The Maestro (2018) Movie Script

- You know...
I think you are very musical,
and you have real talent.
- Yes.
- But you have so
much talent for architecture.
I mean, you're so structured
and formalized in
your thinking, and I think,
if you can make a great living
as an architect, you do that.
Instead, you bang your head
against the wall
trying as a composer
to make a living,
and then you end up having
to score other composers' work,
and that is so
terribly dull, right?
- Right.
- If you were to have
been famous,
it would've happened by now.
- What do the
following six people
have in common?
Andre previn,
Nelson riddle, Jerry
Henry Mancini,
John Williams, and Jerry
If you said they're
all musicians, you'd be
If you said, they had made
music for the movies,
you'd also be right.
But if you'd said
they studied music
with the same teacher, you'd be
- But I don't want
to mislead you, either.
You know, I have to be honest.
I have a student, I'm so sorry,
- Oh, great.
- Yes.
- Oh, maestro.
- It's a real pleasure.
- Maestro.
- It's Mario.
It's Mario.
- Jerry herst.
- Hello, Jerry.
Come in.
Have a seat.
Play me something of yours.
- Okay.
Oh, um...
From the beginning?
- Wherever you like.
- Yeah, alright.
- Don't be nervous.
Once again, from the same place.
You were a lawyer.
- I was, how did you know?
- What is this word,
- What word?
- Never mind.
Go, go, go ahead, carry on.
Jerry, is it true that a lawyer
must suppress, hide his feelings
and must always have his
mind working active?
- Not necessarily.
- Can you show me
some feelings in your music?
- Okay.
- This word,
sequestered, it's the same
word as stifled?
- With all due respect,
I have been playing for my
whole life.
I did have the number one
song in my country.
- So rare.
A very fitting title.
Jerry, what have you been
doing since then?
- Um, well, since the war--
- why you come to me, Jerry?
- Everyone said, um,
they said everyone comes
to you and you're a great
and you make them play better.
- Make? No, I don't
make anybody do anything.
But I hope I help
students to play like
You like to do this?
- Yeah, I'd like that.
- Good.
First time, the melody line,
you begin the bassline with
It's more surprising, yes?
- Yes.
- Never cover up your first
You cover up your
divine inspiration for
No more erasing.
Only use the pen.
If you make a mistake,
draw a line through it.
Next time, bring me poetry.
But, I warn you.
No sonnets.
Just anything you like that
you feel you can compose to,
I help you to bring
forth what is inside you,
We see what blooms from your
- You've
probably never heard of
but you've heard his music.
He's written for big movies
like the big storm
with the Marx brothers.
Mario wrote of whimsical trio
for Harpo to play
with his reflections.
Sometimes Mario got
the credit, but usually not.
I guess you could call him
a ghost composer.
Mario was born and
raised in Florence, Italy.
He and his family were doing
just fine,
until Mussolini showed up.
With the help of Arturo
toscanini and jascha heifetz,
Mario immigrated to America,
then got a job at mgm.
He's been composing all his
Songs, concerti, oratorio,
overtures, even an opera.
Before the war, I was
aiming for a career in music.
But then the Japanese aimed
at Pearl harbor.
I volunteered for the Navy.
Had even received my
orders to sail to corregidor.
But my mother
fell ill with cancer.
The doctor said it was terminal.
So I stayed home
to care for her.
Her death saved my life.
If I had been on that ship,
I would've been there
when the Japanese sent
everyone on the death march.
- $30 a month.
Rent due on the first.
No if, ands, or buts.
- Oh, that's fine, Mrs. Stella.
- And if I
don't get paid,
you sleep on the
street until I do.
- Yes, Mrs. Stella.
The posting said something
about a piano?
- Oh, you're the composer?
- Yes, that's right.
- I don't like renting to
- Why not?
- They're always broke.
- Ah.
- You have all the amenities.
Kitchen, shared bathroom,
bedroom's upstairs, shared also.
- I thought my days in the Navy
were over.
- And no women.
My husband hasn't
touched it in years.
- Yeah.
I'm sure it'll be fine.
- That's nice.
$5 extra per month.
- Gotcha.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Well...
- Hi.
- Howdy.
- Hi, I'm Jerry herst.
- Jerry herst, I'm Holden.
- Holden, it's a pleasure.
- Pleasure to meet you.
- Yeah, uh, is this me?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Come on, Jerry, take a seat,
this is you.
- Thank you.
- So you're a musician, huh?
- Uh, yeah.
Yeah, piano.
What about you?
- I'm a painter.
- Really? What do you paint?
- Houses.
But, I mean, really,
I'm an actor.
- Listen, Holden, how many
fellas live here?
- Oh, there's four of us.
That's ray, Ray's
That's Dave, Dave's not being
Dave decided he'd take a lot of
so he could write his screenplay
for 72 hours straight.
We're all gi bill here,
except Vladimir down the hall.
Vladimir's, uh, well, he's
a Russian fellow.
- Is he a writer, too?
- No, he's a dancer.
