Hollywood (2020) s01e06 Episode Script


Mother! Mother! Wake up!
- What's wrong?
- The house is on fire!
Fire department? It's an emergency,
- our house is burning.
- Come, come, come!
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Are you okay?
Jesus Christ.
We don't want you here!
We should've let the studio put us up.
- Keep movies white!
- I will not live in fear.
Son of a bitch!
No miscegenation!
No miscegenation in America!
We filed a report with the FBI.
I know you do not want to move into
one of the bungalows here on the lot,
I get it,
no one wants to feel like a prisoner.
So we're going to have round-the-clock
surveillance outside of your house,
Avis's, and Archie's.
This feeling is nothing new.
I grew up getting terrorized.
Had a uncle that was pulled out
of his bed in the middle of the night
and hanged from a tree, so I'm angry,
I'm scared,
but what I am not is surprised.
But who is it that's doing this?
American Colonization Society.
The same people picketing outside.
They say they're peaceful,
just want to send colored people
to Liberia,
but a lot of them are secretly KKK.
If I may, as producer of this film
A producer,
and "producer" should be in quotes.
This is going to continue,
that's just a fact of life,
and Avis, you are going to have to pay
to protect this production.
There will be protests outside this gate
every day we are shooting
- and every day we're on location.
- Mr. Silver, you can't go in there.
- Don't get up.
- I won't.
In light of recent events,
I've come to inform you
that production on Meg must be halted.
Didn't I fire you weeks ago?
You don't have that power.
I work for Mr. Amberg.
That is out of line.
Refusing to shut this picture down
is out of line.
Mrs. Amberg leaves me no option
but to take legal action.
This is my studio.
I recognize that
this is emotional for you.
With all that's been happening,
you're not thinking clearly.
A woman makes a decision,
and suddenly she's irrational.
- No, no. That's I didn't mean to
- Yes, you did.
You waltz in here whenever you desire
to remind me that you are there,
always watching.
By the time you get your ducks in a row
for our little date in court,
my picture will be in the can.
See you in court, Lon.
What are you all grinning about?
We have a movie to make.
Well, look who it is.
So you guys want to raise $25,000 to pay
for your movie's Hollywoodland sign.
Happy to help.
Today's assignment
Today's assignment
go home. All of youse.
- What?
- I mean it.
I can't have you doing this.
It's too risky.
Jack, you've already been busted once.
Here you are.
All of you.
At the beginning of something.
I ain't risking much.
I'm near the end.
But I've had a great run.
This isn't the dream I started with
doing this.
But you kids,
your dreams are really happening.
And I like that you're fighting for 'em.
So, let me handle this.
I will get you your money.
I will get you your money.
I got some old-timers
who used to work for me.
I thought I'd call 'em out of retirement
for a good cause.
Ernie, you hardly know me.
It ain't for you.
It's for the dream.
Now, get outta here, all of youse.
I got work to do.
There's my girls.
Hey, Ern.
Hello, ladies.
Quit struggling, you pervert!
Can it, sicko!
Hold on a sec. You comfortable?
- Mm-hmm.
- Keep your mouth shut!
Or I'll throw you off
the Shakespeare Bridge!
So I tied you pretty loose.
You should be able to wiggle out.
I'll be over there if you need me.
- What?
- Stay in character!
Uh, sorry. I mean, I'm going to
leave you here to rot, you pervert!
- Mmm!
- This was fun.
Twenty-five big ones.
I can't believe it only took you one week.
What can I tell you?
I'm good at what I do.
And I've been saving up for a rainy day.
I tossed that in too.
- Ernie, this is unbelievable.
- Ah, kid, it's nothing.
It didn't even feel like work.
You know, Ernie, me and Raymond have been
talking about how to thank you.
Henry Willson got a producer credit on
this picture, and he hardly did anything.
No, I won't hear it.
- Ernie, please
- I said no.
That money's yours.
I don't want anything in return.
I mean it.
Consider it my
my parting gift
to this town.
Go make your movie.
Thank you, Ernie.
There ain't nobody quite like you, Ernie.
We made up the difference.
That's all of it, $25,000.
How'd you do it?
