The Naked Venus (1959) Movie Script

No, we must get closer.
Now, that's it.
Oh, Mrs. Dixon is going to like this.
I'm afraid of your mother. Let's not go.
Now, honey...
Look... we've been all
through this before.
Can't you get it into your little head,
my father died. My mother needs me.
I've got to go and you're going with me.
You'll like her and she'll
love you and Sherie.
She doesn't even know I exist.
Why didn't you tell her, Bob?
In all these years...
Why couldn't you have said:
"I got married, and we have a child"?
Was it easier to live a lie?
A white lie.
I had to.
I wasn't supposed to stay on in
Paris after my army discharge.
And take up painting of all things.
But I did. And I was
lucky. Damned lucky.
Didn't the Museum of Contemporary
Art in New York buy my painting?
You aren't just lucky, Bob.
You are a good painter.
I am now. Even in my mother's eyes.
Just try to get used to her.
She's quite a gal.
Sure she can be stubborn as a mule, but
there's nothing she wouldn't do for me.
And you, you're part of me, funny-face.
Look. We're packed.
Jim's found us someone to take
over our lease until we come back.
And we're coming back,
honey. I love Paris.
I found myself here. And you.
For the first time, you did
something you wanted to do.
And you didn't listen to anybody.
Not even to your mother.
For once, you were yourself.
And oh Bob, I loved you for it.
And I love you, too.
Even when you're a pain in the neck.
Now come on, you're tired. We can
finish packing in the morning.
Bob, we don't have to go.
We don't have to do anything.
But we're going.
And you'll love California. Ma's got a
big place. Swimming pool, tennis courts
You can play tennis with her.
A good way to get acquainted.
I bet I can wangle a
sports-car out of mother.
I can pay her back when I get
the money from the will.
Hey. You smiled.
- I'm scared.
- You're not scared.
Oh, who in the heck is that, now?
Sorry old boy, we're already in bed.
Oh, have a heart. We've got to
finish packing in the morning.
The New York Times?
Ah, no don't read it to me.
I'll be right over in a moment.
You'd better forget the drink.
Yvonne is making a face already.
I must go?
The art critic of the New York
Times liked Naked Venus.
He says I can paint.
- Don't leave me alone tonight.
- What's so different about tonight?
Oh, quit worrying. Everything
is going to work out just great.
Hi, everybody.
- Thanks. You mind?
- Why should I?
Say, Jim. Pretty good, huh? I like
what he says about my brush stroke.
And this: "definitely a
personality... in the making."
What's the matter with that guy?
He's a critic, kid. He's got
to criticize something.
To our fuming genius.
How is Yvonne?
- Lousy, thanks.
- Why? What's the problem?
She's already made up her mind.
She and mother won't get along.
Of course they won't.
Mothers-in-law and wives never do.
Why try to be different?
Poor Bob... if you hadn't tried to ditch
me, you wouldn't have that problem.
I know how to handle
your precious mother.
- That's just what I was afraid of.
- And what else?
Don't try and find out. I did.
Look who's talking.
And where would you be
dear, if it weren't for me?
Working... it could be, you know.
The great sculptor talking.
That's all he ever does. Talk.
Okay sweetheart. Jim talks.
- Some people find it very entertaining.
- I don't.
Not when I have to cough up the rent.
I'm not a bank, you know.
- Unfortunately not.
- You'd like that, wouldn't you.
I'd love it.
Which reminds me, old pal.
Now that you're a millionaire.
Where do you get
this "millionaire" stuff?
What I'm getting isn't near that.
And I haven't gotten it yet.
- Should we feel sorry for him?
- Bob's got problems.
Me too. I need say... 200,000 francs.
Just to tide me over
until I make The Louvre.
What's 600 dollars for you?
Look Jim, that...
That trip with wife and kid
just about cleans me out.
You're forgetting the poodle.
It costs a lot to take him along.
Sherie wouldn't go without Caviar.
He sounds already like a millionaire.
More like a bourgeois.
Saving for that rainy day.
That's that "personality" in the making.
Like it says in The Times.
Cut it out you two.
It's funny it's such an unpleasant
subject, isn't it old man.
You poor dear. Being
stuck with Fort Knox.
- What is it with you two?
- Nothing.
We are just plain broke.
Leave him be. He's got a
wife and daughter to support.
And a blue-blood poodle.
That's rough.
So long you guys.
See you when I get back.
Make it someday soon.
- Bob.
- Mother.
And here's out little family, well.
I'm Bob's mother.
- And you are Yvonne?
- Yes, Mrs. Dixon.
And here is my son's little daughter.
We've been talking for quite a while but
we're both trying to avoid something.
Tell me about yourself.
There is very little to tell.
Anything and everything interests
me when it concerns my son's life.
How did you two meet?
He's never told me.
Oh, you paint, too?
No. I model.
Gowns for one of the famous
Paris fashion houses, I take it?
I model for painters.
Artists like Bob.
- In the nude?
- Of course.
You must forgive my son. He was
always a little... eccentric.
There is nothing strange
about being nude.
We here feel a little
different about such things.
Of course, you French
have your own ideas.
In a way, it's charming.
So... Bob painted you?
And then?
