Torch Song (1953) Movie Script

Hold the record.
- Sorry, Miss Stewart.
- I'm sorry too.
Four times we've done this routine
and four times you've loused it up.
Gene, you're the dance director.
Would you tell Mr. Ellis this is a rehearsal,
not a dancing school?
- I'm sorry, Jenny...
- We've had the sorry bit. What do we do?
Well, darling, it's just that he feels...
...that if you could get
your right leg in a bit, he...
And spoil that line?
Tell Mr. Ellis he's paid
to get around that leg.
And smile, or we get another boy.
- Joe.
- Yes, Jenny.
I'm going home.
Keep him here until he learns the routine.
If that ever happens, call me.
Practice makes perfect, Jenny.
For you, as well as for Ellis.
I don't recall that I was the one
who made the mistake.
- Charlie.
- Yeah?
Bring my new arrangement
to my dressing room.
All right, Jen, yeah.
Be right there, Jenny.
I'm coming.
- Got everything right here, dear, yeah.
Well, what about it?
Yeah, I'm working on it.
Did you fix the "Follow Me" number
the way I wanted it?
- It just didn't work right, honey.
- What do you mean it didn't work?
Well, that is, at first it didn't.
- But I finally got it. Finally.
- How did it sound?
Sounded fine, of course. It sounded fine.
You see, Charlie, you're just
wasting your time fighting with me.
I was...
I was just trying to think of an answer.
That stuff will kill you someday.
Yeah, if I'm lucky.
- What?
- I said it's great. It's great, it just...
Make copies of the changes for me,
will you?
Well, I already have.
You know I'd do that, honey.
I'll leave it here on the couch.
I sure hope that you like it.
Well, if I don't,
you'll be the first to hear from me.
And stop worrying.
You've been doing my arrangements
long enough to know exactly what I want.
- Yeah, I sure have.
- What?
I said I sure have, yeah.
Oh, Charlie, before you go,
maybe I'll better look at those sheets.
You've been getting a little sloppy lately.
In fact, I'm thinking of replacing you
with a player piano.
One that doesn't smoke, drink,
mumble, or...
Leave me talking to myself.
- Jenny, I was just...
- Well.
You can always tell when
there's trouble in a show.
- It's the only time you see the producer.
- But Jenny...
oh, Phil, I know the line.
"Jenny, darling, we can iron this out. "
Give us a break, Jenny.
Give Ellis a break.
If you leave now,
there's no point in rehearsing at all.
If you'd hire competent people,
you wouldn't have grief.
But handing me more grief
isn't going to help any.
Oh, stop it. Phil, why aren't you here
when these problems come up?
If doctors performed operations
the way you produce shows...
...everybody in the country
would be dead.
Here she comes.
Go on, beat it...
They shall not.
Wait for me in the car.
- Hi, Merle, how are you? Hi, Margie.
- Hi, Miss Stewart.
Hi, Elsie. I thought you'd forgotten me.
I haven't seen you for a week.
Oh, no. My mother was sick
and I had to take care of her.
Oh, I'm sorry.
We should all take care of our mothers.
- Would you sign mine too?
- Sure. What's your name?
It's Cora.
You're gonna sign it personally?
Certainly. Ha-ha-ha.
"Cora, gratefully, Jenny Stewart. "
- Oh, thank you, Miss Stewart.
- You're welcome.
- Sure, I will. Sure, I will.
You can't leave, Miss Stewart.
I'll be back later, Miss Stewart.
Bye. Bye.
Now, let's get to that hoofer you hired
and the limping he calls dancing.
Darling, I pay Ellis a fantastic salary and
you wouldn't give him a minute's help.
Yet you'd spend an hour with those kids.
And what do they do?
- They're just the audience.
- They?
A hundred of those kids
couldn't scare up the price of one ticket.
Ten years from now,
they'll buy a thousand tickets.
None of us will be here
10 years from now.
The theater will.
What? You make a religion out of a job.
A job.
Your idea of art's
the fruit in a slot machine.
- Oh... All right, go home...
- That's just what I'm going to do.
- Carl?
- Yes, ma'am.
I won't need you tonight.
- I'm not going back to rehearsals.
Yes, ma'am.
What are you trying to do?
Put me in hospital?
I'm going to save you a lot of money
by not going back.
Unless somebody shocks that company,
this show will never open.
Six weeks in a rehearsal
that should've taken two.
The script needs jokes,
the music needs cutting.
And the staging... Ahh!
It stinks.
You don't think we've got a flop?
No show Jenny Stewart's in
is going to be a flop.
If I have to pull every trick in the book
to make it hang together.
Carl, after you drop me,
will you take Mr. Norton home?
Yes, ma'am.
What's your address, Mr. Norton?
Any dark bar.
- Rehearsal broke early, huh?
- For me.
