The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Movie Script

Step right up to the platform,
ladies and gentlemen.
You will see the greatest show
on the midway for only 50 cents.
These little ladies are entertaining
you now, but in just a moment...
...Little Egypt will turn on her stuff.
She has danced before
all the crown heads of Europe.
She makes blue blood
turn into red.
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up...
...and buy your tickets for Sandow,
the strongest man in the world.
He juggles pianos.
He plays marbles with cannonballs.
He lifts 10 times his own weight
with one arm.
He can even raise his own salary.
Now, folks, step right this way.
You are looking at the sensation of
the fair, the eighth Wonder of the World.
Ladies and gentlemen,
this way. This way.
This little lady has wiggled herself...
...from the desert
to the shores of Lake Michigan.
And she's about to give you
an exhibition absolutely free.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not
the dance that Little Egypt does inside...
...but to prove our generosity,
we're going to give a demonstration...
...of that famous dance,
the hootchy-kootch. Egypt, wiggle.
That's sufficient.
Now, ladies and gentlemen...
He's a masterpiece of manhood.
Step up to the box office and buy
your tickets. The show's about to begin.
- Phenomenon.
Ladies and gentlemen, this...
Well, how's business, Ziggy?
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
Sandow concludes this performance... lifting, with Herculean strength,
the largest dumbbell in the world.
An unusual feat,
ladies and gentlemen...
...for inside this huge dumbbell,
there are other dumbbells.
Ladies and gentlemen, look.
There you are. Aren't they beautiful?
Aren't they glorious?
A total weight of 750 pounds.
Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it marvelous?
Let's give him a big hand.
What made you bring me
to a show of this kind?
Well, you wouldn't let me
see Little Egypt.
I'll bet a heifer against a mare
the weights ain't on the level.
Seven hundred and fifty pounds,
my foot.
- I wonder what her total weight is. Bill?
- Yes, sir.
- Open the curtains, will you?
- Open up those curtains.
Hey, Bill, you know, it seems to me
that this platform...
Oh, hello, baby.
Want some candy, Jane, huh?
Bill, we ought to have
this platform built higher.
There ought to be more steps.
The people in the back can hardly see.
But, Mr. Ziegfeld, there's never
anybody in the back rows.
Well, nevertheless, I want this higher.
There ought to be a lot more steps.
Okay, Mr. Ziegfeld.
I'm sorry I lost my temper, Florenz...
...but I am awful disappointed.
I hope you never get
downright disgusted.
What is wrong?
Why don't they come in?
You're the attraction,
and you're asking me?
Maybe you would like
to cancel my contract.
Oh, no, Sandow.
When I make a deal, it's a deal.
I like that. I like you.
Well, I like you too.
If you want to pay me some of my
back salary, I take you to dinner, yeah?
Well, I'm not very hungry.
You're not worrying
about your money, are you?
- You don't think I'd walk out on you?
- No, no.
Nobody do that to Sandow.
- Maybe I better take you to dinner.
- That's fine.
Hands up, mister, and give me
all your money.
Well, I can't give you anything
with my hands up, sweetheart.
All right, fresh, 23 skidoo for you.
I'll help myself.
Oh, no. Oh, I see you got
my little surprise.
This morning. Gee, ain't it swell?
- Were you really surprised?
- Well, wouldn't you be?
- Yes.
- Lf you expected a diamond ring.
Oh, don't be...
Tell you what we'll do.
- We'll go to the Little Vienna Restaurant.
- Oh, I'd like that.
- Telegram, Mr. Billings.
- Oh, thank you.
Just wait a minute. There might
be an answer. Let me see.
- Oh, well, I'll be.
- Bad news?
No, it's from Ziegfeld.
He's across the midway.
He can touch me,
but he has to send wires.
Listen, "In Little Egypt, you have
the best female attraction of the fair.
In Sandow, I have the greatest
male attraction.
Why not fake a romance?
The people will eat it up.
Then we can show them together,
and I'd be willing to split 50-50."
- Well, that sounds like a great idea.
- Oh, yes, great.
I'm selling out every performance,
he's going to be thrown out...
...and he's willing to split 50-50.
Give me your pencil.
I'll answer this one.
- Jack?
- Yes.
- Is Ziegfeld a good friend of yours?
- Oh, yes, we've been pals for years.
- But you wouldn't like him.
- No?
No, he's up one day and broke the next.
If he got $ 10,000 tomorrow...
...he'd spend it on the girl
he liked tomorrow night.
Wouldn't want to waste your time
meeting a fellow like that.
- Not if I met him on the right night.
- On the right...? Oh, don't you...
- Shut up! And just send that collect.
- Yes, sir, and I'll deliver it too, sir.
Because every time I take Mr. Ziegfeld
a message, he gives me 50 cents.
- Oh, he does, does he?
- Sure.
Yes, well, that's probably
why he's always broke. Come on, dear.
This cheese is so strong it could
walk over and say hello to your coffee.
Well, it had better not.
This coffee's too weak to answer it.
Florenz, you're wonderful.
You make jokes even when you're so
worried you can't touch your cold cuts.
I got no appetite neither.
Message for you, Mr. Ziegfeld.
- They told me I'd find you here.
- From Billings.
So soon he answers?
He must be crazy about your proposition.
- Yeah.
- Read it to me, Flo. Read it.
"Dear Ziggy, your proposition
interests me. " What did I tell you?
"But why fake a romance
between Sandow and Little Egypt?
Let's make Sandow marry Little Egypt...
...and I'll split the children
with you 50-50."
That message was collect.
- Fifty cents.
- Have you change for a dollar?
- Sure, but you always...
- Keep it.
Gee, thanks.
Florenz, I love you.
I will break chains for you...
...I will lift buildings for you,
but I will not have children for you.
But if I have children,
I will not split them.
- Oh, hello, Ziggy, I got your wire.
- I just got yours too.
Patterson tells me
he's putting you out Saturday.
- He tells me too.
- How do you do, Mr. Ziegfeld?
How do you...?
- How do you do, Miss...?
- Yes, Blair, this is Mr. Ziegfeld.
- I'm very happy to know you, Miss Blair.
- I'm so happy to meet you, Mr. Ziegfeld.
And this is Mr. Sandow,
the strongest man in the...
The strongest man in the world.
Jack tells me
the loveliest things about you.
Oh, yes, I imagine.
- I could tell you lovely things about you.
- He's only just met you...
...and he's going to tell
you all about yourself.
- Won't you sit down?
- Thank you.
- But no, we've got... There's a table...
- I've seen you many times...
...on the midway.
- Fibber. I bet you never even noticed me.
- Yes, I have.
Yesterday, you were wearing
a red dress trimmed in black lace.
- Yes.
- And a yellow hat, and it was atrocious.
- Oh, indeed?
- Each was all right in itself, mind you...
...but the combination...
And last Sunday, you were wearing
a blue gown and an orchid hat.
- Well, yes.
- And you were wrong again.
Well, aren't we the observer?
Do you always check the right
combinations for women?
- Always for beautiful women.
- Oh, well, that's nice. Thank you.
- How do I look today?
- Well, I don't like your hat.
- It shades your eyes, and I like your eyes.
- Thank you.
He ought to be packing his own clothes
instead of selecting yours.
- Come on, Ruth, we've got to go.
- Yes. Well, goodbye, then.
- I'll be seeing you around the grounds.
- Yes. Well, not after Saturday, you won't.
- That fella Billings makes me mad.
- Yes?
Even that music from his Little Egypt
drives me crazy.
You won't have to listen to it
much longer. Wait a minute.
Come away. For five weeks you've been
touching that elephant for luck...
...and now in five days, we get put out.
I know it's superstition, but an old Hindu
told me that if you touch... elephant's trunk, and he raises it,
everything will be all right.
Wait, wait. We know we got hard luck
without that elephant should tell us.
Say, I know what's wrong. You should
touch him. You're the attraction.
- Me?
- Sure. Go on, go ahead.
It sounds silly, but all right, I'll do it.
Look, Florenz, would he do that for me?
The Great Sandow.
So that's what you call good luck, yeah?
Look, Sandow, you've got to expect
a little rain with the sunshine.
That was very embarrassing,
Florenz, very embarrassing.
Don't get your dander up.
Who knows?
Maybe that little shower
will bring us oodles of luck.
Well, I hope it brings us
so much business like that Little Egypt.
Look at those peoples, how they crowd
in to see that woman make wiggles...
...when yet they wouldn't come to see me
lift weights no other man in the world can.
Sandow, I'm afraid your trouble
is you developed the wrong muscles.
What you say? Every muscle
in Sandow's body is developed...
...even the toes, like that.
With one arm I make a better dance
than Little Egypt with the whole body.
Look, boss.
Good heavens!
- Are you Mr. Sandow, the strongman?
- Yes, madam, this is the Great Sandow.
Oh, look at those huge shoulders.
Aren't they marvelous?
- Yes, dear, come on.
- And that big chest.
- I never saw a chest like that before.
- Oh, come on.
And his waistline, oh,
it's simply magnificent.
- Precious, come on.
- Just a minute, dear.
Mr. Sandow, I think your muscles
are simply astounding.
Perhaps madam would like
to feel the muscles of Sandow.
- Oh, I'd love to.
- Sandow, your arm.
- Florenz, is she dead?
- No, she's only fainted.
- But, oh, what an idea. Come on!
- What? Wait a minute. What's wrong?
- Where are you going?
- The papers. To the newspapers.
I'll fill them so full,
women will fight to see you.
Not to watch you lift weights,
but simply to feel your muscles.
Why, you've got more sex appeal
in your one arm...
...than Little Egypt has in her whole...
Sandow, the modern Hercules.
The miracle of strength.
Watch his muscles quiver
in musical rhythm. Sandow, quiver.
And now, ladies, if you want
to see more of the Great Sandow...
...if your hearts are strong enough
to stand the thrill...
...step up and buy your ticket.
The show starts in five minutes.
- Folks, this is the show...
- How's business, Jack?
All right?
- Doesn't it sparkle?
- Yes, doesn't it?
- You like it?
- I certainly do.
I'm glad.
- Dr. Ziegfeld.
- Yeah?
Can't I play my piece for you now?
I get awful tired of this...
I don't blame you, Mary Lou. So do I.
Go ahead, then.
Go on, play your little piece now.
- Dr. Ziegfeld?
- Yes, dear.
- Do you know I was mad at your son?
- What?
Mad at your best fella?
Oh, but why?
Because he left us
for that old World's Fair.
Oh, well, darling, you know
the fair closed yesterday.
And is he coming back here again?
Well, I hope so.
Go on. You go on with your lesson.
- Dr. Ziegfeld.
- Yes, dear.
Did you know I was
going to marry your son?
Well, well, this is so sudden.
- Are you?
- Oh, yes. We got that settled months ago.
Oh, yes, Father, didn't you know
Mary Lou and I are engaged?
Well, don't I get a kiss today?
Not even a smile?
Well, Father, what do you think of that?
My future wife won't even kiss me...
...and I brought her a present too.