We began seeing each other afterwards.
And we discovered we
liked the same things.
Now then, while you kept seeing my boy.
Going steady, as we call it here.
You posed for other painters?
Yes. I had to support myself.
Does it pay well,
being an artist's model?
You must forgive my ignorance.
No. But I'm fond of artists.
They are nice people mostly.
Did you go to college?
I started.
I had to give it up.
I couldn't afford it.
You speak English quite well.
My mother was American.
We'll make a little lady out of Sherie.
I'm very grateful.
It's my duty. I'm Bob's mother.
And I love to do it.
Only, we won't be here all the time.
Bob and I are planning
on going back to France.
We still have our apartment.
And he has his work.
I wouldn't worry, dear. Apartments
can be rented, furniture stored.
And there are many things worth
painting this side of our world.
Well, I see you two girls
are getting along just fine.
Your mother's been very kind.
I had a long talk with
your charming wife.
Very enlightening.
I'm happy to report
your daughter likes this.
Yvonne asks to be excused.
She's all tired out.
- The change of climate, probably.
- Do you think she's happy here?
She loves it, mother.
My dear boy. She loathes this country.
Can't you tell?
Now don't be so shocked.
Sit here, close to me.
We used to be friends, remember?
You never called me mother.
Always "Mary Lou"
- I've almost forgotten.
- Yes.
You've forgot a lot of things, Bob.
You were a small boy and you
didn't want to go to school.
Your father insisted on
making a man out of you.
A big, strong he-man like himself.
That's why he wanted you to start out in
public school like you were any child.
But mother took your side, didn't I?
And we got you a private tutor.
Later, Bob... when you enlisted.
You sat with me... right here.
The night before I...
- Shipped out to Korea.
- You were afraid of being a soldier.
I was...
Scared to death, mother.
You had a right to be afraid.
It's only natural.
But you did fine.
You got all the medals.
- If they only knew how... scared I was.
- Only you and I know.
You're a real pal, mother.
Are you going to marry again?
I mean, you're still
as beautiful as ever.
Oh dear no, I wouldn't
think of marrying.
Now that I have you and
a lovely granddaughter.
Yvonne won't mind.
She is a responsibility, isn't she.
She's my wife. I love her.
You love your art and
you're trying to be loyal.
No, mother.
I know my boy when he's afraid.
- And you're afraid now.
- Afraid of what?
To face reality. You never could.
- It's been a hasty marriage.
- What are you talking about?
Yvonne is a dear. Back
in her own little world.
Take her out of it. Force her to be the
wife of a young successful artist and...
She becomes a problem.
I had a long talk with her.
She was quite frank with me.
She wants to go back where
she knows she belongs.
To go home where she's happy.
You'll see that she's
financially taken care of.
Mother, you must be out of your mind.
On the contrary. I was never saner.
You were afraid to come home.
No, I wanted to paint and find
out for myself if I could live my life.
So you found a place where you can hide
with Yvonne as your... housekeeper?
She gave me a child.
- She added another responsibility.
- We managed.
After taxes, you have about twenty
thousand left of your inheritance.
That's a fortune in France.
You aren't going to live in France.
You owe your daughter the right start in
life and maybe you owe something to me.
I know.
You are not doing it
by ignoring a mistake.
A bad mistake.
You need a wife. Not an artist's model.
Mother, I love Yvonne.
You like to think you do.
It's easier than admitting you don't.
You're always afraid
of cold reality. I know.
Don't talk like that, mother.
You know Bob, that I'm right.
I know I never was much of
a man. People thought I was.
I never was a hero.
The army just handed me some medals.
But I can paint.
And still... I feel like a freak.
- Afraid of my own shadow.
- Don't be afraid.
I won't let anything happen to you.
Mrs. Dixon?
I am Mrs. Dixon.
My name is Rutledge.
I'm a friend of the family.
Bob and his mother are
out of town on business.
They'll be back in a few days.
- Won't you sit down?
- Thank you.
That must be little Sherie.
Would you like a cold
drink, Mr. Rutledge?
No, thank you.
I came here to see you, Mrs. Dixon.
What about?
I'm an attorney.
There are situations Mrs. Dixon,
which must be faced soberly.
And worked out to the best
interest of all concerned.
I don't understand.
Your husband.
My client.
Has retained me to start
divorce proceedings.
Bob wishes an uncontested divorce.
No point in dragging
this matter in to court.
He wants custody of his daughter so
his mother can raise her properly...
In a good, solid home where
she'll have the best of care.
Of course, you will enjoy visiting
privileges when you're in our country.
And, needless say, my client is prepared
to take care of you financially.
My marriage is not for sale.
Mrs. Dixon.
Getting emotional won't help matters.
I want to see my husband.
You will, I'm sure.
Please understand, I am
only his legal adviser.
What if I refuse?
I'm afraid you'll find that difficult.
Our moral code, shall we say,
differs somewhat from yours.
Frankly, we don't believe
in commercialized nudity.
You'll find that out in court.
Too late.
I need a little time, Mr. Rutledge.
You see, neither my husband, nor my
mother-in-law, told me a word of this.
- I'm sure you will understand.
- Of course.
I'll be at my office all afternoon.
