The Sixth Reel (2021) Movie Script

(pieces whizzing)
(stirring dramatic music)
(wolf howls)
(upbeat suspenseful music)
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music continues)
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music continues)
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music continues)
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music continues)
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music continues)
(keys jangling)
(laptop lid clicks shut)
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music continues)
(uptempo quirky music)
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(uptempo quirky music fades)
(footsteps pattering)
- Hi, Jimmy!
I wasn't sure it was you.
- Who'd you think it was?
- [Rodney] I could only
see you from the back.
- Even from 10 miles away,
Jimmy Nichols is an
instantly recognizable
downtown fashion icon.
- Sorry, I thought
you were an old woman
who lives in my building.
Move over.
- Ddd, ddd, ddd,
don't sit on my coat!
It's vintage thrift shop.
- Oh, I love "One Way Passage".
It's my favorite
Kay Francis movie.
Is it supposed to
be a good print?
- Well, they say it's struck
from the original negative.
- [Both] They say.
- Oh, by the way,
I ran into your old
colleague, Doris Pang,
over the weekend at the
Antiquarian Book Fair.
- Yuck!
- She sold a rare volume of
Garbo portraits for over $2,000.
Jimmy, you have to admit, Doris
is a legend among dealers.
- So you two had an
intimate tte--tte?
- Hmm, there were seven
of us at her booth.
For over a half an hour,
Doris regaled the crowd with
vile Jimmy Nichols stories.
Naturally, she dredged up the
Nilda Moss murder scandal.
- She was not murdered!
I was a kid in my 20s.
Nilda took me under her wing.
A great silent movie actress.
She died of natural
causes at the age of 96.
- So you were good friends.
- We were engaged to be married.
People always wanna
believe the worst!
- I love it!
Well, this is fun!
It's like we're on a date.
(uptempo quirky music)
(film projector whirring)
(uptempo quirky music fades)
- I am going to say
something cataclysmic.
William Powell is
sexier with Kay Francis
than he is with Myrna Loy.
- Is it true he wore
a colostomy bag?
- I believe so.
In 1937, he had rectal cancer.
I found one on eBay,
but it was a fake.
- Hey, what are you up to now?
My friend is doing his
Renee Zellweger drag show
at the Duplex.
- Mmm, I'm kinda cash poor.
Any day now, I'm expecting
a sizable check in the mail,
a big check.
- Don't worry!
I can pick up the tab.
- No, no, no, no, no.
I gotta look in on
my friend, Gerald.
He's very old and bedridden.
I handle his mail,
and make sure that he's
stocked up on pickled herring.
- Gerald Bauman,
the film historian?
- [Jimmy] Yeah,
well, you know him?
- I've read his books.
I met him once.
He's very insulting.
- He's old.
He has no patience
with assholes.
- So is it true he has
the only existing print
of that Lon Chaney film?
- That's an urban myth,
like Bigfoot, or Roswell,
or Sandy Duncan
havin' a glass eye.
None of 'em are true.
- "London After Midnight" is
the Holy Grail of lost films.
- You're telling me this?
That movie does not exist.
The only known print was burned
in a fire on May 13th, 1967.
Now, I gotta hop in a zeppelin
and head over to Gerald.
- Hey, when are we getting
together to take new head shots?
My agent despises
my current photos.
- I'm not a professional
- Oh, come on!
I'm not even asking
for freebies.
I'll pay.
I'll even let you take
nudes, if ya ask nicely.
- Well, thanks.
I gotta get to Gerald's.
- Well, watch out.
You don't have much luck
taking care of old people.
- Enough with the Nilda gossip!
- I'm talking about the costume
designer, Tony D'Chambley.
Did he not also die
while under your watch?
- He was 103-years-old!
- I hear you made quite a penny
selling off his
costume sketches.
- Goodbye.
- Jimmy!
I'll call you!
Like I said, I'll do nudes!
Full frontal!
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(keys jangling)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
- Hey, Gerald!
I'm here.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
Oh, dammit, a water bug!
(Jimmy mumbles
through gritted teeth)
(foot clomping)
(Jimmy chuckles)
(soft dramatic music)
Hey, Gerald?
(soft dramatic music continues)
Oh, not another one!
- [Detective] Your friend
appears to have been dead
for at least 24 hours.
- Well, I wasn't here
at all yesterday.
I was in Babylon, Long Island.
Detective Williams,
I can easily produce
more than 40 witnesses.
- Not necessary.
What were you doing in Babylon?
- What does anyone
do in Babylon?
I was lecturing at
a retirement home.
I was showing a rare
1948 Betty Grable movie,
"That Lady in Ermine".
- Is there anything else you
can tell me that's pertinent?
- Ernst Lubitsch was
credited as the director,
but he died in pre-production.
- Has this death been reported?
- By the Paramount
Publicity Department.
There's a niece in Florida
who's his executor.
It's a stretch for Betty Grable.
- This Grable woman, you
have her contact info?
- No, she died in '73.
His niece is Helen Resnick.
- Oh!
- I've never met her,
but I left her a message.
So what do I do now?
- I'll give you the
number to the city morgue.
They'll pick up the body,
and give you further
- Detective Williams,
would you believe
that this is the fourth time
I've discovered a dead body?
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(bottle clanks)
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
(cell phone rings)
- Hello!
Is this Jimmy?
- Yes.
- I'm Gerald's niece, Helen.
- Oh!
Oh, Helen!
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear
about your uncle's death.
Gerald was cantankerous, bitter,
with a vicious tongue that
could slice his victims
like a machete.
I was very fond of him.
- Well, I had a warm, loving
relationship with Uncle Gerald,
despite his being the despised
black sheep in our family.
Did you know him long?
- 25 Years.
Funny, in all that time,
I never heard him
mention he had a niece.
I'm not implying, necessarily,
that you're a con artist.
Like many homosexuals
of his generation,
he compartmentalized
the people in his life.
- Well, I live in Boca.
We rarely saw each other,
but we spoke on the phone
several times a year.
I can't say he ever
mentioned your name.
Were you professional
- Hmm, no,
but I sometimes helped him
sell his film memorabilia.
I deal in ephemera.
- [Helen] Effeminate?
- Not effeminate, ephemera.
- Well, you were close friends?
- Hmm, I'd say,
friends with benefits,
but It's been years
since we fooled around.
Actually, around two years ago,
we were having this
terrible rainstorm,
and I showed up at
Gerald's place soaking wet.
I brought with me a
change of clothes.
And while I was
getting outta my pants,
I happened to be going
commando that day,
I flashed him.
I'm, shall we say,
extremely well endowed,
and he was grateful.
- If Florence
Nightingale had a penis,
no doubt she would've
done the same.
Now, speaking of my
uncle's collection,
I'm sure there is
much of great value
that needs to be itemized,
appraised, and sold.
- Helen, to be honest,
your uncle is more of a
hoarder than a collector.
Anything of true value had
long been sold or given away.
I'd be happy to take this
white elephant off your hands.
- I'm sure you would.
I'll be the one to
assess my uncle's estate.
Thank you.
I'm flying into
New York tomorrow.
I get in at 3:00 PM.
Barring any flight delays,
I can meet you at the
apartment at 4:30.
- Helen, it's a big
mess of nothing.
I think you need to
trust me on this.
I know the market.
- Jimmy.
That is your name, right?
I may have lived in Boca
for the past 35 years,
but I am a native New Yorker,
and I am nobody's stooge,
least of all, yours!
- Why are you
being so defensive?
- I am under a lot of stress!
- I am just trying to tell you,
I am an expert in the world
of cinema memorabilia.
I've handled many estates.
- Tomorrow, 4:30!
(phone line beeps)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
- [Jimmy] Oh!
- I hear you murdered
Jerry Bauman.
- Doris, that was hurtful.
And how'd you find
out he cooled?
- My pet, I'm the queen bee,
and my web extends
far past New York City
and its five boroughs.
Now, did you know there's
a niece in Florida
who's the chief
executor of the estate?
- Yes, Doris, we've
been in touch.
Helen is a lovely woman.
We were instantly simpatico.
She practically begged me.
Tears shed to
handle the disposal
of Gerald's worldly possessions.
- Oh, no doubt you've
ransacked the apartment
for anything worth
more than 99 cents.
- Doris, it's always
charming running into you.
- Well, if you're
tearing open mattresses,
searching for that print
of "London After Midnight",
you should know
that Gerald told me he
made up the rumor himself
after an opium-fueled
night in Paris in 1968.
- How tragic to have such a
pitiless view of humanity.
My dear, it shows in your face.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(knocking at door)
How'd you get in the front door?
- It was open.
Any indigent could've
entered the building.
