The Lover in the Attic: A True Story (2018) Movie Script

- Otto, Otto, Otto.
- I love you batman!
- Otto!
- Free the batman!
Otto! Otto! Otto!
Otto! Otto! Otto!
Otto! Otto! Otto!
- The press is eager
for a new story.
- I never knew
what I was capable of
until I met Dolly,
the lines I was
willing to cross.
She could make a man
believe that day was night,
evil was good, and
obsession was love.
- Is that him?
- Gentlemen.
- Not much to look at.
- Let's see what
we got here, Fred.
- Oh, okay.
- Now that--
- Now, we're talking.
- I'm going for Jane Winton.
The green-eyed
goddess of Hollywood.
- I'm not much for the flicks.
- Oh of course.
It's a frivolous
waste of time for the
textile king of the Midwest.
Dolly Korschel,
Mr. Oesterreich.
- Call me Fred.
- Okay.
- Uh, thank you.
Thank you very much,
Dolly, thank you.
Cheers to that.
- Morning dear.
- Hmm.
- How you feeling?
- A new discovery: hormones.
They say it's very promising.
- I don't know if I can
go through that again.
If God had meant for
me to have a child--
- I have faith.
- Can I show you something?
I copied it from
a French magazine.
Added a little
something on the hem,
but I sewed it myself.
It's even fancier than
the ones in Paris.
- That's very sweet dear,
but my customers are not in
- Well, then we could go
to Paris and sell it there.
Wouldn't that be fun?
- Mmm.
- The design comes
straight from Paris.
I was hoping you
ladies might help me
persuade Mr. Oesterreich
that these would make a nice
addition to the line.
- We could precut the
ruffle to simplify assembly.
Well, hi, Otto.
- I understand machine
22's misbehaving?
- The thread's bunching.
- Small potatoes.
- Mistress to Murder?
- Otto's gonna be a writer.
- Only if the
magazine says so.
- A writer?
- Pulp stuff.
Lurid examinations of
the underbelly of life.
- "Her lips shimmered
under the moonlight
"as Loretta leaned
in to kiss him.
"She pulled the
gun from her purse,
"pressing the snub nose into
his belly and shot him."
- Nothing for a
fancy lady like you.
- Make it a nickel.
- Raise you a nickel.
- Gonna raise you and bump.
- Mmm.
Big spender.
I got one for you.
New Years Eve,
Sally stands up at a bar.
She says,
"I want you to
stand by the person
"who you cared the most about."
Midnight strikes, chaos erupts,
there's the bartender.
He's trampled to death.
Oh, not funny, Fred.
- Dolly!
Come in here and
bring us some of that
sweet cherry pie of yours.
- Oh, cherry pie.
Good god, let's get
a taste of that.
Here it comes.
- Enjoy, gentlemen.
- Mmm, my little snookums.
Gentlemen, I love this
woman more than life itself.
- Dolly had seduced
Fred as her meal ticket.
But now he was getting fatter,
and she was hungry
for something more.
And she was gonna get it,
even if she had to destroy
Fred smile by smile.
- Somebody woke up
on the right side
of bed this morning.
- Can't a sweet wife make her
husband's favorite breakfast
if she feels like it?
- I gotta rush this morning.
Buyers in from New York.
Why don't you bottle this mood
and save it for when
I get home later.
- Well,
maybe if I knew
you were taking me
to the speakeasy on Saturday,
I'd be like it all week.
- I'm not bargaining
for your affections.
If the buyers want a fancy show,
I'll take you out.
If not, have dinner
on the table at six.
- Hard to be sure
when Dolly first got
murder on her mind.
But she knew
if somebody was gonna die
from boredom in Milwaukee,
it wouldn't be her.
Dolly wanted too
much from life
to stay trapped in
a loveless marriage.
And you can't keep lightning
in a bottle forever.
- The Sheik with
Rudolph Valentino is
playing at the Bijou.
Might be fun.
We never do anything anymore.
- I don't mind if
you go without me.
- Annie says they're opening
up a speakeasy on Wellington.
I hear they have Tanqueray gin
all the way from
London, England.
- The real McCoy?
- No more of your bathtub gin.
- I don't think we should
break the law in public.
You've been all over the place.
Look where I've been, Cicero.
- That was Chicago.
- I said no.
By the way, we're making
small run on your aprons.
- How wonderful.
My Singer's broken.
The thread is bunching.
I was just about to
start making a little
sailor suit for Fred Jr.
- You're not--
- No.
But I wanna be prepared.
Could you send a
repairman out to fix it?
- People say timing
is everything in life.
But Dolly made her own timing.
She knew that walking up
those steps that fateful day
would change my life.
- Mrs.,
Mrs. Oesterreich.
- Goodness gracious, I
forgot you were coming.
- All Dolly had to do
was walk in the room and I
was ready to roll on my back
and put my four paws in the air.
- "She eyed him
from head to toe.
"His face beamed with
naive complacency."
Been reading a lot of
pulp fiction myself.
- Your machine is good as new.
- You're good with your hands.
You should take off my
shoes and rub my feet.
- When she sets
those eyes on you,
I swear it could
make Michelangelo
kick out a stained glass window.
- Don't be nervous.
Have you ever been
with a woman before?
It's not a trick question.
- No, ma'am, I,
I haven't.
- Good.
Then you'll have no bad habits,
unlike my husband
who can be a brute.
This will be more fun if
you take your clothes off.
- Are you gonna take
off your clothes?
- Next time.
Would you like a
next time, Otto?
- Yes, I would.
- Good.
If Fred asks, tell him
you need another part
from the factory
to finish the job.
