A Star Is Born (1954) Script

This is a great night in Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen.

I might even say a fabulous Hollywood night.

This is the Shrine Auditorium's great evening...

...for the Motion Picture Relief Fund...

...the benefit show called Night of the Stars, for Hollywood's own.

The motion-picture stars never forget their own.

And tonight, all the proceeds will go to the Motion Picture Relief Fund.


Wait a minute, folks. I think l see--

Yes, it is, it is.

Oliver Niles' car is just driving up.

And waving to her fans is Lola Lavery.

Lola, nice to see you. So wonderful. Oliver Niles, the famous producer.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present lovely Lola Lavery.

Thank you, George, sweetie. It's so divine being here tonight.

And l know you're all looking forward to seeing your favorite star and mine.

And, of course, you know, Norman Maine is the great attraction...

...here at the Shrine Auditorium tonight.

And of course, wherever Norman Maine goes...

...lovely little Lola is sure to be there.

-Joan, doesn't she look beautiful? -She looks gorgeous.

-Good to see you. -How are you? Isn't she adorable?

You're looking divine. What are you wearing?

She's wearing a black sheath. Isn't it divine?

And a white fox. And the diamonds in the hair.

Did you ever? It's adorable.

Joan!

Ladies and gentlemen, we've had the pleasure...

...of having lovely Lola Lavery at our microphones.

Did you ever see anyone so sweet, so unspoiled and down-to-earth?

-She's a darling girl. -Definitely.

Lola, please, just one shot.

Thank you.

-Hello, Lola. -Libby, darling.

-Norman's not here. Not a sign. -Didn't you call for him?

-That was the plan. -Wasn't there. l've been all over town...

...the usual places. Not a sign of him.

Libby, Normie loves being late. He's always late with me.

You're not exactly a public performance, my dear.

-You know where l'm sitting. -l'll check backstage.


He's here. Good.

He's drunk.

-How bad? -Very. What do you want me to do?

Keep him off.

-Don't let him go on. -ls anything wrong? ls Normie all right?

It's all right.

Norman Maine.

Probably drunk.

Let go, you're breaking my camera.

Norman.

Norman, we have our cue.

Take it easy. Please. What? Oh, yes.

Where are you going, Norman?

Hey, grab him. Grab him quick.

A horse!

A horse for my kingdom.

Hey! Get him here. Get him here.

Get him off the stage.

What are we gonna do, Libby?

-What's the act that follows Maine? -The Glenn Williams' Orchestra.

-They here? -Yes.

-Ready? All right. -Yes.

On the stand, we're on next. Will you help rush them up, please?

In your places, we're on next. Snap it up.

Who didn't show?

Regular opening, verse and chorus?

Yeah, that's right.

Get a load of Norman Maine, will you?

-Where? -Look.

Mr. Maine is feeling no pain.

Oh, how I hate benefits.

Better make it snappy, Esther. Neil, is all the music out?

I'll get it now.

Hi, Norman.

Hello, Matt, old boy.

We seem to have missed each other. Been searching for me?

That's all right. I knew you'd turn up.

Touching, your faith in me, Matt. Touching.

Mr. Libby looks after me like a fond mother with a good sense of...

...double-entry bookkeeping.

Mr. Libby, I should explain, is in charge...

...of the public relations at the studio. How is the AP and the UP--

Fine, fine. Norman, I got some of the boys--

How many lies have you told the public today?

A couple of hundred. I need you for an interview and pictures.

I don't need more pictures, I don't need more interviews...

-...because the public loves me. -Sure they do.

-But just a few. l promised the boys. -Take your hands off me.

And don't make any promises for me for l will break them. A horse!

My kingdom for a horse.

-l'll tell you what, Libby. -What?

I'm thirsty. I need a drink before I go on.

If you get me a drink, I'll let you take a picture.

-That's a deal. -Two drinks, two pictures.

Three drinks, three pictures.

Three pictures.

You're not a bad fellow, Libby.

Why do you disgust me? Why do l hate you so, Libby?

I wouldn't know about that, Norman.

Just one more. Smile.

Let's have another one. That does it.

Give us more. l said, that does it.

But you've got plenty of time. All right, all right, no more pictures.

Get your pencils out, boys.

I'm sorry, gentlemen, no time.

-You got plenty of time. -Come on.

-Plenty of time. -Are you trying to stop me?

You trying to stop me from going on?

-ls that it? -No.

What a story this will make. This guy is stoned.


What a spot this Not so hot this Hey, there, shy one Come be my one Please don't rush off Want no brush-off I can't compel you to buy What I'd sell you But l'd like to tell you Like so You wanna have bells that'll ring You wanna have songs that'll sing You want your sky of baby blue You gotta have me go with you Hey, you fool, you Why so cool, you?

When I'm ready To go steady You wanna have eyes that'll shine You wanna have grapes on the vine You want a love that's truly true

-You gotta have me go with you -You gotta have me

-Why the hold out? -And me Have you sold out?

Time you woke up Time you spoke up This line I'm handing you Is not a handout As a team, we'd be a standout Ba-dop You wanna live high on a dime You wanna have two hearts in rhyme

-Gotta have me go with you -Don't forget about baby

-You gotta have me -Gotta have me Gotta have me All the time

-Ba-ba-bah -Ba-ba-bah Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba Ba-ba-ba-ba Ba-ba-ba-ba Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bah

Bah

Ooh-ah Boo-de-boo Why the hold out?

Have you sold out?

Time you woke up Time you spoke up


Want your sky of baby blue You gotta have me go with you Why the hold out?

Have you sold out?

Time you woke up Time you spoke up This line I'm handing you Is not a handout As a team, we'd be a standout You wanna live high on a dime You wanna have two hearts in rhyme Gotta have me go with you All the time


Esther? Yes.

Hi, girls.

Esther, if you hurry we can have coffee. All right.

-Good night. -Goodbye.

-Danny. -Yeah?

-Wait-- Here, wait just a second. -Okay.

I think I must've chewed my lips off wondering...

...if he was gonna come staggering back.

I've never been so frightened. My knees were shaking--

-Was l on key? I couldn't hear. -On pitch all the way.

It's a wonder.

And it's a wonder to me Mr. Norman Maine is still in pictures.

It is indeed.

In fact, l ask it myself every morning when l'm shaving.

I say, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest star of them all?"

Do you know what the mirror answers?

Norman Maine?

Absolutely correct, Miss....

Blodgett. Esther Blodgett.

You must've been born with that name. Couldn't have made it up.

-l was born with it. -Excuse me.

You wouldn't make up a name like that, would you?

-Oh, it's a brand-new lipstick. -To mark the occasion when...

...Esther Blodgett...

...saved Norman Maine...

...from making even more of a fool of himself than usual.

I thank you.

My studio thanks you. All the legions and codes...

...that watch over our industry will be equally pleased, I'm sure.

-Would you take supper with me? -Oh, I--

And all the people with you too.

I'm afraid we can't, Mr. Maine. You see, we're working at the Grove.

-This is Danny McGuire, our pianist. -Oh, bring your piano along, Mr. McGuire.

Nobody can object to a good, clean-living American piano.

But l insist on your taking supper with me.

Come on.

Don't you try to stop me, Mr. McGuire. I know myself extremely well.

I'm just near the fighting stage at the moment.

If l don't get my way, l'll begin to break up people and things at this moment.

-You understand, don't you? -Yes, I understand.

Why don't we have supper sometime later?

Maybe tomorrow or the next night. I'll tell you what l'll do.

I'll lay in a whole supply of lipsticks and we'll celebrate all over the walls.

-Please, Miss Blodgett. -Good night.

I think I see your friends, Mr. Maine. Let's hit the road.

-Oh! -Pumpkin, you were divine. Simply divine.

-Wonderful, Normie. -You were swell.

Everyone around me was saying it.

You know, drunk or not, he's nice.

-He's awful nice. -Just darling. Come on.

When he goes off like that, he's good for the night, Mr. Libby.

He'll smile in his sleep in a minute.

Like a child.

Like a child with a blowtorch.

What, sir?

Nothing.

Mr. Maine's charm escapes me.

It always has.

Now, you understand, 6:00 sharp. Have him dressed and ready.

Yes. Yes, sir.

Here are his car keys. Hide them, will you?

I've had enough of Mr. Maine for one night.

He's good for the night.

Six o'clock sharp.

He'll sure be surprised when he finds himself on location in the morning.


-Good evening, Mr. Maine. -Hello, Bruno. How are you?

-All right. -There's a little dark girl...

...sings with the Glenn Williams' Orchestra.

The Glenn Williams' Orchestra finishes at 1 :30, Mr. Maine.

Then the rumba band takes over. They finished about an hour ago.

Well, it doesn't matter, Bruno. The whole thing seems rather silly now.

I'll tell you something, Mr. Maine.

All the bands that play here, the musicians, you know...

...they go to a little place on Sunset Boulevard after they finish.

And maybe the girl could be there. They're crazy people, you know.

They blow their heads off here all night.

And instead of going to bed, they go to this place...

...and blow their heads off there for themselves for nothing.

Would you like a table, sir?

Not unless you wish to rumba with me, Bruno.

Is there anyone here that l know?

Well, now, let's see.

There's a new little girl from Paramount.

That one there, yes.

She's very pretty, Mr. Maine.

She's with someone, isn't she?

Only her agent.

He'll be glad to leave.

Too young. I had a very young week last week.

She's not worth it.

Is there anyone else?

