Christmas in Connecticut (1945) Script

Garçon, where is the bordelaise sauce?

Right here, sir.

And some more wine. Yes, sir.

Wake up.

Wake up.

What is it, a ship?

No, you was calling me "Garçon."

Who's Garçon?

Doggone you, Sink. I was just having a wonderful dream.

What about? What do you think?

Food. What, again?

Yeah, and you had to wake me up. I was lonely.

What day is it? Wednesday.

You said yesterday was Wednesday. Then it must be Thursday.

It must be.

So what?

Fifteen days.

Oh, boy, if I ever get out of this... first meal is gonna be a humdinger.

A big, thick, juicy steak with baked potatoes.

Asparagus with hollandaise sauce.

And chocolate cake and ice cream.

That for me? No, this is for Seaman Sinkewicz.

This is for you, and you've got a surprise tonight.

Turkey? Steak?

A lovely raw egg floating in your milk.

"By America's best cook, Elizabeth Lane.

Roast goose Bernoise with walnut dressing...

...giblet gravy, cranberry..."

Did you enjoy your lunch, honey boy?

You mean that mush?

When a guy's okay, and he wants some man-size food...

...why do they hold out on him?

You forget you were out on a raft for 18 days without any food.

Your tummy's not ready for solid food.

And why is Sinkewicz's stomach any different than mine?

Because you starved longer than he did, Jeffy.

You gave him the last of that K ration, remember?

That was a great sacrifice.

That was no sacrifice.

Have you ever tasted K ration?

If I starved longer, do they have to try to finish the job?

Of course not, but the doctors know best.

All I get is milk, milk, milk.

Every time I yawn, I'm scared I'll moo. Silly boy.

I'll get something to read and be right back.

Hi, fella. Hi, Sinkewicz.

Say, look, you had steak again yesterday, didn't you?

And today, chicken Maryland.

Oh, brother.

How do you work it? You gotta use the old magoo, Jeff.

That's all. The old magoo.

The old magoo. Here we are.

Your favorite and mine.

Elizabeth Lane.

You know, she must be the most wonderful cook in America.


I've dreamt about eating one of her seven-course meals.

She says, "Yesterday, my son was 8 months old.

He's getting quite companionable.

I sat him in the kitchen with me while I prepared dinner.

And what a dinner it was. I took crisp lettuce, romaine and crinkly endive...

...from my own garden for my husband's favorite salad.

For this I made a rich, creamy blue cheese dressing.

Then to prepare roast duck his favorite way...

...I rub salt and pepper inside, then brown the duck in its own fat..."

Wait. Please.

Would you mind? I know she's a wonderful woman...

...a marvelous housekeeper and a great cook...

...but would you mind reading something else?

Well, of course not.

How about the new Mayfair? There's a very funny story in it. I'll get it.

Roast duck.

Hey, Sink?

What do you want now?

You're getting to be a problem child.

What is this old magoo you talk about that gets you the food?

Oh, that?

Now, look, that nurse you got.

Yeah? She likes you.

Well, the magoo.

What magoo? Oh, now, listen.

Don't you think they like to do those little extra things...

...for a guy who's in love with them?

But it's got to be convincing. That's where magoo is different from baloney.

Altogether different.

But just how far do you have to go?

How hungry are you?

That far?

Break a girl's heart that way.

Her heart or your stomach.


What's my nurse's name?



Here we are.

Where were you for so long?

I missed you...


Oh, well, how nice.

I mean, well, I didn't even know you knew my name.

Me? Not know your name?

What you gonna get, steak or chops?

Chops today, steak tomorrow.

Okay, huh, bud? Yeah, okay.

Say, how far did you have to go?

All the way.

Yeah? Yeah. She thinks I wanna marry her.

Nothing else worked.

Oh, well, don't you worry.

Magoo got you in. Magoo will get you out.

Look what I've got, Jeffy boy.

Look. Oh, gosh, Mary, you're wonderful.

Well, you're powerful sweet yourself, sugar.

We've got to cut that in itty-bitty pieces.


What do you want me to do, jump for it?

What's the matter, Jeffy? It won't go down.

Oh, my goodness, I told you. The doctors are right.

My, you're so clever.

Little me is feeling mighty blue tonight, Jeff.

What's the matter?

I heard that you're getting discharged from the hospital in a week.


Maybe if I could get away, you and I might be... I mean...

...I could cook for you.


Jeff, marriage and domesticity, they frighten you, don't they?

Well, to tell the truth, I... No, I know it, I could tell.

You're afraid of being tied down. After the war, I mean.

Well, you see, Mary, I've always been sort of a rolling stone.

I was an artist and a painter. I've never had a home.

I guess I am a little afraid of the idea of...

Oh, but, Jeffy boy, a home is so wonderful.

Oh, I know it is, but the thing to do, Mary, is to wait.

After all, who knows? You may change your mind too.

Silly boy. If you only knew what a difference...

...a real home would make.

Just to feel you had it to come back to.


But you've never known a real home.

If you had, you'd feel differently.

You know, I was just thinking, honey boy, that...

Oh, dear.

Not now. He's asleep.

When are you two getting married? Oh, I don't know.

I'm afraid he's backing out. It's because he's never had a home.

He doesn't realize. Why don't you do something about it?

Well, do what?

Well, if he spent Christmas in a real homey home, he might...