Got it?
- Yes ma'am.
- I just might have to
break that Singer everyday.
- Couldn't eat.
Couldn't sleep.
I showered twice.
If I was going down
this dark dirty road,
I was going down clean.
- Otto.
Not so fast.
You want me?
- Does a thirsty man need water?
- No touching until I say so.
First these.
Then you can drink
until I've had my fill.
- Dolly worked you
over slowly inch by inch,
until before you knew it,
you had no name and nothing
left to say but yes ma'am.
- Good boy.
- That's exactly what I needed.
Good habits already.
- You know
I'm crazy about you.
- That's what I was counting on.
Fred is so mean to me.
And you are a sweet young man.
I just might want you every day.
- Forgive me, ma'am,
I'm not so sure how I feel
about seeing a married woman.
I know it's too soon,
but do you think
you could consider
getting divorced?
- And live how?
I refuse to be poor
like my mother.
She was a cleaning lady.
That'll never be me.
So, until you can afford to
give me the life I want, or
if something were to
happen to Fred, God forbid,
I'll stay Mrs. Oesterreich.
You just focus on
making me happy.
Isn't that what we want?
- More than
anything in the world.
- Good.
So you don't have any doubts,
take that little
cutie-patootie seamstress
that had her eye on you out.
I'm not done with you, yet.
- Should I go out the back?
Your neighbor lady
gave me the eye
second time she seen me.
- Mrs. Clarkson is nosy
enough to tell Fred.
No, um, let her see
you go out the front.
I'll figure out a way
for us to see each other.
My schemes are
Like my dreams
- Oh, Fred, please tell
me you're not smashed again.
Holding in the sky
Some people make a way
- God, you're a stinking drunk.
Now Fred, sober up first.
The game
'Cause I'm always
chasing Randy's
That may come to you
- Oh!
- Dolly made sure
that I saw her everyday,
and I was addicted.
I needed to see why
this girl was the cure.
- You know, Otto,
some girls think kissing
on the first date is a
slippery slope to hell.
- Headlong ride into disaster.
- I want you to know, I'm
not one of those girls.
Each one is enjoying
The good old summertime
- So you can kiss me.
Well, that is,
if you wanna kiss me.
In the good old summertime
That's not a
slippery slope, Otto,
that's jumping off a cliff.
And that's a very good time
That she's your tootsie
- Turns out
when Dolly is the drug,
there is no cure.
- Hard on the back,
good for the soul.
Freddy, when are you
and that beautiful wife
gonna produce one of these?
- Anytime now.
Tell you, it won't be for
lack of trying.
- It sure won't.
- Here you go.
- Thank you.
- Hey.
- Hi, Mr. McCarty.
- How are you, dear?
- This is too easy
for you, isn't it?
Go further.
Nice catch, Jake.
Such a lovely party, Susan.
Very neighborly of
you to invite us.
Jake is getting so big.
- Mm-hmm.
You are so good with kids.
Are you gonna try again?
- I just don't
know if it's meant to be.
But you
must get so lonely
in that big house all day.
- I understand you see
my brother around here.
- I didn't know
you had a brother.
We didn't meet him
at the wedding.
- Lost soul.
Breaks my heart, really.
Fred doesn't like it
when he comes around.
So, I feed him
from time to time.
I just think that's
the Christian thing
to do, don't you?
- Family is family.
- So, my secret's safe with you?
- I couldn't stay away.
I was on a high and I
didn't want it to end.
Consequences be damned.
May I kiss you?
- Do you mean to kiss me?
- As if my
life depends on it.
- You are
the sweetest man,
and I enjoy being with you.
- I want that
more than anything.
Hell, Dolly could
lock you in a cell,
and convince you
it was paradise.
She was that good.
- I can't wait for
you to see this.
You're gonna love it.
Isn't it perfect?
Use your imagination, Otto.
We can turn this entire place
into our perfect love nest.
- I don't understand.
- Well, what do writers do?
They don't repair
sewing machines.
I'm offering you the
chance to quit your job
and never have to worry
about money again.
- I don't understand.
- Stay here.
Become the writer
you've always dreamed of
and the devoted lover
I know you can be.
In your whole life, you'll
never get a sweeter offer.
- Quiet room and a hot tomato?
I must be dreaming.
What about Mr. Oesterreich?
- You'll stay up here
during the evenings.
Be quiet as a mouse.
During the day,
this entire place
will become our playground.
Do you have family, Otto?
- I'm an orphan, I have no one.
Not even certain of my age.
- Well, that's perfect.
I don't mean to be insensitive.
What happened to your mother?
- She died in a
factory accident.
- And your father?
- Never met him.
- Well, mine left when I was
four, so to hell with parents.
- Could I come and
go as I please?
Even in the daytime?
- No.
No one could know you're here.
We don't wanna arouse suspicion.
We can't let my busybody
neighbors see you anymore.
why would you wanna go?
You'll have me every day.
Just remember my rules,
no noise at night.
Stay away from the windows.
As far as the world's
concerned, you don't exist.
- Bird in a gilded cage.
- I thought you'd be grateful.
I'm the one making
the sacrifice.
But you have a choice.
Stay here,
have a blissful life.
Or get out and
never see me again.
- Yeah, that's right.
Tell me you love it.
- Ah!
- I heard
everything that night,
just like she wanted me to.
Drove me crazy.
She wanted that, too.
- Otto, my
dear sweetheart,
oh, I've missed you so much.
- I heard you scream.
I wanted to bust down
there and rescue you.
- Your damsel in distress.
You're my guardian angel.
- I was so upset, I couldn't
close my eyes for hours.
