Hollywood (2020) s01e05 Episode Script


Hancock 54533.
I need you to come to the house.
I've made a decision.
- Would anyone like a canape?
- No, Gertie, it's 2:00 in the morning.
I would like a drink, though.
Thank you all for coming.
I couldn't sleep,
and since I'm the boss now,
that means you can't sleep either.
I've thought a lot about what the right
thing to do is regarding this picture.
And I refuse to let anybody
say a woman bankrupted her studio
on a bad bet
because she followed her heart.
We are not casting Camille Washington.
The picture we're making is Peg,
and we're casting my daughter.
- It's the prudent move, Mrs. Amberg.
- No it isn't, it's wrong.
Avis, the fact that you are
the first female in history
to run a studio is exactly why
you should cast Camille.
Look at what's out there.
Walt Disney?
What did he put out last year?
Song of the South,
a movie where slaves were so happy,
they didn't even want to leave
the plantation.
People are sick of this shit, Avis.
Look at all the folks
that came out and picketed.
I was one of them.
I hated that movie.
- It's a racist piece of trash.
- Then you understand that this town
needs a swift kick in the pants.
Maybe it takes a woman to show
there are other ways to make movies.
Let's cut to the chase here.
What are you risking, really?
The studio going under, for one.
Yes, Lon, we all get that.
No, I'm serious.
What are you risking personally?
Ace is clearly not in good health.
If he wakes up, finds out what you did,
divorces you, you still get half.
Either way, Avis, you're fine.
Look, that is a Gauguin, right?
You could just sell that and live
comfortably until the day you die.
And when that day comes,
you could look back on your life
knowing you did the right thing.
But if you don't do it,
how many more years is it going to take
before a colored actress
gets a goddamn lead in a movie?
You're both right.
- Okay, we're doing it.
- Mrs. Amberg,
- before you go and take
- You're fired.
I don't know if I can fire you,
but if I can, you're fired.
We're making Meg.
Now, everyone,
go home before I change my mind.
We'll put out a press release
first thing in the morning.
Tell Camille Washington she has the role.
Well, this is rather thrilling.
Avis, I'm very proud of you.
- You're good.
- No, I'm just fed up.
There's no business ♪
- Whoo!
- Like show business ♪
Beautiful, beautiful.
This is the expensive stuff, baby.
Everything about it is appealing ♪
Raymond, what? What are you doing?
- What Oh, my
- Give me your hands.
You got the part.
- Are you serious?
- You got the part!
You got the part!
You're a movie star!
Yesterday they told you
You would not go far ♪
That night you open
And there you are ♪
I got good news, pally.
So they're changing the title to Meg,
- your name is staying on the picture.
- Meg?
I'll take it! Yes, sir!
- Rock.
- Rock!
- What are you doing here?
- They're keeping my name on the picture.
That's great.
What about me? Did I get the part?
Mrs. Amberg will see you now.
What is it that couldn't possibly
have waited until dinner time?
Well, it's about Peg.
Or I guess now it's Meg.
I'm sorry, Claire,
to have disappointed you once again,
but I'm not just your mother anymore.
I have a studio to run.
I came to say I think you made
the right decision.
Camille's right for the part.
But still, it couldn't have been an
easy decision to make, choosing to
make the film, knowing how hard
it's going to be. I'm, um
I'm, uh
I'm proud of you.
Thank you, darling.
Oh. Oh, all right.
You don't know
what it means to hear you say that.
I have to tell you,
after watching your screen test,
I realized something.
You're a better actress than I ever was.
- Please, you're just saying that.
- Claire, it's the God's honest truth.
And that's why I've decided
to put you in the picture.
What? Really?
- Yes.
- Really?
It's a good part.
It's Meg's best friend,
and when she finds out
that she's cut from the film,
you're there to tell her
everything's going to be okay.
Oh, Mother. Thank you!
Thank you.
Your breakfast is ready.
Morning, sunshine.
Well, I will never get tired of someone
making breakfast for me.
That's nice.
I had a great time with the both of you,
Ms. McDaniel.
I thought you was naughty,
but that Tallulah, something else.
My ears are buzzing.
What are you saying about me,
Tony, my dear?
The name is Troy.
I'm sorry.
I've always been terrible with names.
I once introduced a friend as Martini.
Her name's actually Olive.
- Mm.
- Ooh.
All right, now you two cut that out.
I would've thought y'all had your fill
with all that lovin' we did last night.
See you next weekend?