Obviously, you're
Jimmy. (chuckles softly)
- Yeah.
(door clacks shut)
Helen, I feel we started
off badly on the phone.
- Forgive me if I was brusque.
- Diplomacy is not
my strong suit.
- Oh, my!
I've never been to Uncle
Gerald's apartment.
I had no idea he
lived like this!
I mean, all these boxes!
- They contain his collections,
newspaper clippings, film
and theater magazines.
Some of them date back to 1905.
- Is this drum really filled
with old copies of "TV Guide"?
It's a sickness!
- "TV Guides" from the '60s
are extremely collectible.
- Well, this is clearly a
world I know nothing about,
and I'm glad.
- What were you expecting?
- Oh, I don't know.
Dorothy's ruby slippers.
Marilyn's white subway dress.
I mean, this is all crap!
- [Jimmy] Most of what he has
here isn't worth very much.
- Do we just toss it all out?
- I say, we have a memorial
service/rummage sale.
- [Helen] Do you really
think we can make any money
on this detritus?
- You never know.
Look, I'll get the word out.
You won't have to
worry about a thing.
- [Helen] And we'll
split the profits.
- My normal cut is 75%.
- That's highway robbery!
- [Jimmy] It's
customary in my field.
- What field,
bilking the innocent?
No, we'll split it 60/40,
and I'll take the 60.
- This is reznik.
You're exploiting my
name and expertise.
- My son, Howie, is a litigator,
and he goes for the throat!
- I'll accept your initial
offer of an even split.
- Very good.
I'm starving.
There must be some nice bohemian
places to eat around here?
- I'm kinda strapped
at the moment.
I'm expecting a sizable
check in the mail.
- My treat.
Just choose a place
with a full bar.
It feels like a lifetime,
but my husband's only been
dead a little over two years.
He was my great love.
After 34 years of marriage,
I was still madly
attracted to him.
My children are
wonderfully caring,
but, you know,
they live far away.
I have a son in Los Angeles
and one in South Africa.
Do you have anyone in your life?
- Well, I guess you could say,
I'm widowed, too, many years.
Danny died in '93.
- The most beautiful
boy in the world.
Looked like Tyrone
Power, Black Irish.
Walking down the
street with him,
I felt so...
I felt so elevated,
like I was slimly...
(stutters) Subliminally
sending out the message,
hey, I'm the one!
I'm the one he's hot
for motherfuckers!
- Such language.
What are we gonna
do for Uncle Jerry?
I mean, he needs
a funeral, right?
Everyone deserves
a proper sendoff.
- His papers, no funeral.
Ashes tossed down the toilet.
Well, there may be no funeral,
but Helen, my darlin',
we are gonna have us a
fabulous rummage sale.
(Helen sighs giddily)
(dishes clatter)
(Jimmy mumbles excitedly)
(quirky suspenseful music)
- Oh, hello!
Oh. (giggles)
(coins clattering)
Enjoy. (chuckles nervously)
(Gavin clears throat)
- Good afternoon.
Are you the-
- Yes,
I'm Gerald's niece, Helen.
- Gavin.
Gavin Plimsoll.
- You were friends
with my uncle?
- Oh!
Very cherished.
Very old friend.
- Ahh!
- I should like to have this
"Life" magazine, if I may?
- You're a Hope/Crosby fan?
- Not especially.
There is an advertisement inside
of a Maytag washing machine!
It's the very first post-war
pictorial advertisement
of a Maytag.
- Well, I think, then,
you should take that
as a memento of your
friendship with my uncle.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa!
What's goin' on?
- Hello, Jimmy.
(magazine rattles)
- Hmm, I can give
this to you for $12.
- [Helen] What?
- The going estimated price
for this particular "Life"
cover in mint condition is $18.
He knows.
- Well, that is quite
beyond my reach.
- Well, if it isn't sold
by the end of the day,
we can negotiate.
- Well, I'd rather not
wait until after midnight.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
No, I will not wait
until after midnight!
(hands thud)
(coins jangle)
- What a strange, little man.
We should've just
given it to him.
- Did you catch a whiff of him?
Like most of these collectors,
he has a phobia about bathing.
He was officially banned
from the Regency Theater
on account of the stench.
(upbeat quirky music)
- (gasps excitedly) Helen!
You haven't tasted
any of my glogg.
- It was thoughtful
of you to arrive
two hours before anyone else.
- Well, it's the least
I could do for my Jer.
You gotta taste the glogg!
- Oh, what is it,
some sort of sangria?
- A traditional
Swedish holiday drink.
A spicy mulled wine.
It's got ginger root,
and cardamon pods,
and blanched almonds,
and snips, and snails,
and puppy dog tails.
Jerry and I first drank
it in Stockholm in '68.
We traveled all over
Europe together.
(gasps excitedly) I have
such memories of London.
Do you know where London is?
(suspenseful dramatic music)
- London, England?
- But you know where it is?
- Yeah, I do.
- You do?
- So you were
friends with my uncle
during the years
he lived in Paris?
- We shared a flat
on the Rue Marcadet.
Would you believe
I was once a runway
fashion model for Chanel?
I know what you're thinking.
What happened?
(ladle clanks)
(Martha laughs maniacally)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(Martha continues
laughing maniacally)
- There's somethin'
in that glogg.
What a character!
- I hadn't noticed.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(indistinct chattering)
- You must be Helen?
I'm Leland.
- What you got there?
- A book I gave Gerald.
I would appreciate
having it back.
- Looks very old.
"The blood Is the Life:
the Legacy of the
Vampire In New York".
- The volume was tucked away.
I'm always intrigued by
what one chooses to hide.
- Nothing's been hidden.
- You can't tell me
that, last night,
you didn't stash away
any rare treasures?
- Oh, if the book
was originally yours,
you shouldn't have
to pay for it.
- Hey, if there is
something that I desire,
I am willing to pay,
though, it can lead to
disappointment, eh, Jimmy?
(suspenseful dramatic music)
- That Leland is
very mysterious.
- Mysterious!
Years ago, I let him finger me
at a book party at Brentano's.
- (laughs) No!
- Ah!
(Doris and Rodney laugh)
That is so-
- That awful woman
is devouring the
entire shrimp platter!
- Doris Pang, a major dealer.
- Well, I'm gonna say
something about the shrimp!
(Doris and Rodney
chatter indistinctly)
Hello, I'm Gerald's
niece, Helen.
You're Doris?
I'm glad you're
enjoying the shrimp.
Alas, I only have
one more platter
to last the rest
of the afternoon.
- Well, your event is not
exactly densely populated.
- Aren't you being just
a little bit greedy?
- (scoffs) If you
wanna know about greed,
you need look no further than
your new business partner.
- I don't wanna hear this.
(Doris smirks mockingly)
- He once befriended
an elderly actress,
and after her death,
he sold her dentures for $50.
- In his defense, the dentures
belonged to his grandmother.
- Oh, so he not only degraded
the memory of a great star,
he cheated the buyer,
and left his own
grandmother toothless.
(Doris and Rodney laugh)
- Excuse me!
(Doris continues laughing)
(upbeat quirky music)
(plate clanks)
(Helen sighs)
(footsteps clacking)
- Oh!
- Oh!
- I'm so sorry!
I hope you didn't spill
anything on yourself?
- Not to worry.
My one arm is remarkably steady.
- Oh, hmm.
Martha tells me you haven't
taken even a sip of her glogg.
- Oh, I've never cared
much for spiced wine.
- Would you please hold my cup?
- Oh.
- I have a small gift for you.
- How thoughtful!
May I be of some assistance?
- I do not need your help!
- Mm-hmm.
(purse clacks shut)
- With my compliments.
- Oh!
What is it, some
sort of medallion?
- In 1930, when the
legendary horror film star,
Lon Chaney, died,
his studio produced
a limited number
of these memorial medallions.
- It's beautiful.
- Notice the hole at the top,
large enough for a chain,
so that you can wear
it as a pendant.
- That's something to consider.
- If you wish to reciprocate,
I need not tell you what
would please me most.
- I beg your pardon?
- I need not tell you.
- I am unbelievably
I've been blatantly
Huge Lon Chaney fan.
May I see it?
Ahh, you see the small letters
around Chaney's profile?
Those are the titles of
his most successful films.
- Oh!
"Hunchback of Notre Dame",
the "Phantom of the Opera",
"He Who Gets Slapped",
"The Unholy Three",
oh, and "London After Midnight",
Chaney's notorious missing film.
It's at the top of my list
of lost films that I would
without conscience kill to see.
- Perhaps I'll have a smidgen
more of Martha's glogg.
- Well, this is
an eclectic group.
You don't seem to fit in.
- Should I be insulted
or complimented?