- I've got all your fan mail caught up.
- Good.
- You need some pictures signed.
- Right.
Answer this and tell them
I'm sorry I can't be there.
All right.
- Mr. Cliff Willard called.
- To say what?
He's dining at El Morocco.
He thought you might like to join him.
And pick up the check.
- Who else called?
- Your mother.
Oh. Gee, I must call her.
Also, your sister.
Also, your mother again.
- How much this time?
- Two hundred dollars.
- Better make out the check.
- I already have.
I'm not going back to rehearsals tonight.
Trouble, huh?
How would you like
some lamb chops for dinner?
That will be fine, Anne.
- Feel better now?
- Mm-hm.
Scene starts at the bottom of the page.
- Who am I?
- George.
- "Knock, knock, knock. "
- I'll get it.
Oh, George, you're late.
You know the Camdens, don't you?
- And this is...
- oh, yes...
That's a broken speech.
You'll have to come in quick.
- And this is...
- oh, yes, we've met.
How are you?
May I speak to you in the library, Chris?
Crosses to library.
That's a long one.
Better make a note.
I need a line to cover that cross.
In, closes door...
...leans against it.
Darling Chris, is there anything I can do?
Anything you need?
I don't need anything or anybody.
If you're worried about me, don't be.
I'm not afraid of being alone.
I'll never be lonely.
I'll... oh.
Oh, it's that long speech.
I never can remember it.
Anne, I'm sorry, it has to have more work.
I can't do any more tonight.
Okay. I'll type up the changes
and have it ready in the morning.
- It's a nice scene.
- Mm-hm. It will be when I learn it.
- Good night.
- Night.
What would I be thinking
on that long cross?
George, you're late.
I know what you're gonna say.
Henry and I, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
And George says,
"Do you need anything?"
No, I don't need anything or anybody.
And George says, "But I'm worried. "
And I say,
if you're worried about me, don't be.
I'm not afraid of being alone.
I'll never be lonely.
I'm tough, George.
That's why I'll never be lonely.
Look who's talking.
I'll never...
Be lone...
Okay, kids, come on,
take your places, will you?
Now, you two girls go to the inside
and boys go to the outside during this step.
One, two. Ready, and:
One, two. That's it.
Okay, the same thing on this side.
Ready and: One, two. That's it.
Okay, can you keep your places, please?
Now, you two girls with Fallon
at the front doing this:
Ready, and:
Again, and:
Okay, you can go sit up front.
Hold down the talking.
Remember, no smoking.
- Any word yet?
- No.
Miss Stewart's residence.
No, I'm sorry, she isn't.
- She left here about an hour ago.
Morning, darling.
I have no idea where. You're welcome.
- The theater again.
- Oh.
- You took long enough.
- I didn't even stop for breakfast.
So you know where the gin is.
Look at this. All hips.
And this.
Who could move in it? This is okay.
Where'd you go last night?
Well, since you wouldn't go out with me,
I went to bed early.
That isn't the way I heard it.
Some belle from White Plains, wasn't it?
Oh, yes. I did go out for a few minutes.
I know.
To mail a letter at El Morocco.
She's just a child.
I did it as a favor.
To get her name in print so she could dazzle
the boys in White Plains.
If they printed what really happened,
she'd be run out of White Plains by noon.
Jenny, do you think I like going to
the same musical for the 25th time?
Making the rounds of the same nightclubs,
drinking the same old rotgut...
- Yes.
- You're right, I do.
- But only with Jenny Stewart.
- Hmm. Now we get to the point.
Next time you go out without Jenny,
don't sign her name to the checks.
Yeah, I did run short.
But don't worry, I'll make it up to you.
- What do you think of my costumes?
- Sensational.
- You haven't even looked.
- I don't have to.
Alexandria designed them,
they can only be great.
They stink.
- Jenny...
- But I'll make them better.
When are you gonna stop
trying to remake everything... look like, act like and talk like you?
When I get everything the way I want it.
Yeah, but you work at it 24 hours a day.
- You don't go out, you don't have...
- Look, get this through your head.
The first time I ever sang,
I fell in love with the audience.
I've been in love with the audience
ever since.
I'm going to give them the best
that's in me.
No matter who, what,
or when tries to stop me.
Including you.
Now get your pad and pencil.
We'll make some notes on the sketches.
You're completely useless.
But beautiful.
Just the way
I want these sketches to be.
You seen her?
You know anybody's seen her?
Thanks. You're a great help.
Willie don't know either.
All he says is,
"Why don't you ask Monty Rolfe?"
That's a good idea. Let's ask Monty.
He's supposed to be her agent.
- Isn't he, Monty?
- Take it easy, Joe.
Sure, what's it to me? Take it easy.
I've only got two dozen people sitting
for hours all on salary, waiting for her.