Does it matter?
Fair enough.
All right, get it done.
Oh, no.
I knew this moment would come.
Mmm. So, do it.
I deserve it. Hit me.
I'm not gonna hit you.
I'm just here to make sure
everybody's doing okay.
Henrietta was right about you.
She said you had
your share of problems, but
deep down, you were a good person.
I, uh
I know you're skipping town
in a few days, but
just wanted to say goodbye.
As far as the divorce goes, you know,
I'm not going to make a stink.
Whatever you need from me, you got it.
Do you want to
I'm sorry we screwed this up, Hen.
Maybe it was meant to be.
We both got what we wanted.
I get to start a family,
and you get to be a movie star.
I'm always going to see your movies
and I hope
that maybe I had something to do with it.
Of course you did.
Of course you did, baby.
I couldn't have done
any of this without you.
You're always going to be a part of it.
I just hope that I'll always be
a part of you.
I'm so sorry, Hen.
Me too, Jack.
Me too.
- Hey there, fellas!
- Hey!
I'm having a big fancy dinner
with a genuine screenwriter
and a real-life movie star
in the middle of production no less?
I must be some kind of heavy hitter, huh?
Fancy dinner's the least we could do, Ern.
Yeah, we owe you, Ernie.
I mean, if it weren't for you,
I wouldn't even be in this town anymore.
So, how's shooting going? Having fun?
Today was Jack's first day. He was great.
I don't know about that,
but I said all my lines
and didn't trip over the furniture. So
See! You're halfway there.
How's the wife?
- Let's talk about something else.
- Why, what'd I say?
Nothing, you didn't say anything.
It's all right, I
Henrietta left me for another fella,
and apparently the, uh babies are his.
Are you kidding me, Jack?
Yeah W what?
Think about it.
Here you are
young buck on the town,
about to be the next big thing
with his name up in lights.
You don't want to be tied down.
You know you got a way with words, Ernie?
I somehow think I actually feel
a little better.
- Hmm?
- But look, what are we here for?
We got something for you.
Take a look at page 35.
Oh, man.
This is some crackerjack dialogue.
"Studio chief Daryl B. Selzman enters.
No-nonsense. Dashing."
It was supposed to be David O. Selznick,
but he caught wind of it
and threatened to sue.
You're not playing the Selznick part,
are you?
No, Ernie.
You are.
What are you talking about?
Daryl B. Selzman.
That's you.
That's your role.
The studio okayed it and everything.
I know it's a bit of a stretch, but
Archie's been taking some liberties
with the screenplay,
and Ray really wants him to be
well, dashing.
Hey. What? Wh what's the matter, Ern?
It just hit me.
I came out here
and I had a dream.
Just like you guys.
Took me almost 30 years
but it's finally coming true.
To Hollywood.
To Hollywood.
Pleased to have you on board, Mr. West.
You've had quite the hiatus
between acting jobs.
Yeah, you know how it goes.
You pound the pavement
for a couple of years,
then you take a side gig to pay the bills,
and before you know it,
it ain't a side gig anymore;
it's your life.
Yes, well, running a prostitution ring
out of a gas station
would always be a more lucrative
endeavor than being an actor.
I don't judge you, Ernie.
In fact,
it's one of the reasons
why I like you for this role.
Your big scene is all about
freedom of expression
in the face of censorship and prejudice.
There's lesbian overtones
in one of your films,
and the studio relations committee
throws the Hays Code at you,
tells you you have to cut
all of Meg's scenes.
Yeah, and I tell them to go screw.
I love it.
I get to stick it to those assholes
and all their moralizing.
Yes, but he's not a thug.
There's a refinement to him.
He's powerful, and he knows it.
This is why I want to do some rehearsal
with you on your feet.
I do this with all our players.
I want to see how your character smokes
a cigarette,
how he walks into a room.
What? Nah.
I don't need to rehearse
that kind of stuff.
I know how to walk.
Acting isn't magic.
It's a job.
It's a craft.
It's something you have to work at,
something you devote your time to.
So let's get to work.
So, I gotta cut my best actress
from this picture, huh?
Well, guess what? I'm not doing it!