Or call me at home if
that's more convenient.
I sincerely hope that we can
settle this matter pleasantly.
It would be best for
the sake of the child.
You will hear from me.
I would appreciate that, madam.
- Hi. Are you Mrs. Dixon?
- Yes.
I'm from the camp.
We got your telephone call.
- Let me help you.
- Thank you.
Your camp was recommended
to me by a mutual friend in Paris.
I'm glad you came, Mrs. Dixon.
Thank you so much, Mrs. Baldwin.
Please call me Helen. Everyone does.
Is there something we could do for you?
Here is the telephone
number of my uncle in Paris.
Could you put a call through for me?
Certainly. We'd be happy to.
Thanks for everything.
That's alright, dear.
You just relax now.
You must be tired after your long trip.
And your little girl, too.
I'll show you to your cabin.
And we'll send some supper up.
Yvonne... Yvonne!
There is a Miss Wingate to see you.
She's on the terrace.
- Mrs. Dixon?
- Yes.
I'm Lynn Wingate.
Your uncle called me from Paris.
Can we talk?
Now Mrs. Dixon.
I want you to tell me everything.
Remember, I'm your lawyer.
Yes, but if you'll excuse me a minute.
I have to see about my little daughter.
Oh of course.
Darling, go and play at the beach.
But don't go near the water.
Maria, turn and face the King.
Hold your hands over them, Don.
Now Maria and Leon kiss.
That's fine.
That's just about it, Miss Wingate.
It's strange, but it seems like
I've known you all my life.
That's part of being a lawyer.
And I try and be a good one.
But to be perfectly honest.
We've got a real fight on our hands.
We're not only up against
your mother-in-law.
We'll have to battle prejudice
right in the courtroom.
We can't expect even the
judge to understand nudism.
I have to pretend I do, Yvonne.
That doesn't explain or
excuse your husband's actions.
It really isn't Bob.
I'm sure it isn't. It's his mother.
Don't underestimate her.
She knows what she wants.
Her son... and your daughter.
I know her kind.
She won't stop at anything.
And their attorney, John Rutledge.
He knows every trick in the book.
And your husband, Bob?
Well, to be perfectly frank.
He has very little regard for
weaklings, male or female.
He's really isn't.
He is an artist and he's very sensitive.
As your attorney,
I'll have to fight him.
That's my job.
To win for you.
It would help me to
understand you if you'd...
All of this to me.
What I really want to know is...
What kind of people come
to nudist parks like this?
Why are you here?
Exactly how does your
husband feel about...
Health cults?
Well, I am here because I enjoy nature.
Well, I love nature, too.
I'm afraid you've lost me there.
I'll have to go into the
subject more deeply.
I'm sure I can find some
experts to enlighten me.
You will be hearing from me, Mrs. Dixon.
I'm so happy you came, Miss Wingate.
Oh, I almost forgot.
Your uncle cabled an advance to me.
And some money for
you to cover expenses.
It might be some time
before we get a trial date.
But you will be hearing from me.
Well, Miss Wingate,
how do you like it here?
I love nature. I'll just
have to get used to it.
Fine. That's the attitude.
- See you soon.
- Thank you so much. Goodbye.
Well Bob, now that you're
famous, how about a portrait?
Any way you like.
Laura, you don't just sit down and
paint. You've got to feel it first.
Poor me. Don't you feel anything?
Bob would love to paint you.
Here comes John.
Hello everybody.
Mary Louise... Bob.
Why, hello Laura.
I just saw your father.
The old boy is really going ahead.
Raising the entire block
on 4th and Broadway.
If you leave it to Dad, he'll
tear down the whole town.
- What will you have, John?
- Scotch, thank you. On the rocks.
This isn't purely a social call.
You may talk freely, John.
- Laura is like one of the family.
- Thank you, Mrs. Dixon.
But I wouldn't dream of intruding, dear.
- It's alright Laura. Have you found them?
- Bob, really...
I'm sorry, Bob. No.
And even if I had,
that's outside the case.
You have certain rights
and so has your wife.
He has no right to steal
my granddaughter.
And you make her sorry she ever did.
I'll do the best I can.
In the interest of my client.
But for now, Mrs. Dixon has
served us with a counter-suit.
- The nerve!
- What can you expect.
I won't go into the charges now.
They are not without merit, though.
Cooked up by her and some fresh
lawyer who probably needs the money.
Not exactly, Marie Louise.
- She is represented by Lynn Wingate.
- And who is that?
Miss Wingate's father is a judge.
Important. Federal district.
She is quite a capable young lady.
Has already earned herself
a very fine reputation.
Quite a feat at her age.
You know her attorney,
but you haven't found her?
If I did, I'd tell you.
Let me tell you something.
I don't give a hoot who her
attorney is or where she is now.
But I'll make her wish she'd
never tangled with me.
I hired a detective who's
been checking up on her.
- And I only hope he did a good job.
- Mother, I want no part of this.
- Bob, your mother's only thinking of you.
- Will you keep out of this.
That's gratitude for you, John.
I will not stand for dirty tactics.
Yvonne happens to be
my wife. She still is.
May I say something?
After all Bob, you retain
me as your legal Counsel.