Hey, Joe, she's here.
Well, what's she waiting for?
Tell her the red carpet's at the cleaners.
- You want Carl to drop you anywhere?
- No, I'm just going around the corner.
Usual time, Carl.
Hey, that's pretty.
- Well?
- Well what?
Well, how do they compare?
Jenny, you have no competition.
They're living examples
of perfect bilateral symmetry.
- I mean, the poster.
- Oh, that's good too.
- When will I see you, Jenny?
- You'll get a call when I need you.
- Bye.
- Bye.
- Good morning, Miss Stewart.
- Good morning.
- We were getting a little worried.
- Why?
Here, put these on the piano.
Okay, boy, you got the ball now.
I'm going back to the office.
Yes, Jenny?
Good morning, Jenny.
I've made a few changes.
You have? What are they?
Well, in "Follow Me"...
...I wanna finish the first chorus ad lib
with a retard in the last two bars.
In the second chorus, last four bars soft
and then up for a sock finish.
You'll probably hate it.
Why, Jen? I have a hunch I'll love it.
Would you mind if I loved it, Jen?
Not at all.
Let's listen and see how it sounds.
Morning, Charlie.
Let's take it right here, full intro...
Who is this character?
My name is Tye Graham.
- Where's Charlie?
- He quit.
So he has a hangover.
When's he coming in?
He quit.
What do you mean? We have a contract.
Oh, you still have it. It's in your
dressing room, on the floor, in pieces.
What does this guy want?
He gets 500 bucks a week
for working four hours a day.
Well, deducting taxes, ulcer treatments
and psychiatric sessions...
...his take-home pay
was slightly under $ 10.
Get him back.
Let's see what happens.
I've marked all the changes.
You start here...
Yes, Miss Stewart, I'm blind.
I apologize for Mr. Denner,
he should've told you.
Oh, please don't let my blindness
bother you.
I'm familiar with your style,
I know all your keys.
I went over your arrangements
with Charlie.
Would you like to start now?
Yes, sure.
You see, right here... I mean...
You mean you wanna finish
the first chorus ad lib...
...the retard in the last two bars.
The second chorus, the last four bars soft
and up for a sock finish.
Is that the way you want it?
That's the way I want it.
We shouldn't have any trouble.
Mm-hm. Feels good.
Joe, I think that's about all it needed,
don't you?
You're the singer, Jenny.
If that's the way you wanna do it.
Sounds fine.
Thanks for nothing.
What did you think?
- What's your name?
- Graham.
- Tye Graham.
- Well?
Well, I found it a little...
Meaning what? It stinks?
Oh, no, I'd never say that.
I'm sure you wouldn't.
However, the modulation seemed
a little abrupt.
But we could easily correct that.
Make it a little less arbitrary.
Oh. We could.
Well, I happen to like it unorthodox,
arbitrary and abrupt.
What I'm most interested in is,
will it sell?
Well, I'm sure that if anybody could sell it,
that body is probably you.
- I'll take that as a compliment, I think.
Let's run through that dance routine now.
Gene tells me Ellis is ready.
Okay, where is he?
- He's just changing. He'll be right out.
- Does he know it?
I'd stake my life on it, Jenny.
I'll put the record on.
Start it at the four-four.
I'll find out if he knows it.
- Good morning, Miss Stewart.
- Good luck.
That's nice, Ellis.
I guarantee you we'll be good
for two bows opening night.
Well, thank you, Miss Stewart.
Got a cigarette?
I'm sorry, I only smoke a pipe.
- You a friend of Charlie Maylor's?
- I know him, yes.
Why doesn't he wanna work
with me anymore?
Go ahead.
Well, all right.
To put it in a nutshell...
...he says you're a pretty rugged
sort of a dame to work with.
Why did you take over?
About what?
Well, let's say I wanted to meet you... get to know more about you.
Do any of us really know
why we do what we do?
I think we do, Mr. Graham.
- Give me a cigarette.
- Maybe we ought to run though that...
You should've asked me
before you took on a new man.
If you came and found no one...'d scream your head off at me
for not getting somebody.
This isn't going to work.
There's no reason why it shouldn't, Jenny,
if you'll just let it.
Don't you think you better run
the whole number?
No. No more dancing before lunch.
Well, we've still got half an hour.
How about "Two-Faced Woman"?
You think you know "Two-Faced Woman"
well enough to run through it?
I know every note.
Wait a minute. I thought you said you
went over these arrangements with Charlie.
- I did.
- Then what happened to the tempo?
I made a slight retard.
- You were singing beautifully, but I...
- Look, Mr. Graham.
You've been hired
to help me rehearse only.
The arrangements have been set.
When this show opens, there will be
26 competent musicians in that pit.
So stop auditioning on my time.
It seemed a bit fast to me
so my right hand slowed down.
