Fame (1982) s01e13 Episode Script

A Musical Bridge

Where the pelvis goes, the hips follow, all right? Feel that? I detest that cacophony.
Told you.
Right, you told me.
Now I'm gonna tell you.
Do you mind telling me what I'm supposed to be afraid of? You're afraid of becoming a schlock-meister.
You got big dreams.
You want fame.
Well, fame costs and right here is where you start paying in sweat.
Forget it, Leroy.
You can't copy my report.
Look, Amatullo, I didn't buy you breakfast so you'd say no.
Plus it's an honest bribe, man.
You gotta respect it.
You didn't wait for the punch line.
You can't copy my report because I handed it in three days ago when it was due.
And I appreciated it, Danny.
Small world.
How you doin', Miss Sherwood? I was doing fine until I heard this conversation.
Leroy, you've had your last extension.
You promised this report at the beginning of class this morning.
I expect to see it.
Your original.
No copies.
I suggest you go right to the library.
Don't waste any more time.
Right, Miss Sherwood.
We're on our way.
Nice talking to you.
Have a nice day now.
Come on, man.
Catlike, all right? Catlike, girl, come on.
Why does it always have to be catlike? Why can't anyone ever move like a koala? Would you listen? Where the pelvis goes, the hips follow, all right? Hips.
What do you know from hips? Maybe you know from catlike, but if we're talking hips, I'm in charge here.
You're built like an ice pick.
Come on, would you stop it? I wanna learn this step if I can.
You can.
All it takes is a catlike pelvis.
- Some of us got it, some of us don't.
- I got it! What? It's a nice pelvis, Montgomery, but catlike it's not.
No, no, what I got, Schwartzy, is the new cassette by the C-47 s.
- You actually found it.
- Ask a miracle, and ye shall receive.
- Who'd you have to pay off? - Nobody.
Straight retail.
Listen, I'd take the time to be impressed, but I wanna hear it.
Come on.
- Wait a minute.
I know- - Woman, you are fickle.
- You just told me to play the thing.
- All right, all right.
Leroy would die to hear this.
Somebody go find him.
Somehow I get the feeling that you just might pass on recommending Leroy as valedictorian.
Somehow I think you guessed it.
He's turned in exactly And if I took off all I should have for his grammar and his spelling on those papers I'd give him less than a zero.
Maybe he figures he's ahead of the game by handing in nothing.
I'm sorry.
I don't find Leroy's behavior funny or cute anymore.
What are you gonna do? Are you gonna fail him? Wait, before you answer that, let me just tell you one thing.
He's definitely not failing in my classes.
He's really working hard.
I have to give him A's.
You know, if Leroy were a star quarterback and you were his football coach talking to his English teacher I'd swear you were asking me to go easy on him.
- Is that what it sounds like? - Yes.
I'm sorry, Elizabeth.
You know what this means between you and me.
It means you buy breakfast.
And I figure out a way to deal with Mr.
They followed me home, Ma.
Could I keep 'em? I guess Leroy couldn't find the library.
"Do the gimme that, gimme that.
Do the gimme that right now.
" - What a sweet sound.
Is that a lullaby? - Hey, don't knock it, Bruno.
That tape has been sold out in every store this side of New Jersey for three weeks.
If my mother hadn't called to reserve me one, I would have never have gotten it.
And your cultural life would have been totally impoverished.
Look, I know it's not exactly your kind of music.
Music? Did you say music? "Do the gimme that, gimme that"? - You have to admit, it is catchy.
- So is athlete's foot.
I read in Cash Box that the album went platinum.
I don't care if it went chopped liver.
The only thing you gotta do to turn out a song like that is turn off your mind.
- No, it's not that easy.
- Oh, no? Listen.
Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind.
Why not.
Sho-Sho-Sho-Shorofsky Where's the music profsky Here he comes beatin'his gums What's he gonna say Have a nice day Everybody listen to the music of Tchaikovsky Prepare yourself for the coming of Shorofsky Shorofsky, he's coming He's coming, I hear him I hear him, I smell him.
Shorofsky is coming.
I hear him, I smell him Leroy, a teacher has certain responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities is to use every resource to help a student.
Do you understand? Not yet, but I figure "somethin's" coming.
"Something, " Leroy.
Something I should have done a long time ago.
I want to discuss your academic problems with your parents.
- Who? - Your mother and father.
Now, I notice from your records that you don't have a telephone so I'd appreciate your delivering this note setting up an appointment here tomorrow afternoon.