That's how Sally Jackson hooked a Marine last year.

Yeah, but whose home?

Everybody I know lives in a hotel or one room.

You have a problem.

"Alexander Yardley."

Why, of course.

My dear Mr. Yardley...

...I hope you will remember little me.

This is Mary Lee...

...the girl who nursed your granddaughter...

...back to health from the measles.

Alexander Yardley?

Yes, this is Mr. Yardley's residence. Special delivery.

Thank you.

Elkins. Yes, sir?

Did my daughter phone? Yes, sir. Midnight last night...

...but I thought it best not to waken you.

When is she getting here? She said she and your granddaughters...

...can't get away from Washington. Her war work is too heavy.

Say anything else?

Just that she'd call you and wish you a merry Christmas, sir.

Not much of a Christmas for me all alone.

No, sir. I'm sorry, sir.

Good morning, Mr. Yardley.

Good morning.

That Elizabeth Lane feature, the housewife one...

...runs in Home and Garden?

No, sir. Smart Housekeeping.

Get me, what's-his-name...

...Mr. Beecham, on the direct wire, the editor.

Yes, Mr. Yardley.

Mr. Beecham at Smart Housekeeping, sir.

This is Alexander Yardley.

Oh, yes. Yes. How are you, sir?

May I wish you a merry Christmas?

Well, thank you, sir.

Yes, Mrs. Lane's feature is...

But... But I'm not sure I could do that, Mr. Yardley.

Mrs. Lane's farm and her home life are something we have no right to intrude on...

I only ask two things of my editors.

Print the truth and obey my orders.

I expect Mrs. Lane at 4.

Elizabeth? This is Dudley.

I think I'd better have lunch with you. It's important.

Well, then I'll come over now and see you.

From my living room window as I write...

...I can look out across the broad front lawns of our farm... a lovely picture postcard of wintry New England.

In my fireplace, the good cedar logs are burning and crackling.

I just stopped to go into my gleaming kitchen... test the crumbly brown goodness of the toasted veal cutlets in my oven.

Cook these slowly.

Come in.

Miss Lane? Yes.

Thank you very much.

Merry Christmas. Same to you, miss.

Felix. Hello. Your breakfast.

Felix, you shouldn't. Not in this weather.

All the way from the restaurant with no hat or coat. You'll catch cold.

Pishy-poshy. In Budapest, this was summer.

Anyway, it's just around the corner...

...and anyway, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't got no restaurant.

Oh, you paid that back long ago.

This is interest. I'm...

Gee, I knew it.

Such breakfast. Sardines.

You mad at your stomach, darling?

Come here and let me see.

Oh, yummy. Mushroom omelet.

Did you write up those recipes for next month's article?

Yes. What am I cooking?

Look here.

Breast of gray dove, sauté with peaches grenadine... points, chicken soup with Moselle wine, no points.

Oh, that's wonderful. And you can...


What's the matter? That coat! What's the meaning?

Don't worry. I'm paying for it myself.

It'll take my next six months' salary.

Nice, isn't it?

Six months' work for a coat?

All my life, I promised myself a mink coat.

You know, Felix, it's very important to keep promises, especially to yourself.

Do you have to promise so expensively? But I needed it.

You need it? Nobody needs a mink coat but a mink.

You don't know what a mink coat does for a girl's morale.

Yes, the morale, I know.

I had a silk hat once in Budapest.

A silk hat. It made me feel so fine.

And then I insulted the maitre d'hôtel and got fired with a silk hat.

Come on, eat.

Mink outside, sardines inside, that's no good too.

Oh, this is marvelous.

You know, Felix, some time I'm gonna take time out...

...and learn to cook like you do. No, no, no, no.

No? No, no, darling.

Then you would find out it is not the way you write now.

All easy and fun and...

Don't cook. All right.

I have to go, darling. Goodbye.

Thanks a million.

Oh, hello, Felix. Hello. Goodbye. Merry Christmas.

Don't mention it.

Hello, Dud. Hello, Liz. We're in a jam.

Something terrible is about to happen.

What? Yardley wants to see you right away... his home on Long Island.

Maybe he wants to give me a raise for Christmas. I've helped circulation.

No. It's not a raise. You look frazzled. You want a drink?

No. No, thanks. Now, it's really nothing to be nervous about. Not a thing.

Don't be silly. I'm not nervous. I feel fine.

Well, you won't in a minute.

Now get this. Some fool nurse at a Naval hospital...

...wrote to Yardley asking him to invite a wounded sailor to your farm for Christmas.

My farm?

Oh, oh, yes, my farm.

Oh, my farm.

And he wants to see you to arrange it.

Are you crazy? Where am I going to get a farm?

I haven't even got a window box. We'll have to stall him off.

You know what a stickler he is for the truth.

If he ever finds out we've been making all this up, he'll fire the both of us.

Well, it's been nice knowing you.

It's really not as bad as it sounds, Liz.

All you have to do is to go out there and tell him that your child has whooping cough.

Say that you couldn't possibly entertain anyone for Christmas.

Your husband wouldn't like it. Oh, yes. Yes, my husband.

Of course, simplest thing in the world.

You go out and tell him. You're a much better liar than I am.

Oh, no, Liz. He wants to see you.

And when Yardley wants something, he gets it or else.

I'd rather get fired than face that old battle ax.