- It has a mind of its own.
- Then sit on it.
Shall we try it again? The right way?
I was trying to,
but I can do it your way...
Just a minute!
- Now I have to argue with a dog.
- Easy, Duchess.
She's not used to loud voices.
If she expects to stay around here,
she'd better get used to them.
Come here a minute.
Jenny, I've never lied to you
and I won't now.
Honey, you're making a mistake.
You don't expect me
to take any more of this.
Why don't you listen to him?
His idea of that song was better than yours.
Well, I don't happen to like it.
I don't like it a bit.
As a matter of fact,
I don't happen to like him.
He's showing off and I hate show-offs.
Time to get his own spotlight.
He's not gonna have mine.
I can't work with him, Joe.
Get it over with.
Okay, I'll fire him.
All right, everybody, lunch.
Hurry it up.
And don't be too late coming back.
Porterhouse okay?
We could use that energy
when you're working.
- Bye.
- I'll see you at lunchtime.
Okay, say it.
Say it was a lousy thing to do.
I don't care.
You ought to get over that habit
of throwing things.
- Someday you'll throw a boomerang.
- Well, how can you work with a man of...?
Who can't even see what you're doing?
He doesn't even know what I look like.
He has no business in this business.
Maybe he had no business
being in the war.
Joe, I have very broad shoulders.
But not broad enough
for the whole world to cry on.
All right, Jenny.
Someday you may need a shoulder
to cry on yourself.
Only it won't be there.
- What will it take to get Charlie back?
- I can't get him back.
Give him whatever he wants.
I can't. He wants something
I don't have the power to offer him.
- What's that?
- A new leading lady.
Then let him starve.
Hi, Jenny.
- So long, Tye. Let me hear from you.
- Yes, I will.
I'll be right back.
Well, I did it. I didn't like it, but I did it.
I'll call Charlie and ask him to come back
for the good old "good of the show. "
He's sentimental. Maybe it'll work.
Offer him 600 and free treatments
with his psychiatrist.
Miss Stewart.
- Yes?
Won't you sit down?
I get you fired and you invite me
to sit down with you?
Don't worry, I won't have to sell pencils.
Sit down, please, won't you?
All right, I will.
Now what?
- Ahem. I'm a little puzzled by you.
- There's no mystery about me.
It's been rumored
that I'm rather brutally frank.
It's also been rumored
that you're pretty and talented.
You can get people to do what you want
without hitting first and asking afterwards.
This business has its own rules.
You either hit first or get hit.
If anybody's to be kicked,
it's not going to be you, is that it?
That's the world's oldest
and smartest philosophy.
And the reason we had to make laws
and establish religions.
The subject's too serious for me
to take on an empty stomach.
- Wai...
- Waiter. Menu, please.
Did, uh? Ahem.
Did you ever hear of defense mechanism?
You mean like a girdle?
All right, we'll drop the serious talk.
No, when the talk's about me
I'll buy a ticket.
Yes, ma'am.
- Lobster Newberg and coffee.
- On my check, please.
Yes, sir.
- Go on.
Well, ahem...'re scared.
- Of what?
- Well, it's...
...of being weak and vulnerable
to criticism. Like anybody else.
You're like the kid who went fishing
for perch and caught a whale.
He knew if he hung on to the rod,
he'd drown.
But if he let go, all the other kids
would say that he was yellow.
So there he was with a whale
on the end of his line.
Big second-act curtain.
What did he do for the third act?
Well, someone with common sense...
...and compassion for human weakness
came along and cut the line for him.
You're not scared of anything, huh?
Oh, no, no, no.
I don't conform to pattern.
I live in an ivory tower.
- Ivory towers can be lonely.
- Oh, I'm not alone.
No, but you will be
if you keep that dog around.
Look at her. She's still itching
to take a bite out of me.
Why don't you get yourself
a nice seeing-eye girl?
I warned you I hit first,
but not usually quite that low.
- It's all right, forget it.
Pardon me.
- Ahem. May I have my check, please?
- Yes, sir.
I don't think that seeing-eye girl idea
would quite work out.
No? Why not?
Well, women have to be told
how much you love the color of their hair...
...and how much you love
the color of their eyes.
Women need admiration.
More than food and drink,
women need admiration.
With you,
I bet they'd sure have to sweat for it.
But admiration given away free
is valueless.
But admiration earned
has a lasting quality about it.
- Your check, sir.
- Thank you very much.
- Goodbye, Miss Stewart.
- What else did Charlie tell you about me?
...he said that you had
a sensational figure...
...but that you throw it about
like a burlesque queen.
He said you had beautiful legs...
...but they always walked
in the wrong direction.
He said that your mouth belonged
to an angel...
...but the words that came out of it
were pure tramp.
The next time you see Charlie Maylor...
...tell him to take those 88 keys,
black and white, one by one...