Yeah, sugar.
Well, I'll be damned.
I don't see what
the big deal is. It's just a few photos.
I don't think you understand.
Hurrell only photographs actors
who are about to make
that big star move in their career.
It's a big deal.
- Hi, is this Camille Washington?
- Speaking.
You don't know me,
but my name is Hattie McDaniel.
It's Hattie McDaniel!
Uh, yes, of course I know who you are,
Ms. McDaniel.
Well, look, I've been reading about you
in the trades,
and my heart just about jumped
out of my chest.
I never thought we'd make the leap
in this country, but here we are.
Now, am I to understand that you are
playing the lead role in a studio picture?
That is correct.
So she's the romantic lead,
not a fucking maid.
No, ma'am, it's the lead role.
motherfucker, praise be!
I'm so proud of you,
but you should know,
it is going to be rough.
I've been through it. Hollywood.
So if you need anything, darling,
just ask me.
- All right?
- Yes, ma'am.
That is very generous of you,
and I will be sure to give you a call.
Bye now.
What did she say?
- Hello?
- Who's that?
Uh, yeah, of course I know his work.
I'm very excited.
All right.
All right, thank you.
George Hurrell wants to photograph me.
Me and Camille.
- The guy who does all those glamour shots?
- Yeah.
Yeah, he's about as famous
as they come, huh?
Boy, Ace Pictures
must really believe in me.
This is a big day for us, baby.
A big day for our family.
I'm going to be a movie star.
Couldn't be happier for you, Jack.
bring the exposure back a bit, please.
Take a smoke.
- What are you putting on me?
- Mostly baby oil with a bit of lanolin.
Makes the light stick to your face.
You will break out tomorrow,
but it will be worth it.
Nice and relaxed.
Head back a bit more. Terrific.
Mr. Hurrell, I've heard about actors
having a good side and a bad side.
I'm just wondering, do I have a good side?
Don't talk, please.
How do you feel about being photographed
in the nude?
Excuse me?
It's art. It'll be tasteful,
nothing salacious, I promise.
Also, tends to boost an actor's profile.
- Mr. Hurrell, whatever you want.
- Good answer.
So we're doing this picture,
but we're doing it on a budget.
Mrs. Amberg is really
sticking her neck out here
and we're already seeing pushback.
In retaliation for Meg,
our movie All Hands on Deck is being
picketed in several cities in Georgia.
So this picture carries a significant risk
to the studio, financial and otherwise,
so it is imperative
is imperative that we stay on budget.
- There's no exceptions.
- Just to underscore that, Richard,
three of our contract players
are refusing to work on any film
while Meg is in production.
- Who?
- Lawson, Daniels, McHadden.
We can sue for breach of contract.
We'll fire them first, then we sue.
- Who are we firing?
- Lawson, Daniels, and McHadden.
No surprise there.
Andy McHadden is practically in the Klan.
I just got off the phone with the lawyers.
Every theater owner
in the state of Alabama
has now pulled All Hands on Deck.
The picture will not recoup its budget,
though it might not have anyway.
It's a terrible picture.
I should probably take this time
to mention that
Camille and I received
two very interesting telephone calls.
The first was from Hattie McDaniel
saying congratulations.
The second was
well, it was not so nice.
You get on a bus to Los Angeles,
you come to my house,
and you say that to my face.
Now fuck off!
Who was that? What happened?
- I presume he called her
- Yes.
He did.
We'll move you onto the lot
while we're filming.
You can take one of the bungalows.
You will have full-time security.
- Thank you, Mrs. Amberg.
- We're moving forward.
I will not be bullied.
However, it is now clear that Meg
will not run in every theater.
If we're to break even on this movie,
we have to do it on the cheap,
all across the board.
So, as we fill out the cast,
we use homegrown talent.
Now, what roles still need to be filled?
- Here she comes.
- She's gonna be
Here she is.
- Hello, Jeanne, dear.
- Hello.
- So nice to see you.
- Let's sit.
Yes. Thank you, Avis,
for inviting me here.
- Well
- Well, is it good news or bad news?
I I had heard through the grapevine
that I might be up for a nice part in Peg
and that now it's Meg.
Jeanne, you know I think the world of you,
which is why I wanted
to tell you this personally.
Oh, God, yes, it's it's bad news.
We were considering you
for a role in Meg,
but we're going in a different direction.
You're just not right
for that particular role.
All right.
Well I appreciate you letting me know.
All right. That's it?
You're not gonna put up a fight?
