Thursday's Child (1943) Movie Script

Phoebe, hurry up' dear.
It's four o'clock.
Mrs. Briggs, Mrs. Briggs.
You'll bring tea out into
the garden will you, dear?
Oh, no, I couldn't do that.
I'll wait in the kitchen.
Here, go away, Jenny, go away.
Here you are, take her out.
Fennis, Fennis.
You'll bring tea out into
the garden with you, dear?
Yes, aii right, Mummy.
Hurry up and get dressed, dear.
Oh, I've stiii got my apron on.
This is a lovely surprise, Mr. Lennox.
Well, Mrs. Frank, after all this time.
What, wait a minute,
What, come in my room.
Do you think this suits me
better than my eau de nil?
I think so.
Let me see you.
I don't feel quite
like myself in this dress.
Suits you much better than it did me.
You look sweet, darling.
Let me see myself.
I say Fen, a man like Mr. Lennox is
sure to have met lots of
important film people.
I shall lead the conversation
round and find out,
and get him to give me an introduction.
It's a waste of effort.
'Oause Daddy would never
let you go on the films.
Oh, go ahead and take the tea out, Fen.
- Phoebe.
- What?
Don't be too obvious in leading
the conversation round, will you?
As if I would.
Go and hurry up with the tea, darling.
Oh, it wasn't so
bad in the south of France,
I Simply couldn't get home.
Took me two years to get a
visa to cross into Spain.
We were afraid you'd been interned.
Ah, this is Joan, isn't it?
Hello, Miss Joan,
I don't expect you remember me?
Of course, I do.
My name's Fennis now.
And do you remember
the day you sold Frank
the business, Mr. Lennox?
I can see it as if it were yesterday.
You satjust where you're sitting now,
under the rose tree, eating
a piece of Dundee cake.
So sorry I'm late.
Oh, so this is Phoebe.
How are you, Phoebe?
I expect you've been thinking of me
as still a little girl.
Oh, I expect I have.
What do I find?
A walking advertisement
for the beauty parlour.
Do sit down, Mr. Lennox.
Thank you.
Tuppence for the box, Phoebe?
Oh, I haven't got my bag.
Whenever the children are
late for a meal,
Frank always makes them put
tuppence in the Red Cross box.
Oh, well, I'll pay
this tuppence for Phoebe.
Well, thank you, Mr. Lennox.
By the way, how are you getting
on at the beauty parlour?
Madame Felicia is very nice to me.
I expect it was your introduction.
But the work isn't very exciting.
One doesn't expect work
to be exciting, Phoebe.
Oh, I don't know, Frank.
I wouldn't say that.
Sorry I'm dashing off, Mr. Lennox.
You've time to talk to Mr. Lennox
for a moment, haven't you?
Oh, but I'm meeting Eddie up on the heath
at half past four, Mum, and it's that now.
I didn't know you were coming, Mr. Lennox,
till it was too late to put him off.
Oh, that's all right, Jim.
Cheerio, Mr. Lennox.
Bye, Mum.
Bye, Dad.
Good-bye, Jim.
You never told me you had
an airman in the family.
He's only a cadet, Mr. Lennox.
He won't be called up
for another year yet.
What are you gonna do
with him afterwards, Frank?
What, after the war?
Well, he'll go into
the business with me.
Is he keen on being a chemist?
Well, he won't have to
sweat i2 hours a day in a factory
like I had to when I was a kid.
But do you mean you do know somebody
in the film business, Mr. Lennox?
Yes, he writes scenarios
or whatever you call them.
He wrote that one, oh.
That one they're showing for a
big war charity next week?
You don't mean Woman of
Today with Gloria Dewey?
That's it, Woman of Today.
Isn't it funny, Mummy.
We were only talking about it last night,
and I was saying I'd
give anything to see it.
I love Gloria Dewey.
I must say, I've never seen the lady.
I saw her latest film
three times in one week.
Did you really?
Well, I'm seeing young Penley tomorrow.
I'll try to arrange a
couple of seats for you
for Tuesday night, if you like.
Oh, if you would do, that would be sweet
of you, Mr. Lennox.
I'll tell him to
look out for you.
David Penley is his name.
He's a charming fellow.
I'm sure you'll like him.
Oh, thank you, I shall
look forward to it.
Take the tray in, Phoebe.
Yes, dear.
She's mad about films now.
Last year, it was dress design
she wanted to go in for.
Oh, Mother.
The year before that,
it was mannequin work.
And now it's films.
It's ust a passing phase.
She'll soon grow out of
all that nonsense.
You are much too obvious.
Was I?
Yes, much.
Oh, well, I don't care.
I got what I wanted.
Mr. Penley, I did enjoy it.
Did you?
Well, I think it's a terrible film.
Oh, I didn't.
I thought the dialogue
was beautifully written.
Didn't you like it, Fen?
Well, it wasn't like real life, was it?
It was too shiny.
That's it, exactly.
Like all Rudi Kauffmann's films.
You are lucky being
in the film busmess.
I wish I were.
Oh, don't wish you were.
It's a rotten sort of
life for a girl like you.
What do you mean, a girl like me?
Well, for a pretty sensitive girl
to spend theirtime hanging around agents'
waiting rooms and casting offices.
Oh, but once you've made
a hit, that's all finished.
You have to be as hard as nails to get on.
That's how she got where she is.
I rather hoped you'd help me.
I'm sorry, I can't, honestly.
At Genevieve if.
Won't you sit down?
I think it's very mean
of you not to help me.
Well, if you knew as much
about film as I do, you'd understand.
Well, you might at least tell me
how to set about finding film work.
Sorry, I wouldn't help any girl I liked
to get into film, unless, of course,
I thought she was a great
actress or something.
Oh, thank you.
That's charming of you.
Would you like to sit down?
I'm getting out the next stop.
Thank you so much.
Better get ready to
push your way through.
Thank you.
I'll clear a path for us.
Golders Green, Edware train.
Don't push there!
Just a minute.
Come along there.
Excuse me, I want to get out.
Excuse me, excuse me, I want to get out.
- Phoebe!
- Come on!
Mind the doors, please.