I, uh....

Miss Sheldon.

She's very beautiful tonight, Mr. Maine.

No. She hit me over the head with a bottle.

Yes, yes. l remember it. Happened right here.

-l thought everything was all right by now. -Nope, they only hit me once.

Little girl in the green dress.

No, Mr. Maine.

Pasadena.

Leave it alone.

Will you excuse me, please? I'll be right back.

Go ahead.


Take it, honey. Come on.

Take it from the top.

From the top? Yeah.

Doo, doo-dee-dee Uh-huh-huh The night is bitter The stars have lost their glitter The winds grow colder Suddenly, you're older And all because of the man That got away No more his eager call The writing's on the wall The dreams you've dreamed have all Gone astray The man that won you Has run off and undone you That great beginning Has seen a final inning Don't know what happened It's all a crazy game No more that all-time thrill For you've been through the mill And never a new love will Be the same Good riddance, goodbye Every trick of his You're on to But fools will be fools And where's he gone to?

The road gets rougher It's lonelier and tougher With hope you burn up Tomorrow he will turn up There's just no letup The livelong night and day Ever since this world began There is nothing sadder than A one-man woman looking for The man that got away

The man that got Away

Wonderful. That's great.

Pretty good, we finished together--

Oh, no. No.

Oh, no. What's the matter?

Your dancing partner has returned.

How do you suppose he ever found us here?

-l'll get rid of him. -No, I'll do it.

Hello, Mr. Maine.

You turn up in the strangest places.

Don't l, though?

And you're cold sober.

Well, you'd better make the most of it. Sit down for a moment.

Do you always sing like that?

-Like what? -The way you sang just now.

Why?

I never heard anybody sing just the way you do.

What do you mean? Good or bad?

Yeah.

You ever go fishing?

Well, do you like prize--? Ever watched a great fighter?

-l.... -l'm trying to tell you how you sing.

Do you mean like a prizefighter or a fish?

Look.

Here.

There are certain pleasures that you get....

There are certain pleasures you get, little jabs of pleasure.

When a swordfish takes the hook, or when you watch a great fighter...

...getting ready for the kill, see?

You don't understand a word l'm saying, do you?

No, not yet. Why don't you try bullfights?

You're joking, but that's exactly what l mean.

If you'd never seen a bullfight, you'd know a great bullfighter...

...the moment he stepped in the ring from the way he stood...

...from the way he moved.

Or a dancer. You don't have to know about ballet.

That little bell rings inside your head...

...that little jolt of pleasure.

Well, that's what happened to me just now.

You're a great singer.

Who, me?

Hasn't anyone ever told you that before?

No, Mr. Maine, no one's ever told me that before.

Maybe you're not quite as sober as we both thought you were...

...but thank you.

I'm as sober as a judge and l know exactly what I'm saying.

You've got that little something extra that Ellen Terry talked about.

Ellen Terry, great actress long before you were born.

She said that's what star quality was, that little something extra.

Well, you've got it.

Now, what are you doing wasting your time singing with this band?

Wasting my time?

I'm not wasting my time.

You don't know how many years it's taken me to get this far.

-l'm doing fine, Mr. Maine. Just great. -You're wasting your time.

Now, tell me about yourself. Where'd you come from?

-How did you start singing? -Oh, I--

Have you got a family? You married? Esther.

No. Esther.

We're breaking it up.

-Why, hello, Mr. McGuire. -Mr. Maine.

Ready to go home?

-Yes. -Good.

-l'll see that Esther gets home. -Oh, you're k--

-All right, Esther? -Yes.

In you go.

I'll see you at the bus in the morning, Danny.

Yeah, at 6:00.

Okay.

-Good night. -Yeah, good night.

Yeah.

Well, go on. Go ahead.

Do you know the only thing I can think of right now?

The only thought that comes into my mind is the way I wash my hair.

You see, when anything happens to me, good or bad...

...l make straight for the shampoo bottle.

Why would l have to think of that now?

I understand that perfectly. With me, it's golf balls.

If l'm happy or if I'm miserable, I putt golf balls around the living room.

It makes perfect sense. Go ahead.

I'm afraid I'm no good at talking about myself, Mr. Maine.

Everything just runs together.

Runs together? How?

All over the place.

Washing out my gloves in crummy hotel rooms...

...and winning a contest on the radio, singing in joints.

You see how my mind works? It's all jumbled.

I can sort it out.

Can you?

I can't.

I can remember my first job singing with the band.

And then, one-night stands clear across country by bus.

Putting on nail polish in the ladies' rooms of gas stations.

Waiting on tables....

Whoa, that was a low point.

I'll never forget it...

...and l'll never, never do that again.

No matter what.

But l had to sing.

I somehow feel most alive when l'm singing.

It's like....

You don't wanna hear all this, do you?

Do you mind?

Mind? No, l'm having a wonderful time.

Here, we turn here. l live on that street.

Is there anything more l should know about your fascinating life?

There must be more.

Oh, there is. A whole scrapbook full.

Oh.

Come in.

Well, have you had enough, as the Republicans used to say?

You know about as much about me now as l do of myself.

But you see how long it's taken me to get this far.

Now, all I need is just a little luck.

-What kind of luck? -Oh....

The kind of luck that every girl singer with a band dreams of.

One night a talent scout from a big record company will come in.

And he'll let me make a record.

Yes, and then?

Oh, the record'll become number one on the hit parade.

Be played on the jukeboxes all over the country.

And l'll be made.

End of dream.

-There's only one thing wrong with that. -l know. lt won't happen.

No, it might happen very easily. Only the dream isn't big enough.

How long will you be playing at the Grove?

Well, tonight was our last night. We leave for San Francisco in the morning.

Don't go.

-What? -Quit. Leave the band. Stay on here.

Let me see what I can do for you at the studio. l'll talk to Niles right away.

It's just a chance, but take it.

A chance?

Do you realize l'd be giving up everything I ever worked for?

That's right. But it's served its purpose. Listen to me, Esther.

A career is a curious thing. Talent isn't always enough.

You need a sense of timing, an eye for seeing the turning point...

...or recognizing the big chance when it comes along and grabbing it.

A career can rest on a trifle like....

Like us sitting here tonight.

Or it can turn on somebody's saying to you:

"You're better than that. You're better than you know."

Don't settle for the little dream. Go on to the big one.

Scared? Scared to take the plunge?

Yes.

Say, what makes you so sure about me?

I heard you sing.

-Yeah, but that-- -l know, just my word.

But you know yourself, don't you?

You just needed somebody to tell you.

Well, l'm certainly mixed up now.

-l thought l was doing just fine. -Don't look so miserable.

You don't have make up your mind now. Sleep on it.

I'll call you first thing in the morning.

Sleep on it. You fixed me for sleep, all right.

Whether you do it or not, don't ever forget how good you are.

Hang on to that.

Because I'm right.

Good night, Esther.

Good night, Mr. Maine. Thank you.

-Hey. -Hm?

I just wanna take another look at you.


Hello. Who is it? Oliver?

Who? Norman.

Oliver, just hold on a moment.

-Are you in jail? What have you done? -Yeah, yeah, no....

No, no, l'm not.

This girl, it turns out, she's a fabulous singer.

-You heard a girl sing. -No, this girl--

-Well, isn't that nice? -No. Don't make me mad.

-Do you know what time it is? -Wonderful talent. Now, listen, please.

-Yes, yes, l hear you. -All right.

Every word.

You heard a girl sing. What do you want me to do, applaud?

Yes.

Yes, l hear you. Yup.

Anything.

Well, thanks, Oliver.

Now, you go on back to sleep...

...because I want you to be nice and fresh in the morning when l bring her around.


Who is it?

It's me.

Are you asleep, Danny?

Not anymore. What's the matter?

I'm sorry, but I had to see you.

Something wrong? Hand me a cigarette.

A cigarette. Over there.

Oh, sure.

I'm quitting the band, Danny. I'm not going on to Frisco in the morning.

-You crazy or something? -Maybe.

Maybe, but I'm quitting.

Why? What happened?

Norman Maine is gonna get me a screen test.

Go on back to bed, will you, Esther?

Well, it's true.

You been drinking with him?

-Of course not. -Okay, then when we get to Frisco...

...l'll take you to a doctor and have your head examined.

What's the matter with you, Esther? He was making a conventional pass, that's all.

No. No, it wasn't that, Danny.

What else is it? He follows bands around and gives singers screen tests?

What's got into you?

He gave me a look at myself I've never had before.

He saw something in me nobody else ever did.

And he made me see it too.

He made me believe it.

Believe what? It's taken all these years for you...

...to get with a big-name outfit. You gonna toss it all in the ashcan?

And for what?

For a chance at being something...

...something bigger than l ever dreamed of.

And l'm not gonna turn back now.

Ever.

Coffee's almost ready.

I don't want any coffee. I'm wide awake now.

Oh, Danny.

Don't be mad at me.

I....

I'll be up in time to see you off in the morning.

I guess I'd better go.

How much money have you got, Esther?

Money?

Oh. A little.

Enough to last for a couple of weeks.

Oh, you'll be all signed up and in front of the cameras by then.

Oh, you fool.

You fool.

You think so?

Then why do I feel like this?

Goodbye, honey. Bye-bye.

Good luck to you.

Wait a minute, Danny. Bye.

Wish me luck.

Luck? You silly....

All right, go ahead and say it.

No, no use. You're going for the ride.

Okay. Good luck.