Suppose you let me handle
this as civilly as possible.
There is hardly any need for detectives.
That's tabloid stuff.
And we prefer to keep this out
of the public eye. Don't we?
It was nice having your little Sherie.
I hope you'll come back and see us soon.
- And all the luck.
- Thank you. I'll need it.
- Goodbye.
- So long.
Mrs. Dixon, I'd like to brief you on
some of the recent developments.
I had a long talk with
your husband's attorney.
You met Mr. Rutledge I understand?
Well, I've known him for a long time.
John is ethical. I'll say that for him.
We discussed the entire case at length
and we came to a tentative agreement.
We agreed to the following.
You are go get the divorce.
You are to retain custody of Sherie.
Which means plainly and
sweetly, you're not at fault.
Miss Wingate, what about Bob?
He's not my client. You are.
Your husband and Mr. Rutledge
made the following stipulation.
You are to agree not
to leave the country.
I don't understand.
I never wanted a divorce.
Bob wanted it.
Why, I'll never know.
And now he doesn't want me to go?
Is it some kind of a trick?
If it were, I wouldn't advise
you to go along with it.
But I think it's a fair proposal.
If substantiated by sufficient alimony.
You've been hurt. Not Mr. Dixon.
We're dealing with a breed of
mother-in-law that can't be trusted.
You are so right.
This is my suggestion.
Speak softly... and carry a big stick.
It's a pretty good maxim to follow.
Teddy Roosevelt said that.
One of our great presidents.
Now, Mr. Dixon.
When a man like you, an artist from an
excellent family, agrees to a divorce.
He must have a reason.
A very good reason.
I have.
Would you tell us just
what reason, or reasons...
Well, I love my wife and
daughter very much.
Would you speak a little louder, please?
We were quite happy.
Very happy in Paris.
Counsel wishes you to state your
reasons. Answer the question.
Mrs. Dixon never wanted to leave Paris.
From the moment I told her that I had to
go back to America, she began arguing.
She knew why you had to go?
Yes. My father died and
my mother needed me.
Your mother hadn't seen
you in several years.
Is that correct?
You wanted your wife
and daughter with you.
To meet your mother.
You felt that your bereaved mother...
Would find comfort in having her
daughter-in-law and grandchild with her?
- I hoped so.
- Weren't you sure?
Was there any friction between
your mother and wife?
She never liked my mother.
- Without having met her?
- Yes.
How did your wife express her dislike?
- Did she make scenes?
- Well, she would scream at me.
- In front of your small daughter?
- Yes.
- And she locked herself in the bedroom.
- What did you do?
- Did you try to enter the bedroom?
- I did.
How? What did you do?
I... pounded on the door.
Did you make threats in case
she wouldn't open the door?
I think so.
On such occasions, what kind of
language did you and Mrs. Dixon use?
I will not tolerate any demonstrations.
Did she explain?
No, my wife wouldn't talk to me.
When you arrived here.
- Would she talk to your mother?
- She said hello.
- Is that all?
- About.
Objection, Your Honor. Mrs. Dixon
isn't divorcing her mother-in-law.
I consider Mrs. Dixon senior an
integral part of Mr. Dixon junior.
Objection overruled.
You may proceed, Counsel.
How does your mother feel about that?
After looking forward with such eager
love to embrace her granddaughter?
She was unhappy.
She was very unhappy.
Did you try to reason with your wife?
I did, but she wouldn't listen.
Then what happened?
She left the house with our daughter.
You were present?
No. I was away with my mother.
She deserted you?
Objection! My client has never
been charged with desertion.
With Your Honor's permission,
I'll rephrase that.
Mrs. Dixon decided to leave you following
another incident of mutual antagonism.
- Is this correct?
- I guess so.
No more questions, Your Honor.
Your witness.
No more questions
at this time, Your Honor.
But I petition for the right to
recall the witness at a later time.
Permission granted.
You may step down.
If it pleases the court I will introduce
as our first witness, Miss Laura Weston.
Raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the whole
truth and nothing but the truth?
- I do.
- Be seated.
State your name, please.
Laura Weston.
Miss Weston, how long
have you known Mr. Dixon?
Oh, as long as I can remember.
Objection, Your Honor.
The witness is not specific.
Objection sustained.
Tell the court exactly how far back
your acquaintance with Mr. Dixon dates.
- Since we were children.
- You grew up together, then?
And there has been a
feeling of mutual liking?
Decidedly. Bob Dixon was always
considerate, gentle and attentive.
And though we never talked about it, we
both felt, I felt, that we were engaged.
You missed him when he was
away in Korea and France?
Very much.
When his painting, Naked Venus was shown
to the press in New York, I went there.
I liked the painting,
and I was very proud of Bob.
But I was shocked to find the model who
posed for it had been his wife for years.
Objection. Miss Weston is
not a qualified witness.
To testify whether it's shocking to pose
for a work of art in any state of dress.
- Or undress.
- Objection sustained.
The court stenographer will strike
that answer from the record.
Will you please rephrase
your question, Counsel.
Thank you, Your Honor.
You mean you were... surprised?
I was shocked.
When I heard about her background...
Objection! The witness is
introducing hearsay.