(Helen giggles)
Michael Lambert.
I'm a professor
of film history at
NYU Tisch School Of The Arts.
- Oh, I thought you
might be an actor.
- No, ugh!
Just affected.
(Helen laughs)
Like many, I had early
ambitions for the stage,
but neither the talent,
nor the mad drive.
I grew up loving your uncle's
books on film history.
When I first came to New York,
I braved the lions den,
and sought him out.
He was extremely generous to me.
He was a true mentor.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(indistinct chattering)
- [Rodney] Have you sold much?
- To this crowd of deadbeats,
everybody's got a sob story.
- Oh, it looks
like Helen's buying
what Michael Lambert is selling.
- That sale is never gonna
reach the cash register.
He's as gay as a petticoat.
- Oh, I always heard he
was totally straight!
- Rodney, he wrote a
biography of Audrey Hepburn.
Someone I know
swears they saw him
in full leather at the Eagle.
- Oh, people always think
if a guy is British
and cute, he's gay.
- That's also questionable.
My friend, Gary, knew
him back in Indiana.
Oh, look, Godzilla needs
to be fed another reptile.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(Helen laughs)
- Imagine my surprise
at Gerald's idea of
a birthday party.
- (laughs) Yeah.
(Michael laughs)
- Oh, Professor, our lady is
receiving quite an education.
- Well, it certainly is
a cast of characters.
I don't mean to be malicious,
but that Martha
is a little funny.
- She's an eccentric.
- She insists she's the long
lost daughter of Harry Truman.
- And that Virginia with
the beautiful feline eyes.
It was sweet that she
brought me a present.
- And I doubt she paid for it.
She has a serious
problem with kleptomania.
- She does not.
- She makes regular
appearances at night court.
- You've got the goods
on everyone, don't you?
- Not everyone.
(ladle clangs)
- Silence, please!
Silence, please!
Silence, silence!
Thank you.
I know Jerry was adamant
about not having
any kind of service,
but I would like to
take a few seconds
to express how much
I adored this man.
Some of us knew him as
a sexy, young renegade,
charging up Christopher Street,
and later, as a celebrated
author, critic, and teacher.
We were with him
through the dark years
when he was persecuted and
made a pariah, a scapegoat!
But self-pity was
never his style.
I would like to raise
this tankered of glogg
to our glorious combative
soulmate, Gerald Bauman!
- To Jerry!
(group applauds)
- To Jerry.
(applauding continues)
- Thank you.
(Martha sighs and chuckles)
Perhaps his niece, Helen,
would like to say a few words?
- Oh, no I haven't
prepared anything.
- Oh, no, no, please, Helen!
- Go on, Helen.
- Oh, oh!
- Yeah!
- Yes, Helen.
(Helen laughs
nervously and mumbles)
(toilet flushes
in the background)
- Well, I loved my Uncle Jerry,
but I clearly didn't know him
to the extent his
close friends did.
I grew up hearing such
scary tales of Uncle Jerry,
that he was an erotic libertine,
and into all sorts of
decadent sexual practices.
(door clatters open)
(door thuds shut)
I can say...
(mug clanks)
I can say, that his true
obsession was with the movies.
I'm really quite
envious of you all
with your shared
passion for film.
I don't have an overwhelming
interest in anything.
Maybe crossword puzzles?
My husband, you know,
he was my overwhelming interest.
Excuse me.
(Helen softly sobs)
(soft somber music)
- Anyone care for more glogg?
Doris, (giggles) come on,
I'll give you some more glogg.
Here we go!
Have some more!
All right, everybody!
(Helen sighs)
(knocking on door)
- Oh!
- Helen?
- Yeah?
- Can I get you anything?
- Oh, you're very kind.
It's been over two years
since my husband died,
and I don't wanna
be a walking wound.
I've got to get on with my life!
- Be fair to yourself.
- Oh.
- Two years, three years,
it's not that long.
- (sighs) It's just...
I'm so very much alone.
My children live far away.
I miss having a witness
to my daily routine.
Someone to know that I've
decided to fix Brussels sprouts
for dinner. (softly giggles)
- Well, we're barely acquainted,
but if there's anything
I can do to help,
I feel I owe it to my mentor
to extend a hand to his niece.
Can we exchange phone numbers?
- Oh.
- Here.
Put yours in there,
and I'll text you mine.
Are you free for
dinner tomorrow night?
- Oh, oh, my!
I don't know.
I'm flying home tomorrow.
- Ah, well, I'm staying
in touch, all right?
- Uh-huh.
- I'm going to check in,
and ask about the
Brussels sprouts.
(Helen giggles)
(Doris screams maniacally)
- I lost my balance!
I suffer from vertigo!
- You half-fisted old wino!
It's ruined!
You and your fucking glogg!
- She's melting, melting!
(Rodney laughs)
(Jimmy and Rodney laugh)
- [Helen] We barely made a dent.
- I have had it with
the Seniors Movie Club
at the Village of the Damned.
- Half the time,
I didn't know what
anyone was talking about.
- Let's get outta here.
Where's my coat?
Oh, in the bedroom.
(Helen sighs)
- (scoffs) The closet!
I didn't think about
disposing of all his clothes!
- He had that really
cool '60s leather jacket.
Would you mind if I took it?
- Oh, feel free.
(door creaks)
(light switch clicks)
(dramatic enigmatic music)
(dramatic enigmatic
music continues)
(box clatters)
(trash bag rustling)
(bags continue rustling)
(dramatic enigmatic
music continues)
- Oh, my god!
- What could
possibly be in there?
Oh, please don't let
it be a severed head.
- I think this may be it.
The opening date of
the first talking film,
"The Jazz Singer",
Exactly the numbers
Gerald would've chosen.
(lock rattles)
Ah, dammit!
- Jimmy, it says, right-
(Jimmy shushing)
- No, I'm concentrating.
Yeah, the day Gerald's
favorite S&M sex club,
The Mine Shaft, closed its
doors for the last time.
(Jimmy mumbles)
(lock clacks)
(Jimmy grunts angrily)
It's not working!
(paper rustles)
- Jimmy!
It says right here,
"Mini fridge in closet
lock combination".
- Oh.
- Please don't let it
be a mummified baby.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
(Jimmy gasps)
(Jimmy whimpers)
Jimmy, are you all right?
(Jim pants heavily)
You're scarin' me, Jimmy!
(fridge door clacks shut)
(case clatters)
- Huh!
You know what this label says?
"London After Midnight".
He had it.
He had the movie.
It's not an urban myth.
He had it all the time.
- Oh.
- But it's only one reel.
The label says, "Reel six".
- Well, how many
reels should there be?
- It's in six reels.
So this is the final
reel of the movie,
the end of the picture.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
This must be a huge
- Disappointment?
Not one minute of footage is
believed to have survived.
This is the actual final
10 minutes of the movie.
Oh, do you have any
idea what this is worth?
- Well, forgive me,
I'm very ignorant on
this sort of thing.
I mean, why is this particular
movie of such importance?
- A million reasons.
It was directed by Tod Browning,
one of the masters of
the horror film genre.
He directed the original
Bela Lugosi "Dracula".
- Well, what's the movie about?
- Helen, this is not the
time for a capsule review!
Lon Chaney plays a detective
who poses as a vampire
to solve a murder.
- Well, can we watch it?
I mean, maybe he's got
a projector back there?
- No, no.
You have to screen it on
a very special Moviola.
I don't even dare
open the canister.
It's flammable nitrate stock.
It might already be vinegar.
(Helen mumbles)
I'm gonna open it.
(Helen gasps)
Just take a quick peek.
Here it goes.
- All right.
(film holder clanks)
(Jimmy grunts)
(suspenseful dramatic music)
- I think it's intact.
(movie reel creeks)
(Jimmy sniffs)
It doesn't smell
like it's decayed.
- Well, this is marvelous!
My son in LA is gonna get
such a kick outta this.
- Are you insane?
Are you insane?
You'll say nothing.
- Why, what's your problem?
- "What's my problem?"
She just asked me,
"What's my problem?"
Helen, there are
people out there,
dealers, collectors,
who would gladly
slit your throat
to possess 10 minutes of
"London After Midnight".
This reel of film could very
well be your death warrant.
- You're acting very silly.
(Jimmy mumbles)
- The film has to be sold
and out of our hands
as swiftly as possible.
Bring it to my place.
(quirky suspenseful music)
(footsteps pattering)
- Jimmy, I-
(Jimmy shushing)
- Don't say anything!
Do you think we're
being followed?
- No!
How would anyone know
we have the movie?
- There could've been spies
stationed outside the apartment
on the assumption
that we found it.
We are being followed.
Get to drawing!
- Run, run!