- Too angry.
- But he is angry.
Yes, of course,
but he's powerful, and he knows it.
He doesn't need to yell.
And you need to leave yourself
someplace to go.
Yeah, okay.
How would it feel
if you didn't barge in this time?
Just walk in the room
like you own the place.
You're calm, you're controlled.
And maybe don't slam the memo down.
Just toss it. Throw him off balance. Okay?
So I got to cut my best actress
from the picture, huh?
Well, guess what?
I'm not doing it.
That's it.
Now, light your cigarette.
Cool as a cucumber.
That's it.
Okay. So let's, uh, move ahead.
Mr. Selzman, the Hays Code isn't optional,
and your picture is rife
with homosexual innuendo.
- Listen to you.
- We're not the censors, Daryl.
We're what's keeping the censors
from destroying the freedom of expression
in this industry.
Here's what I can't stand
about you fellas.
Standing on high with your Hays Code
and telling me, Daryl B. Selzman,
what people in this country should be
allowed to see?
Because you don't trust people
to make up their own minds.
You don't love our freedom.
You're scared of it!
People don't like my movies,
they can stand up and walk out,
that's their right.
And I have a right
to lose my shirt doing it.
But this movie
is a hit.
And Meg Ennis?
That girl is a star.
And if I cut her from my movie,
it'll kill her.
You can scream all you want to,
Mr. Selzman,
but you are cutting those scenes,
or we'll shut down your studio.
That's all there is to it.
Go ahead and try.
We'll do it, Mr. Selzman!
I'll run you out of town.
Oh, yeah?
I am this town.
Bartender, another one of these.
Coming right up.
Sarah, thank God. Have you seen Meg?
I I had to tell her some sorry news,
and she went out to get some air
and that was
God, that was hours ago.
Why yes, yes I did.
Meg came over to my apartment,
said she wanted to come here.
She said, "I think I know now what
my life's going to add up to, Sarah."
That's why I didn't think it would be
so bad if she had a drink or
Damn it, Sarah! Where is she?
She got cut from the film.
Selzman told me, so I told her and
Well, now I gotta tell her something else,
before she goes and does something rash.
She had two drinks and left,
said there was something she had to go do.
- I assumed she was meeting you.
- Sorry to interrupt,
but when your friend left, she asked me
how to get to the Hollywoodland sign.
Oh, God.
He left.
Meg! Meg!
Oh, God! Oh, God!
Don't do it, Meg! Please!
Oh, God. Oh, dear God.
Please Meg, don't do it.
Come down, I gotta tell you something.
But I have to do it, Sam.
Oh, God!
No, please don't. Oh, God. Meg, please!
Sam, I'm so scared.
I know you are, I know you are,
but you don't have to be.
You can come down. Please!
What are they going to say about me, Sam?
I'll just be that girl who never made it.
What does it matter what they say?
Listen to what I'm saying. Sweetheart
Sweetheart, I love you.
Oh, God, I love you
more than anything in the world.
You are a star, Meg.
You're a star, no matter what happens.
You're my star.
Please. Oh, God, please come down
off of that sign
and be the only star in my sky.
Oh, Sam.
Oh, God, Meg.
Be careful. Be careful, Meg. I'm coming.
I got you. Watch your step.
Come on. Come on, sweetheart.
I got you. I'm here.
I'm here, I got you. Come here.
That's right.
Oh, Meg, you gave me such a fright.
Meg, the way you felt tonight,
I'm never gonna let you feel that way
again, you understand me?
I'm sorry.
Goddamn it.
I wasn't supposed to do that.
- Do what?
- Can we cut?
What's he doing? This is great.
I'm not supposed to be crying.
I don't know, I'm sorry.
- Jack, that was beautiful.
- What the hell'd you stop for?
We were really getting it.
That was incredible.
Really? Oh, gosh. I'm sor
Should we just go right back into it?
Yes, please. All right, everybody,
let's do a pickup!
- Roll sound!
- Roll sound.
- Sorry!
- It's all right. Roll camera.
Roll camera.
I spoke with Selzman.
He's not cutting you out of the picture.
You're going to be in the movie, Meg.