Stop it, Jenny.
Do you think if I believed one word
that he said...
...I'd have told you?
I'll be seeing you.
Sorry, Mr. Graham.
I didn't expect you home.
And you caught me sleeping.
Next time,
I'll try not to let you catch me. Sorry.
Didn't I tell you never to say sorry?
Yes, Mr. Graham, I'm so...
I almost said sorry. How about a drink?
Yes, make it a double, please.
- You had a short rehearsal.
- Uh-huh.
- I got fired.
- Fired?
Yes, I'm afraid I made a bad investment.
Two weeks salary, a thousand dollars.
Roundtrip ticket to Cuba, $200.
Well, someone will have a good time
on the money at least.
Yes, Charlie Maylor.
May I be so bold as to ask,
was it worth it?
- I don't know.
- Too bad.
There are no wise and comforting words
of Confucius to cover this situation.
- Aren't there other Chinese philosophers?
- Only my grandfather.
He always say,
"The easy ones are no fun. "
- Angry?
- No.
I was rude, wasn't I?
A little.
It was a dull party.
People like that can waste your life away.
Why be bored?
You're right, it was dull.
But it was the only party in town tonight.
All right, we'll do what you want.
You go on home, drop me off at my place.
I'll curl up in front of the fire
with a good book...
...or a bad girl.
Yes, madam?
Sorry, I was looking
for Mr. Graham's apartment.
Yes, ma'am. Come in, please.
- He lives here?
- Yes, ma'am.
Mr. Graham expecting you, ma'am?
No, but he'll see me.
Please sit down, ma'am.
Mr. Graham not wish interruptions.
You wait, please, ma'am.
- Tell him I wanna see him. Jenny Stewart.
- You take a seat, please, ma'am.
Duchess, you came in
in the wrong number.
The next one is
"Quintet for Concerto and Growl. "
- You have a visitor, Tye.
- Oh.
I think it's Jenny Stewart.
Quiet, Duchess.
Why don't you freshen
your drinks, boys?
I'd enjoy a touch. How about you, Jean?
Mr. Graham.
- What a pleasant surprise.
- Won't you come in?
- No, thanks.
I certainly didn't expect
your ivory tower to be jumping.
We were trying to find something new
in "Blue Moon. " Come and listen.
I'm on my way to a party and I'm late.
I wouldn't have come by at all if Joe hadn't
said you wouldn't come back to work.
Even if I asked you personally.
You never turn down a challenge,
do you?
We called it a bet.
Well, how big a bet?
Joe's a friend of mine...
Don't worry, it won't break him.
We start rehearsals
tomorrow morning at 9.
Good night.
Good night, Jenny.
- I know you weren't eavesdropping, Martha.
- Yes, I was.
They you know I've become a controversy
in the life of Jenny Stewart.
Even if it's only
a commercial controversy, a bet.
Tye, I don't get it.
You tell me you want her,
but you don't tell me why.
Is it because she's impossible to have?
That you wanna beat her down
and feel like a conqueror?
- No, it's nothing like that.
- Well, then what? There's no love in her.
Who knows?
If I thought it would do any good,
I'd fight you too.
Insult you, degrade you.
You don't have to do
anything like that, Martha.
I like you as you are.
But not enough.
What's the matter with me?
I guess you're everything
that any sensible man would ever want.
You're intelligent, sensitive and faithful.
But I can't see you.
I don't know what you look like.
- But you can see Jenny Stewart.
- Yes, I know what she looks like.
I'm sure you're lovely, but...
But it would be like putting my arms
around a shadow.
Well, I told you what I look like.
The boys have described me
down to the smallest detail.
And every detail sounds beautiful.
But it still isn't good enough.
I could never really see you.
Oh, Tye.
Tye, why didn't I know you before?
Why are you playing that?
I didn't know you'd come in yet,
Miss Stewart.
Play it again.
"Tenderly. "
I sang that in my first show.
- Did you know that?
- Vaguely.
I thought everybody had forgotten it.
Not everybody.
Miss Stewart, may I ask you a question?
Did Joe pay off?
I always collect.
Let's cut the music.
- Get to the rehearsal.
- Are you sure there really was a bet?
That was fine, boys. Whoops.
Have to break for dinner.
Be back at 7:15 ready to play.
Seven-fifteen, sharp.
Tye, I think she's doing a beautiful job.
How was that?
The consensus of opinion
is you're doing fine.
Consensus of opinion?
Would that include you?
By definition.
Why, yes, of course.
By definition.
How stupid of me to ask.
I liked it.
See you later.
Let's keep the visitors out
during rehearsals, huh?
- Miss Stewart?
- Yes?
I'm leaving now.
Your dinner's in the icebox.
All you have to do is heat it.
Thanks, Anne.
It's a beautiful day.