- What?
- Kiss first.
- No, present first.
No, kiss first. I'll tell you what. We'll both
give at the same time. How's that?
I'll count three. Ready? One.
- Two.
- Same time, remember.
Thank you so much.
Dr. Ziegfeld, isn't it lovely?
- Beautiful.
- I'm going to open it right now.
- Right now. Yes.
- Oh, well, well, well.
Well, Florenz, what have
you decided to do?
Well, I'm going to New York
tomorrow, Dad.
With that Sandow, that strongman?
Father, I don't really belong here.
No, I don't like it.
You don't like it, huh? The greatest
music conservatory in the country.
I built it all myself. Students from
all over the world are coming here...
...and you... You don't like it.
You realize that maybe somewhere
in one of these rooms...
...we find a future
Beethoven or Liszt?
And you, my own son,
all you want is a circus.
A circus with a fellow that can
throw cannonballs.
Well, now, Dad, don't be upset.
- Sandow is a means to an end.
- Yeah, to your end.
When you was a little fellow, since then,
I've educated you in music and art.
From your mother, you got
the refinement, taste, culture.
What good has it all done?
What has it done you?
What are you now anyhow?
A muscle manager. A beef exhibitor.
Then you got to go on the outside,
and you gotta be...
You gotta act like a dog outside.
You act like a dog.
Wait a minute,
what do you mean, a dog?
You know what I mean. I don't mean
you're a dog, I mean you got...
You gotta go outside and be a barker.
That's a dog, ain't it?
Now let me tell you something.
If you go away from here...
...I'll never speak to you again
as long as I live.
- Oh, Dad, you don't mean that.
- Yes, I do mean it.
And I mean... I mean every word of it.
Hey, wait a minute here.
Now, you just stop that crying.
Now, you tell your fellow
why you're crying.
If you're my fellow,
why are you going away?
Now look here, you sit right up here,
and I'll tell you all about it.
Now, I'll be honest with you.
- I'm not really your fellow.
- You mean you don't like me anymore?
I not only like you, I love you.
But you know, I'm the funniest kind
of a fellow. I love all the girls.
How can you do that?
Do they let you?
Well, you didn't quite understand
what I mean, darling.
Some people like beautiful paintings.
- Like that one?
- Like that one.
Some people love beautiful flowers.
- Like those?
- Like those.
Now, I love beautiful little girls
like this one.
- You know what I'm going to do someday?
- What?
I'm going to take all the beautiful
little girls like you...
...and I'm going to put them together
and make pictures with them.
- Will I be in a picture?
- Well, I should say you will.
But in the meantime, I think that
we ought to break our engagement.
- Why?
- Well, because...
...there are going to be lots of boys...
...who want to take you out
and buy you sodas.
If you're engaged to me,
you can't go with them.
- Why can't I?
- Because if you're married to me...
...I won't have you running around
with other boys. I couldn't stand for that.
- You couldn't?
- Well, of course I couldn't.
- Well, what are you laughing at?
- At you, you're jealous.
Well, you can just bet I'm jealous.
Well, now I've got to run along.
- Will you be home to dinner tonight?
- Yes, Dad.
Well, I'll see you then.
And in the meantime, son, remember:
Anything you do, I wish you luck.
I knew you would.
Hold it, Mr. Ziegfeld.
Thank you. Thank you.
Greetings. Greetings to San Francisco...
...from my troupe, including the
strongest man in the world, Sandow.
Humane Society?
Say, what's this I read in the papers
about a lion and a bear?
Is your society going
to tolerate such an atrocity?
Are you going to spill the blood of animals
over the good name of San Francisco?
Well, I didn't think
you'd permit such cruelty.
Why, it would be a crime
to send a poor grizzly bear...
...into a cage with
a man-eating lion. Crime.
- What's so funny?
- Oh, you wouldn't understand...
...because you don't know Ziegfeld.
Police are after him...
...and this paper's two weeks old,
so he's probably in jail by now.
- But do you know him, Jack?
- Oh, yeah, he's a pal of mine.
- Well, Jack, this is a surprise.
- Yes.
- Certainly glad to see you aboard.
- Yes, well, I'm glad I...
Pardon me, I'll be back
in a few minutes, darling.
I thought perhaps you were...
- Hey, who is she?
- You'll never know.
What happened in Frisco? Did you
really send Sandow in against a lion?
Sure, but the lion wouldn't fight.
Wouldn't or couldn't?
To tell you the truth, Jack,
I didn't stay for the finish.
- I sort of thought that...
- Yes, I know.
Well, where is Sandow now?
He's in New York.
He's going into the legitimate.
- He's with Lillian Russell in As You Like It.
- Yeah, well, I don't think I'd like it.
What are you going to Europe for,
another strongman?
Oh, no, no. Just a little vacation.
- London?
- Well, Monte Carlo first.
You're gonna lose all the money
you made on Sandow, huh?
- No, I'm going to double it.
- Oh, yes.
What are you going for,
another Little Egypt?
Oh, no, just a rest. Of course, if I see
any exceptional talent, I'll pick it up.
Well, naturally. So will I.
Oh, you got anybody in mind?
No, no. Why, have you?
No, no.
Only the greatest artist
in Europe, that's all.
Say, who's that?
If I told you, you'd cross me
before we crossed the ocean.
Beg pardon, sir.
Miss Carlisle wishes to know whether
there will be three for tea or just two.
Just two. Yes, just two.
- Miss Carlisle, huh?
- Yes, sir.
Oh, thank you.
- You're Mr. Billings' man, are you?
- Yes, sir.
Well, you're very efficient.
- What is your name?
- Sidney, sir.
Sidney. How much does
Mr. Billings pay you, Sidney?
One hundred a month, sir.
Only... Well, that's not very much, is it?
I hadn't thought of it, sir.
Well, think of it, Sidney.
London Evening News.
London Evening News.
Oh, take care of the luggage, will you?
And tip the doorman, Sidney.
Yes, sir.
You have a reservation
for Florenz Ziegfeld Jr?
- Yes, sir. Will you register, please?
- Surely.
Is Mr. Billings still here?
- Yes, sir, on your floor.
- Oh, yes.
Boy. Rooms 325 and 26.
Thank you.
Sidney. Well, you ingrate, you deserter...
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
Well, why didn't you tell me
you were dissatisfied? L...
- You pirate.
- Now wait a minute, Jack.
Gentlemen don't quarrel
over gentlemen's gentlemen.
- Oh, you...
- Let me tell you the whole story.
If you're still angry,
Sidney can go back with you.
- Oh, I...
- Look, Jack, it was this way.
I've always envied you.
Your dress, your style, the way you look.
So that when I saw your valet,
and I realized...
...that it was he who took
such magnificent care of you...
...well, I just couldn't resist
the temptation of hiring him for myself.
You mean, you wanted to look like me?
Well, that's right, Jack.
I wanted to look just like you.
You faker.
What are you doing here? I thought you
weren't going to be in London for weeks.
Well, that's a long story.
You know, I was going to break
the bank at Monte Carlo.
Yes, I know.
But the bank broke you, huh?
- What did you lose?
- Fifty-thousand dollars.
- What have you got left?
- Fifty cents.
Fifty cents. Well, I'll see you later.
But, Jack, wait a minute.
Lend me 5000, will you?
Well, would you...?
Would you make it 2500?
If I gave you $2500, by the time you
tipped six bellboys, you'd be broke again.
Look, Jack, I really need it.
I'll tell you what.
I'll give you $500 if you'll catch
the next boat back to New York.
There's one leaving in the morning.
Fair enough?
It's fair, but not enough.
Will you sail with me?
Oh, no, Mr. Ziegfeld,
I have business in London.
Oh, haven't you got
the world's greatest artist yet?
No, not yet, but I will have.
Who is it, Jack?
Go on, you can tell me now. I'm broke.
I won't tell you till I have
her name on the dotted line.
It's a her, is it?
Yes, and a beautiful her too,
and she's signing the contract tonight.
- Goodbye, Mr. Ziegfeld.
- Goodbye, Mr. Billings.
I say, doorman,
did Mr. Billings come out?
Just this moment drove away.
I've got a very important
message for him.
- Do you know where he went?
- Palace music hall.
- Is it a good show?
- Not so much, sir.
Except for the French actress.
She's truly wonderful.
She has eyes this big, sir.
Every time she blinks them at you,
you jolly well blink yourself, sir.
- Have you seen Anna Held, sir?
- No, no, I haven't, but I will tonight.
Thank you, sir.
I say, sir, do you realize
you gave me 5?
Yes, I'm trying to lose weight.
Isn't it magnificent?
For me, Marie?
From whom?
Whoever gathered all the orchids
in the world just for me?
I do not know, but they must've
cost thousands of francs.
Was no card with it? Oh, yes.
- Marie, this is very strange.
- What, madame?
I learned the English words, I sing the
English songs, yet I cannot read English.
What shall that mean?
Please read it to me.
"My dear Miss Held,
it is very important to your future...
...that you see me
before signing any contracts.
I shall be waiting at the stage entrance
immediately after your performance.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. "
- Who's this Florenz Ziegfeld Jr?
- I do not know, madame.
- And why is it junior? Is he a little boy?
- I do not know, madame.
I will not see this Mr. Ziegfeld Jr.
You will see Monsieur Billings, oui?
Oh, Marie, these flowers are very nice.
I think I am polite and see this
Monsieur Junior Ziegfeld.
But Billings is coming to talk to you
about the great American tour.
Has madame forgotten his cables?
Oh, yes, that's all right,
but these flowers are very beautiful.
Well, Jack, she's all right.
Yeah, I know she is
without you telling me.
- I wish you wouldn't keep following me.
- All right.
- Well, good night.
- Good night.
I wish you wouldn't annoy me.
Miss Held is expecting me.
- I'm going to sign the contract tonight.
- That's great.
- You bet it is.
- I said it was.
- Yes, well, good night.
- Good night.
Will you stop shadowing me?
I'm not following you.
I just happen to be going your way.
You've got a date with a chorus girl,
I suppose.
You're going to spend that $500.
I can't spend it. I've spent it.
- Oh, you've spent... Well, good night.
- Good night.
I beg your pardon, sir, but...
I have an appointment with Miss Held.
- Is Mr. Ziegfeld out here?
- Oh, no...
Yes, my dear. I'm Mr. Ziegfeld.
Mr. Ziegfeld, Miss Held
would like you to come in, please.
Would you mind that for me?
Well, good night, Jack.
Oh, Mr. Ziegfeld, your orchids. They are
the most beautiful orchids I've ever seen.
Won't you come in, Monsieur Ziegfeld?
Your flowers are so beautiful. I could
not resist the temptation to thank you.
Miss Held. Do you mind my telling you...
...that you should never wear
so many jewels on your hands?
- You think so?
- Some women, yes.
But your hands, no.
Oh, that's a very nice compliment.
Did you hear that, Marie?
- Won't you sit down?
- Thank you.
I did not know Americans
could be so gallant.
Tell me, Monsieur Ziegfeld,
are you in the theater?