Why didn't you tell me?
When I was about to jump
I didn't want that to be the thing
that saved you.
I knew you could save yourself.
Let's get out of here.
We have a whole life to live.
I don't know.
Don't know what?
Here I am, right?
I'm sitting here and I'm watching this
for, what, the tenth time?
I just
I think it's missing something.
And, uh
what exactly do you think it's missing?
Something bold.
You know, something
Something surprising!
Here it is.
This is what it needs.
She takes a swan dive off of that sign
and lands directly into a swimming pool.
Suddenly, it's a big Esther Williams
musical number.
I don't know if our girl can swim,
but the audience
The audience is saying,
"What the hell just happened?
Well, yeah, but did she do it?
Is she in heaven?"
Smash to black, music plays, the end.
That's exciting.
Never seen that before, have you?
- Can I say something?
- Sure.
I've been an editor since
- the silents, okay?
- Oh, shit.
- I've been doing this for 40 years.
- Goddamn.
I fucked Gloria Swanson
in this very room, Henry.
And I just got to say, of all
the creatives I've ever worked with,
have the worst ideas.
Get the fuck out of here and let this kid
make his fucking movie, okay?
Fuck you, Harry.
- I'll get you kicked off this picture.
- No, you won't. Fuck you.
I'm gonna go talk to Dick right now.
Then I'm going to start writing
that musical number.
For once in my life, I'm the boss,
and I'm gonna get final cut
on this motherfucker.
Thanks for that.
It was a pleasure.
That guy has no right
to fuck with your picture.
It's good, kid.
And I mean it.
I like
what it says.
Let's run it down one more time.
One more time, please.
What's going on? What is this place?
I saw the first cut of the picture.
Oh, God
They cut me out, didn't they?
No, you're in it.
And you are really,
really good.
I am so,
so proud of you.
I feel like you and me,
we are on the verge of something amazing.
this is my way of saying thank you.
A while ago,
you asked me to be your boyfriend,
and I said no.
Because I couldn't see a future for us.
But watching my movie get made
I realized ain't nothing impossible.
It's a key to this apartment.
this place is mine?
It's ours.
I'm in love with you, Rock.
I want to live together, and
I want to be your boyfriend.
This is real?
Welcome home.
Every time I closed my eyes,
I was seeing those babies.
I've lost so much.
Sorry, I'm
I'm just all worked up.
I don't know why I can't just settle down.
Don't you apologize.
Jack, it's all right.
I knew you were the right person to call.
You've been a really good friend to me,
Claire, you know that?
Maybe you don't know that,
but you really have.
You really have.
I love the fellas, but I don't know if
I don't know if I wanted to cry
in front of them.
It's okay to be emotional
when you lose something, Jack.
I was a mess when my father was
in the hospital.
Oh, yeah, I heard about that.
Gosh, I'm so sorry.
Don't Don't be sorry.
You have
You have you have so much
to look forward to.
A few months ago,
you were a contract player, and now
you're a part of an incredible ensemble
of artists,
who aren't just making a movie,
they're making history.
Remember when I told you
you were gonna be a star?
Yeah, I do.
You're gonna be a star.
Have you thought about
who you're gonna take to the premiere?
Gosh, I forgot about that.
Do you know who you're gonna bring?
Well, I was
I was hoping
I was hoping it would be you.
You wanna go with me?
You mean go together? I would love to.
- Really?
- Are you kidding?
Yeah, that that'd be wonderful.
All right, good.
Oh, this
Oh, my
Avis, can you believe it?
Oh, I am so happy to be back.
- Oh, look at the
- You should be pleased.
There hasn't been a crowd this size
since Eleanor Roosevelt.
Wait, what?
I can't thank you enough
for everything you did while I was away.
You kept this place afloat.
You took some chances.
I can't say I always agreed
with those chances, but, uh, I admire it.
- I'm very proud of you.
- Thank you, darling.
Green-lighting Meg was a difficult
decision, but it was the right one.
I've seen the rushes.
The film is magnificent.
- Good morning.
- Miss Stinson.
How many times do I have to fire you?
Hello, Mrs. Amberg. Ace asked me here.