I read it in the newspapers.
The witness will confine
herself to answering questions.
You were astonished, were you not Miss
Weston, as you were close to my client?
I certainly was.
A man like Bob lowering
himself for that kind of woman.
Objection. The witness is deliberately
trying to damage my client's reputation.
Objection overruled.
Will counsel for the plaintiff
kindly help this court...
By letting the witness come to
the point she wishes to make.
Did you ever meet Mrs. Dixon?
I had no desire. And how
could I? She ran away.
Mrs. Dixon left the house.
Isn't that what you mean to say?
She took off secretly, dragging
Bob's little daughter with her.
Objection. Miss Weston isn't testifying.
She's conducting a smear campaign.
Objection sustained.
This court is not concerned with
your personal opinion, Miss Weston.
That will be all, thank you.
No more questions.
- Do you wish to cross-examine, Counsel?
- Indeed, Your Honor.
- Do you consider yourself attractive?
- Men do.
You know a great many, do you?
I am what is called "very popular".
But of all your gentleman friends,
you liked Robert Dixon best?
We are very fond of each other.
You won't deny you love him?
It's only natural because
you felt you were engaged.
That's right.
You realize don't you that the object of
your affections still is a married man?
He's getting a divorce, isn't he?
Miss Weston. I'll ask the questions.
You just answer them.
I object.
- To what?
- Your line of questioning.
It clearly intends to
embarrass Miss Weston.
I direct you to rephrase
your question, Counsel.
I will, Your Honor.
Miss Weston.
You don't like Mrs. Dixon?
No I don't.
Because Robert Dixon married her?
Because I loathe her type.
Let's be specific, Miss Weston.
What type? What type, Miss Weston?
You never met my client. You admitted
that under direct examination.
- That's right.
- Yet you loathe her?
Her type. What do you mean by that?
- I refuse to answer.
- Your Honor.
The witness is belligerent. I ask you
to make her answer my question.
I direct you to answer the
question asked by Counsel.
She's a gold-digger.
Miss Weston.
I want you to prove what you just said.
And remember you're under oath.
I repeat: she is a gold-digger.
Europe is full of them. They're tramps.
They'll do anything to get a man.
A nice American boy like Bob.
They even pose in the nude!
Filthy gold-digger.
Liar. I am not.
I will not tolerate
such a demonstration.
I will hold anybody and
everybody in contempt of court...
Who thwarts the
dignity of legal procedure.
Obviously Miss Wingate and Mr. Rutledge.
Things are happening here
which you both did not anticipate.
I will give you a chance to
consult with individual clients.
I'm calling a recess for one hour.
The court is adjourned.
- It's an outrage.
- No mother, it's a farce.
I feel like going over to
Yvonne and apologizing.
- She'd like that.
- Laura, why don't you keep out of this?
- No reason to put her on the stand.
- I'm inclined to agree with you there.
I didn't expect Laura to
be an unfriendly witness.
Now listen, both of you.
From here on, I want this
case handled my way.
Mr. Becker, as the investigator
hired by Mrs. Dixon.
Would you tell this court
in your own words.
What you found out about Yvonne Dixon.
Briefly, she was born in Paris in 1938.
Her father was a decorator. Well known.
Worked for the Comedie Franais
and the Paris Opera House.
Her mother was an American. A dancer.
She made quite a name
for herself in Europe.
She died during the German occupation.
Her daughter Yvonne
was four years old then.
The father was executed by the Germans.
Mr. Becker, what happened to the child?
The girl was taken in by the mother's
old maid, who took good care of her.
- What happened from then on?
- She took up modeling.
Can you tell us about
this more specifically?
I can.
She posed for all kinds of
paintings and magazine photos.
Mostly, in the nude.
I'd say she was... an artist's model.
I object, Your Honor. Hearsay.
Objection sustained.
The court stenographer will
strike that from the record.
Did Mrs. Dixon...
Also known as Yvonne Duval.
Belong to any particular organization?
She did.
My records show she joined
the Solar Sant that year.
What is the purpose of this movement?
It's the biggest nudist
organization in France.
Now, Mr. Becker
To the best of your knowledge.
Did she actively practice nudism?
Yes she did. My records prove that.
After she married Mr. Dixon...
Did Yvonne Dixon practice nudism?
She still does.
Thank you, Mr. Becker.
Your witness.
Mr. Becker, do you speak French?
I don't.
How did you conduct your investigation?
- My partner in Paris is a Frenchman.
- I see.
Can you tell us why Mrs. Dixon hired you?
I was recommended to her by a
Mr. Weston, a former client of mine.
He's the father of
Laura Weston, is he not?
- Yes.
- Objection.
Mr. Weston acted purely as an
old friend of the Dixon family.
In view of Miss Weston's testimony...
I would say there's a
conspiracy against my client.
Objection sustained.
Mr. Becker.
You testified as to the
parentage of Yvonne Dixon.
We understand her father was
quite prominent as an artist.
You own records show he was
executed by the Germans.
Can you tell us why?
Don't quite recall this detail.
I'll help you remember.
My client's father helped the allies.
He was cited for outstanding courage
beyond duty by the French government.
You seem to have trouble recalling
certain phases of your investigation.