Jerry, I don't mean to pry, but
how much you being charged
'cause we're all being charged
about 30 bucks a month
for this room and--
- 35, I
have to pay her to use the
- For Christ's sake!
- I'm unarmed.
- You can rent the
whole dump for that much!
- Listen, do you think
she would let me use the
- That all depends,
Jerry, how much do you got?
- Yeah.
- To bear with me for
a moment, as i--
- are you okay?
Are you mad at me?
It's okay if you're mad
at me, I'm kinda mad at me.
I mean, I don't know.
I don't know if it's
the right decision.
Well, no, I don't mean
that's a decision, I just
mean a,
I just mean being here.
And not there.
"Whatever it blooms
from your mind."
- What were you thinking?
It's like mixing
strings with brass.
Follow minor ninth with a
dominant seventh?
This is schumann!
Not jazz.
This belongs in the school of
wrong notes.
We'll shoot for next time to
rewrite it.
- Yeah.
- You've brought me some poetry?
- They are by Walter de la mare.
- Walter de la--
- I wrote them in ink.
- It's very academic, Jerry.
But what is it about this,
inspires you?
- Uh...
- I see.
- As you have
employed me to be your teacher,
I feel it is my duty to instruct
you not only in music,
but also in my philosophy.
I hope you don't mind?
- No, please.
I believe there is music in
In, in a tree.
It grows in the mountain.
In river, it comes down.
In the ocean.
The air, all around us.
In paintings.
But whatever the medium you
choose, very important,
whether it is in nature or art
or ideas.
Let it speak to you.
To the real you.
Do you understand?
- I think so.
- What am I supposed
to do with this?
"Little remains,
but every hour is saved
"from that eternal silence
something more
"a bringer of new things and
Well, you're an actor,
you're in touch with
Read that.
Feel something, go.
- Alright, you got it, okay.
- Ah.
- Yeah.
- "The bodies and
the bones of those
"that strove in other
days to pass,
"are withered in
the thorny close
"or scattered blanching
in the grass."
"He gazes on the silent dead.
"They perished in their
daring deeds.
"This proverb flashes
thro his head.
"The many fail.
"The one succeeds."
- Mrs. Stella, good
- Which one of you animals
left the light on
in the bathroom?
- I, uh, I don't know.
- Do you think I'm
made of money?
- No.
- You haven't left
this room since last night.
- Nope.
- Can you hand me that box?
- Sorry, which box?
- Over there.
- Okay.
- Did someone
die in here?
- Wow.
Oh, you're kidding me.
Son of a...
You gotta be kidding me.
- Hello, Jerry, I'm very sorry
to be late.
The little men at mgm
have many demands on
employee 11694.
What you have for me today?
- The fugue assignment.
- No, no, no,
something of yours.
- I'm struggling with
- Well, I warned you about him.
He's a no easy walk in the park.
Go ahead, play.
What is it?
It's terrible.
No, no, not the music,
not so bad.
It's just, what is...
Jerry, it's you.
No, I'm afraid I must
cancel our lesson for today.
- Why?
- Jerry, your odor,
it's, it's like a violence.
- Violins?
- Violence!
Go, Clara, Clara.
She'll show you
to my son's room.
- You're joking, right?
- Clara!
My wife will show you to the
and you can put on some of
Pietro's clothes, go.
- What did you think about the--
- it's a fine effort.
Have no problem.
With the music.
As darkness comes in, yes.
Tear my heart out.
No, play, play.
- Ah, Jerry.
- Thank you.
Should I go back in for my
lesson now?
- Jerry, if I may.
- Oh, no, no, no, no.
Thank you.
- Vino?
- No, no, no.
Thank you, Mrs. Tedesco.
- I've played that
lick and it's simple.
I mean, I've seen myself do it.
I've watched my hands do it
a million times at home
and then I'd get in
front of you, and I freeze.
And tell me, if I freeze in
front of you,
how am I ever supposed to
perform it
in front of an audience?
- You know
how to swim, right?
- Yes.
- Then why don't you,
why don't you go jump in
the lake?
Or a swimming pool?
Or the ocean?
It's cold.
It will, uh...
Cool you off, okay?
Don't think too much!
He's so good, but he thinks
he's going to have
everything happen all at once.
It takes time, Jerry, you
understand this?
- Yeah, sure.
Why? How good is he?
- Oh, this young man, will
have much success.
Okay, so we took a
little break, we come back,
we make a fresh start.
Let's, maybe we try something
a little different.
- Okay.
- Play with the first few
measures of anything.
- Alright.
- The lawyer preparing for a
Trust, the way the leaf trusts
the breeze to carry it away.
Make it carried away, Jerry.
Wait, wait, you see what
happened there?
You stopped.
Your brain wants to have
Control, it works if
you stay free a little longer.
Unexpected, you don't know
where you go.
You have sweetheart back home?
- Oh, yes, I do.
- Describe her to me.
- Where do I start?
- No, but not in words.
With the keys, please.
Play your beloved.
From where you were,
it's so lovely.
Your family are
back home, far away.
And you, uh...