Avis, uh
I'm just going to talk
to the boys for a bit.
Uh, why don't you go home
and, uh, we'll celebrate tonight
over dinner?
But, uh, no roast beef
or anything like that.
I I'm on this new diet
the doctor's got me on. Just rice.
All I'm allowed to have is white rice
and fruit juice.
All right, gentlemen, let's get to it.
Obviously, I overslept.
Have a good day, Mrs. Amberg.
Avis, we're just going over
a distribution plan for Meg.
Where are you going?
I've been sent home.
To make dinner.
All right, tell me about this bomb
we have, All Hands on Deck.
I like that picture. What happened?
Well, many of our distributors
pulled the film.
They were facing boycotts
when it was announced that
Meg would be starring a colored girl.
Uh, let's talk about this for a second.
A lot of work went into this picture,
and I know it's risky, but I admire that.
So you don't feel that the fag and
the two ladies went behind your back?
- The fag?
- Dick Samuels.
Dick Samuels, a fag?
No, what are you talking about?
He's got women hanging all over him.
He's quite the catch.
Well, be that as it may,
while you were indisposed, sir,
the lunatics were very much
taking over the asylum.
If you release this film,
it will destroy the studio
and tarnish the reputation
of every picture you have ever made
or intend to make.
It's just that simple.
Come on. You're overreacting.
Sir, we've done the research.
Meg will not play in the South.
A hundred and twenty-five theaters
have signed a statement
saying they will not run the picture,
nor any subsequent Ace picture,
if Meg is released anywhere.
We'll go bankrupt in six months!
- All right, so what do I do?
- Burn it.
- Burn it?
- Burn every foot of film.
They won't have anything to point to.
They'll call off the dogs.
You'll be back on the throne,
studio remains solvent,
we move forward
like nothing ever happened.
Let's get out of here.
We have a whole life to live.
Here you are, Mr. Amberg. Your rice.
I can't eat this shit.
Get me get me a brisket,
uh, some of those, uh, cheesy potatoes
- and a lemon meringue pie.
- Right away.
One meal's not gonna kill me.
All right, before you do anything,
I want you to see the picture.
- I know it is not your taste
- I saw it.
- It's great.
- Fantastic. So you're going to release it.
Well, I
I haven't made up my mind yet.
All right,
let me help you.
If you don't release this picture,
I will resign
and I will give an interview
to every journalist who will take my call
and tell them what went down here
and how and why.
I will be kind to Avis.
I will not be kind to you.
- After all I've done for you?
- Fuck off!
"After all I've done for you."
What have you done for me, except take
every ounce of credit for my work?
You never trusted me,
you never listened to a thing I said.
I defended you!
I defended you
when everybody was calling you a fag.
How noble.
Well, guess what, Ace?
I am a fag.
I just I hid it all these years
because I was afraid.
I am not afraid anymore.
I've met someone.
I love him,
and I'm happy for the first time.
I'm going to be in your office
at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow,
letter of resignation in hand.
You release Meg,
you might bankrupt the studio.
You pull it, I'm coming after you.
I spoke to your doctor.
He said you could have cauliflower too,
so long as I make sure it's steamed.
Oh, Avis, steamed cauliflower?
I can't eat this!
- I'll shit the bed!
- So shit the bed.
You're gonna eat it, goddamn it.
Gertie, put it down.
Yesterday, I ran a movie studio.
I had power.
But today, I'm a housewife again.
So if keeping your fat ass alive
is my job now,
I'm gonna do it.
Okay, fine. You want me to eat this?
- I'll eat it.
- Good.
Nope, I'm not going to do it!
- What? What?
- I'm not going to get a taste
for what it feels like being in charge,
having autonomy for the first time
in my life,
and then being pushed back
into the kitchen.
I won't do it.
I can't!
My head is exploding.
What do you want?
I want to co-chair Ace Pictures.
You're recovering
from a major health scare.
Your doctor says
you can only work half days.
Let me carry what you can't.
You won't take anything less?
No, I won't.
I saw Meg today.
And what you did was amazing.
It's a spectacular movie.
It's not the movie I would make, but
I think that's the point of this, right?