Yes, but what about me?

Remember, I have a wife and a family to support.

You're not gonna let me down after all I've done for you?

Oh, all right. I'll go.

Let's see, whooping cough or maybe scarlet fever.

It's a better color for Christmas. Anything. Only call off the sailor.

Now if you put this over, I'll get a raise for you. I swear I will.

The things a girl will do for a mink coat.

Come in.

Well, here I am. Hello, John.

An hour early, but the early bird catches the worm.

Thanks. Don't mention it.

Why are you so early?

I took an earlier train. That much longer to be with you.

Sloan, go away. We're in conference.

Don't mind Dud today. We're in a little trouble.

If there's anything I can do for you...

...just say the word. You know how I feel.

No. How do you feel?

Tell us all about it. Say "ah."

Say, what is this?

Go and build those rabbit hutches or whatever it is you build.

Multiple dwellings.

And I don't build them. I'm an architect.

Go and be it, then. All you want to do is to propose to Liz again.

I'll do it for you and get a no for you. Now, look here, Liz.

Don't waste time. You have to decide what you're gonna say to the old man.

What old man? It's Yardley.

He's sending me a sailor for Christmas. Oh, how nice.

A sailor? Really, Elizabeth.

It's just a little trouble we're in. Yardley thinks I have a farm...

...a husband and a baby in Connecticut. A farm, a husband and a baby.

Simple, isn't it?

Well, there's obviously only one thing for you to do.

Sloan, keep out of this.

I've taken as much as I'm going to take from you.

Boys, please, stop quarreling.

Come in.

Mrs. Lane? Oh, yes. Put it in there.

Oh, Dud, I wish you'd tell the office to stop sending those things here.

Another rocking chair? Yes.

You already have eight. Thirty-eight. The rest are in the basement.

Thirty-eight rocking chairs?

I said last month I was searching in vain through antique shops...

...for a rocking chair like Granny had. My public is sending me rocking chairs.

And that proves how popular you are.

If you get fired, you'll rob the public of the finest human-interest feature... the magazine field. And Dudley Beecham of his finest job.

All right. Let's get down to cases.

What are you going to say to the old gentleman?

Well, I'll simply say, "Of course, Mr. Yardley...

...there's nothing I'd rather do than invite this man..." to spend Christmas on my farm but...

Excellent. I knew you'd feel that way. After all, it's our patriotic duty, isn't it?

The poor young man spent 18 days on a raft...

...six weeks in a hospital, and he's never had a real home.

You can imagine how much it'll mean... have a homey Christmas with your wonderful cooking.

Naturally, but you see...

But your cooking, Mrs. Lane. I follow your diary faithfully.

It is the only thing I ever do read in my publications.

I wouldn't miss it for the world.

In October, when you had breast of guinea hen in Madeira...

...that was perfection, Mrs. Lane. Lucky man, your husband.

Thank you... And last June's...

...strawberries Chantilly with rum and egg white.

You stiffen the egg white first before the rum?

Definitely, of course. Of course. It's the only way to do it.

And your Christmas menu, Mrs. Lane, that is really magnificent.

Roast goose Bernoise with walnut stuffing...

...celery soufflé and real old-fashioned plum pudding.

It's out of... Don't worry. I'll take care of everything.

Miss Scott, take this telegram to Miss Mary Lee...

...Navy Hospital, Staten Island.

In reply to your letter of the 15th...

...Mrs. Lane will be very pleased to entertain your friend...

...Jefferson Jones.

Mr. Yardley, there's something you should know.

Yes. What is it?

Well, it was just something that you should know.

It's my child, he's been ill with whooping cough.

Whooping cough. That's not contagious to adults.

My grandchild had it. Not at all serious nowadays.

Mr. Yardley... This will be a great story...

...for our next issue, Mrs. Lane. "American Hero Spends Christmas on Perfect Farm."

What a boost for circulation. Yes, indeed.

I believe I'll arrange a nice little bonus for you, in recognition of your cooperation.

Thank you very much, but I really couldn't...

Now, now, I know you're not doing this for any mercenary reason.

You're a fine American wife and mother, and we're proud to have you on our staff.

You could use a little bonus, couldn't you? Oh, I guess I could.

Splendid. Splendid. Allow me to shake your hand, Mrs. Lane.

I don't know how to tell you this, but...

Don't try, my dear. And thank you very much for coming to see me.

Good afternoon, Mrs. Lane. Good afternoon.

Anything wrong, madam? Oh, no, nothing at all.

He's kind of overpowering, isn't he?

Oh, yes. A very strong personality.

Yes. Pardon me, Mrs. Lane...

...but I'm planning on having a farm in Connecticut myself one day.

I'd like some good bottomland.

Bottomland? Yes.

That's the best kind for farming, isn't it?

Oh, some people say yes, and some people say no.

But what do you say?

I'm inclined to agree with them.

Oh, thank you very much.

What's this? It's the menu for your Christmas dinner, sir.

It's what the doctor ordered. "Mashed prune whip.

Creamed turnip fluff."

He expects me to eat these barbaric atrocities?

Well, I won't.

Mrs. Lane.

There's something I want to...

This must be telepathy. I know exactly what you're going to say.

Do you? Yes.

You're inviting me to your Christmas party.

Well, Mrs. Lane, I'm going to accept with the greatest of pleasure.