No Sunday's beautiful.
Have a good time.
Right. Bye.
When you hear the tone...
...the time will be
exactly 11:28 and three-quarters.
Stay tuned for your 11:30 edition
of the news broadcast which follows in six...
A- B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-o-P.
The number you have dialed is incorrect.
Please be sure you know the right number
and have dialed it correctly.
This is a recording.
The number you have dialed is incorrect.
Hello, Mom?
Heh. So I says, "Well, that's all
very flattering, Professor Pirkheimer...
...but really, $ 10 a lesson, twice a week.
We ain't got that much money.
We're poor people. "
So he says,
"Well, what about Miss Stewart?
Wouldn't she help?"
And I says, "I wouldn't hear of it.
I wouldn't allow it.
All right, I know what you're thinking.
My daughter, Jenny,
she's a very successful girl.
A wealthy woman, if you like. "
New necklace, dear?
"That's no reason why she should pay
for her sister's education...
...and buy her brother Marty a new car.
Just because a new car would give him a
better territory for his salesmanship career... no reason she should shell out
her poor hard-earned money. "
We're not talking about Marty's car.
We're talking about my piano lessons.
The professor says that Celia
will play Carnegie Hall yet.
- That with a talent like...
- All right, you sold me.
I'll pay for her lessons.
Send me the bills, I'll take care of them.
Celia, play something soothing.
Excuse me,
I have to make a telephone call.
Stop it. I hate that piece.
Monty? Jenny.
Listen, I've decided
to throw a party tonight.
Get some of the gang together, will you?
Oh, Cliff Willard, Ted, Jerry maybe.
You know who I like.
What do you mean, short notice?
Well, don't tell me
everybody's busy on Sunday night.
I know.
I have a family too.
And listen.
I think it'd be nice
if we had some music, don't you?
Some of the boys from the band.
And why don't you call that new man?
What's his name, Tye Graham?
Okay. See you around 6.
Thank you.
Good voice, huh?
In fact, a little too good
ever to be invited here again.
As long as they like him,
why should I care?
You're pure storybook.
You're a handmaid child of destiny.
You take a swatch of life,
twist it into the shape you want...
...and then shove it down
to the throats of the weaklings.
What's more,
they buy tickets to watch you.
You drink too much.
Hmm. This is my lens.
Strangely enough,
it brings everything into focus.
You know what I see?
The future: You without me.
- Did I ever tell you otherwise?
- No, no, you never did.
I never stood a chance with you, did I?
Jenny, there's no one like you on Earth.
You're the distilled
essence of effectiveness.
Your leg moves
and a million faces look up.
You throat utters a word
and even a blind man can see you.
Why don't you switch to water?
Monty. Excuse me.
I told you to get Tye Graham.
Why isn't he here?
He couldn't make it.
Like they say, if you want anything done,
do it yourself.
- It's no use, Jen. He isn't home.
- Where is he?
He was going to dinner with Joe.
Why isn't Joe here?
He's entertaining Tye Graham.
Very funny.
You're a laugh a minute.
Give me a cigarette between jokes.
What's the matter, Jen?
You asked for this party.
You know, I've been watching you.
I can hear that volcano rumbling.
What's with you and this Tye Graham?
Look, Monty.
You get 10 percent of my earnings,
but my problems belong to me 100 percent.
Now get back in there and tell them
to get out. All of them, and fast.
All right, everybody,
on stage for the finale.
Okay, come on.
On stage for the finale, Miss Stewart.
All right, all right. I'll be there.
I've been waiting for this for a long time.
- I don't think we'll have any trouble at all.
WoMAN: Just great.
Come on, everybody,
I'll buy you all a drink.
Oh, let's go.
Quiet while I give your instructions.
Remember, tomorrow morning,
10:00 at Penn Station.
- Good night. It was a wonderful show.
Thank you.
WoMAN: Good night.
- Did you get my compartment?
- Better. Got a drawing room.
Good. What space did you get for Tye?
He isn't going to Philadelphia.
- Chuck?
- Yes.
Put this in my dressing room.
So I says to her, I says,
"Well, that's all very well, Mrs. Kurtz.
I love the apartment.
I know it's a bargain.
Only $30 more than we're paying now.
But who are we to live in the East 50s?
Why, we're poor people.
The old apartment's good enough for us. "
She said, "After all,
you're Jenny Stewart's mother. "
- Take that coat off now!
- Oh, Jenny, it's such a beautiful coat.
You hardly ever wear it.
- Mother, will you get her...?
- All right, we won't get in your way.
Take off that coat, Celia.
Call us and let us know
how everything goes.
- I will, Mom. And don't worry.
- All right, good luck.
Thank you.
- I like the way it looks on you.
- Oh, Jenny, I'll even wear it to bed.
Oh, Anne?