Yes, I'm a producer.
Did you hear that, Marie?
Monsieur Ziegfeld is an American producer.
Do you know Monsieur Billings?
- Billings.
- He's American producer too.
Oh, is that so?
- No, I've never heard of him.
- No?
Of course, not in New York, that is.
America's a big country.
We still have producers in the West
putting on shows for the Indians.
- Indians? Do you mean the savages?
- Yes.
Did you hear that, Marie?
- I do not think I will like America.
- Oh, you'll love New York.
- Would New York love me?
- I think so.
You only think so?
Did you not like my performance?
Yes and no.
- Yes and no. Does it mean yes or no?
- Well, both.
- Did you not care for my singing, no?
- Yes.
A trifle nasal, I thought, but yes.
And you did not like my costumes either?
I thought one dress was
very effective, but the rest, no.
Monsieur Ziegfeld,
I think you are very rude.
Please go.
Marie, open the door.
Monsieur Ziegfeld.
Come back, please.
Sit down.
You know, you are very honest.
I like you very much.
Your note says it is important
to my future to see you. Why is that?
- Lf you want to play in New York, it is.
- I have many offers for New York now.
I've no doubt, but so have many others.
There's foreign talent going
into New York every day.
- What happens to them?
- What?
Well, they open at Tony Pastor's theater,
and they get the hook.
The hook, what is that?
Hook, a little thing you catch fish with.
You know, a hook.
Now, if I take you over,
I'll present you on Broadway.
In a great show, in the best theater,
to the best people.
I'll exploit you from coast to coast.
Exploit? What is that?
I'll put you over, I'll sell you.
- Sell me?
- To the public.
And I'll make them pay for you.
And how much will you pay me?
I'll advertise your name
from every corner.
Women will be wearing Anna Held hats,
shoes, corsets.
Even the children will know you.
But how much will you pay me?
More publicity than
you've ever dreamed of.
Yes, that's all right.
But how much money will you give me?
I'll give you the greatest opening night
that New York has ever had.
You'll see the Goulds, the Astors,
the Vanderbilts.
"Diamond Jim" Brady, Lillian Russell.
- Lillian Russell?
- Yes.
- Oh, I would so much like to see her.
- Well.
No. First you must speak about the money
because I have so many offers now.
I'll meet your biggest offer.
Well, that is very nice of you.
But maybe when you hear how much it is,
you don't think I'm worth so much.
How much is it?
They are all very good, but the highest one
is that of Mr. Billings.
He says he will give me 50,000 francs
besides my salary, which is very big...
...just to sign the contract. That is
how much in American money?
- $ 10,000, madame.
- $ 10,000, monsieur.
- Ten thousand dollars.
- Oui, that's a very big amount.
And even if you would give me
the $ 10,000 and I sign with you... still would have to wait
till I finished my London engagement.
I couldn't do that.
You couldn't even wait for me?
I couldn't even give you the $ 10,000.
- You think it's too much, huh?
- I think it isn't enough.
But I haven't it.
What, you expect I should
sign a contract for America with you...
...and you don't even have $ 10,000?
- I haven't even 1000.
I did have before I stopped at Monte Carlo,
but right now, I haven't even 100.
- But I'll spread your name all over...
- It is enough!
You're just trying
to make the fool of me.
You are the impostor.
You are no gentleman.
Please go.
Marie, open the door.
Monsieur Ziegfeld.
Come back, please.
Sit down.
You know, you're very honest.
I like you very much.
Mr. Vanderbilt's carriage.
Mr. Van Rensselaer's carriage.
- She has big eyes.
- I couldn't understand a word she said.
- I'll take Lillian Russell.
- Mr. Astor's carriage.
- Did you like her?
- Cute. Did you notice the empty seats?
Miss Russell's carriage.
- I think she's charming.
- Why, there's Lillian Russell.
Mr. Thaw's carriage.
Never mind, I don't want a carriage.
The show's all right
if they had an American star.
Mrs. Harriman's carriage.
Mr. Stuyvesant's carriage.
You made a bad bet, Jim.
- May I have your carriage called?
- Yes.
Oh, Ziggy.
Stanford and I just made a little wager.
He bet me 5000 that I wouldn't get back
the 10,000 you borrowed... bring Anna over here.
- Mr. Brady's carriage.
I'll split your end 50-50
with you, Mr. White.
I told you so. I told you so.
Well, what's a few thousand
dollars anyway?
Mr. Chandler's carriage.
Mr. Saks' carriage.
Balcony 22.
Well, Sampston,
what's the loss this week?
The show earned a profit of $ 1340.32.
You drew $2550...
...which gives us a loss of $ 1209.68.
That's terrible. We can't keep
the show running with losses.
- Say, where's Sage?
- Upstairs.
What a press agent, never around.
Take a wire to him.
- But he's just upstairs in his office.
- I know it. Take a wire anyway.
How can you do business
without publicity? Stop.
Anna Held was the sensation
of Europe. Stop.
Appeared before kings
and queens. Stop.
Yet you get nothing
in the papers. Stop.
You're ruining me. Stop.
If you're a press agent,
I'm President Cleveland.
Beg your pardon.
Pardon, madame.
It is not jolie. It is jolly.
Jolie, that's what I said, jolie.
Pardon, it's my mistake. I mean jolly.
Jolly. Good.
Please, let's start again. Jolly.
No, no, no. I won't sing today.
I can't sing today.
I'm much too much inside here.
Much too much.
It's so silly for Anna Held
to take singing lessons.
But Ziegfeld did not ask me
to teach you.
I simply want to help madame
to lose her French accent.
But your accent is much more than mine,
and I don't want to lose my accent.
Marie, did you try to get
Monsieur Ziegfeld again?
- He is not home, madame.
- Please try it again.
- And the reporters?
- They are still in the lobby.
Tell them to go away.
Tell the hotel to push them out.
Tell them we are going back to France.
That's what we will do.
We are going back to Paris.
- Shut up, Pierre.
- I'm too happy, madame.
- Happy about what?
- We are sailing for Paris.
- No.
- No?
No, I changed my mind.
Marie, go unpack my things.
- You see, it's true.
- It is not.
- It is.
- No.
What is true and what is not true?
Pierre says madame is in love
with Monsieur Ziegfeld.
Did you say that, Pierre?
- Why did you say that, Pierre?
- Because I'm afraid it's true.
Why are you afraid?
Don't you like Monsieur Ziegfeld?
Oui, madame, that's the trouble.
Everybody likes him,
especially the ladies.
Oh, madame, you'd never
be happy with him.
You'd never be able to hold him.
Why, he attracts women
like the flowers attract bees.
Like the flypaper attract the flies.
Well, that's all right.
I've seen the flies on the flypaper...
...and it seems to me
they stick very well.
- But, madame...
- Pierre, please.
How can I love someone who puts
terrible things in the newspaper...
...has millions of reporters annoying me?
Pardon, madame, but the newspapers
have been very nice to you.
Why don't you want
to see the reporters?
Because I know exactly
what they want to ask me.
- You do not understand, no?
- Frankly, no, madame.
Oh, then I will tell you what happened.
Two months ago,
Monsieur Ziegfeld says:
"Anna, from now on, I'm going
to send you, every day, a big present. "
I say, "Thank you so much, Flo... "
I mean, "Mr. Ziegfeld.
But already you send me orchids
every morning. "
Those are from him.
But he says, "No, Anna, this is something
much more important. "
So naturally, I cannot wait to see
what he sends me.
And the next day,
what do you think I get?
- A diamond ring?
- No.
- A bracelet?
- No. Four big cans of milk.
- Milk.
- Twenty gallons.
- Twenty gallons of milk?
- Twenty gallons of milk.
- Shut up!
- Twenty gallons of milk.
- Oh, please.
- No.
I'm so sorry. Excuse me.
Well, that night I say to Flo...
I mean, Mr. Ziegfeld:
"Flo, why do you send me
so much milk?"
And he just laughs and says,
"Anna, that's a great idea.
You get it from now on every day. "
"Every day, 20 gallons of milk?"
I say, "Flo, who can drink so much milk?"
And do you know what he says?
"Don't drink it, bathe in it.
And you will be a big success. "
- No!
- Well, I'm too angry to speak.
In Paris, I was a big success
because they liked my voice.
In London,
because they liked my singing.
But in America, to be a big success,
I need 20 gallons of milk and must sit in it!
- Well, do you bathe in it, madame?
- No, of course not.
But every day, we get the milk
and take it in...
...because Monsieur Ziegfeld says
we must carry out his idea.
And what happened?
Did you read this morning, the paper?
- No, madame.
- Please.
- "Ziegfeld sued for Anna Held's milk bill. "
- On the front page.
- Twenty gallons of milk.
- Oh, I'm so ashamed.
Marie, please call him again.
If he's not there, leave the message.
Tell him I do not want
one can more of milk from him.
And I don't want the orchids either.
- Hello?
- Oh, those reporters again.
Tell them no.
I do not want to speak to them.
Madame, it is Monsieur Ziegfeld.
I don't want to speak to him either.
I never wish to speak to him again.
Where is he?
Downstairs in the lobby, madame.
Tell him to come up.
But if he brings one of those reporters,
don't let him in.
No, Pierre. Let them on the floor.
I want him to see them there.
I make him pick them up.
He embarrasses me, I embarrass him.
Madame, if you will take my advice,
you will not appear so excited.
Yes, you are right, Pierre.
Pierre, play. Play. I sing for you, yes.
Just like he's not here.
We'll let him wait till I'm finished.
Come on, play, play, play.
- Your missus is in lovely voice today.
- Oui, monsieur. You will see.
Marie, someone has apparently
spilled the orchids.
Now, will you phone Sidney for me? Have
him send up another dozen immediately.
Well? Why do you not pick these up?
Because fallen flowers, my dear,
are like fallen stars.
They soon lose their luster.
Marie, pick them up.
No, I cannot sing today.
I'm much too angry to sing.
I'm sick of watching you
roll your eyes like I do.
Please go home. I give you your notes.
Please take them. Go home, yes?
So I'm a fallen star, yes?
I have no luster, no?
Oh, yes, you have, my dear.
- But do you know what it comes from?
- I don't care.
Milk baths. Or at least that's what
you must tell the reporters.
I'm so hurt. The front page of the paper
says you are sued on my account.
If you send milk,
why don't you pay for it?
If I did, it wouldn't be in the papers.
Can't you tell them I just used the milk
without buying it and being sued for it?
They wouldn't believe it.
Now it's a matter of record.
Besides, they don't care
whether I ever pay the bill.
All that interests them is that in two
months, you've used 1200 gallons of milk.
This is terrible.
- Ask the reporters to come up.
- Do nothing of the kind.
Anna, you must not insult the press.
If they come up, I tell the truth.
No, at first, tell them nothing.
Desk, please.
Pretend embarrassment.
Pretend it? I was never so ashamed.
Are the gentlemen of the press
still waiting for Miss Held?
What are you doing?
Oh, yes, if you will, please.
I will say I never in my life
took a milk bath.