Well, I suppose she'll
come back by the next train?
She might go home by bus from Bray.
I expect we better wait.
Well, let's sit down here, shall we?
Well, I'm afraid I've annoyed your sister.
I know.
I suppose being in films
and studios must seem
awfully funny and unreal
after you being in the war.
Yes, it does rather.
Mr. Lennox told me
you've been in France.
Which book are you reading?
Oh, that's too old for you, I'm afraid.
I like books that are old for me.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to be patroniSing.
It's the Life of Madame
Curie by her daughter.
Oh, yes, I've heard
Daddy talk about her.
She invented radium, didn't she?
I mean she discovered it.
She's a marvellous woman,
one of the few really great ones.
Haven't there been any great women then?
Well, very few who've
done anything really big.
Why is that?
Please tell me.
It's only my opinion of course,
but I think it's because
they lack,
yes, it's rather difficult to explain,
singleness of purpose,
you know that expression?
No, what does it mean?
Well, they don't seem
able to map out their life
to a plan as Madame Curie did.
They're led away too easily by things
like falling in love and
success coming too easily.
Oh, I think I see what you mean.
I'd love to read the book,
Would you really?
You couldn't lend it to me, could you?
Well, this is a library book,
but I'll give you a copy, if you like.
Will you?
Thank you very much.
It's my thirteenth birthday soon,
so you can give it to me then.
All right, then I will.
So even if it is a bit too old for me,
soon it won't be.
Don't forget, then.
No, no, no, of course, I won't.
Garden's Green, Edgware train.
Hurry along there.
Look here, we've
probably missed your sister
while we were talking.
Let's face the other way.
Then we can see if she gets out.
Hurry along there.
Mind the doors, please.
If I don't see her again tonight,
will you give her a message?
Ask her if she'd feel
any differently about me
if I do speak to Mr. Hemming,
the casting director.
And can I phone her anywhere tomorrow?
Yes, Madame Felicia, 16 Bond Street.
I'll phone her there then at 11 o'clock.
All right.
Miss Phoebe Wilson?
I think she's engaged.
What is this stuff you're putting on?
- An Arabian mud mask, madame,
- Mask?
I didn't ask for a mask.
Stings like the devil.
What is it?
Mr. Penley?
All right, then, David.
Have you fixed it?
You know, for me to see the
man who does the casting.
But you told Fennis.
Of course, I thought
you'd meant you'd fix it.
Well, why ring me up?
I think it's horribly mean of you.
Oh, I think you're detestable.
No, I won't.
Will you go in now, Mr. Durham?
Help! Help! Take it
off, take it off, I say.
It's stinging, it's stinging
my face like billy-o.
Oh, what is the matter, madame?
Oh, it's tearing my face off, help.
How dare you?
I suppose I've got to go...
Whatever is the matter?
- It's only an Arabian mask.
- How dare you?
I asked for a massage.
Shall I send you some samples then?
Will you excuse me,
I'll phone you later.
I've never been
so insulted in my life.
Tell Miss Wilson I want
her in my office at once.
Yes, Madame Felicia.
Publicly, I shall tell all
my friends not to come here.
How dare you employ such an assistant?
Oh, but madame, if only
you'll let me explain.
Madame Felicia wants to
see you in her room, Wilson.
Oh, heck.
But I'd no idea you
were back in England.
Course I'm pleased.
All right, eight o'clock.
I'll be there,
All right, good-bye.
Now will you explain to me the meaning
of the brawl in your cubicle?
Well, to begin with, Madame Felicia,
Mrs. Chard definitely asked
for an Arabian mud mask.
Sentence of death
or only imprisonment for life?
Bound over to keep the peace.
That's what comes of quarrelling
with your boyfriend down the telephone.
Look, what time do you finish tonight?
Six o'clock.
What you need's a drink.
It'll cheer you up.
I'll be waiting for you at
the Europa at half past six.
But I don't know you.
Oh, it goes up your nose like Eno's.
Tell me more about yourself.
You don't seem to be a very happy family.
Oh, but we are.
We're very happy, really.
What have you actually
done to get into pictures?
Well, hardly anything.
I've sent my photographs
to casting managers,
and I did hope for an introduction.
But nothing came of it.
Excuse me a moment,
Fen, Fen.
I've got it at last.
Got what?
An introduction to the
costume director at Marathon.
Look, - Who gave you this?
A man I met.
I'll tell you about it later.
Fen, darling, I want you
to do something for me.
Hello, Fennis.
Can you swim two lengths yet?
I can,
I say, did you see old Maureen fall in?
I did. Maisie said Beryl pushed her
because Maureen said Beryl's mother
was a Germany spy.
Did she?
Oh, well, I'll be seeing you.
I say, Fen, I've got to go to Elstree
on Saturday afternoon, and I don't want.
Daddy to know what it's about.
So I'm going to pretend it's just a look
over the studios, and I've asked you.
In case Mummy suggests coming with me.
Then I can say that you're very keen,
and three wouldn't be allowed.
Oh, Phoebe.
Oh, I know what you're thinking, Fen,
but just leaving a thing
out isn't telling a lie.
Really it isn't, darling.
But we'd have to pretend,
and it can feel just as horrid.
You know how much depends on it, Fen,
my whole future, very likely.
You can't let me down, please, darling.
Ms. Wilson,
will you take your hat off?
Now what film work have you done?
Well, actually, I haven't done any yet.
I was in the Merchant of Venice at school.
Oh, and what did you
play in that, Portia?
No, as a matter of
fact, I played Shylock.
Have you got any
photographs with you?
Stand up.
Who me?
Yes, you, little girl, stand up.
What height are you?
Five foot two.
And a half.
If you know, why didn't you say so?
Turn around.
I haven't the least idea
what you're talking about.
Are you dumb or are
you trying to be funny?
Come along with me.
Where are we going?
To see the guv'nor.
The guv'nor.
If her hairs was golden she's not unlike...
I thought she was the nearest so far.
A little higher.
No, and she's only five foot two.
And a half.
What have you done?
I'm afraid I can't hear
with the gramophone playing so loudly.
What work have you done?
I haven't the least idea
what you're talking about.
Shall I switch it off?