You don't know if you can
play music or if
you must go home.
You don't know if you have both.
Is that what you're
worried about?
What's your fear?
- What's your fear?
- My fear?
The death of my
master, ildebrando pizzetti.
My Clara.
What's your fear?
- Failing, I guess.
- More, failing by what?
- Hurting my family.
- Deeper.
- I just need to know if I
have it in me, Mario.
- Yeah.
Well, we'll have to keep
Find out.
Keep our eyes open.
Keep playing.
We're here to play.
See, there is something.
- Well, how goes it?
- Gentlemen, it goes well.
- What's goin' on?
- She locked us out of
the house.
- Vlad paid the rent late.
- Yeah, and, and we didn't.
- So, how does that work?
- Well, she's a sultry bitch.
- She's got that
fire in her eyes.
- It burns so good.
No don't apologize, brother.
This isn't your fault.
- I mean, I don't wanna be the
mean one, but it kind of is.
- We're all in this together.
- Oh, yeah, I don't think so.
I mean, you know,
this isn't a pinko commune.
I paid, Holden paid,
Jerry paid, you paid on time.
- That's not the point.
- Really? How so, Dave?
- A person is
entitled to a home.
- They're entitled to home?
I didn't realize we were in
Moscow, California.
- Hey, Jerry, weren't you a
lawyer before the war?
- No offense, vlad.
- Uh, I was.
- Look, they can't throw us all
out like this, am I right?
Jerry, you were a lawyer, right?
Is this legal?
- It is technically not legal.
- My screenplay's
in there, guys.
- My god, forget your stupid,
I'll help you with your
Interior, man turns right,
woman yells "help."
Exterior, cut to, my ass--
- you know something.
You don't know what
the hell you're talking about!
- You know, how much
money do you owe her?
Vach, vach dollars.
How much is--
- 20 bucks.
- 20 bucks.
Alright, will you wait here?
Can I?
May I?
Yes, stay here.
If I am not back in five
it's been nice knowing you.
- Good luck, Jerry.
- What do you
think you're doing?
- I'm gonna let
my roommates inside.
- Well, you do, and I will have
all of you evicted.
- You can't do that.
- I can do any
goddamn thing I want.
- I have Vladimir's $20 for you.
- And why doesn't
give it to me himself?
- Well, because you locked
everyone outside.
- You and the other three,
you can come back.
- Vladimir wants you to
know that he is very sorry
and that it will
not happen again.
- You've heard me.
He goes, that's final.
- What if
he offered some restitution?
Excuse me.
Ah, Clara.
Everything alright?
- Oh...
Sometimes when
Igor comes to visit me,
we drink a little too much wine.
Now mgm has summoned
me and, Jerry, I'm sorry,
I'm afraid I have to cancel
our lesson today.
That was stravinsky.
- Yeah, Jerry, um, Clara
wondered maybe you might
drive me to the studio
today so I can review my notes?
- Of course.
You probably shouldn't
drive in your condition anyway.
- Clara shouldn't drive
in her condition.
I don't drive.
- Ah, then I should definitely
Who are you meeting with at mgm?
- You are familiar
with the mgm lion?
- Sure.
- Today, you shall
be meeting their Turkey.
- Music for moving pictures
cannot have any form.
The music must be bland.
Of course, it has to be
when something dramatic happens,
but you don't want
it to be disruptive.
You don't want
people listening to the music.
And characters should
not have their own themes.
This is not Wagner, you know?
You got it?
- So, this is the
title of your film?
- Look, you worry
about the tunes, Teddy,
and I'm gonna take of
the creative stuff, alright?
You music types,
you're all the same.
You're always tryin'
to change the world.
What about you, kid,
what are you, a student of his?
- Yes, I am.
- You're not tryin'
to change the world, I hope?
- I'm not even really supposed
to be here.
- That's a good answer.
Well, keep in touch.
- I want to bite fat little
finger, he points it in my face,
he call me Teddy.
- How long do you have
to turn in the lead sheets?
- One week.
- A week?
That doesn't seem
like much time.
- Jerry!
- Jess, hi.
- How are you?
- Oh, I'm well, how are you?
- Jess Oppenheimer.
- Mario castelnuovo-tedesco.
- Say that 10 times.
So you're back in town?
- Yeah, for now, I'm, uh--
- that's great!
I'm off to a meeting
right now, but this Saturday,
estelle and I are having a
little party.
You should come.
- Sure, sure.
- And both of you.
- No, great.
- Alright.
- Okay.
- Alright.
- Thank you.
- Good to see you.
- Goodbye.
- Good to see you, Jess.
- He, that's...
You don't want go to your
friend's party?
- I don't know, it
sounds like a lot of, uh...
Yeah, I don't know.
- A lot about what?
Come on, you don't have many
friends, you should go.
You're alone too much.
- Alright, you wanna go?
- Me?
- Yeah.
- He doesn't even know who I am.
- Of course he does.
- Listen, I am not so much
a social butterfly.
I'm more a social camel.
- He knows who you are.
Everybody's like
that out here, Mario.