Well, that'd be just wonderful.

I'll be there Christmas Eve. I was going to be with my family...

...but I'm coming to Connecticut.

Well, why not bring the family too?

Where was Elizabeth when she phoned?

Grand Central Station.

Well, she should be here by now.

I sent her to Yardley to talk him out of it.

Instead, he talks her into it.

It means she'll lose her job, of course. Yeah.

And mine too.

Well, merry Christmas.

Hello, Lizka. Your friends are waiting in the bar.

What's the matter? Something wrong? Oh, no, no. Just a catastrophe, that's all.


Sam? Yes, sir?

Catastrophe, what is it?

It's from the Greek. It means "a misfortune, a cataclysm or a serious calamity."

Greek, serious, calamity.

It is good? No, sir. That's bad.


A double martini, Oscar, please. Well?

Every time I opened my mouth, he talked. I felt like Charlie McCarthy!

Lizka. This catastrophe. It's trouble?

Yes. I'm going to lose my job, Felix. Pish-posh. That's nothing.

Get another job. That's what you think.

I better go phone my wife and give her the glad tidings.

Darling, you have to eat something.

Right, you must keep up your strength. Commence with an appetizer.

Then I bring some nice chicken Budapest...

...some Brussels sprouts à la Felix, some potatoes au gratin.

Sounds very palatable. Help yourself, darling.

First, some nice filet of marinated herring à la crême.

Elizabeth? Artichoke hearts vinaigrette.

Sometimes these things happen for the best.

Bologna. But I think how I've worked...

...building up that job.

There's another job waiting for you.

There is? Yes.

The job of being Mrs. John Sloan, darling.


Well, that's sweet of you, John.

But I don't feel that way about you, and it wouldn't be fair.

Well, I'm willing to take a chance. I can make you care for me in time.

Nuts. Wa... Walnuts, pickled walnuts. Excellent.

Come on, Lizka. Sit here. I wait on you myself.

Eat everything, Lizka.

Felix, bring us some wine, will you? Something very good but not too expensive.

Moselle 1927? Yes?

Fine. Yes, sir.

Well, Elizabeth, how about it?

You know you need someone to look after you.

But I don't love you, John.

All that will come in good time.

Could you wait that long?

I think so.

Saying no to your proposals has become a habit.

Yes, it's a bad habit. You must break yourself of it.

It becomes harder and harder to find an excuse to say no.

You can't blame it on your career this time, because you haven't got one.

You're right.

Well, I just can't think of another excuse.

You could say that you love someone else.

But I don't.

No. Let me think.

Oh, what am I...?

You mean...? You mean you will marry me?

Well, if you really want me, knowing how I feel.

Do I? Darling.

Well, don't mind me.

Dud, we're going to be married.


Hey, now look here, it isn't that bad.

Oh, really, Beecham. It's a good idea, Dud.

In fact, I think I'll rather enjoy living on a farm after...

A farm? John's farm. It's in Connecticut.

That's where I got most of my copy.

Say, that's right.

You have got a farm, haven't you? Congratulate me.

This is the happiest day. Aren't you getting a bit mixed?

It's the happiest day of my life. Of course. Congratulations.

I think you've made a very wise decision.

In fact, I think you two should get very married right away.

And there we are. A husband, a farm in Connecticut.

Now all we need is a baby. What are you getting at?

What's the harm of having Yardley and a sailor at your farm for Christmas?

Yardley and a sailor on my honeymoon? Are you crazy?

Elizabeth, I just talked with my wife.

You told her?

I didn't have the heart.

She told me what she was getting the kids for Christmas.

And, well, I...

She sounded so happy...

Of course, I know it's asking a lot, but when a pal's in a jam...

John, darling, it would only be for a few days.

After all, Dud's been so good to me.

I am getting out of it now, thanks to you.

Oh, John, couldn't we so he won't lose his job?

I know I shall regret this for the rest of my life, but if it's what you want...

Oh, Johnny, you're a lamb.

Sloan, I take everything back.

I'll never forgot this. I thank you, and my family thanks you.

Wait a minute. It's no good.

Why not? I can't cook.

She can't cook. She can't cook.

Felix. You'll take him with you. He'll do anything for you.

Felix. Yes, Mr. Beecham.

Felix, I've great news for you.

May I announce to you the engagement of our dear Elizabeth to Mr. John Sloan?

A prince of good fellows. Thank you.

Lizka, it's true?

Yes, Felix. I decided quite suddenly.

Congratulate them, Felix. It's colossal.


It's catastrophe.

Oh, Mr. Sloan, a merry Christmas.

The same to you, Miss Lane.

Thank you, Nora. Merry Christmas to you too.

So he finally talked you into marrying him. Congratulations, Mr. Sloan.

Thank you. Has Judge Crothers arrived yet?

No, sir. But he's on his way. He phoned.

That'll be a dollar even.

There you are. And that's for you.

Well, shall I carry you in, darling?

No, thank you. We're not married yet.

Oh, oh, John, it looks lovely.

Just the way I described it in the Christmas issue.

I'm glad you like it. Oh, Nora, this is Felix Bassenak.

He's going to help you with the cooking. Help me? Help me?

We're having two guests. They'll be arriving later.

I hope you have their rooms ready. Everything's ready, Mr. Sloan.

If you come this way, I'll show you the kitchen, Mr. Basternook.

