know. I forget.
What are you
doing about it?
Like I do when it rains.
I... I let it rain.
Pretty clever of me, huh?
It's only
a matter of time
and I'll be right back
on top again.
Bigger than ever.
Oh, great, because, well,
when I heard
that you'd been playing
in chop-suey parlors
and strip joints, I...
I sort of began
to wonder.
What else have you heard?
Tommy Dorsey's
forming a band.
Where'd you hear that from?
How is he?
If you're planning to see Dorsey
about getting a job--
About eating some more crow?
Nah, no thanks.
He knows where to find me.
Would you mind very much
if I got to Dorsey
and talked to him
about you?
Because I don't have
that kind of pride,
or I could get someone else
to find out how
he feels about you--
I can tell you
how he feels about me!
Number one,
there's the blacklist,
and even if there wasn't,
his men have to read music,
and I mean read.
And you still haven't learned?
You knew that
and didn't do anything about it.
All this--
Did what?
Go to school like a kid,
how to play the tom-toms?
And from whom?
who wouldn't know
it was "The Star
Spangled Banner"
unless everybody
was standing up.
Hey, I'm Gene Krupa, remember?
The Gene Krupa I remember
would never have let
anything or anyone stop him.
Not for long.
Go home, Eth.
Look, if Speaker
sent you here, I--
Nobody sends me.
You ought to
know that, Gene.
All right, he asked you to come.
He asked me not to.
Said I was
a very foolish girl...
As if I didn't know that.
Because he thinks
that success for you is,
well, is like whisky
to an alcoholic.
Then why
do you bother?
Because I can't sit by
while you let yourself
disappear, Gene.
That's what's happening.
I wish I understood you.
I wish you did too.
When I had everything,
I mean everything--
money, jobs, friends--
you brushed me.
You gave me the rap
for making it big, and now--
Not for making it
big, Gene.
For not being big enough
to handle it,
because if you could make
a solo instrument out of drums
and, without a single lesson,
set millions of people on fire
with them,
what couldn't you do
once you got your mind
around to it?
Didn't they scream,
"Go, Gene, go"?
And you went
and took them with you
like nobody'd
ever done before,
not on drums.
If you tried,
you could.
What do you think
I've been trying to do--
Not enough. Otherwise--
Oh, since when do you know
As if learning
how to read music
was the whole,
almighty answer.
It'd be better than nothing
and a lot better than hiding,
because that's what
you're doing, Gene.
Hiding. From what?
What could be worse than this?
Or don't you even care anymore?
You don't leave me
very much of myself to like.
I wasn't trying to.
And some sparkling champagne
Let there be birds
To sing in the trees
And someone to bless me
Whenever I sneeze
Hi, Eddie.
Aw, it's good
to see you.
It's good to see
you too, Ed.
Been a long time, huh?
Yeah, too long.
How have you been?
Fine, fine.
You know...
Well, what am I
going to tell you?
What's to tell me?
It's good to see
your ugly puss again.
So what are your plans?
Oh, I just thought
I'd drop down
and say hello,
you know,
and just in case
somebody was having
a hard time
reading these
You know, I...
I kind of like this change
you got here, Eddie.
This D-flat chord
against the B-flat...
What's the matter?
Didn't you know even kids
could learn how to read music?
Especially if their coach
is from
the New York Philharmonic.
You want to see
the scars?
You took lessons, huh?
Yeah, yeah. Quite a few.
Hey, Gene!
Good to see you.
It's good to see
you too, Tom.
How are you?
Do I hear an offer?
Look, Gene-o,
I'd love to use you
in the tubs,
but I'll tell you,
I just--
No, let me
tell you.
It's a new band, see?
And the pressure
is still on, and the--
And you're all wet.
I'm a music man.
What I care
is whether a man
can make music
good enough
and you're more
than good enough,
but I have a drummer.
You must know Davey.
Oh, sure.
Well, they...
they don't come any better.
I'm sorry, Gene.
Oh, come on,
don't be sorry.
Nice to see you
again, Tom,
and, uh,
good luck, huh?
You too.
Hey, Mr. Dorsey.
Can I see you
a minute?
Excuse me a moment.
Ah, it's just as well.
Why? What are you talking about?
Ah, I don't know. They...
They probably wouldn't
accept me out there.
I'm not sure I can make it, Ed.
I'll see you, Ed.
No, now, wait a minute.
Don't go away.
Stay here a minute, huh?
Hey, Tommy?
I've got an idea.
Mr. Krupa?
Mr. Krupa?
Good luck, Mr. Krupa,
and don't worry
about the crowd.
No matter what
they do, you're--
Places, Mr. Krupa.
Right away,
DORSEY: And now,
ladies and gentlemen,
back after too long
an absence,
Gene Krupa!
Let's give him
a great big welcome.
Let's hear it.
MAN: Hey, Krupa,
got a reefer?
Smoke one for me.
Hey, jailbird!
MAN: Go, Gene, go!
MAN: Attaboy, Gene!
Go, go, Gene!
Go, Gene, go!
Go, Gene, go!
There he goes again,
and there they go after him.
You always knew
he'd make it again.
You also know
this is the surest way
to lose him?
He never was mine
to lose.
I'll tell you something, Gene.
It's nice to see you
back in the old groove again,
Man, it was just like old times.
Just like old times.
Yeah, man.
Remember those parties?
Yeah, they were the wildest.
Used to go on for days.
I knew a guy who was
never heard from again.
Hey, hey, where
are you going, man?
Ain't you coming
to our party?
Ah, thanks, man.
I've been to that party.
See you, fellows.
Thanks a lot, huh?
Hey, Gene.
Hey, Gene, where
are you going?
Oh, you know
where I'm going.
Hey, uh...
Now, where do you think
you're going?
Without me?
Some chance.
What's the matter?
Didn't you think I'd ever learn?