What would you have me say?
Avis, cast me or I'll kill myself?
I mean, this is your studio.
You can cast whoever you want,
I'm just lucky to still be on contract.
Well, that's my point.
Please sit down, you're making me nervous.
Avis and I have thought a lot about you,
I know you feel neglected.
You're a great actress.
You're respected all across town,
but you've never really broken through,
and here you are under contract,
just spinning your wheels.
So you're going to fire me?
I'm giving you a picture.
A role that will finally do you justice
and take you to that next level.
A juicy role that could win you the Oscar.
I Is this is some kind of trick?
It's not? But
- Is it Helen Keller?
- No.
How would you like to play Lee Miller
in the Lee Miller biography?
I I actually don't know who she is.
- Well, she was one of Man Ray's models.
- Then she became a war photographer.
Thank you.
I'm so moved that you would do
such a thing for me.
That you would see me
and what I might be able to do.
Thank you.
Wonderful, Jeanne.
Don't let Henry Willson
see you eating that.
What's going on?
I told myself if I got the part in your
movie I'd treat myself to some ice cream.
I felt so down today, I thought,
what the hell, I should treat myself
for trying, you know?
I did the best I could.
Maybe if I just treat myself
every time I do that,
- something will come of it.
- I'm glad you're treating yourself, Rock.
Because you got a part in the movie.
Now, it ain't much,
it's just a couple lines.
You're gonna be a gas station attendant,
- Wha?
- is ironic.
But you come back
in a dream sequence, too.
- You ain't pulling my leg, are you?
- No!
Congratulations, Rock.
Thank you so much, Archie.
It's all coming true,
just like we had said.
Yeah, I guess so.
What's the damage?
Well, um,
you've gone up two trouser sizes,
and your biceps are two inches smaller.
- Jesus Christ.
- That can't be right.
I've been watching what I eat, Henry.
Just like we talked about.
Uh-huh. And what exactly
have you been eating?
Well, I live right down the street
from Pink's Hot Dogs, right?
- Protein!
- Fuck me in the ass.
You've got to be kidding. All that fat?
Do you know what, Guy Madison?
If I had a gun, I would take it out
right now and blow my head off.
Wait, but since we talked
about me trimming down a bit
I don't get those anymore.
I just get milkshakes.
How many milkshakes do you drink in a day,
I don't know. Maybe three?
Phyllis, go down the street
and buy me a gun
so I can stick it in my mouth
and end it all right now.
- I'll trim down, I promise!
- You bet your ass
you're gonna trim down.
Now get the fuck out of my office
and go eat a fucking cobb salad
for once in your life.
I'm very sorry, sir.
How is this my fucking life, Phyllis?
Why is it that every one of my clients,
I got to be their fucking daddy?
I gotta spoon-feed every one of these
thick fucking meatheads.
They can't wipe their shitty asses
without me.
Why is that?
Well, sir
I think with these good-looking boys,
they get infantilized at an early age.
Their parents don't raise them right.
That's very astute, Miss Gates.
That'll be all.
Yes, sir.
Oh, um
Rock Hudson is here to see you,
Mr. Willson.
Oh, God.
- Yeah, send him in.
- Okay.
Why are you smiling like that?
It's four lines.
Well, yeah, but it's four lines
in a major motion picture, Henry!
Uh, you know what, Rock?
Let me pull you back down to the surface
of planet Earth for a moment, okay?
Your screen test was
a fucking embarrassment,
and the only reason they gave you a part
was because they felt sorry for you.
Yeah, but
but it's got to mean something, Henry.
We still have a major problem, Rock,
and the problem is twofold.
One: you cannot act,
which would be fine if you could just
stand quietly in front of the camera
and smile.
But you can't because, number two,
your teeth are crooked.
The spacing? That haunts my dreams.
Those are not movie star teeth.
So you know what you and me
are gonna do right now? Hm?
I am gonna walk you down to the dentist,
I am going to sit you in his chair,
and I am gonna hold you by the hand
while he makes your teeth perfect, got it?
We're gonna take the leap
into leading-man territory.
Henry, I'm I'm afraid of dentists.
No shit.
Dan Seeley, transportation.
Gregory Hall, lead gaffer.
Carl Williams, grip department.
And I'm Raymond Ainsley, the director.
Let's make a picture called Meg.
I don't know why you're all applauding,
I've asked for budgets
from all departments,
and every one of you is over.
One hundred thousand dollars over,
to be specific.