Please put the record on the other side.
Listen, who sent you after the part?
What part?
The part of Meg as a child.
I presume that's what you've come about.
I'm sorry.
I didn't hear what you said.
I said I presume you've
come about the part of Meg.
I'm here with my sister.
What is this? Why have you make
the gramophone broke?
I must have turned up the speed
regulator by mistake.
It murders the music!
Turn it off, take it off.
Now little girl, come here,
and I will you explain.
We make a picture.
It is called Adopted Daughter.
It shall star Gloria Dewey.
Now in the beginning,
Meg has ten years only.
For two scenes, then she grows up.
It is then necessary to
have a child like Dewey.
When your hair is much golden.
You shall not unlike be.
Now you go away,
you have your hair goldened.
In three days, you come back,
and I will make with you a test.
I couldn't have my hairdyed.
Why not?
Because I shouldn't like it.
Couldn't you make a test
of my sister instead?
She's awfully pretty, and everybody says
she's like a film star.
Where will you go?
To get my sister.
I do not wish her.
Stay yourself.
If I give you five pounds,
you will have hairs coloured for the test?
It's nothing to do with money.
You throw away perhaps a big career.
I don't want to be an actress.
What you wish to do?
I've other plans.
What plans?
Private plans.
Look, if you have your hairs coloured,
I give you beautiful doll with
many dresses who can say mama.
I don't play With dolls.
Well, then a bicycle.
I've got one.
What you wish most?
I give you all the books
you want up to t5 pounds.
I couldn't, not even if you
gave me the whole bookshop.
Take her away.
With her hairs dark.
I will make with her a test.
But Mr. Kauffmann, I...
If you are photogenic,
you will play the part of Meg.
Scram Elsie, go on, beat it.
Test One. Miss Fennis Wilson,
part of Adopted Daughter, take four.
Mummy, Mummy, I...
Hey, please put more grease on her lips.
Now before the scene, we take
the different aspects of the face.
You look to the right, to the left,
to the front, then you smile,
and then the big commercial acting, hm?
I don'tthink I can get
any tears this time, Mr. Kauffmann.
Why not?
I haven't any left.
Commence, commence.
Look right.
Look left.
Look to the front.
Now smile.
More smile, more smile.
Wonderful, wonderful, now more.
More, ah, charming.
Charming, laugh for me, laugh.
You've made enough tears to make big...
No, no, I don't
want to see it again.
My mind's made up.
We'll make Strange Barrier with
Fennis Wilson as the child.
But why, Mr. Keith?
Why not Adopted Daughter, Mr. Keith?
You're 100% right, Mr. Keith,
to play her in Strange Barrier.
I've seen the test six times.
I agree.
We've got something in that kid.
It's a swell idea of yours, Mr. Keith.
I do not think it's a swell idea.
Why must the Adopted Daughter scrap
and Strange Barrier make instead?
Adopted Daughter's a
bad, old-fashioned story.
I paid 2,000 for the
rights of Strange Barrier.
It ended on the shelf for five years
'cause it couldn't find a child.
Well, now that I've found
one, I'm gonna make it.
Please, Mr. Keith.
I wish Adopted Daughter to
make With Fennis Wilson.
Strange Barrier with Fennis Wilson.
She's a real find,
Fennis Wilson.
That's all I have to say.
All right,
I will learn to Deanna Durbin make.
She's a marvellous little girl.
Can we get...
Whatever's the matter, Ellen?
Oh, Frank, I'm so glad I've caught you.
I was: Ust closmg.
Did you come in that taxi?
Yes, I shouldn't have, I know,
but I've ust been to Elstree, and.
Is there something about Fennis?
They rang up this afternoon.
I was just going to wash
up the dinner things,
and they said they
wanted to see me at once.
And Frank, it isn't a small
part they tried her for.
It's a leading part in a different story
at 50 pounds a week.
Did you say 50 pounds?
And it would be for at least ten weeks.
500 pounds for three months playacting.
My father worked a full 12 months
to earn a quarter of that.
But Frank, you don't understand.
Fennis is worth it.
I've always said she was artistic.
Mr. Keith says she's a born actress.
Do you mean
you'd have our Fennis
become a professional film actress?
Well, for heaven's sake, why not?
It's a chance in a million.
There are 100 reasons Why not.
Her education for one thing.
They pay a governess to give
her lessons at the studio.
Oh, I, I don't know how you can be so
unexcited about it all.
I can see what's going to happen.
It's going to be the same as 20 years ago.
If you'd taken that chance at buying land
at Golders Green When Mr. Lennox did,
we'd be as rich as he is now,
but I suppose you prefer to plod along
in the same old rut till doomsday.
Well, how could I take chances.
With you and the children to consider?
I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have said that.
I'd better go home, and
we'll talk about it later.
I don't think you fully
realise What this means.
Suppose she was a failure.
For 500 pounds you might spoil her life.
You always meet trouble halfway, Frank.
Mr. Keith's convinced
she can become a star.
I don't care about that.
Fen's got a fine character of her own.
I don't want it spoiled.
It isn't only Fennis
who would profit by it.
After all, Frank, life hasn't been so easy
or so gay up till now that there's
no room for improvement.
You mean I've failed you, Ellen?
Well, I thought we hadn't done so badly.
I imagined you thought so, too.
Perhaps I would have, if we'd never had
a chance at something better.
All right, I'll think it over.
That's all I can promise.
It's against all my instincts.
I'll go to Mr. Lennox before supper
and have a talk with him.
Frank, we've been married over 20 years.
This is first time I've
ever asked for anything.
Please dear, please let
Fennis have her chance.
Wilson, get on with your work.
Don't sit there thinking.
- Yes, Miss Lapton.
- Don't sit there thinking.
Yes, Miss Lapton.
Daddy's got some news for you, Fen.
Tell her, Frank.
All right, all right, Ellen.
What's the matter?
Hello, Dad, what's happened?
I knew there was something in the air.
Is it something about the film?
Do you think you'd really
like to go on the films, Fennis?
Oh, yes, Daddy.
Of course, if everything
was all right, I mean.
Well, if I could really do the part,
because if it wasn't a bit like me,
I shouldn't know What to do.