I don't. I go by my records.
Now, a great deal has been made of the
fact what Mrs. Dixon classes as "nudism".
You say that you have
records to prove it. How?
- I obtained affidavits to this effect.
- Who gave these affidavits?
- People who know her.
- Friends?
Name them.
Jim Renault. Marion LaTour.
What did these "friends"
of the Dixons tell you?
That she is a nudist.
Both Miss LaTour and Mrs. Dixon belong
to the same nudist organization.
They went to nudist parks together.
And Mrs. Dixon would take
her infant daughter along.
Mr. Becker.
How did you meet Mr. Renault
and Miss LaTour?
I was...
Directed to them.
They belonged to a
group of American artists.
They are not married. Is that so?
- But they live together, do they not?
- Objection, Your Honor.
Their private lives have no bearing on
the information gathered by the witness.
Objection sustained.
Where did you meet them?
In a caf.
You... told us that you
were directed to them?
Does that mean you introduced yourself?
Yes. And we had a few drinks together.
Did you pay for the drinks, too?
Why not? I was on an expense account.
Charged to Mrs. Dixon senior?
And over a few drinks, the
so-called friends of the Dixons...
Told you, a complete stranger,
all about Mrs. Dixon?
- Did you pay for that, too?
- I object.
Your Honor, I'm just trying to establish
the fact that Mr. Becker's employer...
My client's mother-in-law.
Stops at nothing to taint anything that
damaged her daughter-in-law's reputation.
Objection overruled.
Answer my question.
I paid them for the affidavit.
It's being done all the time.
I am not discussing the so-called
ethics of Private Eyes, Mr. Becker.
All I want is the facts.
That's all... no further questions.
I ask the court's permission
to re-examine this witness.
Permission granted.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Mr. Becker... have you ever
been in a nudist park?
- As an investigator, yes.
- Where was that?
What was the occasion?
I was investigating
the past of Mrs. Dixon.
What did you do there?
I took pictures of her with a
16 mm motion picture camera.
In the nude?
- That's right.
- I object, Your Honor.
It's unlawful in France and this country
to enter health parks without permission.
We are discussing evidence.
Not laws governing nudist camps.
Objection overruled.
You may proceed, Counsel.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Mr. Becker. Can you identify this?
This appears to be the receptacle
in which I placed the film.
The label still has my
handwriting on it.
Thank you, Mr. Becker.
I shall introduce this film as exhibit
number one to be shown in this court.
I object, Your Honor. The evidence
was obtained by trickery.
And unlawfully, in flagrant
violation of my client's legal rights.
It is in the very nature of evidence.
That it cannot always be obtained
in a strictly ethical manner.
Objection overruled.
Are you prepared to show this
court the film in question, Counsel?
I am, Your Honor.
Your Honor... I move that
the public be excluded.
To spare my client this
unnecessary humiliation.
Of a thoroughly distasteful
and inhuman procedure.
I agree, Counsel.
Mr. Bailiff, will you clear the court.
All persons not connected with
this case, please leave this court.
This has been rather startling.
Mr. Rutledge.
Exactly what is your reason for
presenting this kind of evidence?
I must impress upon you, Your Honor, the
necessity of my client getting a divorce.
And sole custody of the child.
This is somewhat of a change
from the original procedure.
Indeed it is, after
having seen this film.
With Your Honor's permission.
I intend to disprove this
so-called evidence.
And the erroneous impression that
my client is unfit to be a mother.
However, I would appreciate
a little more time.
The evidence presented
here, by Mr. Rutledge.
Is overwhelmingly against your client.
However, Counselor...
I'll continue the case on Monday.
You shall have your chance.
Thank you, Your Honor.
You don't know how
much I appreciate all this.
I enjoyed taking little
Sherie to Disneyland.
I bet she's thinking about it right now.
I wish Monday would never come.
Courtrooms depress me.
I'm sure we'll win the case.
Tell me.
You do want to win this case, don't you?
I thought so.
I do very much.
But sometimes I feel as though
I don't really know him.
You know only part of him.
The part away from his mother
The father of your child. An artist.
You don't want to know the other Bob, as
he's weak and dominated by his mother.
He told me she was always more
like a sister to him... an older sister.
Who sided with him against his father
who didn't understand his sensitive son.
I could feel sorry for her if she
weren't quite so destructive.
Then Bob isn't really to blame?
I have no use for weaklings.
Have you ever been married?
Let's put it this way.
I tried to make myself fall in love.
None of the men measured up.
Not quite.
My specifications were pretty stiff.
What do you expect of a man?
A lot.
He should be a little bit like
my father, Judge Wingate.
In the legal profession they
called him "The Honorable".
I guess I'm asking too much.
You mean there is no-one?
I don't believe it.
Oh there is... but he doesn't know it.
- A bashful type?
- No. Let's put it this way.
He is just too considerate
- Wake him up.
- How?
Oh, that depends on the man.
For some it is a different dress.
Some like their food.
You might even go for
a startling hair-tint.
Platinum blond might do it.
Too startling for me.
Just to shock him.
Some men respond to shock treatment.
Is he sociable?
- Does he like music?
- Yes, but he can't dance.