- I'm sorry darling.
Let me make it up to you.
Take off my blouse.
Now my skirt.
- Maybe I should
have suspected something
and beat it the
hell out of there.
But when Dolly
kissed me suddenly,
I found myself in another
country without my shorts on
and the biggest grin
my face could handle.
I still have no idea
whether she loved me
or was playing me for a sap.
But she made me so dizzy,
I didn't much care either way.
I've been hungry all my life, so
scraps from Dolly's
table tasted better
than anything I'd
had before or since.
I don't know if
you call it love,
but I needed her like other
folks need to breathe.
- It is a great comfort
knowing my love is
willing to fight for me.
Are you writing today?
- You're my muse.
- Write something
special for me.
That way,
someday when we're
living in Hollywood, and
you're a famous author, and
we're living a glamorous life,
the whole world will
know I inspired you.
I'm going to the market.
Can I get you anything?
I don't,
I don't even know what you like.
- Whatever you decide.
- Good answer.
You can use the house.
Stay away from the windows.
Mrs. Clarkson is
such a busybody.
- I needed a story that said
stick with me, I'm going places.
If I couldn't cut
it as a writer,
she'd toss that page
with my name on it
at the bottom of
the wastebasket,
and I'd be back
to fixing bobbins.
So, not much riding on a story
except the rest of my life.
I began to dream of the security
that comes from a
steady roof over my head
and a few things to call mine.
For Dolly, maybe I was
just another possession
like a new coat that she'd
wear around a few times
and give to the poor.
But for me,
all she had to do was
bat her eyelashes,
and it was like
a theater curtain
opening on the greatest
love story ever written.
I knew I had to deliver
if I wanted to play on
that stage with her.
"Edward and Louise
were strangers
"to this sordid night
life of the city.
"Fate brought them together
in the Rusty Scuttle
"where they both took
jobs rather than starve.
"There in the midst of
"frenzied nightclub gaiety
and human corruption,
"they found in each other
the love they were made for.
"and beautiful.
"Yet in time, they too
would be infected with the
"passion of easy money."
- Oh no, don't stop.
- It's all I have so far.
Do you like it?
I know I'm no
Georgette Heyer
or Dennis Mikayo.
- You finish that story
with Edward and Louise,
and I'll get it published.
This smells delicious.
Where'd you learn
to cook like this?
- Been on my own.
It's cook or starve.
- Yeah?
Well then.
It's six.
Get upstairs, it's time
to be the dutiful wife.
- Will you serve it to him?
- No, no, no.
Get upstairs in my room.
Come on.
- Dolly?
- Dinner's all ready.
How was your day?
- Nothing you need
to worry about.
I gave those buyers a taste
of Milwaukee horsetrading.
- Sure you did.
- Dinner smells great.
When we first met, you were
the worst cook I ever met.
You finally learned.
Let's eat, I'm starving.
- Just trying to
be the best wife I can be.
- And ever grateful
for your bounty.
This looks delectable.
- I'm always looking for new
recipes to make you happy.
- Keep cooking like that,
won't have to go out to eat.
- I can't remember the last
time you took me out to dinner.
Or anywhere else,
for that matter.
- I work hard all day
for the both of us.
I come home tired.
The last thing I wanna
do is go out again.
- That's funny, it's the
first thing I wanna do.
- I'll take you out.
Show you out.
- Really Fred?
- If that'll satisfy you.
- It would.
Thank you.
- Can I have some
of that cherry pie I love?
- It's all gone.
- Half a pie on
the kitchen counter
that I left this morning?
Unless you're eating for two,
don't go getting fat on me.
- Take a look in the
mirror, Fred Oesterreich.
Pretty soon we'll have
to have your suits
made by Omar the tent maker.
- Don't smart mouth me.
- Somehow, years flew by,
and that attic
became my real home.
The only home I've ever known.
Dolly kept us playing our
parts like some strange family.
- This is trash.
Why are you reading this trash?
- Like all families,
we had our share of
secrets and lies.
Dolly was insatiable,
and it took both Fred
and me to keep her happy.
He paid the bills, and I
kept a smile on her face,
which kept the whole arrangement
from blowing up in our faces.
Fred and me were some
kind of partners.
I was a silent one.
Sure, there were close
calls, but we dodged them.
To tell you the truth,
I got so comfortable being
Dolly's stashed away lover--
okay, her sex slave,
I forgot what life was
like in the real world.
But that world was going crazy,
and we couldn't hide
from it forever.
Fred's business took a beating.
Dolly figured if
our golden goose
wasn't gonna lay
more golden eggs,
she'd find a new goose.
Dolly brought the
outside world to me:
newspapers, books,
latest magazines,
and I was like a bat in a cave,
more comfortable in
darkness than light.
- It is a lovely day.
- Yeah, I wouldn't know.
Winter or summer, it's
all the same in here.
- Not today.
Today, we're celebrating.
Your 21st birthday.
- You don't know my birthday.
- Then why not today?
You've been my sweet, loving
Otto for the last four years.
Happy anniversary.
- Our anniversary.
- Mm-hmm.
So, you wanna help
me blow them out?
There's something else.
Love Nest Story seems to think
you're a damn fine writer.
- They're publishing my story?
- Who inspires you?
- You do, my gorgeous muse.
- The first of many, I'm sure.
I'm so proud of you.
I planned a special celebration.
- So you're excited to
see number 47 today?
- Oh, no no.
No, we're going out.
I told Fred my mom was sick,
and that I was gonna have
to go see her all day,
maybe even all evening.
- She really sick?
- I don't know.
- It was our
first night out together,
and I didn't care who saw us.