I'd make a fool of myself.
Why, have they rung up?
Yes, and...
Yes, but it isn't the same part, Fennis.
This is a big one, a very
big one, I understand.
A big part, for me?
Yes, but on one condition only, Fennis.
That is, if the Whole thing falls through,
or if your mother and I think
that the atmosphere of the
studio after this one film
is unsuitable for you,
then you must promise
you'll go back to school and study.
You give me your word?
Yes, Daddy.
I promise.
What are they gonna pay her, Dad?
50 pounds a Week.
50 pounds a week?
Well, fancy you going
on the pictures, ducky.
She won't want her
toad-in-the-hole now, will she?
We shall have to pay
sixpence to speak her now,
shan't we, miss?
Have I said something wrong?
Look at old Fen, just got a job
of 50 smackers a week, and look at her.
Jeffrey, I
thought you were in Paris.
Now mademoiselle.
Yes, Miss Daphne.
I want you to meet Wendy Keith,
Mr. Keith's daughter.
How do you do?
I've heard such a lot about you.
I'll leave you two to
get to know one another.
Now don't forget, Fennis.
Lessons in the dressing room after lunch.
Look out, girls.
- Where is the track?
- Why is there not enough tracks?
Have you done anything yet?
No, nothing,
and I've been here Since eight o'clock.
More to expression,
please Miss Dewey.
I expect I won't feel so nervous.
Though, when I've done a thing.
Rudij but your furs are What
you wear in Paris.
Do you often come here?
No, I'm at school.
I came down to have lunch with Daddy.
Is your mother down here with you?
Yes, but I wouldn't let her come
on the set to watch me act.
I should be most horribly embarrassed.
Yes, I should, too.
Rudij Hide that baby,
and move that big feller.
Now break itup.
I think I have to run before
the red light goes up.
I hope we meet again.
We must.
Good luck with the film.
Thank you.
Rudij Fennis!
You and Gloria Dewey must aquaitance be.
I wish I could speak to you
about my part, Mr. Kauffmann.
Oh, excuse my speaking
to you, Mr. Kauffmann,
but do you remember me?
I cannot speak now.
Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr. Kauffmann.
Gloria, here's the little
Fennis to speak With you.
What, did he say your name was Finish?
It's not true!
Lance, my dear, did you hear
What Rudi called this child?
He called her Finish.
Why it's perfect.
My name's Fennis.
But Finish is so much better.
I shall call you Finish.
If you do, I shan't answer you.
Will you take your
place, please, Miss Dewey?
Clear the set.
Excuse me, missy.
You don't want to take no notice of her.
She's jealous.
Frightened you'll steal
the picture, that's all.
I see.
Thank you for telling me.
I got kids of me own, see.
Clear the set, please.
No one is here!
Why are they not on time?
Shall I set the light
and microphone's place?!
- Come on, break it up.
- Put that knitting away.
All right, ladies.
Now take these coats off.
Now can we have quiet, please.
Okay, guv'nor?
Rudij Okay.
Clear the set.
Come on, hurry up.
Give me a red light.
Now this is a take!
Roll it.
Strange Barrier, scene 28, take 6.
Jeffrey, I thought you were in Paris.
Oh, there you are.
Who is this idiot woman?
You have the company's
500 pounds cost!
I'm sorry, Mr. Kauffmann.
I'm Fennis's mother.
Whoever you may be,
if to the studio you come,
you must the laws of the studios keep!
Come on, guv'nor, relax.
She's all right.
She won't do it again.
Hi, Fennis.
Mind if I talk to you.
Come and sit down.
Oh, bring a chair, Mrs. Wilson.
Come over here, honey.
I am afraid that stuff
your mother's given me
about you just won't do, Fennis.
What won't do?
Why, it's drab, colourless.
Isn't there anything interesting
you can tell me about yourself?
Props! Nail those curtains back.
I don't think there is.
I was afraid not.
So I've tried to give you a personality.
This is the angle I've been working on.
See if you can add anything to it.
Only a few days ago, Fennis was leading
the quiet, uneventful life of a typical
11-year-old schoolgirl, the daughter
of a research chemist now
engaged on secret work
of national importance.
She spent her holidays on horseback,
playing with her wolfhound
in the beautiful gardens
of her parent's spacious
home in Hampstead.
A sport-loving, open-air-Iovmg tomboy,
before the war, she liked nothing better
than to put on overalls
and decoke her Daddy's cars.
But he can't put that.
He can't possibly, can he, Mummy?
It isn't true, any of it.
It's lies!
Hey, you don't have to worry about that.
This is publicity.
It's lies.
It says I'm 11.
I'm nearly 13.
Sure, but 11 is a more
appealing age to the public.
And Daddy isn't a research chemist.
I'll be he makes experiments.
Then it says I can ride a horse.
You can sit on one.
Jenny isn't a Wolfhound.
She's a dog.
Why do you say we're rich?
You soon will be.
Darling, you must fall
in with their ideas.
It's very important, you
know, the first week.
Afterall, I expect Daddy
has made some experiments.
And you could learn to ride.
And you're not much more than 11.
That's the idea, honey.
We've got to make it true.
You can't make me 11 years old.
Well, another thing, your name.
How's about Fennis Forrest?
Why do you want to change my name?
I expect Mr. Todd thinks
it's prettier, dear.
You'll never be a star
with a name like Wilson.
Then I won't be a star.
Please, Mr. Todd, I don't
want to hurt your feelings,
- but I...
- Quiet, please.
Quiet, please!
Well, you'll have to
argue it out With Mr. Keith.
See you later.
- But Mr. Todd...
- Rudij Quiet, please!!!
Okay, roll it over.
Strange Barrier, scene 28, take 7.
Rudij Commence!
Jeffrey, I thought you were in Paris.
Rudij Cut, out, cut!
What does it
matter what they call you?
I can't explain.
Oh, well it's no good
not having any dinner.
I'm going to get something.
Spam and chips.
No Spam, only Prem, More or Taft.
Well, Prem and mashed.
Two sausage and mash,
and two queen's puddings, please.
Hello, Jack.
Doing another Karloff?