I will tell them it is all a press story.
I will go back to France.
Marie, pack the things. Quick.
This time I mean it!
You cannot make a circus of me.
I'm not a strongman like Sandow.
I'm a real artist,
and I never, never, never will say that.
Yes? Oh, ask them
to come right up, please.
Anna, don't you realize
that if we put this story over...
...your name will be in headlines
from coast to coast?
Every woman in the country will be
talking about you.
I don't care.
I do not have to be a cow
to be a success.
And before I make such a fool of myself,
I tear up my contract with you. So...
...where is it?
And besides... Besides...
And besides, you do nothing
as I like to have it.
It must always be your way.
I ask you 1000 times
to have costumes like Lillian Russell.
She has not to take milk baths
to be a success. She is beautiful.
But, no, I cannot have gowns like her.
There now.
Tell the reporters about that!
- Anna.
- I mean it. I'm determined.
You let the reporters come up, yes?
All right, I tell them everything.
Well, I should tell them, no?
Now, you do what I ask you to, darling...
...and I'll do whatever you wish.
You mean, you'll let me have
gowns like Lillian Russell?
Oh, no, darling.
You're not her type.
- But I'll tell you what I will do.
- What?
I'll put eight Lillian Russells
on the stage behind you.
Isn't Anna beautiful?
I wonder if the milk baths
really make her skin so nice.
Oh, they most certainly do.
I've been taking them for a long time.
Oh, Marie, were they not
wonderful tonight?
And the girls!
Don't they look gorgeous?
Look. From my Flo.
Oh, my Flo.
Oh, Marie! Marie!
You read what he says.
Oui, madame.
Read it to me, quick!
What does it say?
"My darling.
I never knew that one long year
could seem like one short moment.
You are magnificent, my wife. Flo. "
Oh, Marie.
- Marie, did you hear that?
- I just read it, madame.
No, no. Did you hear what he says?
"You are magnificent, my wife. "
Oh, madame, look! Look!
Come on, help me.
Oh, isn't it gorgeous?
Oh, madame, look, look!
Here's another one!
Oh, Marie!
Oh, that makes me
so much inside. Here.
Much too much.
First, he gives me all
the flowers in the world...
...and now he takes the stars
from the heavens, just for me.
"You're magnificent, my wife. "
- Am I magnificent, Marie?
- Oui, madame.
No, no, no.
He's magnificent, not I.
Marie, I must show them to the girls!
I come back immediately!
And when Mr. Ziegfeld comes,
please tell him he shall wait!
Girls, would you like to see
something wonderful?
Oh, what is it?
- Look! And this!
- Diamonds!
- From my husband!
- May I try the bracelet?
- Yes, sure.
- That's gorgeous.
Audrey, are you not interested
in my presents?
I would be if they were mine.
But, Audrey, you will have
many of them someday.
Maybe you have to work a little,
to suffer a little.
- But what is that?
- I'll work, but I won't suffer.
- Here you are, dear.
- Thank you.
Isn't it beautiful, Audrey?
I'll say it is.
I'd give my soul for one like it.
That would be a very
bad bargain, Audrey.
All right, that's fine! Tie it off!
You're better with your feet
than your broom.
Mr. Ziegfeld, you think so?
I wish you'd give me a chance.
I've got talent.
I'd like to get away from shifting
scenery and moving props.
- How long have you been a property boy?
- Five years. But my heart hasn't been in it.
You've been working a long time
without your heart.
- That tickle you?
- It does.
And this weekly return tickles me more.
Look, a profit of $5000.
If you'll just be conservative,
I mean, live reasonably.
Don't incur any fresh obligations,
forget you have charge accounts...
...and you'll soon...
- You're right.
- I will.
- Darling!
Oh, Anna.
You're the sweetest husband
in the whole world.
Mr. Sampston!
From my husband.
On our anniversary.
This and this.
Are they not gorgeous diamonds?
Yes, indeed, Miss Held, gorgeous.
Good night, Mr. Ziegfeld.
Good night, Sampston.
He didn't seem very happy
about my presents, oui?
Anna, men who keep books
are never very happy.
Marie, you go out for a while.
He is my maid tonight. Go, go, go, go.
- Oh, I am, am I?
- Yes, you are.
Later, I count the diamonds in the bracelet
and necklace and kiss you for each one.
What about the orchids?
Don't I get anything for them?
For each petal of each orchid,
another kiss extra. So...
Take off my stocking, please.
You know, this might get to be a habit.
Flo, you're wonderful.
Do you know that?
I suspect it.
Everything you promise me, you do.
Everything you say will happen, happens.
And now I am a big success
in America, thanks to you.
Why do you do that when I am
trying to say nice things to you?
Such a very bad maid!
But I love you.
- Flo?
- What?
Flo, are you as happy as I am?
Happier. Why do you ask?
Because sometimes
I think I am too happy.
Sometimes I get afraid
it won't be always like this...
...working only for you
while you do the show just for me.
Couldn't I do another show
without spoiling our happiness?
Of course you could. Don't be silly.
Do you want to do another show?
Well, darling, now that you've
made such a tremendous success...
...I have a little idea
that I'd like to carry out.
Idea for a show?
- The biggest kind of a show.
- With music and girls?
- Beautiful girls and...
- And without me, oui?
Well, darling, you couldn't do
two shows at once, could you?
Now, Anna, see here.
Suppose we go down to Rector's
and celebrate our anniversary?
- No, I don't...
- Just us and a bottle of wine.
- I don't feel like it.
- Come on, now, dear.
- No, I'm so nervous.
- It'll be good for you.
I'm so tired.
I'm so disappointed in you
I could scream!
- Now, Anna...
- I mean it.
I thought you loved me more
than anything in the world.
I thought I am your one ideal,
your only ambition.
- Anna...
- No.
I think only of you, and I thought
you will only think of me.
But it is not so.
You have big plans without me.
You will do a big show.
You will go broke again!
Anna, you're jealous.
- No, Flo!
- Yes.
Don't say that, no, no, no!
I hate jealous people,
and I don't know what's...
I'm angry, and I wish you would go.
Please, please.
Please go. Go! Go!
- Good morning, Mr. Billings.
- Good morning, Miss Drake. Messages?
Nothing important, except Mr. Erlanger
wants to see you today.
Mr. Ziegfeld is in your office.
Well, why in my office
instead of out here?
I thought he'd be more
comfortable in there.
Well, I... Oh yes, I see.
To what do I owe the honor
of this visit, Mr. Ziegfeld?
Mr. Billings, if you've ever had it in for me,
you've certainly avenged yourself.
This is positively the worst cigar I've ever
smoked in my life. How are you, Jack?
- All right. How are you?
- Never better. Sit, won't you?
Thank you. Nice of you.
I'm here to do you a great favor.
I'm sorry, I can't take advantage of it.
I'm broke.
That's why I'm hooked up
with Erlanger.
Oh, well, that's fine for me.
He's just the man I need.
Jack, I want to do a new show,
a big show.
I'm willing to split it 50-50 with Erlanger,
and all he has to do is put up the money...
...and furnish the theaters.
- Oh, that's all?
That's all.
Of course, you'd furnish the star.
Oh, this isn't for Anna.
Anna's show is all set.
No, in this one...
...I want to star the girls.
- Don't be ridiculous.
Without personalities,
you haven't got a chance.
I'll have personalities, all right,
lots of them.
But they'll mostly be
blonds and brunettes.
What are you going to call this opera?
I'm going to call it
the Ziegfeld Follies.
Follies. Follies, all right.
What's the matter?
That's a good title.
What's so unusual about a girl show?
We've got plenty now.
I don't mean that kind.
They're way out-of-date.
You're using the same scenery you used
20 years ago, wood wings and flats.
I want to do a show with silk drapes,
with lace, with beautiful girls.
I won't dress them
for the men in the front...
...but for the women in the back.
I want to surround them with
glamour, glitter. Glorify them.
There's a good word, Jack. "Glorify. "
Sounds all right
if you know what it means.
It'll look all right too.
"Glorifying the American Girl. "
Where you gonna find
these beautiful girls?
I'll take them from homes,
from stores, from shops...
From offices.
I beg your pardon.
Mr. Erlanger would like to see you now.
Oh, all right.
- Yes, well, that'll do, Miss Drake.
- Yes, sir.
Now, listen, Ziggy, not her.
She's the best stenographer I ever had.
- All right, Jack.
- Here, here.
- You will buzz the little giant?
- I'll tell him...
...but I doubt he'll be interested.
- He's missing a great opportunity.
Yes, I know.
But, well, I'll drop you a line about it.
Perhaps tomorrow.
Wire me, will you?
Well, if you'd rather hear
the sad news sooner, I'll wire.
What's that? They won't give us
our share of the profits?
All right! Open him in Boston...
...jump him to New Orleans,
and then on to Frisco.
Funny thing, Billings.
You just can't be nice to some people.
Yes, that's what I was thinking.
Ziegfeld was just here.
What did he want?
Remember when he stole Anna Held
right from under my nose?
Then, so I couldn't get her back,
he married her and made enough to retire.
Now he comes back, broke again...
...asking me to ask you for the money
to put on a new show!
Well, that's nerve.
What do you want me to do?
Give him the money.
- Cantor and Will Rogers!
- $50 a pair!
- Best show in town!
- Tickets, boys? And gentlemen?
Standing room only.
Come on, girls, come on, come on!
Get up those steps! Come on!
You realize this is opening night?
You take that brace and put it down here!
What is it?
I've only got two minutes.
You ready to go in with those steps?
I've built so many steps for Ziegfeld,
they go in by themselves.
- What follows this number?
- The...
I know, Greg Williams.
Have the finale costumes arrived?
Mr. Sampston's talking
to the costumer now.
Oh, I see. Trouble again.
You can't do this!
It's an unheard-of procedure!
I'm very sorry, Mr. Sampston,
I want my money.
It's preposterous! Ridiculous!
- No money, no finale costumes.
- It's a holdup! Oh, hello.
You can't do this to Mr. Ziegfeld.
Wait here a minute.
- Allen!
- Yes, sir.
- Where's Ziegfeld?
- Haven't seen him in 10 minutes.
- See if he's in the front.
- Yes, sir.
No, no, I'll go.
No, no, you go.
- No, no, send somebody else.
- Yes, sir. Joe!
Tell him I must see him immediately.
The show depends on it.
This is going to be the death of me.
This is awful.
Wait here for me. You will wait?
You bet I will.
- Hello, Sam. How are y'all?
- Mr. Rogers?
You look kind of worried.
What's on your mind, Sam?
I was looking for Mr. Ziegfeld.
Just a minute, Sam.
Mr. Ziegfeld, it's very important.
The costumer's...
Will, the audiences love
to hear you talk.
Well, shucks, Flo.
I can't talk any more than I do.
Gotta get the rope tricks in, don't I?
I think they like to hear
your wisecracks better.
Perhaps, but what will I talk about?
I ain't got anything to say that's funny.
- Mr. Ziegfeld...