- Okay.
I ask Clara for.
- Okay.
- Hello, Jerry.
- Hi, ray.
- What a strange
place to be reading.
- Oh, am I in your way?
- What is it?
Walt Whitman,
of course.
Oh, your father called, he
left you a message.
To call him.
- Yeah.
Thanks, ray.
- How's Los Angeles?
- Yeah, it's hot.
I found a house.
- Is it a nice place?
- It's real nice,
real classy.
Landlord's a piece of work.
- That's okay, you
won't be there forever.
You're coming home for the
holidays, right?
Your sister would love to see
you, she has a new boyfriend.
He works in something called
Maybe you'd find it interesting.
- Well, I'll try and
come up soon for a visit, dad.
- How's your money
holding out?
- Fine, fine,
pop, real, real fine.
Just fine.
- Were you in the army?
- Navy, briefly.
- I saw that on you.
You can always tell.
How's your schooling going?
- It's going very well,
- Mm-hm.
I've noticed a change
in you since you've begun.
Till now.
- Really?
- Something about you, you're
more alive, feeling creative.
- You're right.
- Your vitality smacked
me in the face the other day.
- Really?
- Yes, it was nice to see.
- How'd I do that?
- It's almost like you've had a,
what do you call it,
a bar mitzvah,
since you've been here.
You've become a
man a little bit.
- Yeah, I like that.
I like that.
- Yes, you are...
I've noticed certain
changes around here with you.
There was perhaps one Alpha
lion in the helm,
and now there's two.
There is a certain gazelle...
We have our sights on.
I see it.
I see it on you.
It's like...
It's almost like you're
the albino boy with the
opaque eyes
who suddenly
sees in vivid colors.
Rushes home from school--
- who the hell are you
talking about, ray?
- Well, your muse would be
The vivid colors would be
your aggressive libido
that I've taken notice of,
much like my own.
You cannot be
contained nor denied.
- Okay.
- Mm, I see you feeling.
I feel you seeing.
Oh, it's interesting.
Challenge accepted, my friend.
We'll call it a snake fight.
- There's no snake fight, ray.
- Oh.
- I have a sweetheart,
you know that, ray.
- Don't we all.
- Yes?
- Hey, we're goin' into town.
Do you wanna come
chase some skirts?
- Yeah, I got a
lotta work to do.
- Yeah, your girl called again.
- I'm on it, Dave.
- Hey, um...
How come you never
said bye to Holden?
- What do you mean,
where's Holden?
- He moved
back to Skokie,
and work in his old
man's frame shop.
- What?
- A couple of days ago.
- He quit?
- Yeah.
- Why didn't he come down?
- I guess he didn't
wanna bother you.
He left this for you.
- Good evening,
Mrs. Stella.
- You've been playing
the same song for three days.
- Four days, actually,
wait, what day is it?
- You practically live down
- Yeah, well, that's part of
the work.
- So why don't you?
- Why don't I what?
- Live down here.
And I will rent your bunk to
someone else.
- Okay.
- From from now on, it's
five dollars each time you play
that damn song that is living
inside my head, thanks to you.
- We left our parents behind.
Our aunts and uncles
and cousins.
When I first left to
come to Los Angeles,
I leave Clara and
the children behind.
- That must've been very hard
for you, you're so close.
- Never again, never again.
Loneliness is a
very underestimated emotion.
- I know what you mean.
- Maybe it is, as with all
good things in life,
it begins with a little pain.
- I haven't seen
some of these guys
since before the war, Mario.
- Close friends?
- I wouldn't say close.
- Oh, hello.
- Hi.
- Oh, welcome.
- Thank you.
- Hors d'oeuvres
and cocktails are in the lounge.
Oh, lovely, thank you.
- Thank you so much.
- Okay.
- She's lovely.
- Is that Jerry herst?
Oh, I don't believe it.
- Gene, long time no
see, how have you been?
- Oh, fine, you?
- Great.
Gene, do you know
Mario castelnuovo-tedesco?
He writes music for the studios.
Mario, meet gene Kelly.
- Oh, yeah, sure, I think I've
heard your name before.
- I certainly recognize yours.
Very impressed by your dancing.
- Oh, thank you very much,
I like your accent, it's lovely.
- My accent.
- Well, gentlemen, excuse me.
I'm gonna go fix myself a drink.
I'm feeling a little thirsty,
good to see you, and pleasure.
- Likewise.
- Oh, there's Jess.
- Oh, you made it.
- Of course we made it.
- Jerry.
- We wouldn't miss it, Jess, you
remember Mario.
- I do, hello.
- Thank you so much
for inviting me, it's
- We've lived here for
four years and just
finished some
renovations so we thought
we'd have a little bit of a
- Yeah it's a hell of a
place, Jess, it's a hell of
a place.
You've outdone yourself.
I had no idea, to tell you the
- Do you have an agent?
Because there's a bunch of
agents here
that I could introduce you to.
- Oh, okay.
I, uh, I don't right now.
- Excuse me,
Jess, there's a call for
- Oh, who is it?