Put these in the trunk. No.
You better get the shoes in that.
Never mind.
Get Tye Graham on the telephone.
Tell him I'll... Never mind, I'll talk to him.
Just get him on the phone.
Mr. Graham for Miss Stewart, please.
Oh, I see.
She said she doesn't know
if he can talk now.
Can you call him later?
What do you mean "she"?
This is Jenny Stewart
and I wanna talk to him now.
You sure took your time getting here.
Couch is straight ahead of you
to your left.
- Thank you.
- I'm surprised to see your dog with you.
I thought you'd taken my advice
about a seeing-eye girl.
What ever gave you that idea?
It certainly wasn't Duchess
who answered the telephone.
Wasn't it?
You know, you have the most revolting way
of answering a question with a question.
I do?
Was that the girl
who picked you up at the theater?
She's a member of our quintet.
Not too talented to be troublesome.
She's pretty.
So they tell me.
I met her through my editor.
What quintet and what editor?
I used to write drama
and music reviews before the war.
The quintet is a group of my friends.
We play together
because we like to be together.
Where did you find them?
Why do you want to know?
Like you once said about me,
I wanna know more about you.
Well, that's fair enough.
I knew most of them many years ago
before the war when I could see them.
I know their moods, I know their faces.
I know how they look when they frown
or when they smile.
With these people, I feel at ease.
I can see them.
I'm happy to be with them
because I can see them.
I understand.
Is that all you wanted to see me about?
Why aren't you going
into Philadelphia with us?
My work is finished.
I wish I could say that I've enjoyed
every minute of it, but I can't.
You are almost impossible to work with,
but I think I understand why.
Your first loyalty isn't to money, or having
your name up in lights, or even to yourself.
It's your audience, isn't it?
You sound as if
you're feeling sorry for me.
I am.
Why are you always needling?
Digging, ripping people apart.
What is it with you?
Is that how you get your kicks
or something?
I'll tell you why you should go
to Philadelphia.
We might have to change
a few routines during the tryout.
It's happened before.
Might have to do a lot of rearranging.
I might need your opinion.
Does my opinion have
any real importance to you, Jenny?
Of course.
You know your job, you're honest.
You hate me, but you're honest.
I'm sorry, I can't go with the company.
I've made other plans.
And I don't hate you, Jenny.
You sure give a good imitation of it.
All during rehearsals.
You made me feel
as if you were up there on that stage...
...and I was down in the pit
looking up at you.
I don't know how you did it,
but you made me feel about that big.
All right, Jenny.
You're wonderful.
You're marvelous.
You're the be all and end all.
The "times" in Times Square
and the "broad" in Broadway.
- Will that do?
- No, it won't.
And another thing.
Tonight after dress rehearsal... walked out without a goodbye,
good luck, nothing.
What do you expect me to say?
That I like you?
I don't.
That I'll miss you? I won't.
That I can't live without you? I can.
- Don't you shout at me.
- Why not?
You made a career of shouting at people.
- It's time you heard some of the echoes.
- Ah!
That's a wilted summer stock line
if ever I heard one.
And that's part of your act too.
Everything you don't say is corny.
But every time you open your mouth, you
expect to rock the world back on its heels.
I've rocked it a few times, buster.
Then why not give it a rest?
Why not relax?
Stop trying to make the world shout
"Hurrah for Jenny" every hour on the hour.
Do you know where this
is gonna take you?
Where, professor?
To a day when no producer's gonna use you
because you aren't worth all the trouble.
To a day when you're aren't the great Jenny
Stewart, but a cheap and vulgar has-been.
And then there'll be the bottle.
But even liquor won't lie to you.
I hit the bottom pretty fast, didn't I?
And even on the way down,
you won't be original.
You'll dye that lovely,
dark red mane of yours, that...
That Gypsy Madonna hair,
all colors of the rainbow.
Anything to hide
your real self from yourself.
"Gypsy Madonna"?
Gypsy Madonna was a painting by Titian,
an Italian artist.
I know all about him,
you don't have to tell me.
He lived in venice
and died of the plague.
Now get out of here
before you give it to me.
I didn't know you was coming
or I'd have gotten some high-class beer.
- Beer is beer.
- Not anymore.
They don't make it like they did
when your father was drinking.
You could taste the hop.
And the malt used to hit you in back
of the head like a ton of brick.
- Nowadays, it all taste mild.
- It's okay.
And them pretzels,
they ain't no bargain neither.
Look at the thin, scrawny things. Hah.
Ain't got enough salt on them
to make a cat thirsty.
I'm not hungry anyway. Thanks.
- Something wrong?
- No, it tastes fine.
Well, it ain't the beer I'm talking about.
Here it is midnight. And you're here and
you've got an early train in the morning.
It is late.
I'd better be going. You must be tired.
Well, don't go on my account, Jen.