- Now wait a minute, Sam.
Your wife tells me you keep
her laughing all the time...
...just about things
you read in the papers.
I catch on. Betty's been putting
you up to this, huh?
Well, I got a sort of a habit of telling her
all I know is what I read in the papers...
...and she says that's what I ought
to tell the audience.
Just sort of be kind
of a running gag item.
- She's right.
- Oh, sure, Betty's always right.
But she don't have to stand on the stage
and catch those overripe tomatoes...
...if the gag don't work.
- Mr. Ziegfeld, I must interrupt you.
- The finale costumes are here.
- Oh, good.
- Will you do it?
- I might.
- They won't leave without the money.
- Give them a check.
- Will you do it tonight?
- They want the cash.
They sent the costumes
for this show COD?
No, sir, not this show.
They want some money on the last show.
Reckon you got your shows mixed up?
Well, I reckon. A little.
If I can help you out on anything,
why, let me know.
Thanks, Bill. I'm all right.
Well, tell me if I can.
Of course, I don't suppose it makes
a lot of difference, because...
...even with the costumes on,
girls in this show...
...ain't exactly overdressed.
You save your wisecracks
for the audience, Bill.
- Hey, buddy! Hey!
- Yes?
Your opening night, your big chance,
and you're still moving scenery?
I can't help it, Mr. Ziegfeld.
It gets in the blood.
Besides, I don't know how
I'm gonna go over tonight.
I don't wanna lose a job
till I'm sure of the other.
When I hired you as an actor,
I fired you as a stagehand.
Better make good.
You'll find yourself without any job.
- Well, what seems to be the trouble?
- No trouble, I hope, except...
Except he's holding us up!
- He refuses to leave the costumes unless...
- Unless he gets money, and he's right.
Let me see them first.
At once, Mr. Ziegfeld.
Open up the basket.
I tell you, Mr. Ziegfeld,
these dresses are wonderful.
The finest work I have ever done.
Look, Mr. Ziegfeld, isn't it stunning?
Perhaps you made a mistake.
This isn't for me.
Oh, yes, Mr. Ziegfeld, for the finale.
Not my finale.
Mr. Schutz, this is the
New Amsterdam Theatre.
This is the Follies.
I know, Mr. Ziegfeld,
and this is the costume for the finale.
Well, not for my show.
Why, I couldn't let my girls appear
in a thing like that. That's horrible!
Oh, take it away.
But, Mr. Ziegfeld, they were made from
the sketches of your own designer.
You yourself made the changes on
the sketches when you gave me the order.
I never ordered that. That's terrible!
Take it away, take it out of my theater!
But, Mr. Ziegfeld, I worked over
three weeks on these dresses.
I have plenty of money
invested in them.
I'm sorry, but I can't help that.
What do you want to do? Disgrace me?
No, no, Mr. Ziegfeld. But please
do not disgrace me.
I mean, Mr. Ziegfeld, please
let your girls wear my costumes tonight.
No, I wouldn't humiliate them.
If you aren't satisfied, I'll make it up to
you, but don't make me take them back.
All right, but just this once.
Send them up to the dressing rooms.
See me in my office next week.
- Next month.
- Next month.
Thank you very much, Mr. Ziegfeld.
- They are beautiful, aren't they?
- Awfully expensive.
All right, girls,
places for the melody number!
He's singing very well
tonight, Mr. Ziegfeld.
He's all right,
but there's too much white.
Merv, he's too white.
Bring up the pink in your footlights.
Are the steps high enough
for you this time, Mr. Ziegfeld?
No, I don't think so.
We could use more, a lot more.
- I'd like to see them higher.
- How's that, Mr. Ziegfeld?
That's perfect now.
Keep it that way the rest of the number.
Ain't that something?
Don't you like your flowers, honey lamb?
- They're beautiful. Was there a card?
- Oh, sure. Here it is.
And there was a package too.
I done unwrapped it for you.
- You've done looked at it too, I suppose.
- Oh, no, honey lamb, I never.
- Pour me a drink, Flossie.
- Another? Ain't you all forgetting... got a midnight show to do
on the roof tonight?
And ain't you all forgetting
to pour that drink?
Well, scratch my back, honey.
Is them diamonds, or is them stars?
- Who sent them to you, honey lamb?
- Who do you think?
I know.
They's from Mr. Zieg...
- Here he is.
- Tell him to come in.
- You were beautiful tonight.
- Thank you.
Flossie, pour us a drink.
No, no, no, please, dear, no.
I just came to tell you...
Somebody else thought
you were beautiful too, oui?
From an old friend.
Not too old, I hope.
What a beautiful bracelet, Audrey.
Is this from your old friend too?
- Do you like it?
- Yes, it's charming!
You know, your friend
must have very good taste...
...because this is just the sort
of jewelry Flo would like.
I told you someday
you will have lots of diamonds, didn't I?
Yes, you did.
And I told you
I wouldn't suffer, remember?
...I do.
Well, congratulations again, Audrey.
I'll see you later.
On the roof, oui?
She's really quite beautiful, Flo, oui?
- Yes, she is, isn't she?
- You're very much interested in her, oui?
I'm interested in all my girls, dear.
But maybe a tiny, little bit more
in her, oui?
A lot more.
- She's very unusual.
- Yes.
I could make a great star out of her,
if she'd only let me.
Ladies and gentlemen!
On behalf of the rest of the company,
I've been asked to make a little speech.
Well, you see,
I have a confession to make.
Little Audrey is a wee bit tight tonight.
No, but seriously,
you really shouldn't applaud all of us...
...because everything we've done
we owe to Flo.
You see, I was just a little chorus girl
when Flo discovered me.
He taught me how to walk
and how to dress...
...and how to smile.
Here's to Flo.
I am afraid you must forgive
Miss Lane tonight.
She just passed through many weeks
of very tedious rehearsals.
And the nervous strain of
an opening night. She's not really herself.
On behalf of my company,
I want to thank you.
You've been very kind
to my girls and my stars.
And speaking of stars...
...there's a young lady here tonight
who, in my opinion... destined to reach
the top of her profession.
She doesn't work for me,
I'm sorry to say...
...but I'm very proud of her. She's here
tonight with her producer, lucky fellow.
And if she will, I'm going to ask
Sally Manners to take a bow.
Sally Manners.
Nice of him to pay my star
a tribute, isn't it?
Yes, it is. I hope you've got her
on a long contract.
- Are you ready, Mr. Ziegfeld?
- All ready.
Now, you'll be signing the contract
but look in the camera.
The picture wouldn't be right
without the Manners smile.
All right?
All right, shoot!
Those things horrify me.
- I think we're both to be congratulated.
- I feel it's a great opportunity.
- Thank you.
- Sage, if you'll take Miss Manners...
...and the boys into your office,
I'm sure she'll have things to say.
- I could tell them how happy I am now.
- May I congratulate you?
- Thank you.
- Right this way, Miss Manners.
- Ms. Manners...
- Come along now, boys.
- Where's that girl you said was my friend?
- Here I am.
I didn't want to disturb you.
You told them out there
that you were a friend of mine, huh?
Yes, I did.
Well, I see.
Just to get into my office, huh?
- Smart girl.
- Well, I am a friend of yours.
Have you forgotten me?
No, no, of course not. I...
I remember you very well.
Who am I?
- As if I didn't know.
- Do you?
Of course. I always remember
the time, the place and the girl.
It was...
- Atlantic City.
- Nope.
- No?
- No.
Well, that's funny. I seem to remember
a chair on a boardwalk... beside me and...
Are you sure it wasn't Atlantic City?
It might have been Atlantic City,
but it wasn't me.
Now I remember!
Why, it was right here in this office.
You came up to see me about a year ago.
Oh, now it all comes back to me.
Well, how are you?
Where have you been?
- No?
- No. You don't seem to remember...
...the time, the place or the girl.
Perhaps this will help you.
Mary Lou!
Well, how's my girl?
How's my fella?
Well, my little Mary Lou
is a big girl now, isn't she?
Yes, indeed, a very big girl.
- Aren't you glad to see me?
- Yes, I certainly am!
Even if I wasn't at Atlantic City
with you?
Don't be silly.
I knew you all the time.
Now, fibber...
- Well, how long you been in New York?
- One day.
- One day. You seen my father lately?
- Yes, just before I left.
Oh, that reminds me,
he told me to give you a big kiss.
You know, I think that in all fairness...
...I should tell you I'm a married man.
- Yes, I know. I read about it.
It nearly broke my heart.
But being married in New York
doesn't mean anything, does it?
Oh, yes, it does, young lady.
Now, why are you here,
and what can I do for you?
Well, first of all, I want to give you
a big kiss for all the candy you sent me.
You've already done that twice.
Now, what else?
- Well, I want to go into the Follies.
- You do?
- I've been taking dancing lessons 2 years.
- Yeah?
- How do your father and mother feel?
- I haven't a father and mother anymore.
I'm so sorry, my dear.
Of course, Jimmy won't like it.
- Who's Jimmy?
- Just another fellow I've been engaged to.
Oh, well...
- All right, I think we can look after you.
- Do you think we can have dinner tonight?
Well, no, no, I'm afraid we can't.
- Oh, Alice!
- Yes, sir.
Take this lady down to the stage and tell
Julian to put her on as an extra dancer.
- For the time being.
- Oh, gee, thank you!
Mary Lou is an old friend of mine
from Chicago, and she's a stranger here.
- So I'd like you to sort of look after her.
- Yes, sir.
- This way, dear.
- Oh, may I say one thing before I go?
- Well, yes, of course. What?
- I forgive you for not marrying me.
- All right. Goodbye, dear.
- Goodbye.
Hello. Pardon me.
Hello, Alice. Say, Flo!
I know! You got a new song.
I'll say we have.
Play him the melody, Danny.
Oh, you'll go crazy over this, Flo.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
I must interrupt you.
This is important.
- I got an idea.
- How much will it save?
- This has nothing to do with money.
- Feeling all right?
My usual headache,
but this is about talent.
- Good and cheap, no doubt?
- Exactly. A young lady, the name of Brice.
- Fannie Brice. She's working in burlesque.
- I've seen that gal, Flo.
- Pretty?
- Well, yes and no.
Shut your eyes and listen, yes.
Open them and look, no.
- But a great performer.
- We should see her at once, tonight.
- Shall I take your coat?
- Why not? You bought it for me.
I gave it to you because you've been
behaving yourself this week.
What are you going to give me
next week?
- Watch the show.
- I don't see how you can find...
...great stars in a place like this.
Some of our greatest stars
have come from places like this.
Well, of course, not being a star yet,
I wouldn't know.
You can, if you behave yourself.
- What's on now, Fannie?
- Jim Boss.
- Lf that guy's funny, I'll be a...
- That guy's gonna be a big star someday.
- He can make you laugh and make you cry.
- Yeah, and he can make me sick.
Comics bore me.
You give me a pain in the neck, always
telling me who's gonna be a great star.
Once in burlesque, always in burlesque.
Unless you got looks or a voice
or something.
- Well, that's what I got, kid.