Until you all come in on budget,
this film is not going to get made,
so I would hold the applause
if I were you.
I think that number might reflect
what we may need
to make this picture
the way I want to make it.
With all due respect, Mr. Ainsley,
you don't know what you need.
Greens department, $30,000.
Do you think plants waving in
the background warrants 10% of the budget?
No, um, Mr. Samuels
I can get that down.
I mean, what the fuck, Sharon?
Well, okay, yes, that number reflects
four stylists most days.
How about just one? What's that number?
Yes, that's
That's a much smaller number.
- I'll get into it.
- Good.
Before I forget, let's have a working
dinner. I want to go over the script.
Sure. I thought you said the script
was in good shape.
It is. "Good" can always be "better."
All right?
He just never ceases to dazzle,
that Richard.
Such a natural leader.
So exacting, you know?
This is a man who believes that
greatness comes from refinement.
- You're in love with him, aren't you?
- No.
There's nothing wrong with that.
Ask him out on a date. See what he says.
Avis, I I've forgotten how.
You know, the last man I went
on a date with was Lon Chaney.
Lon Chaney? Jesus, Ellen.
Besides, you know, I
I just love my studio life.
I love it.
I work my tail off and I leave here
every evening satisfied.
I am content to spend my evenings
reading scripts
and munching on stupid Ritz crackers
by the fireside.
Listen to you!
Wouldn't it be nice to cuddle up at night
to someone you love?
Well, of course it would be, but
Is Richard the one?
You know
he is the subject of occasional rumors.
Yes, I've heard that he's a certain way,
but I've never seen it.
- No.
- After all these years, wouldn't we know?
Yes, I mean, you'd think we would.
How about this
- The Lee Miller script
- Mm-hmm.
You tell him you
want to talk through some casting ideas.
- Mm-hmm.
- Make him dinner,
and after a few drinks,
make your move.
Oh, God.
Oh, what if he were just horrified?
No. I I really, I
I, honestly I don't think
I would survive the embarrassment.
Ellen, the last thing I want
is for you to get hurt,
but you've been standing
on the precipice forever.
Oh, God. Don't laugh.
Stop it.
Oh, my God.
I'm Claire Wood, I play Sarah Wadsworth.
Hi, Jack Castello.
I play Sam Harrington, the romantic lead.
Hi, I am Camille Washington
and I play Meg Ennis.
I am Anna May Wong.
Thank you.
I also never believed I would be sitting
at one of these tables again.
I am very happy to be playing
the role of Caroline.
And I'm Archie Coleman, screenwriter.
All right, that's everyone.
Let's dive right in, shall we? "Meg
screenplay by Archie Coleman."
"Interior, Broadway theater, night.
The curtain opens on the Broadway play.
In the audience,
we see a young woman of color, Meg,
seated in the front row.
Applause as Caroline Lee walks on stage.
She takes a bow and locks eyes
with the girl in the front row.
A moment, then the play begins
as camera holds on Meg's face.
A stage actress speaks to Caroline."
How long have you been here?
I just came in.
- What do you want?
- I don't want anything.
I was told to wait at this place.
"The audience laughing all around her,
Meg just stares as we cut
to exterior, stage door, night
The crazed look now absent from her eyes,
Meg stares up in awe
at the Hollywoodland sign in front of her,
struck by its majesty."
There you are, old friend.
Somehow I always knew
it would end up this way.
"Dissolve to:
Meg's hands grasp the scaffolding
as she climbs up the backside
of the enormous H.
As she reaches the top,
wind whipping her hair,
her eyes welling with tears,
she spots Sam
emerging from the shadows below."
Sam, what are you doing here?
Leave me alone, this is my destiny,
mine and mine alone.
Meg, I won't let you do it.
You know I love you and you know
I won't let you throw it all away.
I can't, Sam.
I can't! I can't do it anymore.
"Close on Meg's foot as it slips.
She catches herself."
What did you tell me
about killing yourself?
When all those Wall Street so-and-so's
lost their fortunes and ended it all,
you said, "Sam, they picked a long-term
solution to a short-term problem."
Well, that's what you're doing now, Meg.
Goodbye, Sam.
Goodbye to it all.
I'm so sorry.
"Meg jumps from the sign. As she falls"
- No!
- "Sam falls to his knees, weeping."
Meg! Meg, why! Why?
Why couldn't I save you?
"Close on Meg, her body twisted
and lifeless at the foot of the H.