You know, I always stay up late.
I like to hear that
Mr. Nightclub's Platter Party.
The records he plays are square,
but, oh, he talks an awful hip commercial.
- I know.
- You listen to him to, huh?
He's company.
Trouble with the show?
Your health?
You know, doctor-type health?
Need money?
No, Mom.
That I got.
- Man trouble.
- No.
I'm gonna break out that bottle of
champagne I've been keeping for my wake.
Come on, take off the shoes
and tell me all about it.
- Nothing much to say.
- Well, say it.
- Well, he's a man that...
- Well, that's a profit anyway.
At least he ain't no hothouse clotheshorse
like you always get in the papers with.
He's blind.
Your father was somewhat bald,
you know, when I married him.
I guess we all carry
some infirmity with us.
Every time we get together. Wow.
- Really?
- We're fighting.
Now, according
to Mrs. Osterhoff's butcher...
...that is known as basic sex antagonism.
I call it...
Gypsy Madonna.
I call it love.
- What's that you said?
- He called me a Gypsy Madonna.
My hair hasn't been
that color in seven years.
Gypsy Madonna, Gypsy Mado...
Mom, where are you going?
The doctor told you not to walk.
If you want something,
tell me and I'll get it.
All right.
I want my scrapbook. It's in the cabinet.
Midnight and she wants scrapbooks yet.
It's the red one on top.
It's the first one I kept on you.
I got 10 of them now.
Every story and picture I could find.
And what I missed, Mrs. Osterhoff found.
- Is this it?
- Yeah, that's the one.
Believe it or not, Jen,
I've always been proud of my daughter.
- Is that me?
- Sure. Who did you think it was?
I tell you, Jen, I must be getting old.
I used to be able to rattle them off
word for word.
- Ah. Here it is.
- "'Gotham Today. ' By Tye Graham. "
That's him, Mom.
You don't say.
"One production number in the second act
featured a girl with auburn red hair.
She danced and sang one song,
'Tenderly. '
She seemed to fill the stage
all by herself.
Among a crowd of born dance hall
hostesses, she was a... "
Gypsy Madonna.
You see?
"Her name is Jenny Stewart...
...and she made the rest of the show
difficult to remember.
I kept looking for her again,
but she never returned until the finale.
I doubt that any man in the audience
was watching the principals.
I know I wasn't.
Tomorrow, I leave for the service...
...and no more pleasant memories
could I carry with me...
...than that short
but vivid glimpse of one Jenny Stewart. "
That's where
the "Gypsy Madonna" came from.
When it comes to Jenny Stewart...
...the man who wrote this
could never be blind.
I wonder what he saw in me.
I wasn't that good then.
Maybe you forgot how good you was.
Put on that old record of yours,
"Tenderly. "
Go ahead.
The one you gave me on my...
Well, one of my earlier birthdays.
Now, don't mind the scratches.
It might sound a little tired,
but you'll see what I mean.
Incidentally, Jenny...
...your father wasn't just somewhat bald
when I married him.
He was bald as a billiard ball. Ha!
Well, it's senseless music, Martha.
But it's Jenny.
Blatant and brash.
That's the way she is.
That's the way I see her.
Where did I put my pipe, please?
Where's Martha?
She left a few minutes ago.
How did you manage that?
It was easy.
She loves you.
How did you manage to get Charlie Maylor
on a plane to Cuba?
That was easy. He hates you.
How did you know about Charlie and me?
I'm psychic.
Also, I phoned Havana.
Look, Jenny, I told you, I'm not coming
to Philadelphia with you. That's final.
You should come.
If only to hear
your Gypsy Madonna singing.
I read that old review you wrote.
It was a little corny...
...but find me a guy who can write
a love letter that isn't a little corny.
It was purely a professional opinion.
No more, no less.
Why don't you stop hiding?
You hide behind that keyboard.
- Cut it out.
- You hide behind the dog.
You hide behind
that smug look on your face.
- You also hide behind...
- Jenny, get out of here.
Why didn't you come right out
and tell me how you felt about me?
What were you afraid of?
That I'd say no?
Afraid I'd laugh at you
because you're blind?
Jenny, get out of here!
It's all right for you
to call yourself blind...
...but you don't like it
when somebody else does, do you?
I finally did it.
It took a long time,
but I finally cracked your shell.
You really wrecked the joint.
I did a thorough job?
Need help getting up?
No, thank you.
Then how about helping me up?
That's the first time I ever heard
Jenny Stewart ask for anything.
It's the first time
Jenny ever needed anything.
And I do need you, Tye.
I know you do.
You need me too.
I know that too.
Guess I better start taking lessons.
What kind?
How to be a seeing eye.
How about Duchess?
Can she cook?
Can she sing?
Not very well.
Believe me, Duchess has her limitations.