(footsteps pattering)
Nobody is coming!
And don't push me.
Last summer, I had surgery
on my rotator cuff.
- There was someone out there.
- Well...
(quirky suspenseful music)
- Let's make a run for it!
- Oh!
(quirky suspenseful
music continues)
This reel has taken up all
the room in the fridge.
(objects clattering)
What's the expiration date
on this open jar of olives?
Oh, oh!
(jar clanks)
Oh, it's crackers, cream cheese.
I'm gonna make us some canaps.
Oh, Jimmy, what is this?
It looks like a bill.
- Who's it from?
- Montwell Management.
- Eh, rip it up and toss it.
- [Helen] Are you sure?
- They manage this building.
It's a scare tactic
to try and get me out,
because I've lived here so
long, and pay such little rent.
They want me to think
the building's been sold.
I don't even bother paying
them anything anymore.
- Well, won't they turn
off your heat and water?
- Je ne vais pas parler.
Here, let me show you somethin'.
- All right.
(tissue paper rustling)
Oh, it's cute!
Who did that belong
to, your grandmother?
- Vivien Leigh.
- Oh!
- She wore it in the 1940
movie, "Waterloo Bridge".
It's the first custom
piece I ever acquired.
- Huh!
- I also have in that closet
a coat worn by Sophia Loren
in the 1966 spy
thriller "Arabesque".
- Do you get an erotic
tingle when you wear them?
- I'm a historian.
Vivien Leigh was very petite.
I wouldn't risk tearing it.
However, Sophia's
coat is a perfect fit.
Now, see this hat over here?
- Ah, yeah.
- That's part of a
complete ensemble I have
worn by Greer Garson in the
movie, "Random Harvest".
- That movie I've seen.
- It was designed by a wonderful
and cruelly forgotten
designer, Robert Kalloch.
- Well, what are you planning
to do with "London
After Midnight"?
- Well, we could be altruistic,
and hand it over to the
Museum of Modern Art,
or University Film Archive,
or Turner Classic Movies.
We'd be heroes,
lauded for our discovery,
written up in the
various film websites.
Or we could sell it
to a private collector
for an astronomical price.
(whimsical chiming)
- 50/50.
But how do we go about
finding this wealthy buyer?
- It's a little bit
outta my league.
We need to go into partnership
with someone with
high-end clients.
- Oh.
- I know of only
one such person.
Fuck me!
Doris Pang!
(cell phone rings)
- Oh!
- Now it begins.
(cell phone continues ringing)
- Ah!
Who is this?
Remind me how I know you.
(footsteps clacking)
Michael from the party?
- Michael Lambert?
- Oh, this is a surprise!
- Why is he calling you?
(Helen shushing)
How'd he get your number?
- Well, (sighs) that's
very thoughtful of you.
Well, things have changed a bit.
I suddenly realized that I
didn't have to go back so soon.
I've decided to stay in
New York a few more days.
Maybe even a week.
- What's he saying?
- Oh, that would be lovely!
Seven o'clock?
Well, anywhere.
You choose.
Yes, just text me the
address, and I'll be there.
Well, I'll see you
tomorrow night!
(cell phone beeps off)
Geez, how do ya like that?
I have a date!
(Jimmy chuckles)
Oh, my god, I have a date!
Oh, what do I wear?
Well, maybe I'll go shopping
and buy something new.
- Wow!
You're having dinner
with Michael Lambert.
He's very handsome.
- And so personable.
You know, it's easy
opening up to him.
- Well, don't pen up
to him about the movie.
- Oh, of course I won't!
- Swear on the
lives of your sons.
- I am not swearing on
the lives of my children!
- Funny, I always thought
he was a big queen.
- Well, evidently not.
- Would you feel more
secure if I went with you?
- No!
(camera shutter clicks)
(upbeat quirky music)
(camera shutter
continues clicking)
- Your smile is disturbing me.
It looks like
you've got a hernia.
- It's not easy being both the
model and the lighting crew.
- Just think of clouds
of whipped cream.
Think of Irene Dunne.
(camera shutter clicks)
Yeah, give that sexy grin!
Yeah, you got a dirty secret,
but you're not gonna
give it all away.
Look at that handsome face.
Yeah, that's a
fine-lookin' fella!
(cell phone chimes)
Whoop, sorry.
Gotta take this.
- I was in the zone.
- Yeah?
Well, then I'll cut
to the chase, Hideous.
I believe I have something
that'll make your mean,
little mouth water.
- You're talking to Doris!
- No, it's gotta be
today, this afternoon.
You'll know why.
I won't tell ya anymore, yeah.
- You just made an appointment
with your arch
nemesis, Doris Pang.
You are in possession
of something
that would make her mouth water!
- I'll come clean, Miss Marple.
I'm sinking into
financial quicksand.
It's bad.
I'm forced to sell my Hurrell
photos of Norma Shearer.
- That is serious!
- Look, let's call it a wrap.
I think we got it.
- Oh, you promised we were
gonna take some nudes.
- When did I make that promise?
- Oh, come on!
I really need them!
There's this part in an indie
movie that I'm perfect for.
I need to prove to the director
that I have no inhibitions.
I'll pay you another $50.
- I have one hour.
And please hold on to
some of your inhibitions.
- Jimmy Nichols!
- Jimmy Nichols!
- Jimmy, I believe
those vampires
are calling you.
- Don't pay any
attention to them.
- [Rodney] Aren't you at
least curious what they want?
- They probably work
for my landlord,
another attempt to
scare me into leaving.
Just, let's get outta here.
- Jimmy!
- Jimmy!
- Well, let's start
with you simply
reclining on the sofa with
your legs over your head.
- Do you have a
robe I can throw on?
- Yeah, there's a kimono
on a hook in the bathroom.
Rodney, I'm just not sure
about this nude thing.
We might be crossing the line
into something not
quite platonic.
- I have no problem
crossing that line.
I think it would be fun.
(Jimmy smirks)
- I'm very flattered
that someone your age
might be attracted to me.
- I suppose I do have a
bit of a father complex.
My dad was gay and he
died when I was 14.
- Hmm, hardly what
you call a daddy-type.
I'm more of a cranky
spinster aunt.
- Do you have any
orange juice I can sip?
Oh, or maybe a little Coke?
- Let me get that for you.
(fridge door clatters open)
- [Rodney] What is this?
You have it, you
have it, you have it!
- Shut up, shut up, shut up!
- The sixth reel!
Gerald's had it all along.
And you're meeting with Doris,
and she's gonna
help you sell it.
- Rodney, I beg of you.
I beg of you.
I'll do anything you want.
I'm at your mercy,
but please don't tell anyone.
(sensual suspenseful music)
(horn honks in the distance)
- How do I know
that this sixth reel
isn't another one of
your pathetic scams?
- A scam?
A scam?
- [Doris] I seem to recall
another lost silent film
that came into your possession.
- Doris, that's ancient history.
- Well, the wealthy German
buyer wasn't exactly impressed
when he screened the lost film
at the Deutsche Kinemathek,
and found it was 1970s
footage of a pimp
pushing out an enormous turd.
- I was careless,
but it must have been
somewhat amusing?
(Jimmy speaks in German)
(Jimmy heartily laughs)
Anyway... (stifles laughter)
That's all in the past.
What I have now is
the genuine McCoy.
And as a gesture of good faith,
I give you something
very precious of mine
that I know you've
always coveted.
- Your Hurrell Norma Shearers?
(drawer clatters)
(suspenseful dramatic music)
(gloves rustling)
- It was from their very
first sitting in 1930.
- [Doris] He was such a genius.
Look at how he lights her eyes.
- He was the only one
who could bring out the
sensuality in Norma.
- All right, Jimmy,
I'll play with you,
but I don't come cheap.
I take half.
- Half.
- Now, you are aware
that the copyright on the film
extends to December
of next year.
That means a collector cannot
profit from the sale
until that time.
Shouldn't be an issue.
I have a client
who's very private,
never trades, and lives in
Bahrain most of the year.
Mmm, when he hears the news,
he's going to be
positively orgasmic.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
(opera music plays
over speakers)
(Michael and Helen moan)
- Oh, Michael!
- That was... (pants heavily)
- You know somethin'.
I'm a good lay.
(Michael chuckles)
It was always a surprise
to the men in my life,
not that there have
been that many.
- I'm learning that you're
not to be underestimated.
- This has been a most
unusual New York trip.
- [Michael] And I want
to hear every detail.
(gently smooching)
(Helen moans)
- Oh!
(opera music plays in
a foreign language)
(fridge door clacks shut)
(freezer door clacks shut)
(ice cream lid clatters)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(people chattering
indistinctly in the background)
(door bell jingles)
- Oh, thank you.