Just call me Felix.

I hope you like it here, Felix.

Me? I don't like the country.

Oh, it's real cozy here.

We have a horse and a cow.

I hate horses, and cows don't like me either.

Where's the kitchen?

Why, darling, you look wonderful.

But won't they think that outfit's a little ultra...

...for Elizabeth Lane, the housewife?

I'll change before they come.

After all, a girl has to be dressed up on her wedding day.

Do you really...?

What's the matter? What'll I say to Yardley and the sailor?

About what? The baby.

The one I wrote about. They'll expect to see him. We forgot about the baby.

You forgot about the baby, you mean. Come with me.

But, John... lf there's one thing an architect thinks of...'s details. I told you I'd attend to everything.

But, John... Come along.

There's your baby.

Oh, John.

Where did you get it?

Nora looks after him for a neighbor, Mrs. Wright.

She works in a war plant in the village, and her husband's in the Army.

The baby stays here quite late each night.

Hello. You're awfully cute.

Oh, John, this is wonderful. I was worried.

Didn't I tell you that all your worries are over?

Yes, I guess they are, all right.

You're very sweet to me, John.

Yes, I always think of details.

I was designing a house once for plumbing.

Instead of ordinary pipes, they had to be double-ribbed ones.

It's nothing, I just...

John, dear, Yes, darling.

When you're kissing me, don't talk about plumbing.

What? Oh, sorry. Of course not.

Well, what shall I talk about?

Well, do you...? Do you have to talk?

You quaint little thing.

Mr. Sloan, Judge Crothers is here. I put him in the den.

Oh, thanks, Nora. Well, darling.

Anything wrong, darling? No, no, nothing at all.

I think I'll freshen up a bit first.

Oh, certainly, but don't be too long. No, I won't.

John, don't you think we...?

Don't I think what, dear?



How are you? Nice to see you.

Congratulations. Thank you.

Where is the little bride? She'll be right down.

I thought we'd hold the ceremony in here. My, my. A lovely room for a wedding.

How about right here by the mantel for the ceremony?

The mantel. Splendid idea.

Now, suppose you stand right over here, judge. That's right. Just like that.

Oh, no, Sloan, not there.

I came here to marry you...

...not to be roasted for your Christmas dinner.

Catastrophe. What do you mean, "catastrophe"?

"Catastrophe" is a word from the Greeks.

It means "not good."

I'll have you understand this is the finest kitchen in Connecticut, Mr. Basilknocker.

Just call me Felix. But what smells?

That's Irish stew.

Goulash with turnips! Catastrophe.

It isn't goulash. It's good old Irish stew.

Maybe old, but not good, such goulash.

I tell you, it isn't goulash.

Hold this.

Paprika. That will fix it.

Now it's goulash.

Nora and Felix, we're gonna need you as witnesses.

Merciful heavens, the wedding, is it? I better take off me apron.

How do I look? How do you look?

Is it you that's getting married?

I wish.

Here she is, judge.

Elizabeth, this is Judge Crothers. How do you do?

Oh, it's not me. It's her.

I'm Nora. Oh, you're...

I declare. Well, I'm delighted to meet you, my dear.

John's very lucky to get such a lovely bride.

Thank you. This is my uncle Felix.

How are you? Not good.

I suppose you'll give the bride away, Uncle Felix?

Me? I don't give nobody away.

Always, I keep my mouth shut.

Mouth shut, yes.

If you'll kindly step this way, please.

Join hands, please.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight...

Wait, wait a minute. Excuse me, please.

A wedding with no music?

That's impossible.

You're quite right.

I have here a record of the "Wedding March"...

...especially for the occasion.

Remember, dear? Details?

But, John, couldn't we have Mozart or...?

No, no, no, darling, no.

The "Wedding March" is the conventional thing.

Proceed, judge.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together...

It's company already!

Oh, it's the sailor. He's two hours early. What'll we do?

What's the trouble? It's a peculiar situation.

We'll have to postpone. Take him to the other room.

Not in there. You'll wake up the baby. The baby?

Well, it's borrowed. I mean, it's adopted. Oh, go ahead.

Nora, turn off the music and don't forget to call me Mrs. Sloan.

What, already?

Quartermaster Jones reporting.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Jones.

Your mother invited me, Elizabeth Lane.

No, I'm Elizabeth Lane.

It's my pen name. I'm really Mrs. Sloan.

Won't you come it?

Merry Christmas.

This is my uncle Felix.

How do you do? How do you do?

I'm sorry, I... I guess I didn't expect...

I mean, I thought you were...

Oh, I brought a present for you.

That'll be a dollar even, commander. Okay.

Gee, thanks. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.


l... I guess I pictured you...

Oh, older? Yes, everyone does.

It's lovely, isn't it, Uncle Felix?

Wonderful. Just what you need.

I read in your column...

...where you were trying to buy one and couldn't... I hope you like it.

Of course I do.

My old man was an expert with rocking chairs.

He said he used to solve all his problems in one.

But you have to know how to rock.

Don't you just rock? Oh, no.

No? No.

I'll show you.

Suppose you're tired and worried about a problem.

Well, then you rock like this.

Like you're on a ship, away from everything...

...rolling soft and smooth over the open sea.

Well, then you get to thinking slow and calm.

Get it? That's the ocean rock.