I was damn published writer now.
- Coco-Cola or Pepsi?
- But in my head--
- Tanqueray.
- Maybe I
never left the attic.
Here's your drink.
- Dolly
gave me everything,
but I couldn't help wondering
what she'd stolen from
me in that love nest.
I heard the stories
about prisoners
being released from jail, or
soldiers coming home from war.
A normal life was too
much for them now.
I was terrified that
this was happening to me.
- Ooh, is that guy okay?
- You're
shaking, what's wrong?
- I wanna leave now.
Can we go home?
- Of course.
Of course, let's go home.
- I have to know if
there's any hope for us.
- There's always hope, Otto.
- What if we were free to do
whatever we want every night?
Like a real husband and wife?
- Is that a proposal?
Real lamb stew.
It's Fred's favorite.
- You know that
lamb is my favorite.
So, you're thinking of
bringing it to your mother's.
- I thought it would help
bring up her strength,
because she can't afford
to eat the way she should.
She's very grateful
for your kindness.
- What about my strength?
That's what you should
be concerned with.
If I got sick,
God forbid,
you'd be the one starving.
- You would never let
your loving wife starve.
I assume you have
life insurance?
- Of course I do.
- I promise I'll make
it again soon, okay?
The butcher knows to call
me when fresh lamb comes in.
- As long as I'm paying the
bill, I'm your priority.
I'm sorry.
I hope your mother feels better.
Let me make it up to you.
You know where I
will be taking you?
The Wisconsin Club
tomorrow night.
- The Wisconsin Club is the
premiere club in the city.
All the best people
will be there,
so I wanna draw attention,
but not too much attention.
- No matter what you wear,
every eye in the
place will be on you.
- Is that your way of saying
this is too revealing?
- I hate that everyone will
watch you dance but me.
- But you get to see something
they never get to see.
And you get to do things
they only dream about.
- Dolly?
- Go.
Get under the bed.
Hi darling, how was your day?
Full of triumphs?
- Nothing you need
to worry about.
Your only concern is to
be beautiful tonight.
I wanna see the
envy in their eyes.
This should help.
- Oh, it's beautiful.
I'll make you proud, I promise.
- I have no doubt.
We leave in 30.
- Oh.
Thank you, thank you, Fred.
- I going to show
off my beautiful wife
and her gorgeous necklace.
- Dolly was mine.
I loved her.
So, every time
she was with Fred,
it felt like she
was cheating on me.
Drove me crazy.
Just about crazy enough to
blow the whole thing wide open.
Maybe that's what she wanted.
Thank you sir.
Thank you ma'am.
- Look at them staring.
They can't take
their eyes off you.
- But I only
have eyes for you.
Come on Fred, let's dance.
- What?
I don't wanna dance.
- Oh, come on, that's
why we're here.
You wanna show me
off, so show me off.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- May I have this dance?
- I don't see why not.
- Roy Klumb, Mrs. Oesterreich.
I have your family's insurance.
- Oh?
And are you taking good
care of us, Mr. Klumb?
- Please, call me Roy.
Poor Fred.
- What makes you say that?
- I bet he can't decide
whether to show you
off around the town or
keep you locked away
for his eyes only.
- Oh, and what advice
would you give him?
- I'd keep you all to myself.
- I'm afraid that
wouldn't be enough.
- My turn, Klumb.
- This is so much fun.
- Sure, sure thing, Fred.
- We are leaving.
You humiliated me.
- How do you think I feel
getting dragged off the dance
floor like a seven-year-old?
- I'm going to do worse.
- It's a dance Fred.
I like dancing.
I'm sorry that you
hate dancing so much.
- You don't have to flirt
with every man in this club.
- You like when they stare at me
'cause it makes you
feel like a big man.
- You don't have to
enjoy it so much.
- It's harmless fun.
I come home to you at
then end of the night.
Isn't that enough?
Your hat sir?
- No.
- Your coat, ma'am.
Good evening.
- Let's go to bed darling.
I'll make it up to you.
- What the hell?
Stay here.
- Maybe she
wanted Fred to catch me.
Maybe she wanted to
see if I had the stones
to stand up for
the woman I loved.
All I know is Dolly had
her hooks into me so deep,
I knew I had to do something,
or spend the rest of my
life hiding in the woods
like some mangy dog.
- Hey,
hey kid.
You're awful young, but you
look like you sure need a belt.
- If a beautiful woman
made you her sex slave
and locked you in her
attic every night,
would you stay or leave?
- If you leave, can
I take your place?
- Maybe a smarter
guy would have run.
But I wasn't smart
enough for that.
- Don't ever do
that to me again.
I don't know what Fred
would do if he found out.
- I'm not gonna
roll over on my back
with my paws in
the air for Fred.
- Otto, we don't
belong with the dull,
bossy Freds of the world.
We belong in the sunshine
with the kind of
people we dream about.
One day, we'll be there.
I know it.
Will you keep this for me?
I would just feel so much safer.
- Alarm bells should
have rung right then.
Maybe they did, but
I couldn't hear them.
it was either stay here
in my lover's arms,
or swap sips with that
old buzzard in the park.
That ain't much of a choice.
- I'm worried about Fred.
He seems to be
having DTs lately.
He's been forgetting things
ever since the crash.
Maybe he's drinking too much?
Maybe something else
I can't possibly know.
- Has he seen a doctor?
- You know Fred.
Won't waste his time on doctors.
But I'm scared for him.
Should he become
incapacitated, or
I just wanna know his life
insurance will protect us.
- Your husband pays his
premiums like clockwork.