- [Michael] Jimmy.
- Do you live in
this neighborhood?
- A couple of blocks from here.
- I can't believe
this is the first time
I've ever run into you.
- I never come to this deli.
The one near me is
closed for renovation.
Where do you live?
- Just around the corner.
That's why I'm dressed in
this ridiculous fashion.
- It's quite a look.
- Just please don't tell anyone
you saw me on the street
wearing sweatpants.
- I know what it's like
being the subject of rumors.
Whispers abound that
I'm not British.
- Oh.
Weren't you having dinner
with Helen tonight?
- Yes, we had a lovely dinner,
but it left me hungry.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(soft dramatic music)
Good morning.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Are you really here?
I feel like I've stepped
into a '30s romantic comedy
directed by Leo McCarey
or George Stevens.
- We are too offbeat
for McCarey or Stevens,
with their underlying reverence
for solid Midwestern
middle-class values.
No, we're in a movie
by Gregory La Cava,
whimsical outsiders
finding connection
while bucking the system.
(Jimmy moans)
- La Cava, keep talking.
(Jimmy sighs longingly)
Sounds even smarter
with a British accent.
(Michael chuckles)
Do you ever drop it?
- Drop What?
Oh, (laughs) the accent.
So you believe the rumors
that I hail from
South Bend, Indiana?
- I pass no judgment.
Hey, I say, foy-aye
instead of foyer.
- Full disclosure.
I did live in
Indiana for one year
when I attended the
University of Notre Dame.
- Hmm!
- All right, who is
that beautiful boy?
Should I be jealous?
- Maybe.
He was mine for seven years,
and he's still around,
even though he died
a long time ago.
- Forgive me if I was glib.
I've got that coffee craving.
I'm a hopeless addict.
You got any here?
- I never drink coffee.
Have a cup, I turn
into Betty Hutton.
(Michael chuckles)
Where do you like to get coffee?
- Well, there's a
little takeout place
two blocks south on Hudson.
It's called Mama Clark's.
They've got the
best corn muffins.
- Oh, I love a good corn muffin!
I'll go and get 'em.
- I couldn't let you do that.
- No, no, it's part
of the movie we're in.
No, you just stay
exactly the way you are.
We still have at least
one more scene to play,
and I think you're gonna
like what I have in mind.
(jazzy sensual music)
(uptempo suspenseful music)
- Hi.
Mr. Nichols?
- Jimmy?
- Jimmy Nichols?
- Jimmy?
- Oh!
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
You cannot escape us!
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
- It's gone!
He ripped us off!
I can't believe you
told him everything!
You swore on the lives
of your children.
- I did not!
I did not make that vow!
Oh, I have no excuse.
It's as if Michael had power
over my mind and spirit.
He was a Rasputin!
This has been a most
unusual New York trip.
- [Michael] And I want
to hear every detail.
(gentle smooching)
(Helen moans)
- Oh!
Oh, that strange rummage
sale memorial service,
whatever the hell that was!
And then Jimmy and I
finding that movie.
(Helen mumbles)
Well, meeting you,
and now, this.
- You found a movie?
(Helen laughs nervously)
- Yeah, home movies.
Super eight of my family.
You know, my
grandparents' anniversary,
- You're a terrible liar.
You just can't do it, can you?
You know, that may be
one of the most adorable,
sexy things about you.
(Helen whimpers)
- Yeah.
- I have no poker face!
Oh, my husband used
to get so annoyed.
- I've heard the rumor
that Gerald was hoarding a print
of "London After Midnight".
It's not just a rumor, is it?
Is it?
(Helen moans)
- Oh, well...
(Helen pants heavily)
It's one reel.
The last 10 minutes.
(Helen moans)
We found it in a mini fridge
in Uncle Gerald's
bedroom closet.
(Helen moans)
Jimmy took it to his place,
and horrible Doris Pang is
gonna help him find a buyer.
Oh, Michael!
Please keep this to yourself!
- You led him
directly to my door!
- Hey, you dragged him
up here to your sex den,
not even an hour
after he left me!
So don't get on your moral
high horse with me, Mister!
- With younger people,
this would be a sexy situation.
With us, it's merely grotesque.
- We know you're up there!
- Michael?
(quirky suspenseful music)
- Are you totally
out of your minds?
Screaming like harpies in
the middle of the street!
- We are out for vengeance!
- How could you do this to us?
- Calm down.
There's no need to
get over-wrought.
- You manipulated
blabbermouth into bed,
so you could weasel
the truth out of her,
and then-
- Just a minute!
I had every intention of
having sex with blabbermouth
before I knew about the movie.
- I appreciate that.
- And then you contrived
to climb into my bed,
so you could send me
off in the morning
on a wild goose chase for coffee
and a buttered,
toasted corn muffin
to rip me off blind!
You're a vile,
despicable human being!
- Call me whatever you like.
Do you think that I would
let a miserable bottom-feeder
like Doris Pang get
her hands on the movie?
To protect this film,
I would sleep with a
lot worse than you.
- Well, there's one
point we must be clear.
You did sort of
enjoy it, didn't you?
- You're not unappealing,
but it was a means to an end.
- Well, I feel placated knowing
that you made love with me
out of personal desire,
but you forced a
confession outta me!
- Honey, it didn't
take much prodding
to get you to spill the beans.
- Michael, even though
you're an unscrupulous,
double-dealing bastard,
I think I can speak
for blabbermouth,
that we would both enjoy having
sex with you a second time,
but first, you must
give us back the movie!
- Absolutely not.
This major discovery belongs
in a world-class archive
where it can be studied,
and made available
for public viewing.
I've already been in contact
with the Museum of Modern Art.
- No!
- The new director of
acquisitions, Tatiana Rastovich,
is meeting me here tomorrow
at noon with a Pinkerton guard
to personally pick up the movie.
- Professor, I suppose
you're gonna give her
the old varsity ohh-la-la?
- I've never met Ms. Rastovich,
but I understand she's a
woman of the utmost integrity.
- Please, Michael.
This sale will save my life.
I'm desperate.
Please reconsider.
- I refuse to discuss
this any further.
If you'll excuse me,
I must prepare for
my afternoon seminar.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
- Helen, unpin your grenades.
This is war.
He called you...
What were his precise words?
- A "miserable bottom-feeder".
- (scoffs) I've been called
worse by my own mother.
- How can you be so blase?
He's stole our opportunity
to make millions.
- I give you this quote.
It's either by
Buddha or Alice Faye.
"You can only lose
what you cling to."
Kid, it's over.
Move on.
- Actually, I think that
was Jeanette MacDonald.
She was surprisingly
I think she may have even
published a book of poetry.
- Despite blabmouth givin' away
every detail of the whole-
- Will you please stop
calling me blabbermouth?
I have a name.
Helen Leanor Bauman Resnick!
- Jimmy, you weren't
exactly discreet.
You told the kid
you had the movie.
- That's not fair!
I found the movie in the fridge
when he was taking
erotic nude photos of me.
- Spare me.
I just ate a cheese burrito.
- We are getting
that movie back.
Helen and I have devised
a foolproof plan.
Tatiana Rastovich will not
be picking up that movie
tomorrow at noon.
(Helen shushing)
- I have MoMA's Office of
Acquisitions on the line!
- What?
- We got Rastovich's number
and extension at the museum.
- Hello, is this Ms.
Rastovich's office?
I'm Naomi Gold from
NYU School of the Arts.
I'm Dr. Michael Lambert's
office assistant.
Unfortunately, he is going
to have to cancel the meeting
tomorrow at noon
at his residence
due to a sudden out of town
family emergency, yeah.
He will be in touch
shortly to reschedule.
There is no need for Ms.
Rastovich to return his call.
Thank you.
(screen clacks)
I was my husband's
office assistant
for the first five
years of our marriage.
- Who's Naomi Gold?
- My nom de plume.
I use it all the time!
- Rodney, I'm
assigning you the task
of arranging for a car service
to pick us up tomorrow at
Michael Lambert's residence
at precisely 12 noon.
Can't be even one minute late.
- Check!
- Forgive me if I sound leery,
but I do not trust you
or Madam Loose Lips
not to totally screw this up.
Rodney, have the car
pick me up first,
and then we will all go
to my client's attorney's
office together.
We shall strive to
keep this as simple
and undramatic as possible!
(suspenseful dramatic music)
- I hope I don't look
like a chic woman
with a depilatory problem.
- I can say the same.
Lucky I didn't trade
in Sophia Loren's coat
for Ann-Margret's
bare midriff top.
It's almost time.
- Oh, my!
Look at those two characters.
What are they rigged up as?
- They've been
tailing me for days.
It's gotta be about the movie.