And don't forget who makes better vocal arrangements for you...

...better than anybody else in the world!

In his usual wonderful shape, huh?

He'll sleep it off on the plane. Any idea how long you'll be gone?

Oh, about five or six weeks at least. This one's being shot mostly on location.

It's a big sea epic.

He won't see anything for a long time but the stuff he hates, water.

So long.


All right, cut!

That's the one. Wrap it up.

All right. Bring us in.

They got it.

Bring them on in here. Bring them straight on in.

Very nice.

Thank you. Eddie. Eddie. Drink that coffee.

Where's Eddie? Talk to Eddie later.

Oh, there you are, Eddie. Any luck? Did you find it?

Mr. Maine, there's about 300 bungalow courts...

...around Sunset and Highland.

Can't you remember the number? Just the neighborhood.

Go ahead, take that telephone book and ring all 300. Go on.

Norm, will you go down and dry off? l need you in the cabin shot. Yeah, yeah.

What's with this phone-book routine?

The usual, some dame.

Eddie. Hey, Eddie.

It has the name of a flower on the side. A poinsettia or zinnia or something.

Get the studio to have someone take a car and cruise around there!

For two days if necessary!

But find that place!

Four days?

But you're behind schedule now, Bob.

Is Maine drunk?

Tell me the truth. Don't cover for him, Bob. I want to know.

Okay, we'll shoot around him.

Try and make up the time as soon as he's up.

Cut some corners, Bob. You've got to bring it in on time.

You know how tough things are right now.

They're on my neck from New York every day.

Okay, l understand.

What's so amusing?

Maine sick?

Bad case of flu, 1 03 temperature.

Kept him on the water too long, l'll bet.

Water would have a bad effect on him.


Oh, Esther, somebody called you about a job.

Said to call right back. The number's on the phone over there.

Thanks.

Mr. Blake?

Yes.

Singing?

Yes. On the set at 9.

Thank you very much.

It's very nice It's a bargain at double the price

Try it and find as long as you live Your crowning glory Will be most attractive If you want to be a girl That the men run to Use Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo Take my advice It's a bargain at double the price l'm gonna talk quick. We took a break, I've gotta get back.

Listen, l squared it with Williams. He'll take you back.

I'll wire the dough for the fare, join us in Cleveland.

Give me that address again.

I don't get it.

Do you know what the odds are against you?

Danny, you're wasting your breath. l haven't--

I don't think about him. I forgot him weeks ago.

But he did show me the way and that's what I'm sticking to. l don't care if I have to scrub floors-- Your order's ready. Pick it up.

Danny, l've gotta go. All right. Goodbye. Thank you.

Here you go.

-Good evening. -Well, what's good to eat today?

Cheeseburgers, nut burgers, banana burgers, chicken burgers...

...lobster burgers, tuna burgers, chop-suey burgers...

...and the super-duper super burger.

What's in that?

Everything in the place. All burgered.

You haven't any idea? The faintest idea where she might have gone?

I told you, sir. l told you three times.

That when people can't afford the moderate rates--

Yes, yes. Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Oleander Arms.

Well, no wonder I couldn't remember the name.

Why can't you call your place something like--?

What?

Never mind.

I bet you've never seen an oleander in your life.

Normie. Pumpkin.

Oh, pumpkin, now, really.

You just can't lie here on a lovely day like this. l can so just lie here on a lovely day like this.

What's the matter, Normie, have I offended you?

Well, if I have, darling, I'm really terribly sorry.

All I did was remember what you promised me.

What did I promise you? Was it a blue mink or a white mink?

Or have they done something else to the poor minks while I was away?

Normie, darling, it's not presents I want. lt's you, pumpkin, just you.

It's a bargain at double the price Don't you remember?

You said as soon as you finished that nasty old picture we'd go to Honolulu.

Now what's the matter?

That singing. Singing?

Yeah, on this television while you were talking.

Singing something. Television?

It's just an old commercial, silly.

Normie?

For heaven's sake, Norman.


Miss Barker! Hey, Miss Barker!

Who do you think just went upstairs?


Hey! Get away from that car! Get away from that car!

Hey! Hey!

Hey!

Hello! Oh!

Come on up.

All right.

Oh, l look so terrible.

Never mind how you look, listen to me. I got shanghaied away. Location.

I tried, believe me, I tried....

Get away from that car! l'm gonna beat your brains out when I get down!

Get away!

Oh, this is so awful.

You could stand a good dinner. l could, and in a place with tablecloths too.

What about a drive to the beach?

We could stop off for a hamburger on the way and then have a late supper.

What's the matter? What is it, Esther?

What's the matter? Nothing.


It's the nose. The nose is the problem.

-Maybe a corrective in the nostril. -No.

-Could I--? -Please, little lady, Mr. Ettinger's thinking.

It's 6:00 in the morning. Just about time for one of his miracles.

Do you think maybe...?

Do you think maybe the Dietrich eyebrows?

No. The nose is still the problem.

Suppose we try the Crawford mouth. Take attention away from the nose.

No. No.

Do you think maybe a hair job?

Yes.

I think that'd be fine.

Mr. Maine.

-Sorry, l'm late for an appointment. -But--

-Catch me in the commissary later. -Mr. Maine.

Oh, no.

No.

What's the matter with it?

I don't think that's very nice. Go ahead, laugh your head off.

I've been sitting in that chair since 6:00 this morning.

You sat an hour too long, honey.

Come on.


Now, sit down in that chair.

Here?

Well, first things first.

Now, what else is there?

Is that you?

Off it comes.

Now, wait, don't-- Don't-- Don't....

My nose is very bad.

Now, take every bit of that junk off your face.

But my eyes are all wrong and my ears are too big and...

...l've got no chin.

I know.

Come on, take it off.

Then put on your eyebrows and lipstick the way you always do and l'll do the rest.

Come on, you've gotta be made up and ready to shoot that test by 9:00.

-But, Mr. Maine-- -l think at this critical moment...

...you might call me Norman.

Norman, what difference does it make how well l sing if my face is so awful?

Your face is just dandy.

Now, wipe it off.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Once more.

Hey, you're shivering. Let me get you something to....

Here, put this around you.

Norman, I've got the willies.

I'm scared stiff.

I don't think l could sing a note.

Nothing would come out.

Of course you're scared. We all are. What makes you think you wouldn't be?

Look, forget the camera.

It's the Downbeat Club at 3:00 in the morning...

...and you're singing for yourself and for the band.

Mainly for yourself, the way I heard you.

Just keep that picture in your mind.

And if that doesn't do it, think of a man in a car eating a nut burger.

That did it. Come on.


-Miss Markham? -Yes?

I was told to see you. I'm Esther Blodgett.

Oh, yes? l expected a blond.

I don't know why.

-You've just signed a contract with us? -Yes, I have.

-Good. Good. Glad to have you with us. -Thank you.

We'll have to get what you've done so far.

-Where you came from and so forth. -l brought my scrapbook with me.

-And I thought that maybe-- -Thanks, dear. Very nice.

I'll have to turn you over to Miss Fusselow of Fashions.

This layout has got to get out to three magazines.

-Come along, dear. Come along. -Yes, ma'am.

Glad to have you with us. Thank you.

Nora?

Take care of this for me, will you? New contract player. Norman Maine.

-Hello, honey, nice to have you with us. -Hello.

Soon as l get some background on you, I must do a fashion style.

-Well, l brought a scrapbook-- -Oh, not now, dear.

I've gotta get these dresses right down to Photo.

Come along, honey.

All right.

I'll tell you what to do, honey. Why don't you go in and see Mr. Libby?

-Mr. Libby? -His office is right over there.

He's head of the department.

-Glad to have you with us. -Thank you.

Your hand a little higher. That's good.

-Get out of the way. -Oh, say--

-Would you get out of the way? -Yes, I'm--

-Just get out of the way. -Please excuse--

Leave them alone. They're all right. That's all right. Out of the way.

Yes. Would you lie back?

Let's take this picture. Raise your hand....

Mr. Libby?

-l'm Esther Blodgett. -Uh-huh.

-Uh, Miss Fusselow-- -Glad to have you with us.

Well, it certainly is a thrill to be here.

I brought my scrapbook along in case--

Care to say hello to the big boss? That's the usual procedure.

-Come, I'll take you to him. -Fine.

May be the only chance you get to meet him.

What's the matter? You afraid of heights?

No, no. I--

Mr. Niles. Libby?

-l'm running a picture. -You ought to meet this lady.

She just signed a contract.

The one that Mr. Maine arranged the test for, you remember?

Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

Nice to see you, dear.

Glad to have you with us.

Well, it's a thrill to be here.

Show Miss.... How to get out of here.

Good luck to you, dear.

Take care of yourself.

-Oh, Mr. Libby? -What?

-What do I do next? -Well, the gate's right down there.

-What did you say your name was again? -Esther Blodgett.

-What? -Esther Blodgett.

Well, we'll have to do something about that right away. Don't worry about it.

We'll have a new name for you by the end of the week.


Paul, will you swing your arc over here, please?

That's good. Hold it.

-George. -Can we make it?

All ready, sir.

Get the girl. Yes, sir.

George? Oh, Esther.

Pull that one down a couple of turns. Esther.

Esther. Waiting for you on the set.

Okay, boys, let's go. Everybody works.

-Right up there. Up the steps. -Okay.

Stand by, everybody.

All right, sir.

-Now, you know what l want. -Yes.

Put your arm out the window like this and you wave goodbye.