Trust that you're
amply protected,
whether he's drooling in
his soup or in the ground.
So don't you worry.
I assure you.
- That's such a
relief, thank you.
- Dolly
was playing chess,
and me and Fred were her pawns.
He had some crazy notion
that he was still in charge.
So, he figured a
night out on the town,
and all would be forgiven.
Maybe he wasn't
that smart either,
'cause Dolly ain't exactly
the forgiving type.
- You're flirting already.
- I'm looking around the place.
It's always something with you.
Can't we just enjoy ourselves?
- Keep your eyes on me.
- Why don't you put
horse blinders on me.
- I'll think about it.
I'll have the kasseler
rippchen, the smoked pork chop,
and then she'll have
the Muenchen weisswurst.
- Make mine with
sauerkraut and spaetzle.
That was Marlene
Dietrich's favorite.
- Oh?
I have news for you.
You're never gonna
be a famous actress.
You're never gonna have
sex with Rudolph Valentino.
And you're never gonna
move to Hollywood.
So, why can't you just be
here with me in Milwaukee.
- If I thought life with
you was all there was
or ever would be,
I'd drink myself to death.
- That's too bad.
It's Prohibition.
You'll just have
to live with it.
So, where the...
Where are you going?
Stop embarrassing me!
You get back here.
Stop that.
You know, count your blessings
it's a ... depression.
- Damn depression.
Rah, rah, rah.
- You were supposed
to be a good wife.
Instead you're a
gold-digging tramp!
- Well, I didn't
strike gold, I got mud.
So, the joke's on me.
- You were supposed
to give me a son,
but you couldn't even do that.
- Well, that joke's on you,
because I've been wearing a
diaphragm this entire time!
- What?
- I would never bring a
child into this godforsaken--
- Get your hands off of her.
- Who the hell are you?
- I'm her lover.
Every day while you're
at work, we're at play.
- So, is this true?
- I've been living in
your attic for six years.
I've heard every stupid
word that you say,
and every insignificant
thing that you do.
- I took care of you.
I loved you.
- You didn't love me.
You just wanted to own me.
- Are you hurt?
We don't have much time.
The neighbors will
have heard the shot.
- What are you doing?
- Don't worry, I've
been here before.
- How?
- In the pulp fiction in
my mind a thousand times.
Give me your necklace.
- Okay, okay, okay.
- Trust me.
Come on.
- Okay, okay.
- I'm sorry to do
this to you, my love.
- What?
- Just trust me.
- Okay.
- Count to 10, and
start screaming,
and don't stop until
the cops arrive, okay?
- Okay.
Let me outta here!
- I heard a
shot and called you right away.
- My god, he's dead.
- Follow me.
Check that back door.
- Let me outta here!
He took his watch
and my necklace.
- Calm down, ma'am.
- Come on, ma'am, let's go.
- The prowler might still
be in the neighborhood.
Can you describe him?
- Uh, some, some kind
of bum, maybe 40.
I don't...
He had, um, filthy hair,
and a filthy beard,
and ratty clothes.
He was really twitchy,
and I told Fred not to fight
him, but he was my protector,
and he wasn't gonna let somebody
come in here and hurt me,
so he fought him.
- The guy steals a watch
and a diamond necklace,
but he doesn't touch
the cash in the wallet?
- That's odd.
What can I say,
detective, I mean,
it's not like she locked
herself in the closet.
- Dolly.
Dolly, it's me.
- Hi.
You knew exactly what to do.
- Real murders are the
basis of my stories.
- But you saved us.
- I have a feeling he's
gonna keep chasing after us.
- What, the cops?
- They can't see us together.
- No, no, I can't
do this without you.
- They don't even know about me.
That's how they'll get us.
- No, please don't go.
- It's not safe.
- You'll always be safe with me.
Okay, soon as the
insurance money comes,
we're gonna go to Los Angeles,
and we're gonna live the lives
that we've always dreamed.
- If Dolly was scared,
she'd never let that
detective know it.
She marched in there like
she was doing them a favor.
- No, no, it was
scragglier on the sides.
Mm-mm, longer than that.
- A big shot
like Mr. Oesterreich
gets killed,
and the guys upstairs
want the juicy details.
You understand?
- Of course, Detective.
It's all about sex,
lies, and bank accounts.
- That's it.
- A lady just doesn't talk
about such sordid things.
That's not bad.
It's unfortunate you can't get
the stench in that drawing.
He smelled like a cesspool.
- You know how most murder
victims die, Mrs. Oesterreich?
- Gun shots, I'm assuming?
- In my experience,
this is usually
at the hands of loved ones.
- Fred and I were more
in love than ever.
Even after all this time.
Did you fight?
- Never.
- You hear that, Elmendorf?
Married couple
that never fought.
- I wouldn't know.
- Apparently, my husband
was more understanding
than either of you.
- Let's say the late Mr.
Oesterreich was a model husband,
and you the model wife.
Did he have enemies
outside the home?
- He was a tough
businessman, but honest.
He was a good friend
and a good boss.
Everybody loved him.
- Not everybody.
- No such thing as a burglary
gone bad in this town?
- Not in my 20
years on the force.
- Do you still need me
to be here, detective?
- You going someplace?
- Home.
I just wanna go home.
- You're free to go,
Mrs. Oesterreich.
Something doesn't smell right.
- Cops still snooping around?
- They don't think our
marriage was hearts and roses,
but they don't
think I killed him.
What about the
insurance company?
- I put their minds at ease,
and I'll keep them at ease.
- Good.
Thank you.
So, I'm a free woman?
- A free rich woman.
- Oh, she was good.
Poor bastard never
knew what hit him.