Don't look at 'em.
- Oh, excuse me?
Excuse me?
We're looking for Jimmy Nichols.
- Don't know him.
Never met him.
- Could you just give us a sec?
- Happy Halloween!
It isn't Halloween, is it?
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(footsteps pattering)
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
(call box buzzing)
- [Michael] Hello?
- Dr. Lambert?
I'm with Ms. Rastovich.
For the purposes of security,
it would be best for you to
bring the package downstairs.
The car's at the curb.
- Oh, all right.
I'll be right down.
(quirky suspenseful music)
(umbrella button clicks)
(quirky suspenseful
music continues)
I was hoping we could visit.
I polished the silver.
- You know how these
insurance companies are.
- I don't think it's raining.
- I have a phobia about the sun.
Years in a refugee camp.
Here, let Max take
that from you.
(Jimmy yells out)
- No, no, no!
He mustn't put it
in a hot trunk.
- Fool!
(Jimmy snorts)
(quirky suspenseful
music continues)
- Hey!
- Aah!
(car engine turns over)
(car door slams)
(car engine roars)
- Oh, my god!
- Justice prevails.
- May I ask you a
foolish question?
Why are you in drag?
- He thought I'd be
too campy as Tatiana.
- Well, let's hope Mr.
Beltrane's attorney
has a penchant
for the whimsical.
- Kid, you done good.
Shouldn't we be
going up 8th Avenue
to get to the lawyer's office?
- Yeah, and cut
across 22nd Street.
- We will be taking you to
a different destination.
- Sit back and enjoy the ride.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
(door clatters open)
(suspenseful dramatic
music continues)
(suspenseful dramatic
music continues)
(Jimmy cries out)
(blindfold rustles)
(suspenseful dramatic
music continues)
It was a perfect
day for a drive.
(group laughs)
- Cute.
Now, can the chin music,
buster, and start explainin'!
- You were at the rummage sale,
and you, and you!
- You are all in this together.
The Rotten Apple Dumpling Gang!
Well, now you're in
a heap of trouble.
Kidnapping is a serious
federal offense!
- Doris, dear, shut your hole.
- I'm a simple widow from Boca.
Can somebody please tell
me what is going on?
- I shall hereby answer
all of your questions.
- I have a question.
Where did you get that blouse?
- Who could forget you with
the beautiful face of a cat.
- Ingrid Bergman,
"Notorious", Edith Head.
- Liar!
I know the film frame by frame.
- She wore it under a
jacket, Puss n' Boots!
- Do you wanna arm wrestle?
I could take you!
- Enough!
Sit down, Virginia.
The story begins in the 1960s.
- (scoffs) Must we
go back to the '60s?
I'm on a diuretic.
- Gerald had just returned
from his time in Europe.
He settled into a relationship
with an older man, Bob Renault.
Bob had, years before,
worked as a studio publicist.
When he saw how little
regard the studios had
for their old films,
he began rescuing them.
One of those saved
was the Lon Chaney,
"London After Midnight".
Before he had his throat
slashed in his bedroom
by a pair of hopped up hustlers,
Bob gave the sole
remaining copy to Gerald.
- May we now leave the '60s?
- Shut your hole, Doris.
I'm into it.
- In the early '80s,
Gerald, now at the
height of his renowned
as a film critic and author,
befriended a fan named Hector,
a studio executive.
With the advent of home video,
the studios now saw, well,
great value in their catalog.
Gerald, trusting Hector,
gave him one of his films.
- It was very successful
on home video,
for which Gerald received
not so much as a thank you.
- Hector demanded more
of Gerald's collection,
and when Gerald refused,
Hector turned him into the FBI.
- He was arrested and
indicted for film piracy.
His entire collection
- But Gerald took
his most prized film,
"London After Midnight",
and divided five of
the six reels among us,
his closest friends.
- Which included our dear
departed friend, Albert.
Gerald retained the sixth reel,
and managed to hide
it in plain sight.
- Gerald went to
prison for two years!
- When he was released,
he vowed that "London
After Midnight"
would never be seen again.
To that end,
he asked us each to hold
onto our separate reels.
- In 2011, Albert died,
and his son is now the
keeper of his reel of film.
- Albert was my father.
- You were a mole!
You were the one who was
reporting our activities
the entire time!
- I might be the blabbermouth,
but you were the mole!
- I guess you could
call me a double agent.
I owed it to my dad.
It hurt me, because I
really like you, Jimmy.
I hope we can still be
friends with benefits?
- I'm not so sure
that's gonna happen.
- Enough with the
hearts and flowers.
What are you gonna
do with the film?
- The film is cursed!
Its star, Lon Chaney,
died at the age of 47.
That was the first of a
long litany of tragedies
that befell so many
connected to the film.
I include Gerald
among the damned.
- The film must be destroyed!
- Yes.
- [Virginia] We can do that
now that it is complete!
- Oh, no!
I ever would've
agreed to any of this
if I knew that was
part of the plan.
- Then why did
you bring us here?
I mean, you could've
just taken the reel,
and thrown us out on
our keisters on the
West Side Highway!
- We want the two of you,
who have swindled and exploited
the history of the movies,
to see this rarity
crumble into dust
- Yes!
- right before your very eyes!
That would be our
great pleasure.
- Yes, yes!
- Crumble into dust
before their eyes!
- Yes, crumble in them!
(interposing voices)
Want to see it crumble!
(interposing voices continue)
It's gonna crumble!
- I can't believe
I'm saying this,
but I think the four of you
have seen too many movies.
- I would add, they
should all seek evaluation
and treatment for
a mental disorder.
- Doris, fill them
in on your client.
- Well, now that the
movie is complete,
we are playing in a
whole new ballgame.
I have no doubt that my
client, Mr. Beltrane,
would pay at least
a hundred million
to be the sole
possessor of this film.
- Well, I find that
hard to believe.
(Doris gasps)
- Mr. Beltrane paid $200
million for a Rembrandt.
He paid $170 million for an
unpublished Beethoven score.
$140 million for a
Giacometti sculpture.
Movie memorabilia is
his greatest passion.
He'll pay!
- Is it really
that good a movie?
- Who knows?
No one's ever seen it.
And divided equally
among the eight of us,
okay, Doris, what sort of payday
could these kooks
look forward to?
- Mmm.
100 million divided by...
Mmm, $12 million each.
- Leland, you can
buy some very nice
Victorian antiques
with that kinda cash.
Maybe even a new
personality to go with 'em?
Martha, among other riches,
you could enjoy a long visit
to a glamorous health spa.
Get back to your
disco dancing shape.
Gavin, you could get a
luxurious co-op apartment.
Won't have to sleep
on your cousin,
Nelly's, Castro Convertible.
Virginia, no more shoplifting.
You can buy hats retail.
(uptempo suspenseful music)
(group whispers indistinctly)
(uptempo suspenseful
music continues)
- We're in.
- Jimmy, if you're
unbearable now,
I can't imagine you
with $12 million.
I'll set up a call with
you and Beltrane's rep.
They like a personal touch.
- I wonder how soon that'll be?
- Well, it could
be in a few hours.
He is an impulsive
and eccentric man.
Don't leave the apartment.
And remember, I make the deal.
You just be lovely and grateful.
I know that's asking a lot.
I'm getting a car.
- I don't think it's right.
- What?
- Selling the film
to a private party,
giving it away forever.
I just don't think it's right.
- Easy for you to say.
Oh, there's a cab.
(suspenseful dramatic music)
How'd you know
when we'd be back?
We might've been out the rest
of the afternoon celebrating.
- I assumed you would both
return for a costume change.
Helen, you've got
sort of a jaunty
Clark Gable thing going on.
- I'd love to sit and chat,
but these trousers are,
frankly, not a relaxed fit.
If you'll both excuse me.
Jimmy, your keys.
(keys jangling)
(Michael sighs)
- That coat, Anne
Bancroft, "The Graduate".
No, no!
Sophia Loren, "Arabesque".
- I'm impressed.
- I spent three years
researching a book
on Hollywood costume design,
and you did tell
me you owned it.
- Did I?
Oh, I don't remember.
Oh, yeah!
I must've told you that
while we were making love.
- I believe you also told me
you were working on a massive
tome about lost silent films.
- Mmm, for 12 years,
an encyclopedia of movies
you must see, but can't.
- So many of those lost films
I'd give anything to see.
All the lost Theda Bara movies,
Jeanne Eagels in "Jealousy",
the 1930 version of "Kismet",
Murnau's "4 Devils".
- You're so big and athletic.
You don't look like the
type who spent his youth
in movie revival houses.
(Michael smirks)
- My dad tried to push me
into a football scholarship.
All I wanted was to watch
Preston Sturges films.