-Give it everything you've got. -All right.

-Okay, get over there. -Okay.

All right, let's take a try at it. Here we go. Hit your lights.

Hit your wind.

Hit your snow.

Hit your steam.

Roll them.

Speed. Action.

-We're getting her face. -Cut.

Hold it. We saw her face.

We saw your face.

-We saw her face. -We saw your face.

-We saw your face. -l'm sorry.

Watch it, Esther. l will.

Let's try it again. Watch it.

-l will. -Now, be careful this time.

Just the arm and the hand.

-l don't want to see your face. -l'm sorry.

Let's try it again. Hit everything.

Come on. Speed.

Action.

Esther Blodgett, please.

Go to L.

-What? -Go to L.

-Now-- -Go to window marked L.

You're listed under L.

Oh. Thank you.

-Esther Blodgett, please. -New here?

-Yes. -Just a moment.

Okay. Your name is Vicki Lester.

-What? -Your name is Vicki Lester.

Vicki Lester. V-l-C-K-I L-E-S-T-E-R. Get it?

Move on, please.

Oh, yes. Thank you.

Vicki Lester?

Vicki Lester.

Why couldn't you come over to my office to see me, Norman?

What's so hush-hush that you have to drag me down here?

Every time l lie down on this sofa, I get stabbed in the back.

-Well, what do you want? -That's what I wanna talk to you about.

Come, l want you to sit in this chair. The place gives me the creeps.

-What's with you? -Hasn't been decorated in centuries. Sit.

Now, isn't that the most uncomfortable chair you ever sat in?

Don't l deserve a dressing room...

-...that's cheerful, modern, safe? -You got me down here to talk about this?

When I give an interview, I feel ashamed.

I have a whole studio sitting on me and you get me down here for this?

-Don't you feel ashamed? -Don't you realize...

...l have a production shut down in the middle of shooting?

That's what you got me away from.

I'm being stabbed by a singer in New York, not just a sofa.

You had to stop because you couldn't get her here. What are you gonna do?

I don't know. l don't know what I'm going to do except go crazy.

That woman, she swore her contract was up for the show.

Our lawyers are talking about it to New York this afternoon.

Why do they have to play that stuff so loud?

You better leave it open, Oliver, we'll be suffocated.

-crazy game What is it, anyway?

It's just somebody running some tests.

I can hardly hear myself think.

I suppose there's nobody around here.

-What? -You'd think there'd be somebody here...

...you could take a chance on, rather than close down a picture, things being tough.

Who, for instance? Name someone.

--be the same I don't know, Oliver.

New actors.

You think all there is to running a studio is pressing buttons.

It's not quite that easy, believe me.

--every trick of his Say, who is that singing, anyway?

It must be one of the contract girls.

Not bad.

No.

And where's he gone to?

Not bad.

The road gets rougher It's lonelier and tougher Not bad at all.

--you burn up Tomorrow he will turn up There's just no letup A light begins to break. Very dumb of me.

All right, l get it.

A little late, that's all.

Is she still around?

Indeed, indeed.

Esther?


Very good. Thanks, Esther. Except right down here, l think--

I shouldn't go that far.

Well, use our hands. Fine, let's all do it again. Ready?

l've been through this a hundred times, Esther.

My own previews as well as other people's.

And the thing to remember about a preview...

...is first and foremost, pay absolutely no attention...

...to the sights and sounds going on around you.

If the picture before the preview is a stinker...

...then your picture gets off to a good start, but....

Anyway, they always go out for fresh popcorn...

...so that the first few reels always sound like the Marines landing on Iwo Jima.

And the thing to do-- Norman?

Yes?

Would you stop the car, please?


Are you all right?

Fine. l wish I was dead.

Come on.

-We're in luck, Esther. We're in luck. -Why? Did the theater burn down?

That picture of mine is so bad, anything they see after will seem great.

You're starting lucky.

Swanee, how l love ya How I love ya My dear old Swanee The folks up north will see me no more When l get to that Swanee shore


Thank you. Thank you very much.

I can't express it any other way.

For, with this awful trembling in my heart...

...l just can't find another thing to say.

I'm happy that you liked the show.

I'm grateful you liked me.

And l'm sure to you, the tribute seemed quite right.

But if you knew of all the years Of hopes and dreams and tears You'd know it didn't happen Overnight Overnight.

I was born in a trunk In the Princess Theater ln Pocatello, ldaho It was during the matinee on Friday And they used a makeup towel For my didee When l first saw the light It was pink and amber Coming from the footlights On the stage When my dad carried me out there To say hello They tell me That I stopped the show So I grew up in a crazy world Of dressing rooms And hotel rooms and waiting rooms And rooms behind the scenes And l can't forget the endless rows Of sleepless nights and eatless nights And nights without a nickel In my jeans But it's all in the game And the way you play it And you've gotta play the game, you know When you're born in a trunk At the Princess Theater In Pocatello Idaho

At first I just stood And watched from the wings That's all my mom and dad would allow

But as l got older I got a little bolder And snuck out for their second bow

They kept me in the act Because they needed me to milk applause Until one night They did a crazy thing

They left me out there all alone Mama said, "You're on your own"

And Papa shouted, "This is it kid, sing"

I'll get by As long as l Have you Though there be rain And darkness too I'll not complain I'll see it through I learned very quickly The tricks of the trade I practiced after everyone was gone And with the tricks I learned traditions And the hardest one of all Is no matter what The show must go on As time went by I looked for jobs And was kicked from pillar to post I haunted all the agents' offices And l almost ended up a ghost

I'm a sentimental sap That's all What's the use of trying not to fall I have no will You made your kill

'Cause you took advantage of me No.

I'm just like an apple on the bough And you're gonna Shake me down somehow So, what's the use You cooked my goose

'Cause you took advantage of me No.

I'm so hot and bothered That I don't know My elbow from my ear Suffer something awful each time you go But much worse when you're near Here am I with all my bridges burned Just a babe in arms Where you're concerned So lock the doors Call me yours

'Cause you took advantage of me Yes.

No.

So I got into a tap show All l did was kick my feet You'd hardly call it a chance to sing But at least it was a chance to eat

They call it black bottom A new twister But sure got him An old sister They clap their hands And do the raggedy trot Hot Ooh!

Old fellows with lumbago And young fellows, away they go They jump right in And give it all that they've got

Then one night something happened.

Dame fortune showed her face.

The star got sick and l was told to go on in her place.

But she recovered.

Oh, well.

Black bottom A new rhythm When you spot 'em You go with 'em And do that Black, black, black, black bottom You won't be blue When you have got 'em If you do that Black, black, black, black bottom all day

But finally l got an offer To sing in New York And I wired, "I'm on my way"

I had visions that this would be A fabulous, famous cafe Filled with high society Elegance and spruce And l pictured me The epitome Of a very chic chanteuse Peanuts Through every city, town And country lane You'll hear him sing His plaintive little strain And as he goes by To you he'll say Sing "Melancholy Baby."

Peanuts The little children like to trail along They like to hear The peanut vendor's song They all laugh with glee When he will say

-Sing "Melancholy Baby." -"Melancholy Baby."

Come to me My melancholy Baby Cuddle up And don't be blue All your fears are foolish fancy Shh.

Maybe You know, dear That I'm in love with you

Every cloud must have A silver lining Wait Until the sun shines through Smile, my honey dear While I kiss away Each tear Or else I shall be Melancholy Too

My benefactor appeared with his card.

And at first, l thought he was fresh.

Fresh?

He was fresh from heaven All right He produced the show That gave me the chance To sing for you tonight Swanee, how l love ya How I love ya My dear old Swanee I'd give the world to be Among the folks in D-I-X-I-Even now my mammy's Waitin' for me Prayin' for me Down by the Swanee The folks up north will see me no more When l get to that Swanee shore Swanee I'm coming back to Swanee Mammy l love the old folks at home I love ya, Swanee How I love ya How I love ya My dear old Swanee I'd give the world if l could only be Sittin' on my mammy's knee l love the old folks I love the young folks Oh, my honey lamb You love 'em all in Alabamy Mammy My dear old mammy Your wanderin' child Will wander no more When l get to that Swanee Shore

So I can't quite be called Overnight sensation For it started many years ago When l was born in a trunk In the Princess Theater In Pocatello Idaho


-Wait, wait. -Oliver. Oliver.

What about Vicki for the Morgan script?

Starts shooting next week.

Where's Norman?

Vicki, l want you to read this script because....

-Vicki. -Oliver....

Thank you.

Is nobody buying anybody a drink on the strength of all this success?

I heard a few comments about my film which makes me feel the need of one.

-Vicki, we'll see you over at my house. -All right. All right, fine.

Ray. Hey, your score was out of this world, the greatest.

Say, l've never seen preview cards like this in my life.

I waited for the breakdown.

Ninety-seven percent say you got yourself a new star.

Read these, gentlemen, and enjoy yourselves.

I'll need a lot of stuff on you, Vicki. Be in my office tomorrow morning.

That is, if you can make it. Now, here. Here, this is just....

Read this part.

This is what I was telling you about. This is very interesting.

They all say her performance was excellent. Get a load of these. See?

Every one says the same thing.

It's all yours, Esther.

And l don't mean just the Cadillacs and the swimming pools.

It's all yours.

In more ways than one.

I hope....

Yes, Norman, go ahead. Say what you.... Would you?

You're gonna be a great star. Don't let that change you too much.

Don't let it take over your life.

You're very dear.