They both work.
My parents both work.
I'll stay here as long as necessary.
Into the evening, if that's more convenient.
- The evening? - That's right.
Look, I'll do all your English stuff.
You don't even have to bug my parents.
I do, Leroy.
I do.
You have them here tomorrow.
I mean it.
It was nothing personal, Mr.
I was putting down the music, not you.
He could have used any teacher's name.
I could have used numbers, sounds.
Your name was only a random accident.
I was trying to prove the basic structure is nothing more than a random accident.
Did he convince you? Well, I have to admit it did sound really random.
In that case, my name was used in a good cause.
- Sir? - I detest that cacophony.
That's a great word for it.
I am pleased we finally agree on something.
I find the entire New Wave phenomenon mindless and depressing.
That's exactly what I was trying to prove to Montgomery.
- It was mindless.
- Thank you very much.
I'm gonna get outta here before you pick something up and throw it at me 'cause I'm gonna say a nasty word you hate so much.
I'm waiting.
The song was mindless, and it was- here's that terrible word- very commercial.
You got me into this spot in the first place.
How you laying this one on me? What'd I do? If you wasn't yelling so loud, Sherwood wouldn't have heard what I was asking.
- I wasn't yelling.
- Look, you're doing it again.
If you had did your homework assignment in the first place- - I couldn't do my homework.
- Why not? You know what kind of neighborhood I live in.
What's that gotta do with it? I was walking home from the subway last week and got mugged.
And they took your homework? Two of'em.
You should have seen them.
They was some big suckers.
What do you figure they did with your homework, Leroy? You figure they pawned it? Or maybe they traded it in for a lot of drugs.
Is that what you figure? I figure you owe me, Amatullo, and I'm here to collect.
What do you figure you're gonna collect? A note from my mama.
Mama? Come on, Bruno.
You're just making it harder for yourself, man.
- Play the song and get it over with.
- That's it, just play it.
What song? I thought this was a committee meeting to discuss ticket sales for the museum tour.
That's tomorrow, Doris.
Come on, Bruno.
We can use a few laughs.
Come on, play.
You might as well get it over with.
They're not gonna give up.
- Come on.
- I don't think you'll find it very funny.
- It's a put-down of something you like.
- Play it.
I can handle satire.
- Come on.
- I've never even heard your work.
- Okay, sports fans, here goes.
- Someone watch the door.
I'm not even supposed to be here.
- Come on, Bruno, man.
- Let's go, play.
Come on.
Play the song.
Let's go.
All right.
- Sho-Sho-Sho-Shorofsky - Shorofsky! You failed.
Where's the music profsky Here he comes beatin'his gums What's he gonna say Have a nice day Everybody listen to the music of Tchaikovsky Prepare yourself for the coming of Shorofsky - Whoa.
- Shorofsky's gonna kill you.
Sho-Sho-Sho-Shorofsky Long-hair music just don't get me off-sky Go, Bruno! - Are you taping this? - Dummy up.
- Why? - It's none of your business.
Watch him wipe the breakfast from his face Shorofsky's coming The tension's getting higher Is hejust a man or a musical messiah Whoo! All right, Bruno! Shorofsky, he's coming I hear him, I smell him - He's right there! - Shorofsky, he's coming I hear him, I smell him Shorofsky, he is coming I hear him, I smell him I hear him, I smell him.
Shorofsky is coming.
I hear him, I smell him Shorofsky is coming All right! I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.
- I knew you'd understand.
- I do, Leroy.
I do.
I mean, despite the suspicious vibrations I'm getting from this epistle I won't accuse you of forgery.
Accuse what? I'm meeting you halfway, Leroy.
Don't push it.
Now, if your parents actually got my note and if they actually sent this response then they didn't understand its importance.
They have to meet with me in person.
Tomorrow at 4:00.
No excuses.
Especially not this one.
- What kind of favor? - A phone call.
If you want me to fix you up with a chick, your warming up hasn't reached your brain.
There's no chick I need you to call.
I need you to call Sherwood.
I don't think Sherwood's gonna go out with you, even if I ask her.
She don't get it.
You gotta make her think you're my mother.
- Me? Your mother? - Yeah, you can pull it off.
Just call.
Say you can't come in tomorrow.
You can give me a good straightening out.
I'll give you a good straightening out now.
That's a stupid idea, and you'll get us both booted outta here.
- You mean you won't do it? - That's what I mean.
Then next time we're dancing, you come flying expecting me to catch you you remember this conversation, remember it good.