- Okay, hm-hm.
- I remember you, you had that,
that song.
What was it called?
- So rare?
- So rare.
- Yes, yes!
- That was, that was a long
time ago.
- Anything coming up?
- We can but hope.
- I'll keep hoping.
- Oh, Jess, hey.
Who is the girl with
the cigarette on the couch?
- Oh, that's cyd charisse.
She's the new dancer
with the studio.
You should talk to her.
- Think he wants to
dance with you.
- Close your mouth,
- I have to dance with her.
- Oh, please do.
- Look at him, poor thing.
- Enjoy.
- Okay, I will.
- I'd would kill for
a little excitement.
Is that the guy Jess was
talking about?
Oh, look, here he comes.
Mean gene.
Wanna see something?
- Oh, you really gonna do it?
- Kubrick, kubrick,
- Will you stop
moving around?
- Well, hello.
- Hello.
And what's your name?
- My name is Jerry,
I've almost forgotten it.
- Don't look
at the camera, I'm not here.
- Are you an actor, Jerry?
- I am not an actor.
- You're awfully good
pals with gene.
- I knew gene for a little while
before he was gene.
That was a long time ago.
- Yes, it was.
- You're really not an actor?
- - I am really not.
Is that hard to imagine?
- Stuntman?
- A stuntman? No, I...
I'm a pianist.
- Really?
What's the name of your band?
- It is just me.
- Well, that must get lonely.
- Well, I'm good
- Not at the camera.
- You're trouble.
- Wonderful!
- Bravo!
- Jerry?
- Yes, Jerry.
- It's your turn.
- No, no, no, no, no.
- Yes, come on, you must.
You must.
Show us what you've got, Jerry.
- Okay.
- And I never see you play
in front of an audience before
and you were wonderful.
It was so relaxed, so, so...
- Thanks, Mario.
- I think maybe this is
my favorite party
I've been to since I can
- Yeah, me too.
Come on, let's get you inside.
- That little lady at
the party seemed to like you.
- I know, and I liked her, too,
but my heart belongs to
another, Mario.
- That does not mean you can't
write a little song for her.
- Okay, how should that go?
You could say, uh...
- I will, I will get
to work on the arrangement.
- That sounds
familiar, maybe I...
- Maestro.
- Jerry?
- Yeah.
- It's okay.
You got it.
You're gonna make it.
- Oh, come on, Mario.
- What, you don't think so?
- I think you're a little drunk.
- You aren't?
- No, I very much am.
- And even so,
you don't think so?
- I mean, it's great to hear
you say it.
- Nobody knows you,
better than you.
And you are not so sure.
- If I am not so sure?
- Then maybe I am less sure.
What song am I thinking of?
I hear this song.
Somewhere, but I
like the little,
the little pleasures in
your heart, that's good.
- "I regret to inform you."
Oh, no.
- What are you doing here?
- Mrs. Stella, I'm so sorry.
- Get out!
- I'm sorry, I'm--
- out!
Leave me alone!
- "To my beloved Anna,
at our favorite time of year.
"October weather."
October weather, yeah.
October, uh.
When purple oak leaves fall.
When, when, when,
Leaves fall.
- How dare you!
Who gave you the right?
- Mrs. Stella.
- This is personal property!
I should have you
arrested, arrested!
- I am sorry, I did not--
- this is all I have left.
Do you understand?
- I'm very sorry.
- No, you're not, you're not!
I hear you all, making
fun of me, calling me names!
He was my best friend
and now he's gone.
And I want him back.
You have no right, no right!
- It's a lovely a poem.
Oh, wow.
I wanted to thank you.
- Quiet!
You say one word about this,
I will throw you
out on your ear.
- "There is no joy, but calm."
- Who am I teaching today?
- This is in the style of
- No, not the Nazi.
Anything but the Nazi.
I would prefer the Marquis de
- You liked the ravel the best?
- If you wanna put it that way.
Do you have anything else,
- I have, uh--
- oh, just play it.
It's you!
It's good, hey,
mind if I cut in?
- No, please.
- It's fun.
Hey, hey, we'll find a
place for you tomorrow
It's supposed to be--
- gershwin, of course.
Why you not bring
me this sooner?
- You said he was
just a tune writer.
- Yeah.
But what a tunes.
- I see why Jerry's
such a heartbreaker now.
- Dad, what're you doin' here?
- I, uh, I was in
town, thought I'd drop by.
- Is everything okay?
- Oh, everything's fine.
I just wanted to see
how you were doing.
Thought we might
have some dinner.
Great setup you guys got here.
- We were just telling Abe
about crazy head.
- Yeah, she does sound like
a piece of work.
- Ah, she's not so bad.
- How come you never
told us your father invented
the octopus plug?
- Ah, Jerry's not interested in
the kind of work I do.
- Oh, come on, Jerry.
Apparently, there's good
money in lighting.
- Wait till you see the bowl.
So, um, you guys
take care of yourselves
and good luck with
that book, ray.
- Luck is a
fleeting mistress, Mr. Herst.