- What?
- Something.
- On the level... don't hope to get out
of burlesque?
You're good here because these people
are from 10th Avenue.
How good do you think you'd be
on Fifth Avenue?
Half as good.
Another silk stocking gone.
I'll never buy anything
from those stage-door peddlers again.
That's what you said before.
What'd you let the fella in for? Here.
He told the stage doorman
his name was Belasco.
And you thought it was the Mr. Belasco,
the producer.
- Calling personally to see you?
- Well, maybe I was a little optimistic.
Miss Brice,
Mr. Ziegfeld is here to see you.
Another peddler.
First it's Belasco, now it's Ziegfeld.
Tell Mr. Ziegfeld I'm not in, and if
I was in, tell him I wouldn't see him.
And if I did see him,
tell him I wouldn't buy a thing.
- Yes, miss.
- Thank you.
Miss Brice?
I hope I'm not intruding.
- I'm Florenz Ziegfeld.
- Is that so?
Sarah, this is Mr. Ziegfeld.
Mr. Ziegfeld, this is Sarah Bernhardt.
Not the Sarah Bernhardt?
- A pleasure to run into you.
- Lf you run into your friend Belasco...
...tell him about the runs
in his stockings.
- Do you know David Belasco?
- Better than you know Ziegfeld.
Well, come on,
what do you want for it?
I'm not interested.
Miss Brice, I am here to offer you
a great opportunity.
That's what they all say.
What kind of fur is this?
- That's mink.
- That so?
And what's the price?
Well, the original cost was $2700.
Who cares from originals?
Copies is just as good.
Come on, I'll try it on.
Yes, of course.
As a matter of fact,
it ought to fit you very well.
Don't give me the talk,
just tell me the price.
I don't wanna buy it,
but I'll give you $50 for it.
- And not a cent more.
- Miss Brice, the coat is yours.
- Stuck again.
- Fannie! Are you really gonna buy it?
If I can give Belasco 4 dollars
for silk stockings made of cotton...
...I can give Ziegfeld more
for a mink coat made of skunk.
Besides, a bargain's a bargain.
Here's your $40.
Get out before I change my mind.
Thank you.
- Fannie!
- What?
Fannie, look!
- What? Moths already?
- No, feel! It's real mink.
How do you know?
I've been promised one
often enough to tell.
It's real mink, all right.
It's probably stolen goods.
- You mean it's hot?
- Of course it's warm.
- Then I'll be arrested if I keep it?
- Of course you will.
Call the stage manager!
Call the police! Call my mother!
Come in.
Message for Miss Brice.
You read it. I'm dying.
"Dear Fannie Brice.
I can't accept your $40, but you can
please me by accepting the coat.
I shall expect you at my office
in the New Amsterdam tomorrow... I want to engage you
for the Follies.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. "
Fannie, it was him!
It was Ziegfeld!
How do you like that?
I like it.
Fannie! Fannie!
Have you fainted?
Can't you see I have, you chump?
Get me some whiskey!
- Oh, Miss Brice?
- Yes, sir?
- We're ready for you.
- I'm coming right down.
Yes, sir, I'll be right down.
I'm coming as fast as I can.
I thought I had more time.
Don't lose your nerve, kid.
This is your big chance.
Be a trouper!
Look at you. You're working
for Ziegfeld now.
And you look like a million dollars.
For the first time in your life,
you're class, you mug.
Wait a minute! Ho!
What in the...? Fannie!
What in the world are you made up for?
Veronica? Clarence?
Anything I can do, Mr. Ziegfeld?
Yes. Come here, will you?
Yes, Mr. Ziegfeld?
Will you rip off that train?
- But, Mr. Ziegfeld!
- Go ahead.
Take off the hat.
Get rid of this boa constrictor.
Now, will you get me a shawl?
An old shawl.
Yes, sir.
How do you expect Miss Brice
to sing a sad song about her man...
...dressed up like a nightingale?
I find personalities,
you try to destroy them.
I didn't engage Miss Brice
as a showgirl.
- Is that all right, Mr. Ziegfeld?
- Well, that's all right for now.
Tomorrow, buy her another outfit.
Go to a secondhand store
and get her an old dress.
She's supposed to be an apache,
a poor French girl, an urchin.
So to work for Ziegfeld,
I gotta be an urchin.
Even in burlesque,
I was middle class.
...let me see this, Fannie.
Sing the song. Now!
Vic? All right. Let's go.
If she can turn those tears on in front
of an audience, she'll be a sensation.
Look at the girls.
Mr. Ziegfeld, shall we get back
to that conference?
The boys are still waiting, you know.
Yeah, yeah. Tell them I'll be right up.
She's all right.
She's gonna be great.
- Who's that?
- Brice. Fannie Brice.
- I've got a great spot for her in this show.
- And I discovered her!
That's right, Sam,
and you deserve a raise.
And I'd give it to him, but I'm afraid
he wouldn't approve of the expense.
- How's it look, Gene?
- It's the best we've ever done.
You're the best author.
Herbert's the best composer.
Julian's the best director. Joe's the best
artist. Sam's the best bookkeeper.
I'm dying to hear it.
Every line he writes is a laugh.
We open on a street in Cairo.
Didn't I tell you every line
was a laugh?
We open on a street in Cairo.
Along comes a man leading an elephant.
Wait just a minute, Gene.
- Can you boys stand a shock?
- Well, what do you mean, Flo?
I hate to tell you this because
I know how hard you've worked...
- But I've decided not to do another Follies.
- What?
I'm going on with this new edition
with Brice...
...but after that I wanna do a story.
Something with a plot.
Something with all the glamour of
the Follies, around a sweet, simple story.
Something that will fit this little girl
Sally Manners.
We might call it Sally.
Oh, Jerry.
Hello, Flo. How are you?
- I was just thinking of you.
- It's nice to be thought of.
- Hello, boys.
- Hello.
Remember that melody you played
at my house a few weeks ago?
- I played several.
- And they were all beautiful.
But this one was... You remember?
You were going to send it to me.
Oh, I know.
"Look for the Silver Lining. "
That's the one. Come on, play it.
Do you mind?
Sure, I will.
I've got the lyrics right here.
Fine. Get this.
"Look for the Silver Lining. "
See what I mean?
That's what I want.
A story just as simple and sweet
as that tune.
Sing it, Jerry, will you?
Ziegfeld, these gentlemen
are pestering me...
...about money for scenery,
costumes and whatnot.
And I wanna tell you in their presence,
I have no interest in this show...
...and in no way am I concerned with it.
Our agreement is for Ziegfeld Follies
and nothing else.
You understand that, gentlemen?
Nothing else.
Mr. Ziegfeld, this is very unpleasant
at a rehearsal...
...but we insist on at least 50 percent
of our money before opening.
- We are selling a lot of tickets.
- Sampston, that's our best proposition.
- Mr. Ziegfeld, we're ready for the finale.
- All right, Benny.
Boys, what are you worried about?
Have I started anything I couldn't finish?
Don't my curtains always go up?
Why, if I owed you 100 times
the amount I do, you'd get it.
- Come to me tomorrow, I'll pay you.
- 50 percent, Mr. Ziegfeld.
A hundred percent if you want it.
Maybe I can give you an advance
on the Eddie Cantor show.
I'm doing a story with him too.
Eddie Cantor?
How are you gonna do it?
- I don't know.
- Finale.
Mr. Ziegfeld, Audrey Dane
is visiting backstage...
...and she brought a lot
of champagne with her.
- Well...
- Yes, sir?
Never mind.
- It looks very good, the show, huh?
- Yes, it's wonderful, really.
- I'll be back in a moment, darling.
- All right.
I wanna see every one of you
in my office in the morning.
Get out.
Audrey, you know I've forbidden
drinking in the dressing rooms.
Oh, Flo, don't be mad at me.
I just asked the girls up
to have a drink.
It isn't their fault.
You see, it's my f...
Now, Audrey, please.
Please stand up now.
I can't. I wanna get down,
but I can't get down.
Lift me, Flo.
Oh, don't put me down.
Don't put me down.
Audrey, you've broken
your last promise to me.
You should have at least
closed the door.
Anna, please don't misjudge me.
I couldn't help it.
She's drunk.
Do you always do that
when she's drunk?
The members of your company
must enjoy that very much.
Oh, Anna, don't say that.
Don't you understand, dear?
When one of my girls...
Poor Flo. You have so much trouble
with your girls, oui?
Aren't you going to eat
your grapefruit, sir?
No, nothing, Sidney.
Well, we know now why she didn't
come home last night.
I'm sorry, sir.
- Did you send the flowers?
- The minute I learned the address.
- A dozen orchids as usual.
- Good.
Mr. Sampston called again, sir.
He says the bank positively refuses
to increase your loans.
- Thank you, Sidney.
- Yes, sir.
- Miss Dane, sir.
- Here?
Undoubtedly she's read the paper, sir.
Show her in, Sidney.
Well, Flo, congratulations.
- On what?
- I just saw the headline.
I don't think I'm to be congratulated,
Little Audrey is speaking
out of turn again.
- And I was a bad girl last night too.
- I don't think you should have come here.
So that's how you feel.
- Going to Atlantic City tonight?
- No.
- Isn't the show opening there tomorrow?
- No.
Broke again?
Yes, broke again.
- Please don't turn the elephant, Audrey.
- Afraid I'll spoil your luck?
...nobody thinks enough of your new star
to loan you money.
I don't blame them.
Why didn't you star me in the show?
You, with all your promises.
"Audrey, if you'll just behave yourself,
I'll put your name on Broadway. "
"Audrey, if you'll only stop drinking,
I'll have great shows written for you. "
Why didn't you make me
a great star?
- I couldn't depend on you, as I could on...
- Yes!
Well, all right. Depend on her now.
Go on, star her.
Do anything you like with her.
I hate you!
I'm never gonna see you again.
I'm quitting you and your show.
I hope you don't get the money to open it.
And if you do, I hope it's a flop!
That's how I feel about you!
And this is how I feel
about your elephant!
- Sidney?
- Yes, sir?
Take a wire to Mr. Billings.
Will that be all, Mr. Billings?
Yes, that'll be all, thank you.
- Miss Jones, take care of that right away.
- Yes, sir.
I got another telegram from Ziegfeld. He
can't open his show unless we help him.
We won't help him.
I told him so yesterday.
I'm not interested,
and I won't loan him 5 cents.
- Send him a wire...
- I just did.
- Did what?
- Wired him the money.
Isn't that Mr. Ziegfeld?
Say, Flo, why don't you go
put on the costume...
...and get into the spirit of the dance.
- I'm tired, Gene.
Come on, Flo.
Don't lose interest in everything.
No, I'm going home.
Good night.
- Let me have that megaphone, honey.
- Yes, sir.
- Willie.
- Flo, you're not leaving.
- Yes, I am.
- We're starting a Paul Jones inside...
...and I promise whenever you get
a pretty girl, I'll blow the whistle.
Not tonight, Willie.
Say, who is that girl
with the gorgeous red hair?