Her eyes open,
staring up at the moonless night
full of stars,
camera cranes up and pans out
to the city lights of Hollywood below
as the wail of a distant police siren
echos into the night
as we cut to black.
The end."
Bravo, everybody. How about that, huh?
Um, thank you very much.
Wonderful work.
Let's take five,
and then we'll start rehearsing.
Camille, that was
- That was fantastic.
- Thank you.
So were you, I mean, it's actually
it's a really good part.
That ending, though.
It breaks your heart, doesn't it?
I just wonder, aren't people going to know
ahead of time how it ends, though?
That she kills herself?
Fill her up, ma'am?
Fill her up, ma'am?
Of course I'd give directions
to a pretty gal like you.
Just head up to Franklin Avenue,
take a left, and shoot up Beachwood Drive.
You'll see the Hollywoodland sign
at the top of the hill, big as anything.
- Hey. Hey, Rock.
- Big as anything!
You you look different.
You get a haircut or something?
- No.
- Looks great, whatever it is.
Listen, I wanted to tell you,
boy, are you terrific!
You really think so? I wasn't overacting?
No, no. It was great.
Very natural sounding.
Well, thanks, Jack.
You, too. You're gonna be a real star,
you know.
No, you are. I'm just happy to feel
like a part of something.
Like I got a family, you know?
Yeah, I know what you mean.
It's nice, ain't it?
Yeah. That ending, though, it's
It's real sad.
You know, I keep whispering
under my breath,
"Don't do it, Meg.
Don't do it."
Yeah, but
you know, that's what happened,
so, that sort of
No way around it, you know?
- Yeah.
- I mean
- Camille.
- Wonderful.
- And Anna May Wong, she was fantastic.
- Mm-hmm.
She's only in a couple of scenes,
but it just kind of worked.
Good. Good.
All right, let's just do a page turn,
and I'll tell you my thoughts as we go.
First thing, page three.
Meg meets Caroline Lee at stage door.
Why? What's this scene saying?
Well, uh, she's meeting this Broadway star
who becomes her idol.
That's very important.
I don't want to change that.
I've gone page by page with writers
through hundreds of scripts,
and the instinct,
especially for a young writer,
is to get defensive.
When I have a question about something,
it means that there's something
that's not there,
something that you might
do well to flesh out.
As for the scene on page three
Uh, Caroline has just finished the play,
and she's alcoholic, yes?
Which means that she's probably
had a drink.
And Meg, when she meets her,
might smell it on her breath,
wouldn't she?
Yeah. Yeah, it's
Yeah. That's actually a really good idea.
Okay, scene in the gas station.
Let's put this in the bar,
make Rock the bartender.
He still tells her
how to get up to the sign
Okay. Final scene.
This girl that we've spent
the whole movie rooting for
jumps off the Hollywoodland sign.
Kills herself. Credits roll.
- Right.
- Yeah.
What are we saying here?
To me, it's like
It's as if she was
- It's sad.
- It's sad.
That's kind of the point.
- You know, like Meg is a stand-in
- Mm-hmm.
for all of the thousands and thousands
of people that come to this town.
Now, they come here with their dreams,
and those dreams are dashed.
- They come
- Okay, so she's a stand-in
for countless other girls.
It's a trope, really.
She's this troubled white girl
who's so beaten down
that she decides to end it all, right?
- But she isn't white anymore.
- Exactly.
So it's no longer a trope.
Instead, it's a new story
about a colored girl who
worked and worked and worked,
and she never got the career she deserved,
so she decides to stop fighting
and end it all.
That's that's troubling to me.
This picture starts with a young Meg
looking up at a stage.
Well, what are we saying
to a young colored girl looking up at Meg,
up there on the screen?
Oh, fight for a while, but then give up.
What if she doesn't jump?
What if she climbs back down?
She takes her boyfriend's hand
and we know she's gone to the brink,
she survived it.
- She gonna be all right.
- That's a
that's a very different movie.
It's a better movie.
Is he in? I just need a word.
Uh, sorry to interrupt, Dick.
Have you got anything on the books
for Friday night?
I don't think so, why?
Well, Avis is pounding on
the Lee Miller script for Jeanne Crandall.
I know you're working with the writer,
but that picture has about 100 characters.
Come over to the house Friday.
I'll cook us up something,
and we can steal a march on the casting.
- Okay. What time?
- Say, 8:00?
- Good.
- Good.
Um Avis needs to see you both.
She said it's urgent.
Well, this isn't good.
So, we're sure
Tattletale Magazine has this.