Norman, you make this sound like the end of something...

...instead of the beginning. You make it sound like goodbye.

I've done all I can for you.

You've come along the road with me as far as you should.

Let's leave it that way.

Norman, don't you know how l feel about you?

Yes. Yes, l do.

Don't you know nothing about you could make any difference?

-lt's too late. -No, it isn't. It is not--

It is, l tell you.

-Norman, there's nothing you can-- -Listen to me--

-l love you. I will not-- -l destroy everything I touch. l always have.

-No. -Forget me, I'm a bad lot.

You've come too late.

I don't believe that.

It's not too late. Not for you, not for me.

Don't say that, Esther.

I might begin to believe it.

Please, believe it. Believe it.

Believe it. Believe it.

-l think they're all rehearsed. -Fine, Jeff.

We're ready whenever you are. Okay.


What am I here for?

It's time you knew Here's what l'm here for I'm here for you Can you forgive me?

Am l too late?

All the years that I wandered And pondered were squandered My heart insisted I seek you out That you existed My heart had no doubt To share a journey That leads to heaven's door You'll find is what I'm here For

What am I here for?

It's time you knew Here's what l'm here for I'm here for you Can you forgive me?

Am l too late?

All the years that I wandered And pondered were squandered My heart insisted I seek you out That you existed My heart had no doubt Cut. That's it. Wonderful.

Maestro, very good. Esther, listen to this one.

Come on.

Okay, let's have the playback.

Just the last eight. I want the chorus arrangement.

Take a smoke, boys. My, it sounded really good.

Sounded real good.

My heart had no doubt To share a journey That leads to heaven's door You'll find is what I'm here For

What am I here for?

How'd I sound? Just adequate.

Best-friend-severest-critic department, huh?

What is this?

Listen to the arrangement Danny made.

-Oh, come on. -Turn it off.

I wasn't listening.

I was thinking about another kind of arrangement.

Another kind?

Uh-huh. Domestic. Will you marry me?

No, thank you.

And l wandered and pondered--

Why not?

Well, you're irresponsible.

Oh, l'm sorry.

Go ahead. Stop that. Get out of here.

What else?

You drink too much Suppose l quit drinking?

Suppose l become absolutely dependable on all occasions?

You wouldn't be Norman Maine. I'd be marrying the wrong man.

Quiet. Norman.

Yes?

Darling, would you do all that for me if I said l'd marry you?

No. l've had a chance to think it over with all that humming and singing.

It's too much to ask.

You see?

Well, goodbye. Goodbye, everyone.

Oh, now, wait a minute, my boy. That's much too public a proposal...

...for me to say no to. l accept.

-You do? -Yes, I do.

Oliver, we're gonna get married.

I guess I didn't read that line right. I'll try again.

We're going to get married.

-Both of us. -To each other. What do you think of that?

What's the matter?

He's trying to decide if it's good for the studio.

Well, is it?

-lt is. My blessings. -Thank you.

A little unsteady, but thank you.

Congratulations. Thank you, Libby.

How long a honeymoon are you going to give us?

Now, let's see.

I'll want you back by the ninth.

No, make it the tenth.

Now, don't let your heart run away with your head.

I'll have to call Production and see how long l can stall off Vicki's wardrobe tests.

While you're settling the details, is it all right if I go out and buy the lady a ring?

Sure, we want everything legal.

-Thank you. -Bye.

Bye, Oliver.

Goodbye, Libby. Bye. Bye, Libby.

-Congratulations. -Thank you very much.

That was quite a decision you made just now, Oliver.

Decision?

Letting that girl walk into a booby trap.

Vicki's business is her own.

Is it?

She's the hottest piece of property the studio has right now.

This might make the difference to Norman.

This might be it.

Any bets?

Well, l better start the wheels grinding.

A front-page splash on the wedding would help his slipping box office.

Hello, this is Matt Libby. Get me my office.

Mr. Libby's office. Hello. Hello, Markham?

-Yes, Mr. Libby. -Lester and Maine are getting married.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, look, I want all stops pulled.

Full coverage, every department. The wedding to end all weddings.

-Yes, sir. -All right. Now, see if you can get...

...the mayor to close school that afternoon. I'll get you the date.

Get newsreel and television coverage started right away.

Yeah. Get all traffic routed out of Beverly Hills for two miles each side of the church.

Which one?

The big one. And tell the Life, the TIME, the AP and the UP boys...

...that l'll set up restricted coverage with each one of them, personally.

Yeah. The bleachers and everything. The full treatment.

Now, if any man can show just cause why these two...

...may not be lawfully joined together, let him now speak or else hereafter...

...forever hold his peace.

Do you, Ernest Sidney Gubbins, take this woman for your wedded wife?

I do.

Will you love, comfort, honor and keep her in sickness and in health...

...as long as you both shall live?

I will.

Do you, Esther Blodgett, take this man for your wedded husband? l do. Will you obey, serve, love, honor...

...and keep him in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live?

-l will. -Now, place the ring on her finger.

By virtue of the powers vested in me...

...as justice of peace of San Verdo township...

...county of Los Angeles, I pronounce you man and wife.

-Good luck. -Hooray!

I must exercise my prerogatives of office.

I wish you all the happiness, miss.

Thank you so much.

Same to you.

-And now, if you'll just sign this. -Oh, yes.

You know, I'd swear I'd seen you before, Mrs. Gubbins.

Oh, really?

Well, l think this is the first time I've ever been in San Verdo.

You know, your face looks familiar too, Mr. Gubbins.

-Thank you very much. -Thank you.

Thank you.

Here's your receipt.

-Goodbye. -Oh, goodbye.

-Bye. -Bye.

-Here. -Thank you.

-l think we got by with it. -lt was close.

That J.P. was just beginning to remember us.

At least we got away from Libby.

Libby doesn't even know we left town.

All the luck.

Well, if you'll be kind enough to glance between my shoulder blades...

...Mr. and Mrs. Gubbins...

...you'll find there a knife, on its handle are your initials.

-Oh, now, don't be angry. -lt's been delightful seeing you.

Wait! Wait a minute! Goodbye!

-l've got-- -Bye.

Well, l wish them joy.

Wait till they see the press. It won't be so funny.

-They've a right to get married quietly. -No, they haven't. He knows better.

Mr. Public Nuisance could stand some decent publicity for a change.

I've spent ten years covering up for him.

Killing bad stories, sucking up to columnists to smooth away his insults.

Who do you think they'll blame for not letting them cover this today? Him? No. Me.

I'll look just like a fool.

Double-crossed by a cruddy actor.

Well, he needs this, believe me, more than I do.

Okay.

Just wait your turn, l always say.

What do you always say, McGuire?


Ooh.

Well, the first thing to do, l think...

...is to go and wash your face. It's quite dirty.

I know my face is dirty. But you didn't want anybody to recognize us, did you?

No, that's right.

But you can unmask now.

I paid my $2, l wanna see what l got. There it is.

Nice.

Oh. Heh.

And now, folks, Vicki Lester...

...singing the title song from her new picture It's a New World.

This is the number one tune of the hit parade...

...and the number one favorite on the jukeboxes all over the country.

Vicki Lester, "lt's a New World."

Well, there it is, Esther.

You've got it, just the way you dreamed it.

No, I've got more.

Much more.

Hey.

That's for ordinary folks who have to turn on the radio...

...and put a nickel in the jukebox. I've got a private copyright of my own.

Including the Scandinavian.

I've got the built-in original right in the house, every time l want to hear it.

And l want it now.

No, you don't.

To kind of celebrate.

All right.

How wonderful that l'm beholding A never-never land unfolding Where we polish up the stars And mountains we move In a life where all the pleasures We will prove It's a new world I see A new world for me The tears have rolled off my cheek And fears fade away Every time you speak A new world Though we're in a tiny room What a vision of joy And blossom and bloom A newfound promise One that will last So I'm holding on And l'm holding fast You've brought A new world to me

And that it'll always Always Be

Well, l've been preparing them.

You have? Do you want to see your picture?

-l'd like to. -Why don't you go and get a good seat?

-They want to see the black and white. -Oh, all right, fine.

-Now, listen to this-- -Oh, hello.

-Would you like to see a movie? -Wonderful.

We're going to run one. We feel so classy with a projector.

You have to put up with this sort of thing.

-Yeah, can l get you a drink? -l'm fine, thanks.

All right.

Stunts and speed mark the National Air Show.

Vampire jets of the Royal Canadian Air Force flash overhead.

Marilyn Rich, the helicopter girl, does her stuff...

...from one of the highest perches ever used by an acrobat. And no net.

Now U.S. jets zoom overhead.

Watch them burst apart like a fountain.

Red Grant is the outdoor type.

He prefers to do his flying on the wing despite a 30-mile wind....

Traitor.

There's a fight on l wanted to catch a bit of. I've seen the picture anyway.

Why didn't you say something? We could've run something else.

That doesn't matter. It's a good picture. You'll all enjoy it.

Go on back, Norman, I think the newsreel's over.

Are you feeling all right? You haven't said a word the whole evening.

Sure, l'm all right. Just one of my silent evenings.

Go ahead, you'll miss the beginning.

There's no hurry. These credits will run forever.

I thought you were the one who never took the studio home with you.

This is different. l'm not at home.

Has this got anything to do with me? What you're worrying about?

Well, has it?

I'll tell you all about it at the studio on Monday. Have lunch with me.

How about telling me now?