- Watch out.
You made me lose my place.
- Forget your place.
We gotta talk.
- Knock it off.
We're gonna be late.
- Who cares? They love you, Bruno! - What they? - The Psychic Powers.
I got no time for this.
You're into selling horoscopes? I'm not interested.
Would you focus for just 1 0 seconds? The Psychic Powers is a new rock group.
The lead singer is the son of my mother's hair stylist.
Last night I played them your Shorofsky song.
How? Details are for small minds.
I did it for your own good, Bruno.
And I'm telling you, it could pay off even better than I thought.
This is some kind of joke, right? A put-on, right? No, it's true.
Every word of it.
I got you a gig with one of the most promising bands in all of New Wave music.
This is Bruno you're talking to.
I despise that music.
Forget it.
- Actually, we can't forget it.
- Why not? Because we have an appointment to meet the guys this afternoon.
We? Since when did you and I get engaged? Well, they said I could be a kind of gofer.
If the record deal works out, sometimes I can sit in on some of the sessions.
A lot of guys get their starts being record producers that way.
They pay money, Bruno.
Real money.
And finally, I'm hurting in that department.
Bad? Bad.
What kind of dollars are we talking about? We won't know until we talk to them this afternoon.
One meeting.
What could it hurt? I hate that kind of music.
How'd it go today? You and Shorofsky get into it like always? No, it was pretty quiet actually.
Just the regular stuff.
How about you? What was your day like? My day is my day.
Yelling people, honking horns.
Tourists who think that a tip is telling a guy what football team to bet on.
It is not a summer festival behind this wheel.
I'm hip.
I'm gonna swing by the market, pick up dinner before we head home.
I wanna get done eating by 8:00 tonight.
- Is something on the tube? - Casablanca, sweetheart.
I wanna see it again.
If she can take it, I can take it.
Here's lookin' at you, kid.
- I think you're on your own.
- What do you got, homework? No, I gotta meet Montgomery.
Montgomery? Where and why? He's got this friend who works for a record company.
Thinks we may be able to pick up some sort of job there or something.
A stock boy, that kind of thing? I'm not really sure.
Hey, school comes first.
Remember that, huh? And you can't go taking on a full-time job.
Even if the job paid a lot of money? There's only one reason you take a job that would make you a lot of money.
Which is? Which is to pay forJuilliard after you get out of high school.
I think you're on your own with Casablanca tonight.
Okay, sweetheart, okay.
Now let's talk about the men under my command.
Conspiring against me, all of them.
But the strawberry incident, that's where I trapped them.
Now let me guess, it isn't a love letter.
I don't wanna be in your way, girl.
Should I just let you be? You sure got a full head of steam about something.
I've got a full head of Mr.
LeroyJohnson is what I've got.
- No-show again? - He didn't show.
His parents didn't show.
No call, no excuse, no nothin'.
You're starting to talk like Leroy, Miss Sherwood.
- Funny.
- What are you gonna do? If the mountain won't go to Mohammed, then this Mohammed is gonna go to the mountain.
Elizabeth, hold on now.
You're gonna go to Leroy's place? - That's the general idea.
- It's a dumb idea.
- You ever been in that neighborhood? - Nope.
But I know where it is.
Damn it, would you slow down? I've had six hours of dance classes.
I don't need to go jogging down the halls after you.
How about you just wait until Friday to go to Leroy's? - What's magic about Friday? - Then I can go with you.
I can't go today.
Lydia, I am not a child.
In most things, no, but in that part of town, I'm not so sure.
Look, this is the second time you've tried to slow me up about Leroy.
I mean, it's all very well he's gonna get great reviews as a dancer.
Don't you think it might be nice if he could read them? I'm gonna forget you said that.
No, I'm not.
My name is Elizabeth Sherwood.
I'm a teacher from the School of the Arts.
I- Leroy, this is where you live? Yeah.
I don't understand.
Where are your parents? You had to keep pushing, didn't you? Okay, now you know.
I ain't got no parents.
Thank you.
I'm not sure what to say.
No rule you gotta say anything.
Your parents are where? Well, my daddy is gone.
He's been gone a long time.
I don't know where to.
My mama, she's is Detroit with her mama.
I don't know when she's coming back.
She got this job up there working for a family.
She couldn't find one here.
- How do you manage? - You mean money? I got a job swabbing out that pool hall across the street.
Keeping that place looking halfway decent.
The owner, who owns that pool hall, he owns this building.