Oh, the same old stuff.
How much is that?
Oh, pay at the desk.
Next, please.
Baked beans on toast.
You've forgotten your pudding, madam.
Oh, thank.
Go on, I'll do this.
I'm so terribly sorry.
Oh, I'm afraid it was my fault.
I'm not used to studios.
Hello, Mrs. Wilson.
What's the matter?
Oh, Mr. Penley, I'm so glad to see you.
I've had nothing but shocks
ever Since I've been here.
I want to talk to you.
I wonder if you'd speak to Fennis
and try and make her see sense.
Excuse me, you're not
sitting on a diamond, are you?
I don't think so.
I left my tiara on the seat
while I was having lunch,
and I noticed there's
another diamond gone.
There's hardly any left.
Of course, they're only paste,
but it's kept me in work for 20 years.
I first wore this in Kissing Cup's Race,
with Stewart Rome and Violet Hopson.
But of course, you weren't born then.
Hello, Fennis.
Your mother's been
telling me you're troubled.
They want to change everything about me.
It isn't me they want at all.
Somebody they've invented
called Fennis Forrest,
make me look like her and talk like her.
And in the end, they'll
make me feel like her,
and there won't be any me anymore.
Well, you're making
qUite a hole in that.
Hey, see that picture on
the wall over the radiator?
Nice face, don't you think?
Kind, sincere, sensitive.
Do you know who it is?
Doris Elphick, before
she went into pictures,
Gloria Dewey now.
Gloria Dewey?
It can't be the same, it can't be.
Well, it is.
Please, David, what am I to do?
Don't you let them change you, Fennis.
You stick your toes in and fight.
If you lose, well, you still will have kept
your integrity, and that, to some people,
is the most important thing in life.
It is to you, I know.
Please, What does integrity mean?
Well, it's being true to yourself.
You know, what we talked about that night
on the platform, what
Madame Curie had, remember?
Oh, I see.
You understand, don't you?
You don't think I'm obstinate and silly?
Of course, I don't.
You're digging holes in the table now.
You and your sister are very unalike.
Phoebe doesn't mean everything she says.
You do, don't you?
Calling Miss Fennis Wilson.
Calling Miss Fennis Wilson.
Please, Fennis Wilson
call at Mr. Keith's office
in the administration building.
Will Miss Fennis Wilson
call in Mr. Keith's office?
Battle is joined!
Come along, dear, we better hurry up.
I'd rather go alone, Mummy.
Alone, dear?
Yes, please.
Oh, very well, dear,
you are an odd child.
Cross your fingers for me.
Good luck.
I won't be a minute.
Good luck, darling.
I have just been speaking to Mr. Todd.
Yes, Mr. Keith.
He tells me that you don't approve
of his proposal to change your name.
No, Mr. Keith.
Do you want to play the part
of Heather in Strange Barrier?
Yes, I do.
You wouldn't like us to
cancel your contract, would you?
We can, you know, if you
persist in your refusal.
I can't change my name,
not for acting or anything else, ever.
Do you like ices?
Yes, I do.
Ring the canteen, and tell them
to send over two large strawberry ices.
Yes, Mr. Keith.
Charmingly named, Fennis Wilson,
13 year old younger daughter
of suburban backstreet
chemist is causing big
sensation at Denham Studios,
where experts opine she will
rival Hollywood child stars.
"More tear-jerking than Margaret O'Brien,"
"with an audience appeal
of a younger Judy Garland,"
says Director Rudolph Kauffmann.
Getting a mighty big kick out of watching
his kid daughter's career
is robust, bespectacled
Yorkshire-born Frank Wilson,
suburbia's proudest Daddy.
Strange Barrier is a mighty,
heart-shattering story
of tear-compelling mother love
spiced with intriguing new angles
on divorce and sex conflict brought to you
by that fiery Hungarian
genius, Rudi Kauffmann,
the man who brought you
the unforgettable drama,
Woman of Today.
Final day of shooting on Strange Barrier
coincides with 12-year-old
Fennis's 13th birthday.
Child Discovery plans to give stupendous
tea and cakes jag to all of the children
of the neighbourhood.
Who is it?
It's me.
What are you doing up?
I've got insomnia.
Oh, rubbish, go back to bed.
Half past twelve.
I've been 13 for half an hour.
Oh, What are these?
Chicken and
ham roll, Mother left them.
Could I have one?
You can have
the lot, only do be quick.
I wonder why things take
extra delicious after midnight.
Where did Mr. Durham take you?
A nightclub.
How much do you like him?
Well, Fen, he's sort of dashing
and awfully handsome.
David's handsome.
Oh, David's different.
Howard's a man of the world.
I don't think I like
dashing men of the world.
I hope you won't decide to marry him.
Did I say one word about marrying him?
For heaven's sakes, Fen, get to bed
before I strangle you.
Here, here's your present.
You can take it with you, if you like.
Oh, Phoebe, how exciting.
It's soft... hankies?
Shall I open it now?
It is past midnight, and
it's tomorrow, isn't it?
If you want to.
Phoebe, silk stockings, my first pair.
I thought you'd like them for the party.
Must have given up
your own coupons, too.
Thank you, darling.
It's a heavenly present.
Phoebe, let's talk.
I've been wanting to talk to you for ages.
I hardly see you at all since
I've been at the studio.
This isn't the time to talk now.
But it is, it is.
Well, what do you want to say?
Phoebe, you haven't
given up because of me?
Given up what?
Trying to get film work.
Oh that.
I was never frightfully serious about it.
Because you mustn't, you mustn't.
Oh, for heaven's sakes, Fen.
I want to go to sleep.
Good night, Phoebe.
Good night.
Happy birthday.
Thank you, darling.
Hello, Fennis.
Phoebe, run upstairs
and get Fen's press cutting book.
Mr. Lennox would like to see it.
I'll get it, Mummy.
Thank you, darling.
If Mr. Lennox really wants to see,
but it's so stupid and mostly lies.
I'm sure I shall find it facinating.
- Why haven't you opened Mr.
- Penley's present yet, Fen?
No, not yet, Mummy.
May I come With you to wash my hands?
Yes, of course.