I never thought of that before. There's the horseback rock.

When you can't sit still, you gotta be doing something...

...and you rock like this, very fast.

Then the lazy rock.

When there's something across the room...

...and you're too lazy to get up and get it...

...well, you just rock over and get it.

Only chair in the world you can cross the room without getting up.

I never know there was so much to a rocking chair.

Won't you take off your things?

Gosh, your house is wonderful.

I got all the back copies of the magazine and read them... I'd know about you before I got up here.

We've read all about you too.

It was swell of you to have me up here.

We're very proud to have you here.

Lizka, what's...? What's that?

The baby, of course.

Baby, so quick?

He woke up rather early.

It must be time for something.

Could be. Oh, I know.

It's time for the baby's bath. Is it?

Yes. I read all about it in your articles. Oh, yes, it is.

They're awfully cute in the tub.

Yes, aren't they?

Well... Do you mind if I watch?


Oh, no.

Felix. You stay in there. Everything is fine.

Where did they go? They are going to wash the baby.

Good heavens. Both of them?

Anything wrong? Wrong? Oh, no. No, nothing at all.

I'm sorry, judge. I'm afraid we'll have to postpone the ceremony.

Oh, that's all right. Any time.

Look, judge. I make you a nice martini. Good? Two martinis, judge.

Two Manhattans.

Two Manhattans.

Well, all set.

Maybe I shouldn't bathe him today. It's rather cold.

Don't they have to be bathed every day?

No, no. That's the old-fashioned idea.

Oh, gosh. You're not gonna disappoint me, are you?

Oh, no, I guess not.

He's a cute one. Yes.

What's his name? His name?

Robert. Robert.

Oh, that's a nice name.

Does he talk yet?

No, no.

Does he like his baths?

Oh, yes, he loves them.

I think.

Shall I...? Shall I test the water for you?

Oh, yes, please. I always test the water.

You seem to know something about bathing a baby.

Oh, yes. I used to bathe my sister's kids.

You did?

Oh, sure. Lots of times.

Really? It's okay.

I'm an expert. My sister's babies got so used to me...

...they'd raise the roof if I didn't take over at bath time.

Oh, isn't that wonderful?

You mean you're gonna let me? Oh, well, if you're real careful.

Oh, sure.

Come on, skipper. Come on, skipper.

We're gonna get along great. Yeah, yeah.

Hurry up. Here we go.

Into the drink. Yup, yup. Oh, there we are.

Did you say the baby's name was Robert?


No, no. Roberta.

Soap? Soap, there.

Sponge? Sponge.

We never use one. It isn't sanitary. Here.

Oh, it's such a relief to have someone else do it for a change.

It gets sort of monotonous bathing him... Her... after day after day...

Hey, take it easy there, princess. You're rocking the boat.

Soap. Roberta! How naughty of you.

Here, I'll wipe it off.

There. That all right?

Over here.

There. Thanks.

Oh, Roberta. She's eating the soap. What'll I do?

That won't hurt her. They all do it. Oh, really?

You'd make a wonderful father, Mr. Jones.

You're not married yourself, by any chance, are you?

No. The cards are stacked against me, I guess.

Every time I meet a girl I like, it turns out she's already married.

Oh, that's too bad.

But you would get married if you found someone you liked...

...who wasn't married?

Well, it must be pretty nice to have a home to come to...

...and a little lady like this.

She doesn't look like you.

Does she look like your husband?

Good heavens, no.

I knew I should regret this.

Me also. Hurry. Yardley will be here at any moment.

Go into the kitchen, get the drinks for the judge, and in the meantime...

...l'll keep him entertained.

Are you ready yet? No, not quite. Just a few more minutes.

I hope it won't be long. I've gotta get home and trim my Christmas tree.

Trim your Christmas tree, eh?

Then I'm going to hang up my stocking.

Oh, quick! Get back in there. Well, look, look.

No, not now. I'm sorry, judge, I'm sorry.

How do you do? I'm Alexander Yardley. Yes, yes. How do you do?

I'm John Sloan. Is Mrs. Lane in?

Mrs. Lane? You mean Mrs. Sloan. I'm Mr. Sloan.

Elizabeth Lane's husband? Yes. That's... Yes, that's right.

Elizabeth Lane's husband. Come in, won't you?

Thank you. Well, I'm...

I'm delighted to see you, Mr. Yardley. The pleasure's all mine, Mr. Sloan.

It was considerate of your wife to ask me. Where is the little lady?

Oh, she's bathing the baby, and I think Mr. Jones is helping her.

Well, well, that's what I call real hospitality.

Taking the poor lad right into your domestic life.

I am deeply touched, deeply touched. Your wife's a wonderful woman.

Thank you. May I take these? Why, certainly.

And have your coat?

Well, it's just about time to feed her. Feed her? Oh, yes.

Well, you do this, and I'll go get her dinner.


Well, princess... we doing, huh?


Here we are.

Elizabeth, darling.

Oh, merry Christmas, Mr. Yardley.

Merry Christmas, my dear Mrs. Lane. Or rather, Mrs. Sloan.

It's a great privilege, a great privilege. I have been admiring your charming room.

It's exactly as you described it. But...

Where is the spinning wheel?

The spinning wheel? Oh, yes, the spinning wheel.

You wrote about it last month. Yes, it's...

Oh, it's out being repaired.