Teach him.
Tell him he reminds you of
Fred Astaire. He'll believe you.
Why not?
Thank you. I'll try.
Doctor Hewitt.
As curator of the Museum Of
Contemporary Art in New York.
And as an internationally
known art critic.
Please state whether you are here under
subpoena or under your own volition.
I'll be happy to, Counsel.
I came to Los Angeles at my own expense.
After you had talked to me
long distance on Saturday.
What prompted your decision?
Ignorance and prejudice have always
been civilization's arch enemies.
And I help to fight them
wherever and whenever I can.
Is this the painting known
as the Naked Venus?
- Painted by Robert Dixon?
- Yes.
How did you acquire it for your museum?
I was apprised of its existence
by a Professor Marault of Paris.
And his niece, Yvonne Dixon.
Monsieur Marault is
an old friend of mine
Whom I value as a great critic as well
as a patron and lover of the arts.
Why sir, did you elect to buy a painting
of a comparatively unknown artist?
My client had, at that time, already
got a certain amount of recognition.
Objection sustained.
Strike that from the record.
I will rephrase my question.
Simply, Doctor Hewitt.
Why did you buy Naked
Venus for the museum?
I considered Naked Venus interesting.
Not just as contemporary art,
but as... an expression of our time.
Art, in its final
definition is humanity.
And therefore belongs to all humanity.
We as heads of museums are aware of our
multiple responsibilities to the public.
Art, essentially, is beauty.
And as such, pure.
Never morally objectionable.
Throughout the centuries,
art has centered on woman.
From a mythological Goddess to biblical
art and down to the Madonna cult.
And if we judge Naked
Venus in that light.
Everything in connection
with its creation.
Everything instrumental in
bringing such a work about.
Must be considered morally clean.
Were you informed that Yvonne Dixon
had posed for the painting in the nude?
Not immediately, but that would have
in no way influenced my decision.
After all, Rembrandt's wife
posed for the master.
And the Duchess of Alba
was honored to sit for Goya.
In the nude.
Yvonne Dixon is an artist's model.
Posing is her function in art.
- In the nude?
- Yes, indeed. In the nude.
Thank you, Dr. Hewitt.
No further questions.
- Your witness.
- Thank you.
I appreciate your clarity and frankness.
Will you tell us...
Did you also know that
Yvonne Dixon was a nudist?
I object, Your Honor. The witness
testified regarding nudity in art.
Nudism never entered the matter.
We are primarily concerned with
Yvonne Dixon's practicing of nudism.
Objection overruled.
- Proceed, Counsel.
- Thank you, Your Honor.
I repeat.
Were you aware that Yvonne Dixon
belonged to a nudist organization?
And frequented nudist parks?
No. But that wouldn't have
influenced me one way or another.
I thought I made that quite clear.
Doctor, how do you feel about nudism?
I am, shall we say, a firm believer in
the constitution of the United States.
When it comes to the habits
of my fellow man. Or woman.
I know no more about nudism than anyone
interested in the world around him knows.
But I understand that nudists keep to
themselves and out of the public eye.
That their conduct,
within their parks...
Is subject to extremely strict rules.
And acceptable to our moral standards.
In brief.
The practice of nudism is anyone's
private business, more or less.
That is all.
Doctor Hewitt... are you a nudist?
Why don't you ask me if Michelangelo,
Raphael or Da Vinci were nudists?
No more questions.
You may step down, Doctor Hewitt.
With Your Honor's permission
I would like to call my next witness.
Yvonne Dixon.
Raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the whole
truth and nothing but the truth?
- I do.
- Be seated, please.
State your name.
Yvonne Dixon.
Mrs. Dixon.
Tell us in your own words
how you met Robert Dixon.
I met Bob in Paris.
At the studio of a friend.
That was five years ago.
- Bob, you old son of a gun.
- Jim.
Ladies and gentlemen.
I give you my old pal.
Bob Dixon.
Fellow hell-raiser... and hero.
Hi, soldier.
- You're cute.
- Ah, leave him be.
Squat, fellah.
Drinks, entertainment, gorgeous girls.
Help yourself.
You would.
That's Yvonne... or gorgeous model.
Gorgeous, isn't she?
Well, that lets me out.
My... French... isn't very good.
I speak English.
Sit down... Bob.
Thank you, Yvonne.
Let's drink to something.
To... Paris.
And meeting you.
The first time you are here?
First day.
Are you going back soon?
I am supposed to. When
I muster out next week.
They expect me home.
That's in California.
My mother has got everything
all planned for me.
What I'm going to do.
Who she wants me to marry.
She even sent me a snapshot of the girl.
I bet she's nice.
Not as nice as you.
Do you know what I'd like to do?
Stay. And paint.
Learn how on my G.I. bill.
Does that sound crazy?
You help me?
I'll help you.
I married him six months later.
Were you happy?
Yes. Very much.
Mrs. Dixon.
I have to ask you something
now that's very difficult to ask.
Did your husband know
that you were a nudist?
- Yes.
- Did he object?
Is this the primer of the
Sunbathing Association of America?
Will you tell us...
Is nudism a religion?
It is not.
Nudism never has been or
means to be a form of worship.