Why don't you ask him tonight?
Catch him while he's in a good mood.
Okay, okay, I'm going to.
I knew it would be this.
What a nice present.
I must read it.
They've got it in the school library.
Have you?
There's nothing like that in ours.
We can get any book we ask for at ours.
It isn't the sort of school where they try
to stop you from reading
and say it's unhealthy.
Don't they?
But I thought all schools did.
Not modern ones.
But do they teach you the kind of things
you want to know, then?
Oh, yes.
It's marvellous.
They sort of find out
what you're really best at
and then help you with it.
I mean, they don't force
geometry and hockey
down your neck, regardless of whether
there'll ever be any use to you or not.
What a heavenly place it sounds.
Is it in the wilds of Scotland?
I've got a snap of it in my bag.
May I see it?
It's a heavenly house with
acres and acres of grounds.
Oh, you are lucky.
That's exactly the sort of house I imagine
the heroine of my book stayed at
when she went to live With her uncle.
You can keep it if you like.
Can I?
Thanks awfully.
We'd better go down, hadn't we?
Don't forget the press
book for your mother.
I keep all my secret things in here.
Oh, it's Chopsticks.
I didn't know the younger
generation knew that.
Won't you try and understand
how I feel about you?
Can't you forgive me?
I'm not aware there's
anything to forgive.
But surely you can
try and understand it.
I don't understand
you at all, Mr. Penley.
Oh, Phoebe, why put on an act?
What's it all about?
You wanted to become a
film actress, didn't you?
But I didn't help you,
because I didn't want to see you spoilt.
Really, you missed your vocation.
You should've been a preacher.
You're Fennis's sister.
You can't be as hard-boiled
as you pretend to be.
You're rude and ill-mannered.
I suppose I should've
been prepared for it.
My father warned me I'd
find film people vulgar.
I'm so sorry.
- Good-bye, Mrs. Wilson.
- Good-bye, Mrs. Wilson.
Good-Bye, Charles.
- Good to see you.
- Good-bye, Miss Dutton.
I expect to see you again.
I did enjoy myself immensely.
Thank you so much.
A fine end to finish this party.
I should tell Phoebe
What I think about her.
She has no
right to insult guests
in our own home.
I'm sure she didn't mean it.
After all, she's been very good really,
when you think that it was her
and not Fen mad to go into pictures.
That's no excuse.
Phoebe, Phoebe!
Yes, what is it?
Oh, you should have lent
a hand at the salvage depot.
They can do with help
on Saturday afternoons.
What do you make of this?
It's meant for me.
I thought it was for Fennis.
That's Why I opened it.
What do they mean by your
application for work?
I think Mr. Durham
must've arranged it for me.
I asked him too.
You know your father
wouldn't let you take it.
I'm going to take it.
How can you?
It's on Monday.
You've got to go to Bond Street.
If I have to say that
you're in bed that day
with a bad chill, Felicia
would let me stay away.
I'd phone her.
You must be mad, Phoebe.
Telling deliberate, downright lies?
Mummy, you must help me, you must.
No, Phoebe, you must
drop the whole idea.
So I'm not even allowed
one day's crowd work.
I've got to plod along
on three pounds a week.
While my 13year old sister gets 50.
Mother, you've no right
to refuse to help me.
You've always encouraged
me to want something
out of life.
Nothing was too good for me
until Fennis got her contract.
Now you don't care what happens to me.
Phoebe, that's not true.
It is.
If I speak to you, you don't listen.
You just sit staring at Fen as
though she's the centre of all creation.
You almost croon over her
beastly press cuttings.
You watch every mouthful she eats.
You sit for hours gloating
over her pictures.
It's not true, not one word of it.
You know it is, Mummy.
And I won't stand for it any longer.
I won't, I won't.
That's Jenny wanting to come in.
Come on, dear.
It's no use gOing on like that.
Tell Madame Felicia I've got
a chill on Monday if you like.
I'll stay in bed that day.
It won't seem such a bare-faced lie, then.
As a matter of fact, I haven't been
feeling very well lately.
Come oh, dear, don't worry.
I'll help you.
Hello, Mr. Lennox.
Oh, Penley here.
Oh, very well, thanks.
Look, would you like me to put you down
for a couple of seats at the premiere
of Strange Barrier Thursday week?
You would.
Well, look, I say.
Hang on a minute.
That's funny.
Excuse me, what sort of film is this?
Do you know?
It's an
We're supposed to be
women roadsweepers.
Oh, Madame, we're so understaffed today.
Perhaps we could make an appointment
for you for next Monday.
Monday, let me see.
Charles, Where are we lunching?
Well, I know a little place where
they've still got some food right.
By the way, you're dining with me
after Fennis Wilson's
film next Thursday week.
Oh yes, I'd love to.
You know, Phoebe Wilson's very unsettled
since her sister became a film star.
You know, it's awfully sweet of you
to let her off today, but you know,
David says she's simply wasting
her time doing crowd work.
Crowd work?
How are you, Mother?
Feeling better?
Much better, thank you, dear.
You feeling well
enough to eat some chocs?
Oh, Frank, where did you get them?
I haven't seen these since before the war.
And What lovely flowers, too.
I brought you the latest
Penguin to read, Mummy.
Thank you, Fen, darling.
Come along, Fennis.
Mother must have all the rest she can get.
Would like me to do the
blackout for you, Ellen?
Not yet, thank you, dear.
Phoebe, Whatever's the matter?
Felicia's found out.
Oh, whatever shall we do.
I knew something like this would happen.
Oh, don't start
telling me I told you so.
Don't shout at me, Phoebe.
Has she sacked you?
I've been suspended for two weeks.
Well, how, how did she find out?
When did you see her?
Well, I was called for
another day's work tomorrow,
so I rang up to say
that you still needed me
to stay With you.
And she knew where you'd been?
How could she have found out so quickly?
Well, she does know,
so what does it matter?
I better go and tell Father
and get it over with.
I won't bring you into it.
Phoebe, Phoebe.
Oh, look What I've done.
Don't you dare tell your father.
Now you listen to me.
If you tell your father, it's
Fennis he'll take it out of.