Yes, Ellen,
I just got off the phone with them.
They're running it on Friday.
And what exactly are they running?
I was, uh
arrested for
um, solicitation.
I was working at the gas station,
and I didn't know she was vice squad.
Oh, dear.
I'm sorry, I just
I knew it was wrong,
and now it's ruining everything, and
You all took a chance on me.
- Hush now, come on.
- No, I'm so sorry, Mrs. Amberg.
You must hate me.
Please stop crying.
I don't hate you.
I myself have
Well, you know, I've been known
to frequent that station.
I'm surprised I never saw you there.
Well, it's out there now.
Why does anyone even care?
This fucking town!
I think we know who we have to call.
- I already did.
- Sorry I'm late.
Should have taken Fountain.
So, what are we looking at here?
Mugshot is on the table.
Vice squad picked him up for solicitation.
Jack Castello.
- Henry Willson.
- Hi.
We met at George's party. George Cukor?
Yeah, I remember.
Oh, yeah.
We had a long talk about morality.
So, this is
This is ironic.
I know who did this.
Dean Wharton, freelance reporter.
How do you know that?
Honey, I got a finger
in every stink hole in town.
You see, Dean Wharton has something in
common with the publisher of Tattletale.
They don't like Jews
and they don't like women.
So, probably not big fans
of you running this studio.
Look, I'll quit. I'll move back home,
you can recast the picture.
Shut up.
Leave it to Uncle Henry.
I'll need a week.
They're going to print on Friday.
Well, then, you'll owe me big, won't you?
Oh boy, what do you know
about that? Hey, fellas.
So, what do you think?
It's fantastic.
Is that what it looked like?
Yeah. In '24 the sign was
a little weathered, but, uh, still new,
nothing like it is now.
We couldn't build the whole thing, so
this'll pretty much play
when she's standing up at the top
and then the reverse of Sam screaming,
and falling to his knees crying,
and then the tilt up to the city lights.
Yeah, I like that.
I got a location right in front
of Griffith Observatory.
Great, great views of the city.
Uh-huh. And, uh
Wait, hang on
Uh, how does she climb up?
Well, Peg Entwistle used a ladder.
I mean, the script says
she climbs up the scaffolding.
- That's right, so where's the scaffolding?
- Well
But she used a ladder.
I just figured budget, as it is,
you get a tight shot of a hand
grabbing a rung,
- then cut to her standing up at the top.
- Yeah.
Uh, that's not exactly the most
dramatic choice, is it?
And and how's she supposed
to climb down?
- Doesn't she jump?
- No.
No, she doesn't jump.
We're changing that.
She decides not to jump,
and then she climbs down,
and I didn't think that'd be an issue,
because I thought there'd be scaffolding.
How's she supposed to climb down now?
What am I supposed to do?
How am I supposed to shoot that?
What? She went up there,
and she throws a rope ladder off
- and climbs down the front of the sign?
- Yeah, that'll work.
No, it won't work, Sam,
'cause she went up there to kill herself.
She didn't just bring a goddamn
rope ladder with her in her purse!
We need to shoot both sides of the sign,
and there needs to be scaffolding
that she can both climb up
and climb down safely.
And the camera cannot point
at this bare section of the sound stage.
Somebody's gotta dress this.
No, but see, Mr. Ainsley
Look, building this sign took
every penny in my budget.
I mean, you're talking about,
I don't know,
$25,000 to change it.
We don't really have a choice.
Just fix it! You two, come on.
Mickey, I am so sorry I'm late.
Hi, how are you doing?
I tell you,
one of my clients
he finds a wart on his knob.
Turns out he's got syphilis.
I had to take him to the doctor.
You know, they say you got
to get penicillin for that.
- That's what I hear.
- I had the drip once.
- That right?
- After a while, it went away.
Oh, that'd be nice.
What can I get you gentlemen?
Can we get two bowls of spaghetti,
a Creme de Menthe for myself
and a glass of Lambrusco
for the gentleman.
I get that right?
- You got a good memory.
- Yeah.
Listen, Henry, before you even ask,
whatever you want, it's done.
Well, Mickey, there is a certain
reporter over at Tattletale Magazine
who is making life very difficult
for a dear friend of mine.
If you're ever in a jam ♪
Here I am ♪
Hey, is your name Dean Wharton?
Yeah, why?
As far as my wife's concerned,
because of you, I walk on water.
- Stop. Yeah.
- Meeting Betty Grable at that premiere
- I mean, that was like meeting royalty.