Why, that's Billie Burke.
Thanks, Willie.
- Good evening, Jack.
- How do you do? Come on.
- Yes, Flo?
- I'm staying for the Paul Jones.
Whenever you see me with Miss Burke,
blow the whistle.
Take your places for the Paul Jones,
The Paul Jones!
- Well, do you think we ought to? L...
- Oh, yes. I love the Paul Jones.
- Perhaps we could both go the same way.
- No, we can't do that!
Oh, Well, I...
Miss Burke.
It doesn't matter.
Oh, no, I'm supposed to...
I've got to... We're not...
- Oh, no, this is our dance.
- Oh, is it?
- Miss Burke.
- We meet again, Mister...?
It still doesn't matter.
Won't you tell me?
- Tell you what?
- Your name.
- Why don't you ask Mr. Billings.
- I will, if I can find him.
But you seem to stand in
with the whistle.
Oh, yes, when I was a little boy,
I used to love to whistle...
...and a whistle never forgets.
- Aren't you getting bored?
- No. Are you?
- I'm afraid not.
- Tired?
- Are you?
- No, but I'd much rather just talk.
- Would you mind?
- No.
Don't you love the lights of New York?
For me, they're more beautiful
than any landscape.
- More beautiful than the mountains?
- Yes, I think so.
- Are you too cold out here?
- No, indeed. I'm enjoying it.
That is, I...
I mean, the electric signs fascinate me.
"Wrigley's Chewing Gum, Fleischmann's
Yeast, Ziegfeld's Follies."
- Do you know Ziegfeld?
- No, I don't want to.
- I understand he's a horrible person.
- Horrible?
Yes, they say he's a terrible lady's man.
Well, I suppose that's forgivable.
He's surrounded by so many
beautiful women.
Yes, yes.
Strange you've never met him.
I don't want to. I love his shows.
They're beautiful and in such good taste.
It would disappoint me to meet him...
...and find him to be a fat, pudgy man
with a big stomach.
He's not fat
and not really so pudgy.
- No? You know him?
- Oh, yes.
Yes. He would like you.
- How do you know?
- Didn't you just say he had good taste?
Well, you're sort of a lady's man yourself,
aren't you?
I think with you as the lady,
I could make Ziegfeld look like an amateur.
- You haven't told me your name yet.
- Lf you don't mind, Mr. Ziegfeld...
...Miss Burke, with the permission
of her producer...
...came here with me tonight.
And if you've no objection,
I'd like to have one dance.
Mr. Ziegfeld? Well, you were right.
He isn't pudgy.
- Shall we go in?
- Yes!
- Don't I get one more dance?
- I'm afraid not.
I imagine it's Mr. Frohman
you're really afraid of, isn't it?
- Oh, I'm...
- Perhaps.
He doesn't want you to appear
too much socially.
Frankly, no, he doesn't.
And you don't like me
very well anyway, do you?
- Frankly, no, I don't.
- No. She doesn't!
You put him in his place, all right.
What would Gen. Grant think
if he knew we were using...
...the very shadow of his tomb
as our meeting place?
Well, I never knew the general personally,
but I have an idea he'd approve.
I don't know. Nobody else seems to.
At least, Mr. Frohman doesn't.
And why not?
Why can't we meet where we like?
Go where we want?
Just because he has you
under contract... no reason he should
dictate your personal life.
- I'm here.
- Yes, and so am I.
But it must seem like
kindergarten to you.
The great Mr. Ziegfeld,
producer of the Follies...
...surrounded by hundreds
of beautiful women...
...sitting on a bench, holding hands...
...watching the riverboats
go back and forth.
- Doesn't sound a bit like you, does it?
- No, it doesn't.
But here I am, sitting on a bench...
...holding hands and watching
the riverboats go back and forth.
And regretting all the years
I haven't known you.
Didn't Anna Held take up a few
of those years?
Yes, Billie, she did.
She was truly a wonderful woman.
I love you for saying that.
Look, there's another ferryboat going
across to the Palisades.
Will you keep your eyes on it
while I tell you something?
Must I look at a ferryboat
to listen to you?
Yes, or I won't be able to tell you.
You mean the great lady's man
is bashful?
Strange as it may seem,
in your presence, he is.
All right, I'm looking.
I love you, Billie.
The ferryboat.
I haven't anything to offer you, because
there's nothing you really seem to need.
You've made the most of yourself
unassisted, and that's grand.
You're a great star already,
so there's little I can offer you.
Nothing I can give you,
except my love.
That isn't enough.
I'd expect part of your ambition,
half of your trouble...
...two-thirds of your worries
and all of your respect.
Here's your medicine, madame.
No, thank you, Marie.
I'm tired of it.
- But, madame...
- No, no, no, no.
Perhaps you would like
to go to Paris?
No, I'm too tired to go anywhere
and to do anything.
Look at the paper...
...and tell me where did they go
on their honeymoon?
But they couldn't go anywhere,
Miss Burke is appearing in a play here.
We saw her only two weeks ago.
You insisted, madame.
You remember.
Oui, I know. And we enjoyed it
very much too.
She's a lovely actress, Marie, oui?
She has such twinkling eyes...
...and such a funny little twitter
when she speaks.
Yes, I can well imagine
Flo being in love with her.
Call his office.
I will congratulate him.
Hello? Brian 3093, please.
I should wish him luck, oui?
- Oui, I should.
- Mr. Ziegfeld, please.
- Miss Anna Held speaking.
- No, Marie, hang up!
- I cannot speak with him today!
- Mr. Ziegfeld?
He's on the telephone, madame.
He is?
Hello, Flo.
Yes, here's Anna.
I'm so happy for you today.
I could not help but call on you
and congratulate you.
Wonderful, Flo.
Never better in my whole life.
I'm so excited about my new plans.
I'm going to Paris.
Yes, for a few weeks,
and then I can get back...
...and then I'm doing a new show,
and I...
Oui, it's all so wonderful.
I'm so happy.
Yes, and I hope you are happy too.
I'm so glad for you, Flo.
It sounds funny for ex-husband
and ex-wife... tell each other
how happy they are, oui?
Yes, Flo.
Goodbye, Flo.
If you love him so much,
why did you divorce him?
Because I thought it would
bring him back to me.
I was sure that it would
bring him back to me.
Goody, goody, goody!
Is that all for me?
That certainly is, every bit for you.
And that isn't all. Sidney?
Yes, sir?
Now, if you don't like the view
from this side...
- I don't.
- That's the chimney Santa came down.
- Yes!
- That's where the reindeer stopped.
- I wonder how they kept from sliding off.
Probably the bricks stopped them.
See, Mommy, it's almost big enough
for me to get in.
- It is!
- It's almost big enough for us all to get in.
- Oh, yes! Sidney...
- Yes, sir?
Hasn't Santa Claus brought
the elephant yet?
Not yet, sir, but he, she... It may
be here at any moment, sir.
- You didn't buy an elephant?
- I did.
- A live elephant, Daddy?
- A great big, live elephant.
I beg your pardon, sir, madam.
In behalf of the help,
and as their spokesman...
...I wish to express our thanks
for your thoughtfulness and generosity...
...and to wish you a very
merry Christmas.
- Thank you.
- That's very nice, Sidney.
And may we wish a very
merry Christmas to all of you.
Thank you, sir. Thank you, madam.
Merry Christmas.
And to you, Miss Patricia.
Same to you, Sidney.
Now, how about opening
your presents?
With all this extravagance,
I'm a little afraid to.
Nonsense, darling,
that's what Christmas is for.
Come on, now.
- Oh, Flo.
- Now.
- This isn't all for me?
- Well, who else?
- I don't know which one to open first.
- Well, suppose you try this one.
Oh, Flo!
A crown of diamonds.
How beautiful.
This proves that America
is not a republic.
Because you are the queen,
and queens always wear crowns.
A bracelet for the regal wrist.
A pendant for the royal throat.
- And...
- Flo!
A cloak for Her Majesty's shoulders.
- Darling!
- And...
- Oh, no, Flo. Nothing else!
- Yes.
A kiss from her most humble subject.
Oh, everything's so lovely.
- But you shouldn't have done so much.
- Oh, well, I...
I hadn't anything to do with it.
It was Santa Claus.
He brought everything.
Yes, I know, but Santa Claus
was far too extravagant.
You should take some of it back.
Oh, Mama, I don't want Santa Claus
to take back any of my presents.
Don't worry, he won't.
No, and he won't take back
any of your mama's either.
I'd cry if he took my circus back.
- You would?
- Why, darling?
- Like it better than your other presents?
- But I wish it was a real, live circus.
Well, I guess you'll have to do
a circus, Flo.
Could you, Daddy?
Well, I don't know. Let's see.
I've never had any experience
with circuses.
But I can try.
I'll tell you what. Let's make a chorus
in front of these two wagons.
Who's this fellow? That's the ringmaster
in the center, where he should be.
Now, we'll put these two acrobats
up next to him...
...then we'll put this Tyrollean fellow
there. Put the clown next to him.
He's a funny fellow,
and there's the lion-tamer.
Gosh, I bet he's a brave fellow too.
And there's the drum major.
And here is the strongman.
We'll call him Sandow.
- And who is this?
- Well, that's...
Oh! Of course.
That's little Harriet Hoctor.
I've always wanted
to give her a chance.
I'll tell you what. You hold her for a
minute, and we'll bring her on later.
Now let's put it all back of a curtain,
just as I do in the theater.
Now, this is the curtain.
- What's the laugh, Jack?
- This article on Ziegfeld.
Says he's broke and can't
borrow a nickel from any bank.
He wouldn't have to borrow
if he'd commercialized.
He'd never send out
a number two company.
He wanted the public to see
his best production.
Why doesn't he stick to his Follies?
That other show is terrible.
- Guess the old boy's washed-up.
- He's been slipping for years.
- White and Carroll have got it all over him.
- Bob...
Let me have a cold towel, will you?
Well, the guy's getting old.
Yeah, and broke. He won't
have another hit on Broadway.
- Isn't someone making a theater for him?
- Yeah. It's to be his monument.
It's about time.
He could use a monument.
- I don't know you fellows.
- You got nothing on me. I don't know you.
You ought to. You've been burying me
for five minutes. I'm Ziegfeld. You're right.
I'm not gonna have another hit
on Broadway. I'm gonna have four.
Four at one time.
You get that? Four!
And all hits.
Oh, Mr. Ziegfeld!
You forgot your tie.
He's gonna have four hits,
and he hasn't got a tie left.
Why did you come upstairs without
saying hello? Are you trying to elude me?
Well, I'm not feeling very well, dear.
Poor darling. You're just tired.
Where's your tie?
What do you think of that? I...
I must have left it
in the barbershop this afternoon.
And you've been around
without it ever since?
Darling, that isn't like you.
What's wrong, Flo?
Billie, I'm all through.
- Through with what?
- Everything. I'm slipping. I'm...
...getting old.
And who told you that?
- Three men in the barbershop.
- That's why you forgot your tie.
Yes, I've never done anything
like that in my whole life.