- Take care, Mr. Herst.
- Real good.
- We've all had that
- What are you doing
down here, kiddo?
- I'm living my life, dad.
- From where I sit,
it looks more like
you're running away
from your life.
- Maybe so.
I hope not.
What if this is the
bravest thing I've ever done?
- I guess I don't see that.
We've seen a lot of bravery
just lately and I don't wanna
hurt your feelings,
son, but this is not that.
- It's not that, that's true.
So, how's it going with
- We have the
possibility to do the lighting
at the Hollywood bowl.
- Pretty exciting, huh?
- That's great, dad, really.
- How are you fellas doing?
- Ah, excellent, thank you.
- No.
- Your brother has
done a heck of a job
with the business,
we're thinking of expanding,
maybe open up plant down
here, you could work part-time.
- I don't know.
Think I'm just gonna
keep at it, you know, full-time.
- Sure.
- When does the gi bill...
- Until the middle of next year.
- Son.
The sweet little girl's face
when she comes over to dinner.
- What about it?
- This is not the face of
a girl who knows she's loved.
- That's a horrible
thing to say.
- I'm not trying to be horrible,
but she waited for you, Jerry.
She stood by you.
I hope that you're not...
- What?
- Just going to...
- I'm not.
- Well, don't
you think that she might
expect something in return?
- A return on her investment?
- If you wish.
- Maybe not everyone has your
quid pro quo mindset, dad.
- What is wrong with wanting
to make a good life for
- What if I wanna take
my life and give it to
- What are you, guilty?
To have it?
They tried to wipe us out,
boychick, you remember this.
There are not many of us left.
Talk about giving.
Why don't you think about giving
the world a baby or two?
- Dad?
- You don't think the sweet,
young girl, maybe not so young
you don't think that she thought
that was in the cards?
- I think about it.
- Good,
you think about it.
- Should I give those
babies a father
who can't look in the mirror?
- What are you saying?
- I'm saying I have
to do this, dad.
- This teacher, this Italian,
what does he think?
Does he think you
have what it takes?
- I don't know.
- What about you?
What do you think?
- I don't know.
I know I have to find out.
- Tell me there's
some goal in mind.
Tell me there's some
metric to measure success by.
- You know what, dad?
- What?
- I just realized something.
- What is that?
- I do have a metric,
and that's the problem.
- Well, how long do you think
this dream of yours can last?
- I'm trying to see if it
can last forever.
- You are in the clutches of
this marvelous augmented chord.
And the drama builds!
And then, kaput.
A major chord.
You drop all of the tension
right there, why?
Now, you go to the trouble to
grab us by the throat,
to shake us
around a bit, you know?
'Cause you're afraid of
being shaken and it's rattling
that precious brain of yours.
- Bye-bye, Mario.
- It's true, I mean, you
have still got it.
And what you were
playing there was incredible.
- Ah--
- it was, it was.
And I remember the time--
- thank you.
- I remember the time when
I would be dropping
Jerry herst's name
to get into parties.
- Nah.
- Do you remember that?
Yeah, I was, I was.
- It never happened.
Get out.
- Yeah
I would drop your
name to get the dames.
- Well, watch it, you're a one
dame fella now, my friend.
- Hey, come here for a second.
You were at the top,
you were number one.
We all looked up to
you, and you just, you left.
What happened?
- What do you want
me to tell you, Jess?
It didn't happen
for me after that.
- Why not?
- Do you think there's always a
reason, my friend?
Come on, let's go inside, huh?
- What's the occasion?
- Mario is scoring
Rita Hayworth's new film,
lady from Shanghai,
and Mario wanted to thank you
for inviting him to the party by
feeding you some dinner.
- Yes, and so,
in their great wisdom,
the studio has decided that
it would be a good idea to have
him write the music for
the lady from Shanghai himself.
Yes, yes.
Orson welles should act in,
and direct, and then write,
and now write the music.
It's doing too much.
- Well, he does seem to
do everything else pretty well.
And he is married to Rita
- And that will make him a
good composer, because,
as we all know, she's
very well composed.
- That and he's
a genius, uh, I'm, no offense.
- I'm sure Wells will realize he
has to hire a composer.
- After the studio has wasted
a good deal of time and money
first trying to make
music for Americans
which is sentimental and
empty and hostile.
But, now, chopin.
He could compose.
And bach.
He was a genius.
Ah, but Mozart.
He was a nice German.
Ah, Austrian.
And brahms.
I don't know if I've ever
mentioned, but,
I was often thought of as
the Italian brahms.
The Nazi!
- Who's the Nazi?
- Wagner.
- Is that true?
- I don't know.
- Well, I actually
do understand
the studio's being a little bit
cautious at the moment
as to what they put
in movies and on the radio.
- I think they should
be able to write
whatever they want
in their movies.
- I agree with Pietro.
- Well, I do agree, but I
just think right now,
there's a climate where
they have to acknowledge what
messages are being put forth.
- Why?
- I'm a little surprised
at you, Jess, yes, why?