- Yeah.
And the pony for my daughter?
Henry, she named him Peppermint.
- Aw, the sweet little girl.
- Yeah, he's a pain in the ass.
- Stinks to high heaven.
- Mm-hmm.
Shits every 30 seconds.
- Stashed him up on Old Ranch Road.
- Smart.
Ours will still be hot ♪
A-lottle-dottle-dottle-dig-dig-dig ♪
If you're ever down a well
Ring my bell ♪
Oh, Dean
Look at you.
I am so sorry. Jesus Christ.
So, spill the beans. What is it you need?
Well, Mickey, I just
I admire you so much.
What you do, I
You're a part of the Hollywood family too,
as far as I'm concerned.
Let's talk friend-to-friend, all right?
I think there might be a story
you're sitting on
that some powerful people
might prefer you bury.
That good leg of yours?
I think that was their warning.
If you run that story,
they'll break that leg, too.
You put them up to this?
It's because of you they jumped me?
- Fag.
- Ooh, ooh. That's "Mr. Fag" to you.
Leave Ace Pictures alone.
You slimy piece of shit.
- I'm gonna rip your fucking head off!
- Hey-ho! Now, now, no hard feelings.
Look, as soon as you bury that story
and your bones stitch back together,
I'll keep funneling you all the best dish,
but if you ever breathe a word
of this to anyone,
I'll watch them break that one
good leg of yours,
and then I'll rip your dick off.
Got it?
Ours will still be slick ♪
Good evening, friend ♪
- We have to change that.
- I think we can
I come bearing good news.
You're safe.
The story about how your film's leading
man is a male gigolo has been killed.
Furthermore, the story they have on you,
Mrs. Amberg,
replete with photos of you
with said prostitute,
has also been killed.
Oh, Henry, how can we ever repay you?
Are you asking rhetorically,
or is that a genuine question?
Because you absolutely do need
to repay me.
Look at you, Avis.
Your life has purpose.
Making controversial pictures,
you're doing something with your life.
And what am I doing with mine?
I think I'm in the middle
of what they call a midlife crisis.
I'm bored.
I'm bored with the talent,
I'm just bored.
- Bored, bored, bored.
- Here it comes. He wants to direct.
Oh, God, no, directing's hard.
I have no interest in that.
I want to make the jump from manager
to producer.
That would be a big leap of faith
on your part,
- but I want it.
- You're out of your mind.
Uh-uh, wasn't finished.
I want to produce this picture.
Meg, or whatever it's called.
You're having trouble with
a certain segment of the population
who's disgusted by what you're doing,
and my contacts, particularly if my name
were to appear on said picture,
might be able to make
some of those protests go away
in several cities,
if not states or even regions.
However, I want my name
above Dick's.
- Fuck you.
- Fine. Agreed.
It's the mafia you're talking about,
just to be clear?
That's who helped you bury the story?
Fine, I don't care.
I'll take all the help I can get.
This picture is just the beginning
for this studio.
Equality, progress,
that's what we should stand for.
Congratulations, Henry. You're a producer.
This is unbelievable.
What's going on here, Sam?
Hey, Dick.
So, yeah, just adding scaffolding
to the back of the sign
so we can shoot her climbing up.
We also had to move it.
Who approved that?
Raymond. Said to just go ahead.
- I assumed
- Mm-hmm.
And how much are you over now?
Stop the work!
I want everyone off this stage now.
You're fired.
What the fuck?
I went out on a limb for you.
This studio is risking everything for you,
and you go behind my back
and fuck around with the budget.
Who do you think you are?
- Uh, Mr. Samuels
- Answer the fucking question!
I'm I'm sorry, Mr. Samuels, but I
You want to go $25,000 over,
- you fucking pay for it.
- How?
Don't you ever fucking pull this shit
with me again.
How am I gonna find that kind of money?
I think I have an idea.
We all in?
I am.
I just
Look, are you sure that there's
some tricks that don't involve
having sex? 'Cause whatever I do,
I gotta tell Camille.
Raymond, we'll try to funnel
all the tame stuff to you.
Jack, what do you say?
Fellas, I can't.
I can't go back to that. I gave that up.
I made a promise to myself,
for my family,
that I wouldn't do it anymore. So
I'm sorry.
What the hell?
Sweetheart, what are you doing here?
Just catching up with some old friends.
- Oh, You were going to eat dinner here?
- No.
- Should we go?
- Yeah, let's get outta here.