This isn't the time or the place, Norman. You have guests inside--

Oliver, we've known each other too long to start playing games with each other.

What's sticking in your throat that you can't tell me?

The New York boys have been out here for the past week.

-They want me to take a salary cut? -No, Norman.

Well, l guess the only way to say it, is to say it.

They've instructed me to buy up the rest of your contract.

Pay you off.

Pay me off?

Why? My last two pictures haven't grossed as big as they used to...

...but neither has anybody else's.

-They know that. -Well, what is it, then?

Can you take it?

Go ahead.

They can't afford you anymore, Norman. You're too big a risk.

Those big, fat lush days when a star could get drunk and disappear...

...and hold up production for two weeks are over.

Even if you hadn't slipped a little, they still wouldn't take the chance.

Your record's too bad.

No one can afford it anymore. Things are too tough.

I tried, Norman.

I tried very hard.

I see.

Well, don't look so miserable, Oliver. There are other studios, you know.

Only bad thing is I shan't be working for you anymore.

Well, we had a long roll of the dice, didn't we, Oliver?

Can't complain now.

Hey, by the way...

...can you keep this under wraps for a while?

-l'd like to tell Esther about it my own way. -Of course.

Have you seen this, Oliver?

Well, l've certainly picked a fine time to build myself a big new house, didn't I?

You know, Oliver, l sometimes think I was born with a genius, an absolute genius...

...for doing the wrong thing.

"Since Mr. Maine feels that his career will be benefited by a change...

...uh, we do not wish to stand in his way," unquote.

When contacted, the star said that he would announce his future plans...

...at a later date.

The wheel goes round and round...

...and if you just wait long enough...

...it's finally your turn.

Don't take that down, Miss Willer, I was just talking to myself.

-Sorry. -That's all right.

I'm in the mood where you can make more than your usual quota of mistakes.

Read that whole thing back to me, will you?

"Oliver Niles Studio announced this morning that it has granted...

...Norman Maine's request for a cancellation of his contract.

'This step was taken with deep regret,' said Mr. Niles, 'and marks the end...

...of a long and happy relationship.'

But since Mr. Maine feels that his career will be benefited by a change...."


Yes. This is Malibu 2-901 0.

Is Miss Lester there, please? No, she isn't.

-Who's this? The butler? -No, this isn't the butler.

Oh, is that you, Norman? This is Artie Carver. How are you?

Say, as long as l've got you on the phone, anything new with you?

Have you made a deal at any other studio yet?

No, nothing new with me at all, Artie.

Say, Norman, is it true that you're trying to get Vicki to leave the studio...

...because you're sore at Niles for settling your contract?

No, it isn't true. And don't you start that rumor going.

Okay, Norman, don't get sore. I was just trying to help.

Just trying to get your name in the papers, that's all.

Anyway, what I called you for was I've been trying to get an interview...

...with Vicki for two weeks and she's always busy.

How about you giving an old pal a break and speaking to her for me?

Sure, l'll ask her, Artie.

Fine. Fine.

Norman, I'm gonna put a squib in the column...

...saying that you're cooking up an independent deal.

Won't fool anybody, but let them know you're alive. Bye, now.

Bye.


Hi.

-l'm sorry to be so late. -lt's all right.

You're here now.

-Did you go fishing with Captain Blythe? -No, I haven't been out of the house.

-No? Then let's go out someplace tonight. -But you're tired.

-No. -Let's stay in. You must be tired.

I'm not a bit tired. Really, l'm not.

-And anyway.... -What?

I see so little of you that I'd rather have you to myself.

I didn't even get out of my practice costume.

Oh, Norman, it's the servants' night out. I don't think we've got--

Oh, yes, we have. I fixed a little snack with my own lily-white hands.

What?

I'm learning to cook in my spare time.

Well, then l think l'll marry you.

I get it. You wanna make an honest cook of me.


My goodness.

How does it look?

-lt looks wonderful. -That's what I thought.

-Sit down, sit down. -All right.

Don't be formal, just pitch in.

I don't think my mouth is big enough.

I'll measure it. Make the sandwiches to size next time.

I think I'll take the measurements right now.

That's what l wait for all day.

That's why l rush home every night without even changing my costume.

We're forgetting we're hungry.

-Milk? -Yes, thank you.

Cheers.

Well, what went on at the studio today, the old alma mater?

Well, we started doing the big production number today.

And this is the production number to end all production numbers.

-An American ln Paris? -An American In Paris.

And in Spain and--

-Brazil? -Brazil, yes.

-And Pakistan. -Pakistan and Burma Road.

-lt's got sex and schmaltz and-- -And patriotism.

Patriotism without end. You should see the things that come out of the ground...

...and that come down from the ceiling. Never seen anything like it in your life.

Wait a minute. Wait. Here, l'll put the practice record on and show you.

Lights.

Camera.

Action.

I'm discovered sitting on a rather simple divan.

Somewhere there's a someone Who's the someone for me Someday there will come one And my lover he will be Somehow l shall know him From the moment he's in view And he'll know affection He's never known hitherto Now we have a stunning shot with a clock.

I pay no mind to the waiting Let the clock ticktock away The dream l'm contemplating

-Will be here to stay -Oop!

Oh, somewhere in the sometime When the humdrum--

You know, I got pretty girlish in this number.

With that someone I'll be someone at last Now here comes a big, fat close-up.

With my someone I'll be someone At last

-Not a harp. -There's always a harp...

...in a dream sequence, don't be silly.

-The heavenly choir? -Yeah, 20 girls just came up...

...out of the floor. And there's smoke all over the room.

Where there's a someone Somewhere there's a someone Somewhere, someone Somewhere there's a someone I'm discovered on top of the Eiffel Tower.

Of course.


This is the story of a little girl.

Searching, searching, searching.

For she knows somewhere...

...is a someone who is a someone for her.

This is her story.

Somewhere is a sometime When the humdrum days have passed With my someone I'll be someone at last With my someone I'll be someone At last They discover me in China too.


Somewhere she will find him somewhere Somewhere she will find him Nowhere

Africa.


Someone

Somewhere There's a someone somewhere Someone, somewhere

-Brazil, l told you. -Right. Brazil it is.


Shoot.

Bing. Boom.

You're dead.

Somewhere there's a someone Somewhere there's a someone There's a someone waiting for me

That's the doorbell.

Maybe they'll go away.

They never do at a time like this.

Don't answer it.

Darling, it's so good to hear you laughing.

I know, I know.

I'd better. Might be a cable.

I sent one to Alex Korda about a picture in England.

I've been expecting an answer.

Maybe things are looking up.

Vicki Lester live here? I got a package for her.

-l'll sign for it. -Who are you?

I'm her husband.

Sure. Sign right there, Mr. Lester.

Thank you.


Package for you.

Oh?

By the way, I forgot to tell you, they want you...

...for the Motion Picture Relief Fund benefit.

It's in April sometime. I told them I'd ask you.

-Now, darling-- -No, no, no, let me finish before l forget.

The Academy Award secretary called...

...and wanted to know how many there'd be in your party.

And Art Carver called and wanted me to use my influence with you...

...to get him an interview. I told him I'd try.

That's all.

Well, now that the supper show is over, let's have some supper, shall we?

I think I shall mix myself a drink. I'm not very hungry.

No.


My young son asked me if these Oscars were made of real gold.

I had to be truthful and tell him, no, they weren't.

He was very disappointed.

And then the pride of the household said:

"Daddy, why is it called an Oscar?"

"Shut up," l explained.

And then my dear wife entered the argument...

...with a little lecture on child psychology.

And it's rather lucky that I'm here at all tonight.

You don't think anything's happened, do you?

You know what the traffic's like. He's been held up, that's all.

Oh, I wish I could've made him understand that...

...many of us feel that to win one of them is ample reward for an entire career.

I know l do.

Thank you.

Now, to present this year's award for the Best Actress--

Stop worrying. Think how nice that statuette's gonna look on your mantelpiece.

--last year's Academy Award winner, Mr. Nigel Peters.

Those nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress are:

Jane Brandon, Those Who Seek.

Vicki Lester, A World For Two.

Alice Tenny, The Great Chance.

Shirley Vander, Don't Cry, My Love.

The winner is...

...Miss Vicki Lester.

Oh, l wish Norman were here.


When something like this happens to you--

I'm not gonna lie to you and tell you I didn't keep hoping it would happen.

--all the speeches that you've made up in your bedroom or in the bathtub...

...go out of your mind completely.

And you find that out of all the words in the world...

...just two stick in your mind:

Thank you.

And all l can do is to say them to you from my heart and--

And--

Shh.


Congratulations, my dear. I made it just in time, didn't I?

May I borrow the end of your speech to make a speech of my own?

My method for gaining your attention may seem a little unconventional, but...

...hard times call for harsh measures.

My, l had my speech all prepared, but I....

It's gone right out of my head.

Let me see.

Why, it's silly to be so formal, isn't it?

I know most of you sitting out there by your first names, don't I?

I made a lot of money for you, gentlemen, in my time through the years, haven't I?

Well, l need a job now.

Yeah, that's it, that's the speech. That's the....

I need a job.

That's what l wanted to say. I....

I need a job.

It's as simple as that. l....

I need a job, that's all.

My talents, l may say, are not confined to dramatic parts.

I can play comedy too.

Yes.

Well, play something, somebody.

Norman, darling.

Darling.

Let's sit down. Come on.

Come on.


Get me a drink, somebody.

Morning, Vicki.