You know how antiques are.

Oh, yes, of course.

But what a delightful room.

Such a magnificent fireplace.

I like a good, generous fireplace.

Makes a room so friendly and warm. Yes, indeed.

Yes, I specialize in fireplaces, Mr. Yardley.

I will never allow any of my clients to plan without one.

But we don't depend entirely on the fireplace to warm the house.

No? Oh, no, no. I should say not.

No, we have unit heat, and each heating pipe has a triple-wall jacket...

...and all the outside walls are double insulated.

How interesting. Yes. It is. Isn't it?

Well, here we are, Mommy.

All dressed and ready for chow.

Mr. Yardley, this is Mr. Jones.

Mighty proud to meet you, Jones.

Thank you very much, sir. And this is my husband.

How do you do? How do you do?

It's a mighty fine baby you have, Mr. Lane. Sloan is the name.

Well, well, what a cherub.

Oh, there, there. That's no way to treat a stranger.

I'll take it. I'll have Nora feed it tonight.

Lizka, he looks good on you.

Better than a mink coat, even.

Felix, how I need one of those. No, no, no, no. For the judge.

Oh, Mr. Yardley, this is my uncle Felix.

Merry Christmas. Same to you.

Oh, and how very thoughtful of you, sir.

Excuse me, dear. Speaking of fireplaces, Mr. Yardley...

...l'd like to show you a little ingenious thing I've invented.

I brought you other one with two cherries. Thank you very much...

...but I can't wait. I've gotta get home and trim my Christmas tree.

I tell them you come back later. Why, yes. Of course. I don't live very far.

Just a little ways down the road. They can call me.

Here. Here's my card. That's very nice, very nice.

Wait, wait, wait a minute. This way, please.

Come, come, come, come, come.

Out the window?

Oh, a shortcut, huh?

Why, thank you. Don't mention it. It's a pleasure.

Merry Christmas.

Mothproof closets, filtered ventilation and indirect lighting.

I've introduced all modern conveniences, without sacrificing the traditionals.

Splendid, splendid. And I suppose Elizabeth contributed her ideas.

Elizabeth? Oh, yes.

No, no. I should say not. I'm the architect.

I never allow anyone to interfere with my plans.

Oh, Felix? Yes?

Everything okay? Hunky-dunky.

Now I go to the kitchen and make a wonderful dinner, like you never had before.

But I thought Mrs. Sloan was going to cook the dinner.

Uncle Felix is going to help me.

Actually, I've taught him everything he knows.

And he always uses my recipes. Don't you?

He thought it'd be nice to relieve me in the kitchen so I'd have time with my guests.

That's very thoughtful of him. But if you'll forgive my saying so...

...I won't feel the same as if you had cooked it, Mrs. Sloan.

Believe me, you will feel much better.

Nice voice, that boy.


Oh, I'm so sorry.

Don't stop.

American Housekeeping, that's our competitor.

They imitate us in all departments. Format, layout and contributors.

Now they've instituted a Betty Kane column, a complete steal on Elizabeth Lane.

Imitation is the sincerest flattery.

That is not all. Betty Kane is going to have a baby.

No. Yes, sir.

We've got to nip it in the bud. The baby?

I'll tell you how we can kill two birds with one stone.

Murder. My dear sir.

Last May, our circulation jumped 200,000.

Think of it, 200,000 new readers with one issue.

Do you know why? I can't imagine. Another brandy?

Thank you.

Because your wife had a baby.

She did? I mean, we did?

Twenty-three pages of new advertisements, all baby food.

Her fan mail went up 100 percent.

A hundred percent. Think of it.

Other new mothers all over the country were interested.

That is the key of my success in the magazine field.

Human interest, home appeal. Do you follow me?

Yes. Go ahead. It's very interesting. One baby, 200,000.

Two babies, 400,000. Babies boost circulation.

Now, Betty Kane is going to have her baby in September.

We can steal their thunder and boost circulation at the same time...

...if we beat her to it.

Beat her to it? Have another baby, Sloan.

Have another baby. Any hopes?

Mr. Yardley, Elizabeth's a very busy woman.

And having babies to boost your circulation takes time.

Take all the time you need, my dear sir, all the time you need.

Well, thank you.

Yes, Nora? Telephone for you, Mr. Sloan.

Oh, excuse me, Mr. Yardley.

Hello? Oh, hello, judge.

Yes, I'm glad you called.

What? Fifteen minutes? Oh, my goodness.

Yes, indeed. Absolutely. All right.

Well, I'll arrange everything. Okay. Goodbye.

Well, my children, I guess it's bedtime.

We retire early on the farm.

Come along, Elizabeth.

John, it's Christmas Eve.

The judge will be here in 15 minutes.

I'm just about ready to turn in.

Nothing like a good dinner to make a man sleepy.

I'm very grateful to you for your hospitality, Mrs. Sloan.

You're welcome. I'll just turn out the lights, dear.

Good night, everybody. Good night.

Good night, Mr. Yardley. I hope you sleep well.

I shall in that fine old colonial four-poster.

Good night, Mrs. Sloan. Good night, Jones.

Good night, Mr. Yardley.

Well, good night, Mrs. Sloan.

Good night, Mr. Jones.

Good night, Nora.

Good night.

Well, of all the brazen...

Right in front of me very eyes.