Fellas, I'm sorry. I'll see you around.
All right, man.
I just think, for those SS guards,
we actually shouldn't cast
with named actors.
I I think that, uh, it's a little odd
in the midst of all that horror
for the audience to suddenly say,
"Oh, look, there's that darling
Claude Rains."
Yes, I think you're right.
- Dinner was delicious, by the way.
- Oh, I'm glad to hear it.
He does look like a Nazi, though,
doesn't he? Claude Rains?
He does.
Which begs the question:
who plays Hitler?
You know, I've been thinking about that.
It's just the one scene,
but God, it's good.
And it's Hitler for Pete's sake!
Any actor worth his salt
should give anything to come in and test.
- You know what we should do?
- Hm?
Test everybody in town,
no matter how ridiculously wrong
they are for it,
just to see what their Hitler looks like.
Yes, you know I'd love to see little
Mickey Rooney have a crack at it.
W.C. Fields.
No! Edmund Gwenn.
- He just played Santa.
- Well, that's what I'll tell him, you see.
I'll say, "Edmund, darling Edmund,
you've already given the world
your Santa Claus.
I think it's high time
you gave us your Hitler!"
Let's drink.
You know
after my husband died,
twenty years ago,
if I had made a pass at a man
and he rejected me, I
I think I would have been shattered.
I'm sorry, I I think that was clumsy.
we're both single,
we're best of friends,
we work so well together.
We're a great match.
Why why can't we,
you and I, just give it a shot?
- Meaning?
- Well, Jesus, Dick
I mean, pretty much what we already have.
We're we're very rarely apart.
But this this
Having dinner at home.
This is nice.
And we would live together?
Yeah, I mean
We're both getting up there.
I'm well ahead of you.
I confess, I I
I do want passionate love in my life.
Ellen, I think the world of you.
Are you
Because I don't give a fig if you are.
I just can't be with anyone.
Fair enough.
Well, back to casting.
Listen, um, this has just been so helpful,
uh, you know,
getting the ball rolling, so
so thank you.
I'm I'm so grateful, thank you.
would you mind? I'm feeling tired.
Let's continue this tomorrow.
Oh, of course.
Have I just ruined what we have?
Oh, Ellen.
I'm so
You must remember this ♪
A kiss is still a kiss ♪
A sigh is just a sigh ♪
The fundamental things apply ♪
As time goes by ♪
And when two lovers woo ♪
They still say "I love you" ♪
On that you can rely ♪
No matter what the future brings ♪
What can I get you?
Bourbon. Double, please.
Moonlight and love songs ♪
Never out of date ♪
Hearts full of passion ♪
Jealousy and hate ♪
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate ♪
That no one can deny ♪
You look like you've had a rough night.
Just a difficult conversation
with a friend.
I'm John, by the way.
Nice to meet you, Dick.
Can I buy you a drink?
Thank you.
It's your first time?
Place like this?
I've stood out there looking
into this place
many, many
many times.
I've come close before, but
I just never made it inside.
Congratulations, Dick.
You made it.
- Jack, I need to talk to you.
- I need to talk to you.
What is it with you
and that guy at Schwab's?
I always see you talking,
laughing together.
Who who is this twerp?
His name's Erwin Kaye, Jack,
and he's not a twerp.
He's a lovely person.
He's from Evansville, Indiana,
and his family owns a hardware store.
I don't think you mean to, Jack,
but you make me feel bad about myself,
and he makes me feel good.
So a couple of months
of me working at Schwab's,
while you were waiting in line
at the studios
or spending the day at the movies
or doing whatever you do,
he and I became very close and
I have to tell you this:
the babies are his.
What do you mean, they're his?
How do how do you know?
Because I got pregnant in February,
and you didn't make love to me that month.
Erwin did.
And you and I didn't make love again
until March 13th,
and I was already late by then.
Why didn't you tell me?
Jesus Christ, Jack,
I thought I did.
I thought the second I told you
I was pregnant,
you would do the arithmetic,
but it didn't even cross your mind.
You were too self-centered
to even have noticed.
This can't be right.
Do twins run in your family, Jack?
Because Erwin's got a twin brother
back home
and both of his uncles are twins.
Not everyone's dream works out
the way yours did.
Erwin's going back to Indiana,
and I'm going with him.
We're gonna take over
the family hardware store.
Can I sleep on your couch?
What's wrong?
You're nobody 'til ♪
Somebody loves you ♪
So find yourself ♪
Somebody to love ♪
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