Hi, Frank. How are you?

Fine.

Ready to go? Yeah, any time.

Hit the lights. Up high. Six and eight.

Give us the scene. Lee?

Come over to 1 03, will you?

Now, drop that door down on main.

Quiet, now!

-Quiet! -Roll them!

-Speed! -Playback! Come on.

One, two.

If, as, and when you've got a long face Rearrange it Don't be contented with the wrong face There's a way to change it

Does the day look painful?

The future glum?

Does the sky look rainful?

Hey there Say there Are you in a vacuum?

All this stuff and nonsense You can overcome A long face gets you nowhere You lose that month of May Like Peter Pan The sweeter pan Wins the day Go lose that long face That long face Go along and get that long face lost The blues black out when they can see A smile that says "Move on. No vacancy"

This panacea idea I'm handing you without any cost There isn't any tax on it So just relax on it If you want trouble double-crossed Don't give in to a frown Turn that frown upside down And get yourself that long face lost


-Hey! -This panacea idea I'm handing you without any cost There isn't any tax on it So just relax on it If you want trouble double-crossed Don't give in to a frown Turn that frown upside down And go and get your long face Get your long face Go, go, go and get your long face Lost Cut.

Cut. That's it.

Very good, everybody. Very good. Fine, Vicki, fine.

Take it easy for a bit. We've got to move in for the closer angle, okay?

All right. All right, kids, take five.

Back to school. New mark for the camera.

Come in.

Oliver. Esther.

Hello. It's good to see you again.

Three months is a long time.

-How was your trip? -Not exactly the pleasure trip it used to be.

They want your pictures, Esther.

That's all l kept hearing way across the country.

Thanks.

Look, would you mind stopping that for just a minute? Excuse me.

-All right. -Excuse me.

Tough day?

Oh, no, no tougher than usual.

Maybe you ought to get away after this one. New York or Europe.

Just get completely away. What about that?

How's Norman?

Is he all right?

Yes, he's fine. Want some coffee?

-Thanks. -Here.

-Sit down, Oliver. -Tell me, is he...?

He's in the sanitarium.

He really wants to stop drinking, Oliver.

He's trying very hard. l know he is.

But....

What is it?

What is it that makes him wanna destroy himself?

You've known him longer than anyone else.

Tell me what it is.

Please. I don't care, just tell me.

Don't you think l've tried through the years to know why?

To help him?

I don't know, Esther.

I don't know what the answer is.

Well, l've got to find the answer.

You don't know what it's like to watch somebody you love...

...just crumble away, bit by bit...

...and day by day in front of your eyes.

And stand there helpless.

Love isn't enough.

I thought it was.

I thought I was the answer for Norman.

But love isn't enough for him.

And l'm afraid of what's beginning to happen...

...within me.

Because...

...sometimes l hate him.

I hate his promises to stop...

...and then the watching and waiting to see it begin again.

I hate to go home to him at night.

And listen to his lies.

Well, my heart goes out to him because he tries.

He does try.

But l...

...hate him for failing.

I hate me too.

I hate me...

...because I've failed too.

I have.

I don't know what's going to happen to us, Oliver.

No matter...

...how much you love somebody...

...how do you live out the days?

How?

Would it help any if he went back to work?

Oliver, could you--?

Could you do that?

I'll try.

-Yeah, all right. I'll be there. -Two minutes.

Yes, okay.

Oliver.

You will be careful when you talk to him, won't you?

You know...

...all he's got left is his pride-- Is his pride.

Quiet.

Hurry it up. Set up for number six.

Playback.

Get ready, number six, make that happen.

Quiet, everybody.

-any tax on it So just relax on it If you want trouble double-crossed Don't give in to a frown Turn that frown upside down Hey And go and get your long face Get your long face Go, go, go and get your long face Lost

-l'm Mr. Niles. -Oh, yes, come in.

Well, Mr. Niles, we're expecting you. My name is Harrison.

-How do you do? -Come into the reception room...

...make yourself comfortable. Mr. Maine'll be down.

Thank you.


Hello, Oliver.

-Welcome to Liberty Hall. -Hello, Norman.

Shall we...? Hm. Shall we go through there?

Sit down.

You don't think someone'll come strolling in...

...and start telling us he's Napoleon or Julius Caesar, do you?

No.

Nevertheless, I think we'd find it a little cozier in the sun porch.

Now, Cuddles, Mr. Niles isn't slipping me a case of Scotch.

He's just gonna sit with me.

Oliver, this is Cuddles, my social secretary.

We go everywhere together.

How are you feeling?

Oh, l'm coming along splendidly, so Cuddles tells me.

He says you ought to see some of the boys.

Well, let's sit down.

Cuddles, we really don't need you.

Touching, isn't it? He can't bear to have me out of his sight.

Well, you comfortable here?

Comfortable? Why, it's positively luxurious.

Why, we even have steel mesh on the windows to keep the drafts out.

How much longer do you think you'll be here?

Well, l'm really cured now, only l'm just staying on...

...an extra week or two until I get into really good shape.

After all, there isn't any great hurry to return to the cameras.

That's what l wanna talk to you about.

I have a script here.

It has a fine part for you in it.

Why, that's great, Oliver.

Who plays opposite me?

Well, it isn't exactly the lead, Norman. Young Pemberton's doing that.

But l'll tell you frankly, I consider your part better than the lead.

I see. Better than the lead.

Of course, it isn't terribly long. lt's one of those parts that make an impression.

They'll be thinking about you all through the picture.

Well, the thing is, Oliver, that I'm pretty well set at another studio.

I'm not at liberty at the moment to tell you which one.

You know yourself how those things are, but it's big. Big.

It's-- Cuddles, do you have a quarter?

It's one of the biggest pictures of the year. As for the part, every actor in Hollywood...

-...would give his eyeteeth to play it. -That's fine, Norman. Just fine.

Naturally, that'll tie you up for a while.

However, we're not getting to this for some time.

-Perhaps you'd consider it for later on. -Better not count on me.

I've got several pictures lined up. They're talking to me about England.

-They're doing some interesting things-- -Hey.

What is it, Cuddles?

-Speak right out. We all love you. -Your dinner.

Oh, yes.

We dine here at 5:30. Makes the nights longer.

Well, l'll be toddling along, Norman.

Supposing l just leave this.

Maybe you'll come up with some ideas, even if you don't play the part.

Oh, sure. Sure.

Nice to see you doing so well, Norman.

Oh, l shall be out of here in no time.

I shall have to introduce myself all over again to a lot of people.

They won't know me when l'm not drinking.

Goodbye, Oliver.

Thanks for dropping in.

All right, Cuddles.

Alone at last.

Your attention, please. ln this race, Number 5, La Golondrina, three pounds over.

The total weight, 1 1 2 pounds.

Number 7, Royalty, two pounds over.

The total weight, 1 1 4 pounds.

Well, hello, Bert.

Oh, hello, Norman.

-Marian, how are you? -Fine, fine.

-Hi, Sammy. -Hello, Norman. How are you?

I think this one.

Yes.

After all, he's never won before. Give him a chance.

Well....

Your attention, please. The horses are coming on the track.

Hello, Mr. Maine. Haven't seen you around in a long time.

No, I've been resting. Ginger ale, please.

Yes, sir. Ginger ale and what?

Ginger ale and ginger ale.

-New leaf? -A whole new book.

Thanks.

Scotch.

Hello, Libby. Haven't seen you in a long time.

-What do you like in the third race? -Well, it's Mr. America of Yesteryear.

Do they let you wander around now without a keeper?

Oh, l'm a trusty, now.

I suppose you'll be here all the time now that you've retired...

...from the hurly-burly of the silver screen. Another Scotch.

We're staying down at Malibu now and it gets pretty lonesome...

-...with Esther away working all day. -l wouldn't squawk if l were you.

It's nice having somebody in the family making a living.

Hey, go a little slow, Libby. I don't wanna forget that we're friends.

Friends, my eye.

Listen, l got you out of your jams...

...because it was my job, not because l was your friend.

I don't like you. I never did like you.

Nothing made me happier than to see all those little pranks of yours...

...catch up with you and land you on your face.

Pretty work, Libby. Always wait till they're down, then kick them.

You got yourself fixed nice and comfortable, you got no complaint.

You can live off your wife now.

Stand back, folks.

Stand back, folks. What's the matter with him?

Are you hurt? Oh, he's all right.

-lt's Norman Maine. -Drunk again.

He's been drunk for years. Come on, honey, we'll miss the next race.

How does Vicki stand him? She must feel sorry for him.

Let's not us get involved.

Scotch.

Double.


Esther, you'll make yourself ill.

Try and get a little sleep.

Four days. He's been gone for four days now and not a word.

I can't.

Hello?

No, this is Oliver Niles speaking.

What?

Oh, thank heaven.

He's all right. He's all right, Esther. He isn't hurt.

Where?

In the night court? Thank you.

He's been arrested on a drunk charge.

I'll go right down and try and get him out.

I'm going with you.

That's no place for you. If the newspapers get it, it'll be bad--

What do I care about that now?


Were you able to do anything?

The judge says he'll get as fair treatment as anybody else.

And that's all he'd say.

Cigarettes out. Please rise.

Face the flag of our country.

Come on, keep moving.

Line up here.

Come on, come on, line up.

All right, fellows, let's go. Come on. Right down there.

Hats off, cigarettes out. Hurry it up, come on.

Come on, hurry up. Come on, come on. Hurry it up. Single file line, face the judge.