- To Fred:
who liked his gin warm
and his women cold.
- Never got my hot and
cold mixed up like that.
It keeps on repeating
Your lovely name
Even when we are far apart
- My husband was more
generous than I thought.
- You know
you're in great danger.
- How do you figure?
- You're rich,
sexy as hell.
The wolves will be
crawling out of their holes
to eat you up.
- And are you the first wolf?
- No.
No, I'm your insurance policy.
Let me show you the town so
the wolves here are protected.
- Patience, Roy.
I'm a grieving widow.
Wouldn't be right to see me
out in the clubs in Wisconsin.
You must protect me, Roy.
I need you.
- Roy's here, baby.
- I like having you around.
Maybe you'll keep me from
doing foolish things.
- How foolish?
- Well,
after Fred died,
I was afraid the robber
was going to kill me, so
bought a gun from the pawn shop.
Just having it around
makes me jumpy.
- A Luger.
You don't need that.
Roy's here, now.
- So, you'll get
rid of it for me?
I just feel so much safer.
- I'll do it when
I go out of town
for a couple weeks on business.
When I get back, you and
I are gonna start living.
- Best news I've heard all day.
- You slept with him.
You enjoyed it.
- I did what I had to do for
us to get money for L.A.,
and I got him to toss the gun.
I'm the one making sacrifices.
- You didn't have
to sleep with him.
I'm not gonna share you
anymore, do you understand?
- You are forgetting
the big picture, Otto.
- Am I still in that picture?
- Of course.
Are you ready to
move to Los Angeles?
- I'm ready.
What about him?
- Let me do what I have
to do to keep us safe.
- You gotta
hand it to Dolly.
Why let a little
thing like murder
stand in the way of your dreams?
We were going to Hollywood
to live the life we imagined.
Or maybe it was just
the life she imagined.
Forbidden fruit
Is just so appealing
You see
Who knew it could
taste so sweet
Baby don't panic
Follow me
Over the hills and far away
To the city of broken dreams
- Otto!
- Up here.
- I read that Frances
Marion wrote the film
The Big House on Arroyo.
Tell me you love it.
- It's a knockout, of course.
- What writer wouldn't
be thrilled to work here?
Soon you'll be writing
for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
I'm making the right
contacts for you.
- I want us
to live together
in the same bedroom
every night.
Will you marry me?
- Oh, Otto.
Someday, I'll marry you
when we get to where we
wanna be, but not until then.
Besides, you're my lover.
That's a much more
important role.
- If you won't marry me,
I'm leaving.
- Otto, look at me.
You are an aspiring writer
who sold exactly two stories.
You don't have any
other special skills
unless you wanna go back to
repairing sewing machines.
Yet, you spend your days
sitting here in
this beautiful house
writing and having sex with me.
I doubt there's another
writer in Hollywood
that wouldn't jump
at that opportunity.
Now, if that doesn't make you
happy, then you can get out.
It would make me sad,
but it's your choice.
I'm throwing a
party in two weeks,
and I've invited the who's
who of Hollywood to be there.
I've even invited some
Hollywood screenplay agents.
- I'm not giving up on marriage.
- Mrs. Oesterreich had me
throw that in the river.
You gonna go after her?
- If you'd tossed
into a bush instead,
it might tell us more.
- But I'm telling
you, she did it.
- If we did,
we might have to come after
you for aiding and abetting.
Count your blessings.
Let's find out where
that greedy widow moved.
- My friends tell me
the only way a woman
can get your attention
is to commit a crime.
- Have you?
- No, but if that's
what it takes.
- My condolences.
I understand he was murdered?
- Still can't get the image
of him lying there dead
out of my mind.
- Nobody ever can.
- I'm afraid small-minded
people in Milwaukee
still think I was involved.
- Well, maybe you'll need
my services after all.
- Welcome to Los Angeles,
Mrs. Oesterreich.
- Making a scene like that
is reckless and dangerous,
and you know it.
- I'm sick of watching you
throw yourself at other men.
- You sound just like Fred.
- Take this back.
- Oh for god's sake.
Let's go see a movie.
A comedy, Marx Brothers,
Animal Crackers--
- I'm not in the mood.
I don't feel like laughing.
- Hello?
Detective Cline?
You're in Los Angeles?
I understand.
He wants to talk to me.
- You mustn't meet him.
- He'll get
suspicious if I don't.
I have to see him.
He came all the way from--
- Let's skip to Canada.
Or Europe.
Paris, this is our chance.
Run away with me.
All we need is each other.
- And what, and what,
live like a fugitive?
You must be joking.
Besides, I like living here.
I'm finally making the
kinds of friends I deserve.
The life I've always dreamed of.
- How do you think
your fancy friends
are gonna feel about you when
you're arrested for murder?
- Herman won't let that happen.
- I don't have a Herman
looking out for me.
- You're a secret, Otto.
Detective Cline
doesn't know you exist.
Neither does Herman.
We keep it that way,
we keep you safe.
- Bull, Dolly.
You're just trying
to save your own ass.
- Do you understand?
- They'll dog us forever.
- That's why I have
to talk to Cline.
I have to show him I
have nothing to hide.
- Turns out, it ain't
so easy to run from murder,
even in Hollywood.
Dolly was looking
out for herself,
but I had nobody
looking out for me.
- Herman Shapiro, Detective.
I'm representing
Mrs. Oesterreich.
- Hello Detective.
It seems some people
will do anything
to get out of Milwaukee.
- Mrs. Oesterreich.
You mind telling me what
you and your late husband
were fighting about
at the Hofbrauhaus the
night that he was murdered?