- Jerry, um, how, how's the
new piano concerto?
- It's going great, I'm
enjoying it.
It's kind of jazzy, kind of
- Really?
You know, they're doing all
these musicals
over at mgm right now.
Maybe I could walk you in
there and try and get you a job?
- Perfect.
Jerry writes a musical.
If he's not too busy
practicing law, uh,
maybe he can swing
some jingles together for you.
Jingle for the judge.
Jingle for the jury!
I have gone dry.
I get some more picante.
- Jerry
writes a musical!
Okay, here in this passage,
where you Mark the sostenuto.
You might want to express
the slowing also in the tympani
and maybe andante,
what you think?
- Yeah, okay.
- You don't seem
quite yourself today, Jerry.
- I just have a lot on my mind.
- And if you'd like my advice--
- I wouldn't.
Can we just focus on the
- You're really quite upset,
aren't you?
- Can you mind your own
business, Mario?
- I can.
And I will.
Our lesson is over.
- I'm sorry I said that.
- It's quite alright, I
have another student waiting.
Funny enough,
his name is Jerry, too.
- I like the mets.
- She got blue eyes,
I don't know.
I go 100 for the
redhead, that's what I'd say.
- 100 for the redhead?
- Hey, man, that's her quote.
- Uh, excuse me, is one of you
guys Gus?
- Yeah, I'm Gus,
who wants to know?
- Yeah, I'm just wondering,
are you guys
in need of a pianist?
- Why don't you take
a hike, fella, get outta here.
- Okay.
- Hold on a second, wait.
Come on over here.
Come here!
You any good?
Oh, boy.
- What's that supposed to mean,
"oh, boy?"
- It's a bad time, Sam.
- You're not happy to see me?
- Of course I am, come here.
Come here.
How's Claire?
- Claire's great, yeah.
- How're the boys?
- The boys are great, yeah.
- And the aunts?
- Everybody's great, Jerry.
- Great.
- Everybody's been
asking about you.
- So they encouraged
you to check in?
- No!
No, look, I haven't been out of
the suburbs in six months.
New year's, notwithstanding,
you know, it's uh,
it's a lot of pressure.
You know, sometimes it feels
like the walls are closing in.
- Hey, listen, I have
a gig tonight.
- A gig?
Whoa, look at mister big shot!
- It's just a dive
downtown, but, you're
welcome to come.
- Sure, Jerry, yeah.
- Yeah?
- That's, that's fine.
- Nothing is more beautiful
than the eggplant that's swollen
bruised, hanging heavy
in the summer sun.
Defying the worms,
this light nightshades history.
An aubergine mystery.
Arrival of the fittest,
a butterfly flaps its wings
and the spring proves itself
The bluebells competing
against the march sky.
I've seen god before,
but he was deep, deep down
in the royal purple bottom
of a wine glass.
This is not my America that
I signed up for.
This America is a bird with
two right wings
in a death spiral
waiting to alight
upon the mountain of fools gold.
- That was somethin', that was,
that was really somethin'.
I gotta tell ya.
- That was a good crowd tonight.
- Has dad seen you play?
I mean, I mean, like this?
That one babe at the
bar, she was givin' you the eye.
She was.
- Yeah, I think I know which
one you mean.
- Yeah.
You know, your girl.
She has dinner with us at
least once a week.
- Okay, Sam.
- Oh, she's a great gal.
That's all I'm saying.
- I know.
- You love her?
- Yeah.
- You're losin' her.
You know, dad says that you
can't stay down here
in this dreamland forever,
I think that if you
want to do that,
you can do that.
A lot of people do that,
look around.
- Nice to know a grown
man can make his own decisions.
- Hey, pal.
I have been carrying
your weight for years, alright?
You're the older brother.
- You made your choice, Sam.
- What is that supposed to mean?
- You took the keys to the
kingdom, you knew the trade off.
- Everyone just hates to
see you struggle, that's all.
- That's the thing.
I'm not.
I'm freer and I'm a more alive
than I have ever been.
- You sounded pretty
damn good.
- I need to finish what
I'm doing, Sam.
On my own terms.
That's what mom would've wanted.
Tell dad what I said word
for word when you
report back to him.
- It's not like that.
- It is like that.
It's okay.
Really, I get it.
Come on.
I'll let you buy me a
- One more.
- So tell me about
this new movie.
Did you have to audition?
- No, this time, I
think stoloft felt so bad,
Orson welles ended up hiring
another composer on Shanghai
and, uh, wasted so
much time and money,
he handed it to me
on a silver platter.
- Do you think you'll get
credit this time?
- Yes and they are
also preparing a sponge
bath for me.
- It's your work.
People should know.
- I know.
And that is enough.
- "The loves of Carmen."
- I knew, when he
brought you to that meeting,
that you were somethin' special.
Even though he put you
in the back there, I knew.
- Well, thank you, sir.
- Well, we're gonna hire
someone new
for the orchestration
and this is your application.
- "Ode to a baked bean."
- Yeah, I wrote it myself.
- Wow.