- I certainly didn't
have that problem.
- I wanted to lose
myself in the movies.
And along the way,
I found a life.
- You shouldn't waste that line.
It's a good one.
(Michael chuckles)
- Sorry if it sounds glib.
It comes from too many hours
of trying to keep students
from falling asleep.
Jimmy, we share a
passion for cinema,
the greatest record
of who we were,
of our dreams, of
our nightmares,
and yet, you're prepared to
sell it to some billionaire
who will keep it locked
up in a vault forever!
- Michael, I don't have tenure
at a top flight university.
I don't have health insurance.
I don't have a 401K, or
whatever you call it,
to see me through my old age.
I'm holding on
with white knuckles
to an uninhabitable wreck
of a tenement apartment.
I needed a miracle,
and I got one,
just in the nick of time.
- Sometimes, a miracle occurs
when a person makes
a noble gesture.
Haven't we learned
that from Capra films?
- If you recall,
"It's a Wonderful
Life" was a big flop
in its initial release.
- But 30 years later,
it was beloved,
cherished by millions.
- I don't have 30 years.
(soft melancholic music)
(computer chiming)
- James?
- Jimmy.
Are you Mr. Beltrane?
- Mm-hmm.
- Oh, (chuckles) I can't believe
I'm talking to you directly.
I would've thought
you'd be sequestered
behind an army of
- [Beltrane] Well, this
isn't a business deal.
This is fun.
- Well, it's an honor
speaking to you.
I'm glad I have something
that piques your interest.
- You certainly have.
Congratulations on the
cinematic find of the century.
- You never know what
you're gonna stumble across.
So you really have a
Rembrandt stashed away?
- Yeah.
- And an unseen
Beethoven manuscript?
- [Beltrane] Mm-hmm.
- Garbo's opera
gown from "Camille".
I've done my research on you.
- [Beltrane] And
her black tulle gown
from the scene in the casino.
- [Jimmy] You love the movies?
- More than any other art form.
- So does anyone ever
get to see your stuff?
- Other people who visit me
in my various residences,
but I'm not what you'd
call a social butterfly.
- You're like a
James Bond villain.
- That's not polite.
- That did come off sorta rough.
Why don't you wanna
share your collection?
- You want me to tell you
my younger brother
used to break my toys?
What was the first
thing you ever acquired?
- That I paid for?
- [Beltrane] That you
were compelled to possess?
(soft suspenseful music)
- A marble.
- [Beltrane] A sculpture?
- No, a marble, like
the kind kids play with.
I must have been six-years-old.
It was a simple cat's eye,
but, oh, I screamed
and carried on
till the guy at the Five
& Dime just gave it to me.
After that, I started
collecting marbles.
- You have an oxblood?
- Yeah, I do!
- [Beltrane] They're
rare these days.
I'll buy it off you.
- No.
- I see what you're up to.
You're toying with with me.
- I am?
- Mm-hmm.
You're trying to jack up
the price of the movie.
How's 115 million?
- Have you ever
collected a human being?
- Jimmy, what are you doing?
- I've never held anyone
against their will.
Have you?
- Not with ropes or handcuffs,
but I think, perhaps, I
wanted someone very badly
'cause of their perfect looks,
and how that would
reflect on me,
not because of who
they really were.
- Mmm, that young man would've
been a world-class
beauty in any era.
- If he hadn't gotten sick,
he probably would've left me.
It's chilly being on display.
(Beltrane chuckles)
- Very clever.
- What's clever?
- You bring up this young man
because you want me to believe
your feeling shame about
collecting, and the deal is off.
All right, young
man, 130 million.
- You couldn't be
further from the truth.
- No?
- I don't think you're very
insightful about human nature.
- I own the first editions
of the complete works of Sigmund
Freud and his first couch.
There's one in the
Freud Museum in London,
but it's not the first.
140 million.
- I hope you're
actually in therapy?
- That was rude.
So you're not selling?
- I'm not sayin' that.
- Well, I detect a
certain ambivalence.
- Why did you call me?
What do you want from me?
- I was reaching out
to a fellow collector,
which is something I seldom do,
and what I'm receiving in return
is a kind of smirking
- Now, wait a minute!
- Oh, my god, Jimmy!
- My question for you is,
just, who the hell
do you think you are?
- Look, (stammers) this
is getting outta hand.
I just wanna know
why it's necessary
for you to hide away the
world's greatest works of art
and beloved artifacts.
- It's over.
It's dead.
- I don't think I understand.
- The deal, it's dead.
- Look, (stammers) I apologize.
It's none of my business
(computer chimes)
what you do-
Oh, my god, what'd I do?
Helen, how did I get him back?
- There's gotta be some way!
- What'd I do?
What did I do?
I don't...
- We'll get Doris
to call him back!
- No, it's all right!
I blew it!
(fists pounding)
(Jimmy inhales sharply)
What's wrong with me?
(letter shuffles)
(Helen gasps)
What the hell is that?
- It's another rent bill.
It's marked final.
(envelope rustling)
What does it say?
- "Final eviction notice."
Next Monday building
will be padlocked
and boarded up in
preparation for demolition."
- Oh, Jimmy!
(Jimmy whimpers)
- What am I going to do?
Where am I going to go?
At my age?
I got... (smirks)
I've gotta get out of here.
(gentle somber music)
(letter rustling)
(gentle somber music continues)
- [Marilyn] See him?
Where do think you see him?
- Right there.
- That guy?
- Yes.
(Marilyn and Greg
chatter indistinctly)
(gentle somber music continues)
- Oh, now what?
- Just hear us out.
- So which of my many enemies
are you in cahoots with?
- Oh, no, we're free agents.
I'm Greg Dwaskin.
This is my better half, Marilyn.
(Jimmy sobs loudly)
(Greg speaks indistinctly)
- Oh, my!
You're probably still grieving
the loss of your friend.
Do you want company?
- Marilyn, the fella
just wants to be alone.
- We will just sit
down for a moment.
Frankly, these spike
heels are killing me.
Sweetie, pull up that chair.
(chair rattles)
- Please, bite my neck,
drink all of my blood,
leave me for dead.
You'd be doing me
a great service.
- No, we're not actual vampires.
No, we're collectors.
- Needless to...
It is really hard talking
with these fangs in my mouth!
Do you mind?
(teeth clack)
(Marilyn sighs)
Ooh! (laughs)
Needless to say,
we are obsessed with
"London After Midnight".
- The movie really is cursed.
And I'm its latest victim.
- Word's been
circulating for years
that Gerald Bauman had
the sole surviving print.
- As soon as we heard
that he had passed,
we started hanging out
outside his building,
hoping to see whoever
was disposing of his
personal effects.
We saw you coming in and out.
Instantly, we recognized you.
You are something of a celebrity
in the collecting world,
albeit, more notorious
than admired.
We were acting
upon the assumption
that you had found the movie.
- So you've been stalking me?
It's been obnoxious.
- For that, we are really sorry.
We just want to rent
the movie for one night
to show at our 10th annual
Vampire weekend in
Teaneck, New Jersey!
- We are prepared
to offer you $2,000.
- I'm afraid that's impossible.
The movie is on
old nitrate stock.
It needs to be transferred
and restored before
it can be shown.
- That makes sense.
You planning on
giving it to TCM,
or someplace, to restore it?
- I don't know.
I don't have the answer
to anything. (sobs)
- Our Vampire Week
is starting soon.
Why don't you join us?
(Jimmy chuckles)
Could be a welcome
break for you.
Here are two passes.
These will get you into
every performance in seminar,
including the Saturday
Night Vampire Ball.
- You get a big turnout?
- Oh, it's been
growing and growing.
Over the past 12 years,
we've really built
up quite a community.
See, years ago, we suffered
an almost insurmountable
personal tragedy.
Our only child, Samantha,
died of a rare blood disease.
I didn't think my wife was
gonna survive this loss,
and I just buried my
head into my work.
I've got an awning business.
We always had the TV
on in the background
to keep us from
dwelling on the silence
of Sammy not being in the house.
- So one night,
the 1968 "Dracula Has
Risen from the Grave",
starring Christopher
Lee, happened to be on.
- Somehow, the idea
of eternal life
became a great comfort to us.
We began collecting rare photos,
and posters, books, DVDs.
- Oh, we were looking into
what happened to the coffin
used in the 1931 Bela
Lugosi "Dracula".
Turns out, it exists!
But it was bought
a few years ago
by a collector named Beltrane.
Ever heard of him?
(quirky suspenseful music)
- [Helen] Uh-huh.
- You're still here?
(Helen shushing)
- Give me that last name again.
Grace McKenzie?
Oh, McKendrick.