- The usual marital disputes.
- But I thought the two
of you never fought?
I recall you saying, you
were more in love than ever.
- What can I say, Detective,
I wanted the fish for dinner.
Fred thought the pork roast
might put a little more
blush on my cheeks.
- And that's why
you stormed out?
- Where are we going
with this, Detective?
So they argued.
I'm sure you argue
with your wife.
That doesn't mean
you wanna kill her.
- Fair enough, Counselor.
I brought along an old friend.
- I know you mean something
by this, Detective,
but I can't for the life
of me think what it is.
- You don't recognize this gun?
- I do not.
- Do you know Roy Klumb?
- He was our insurance man.
- And your lover?
- In his dreams, perhaps.
But I can't be responsible
for what haunts
Mr. Klumb's sleep.
- Careful Detective, if this
is a fishing expedition,
I think you'll go home hungry.
- Mr. Klumb says he's slept
with you in your home,
and then you asked
him to toss this gun.
- As I told you before,
apparently Mr. Klumb has a
very active fantasy life.
And I see now you do too.
- Detective, if this is
the alleged murder weapon,
what do the ballistics say?
Are my client's
fingerprints on the gun?
That is now the new
science of evidence.
I didn't think so.
- I'm sure we'll see each
other again very soon.
- She had the
face of a Madonna,
but a safe deposit box
where her heart should be.
- I can't thank you
I just feel so much safer
with you by my side.
- This is exactly
where I want to be.
- It's real Scotch.
Don't ask where I got it.
- I never ask
my clients for the truth.
- Please.
It's for you.
As a token of my gratitude
for what you've done for me,
and what you will do.
- Well, this is
lovely, thank you.
- What?
- The initials, F.O. are
engraved on the back.
Your husband's I assume?
- Oh, I found it
during the move to L.A.
I didn't think to tell the
police or the insurance company.
Was that evil of me?
- As your lawyer, this is
a protected conversation.
- And as my lover?
- I should have seen
how she would play this
and run like hell.
But she could smooth talk an
angry beast into a house pet.
Take it away.
I'm on a hunger strike.
- Don't be silly.
You need your strength.
- You don't need my strength,
you've got Herman's.
- Otto,
I know I've hurt
you over and over.
I've taken years
off of your life
for my own greedy,
selfish pleasure,
and you've been nothing
but loving to me.
- You're a disease
I can't shake.
Why you torment me
so I do love you?
- And I love you,
even if it's not always
the way you want.
I'm gonna do you a great favor.
It'll hurt me deeply,
but it's the only way
to keep you safe
from the police.
- I don't like
the sound of that.
- I'm gonna keep seeing Herman
until my legal troubles stop.
He can't find out about you.
The police either.
It's just that it's too risky.
- Kicking me out?
- No, no.
I wanna see you just
like always every day.
I've bought a beautiful
place in Santa Monica.
You can come and
go as you please.
- You just wanna get rid of
me so you can sex up Herman.
He's an attorney
who can give you the life
that you always wanted.
- No, I'm doing
this to protect you.
Cline won't give up.
If he finds out about
you, we're cooked.
We have to be careful
now more than ever.
- No.
Not this time.
I'm not giving in.
- You're the one that messed
up Fred's watch, not me.
Don't you wanna be
my lover anymore?
- Sometimes a man
has to find his spine.
He has to stand up and
say, I matter here.
Even if nobody's listening.
- Is this where you
take all your girls?
- Only the ones that matter.
- Oh.
And the ones that don't matter?
- Frankfurters on Pico.
You are the most unsettling
woman I've ever met,
both thrilling and
vaguely terrifying.
- Is that a compliment?
I can't tell.
- I don't want it
to end, how's that?
Will you marry me?
Is that your answer?
A queen of my song
List while I woo thee
The soft melody
Gone are the carolers of
Life's busy throng
- Dolly treated
me like a rubber band.
She twisted and stretched
me anyway she wanted.
But sooner or later, even
a rubber band will snap.
- Who the hell are you?
- Tell him who we
are to each other.
- Dolly, what's
he talking about?
- This is Otto.
my upstairs lodger.
- Tell him!
- He's...
We used to be lovers.
- Used to be?
I haven't spoken to
another man in nine years,
so you're gonna shut your
damn mouth and listen.
I'm not her lover.
I'm her sex slave.
I used to be locked in
her attic in Milwaukee
while Fred was
alive, and now here,
I have sex with her on command.
However, and when ever she
wants, I have no control,
and I have to listen to her
sexing up marks like you.
You thought she loved you.
We're all her sex toys.
The only thing with me and
her, there ain't no pretending.
- Don't listen to him, Herman.
He's making this up.
He does it all day.
He a pulp fiction novelist.
Tell him, Otto, tell him
this is one of your stories.
- Maybe I'll write
about you next.
- Boy was I wrong.
You are more terrifying
than thrilling.
- Nobody,
nobody murdered anybody
here, tell him, Otto!
Nobody murdered anybody!
- Thing is, Dolly, I
don't care anymore.
I called Detective Cline.
I refuse to live this
way one more night.
Had to live with your flirting,
and had to live
with the seductions
because I understood
why you were doing them.
But you didn't have
to take his ring.
That spot
was reserved for me.
- No, no.
- I'll be in the attic
when the coppers arrive.
- You wanna go to jail, fine!
But I didn't murder
Fred, remember that!
Otto, right here.
- The way I saw it,
I was just trading one
prison for another.
A wise one said
Love thyself
'Cause that's all you have
In the end
- Come on.
Protect your heart
Brace your soul
'Cause this world could be
Whoa ho ho!