- Go ahead, sing a few bars, go
- Oh, uh, my
falsetto stinks, Mr. Englehart.
- Alright, then just read it.
- Okay.
"My eyes are filled
with admiration
"the moment you
appear on the scene.
"Oh, tender morsel
out of nowhere.
"Oh, lovely,
luscious baked bean."
- Go on, go on.
- Okay.
"Delightful dish of
immortal fragrance.
"I'm thrilled with your
romantic sheen."
- Not bad, huh?
- Yeah, no.
- Alright.
Standard orchestration, string
section, four pieces.
And, uh, what, are you just
gonna memorize this?
- Sorry.
- Okay.
Woodwinds, horns, uh, two
pieces each.
No tubas, they always
sound like they're passin' gas.
Whatever percussion
you would like,
just don't make it
too elaborate, you got it?
- Sure.
- Okay, you have till the
If we choose you to
join our orchestration team,
I'm gonna put you on the
new Tarzan picture.
- Tarzan.
- Don't get precious,
kid, everyone loves Tarzan.
- Do I get an get
any screen credits?
Play eight more bars.
- So far, so good.
- Can you forget so
Can you?
- Go back to him.
Go on now, go back
were you belong.
- Look at me, josito.
- I thought you had
strings, not brass.
- Mm.
Not mine.
- I've spoken to you
often of my master,
ildebrando pizzetti and, uh,
I remember one time,
so clearly, when he said to me,
"Mario, I feel I
can tell you anything."
- Oh, no.
- Why "oh, no?"
- "You're very musical and
you have much talent."
- You parakeet, you memorize
my little speeches I make?
You are waiting for
your life to begin.
And and while you wait,
time passes, it...
It passes.
You wonder.
"Do I have it?"
Is it here?
Is it there?"
What is "it?"
What is "it?"
I've been invited to, uh...
Become the director of
the conservatory in napoli.
- Wow.
- Yes, wow.
- So, would you go to
Italy now, how is it over there?
- It is better.
They held the elections and
they were good.
You know, of course, my Clara,
she, uh,
she's always so homesick.
- Speaking of Europe, do you
remember that
letter of recommendation I
asked you to write?
- Oh, you've been accepted,
And you will be studying with
the grande dame
madame boulanger.
She's very demanding.
But you can
learn a lot from her.
Well, perhaps I have
the extent of your commitment.
To eat.
- Mr. Herst.
Your work from last week.
It is very good.
Is it yours?
- Mademoiselle?
- I think maybe
you had some help?
- Mademoiselle!
- I should like
for you to continue
the polyphonic progressions
you have started.
- Right now?
I expanded the counterpoint.
I moved the progression
through the circle of fifths
which essentially employees
I hope that's okay?
Will there be anything else,
- Dear Jerry.
My country is just a shadow
of its formal self.
The people are all stuck on
this old idea of life
that does not make
sense anymore.
But they cannot conceive
of a new one.
Everyone has been very
friendly to me
but I see how much they
hate and distrust one another.
It is true what they say.
You can never go home again.
If you look here.
- Yeah, it's the same.
They just copied it?
- Oh, no.
No, no, no, he, I assure
you, cannot write a single note.
So, he hired some of
his staff to do it for him.
- He directs the music
department, why would he do
- So that he can put he studied
with tedesco on his resume.
Doesn't even have the courtesy
to put my whole name.
Well, enough.
Let us examine the work of
a real composer, hm?
This is splendid, Jerry!
Have you been working on
this all this time?
- It'll be an orchestral suite.
- I think you need
to reconsider this decision
to leave Hollywood behind.
You're still so young, you know?
- Englehart offered
me a contract.
- Well, that is big news, Jerry.
- I turned it down.
- Well, now, I don't, I don't
Why on earth would
you turn it down?
It's everything you
wanted, isn't it?
To earn your
living as a musician?
To, to have your talent
- It was.
- Well, what will you do now?
- Play jingles.
When I'm not practicing law.
- Jerry, I hope...
A foolish remark I make when
I am upset and I've had
too much to drink
doesn't make a decision for you.
Because the fact is, maybe,
Hollywood needs young voices.
- Come on, to write
Tarzan and the cheetah people?
- Hey, no, no, no,
it's a start.
- Mario.
I can't spend my life waiting
for people who I don't respect
to give me their approval.
- Hm.
That is fair enough.
- Hey.
How is it to be
back in the theater?
- It's good.
You know, they, uh...
They criticize me because I
put beautiful sounds
into shylock's mouth.
- That's good?
- When I left, they
were killing all the shylocks.
So, I have to see it as
- You have a point.
- I think, at least,
the worst is surely over.
- And perhaps,
the best is yet to be.
- Mario
castelnuovo-tedesco died on
march 16th 1968.
Two weeks before his 73rd
He worked as a composer
on hundreds of Hollywood movies.
And he received screen
credit on seven.
As for me, I wrote one
song that got into the movies.
Tarzan the fearless.
I didn't get credit
for it, either.
Some of us don't go
on to do great things.
But if we're lucky, we
do small things with great love.