So I get a good deal on the place.
I'm doing okay.
I'll keep on doing okay too.
That's if you don't mess me up.
Me? What do you mean? You've been pushing all into my life.
You'll probably do something dumb.
Send me to the Welfare or somethin'.
That might not be a bad idea.
Yeah, I swear, you send me to Welfare and I'll cut out and no one will find me.
No one.
There must be another way.
Not for me.
This is it.
This is my life.
It's working.
I'm gonna keep it that way too.
I have to think about all this.
Sure, you think about it.
Want some more corn chips? - I'd better be going.
- Right.
I think you ought to know I think you're too young to live like this.
Young? Lady, I ain't been young in a long, long time.
Montgomery, do not try and kid a kidder.
What are you trying to pull off with this deal? I'm trying to help Bruno.
That's all I'm trying to do.
Does not compute.
Does not compute.
Yeah, I'm trying to help me.
But if I'm gonna help Bruno, I've gotta help me.
At least we know you're properly motivated.
You know what I don't understand is why you think this record deal is such a terrific thing and Bruno doesn't.
It's different perspectives, that's why.
All he hears is the music, which he hates.
The boy has excellent taste, I'd say.
That's not the point.
There's incredible potential there for him and for me.
We're getting in on the ground floor of a new, young company.
Yeah, but it puts out records that he hates.
Music like that is a fad.
It's in now, and it's out three months from now.
It's dumb to turn down a chance to get in because of music that's on the way out.
Something's wrong with me.
He's starting to make sense.
Don't tell me.
Tell Bruno.
Pump him up about the thing.
It's for his own good.
- And yours.
- Am I denying it? Shove down, you guys.
Make some room.
What's wrong? Can't keep anything from you, can we? You've already spotted it.
Spotted what? We are all so choked up because you and Montgomery haven't forgotten about us, the little people.
I mean, eating in the same cafeteria is one thing but at the same table? You don't know what that means to people like us.
- Little people like us.
- Knock it off.
Would you autograph my napkin? My notebook? Anything? Oh, my God, I'll break my leg.
You can sign my cast.
Back up the tape.
I gotta hear this again.
He lives by himself? Yep.
Plus the cockroaches.
And a ballet poster.
- A ballet poster? - That's right.
You gonna blow the whistle on him? I really ought to go to Welfare.
Do you think they could find him the right kind of foster family? Doesn't matter.
Even if they could, then they'd have to find Leroy.
What do I do? You're asking me for advice? Yes.
Last time we talked, you didn't want much help from me, as I recall.
Last time we talked I hadn't seen where Leroy lives, how he lives.
That made a big difference, huh? - Of course.
- Why? Because- Because it's a miracle that he gets here to school at all.
And as far as I'm concerned, if you've got a miracle going, you don't mess with it.
I don't know what you need advice for.
Sounds like you've made up your mind.
You're right, I have.
If your conversation is more serious than my need for a cup of tea, I can come back.
Though my need for a cup of tea is a rather severe one.
Come and get your tea, Mr.
I have papers to grade back in my room anyway.
See ya later.
There's a Yiddish word for the kind of look you have on your face.
- What? What is it? - I don't know.
But there's a Yiddish word for everything.
I assume there's a word for that look too.
- Can I help? - No.
I wish you could.
But I've been here before.
All anyone can do is just wait to help pick up the pieces.
- You've been where before? - Sometimes in dance class when a kid comes up with a new idea about how to do a step and I try to explain to them why it won't work they think I'm being a coward because I don't wanna try something new.
So, they try it, they fall, and I pick 'em up.
A little tougher, a little wiser.
Someone is heading for a fall? Someone is heading for a fall.
Double-dipped fudge ripple.
Double chocolate and a double butter pecan.
Did you finish reading it yet? Yeah, I went over it a second time.
I still don't understand it though.
It's a pretty standard kind of contract, Mr.
They want Bruno for demo records and sweetening some tracks in the studio.
When did you become a contract expert? I took it to my mom's agent, and he explained the whole thing.
It doesn't say anything about Bruno composing anything.
That part of it, they kind of intend to play by ear.
It's a foot in the door.
- Who owns it? - Who owns what? Say Bruno submits a song and they like it.
Who owns the song after they get it done? Bruno would be the composer, but they would own the rights to it.
Sounds like Bruno gets to chew, but they get to swallow.
Did Mozart sell the rights to Figaro? Pop, I'm not Mozart.
You're not much of anything in this conversation so far.