He'll say that this
could never have happened
if she hadn't gone on the pictures.
He'll send her back to school.
It will finish everything.
You little fool, to spoil
everything at a time like this
when Fennis's whole future's at stake.
You're not to let your
father know, do you hear?
You're to pretend to
go to work each morning
and not come back lit! The usual time.
What you do in between, I don't care.
What's Phoebe done to herself?
She looks years older.
It's her hair, isn't it?
Don't you like it?
It's ridiculous.
We're there, Fen.
I don't like your hair that way, Phoebe.
I think it suits me.
Who did it for you?
Alice Jordan.
She wants to make old man Keith sit up.
Introduce her as your Aunt Phoebe, Fen.
That'll learn her.
Leicester Square.
Oh, there she is.
You're wanted on the set, Fennis.
Mr. Keith wants her to
meet some big shots.
Come on.
You're gonna knock them cold, duck.
You see the Wilsons anywhere?
I'll put all these in together.
All right.
All right, hadn't we
better be taking our seats?
Oh, let's wait a minute longer.
Hello, Mr. Penley.
Good evening, David.
Hello, Phoebe, how are you?
I had to come and tell you.
Fennis gives a tremendous
performance in this film.
As a matter of fact,
she steals the picture.
But I'll see you at the reception after.
Come along, we're sure
to see them afterwards.
Here you are, Dad.
Oh, there's Mr. Lennox.
Who's he with?
Jim, what's the matter?
How are you, Charles?
I've been looking for you.
Hello, Mrs. Frank.
You know Madame Felicia.
Phoebe's mother Mr. Wilson.
And Jim. Very dear friends of mine.
You must be very
excited tonight, Mrs. Wilson.
Well, shall we go in?
Yes, let's go in.
See you at the reception afterwards.
You and little
Fennis must acquainted be.
I will present her to you
afterwards at the reception.
I'm looking forward to having
Phoebe back with us again.
We've missed her, you know.
Yes, I'm sure you have.
And when she does come back,
her midsummer madness
will be quite forgotten.
Well, I think we'll
be getting in, shall we?
Well, good luck.
See you later.
I'll be anxious, Charles, to know
what you think of Fen's performance.
Ah, she'll be all right
without any opinion of mine.
Did you know that Madame Felicia
and Charles were more than
business acquaintances?
No, I had no idea.
Mrs. Wilson, the organ's going down.
Oh, excuse me, please.
How very exciting to see
my Fennis on the films.
- Hello.
- Hello.
I'm so glad we're sitting together.
Yes, and so am I.
Who was it Madame Felicia
was saying she'd missed?
Oh, one of the girls who's been away.
Which one was it?
Alice Jordan.
I don't think I'll go to
the party afterwards, Frank.
I've got a headache, all the excitement.
Oh, but my dear...
Shush Daddy, it's beginning.
Heather, Heather.
Let me in at once.
How dare you behave like this?
After all, I am your mother.
We bored you, Daddy and I.
So you ran out on us.
Now you think you'd like us back.
We don't want you.
You're a stranger.
Why did you ever come
back and spoil everything?
Oh, it's going to be a sad one.
Got your handkerchief, dear?
- Please.
- Please.
Yes, thank you, dear.
Help yourself, Ada.
You are good, dear.
No, no, I must see her, I must.
You can't stop me.
I won't let you.
Heather, come back.
Where are you going?
To find her.
Oh, Mummy.
Heather, my darling.
Is she really only 12?
Yes, amazing, isn't
it? A child that age.
What was the little girl's name?
Fennis Wilson.
Quite a relief after all these war films.
Yes, it is.
A child couldn't act like that.
She must be a midget made up?
Of course, you
would be different!
I've got quite a
headache from so much crying.
Oh come on, let's get a move on.
We don't want to stand all the way home.
It was terrific.
If they put her over as the
English Judy Garland.
They're all talking about Fennis, Frank.
Yes, they all seem to
think she's very good.
I wonder where they're
holding this reception.
I'd rather go straight home.
Surely you want to have
a word with Fennis?
I'd rather go home.
Me, too, I'm about all in.
Surely you can come
in for a few minutes.
I don't want to.
Just long enough to show
off your new hairstyle.
I'll tell Alice Jordan if you don't.
Why Alice Jordan?
She did Phoebe's hair.
I thought you said Alice was away ill.
How was she able to do your hair, then?
Did I say Alice Jordan?
I mean Paula.
Well if it Wasn't Alice who was away,
who was Madame Felicia talking about?
Oh, I don't know.
What does it matter anyway?
We can't stand arguing
here in front of everybody.
Mother said she was ill.
You'd better take your mother home.
Wait for me.
I want to know the truth of this.
I can't stand it any longer.
I'll explain to Keith.
Get the coals will you, Jim.
Jim, are you afraid of me?
Afraid of you, Dad?
How do you mean?
Well, if there was anything you wanted,
would you be afraid to speak to me?
I'm not afraid of you exactly, Dad,
but well, yes there is
something I wanted to ask you,
only I didn't think you'd listen.
After the war, I don't
want to be a chemist, Dad.
My heart wouldn't be in it.
I'm not clever, not with my head,
but I can do things with my hands,
engines and things, cars.
That's What I'm keen on.
That's what I want to do.
And I've got a chance
to take Eddie's place
in his father's garage.
I can learn my trade before I'm called up.
After all, old Fen's shooting
ahead like a house on fire.
So I don't see why I
shouldn't have my chance, too.
Now I want the truth.
If I'm not given it,
I'll find out for myself.
Why were you suspended?
I was offered two days'
crowd work at Marathon.
I said mother was unwell and
asked if I could stay away.
Madame Felicia found out.
It's no good asking you
why I didn't tell you.
No, I shouldn't.
Where did you get the money to pay
your share of the housekeeping each week?
I borrowed it.
From your mother?
She didn't know Why I wanted it.
What date did you first
stay away from your work?
I don't remember.
It wasn't the 17th, was it?
The 17th?
It might have been.
Was it a coincidence then that
you were ill in bed that day, Ellen?
Frank, Frank.
You better go to bed.
We'll talk things over in the morning
when you're in a more fit state.