You know, ever since this whole thing
happened to me, I
I've been thinking differently.
I've been thinking, uh
How do I want to leave this world?
what I want to leave in it.
And, uh
I'd have been proud
to have released that movie.
Now, what do you say?
You earned it.
Mmm. I am so sorry.
I am so, so sorry.
I'm sorry, too.
I want to make a go of it.
I want to try again.
I think we still have time.
Mrs. Amberg
in 20 years, I've never heard you
singing at the table before.
I had a good night.
That's all I'll say.
We could hear you.
Kept me awake until 4:00 a.m.
It was nauseating.
Gertie, we have a big week
of planning ahead.
Get all the linens out of storage
and call the tent company
because on Saturday we're having a party.
Ace is going to announce he's making me
co-president of the studio.
- What?
- I never thought I'd see the day.
Neither did I. I keep pinching myself.
- Mother, that's unbelievable!
- For once, Daddy got something right.
Gertie, I want pancakes.
Ace, I have your breakfast.
I have something sweet for you.
Simply stunning, Miss Lee!
Hollywood Reporter,
a picture, please?
Miss Lee, over here!
Let me tell you something, Meg.
All this
the photos, the red carpet,
the parties, the stardom
it's all smoke and mirrors.
None of it is worth a fig, do you hear me?
I'm telling you now,
this will all be yours very soon.
- But if you're not
- Boring. Cut this scene.
I said turn it off.
- Sorry, Mr. Willson, just a sec.
- Jesus Christ.
This is what you get when you hire
an editor on looks alone.
I'm new, I don't know this equipment.
Thank you. You know what?
Skip to the last reel.
There is something about that ending
that I just don't buy.
Bartender, can you tell me how to get up
to the Hollywoodland sign?
You head up Beachwood Drive
and you'll see the trailhead right there.
Freeze it. Freeze it right there.
You're not saying anything.
It's called "thinking," Randy.
See, this is why the picture doesn't work.
This is the part where she decides
to jump off the sign, right?
Well, I still don't feel like I understand
why she wants to kill herself.
Well, she got cut out of the movie.
Yes, I know, dumbshit.
That's the problem.
You think America's gonna
like this girl for ending it all
'cause she got cut out of a film?
John and Jane Q. Public,
they've never been in a film,
they're not killing themselves.
I guess it's because she staked
her whole life on this thing.
A thing that most people don't care about.
She does.
She built her whole world around it.
That's her flaw.
Well, well, well,
listen to what just shot out of that
tiny pea brain of yours.
That's what this movie needs!
Right after this scene, it's just
it's a moment
It can be her alone where she realizes
where she says to herself,
"I fucked up my whole life
needing this thing."
That's why she kills herself.
But we don't have that scene.
We'll do a reshoot.
It's half a day's work,
it's one scene. I'll talk to Dick.
What the fuck?
Who the fuck is he?
Well, hello, you old piece of shit.
He's the new editor,
'cause I fired your ass.
What's going on in here?
Willson, what are you doing?
This stupid fuck
is recutting your picture.
No, I am saving your picture.
I am cutting that God-awful
Anna May Wong red carpet scene.
The hell you are!
There's an entire scene missing
in the final reel.
It's why the ending doesn't work.
We need a quiet scene with Meg,
where we understand
why she wants to kill herself.
Right now, it's because
she got cut out of a movie.
The audience needs to know
it's deeper than that.
She staked her whole life on this dream,
and it's over now.
It's one scene.
We can pick it up in one night.
That's actually a good idea.
Why don't you take it up with Dick?
Fuck Dick and his fancy five-dollar words.
Dick thinks he's smarter than me.
He's not.
- I'll get the new scene shot.
- You!
Step away from that machine.
Come on.
Hey hey!
What's the big idea?
What the hell are you doing?
No need to worry. We're just taking
all the footage for safekeeping.
- You can't do that.
- Yes we can, son.
Get your hands off. Wait just a minute.
That's my film, you can't touch that.
Get your hands off Hey!
You can't do this! What are you
Somebody get Ace Amberg on the phone.
You can't do this!
Go ahead and call him.
Ace Amberg is dead.
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