Face the judge. Hurry it up.

Second line right down there.

Single file.

Hurry it up.

Take your hat off.

Hurry it up, fellows.

Take your hat off. Come on, go. Hat off.

Come on. Hurry it up, fellows.

I want to advise you that you're entitled to be represented by counsel...

...to be confronted by the witnesses that testify...

...to a public and speedy trial by the court or by a jury...

...and the right to be admitted to bail.

-Do you understand that? -Yes.

William Gregory.

Drunk. Picked up at Fifth and Towne asleep in the gutter.

Fourteen similar offenses in the past six months.

How do you plead?

I don't feel so good.

I didn't ask you how you feel. I said how do you plead?

Guilty, l guess.

When did you get out the last time?

Just before Christmas.

You'll have to miss New Year's, but you'll be out...

...in time for Washington's birthday. Sixty days.

Ernest Gubbins.

Gubbins.

Drunk and disorderly. Crashed car into tree at Sunset and Coronado.

Evidently been drinking for days.

Resisted arrest and injured one of the arresting officers.

How do you plead?

Guilty.

Were you Norman Maine, the actor?

Yes.

You've come pretty low, haven't you?

There isn't a man here that's had the advantages you've had.

And look what you've done with them.

You're nothing but an irresponsible drunk driving around the streets...

...with the power to inflict death and injury on innocent people.

I think we'd better deny you that power for a while. Ninety days in the city jail.

I'm his wife.

I recognize you, Miss Lester.

Please, judge, l promise...

...this will never, never happen again.

I'll be responsible for him.

I will.

If you'll just not send him there.

Do you realize that this man, when drunk...

...is obviously a menace to the public's safety?

Do you realize, too, the responsibility you'll be assuming in this, to the court...

...and to the people of this city?

I do.

Sentence suspended. Prisoner remanded to custody of wife.

Thank you.

Jose Rodriguez.


l'm so tired, Esther. All right, folks, hold it.

Hold it.

One more, please. Just a minute.


-He's asleep. -Good.

He's been sleeping most of the day.

-That's the best thing for him. -Yes.

He looks so helpless lying there.

Smiling in his sleep, just like a child.

Do you still love him, Esther? Or do you feel sorry for him?

Sorry for him?

I don't know what you're talking about.

I love him.

We'll take care of him together.

You are very fond of him, aren't you, Oliver?

I'm very fond of both of you.

Then I know you'll understand what I have to tell you.

You probably know already, after what happened last night.

I can't do any more pictures, Oliver.

I'm going away for good.

With Norman.

You're at the very height of your career, Esther.

The very peak of your success.

There wouldn't be any career without Norman.

I'm just giving back the gift he gave me.

No one can give anyone a career. You've made your own.

No, no.

He gave it to me...

...by his faith and by his love.

And without him, it's just nothing.

Not the way things are.

-You've thought this through? -Mm-hm.

You're sure you're right?

What'll you do?

Well, we'll go away together.

I'll be with him every moment.

Maybe if l'd had a chance to be with him more...

...some of these things wouldn't have happened.

I've got to hang onto that.

I've got to believe that.

And then when he gets better...

...we can work in England or ltaly.

Somewhere where they don't know about him the way they do here.

And he can get a chance to start again. That's all he needs.

That's what l'm willing to fight for.

To give anything for.

Esther...

...l have to tell you this.

I hate to, but l must.

There's nothing left anymore.

It happened long before last night. Long before we let him out of the studio.

Twenty years of steady and quiet drinking do something to a man.

Long before it showed in his face, it showed in his acting.

Little by little, more and more, with each picture.

That's why he slipped.

It wasn't just bad pictures, it was him.

And there's nothing left anymore.

He's just the shell of what he once was. It's gone, Esther.

No. No, Oliver, I don't believe that. I won't and l can't.

Can you honestly tell me I'm wrong to do this?

To try? To try?

No, my dear, I can't. I can't honestly tell you that.

Well, then it's settled.

It's settled.

I'll arrange it.

Bye, Vicki Lester.

Good luck, Mrs. Norman Maine.

Goodbye, Oliver. Thank you.


Darling.

You're up.

Well, ifjust being on my feet creates such a sensation, I shall never lie down again.

-How do you feel? -Great.

As fit as a fiddle and ready for love.

Why being as fit as a fiddle should make one ready for love l never understood.

How did they decide that a fiddle was fit?

Norman, is there anything l can do for you? Is there anything you want?

Yes. A number of things.

Name them, what?

Well, brace yourself.

-l've decided that we're dreary people. -Us?

Yes, both of us. l should like to see some changes around the house.

-When did you decide all this? -Oh, never mind about that. Just you listen.

In the first place, I'm going in for the athletic stuff.

The swim before breakfast, the swim before dinner, the happy mind...

...and a happy body. Beginning now.

Do you wanna come along?

-Must I? -No. Your part begins when I come out.

I shall want some hot soup and sandwiches.

All right.

But the thing that l should like more than anything else....

What?

I'd like some singing around the house. We used to have it all the time.

Do I still own the copyright?

Yes, including the Scandinavian.

What, do you want it now?

Uh-huh.

Okay.

Oh, now, don't be silly. You go for your swim.

I'll open the kitchen window. You'll be able to hear me.

-Hey. -What?

I just wanted to look at you again.


It's a new world I see A new world for me The tears have rolled off my cheek And fears fade away Every time you speak A new world Though we're in a tiny room What a vision of joy And blossom and bloom A newfound promise One that will last So I'm holding on And l'm holding fast You've brought A new world To me

And that it'll always Always be

Yes, it is tragic. It's very tragic.

It was just an accident, of course.

We had big plans for him.

-He was set for a comeback. -l'll send this out.

-Right. -lt's for you.

Thank you.

Have Joe take it.

Yes?

Oh, yes, it was very sad. It was a great personal loss to everybody.

Huh? No exclusive on Miss Lester. She can't see anybody anyhow.

Is Maury back yet? Have him come right in, will you, please?

The Herald Express wants a front-page spread. Get the old stills.

-London calling. -Yes?

-They insist on talking to you personally. -Give it to Joe.

Yes. Yes, l can rush you 1 500 words.

-Oh, yes, of course it was. -You want me, Matt?

Yeah. Hold the church service until I tell you.

Here's all we've got on the two of them together.

It was right outside the house. Leave them there.

Okay, pictures of the beach and the home? Right.

Well, yes.

Yes, it was quite sad.

Thank you very much.

All right, clear out, all of you. I got a lot of work to do.

Miss Willer, you stay here.

This is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang, with a whimper.


There she is!

There's Vicki Lester!

Where'd she go? That's Vicki.

That's Vicki, the one in black.

Don't you care, Vicki. You'll get over this.

Turn around, can't you, Vicki?

Yeah. Give us just one look.

Can't l send out anything on her?

Is she gonna start a new picture? She going away?

Send out nothing. That's an order, Libby.

Till we know.

Until we know what?

Until I can talk to her. Till she'll see me.

She hasn't answered her phone, even for me, this past week.

-This gonna stay here? -As long as l'm head of the studio.

You know, Libby, you missed a lot not knowing Norman Maine.

Not knowing him? I spent my life knowing him.

I knew what he was gonna do before he did it.

I knew him backwards.

You didn't know him at all.

He was quite a guy.


Is there anything l can do for you, madam, before l go to bed?

No, thank you, Chuck.

Good night.


Good evening. Hello. Where is she?

She's in the library. May l have your coat?

No, that's all right. l've got it.

Hello, Danny.

You're not dressed.

-Dressed? -You're due at that benefit at the Shrine.

Come on, get dressed.

You told them you'd be there.

That was b--

That was before.

I know it was, but come on and get dressed.

No.

You just gonna sit here forever?

Yes!

Tonight and tomorrow night and for as long as I like.

I don't want any of your homemade remedies.

I know what you're trying.

And the best thing you can do for me is to just leave me alone.

You and everybody else.

And thanks for the sympathy. I don't want it.

Not from you or anybody.

Sympathy? That's not what you're getting from me, baby.

You don't deserve it.

You're a great monument to Norman Maine, you are.

He was a drunk and he wasted his life, but he loved you.

And he took enormous pride in the one thing in his life that wasn't a waste, you.

His love for you and your success.

That was the one thing in his life that wasn't a waste. And he knew it.

Maybe he was wrong to do what he did, I don't know.

But he didn't want to destroy that, destroy the only thing he took pride in.

And now you are doing the one thing he was terrified of, you're wiping it out.

You're tossing aside the one thing he had left.

You're tossing it right back into the ocean after him!

You're the only thing that remains of him now.

And if you just kick it away, it's like he never existed...

...like there never was a Norman Maine at all.

Will you wait for me?


Vicki. Hi, honey, how are you?

How are you? lt's good to see you.

-You look wonderful. -Thank you.

She looks great, doesn't she? You too. Darling, we really gotta go.


The next star listed to appear on your program is Miss Vicki Lester.

But we're all of us aware of the tragic circumstances...

...which prevent Vicki Lester's appearance here tonight.

It's with the deepest sympathy--

Will you forgive me for a moment?

Vicki Lester will appear tonight.

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen, a star that shines bright and high.

As you know, this program is being broadcast all over the world.

Before you sing for us, l know that your millions of fans everywhere...

...are hoping you'll say a few words to them.

-Won't you? -Yes.

Hello, everybody.

This is...

...Mrs. Norman Maine.