And it does not interfere with
anybody's religious beliefs.
Are the location of nudist
parks known to the authorities?
Certainly... there is nothing
secret about them.
All parks are protected by the Police.
Just what are the nudists
trying to accomplish?
Better health, for one thing.
And complete relaxation.
And a higher moral level.
They learn to think clean.
Because nudism looks at
sex the way we look at nature.
At life itself.
Normally, and without false inhibitions.
Thank you.
No further questions.
Your witness.
No questions.
You may step down.
With Your Honor's permission, I'll call
as my next witness, Mr. Robert Dixon.
Mr. Dixon.
You just heard your wife testify
regarding your first meeting.
Do you wish to comment on that?
- Yes.
- Please do so.
That party at Jim Renault's
got pretty rough.
Most everyone had been drinking.
- Mrs. Dixon included?
- Yes.
And she got me drunk.
She tricked you into staying in Paris?
Into defying your parents' wishes?
Is that what you're trying to say?
That's about it, yes.
Then it was her idea
that you take up painting?
That was another one
of her wily schemes?
No, that was my idea. I wanted to paint.
Mr. Dixon.
I want you to face Mrs. Dixon.
Are you prepared to repeat your
allegation regarding your first meeting?
If so, do so now!
I object.
I object strongly Your Honor to the cheap
melodramatics staged by my colleague.
Objection overruled.
Tell us, Mr. Dixon.
Tell this court, under oath.
How your wife tricked
you that night in Paris.
How she got you drunk
at that wild party.
No. I can't.
Because... it isn't true.
That's all.
Your witness.
No questions.
This is our house, Sherie.
And here is our window.
Here is caviar.
Where is Daddy?
He's on a trip.
See the pretty flowerpot?
When is he coming home?
I hope soon, darling.
Now here we put myself.
You stay here and make mother
some pretty aeroplanes.
- Lynn.
- Yvonne.
- You look wonderful.
- I feel wonderful.
Yes, I married the guy.
We're on our honeymoon.
Your advice didn't do any harm.
That's nice.
I wouldn't have recognized you.
- Thank you.
- Sit down.
I doused myself with French perfume
until I smelt like a tropical jungle.
I dressed crazy and I
acted very feminine.
Nothing. It didn't work.
Then I lost my eyeglasses
and a very important lawsuit.
He remembered he was a
male and had to comfort me,
He got to like it.
But he still didn't propose, so I did.
But here I am rattling off about myself.
How are you and
little Sherie and Caviar?
Fine, thank you. We are all fine.
I saw Bob. He's really a nice guy.
- You saw him before you left California?
- No here.
Didn't you know Bob is in Paris?
- He is?
- Why, yes.
I've got a hunch he'll
be round to see you.
My hunches have been
pretty good these days.
Wait until you meet my husband.
He's really a nice fellow.
Oh, I'd love to.
Fine. We're at the Plaza Latin,
and registered under the name of...
Mrs. Sherwood.
I keep forgetting my name.
I guess I'm not used
to being married yet.
You will. It's happened for me.
Madame Dixon?
I am Inspector Merchant from
the Labour Department.
I am making a routine check.
- At ten in the evening?
- Oh...
My apology, Madame.
I did not know it was so late.
It's true that when I work
I always forget the time.
Madame, my visit concerns a certain...
Mr. Dixon. Robert Dixon.
Oh. Do come in.
Madame... it won't take too long.
I hope it isn't anything serious.
Mr. Dixon is applying for a license
in connection with opening a...
Artist's studio... in order
to help poor people.
You are listed as among his references.
Bob, I mean Mr. Dixon,
is a very fine artist.
Oh yes.
I remember. Isn't he the
one who painted the...
- What was it called?
- Naked Venus.
Oh yes... naked indeed.
Now, Madame.
Speaking as a character witness,
not to be quoted of course.
Would you say that Mr. Dixon
is a substantial citizen?
He is a wonderful...
I mean... yes.
But... I was informed that
he drinks quite heavily.
He does not.
But it is mentioned that he
has a very violent temper.
He is a sweet... gentle and generous.
He hardly ever gets mad at anybody.
I should know. I am married to him.
But I don't understand. It says
here that you are divorced.
I don't care what it says. We're not.
I mean, not yet.
Not in California.
Yes, Madame, but this is La France.
We had a misunderstanding and
we got an interlocutory decree.
Oh, sounds very difficult.
It's quite simple.
You have a year to think
things over and then...
And then, I see... you kiss and make up?
I... well... that is the purpose
of this waiting period.
A most sensible law.
Madame, since you think
so highly of the applicant.
I shall recommend the
granting of the license.
You have been most coperative.
Again, my apologies.
That's quite alright, Monsieur.
- If you have any more information...
- I know where to get it.
Goodnight, Madame.
- Well, what did she say?
- A lot.
- Is she mad?
She hates you but at the same time
she thinks you are wonderful.
You know, she said.
That the interlocutory care,
or whatever the name is.
Is for people to think things over.
And she's sure been thinking a lot.
You're not telling me this
just to make me feel good?
Oh no, Bob.
I know that I am not a
very good actor, but still...
- Thanks, Charles.
- Any time.
May I come in?