(lamp switch clicks)
Howie, I think we've done it!
We haven't done a
project together
since I helped you with
your eighth grade term paper
on the agriculture of Ireland.
Well, we shall see.
We shall see.
Oh, Howie, my friend is back.
I'll let you know how
it all transpires.
I love you.
(chair shuffles)
(footsteps clacking)
Where have you
been all this time?
- Checking out the city's
10 most comfortable
sidewalks to sleep on.
- Well, I have been working
the phone like a demon!
I have a degree in
library sciences.
I am at heart a researcher.
So first, I took a long look
at that eviction notice.
I contacted the building agent,
Montwell Management Corporation,
to find out who actually
owns the property.
- Why?
- They gave me the name
of a realty company,
but I still wasn't satisfied.
My terribly successful
son, Howie's Law Office,
handles some major
real estate companies!
I had him do a search,
and it turns out,
the building is but one
of the many properties
owned by a subsidiary of BGI,
and you know what
that stands for!
Beltrane Global Industries!
- He's the devil.
He's Satan.
He's everywhere.
Thanks for the effort, Helen,
but where does this get me?
- It gets you to the 32nd
floor of 2420 6th Avenue
tomorrow at 11:00 AM,
where there is a
board meeting of BGI,
and your buddy, Edward Beltrane,
is going to be present!
- He's in New York?
- That's where he
was calling you from!
This gives you a chance to
plead your case for the movie
and the apartment in person.
- But I can't just
walk in there.
- This is the beauty part.
A newly elected board member
from Denver, Colorado,
the widow of a
regional chief officer,
is going to be making
her first appearance.
Her name is Grace McKendrick.
(Jimmy thuds)
Hello, is this Mrs. McKendrick?
(scoffs) Her assistant.
Very good.
I am Naomi Gold for
Beltrane Global.
I'm afraid the board
meeting tomorrow at 11:00 AM
has been postponed.
There is no need for
her to return this call.
- May I help you?
- [Helen] Mrs. McKendrick is
here for the board meeting.
- Mrs. McKendrick,
you're quite a bit early.
In fact, you're the
first to arrive.
You have your choice of
remaining in the reception area,
or you could go directly
to the boardroom.
- I would prefer the boardroom.
I'm from Colorado by
way of the Irish coast.
I breathe easier in
wide, open spaces.
- (laughs) It's the
second door to your right.
Someone will be in shortly
with coffee and tea.
- I'll wait for you here.
Good luck, Grace.
- Cute dress.
(receptionist laughs)
(phone rings)
(soft dramatic music)
Well, hello.
- Good morning.
I'm Edward Beltrane.
- And I...
I'm the widow, McKendrick.
- I always enjoyed
speaking to your husband
at our semi-annual meetings.
I regret not getting
to know him better.
- Even so, he spoke
highly of you.
- I apologize for not being
able to attend his funeral.
- Well, there was no
formal funeral as such.
According to his wishes,
alone, I climbed Pikes Peak,
and tossed his ashes
to the four winds.
Mr. Beltrane, I believe
I owe you an apology.
- Can't imagine why?
- For attending
this board meeting.
- Well, you were elected.
I'm not following
you, Mrs. McKendrick.
- In fact, I owe you
several apologies.
When we spoke, I was
rude and presumptuous.
- We spoke?
- Yesterday.
It was inappropriate for me
to question your
ethics or motives.
- Wait, we spoke yesterday?
- Uh-huh.
- Yesterday?
The Lon Chaney movie.
Oh, my god, you're
Jimmy Nichols!
What have you done
with Grace McKendrick?
- I hope she's having
a delightful day,
free to enjoy the
sights of New York.
- This is outrageous!
I'm having you thrown out!
- Mr. Beltrane, I'm a small-time
dealer in movie ephemera.
Having this rare film
fall into my hands
was clearly too much for me.
Some people feel it's cursed.
I don't think so.
No, I bring on my own bad luck.
You see, I am playing
a dangerous game
with the rent to my apartment.
- Where are you going with this?
- Just stay with me.
For 32 years, I've lived
in a tenement building
on West 12th Street
in the Village,
paying virtually no rent.
It's being torn down,
but I refuse to believe it.
The building is owned by
Beltrane Global Industries.
You're right.
Where am I going with this?
There's nothing you can do.
- BGI is a vast network
of subsidiaries.
I'd be hard pressed
to even tell you
the name of the company
that owns your building.
- That's what I figured.
But my friend, Helen, thought,
that if I could
actually meet you,
and plead my case regarding
the botched movie sale
and the eviction notice,
might make a difference.
I'm sorry, I've taken up
too much of your time.
- Well, you certainly
went to some extremes
to invade this board meeting.
- Well, if nothing else,
it gave me the chance
to take this costume
out of moth balls.
- [Beltrane] Had to have
been worn by Greer Garson.
- Bingo!
- "Random Harvest",
the scene where Ronald
Colman proposes marriage.
I'm blanking on the designer.
- Robert Kalloch.
Neglected talent.
He also designed "Mrs. Miniver".
- Kalloch, of course! (laughs)
How could I make such
a ridiculous mistake?
You must think me a
complete imbecile.
He he did "For Me and My
Gal" and "The Awful Truth".
- As well as Norma
Shearer's last two comedies,
which, unfortunately,
finished off her movie career.
- Yeah, I've always thought
"Her Cardboard Lover"
to be vastly underrated.
- You do?
- [Beltrane] Well, I I'm
a big Norma Shearer fan.
- You are?
(Beltrane chuckles)
- Come closer.
Look at the incredible
detail on that collar
and these cuffs.
Typical of Kalloch.
It really is in great condition.
- Well, it's a miracle,
considering I don't
have the means
to take proper care of it.
Not a soul has seen
this in 15 years.
- I might be interested in
buying the entire ensemble,
including that cunning chapeau.
I have in my
collection a Kalloch
worn by Rosalind Russell
in "His Girl Friday".
- Then perhaps this would
be better off in your hands?
(soft gentle music)
(whimsical chiming)
(soft gentle music continues)
(whimsical chiming continues)
(upbeat majestic music)
(upbeat majestic
music continues)
(upbeat majestic
music continues)
(upbeat majestic
music continues)
(upbeat majestic
music continues)
(upbeat majestic
music continues)
(dramatic triumphant music)
(dramatic triumphant
music swells)
(group applauds)
- Thank you!
For those of you I have not
had the privilege of meeting,
I'm John Kessler,
head of the production team
here at the new Beltrane
Film Restoration Lab.
(group applauds)
Restoring "London After
Midnight" to its original glory
has been an extraordinary
experience for all of us at BFR.
I do think it is appropriate
for one special person
to say a few final words.
Jimmy Nichols.
(group applauds)
- Thank you, John.
However, I must contradict you.
The name is James
(group clamors)
Edward and I have
only just returned
from traveling around the world.
Kathmandu, a revelation.
I've learned much from
the good people of Nepal.
I've learned the
essentials of life,
and not to be hurt
by the small-minded,
the petty, the
vindictive, the bitchy.
All of you should know,
that you'll not be alone in
viewing this historic lost film.
Edward has agreed to allow
the film to be shown,
two benefit screenings at
the Museum of Modern Art,
and he has generously
granted permission
for it to be shown twice
on Turner Classic movies.
Please give a round of
applause to Daddy B,
Mr. Edward Beltrane!
(group applauds)
And now, sit back and enjoy
Lon Chaney and Todd Browning's
"London After Midnight".
(group applauds)
(gentle smooching)
(suspenseful dramatic music)
(group applauds)
(upbeat cheerful music)
Just when I'd had enough
My sky turned gray
Just when I'd given up
And backed my
broken dreams away
Just then you took my hand
And much to my surprise
Those cloudy days
They disappeared
right before my eyes
And now a new day has begun
And I said, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Raise the curtain
Dim the lights
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I'm ready
Oh, so ready
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Be still my beating heart
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Get ready, the
show's about to start
Just when I'd thought
that my last chapter
Had finally come
Just when I turned the page
To find my story almost done
Just then, you told the band
to play on through the night
And now we're dancin'
cheek to cheek
The end is nowhere
in my sight
And yes
We've only just begun
And I said
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Raise the curtain
Dim the lights
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I'm ready
Oh, so ready
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Be still my beating heart
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Get ready, the
show's about to start
There's endless
There's endless
A sky all blue is all I see
A sky all blue is all I see
And together
We'll go forever
Making our own
work, oh, lord
And I said, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I said, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I said, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah
I said, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah
Raise the curtain
Dim the lights
Oh, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I'm ready
Oh, so ready
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Be still my beating heart
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Get ready
Get ready
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Get ready
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Get ready
Yeah, yeah
The show's about to
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