Isn't that tragic? For the first time
in your long career, you forgot a tie.
It's a calamity.
- Who were those men, Flo?
- I don't know. I never saw them before.
They said I'd never produce another hit.
And what did you say?
I told them I'd have four on Broadway
at the same time.
- Sounds more like you.
- Yeah, but it was only a bluff.
I'm sorry, dear.
I don't mean to worry you.
Where's Patricia?
She's having her dinner.
- You came home very late, dear.
- Yes, dear. I'm sorry. I...
I've been so worried.
The play is such a terrible failure.
But you're not, darling.
Afraid I am.
- Well, shall we have some dinner?
- Flo.
I'm disappointed in you.
I didn't think you'd ever lose
confidence in yourself.
But I must be the failure, not you.
- Oh, Billie.
- No, I mean it, darling.
Before we were married... never thought of failure
even when you were broke.
It was your sublime superiority
more than anything else...
...that made me admire you so much.
Please don't change, Flo.
Don't let Patricia and me
become a worry to you.
We don't expect you
to reduce your life to just us.
I want you to go right on
being just as you always were.
I would never be jealous...
...because with your love of beauty,
you could never be cheap or common.
So in whatever you do... need never fear me.
And what is more important...
...don't be afraid of yourself.
I'm not gonna be afraid, Billie.
All right, young man.
I'll give you a chance to prove it.
In my vault, I have all the jewelry
you've ever given me...
...even the queen's crown...
...and some very good bonds.
They're all yours...
...on one condition.
That you keep your promise to those three
men and have four hits on Broadway.
- Is that a bargain?
- Oh, Billie.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
Just a minute.
Mr. Ziegfeld, it's Police Inspector Doyle.
He says it's important.
- Why didn't you say so? Send him in.
- All right.
All right, Mr. Doyle.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
Hello, inspector.
- We got them, all right.
- You did? That's wonderful.
It is wonderful,
with the descriptions you gave us.
- Where are they?
- Right outside.
- Bring them in.
- All right, sir.
Bring those birds in here.
- Here they are.
- What's going on?
- Pipe down, pipe down.
- What's the charge against these men?
- Murder.
- Murder?
Yes, murder.
About a year ago, these three gentlemen
killed me and buried me.
- Killed? Buried?
- Yes. In a Times Square barbershop.
- Remember?
- Oh, yes, I remember. Don't you?
Now, I'm going to give each of you
a box to all four of my shows.
Four hits, all in one season.
And then I want you to tell me whether
or not you still think I'm washed-up.
I'm sorry, but this is the only way
I could locate you.
I knew that if you were to be found at all,
Inspector Doyle was the one to do it.
Sam, have Goldie take their reservations
for whatever nights they wish.
- Good day, gentlemen.
- This way.
- Thank you.
- That's getting even with a vengeance.
That's not a bad ending
for a practical joke, is it?
Goldie, take these gentlemen's
names and addresses.
Don't you realize what you
may have let yourself in for?
- What?
- They can sue you for false arrest.
- And the police department.
- Don't you realize we have nothing... worry about anymore?
- I hope so.
No need to hope.
You know what I've been doing?
- What?
- Buying stocks. I've bought over a million.
- Outright?
- No, on margin.
But all solid securities.
When I've paid for them, I'm gonna
buy another million and another.
- Sam, I'm going to be really rich.
- I hope you're right, sir.
But the market's been behaving
very queerly these last few days.
- Yes?
- Croydon & Company on the phone.
- Put them on.
- Been trying to get you.
They're my broker. Hello? Speaking.
Oh. Well, what happened?
Down 20 to 40 points?
How much?
- Three hundred thousand?!
- What is it?
Oh, no, no, no! Don't do that!
I'll cover. I'll get the money
to you in just a little while.
- Will you put Holloway on the phone?
- Flo, what is it?
The market, Sam, it's crashed.
I've got to get $300,000
in cash, immediately.
- How are we gonna do it?
- I don't know.
- Maybe I could borrow it from a bank.
- On what?
On your shows.
It's too late. I've already mortgaged the
shows for the first payments on the stock.
What's that?
But you've got to locate him!
Yes, I'll cover. I'll get the money to you
in a while. Just hold the wire.
- Sam, get Billings.
- Yes, sir.
Try his house, his office,
anywhere, but get Billings!
Mr. Nagus, we haven't received your
check, and your margin's wiped out.
Hello, Mr. Billings. I'll be right with you.
No, we can't, Mr. Nagus.
I'm sorry, but we can't hold
your stocks any longer.
Mr. Billings, we've had
to sell you out too.
Well, that takes me back
to my second childhood consistently.
I was a poor kid when I started.
- Mr. Ziegfeld's on number six for you.
- Excuse me, Mr. Billings.
Hello? Oh, yes, Mr. Ziegfeld.
Yes, we had to sell you out
about half an hour ago.
I know it is, and I'm terribly sorry.
- I didn't know Ziegfeld was in the market.
- Yes, very heavy.
- He'll lose everything.
- Everything?
Well, this is one time
he can't get it from me.
Yes, madam. Yes, madam, it is.
The doctor left
about 10 minutes ago, madam.
He seemed very happy
about Mr. Ziegfeld.
Said he might stay up for a while longer.
Oh, he did so enjoy sitting up to dinner
with you and Miss Patricia.
- No, madam.
- But don't let him stay up too long.
Yes, I know, but the more he rests,
the sooner he'll be well again.
And tell him I'll be home
immediately after the performance.
- It's time for your entrance, Miss Burke.
- Yes, yes.
Sidney, be sure to call me
right after the second act.
Yes, about 10:05.
Yes, madam.
Madam was very happy about you, sir.
Oh, my poor Billie.
I wish she weren't working.
But it does help some, Sidney.
- Get those wires off as quickly as you can.
- Yes, sir.
Were you able to reach
Eddie Cantor by phone?
The Los Angeles operator's
been trying for some time, sir.
Tell her to keep on trying.
- Sidney?
- Yes, sir?
When you get him...
...tell him that I want him
for a new show.
Tell him I'll start rehearsals the instant
he can get away from those pictures.
Tell him I need him.
- I haven't had a real show in two years.
- Yes, sir.
- Wasn't that the bell, Sidney?
- Yes, sir.
Well, why don't you answer it.
Yes, sir.
- Mr. Billings.
- Hello, Sidney.
How's Mr. Ziegfeld?
Well, he's much improved, sir,
but he's very nervous.
He will be glad to see you, sir.
If we could get him
started on a new show, sir.
- Yeah.
- I mean to say, if he had the money, sir.
Yes, well, we'll see that he gets it.
My valet isn't as efficient
as you used to be, Sidney.
He lets me neglect things.
All right for me to see him?
- Yes, sir. I wouldn't stay too long.
- No, no, no.
Well, hello, Ziggy.
How are you feeling?
Hello, Jack.
I'm feeling much better.
- Thank you. Sit down, won't you?
- Yes.
Let me look at you.
I don't think you've been sick. Just playing
possum so your creditors can't find you.
No creditors.
No. No creditors.
- When are you gonna be up and around?
- Well...
...pretty soon now, I hope.
- Hurry up.
I'm expecting you
to go to Europe with me.
Oh. Well, when are you sailing?
In a couple of weeks.
We'll stop off at Monte Carlo.
You can break the bank again.
And then we'll go to London. Maybe
we can find some new talent together.
Does it interest you?
Yes. Yes, I'd like to go to London.
Yeah? Why?
- You got someone in mind?
- No.
- Why, have you?
- No.
But I wouldn't tell you if I had, not if
you were 10 times as sick as you are.
Oh, those were great old days, Jack.
Remember the fair?
Do I. Little Egypt.
- Sandow.
- Yeah, and then Anna Held.
Oh, I'm sorry, Ziggy.
Why is it, Jack, that in a world so old... must be so short?
Short? I feel as if
I'd been here 1000 years.
And I'm gonna stay 1000 more.
And you'd feel the same way if you'd
snap out of it and get a new show started.
Yes, I'd like to do another Follies.
Why don't you do it.
Don't you think it's about time
that you and I split 50-50 in something?
I'd love to, Jack.
But it'll take a lot of money.
I've never refused you before, have I?
No, but...
...that was all in the dark ages.
Before the Depression, I mean.
- I heard that the market got you.
- Me? Why, I... Don't be silly.
I'm too smart for any stock market.
Oh, I lost a couple of thousand or so,
but I got out in time.
- Really?
- Yeah.
How about you? Did it get you?
Oh, no. No, I...
I never played the market.
Oh, I may have dropped
a few hundred, maybe...
...but nothing to speak of.
Well, how much money
do you suppose it'll take, Ziggy?
- A couple of hundred thousand.
- A couple of hundred thousand?
Well, okay, it's a deal.
Pull yourself together, get well,
and I'll give you money.
Isn't that wonderful, Mr. Ziegfeld?
Doesn't that make you feel better, sir?
Yes, that makes me feel much better.
Jack...'re a real person.
Yeah, well, you're...
You're not a bad sort yourself, Ziggy.
Well, I'll drop in tomorrow.
Yes. Do that.
And, Ziggy, if you just put your mind to it,
I think you'll be up and around in a week.
Don't let me rush you, because
while you're here convalescing...
...I'll be picking out the gals
for the new show.
- Well, he looks all right to me, Sidney.
- Undoubtedly he will be, sir.
Thanks to you.
I hope so.
Take good care of him, Sidney.
Because if anything happened
to Ziggy, I...
Well, take good care of him.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
I wouldn't tax my strength
if I were you, sir.
...I've got things to do.
I must get Cantor, Bill Rogers,
Bill Fields.
They must come back to me!
I'll have all my old stars
together in one great show.
I must do the biggest Follies
of my whole life!
Oh, Sidney, I'm so terribly broke.
But Mr. Billings, sir,
isn't he going to help you?
Sidney, he hasn't a nickel.
He was lying to me just
to make me feel better.
We're both broke.
I wouldn't worry about that, sir.
You've been broke before, sir.
Yes, I know.
I've always laughed about it.
But I can't laugh anymore, Sidney...
...because I've been wrong.
I've got nothing.
Nothing to leave anyone.
Nothing, sir?
You leave them the memories...
...of the finest things ever done
on the stage, sir.
You'll leave them a name that they
can be proud of all their lives.
You'll soon feel better...
...and then you can do more beautiful
things than ever before, sir.
It's nice of you, Sidney, to say that.
I must call madam again now, sir.
It's after 10.
The memories...
...of the finest things ever done
on the stage.
Chicory 5161.
Hello? Get me Miss Burke's
dressing room, please.
Oh, Miss Burke. He seems
to be resting comfortably.
Yes, I thought you'd like to know.
Yes, Miss Burke.
Yes, I'll deliver your message.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
Mr. Z...
Hello. Is Dr. Hassel
still in the building, please?
Would you ask him to come up
to Mr. Ziegfeld's apartment at once?
Yes. Hurry, please.
I've got to have more steps.
I need more steps.
I've got to get higher.