You got an opinion? Yeah, I got an opinion.
It's like Montgomery says.
It's a foot in the door.
What do you say? Everybody's saying I gotta be realistic about what kind of jobs are offered to me.
And at my age, with my experience, or lack of it maybe I shouldn't be all that choosy.
Everything you're saying makes sense.
You're being very logical.
Very realistic.
Why do I feel like crying? There's a place for the parent to initial at the bottom of the second page.
What are you doing in here? Pliés and stuff.
Don't give me any lip, Mr.
You know there's no class scheduled in here till third period.
What are you doing in here? Where are you supposed to be? In Sherwood's class, but she excused me.
Don't play with me, Leroy.
And don't try to tell me that she excused you.
I know she didn't.
Told you.
Right, you told me.
Now I'm gonna tell you.
You enjoy yourself in here today.
Have a real good time.
'Cause this is the last time you're gonna have this room to yourself ever.
Why you so mad at me? I didn't even do nothin'.
That's just the problem, Leroy.
That's just what I'm gonna correct.
Shorofsky, I need to borrow Mrs.
- May I ask why? - No.
I see.
Well, then of course you may.
Thank you.
Yes, both Hemingway and John O'Hara write dialogue that is realistic in style but you drama majors should see this very clearly.
Hemingway's dialogue is meant to be read, rather than spoken.
O'Hara's dialogue, on the other hand- Hello, Mrs.
Is there something I can do for you? Miss Grant would like to speak to you.
Berg will be with you until the end of class.
Hemingway writes nice.
So, Martelli, are you a recording maven yet? Not exactly, but the wheels are turning.
You don't sound very happy about it.
Mixed feelings, I guess.
I can't blame you.
Wait a minute.
I'm not afraid.
I can play that junk wearing boxing gloves.
That I know.
That's what you're afraid of.
As I said, I don't blame you.
Look, mixed feelings is what I said.
And afraid is what I said.
And I'm right and you're wrong.
Do you mind telling me what it is I'm supposed to be afraid of? You're afraid of doing junk, Mr.
You're afraid of doing junk before you have developed your skills to the point where you can do quality.
You're afraid of becoming a schlock-meister.
It's lunchtime.
I'm hungry.
Excuse me.
- I am helping Leroy! - Yeah? How? By understanding, by not reporting him to Welfare.
You didn't have to.
You're his Welfare and you're crippling him.
Lydia, if you saw how he lived- I know how he lives.
I was there.
Then you saw that pitiful little room.
No, not his room, mine.
I grew up in another pitiful little room.
- I'm sorry.
- So am I.
And that's why you gotta sit on Leroy and help him get out of that room.
If I flunk him, he'll never finish school.
Is it better for him to sail through school and go out into that real world not knowing anything? Of course not.
- Then help him.
- How? - Fight him! - He needs allies, not opponents.
Leroy's allies are his opponents.
Kids like that don't know how to move their butts unless they're challenged.
Their whole life has been a challenge.
Listen, you let him, he'll use you, and he'll come up with zilch.
If you square off with him, tell him, "Buckle down, do the work or else" - then he'll try.
- What if he doesn't make it? He sure as hell isn't gonna make it the other way.
Elizabeth, this is the only chance he has.
Don't just hand him a crock of garbage.
Make him fight for the real thing.
Even if he thinks you're the meanest, toughest teacher a poor child ever had.
You love him enough to let him get mad at you if that's what it takes.
The thing to do I figure is kinda keep a low profile.
I know I'm tagging along on your credits and all but I think we can both get something really good going there.
Do you know you've developed a habit of drifting off when I talk to you? Is that the South Bronx diet? I'm told it's very effective.
Leroy, we're going to talk.
No, damn it, I'm going to talk, and you are going to listen.
How's that for playing your kind of great music? Very good, Mr.
But you can do better, and you know it.
I'll call 'em and cancel.
At least Bruno can play your kind of music.
I'd like to see you try and play his.
Come on, Mr.
Why don't you try and play his music? Try and play his music, Mr.
Come on.
Nobody appreciates good music.
I think it's an absolute crime that you have to live the way that you do.
But, Leroy, I didn't set the world up.
And if I'm going to help you, and I am going to help you then we're going back to my old way right now, the tough way.
The way you don't like.
Maybe we could start the tough stuff next semester.
Johnson, we'll start the tough stuff in two minutes when you come to my room to get the assignments I've let you weasel out of.
Two minutes.
I'm listenin'.