Look at this kitty
cat walking in!
So cold
to the big house.
Hey, Charlie,
let the lady bunk with me.
Hey where you going?
Your man's right here, dame.
I should have known
- This boat was sinking.
Dolly had a life raft,
and left me to drown.
I was blinded by your
Love this is true
Felt this was true
- Herman, thank god.
Herman, thank god.
I'm so glad to see you.
- Don't
bother saying another word.
I know it'll be a lie anyway.
- I've missed you.
How much, you have no idea.
I want you to know that
I would have married you,
and I would have
stayed faithful.
I loved you, I still do.
- You must think I'm a complete
fool to fall for that again.
- I would never think that
about the man I wanna marry.
- I don't believe
you for a second.
- Are you still gonna
save me from prison?
- The judge turned down our
motion for a separate trial.
You and Otto will be tried
together for manslaughter.
- But I didn't
shoot Fred, he did.
So what do we do?
- Otto's lawyer will
paint him as your puppet.
He'll paint you as the puppet
master pulling the strings.
He'll say that Otto was
carrying out your orders
when he shot Fred.
- But that's not true.
- The truth has no defense here.
It's the story that matters.
He's more ... famous
than Charlie Chaplin today.
- You're in the public's eye.
There is sympathy
for their bat man.
- I need to go after Otto.
It's you or him.
If I can convict
Otto, you'll go free.
But I need your
permission to do that.
This is our best shot.
- Perhaps being locked away
will be less difficult for him
than life alone on the outside.
Do it.
- She knew just
how to work a man.
Then you'd wind up in an alley
without your wallet
or your pants.
- Otto Sanhuber has confessed
to murdering Fred Oesterreich.
There is not of shred of
physical evidence tying
Mrs. Oesterreich to
her husband's murder.
Yes, Mrs. Oesterreich
made mistakes.
She was lonely.
Yes, she cheated on
her abusive husband.
And yes, she took
in a troubled orphan
who had no where else to go.
But you do not convict
a woman of murder
for the crime of infidelity.
- Otto was just a teenager
when he met Dolly.
And orphan who had never known
a day of love in his life.
was older,
and boldly seductive.
She took the best
years of his life
for her own selfish pleasure.
- Settle.
Quiet please.
- You could have seen Otto at
his tiny apartment or hotels,
yet you moved him
into the attic.
Why is that?
- When Fred began drinking, I
didn't feel safe at the house.
I thought having Otto
there would keep me safe.
- Mr. Sanhuber asked
you to marry him, did he not?
- Otto professed his
love to me constantly.
He asked me to divorce
my husband and marry him.
- After Fred's death, why
didn't you marry Otto then?
- I adored him.
But I take my marriage
vows very seriously.
- Liar!
- Now, now, take it easy.
- Sit down,
or you'll be in contempt.
- You provoked your husband
to yell and threaten you
on more than one occasion,
knowing that Mr. Sanhuber
could hear you, didn't you?
- Fred terrified me
when he got angry.
He slapped me more than once,
and he tried to choke me.
- Did you give your husband's
Luger to Mr. Sanhuber?
- I did.
I wanted to keep
it away from Fred.
When he got drunk, he would
wave that thing around
like a crazy man.
I was afraid he was gonna
hurt himself, or me, with it.
- You wanted Otto to have
this gun, didn't you?
You wanted to stir up
his fear for your safety
until he couldn't
take it anymore,
and that he'd use
this gun
on poor Mr. Oesterreich.
Didn't you?
- Otto was my guardian angel.
I thought with him
in the house,
I could keep Fred
from murdering me.
- No.
No, Mrs. Oesterreich.
You kept him locked
up in the house
because you thought
you could provoke him
to murder your
husband, didn't you?
- Objection,
Your Honor.
- Sustained.
- Otto was a sweet
and lovely boy.
I never imagined he would
be capable of such a thing.
Maybe it was all
those crime stories
he was reading and writing.
I can't possibly know what
would have made him murder Fred.
- Didn't you stand to
gain a lot of money
if your husband died?
- I knew Fred had a
life insurance policy.
- $20,000.
Quiet down
in my courtroom.
grew tired of Fred.
You wanted to move
to Los Angeles
and lead a more
glamorous lifestyle,
but you couldn't do it
without Fred's money.
Isn't that right?
- I moved to California to get
away from the awful memory.
No further
questions, Your Honor.
- Isn't it true, Mr. Sanhuber,
that you wanted to marry
Mrs. Oesterreich, but
Fred was in the way.
- I wanted to live
openly as man and wife.
But by then, I'd grown
used to the attic.
It felt safer up there.
- What do you mean safer?
Mrs. Oesterreich didn't make
you live in the attic, did she?
- No.
I was grateful to be there.
- The truth is you
murdered Fred Oesterreich
because you didn't want to
share the love of your life
with him anymore,
isn't that right?
- No.
- You are not the
tragic romantic
you imagined yourself
to be, are you?
Gentlemen, my client gave this
young man free room and board
because she felt safer
with him in the house.
But he began to fantasize
a life with her.
This is a writer of lurid tales,
someone who makes up
stories of crime and sex,
who imagined my client
as one of his fictional
damsels in distress.
He could become her
night in shining armor--
- The jury finds the
defendant, Otto Sanhuber,
guilty of manslaughter.
As regards Mrs. Oesterreich,
the jurors, having exhausted
all means of deliberation,
they are unable to
reach a verdict.
This court is adjourned.
- Dolly got
what she wanted.
But then, she always did.
She used sex as a weapon
and love as a drug.
But she made my life exciting.
She gave me something
to write about.