No, we won't.
We'll talk about them now.
I suppose you think I'm g0ing to come down
in the morning and apologise.
Well, I'm not.
If people are unreasonable,
you have to lie to them.
It's my life, isn't it?
I earn my own living.
I'm 20.
I have a right to do what
I like with my own life.
If you lost your job and
couldn't support yourself,
you'd think me a strange father
if I said that I'd go!
No obligations to you?
I shouldn't come
Whining to you for help.
Well, what's done is done,
but as long as you live in my house,
I'm responsible for you,
and I expect obedience.
I ask for your word that you'll give
up all ideas of this acting.
I won't.
Why should I?
I can't believe any
other ambition would've
so blinded you to the
elementary decencies.
I'm not geing to argue, Phoebe.
But Fennis can be an actress.
Fennis can earn 50 pounds a week.
Fennis can do what she damn well likes.
Fennis is not an actress.
She will do no more film work.
She's going back to school.
Mother, Mother, come here!
Frank, you can't mean it.
Say you don't mean it.
What harm has acting done to her?
She's just the same, isn't she?
She hasn't changed.
Phoebe's changed.
You've changed a great deal, Ellen.
With a house full of lies,
subterfuge and dishonesty,
how long do you think it Will be
before Fennis changes too?
Then it is what Phoebe and I have done?
It's what this acting
business has done to you.
I'm going to take her away
from it before it's too late.
That's my decision.
It's your revenge, you mean.
You'll apologise for that.
I'm not afraid of you.
Phoebe, keep out of this.
He doesn't know what he's saying.
Frank, you can't do this
after the success Fen's made.
There's a future waiting
for her, for all of us.
After tonight, she'll be famous.
Publicity that's bought
and paid for isn't fame.
Fame is something you get after a lifetime
spent in the service of humanity.
Oh, he's got religious
mania or something.
You can do as you like with Fennis,
but you're not gonna spoil my life.
Phoebe, come back.
Where are you going?
You'll do What I think best
because you proved yourself
untrustworthy and deceitful.
And Fennis will do What she's told
because she's only a child.
She's open to bad influence.
That's the end of it.
It's not the end of it.
I'm Fennis's mother.
I have some right where
the child's concerned.
Phoebe, please leave us, dear.
Before she goes, I want
that promise I spoke of.
I shan't give it.
As long as you live in
my house, you'll obey me.
I don't want to live in your house.
I don't want to.
Do you think I want to live this boring
old-fashioned life?
No, and I won't, not another minute.
Frank, stop her, stop her.
You can't let her go.
If she wants to go, she can.
She earns enough to keep herself.
You're turning her out.
That's what it comes to.
You with all your talk about what's right
and what's wrong.
You're a bully, that's what you are.
A bully, a self-righteous smug bully.
Ishan't let you ruin Fennis's life.
I'll fight you.
I'll take it to the courts.
That's What I'll do.
Phoebe, darling, what are you doing?
Go back to bed, please.
No use, Mother, I've made up my mind.
I'm going.
Keep yourchin up, Mum.
It's not the end of the world, you know.
I'll be all right.
Can I speak to Mr. Durham, please?
Not back from Ireland yet?
Not for three months?
Oh no, it doesn't matter thank you.
Fen, darling, Fen.
Mummy, Mummy, darling.
What's the matter?
Daddy, what's the matter?
Is she ill?
No, that's enough, Ellen.
You can stop that nonsense if you want to.
If you want me, Mother,
I shall be at Alice Jordan's.
Phoebe, What is it?
What's happened?
You must tell me.
There's been a disagreement.
Phoebe isn't living With us any longer.
Try to go to bed and get some sleep.
I can't, I can't, Daddy.
Is it something about me?
Me, too, Fen, both of us.
Better go to bed now.
There's nothing you can do.
I'm going anyway.
Good-bye, Mother.
Good-bye, Fen.
No, Mother, it's no good.
Fen, darling, I'm sorry.
Try not to think it's
all through me, won't you?
What, what does she mean, Mummy?
He says you're to give up acting.
He's going to send you
back to school, darling.
Is that true, Daddy?
Yes, Fen.
I shan't let him.
I shan't stand by and see
him throw away this chance
as he's thrown away others.
I'll fight for you, if I have to go to law
I'll fight for you!
Keep quiet. If you can't keep quiet...
Fen, oh, Fen.
Can't you sleep, Fen?
No, Daddy.
Try to sleep.
I know you must think
I'm harsh and I'm unjust.
Listen, Fennis.
Suppose I were to agree
that you could go on
with this film work after all,
would that make you happier?
No, Daddy, not now.
I've got other plans now.
I want to go away.
Go away, Where to?
Have you brought
something to read, dear?
It's a long journey, you know.
Yes, I have, thank you, Mummy.
I'd better get you a
couple books in case.
Hurry, Ellen, we've
only got a few minutes.
I'll have these two, please.
That'll be one shilling, please.
Now Fennis, if you
should change your mind,
if you're unhappy at school,
you'll write and let me know, won't you?
But I couldn't be, Daddy, possibly.
I've dreamed about going
somewhere like this
ever since I was tiny.
I've been very lucky, Daddy,
to get the money from
the film so that I could.
We shall miss you, you know.
Excuse me.
Thank you.
Daddy, I, give my love
to Phoebe, won't you,
when you see her.
Oh, and Daddy, don't let Mummy forget.
When she writes to me,
to call me Joan Wilson,
and not Fennis, Joan.
Mummy, Mummy!
Good-bye, Fen, darling.
Oh, I've forgotten the books.
Good-bye, Fennis,
good-bye, Fen, darling.
Joan, I mean.
Bye, Mummy darling.
Tell Jim I'll be thinking ofhim on Monday
when he starts at the garage.
Sure you've got everything?
They'll meet you at the
other end, you know.
Look out for Jubilee Road.
You'll see it from the window.
Good-bye, good-bye.
Good-bye, good-bye.
Look out for Jubilee Road.
You'll see it from the window.
Good-bye, good-bye.
Suppose I was to agree
that you could go on with
this film work after all,
would that make you happy?
No, Daddy, not now.
I have other plans now.