Well, I arranged that very neatly, didn't I, dear?

Yes, you did.

And to think that in 15 minutes we shall be man and wife.


Nora, where are you going?

Mr. Sloan, I've been working for you five years...

...and never did I believe that you'd be the kind of a man that...

Of course, I'm not blaming you entirely.

It's the woman that leads the man astray.

What are you talking about? I'm quitting.

Christmas or no Christmas, I'm quitting.

You can't leave. We need you as a witness.

The judge will be here in a few moments to perform the ceremony.

Oh, saints of mercy, what have I been saying at all?

Oh, Miss Lane, I didn't mean it. I apologize.

Oh, glory be, I could bite me wicked tongue out, so I could.

Never mind, Nora. It's all right.

Bless your heart. I might've known you weren't the kind that would...

But it's just that I... Oh, forget it, Nora.

Thank you, miss. I'm sure 'tis all the luck in the world...

...I do be wishing you both. Thanks.

Well, I'll go and take me things off now.

Judge. Hello.

Mighty nice of you to come back again. Not at all, Sloan, not at all.

My conscience wouldn't let me rest until you two were married.

Good evening, Miss Lane.

Good evening.

Come along, Elizabeth. The judge hasn't much time.

Well, come on, dear.

Let's go into the den. It's more private there.

Look out. Quick, someone's coming. Come on, quick.


Well, how did you get down here?

Down the back stairs.

I'm still catching up with my nourishment.

Have a drumstick.

Don't mind if I do.

Nice cold Chablis.

Nothing like it with a drumstick. How about it?

I wish I could. A good bender might make me feel better.

I suppose an experience like yours leaves a fellow wobbly, eh?

Mr. Yardley... you think Mrs. Sloan is happy with her husband?

Why, certainly. He's a nice, sensible chap...

...steady, conscientious, successful.

Yeah, I guess that kind does make a good husband.

Indubitably, my boy, indubitably.

A fine couple.

What's he doing now? I don't know. He's still in the kitchen.

I hear voices. We can't wait any longer.

Let's get on with the ceremony.

What about witnesses?

Yes, we must have witnesses. I'll get Felix and Nora.

All right, dear. But hurry, hurry.

Skimmed milk for six weeks... don't know how wonderful it is to be able... come downstairs and raid an icebox. You're telling me?

I've been on a diet of creamed turnip fluff. Why were they picking on you?

Doctor says I'm too fat. Can you imagine that?

I began feeling better the minute I stopped paying any attention to him.

Mrs. Sloan can certainly roast a chicken.

Cold chicken is my weakness.

Have some more chicken, sir? Thank you.

Oh, hello.

Caught us red-handed, didn't you?

Not at all. I'm glad you feel at home.

How about a wing? No, thank you. I couldn't eat a thing.

A glass of wine, perhaps? No, I must be going.

No, wait a while. No, really, I have to go.

If you'll excuse me.

What's that? Why, that must be Macushlah.

Macushlah? Your cow. That's right.

You did say in one of your articles she wouldn't settle down...

...unless you go in and bid her good night.

Well, hello, Macushlah.

I'll help you put her back in the barn if you like.

That's very nice of you, but I don't think I...

Oh, it's no trouble at all. I'll get your coat for you.

The perfect pastoral touch. This is a real experience.

Won't you finish your supper? Thank you.

Mrs. Sloan, would you mind...

...if I came down and watched you cook breakfast in the morning?

Watch me cook breakfast? I remember what you said...

...about the charm of an attractive woman performing her task of flipping flapjacks...

...with the smell of good coffee and sizzling bacon in a sunny kitchen.

I'm homesick for a sight like that. You see, Nora usually fixes breakfast.

You do it tomorrow just for me. Mr. Yardley, I...

This is the only one I could find.

Hold everything. We'll be right with you.

Mr. Jones, I'm very tired.

I think I'd better call Nora.

Soo, boss. Soo, boss. Soo, boss.

No, now quit your griping.

Here. Here she is.

What a night.

What a night.

Moonlight, snow.

And a cow.

Do all animals take to you, Mrs. Sloan? Oh, yes. Of course...

...some more than others.

Yes. They have their likes and dislikes just like human beings.

Yes. Myself, I like most people.

Some more than others, of course.

Is there anyone you like more than the others at the moment?


A girl? Yes.

Are you in love with her?

Well, in a way, yes.

In what way?

Well, I... I admire her very much.

I think she's about the swellest person I ever met.

Is that as far as it goes?

She's... She's married.


Does she like animals?


Do animals like her?

Oh, yes.

Does she live on a farm?

Yes. Jefferson Jones, are you flirting with me?

Oh, no, I wouldn't dare. Oh, don't apologize. I'm flattered.

It's intriguing to a married woman to find she's still attractive to the opposite sex.

But I...

Do I attract you?


But you see, you were so different from what I expected. I was...

Knocked for a loop? You said it.

Oh, how nice.

But I... I shouldn't have told you.

Your being married and all that, I...

But, you know, I find it hard to believe you are married.

I find it pretty difficult myself.

You don't act as if you were married.

I don't feel as if I was married.


Must be the moonlight and the snow.

And the cow.

Oh, where is the cow?

Oh, you must have dropped the rope.

Could be. My hands got so cold.

Gosh, they are cold.

Let me warm them for you.

Oh, that's fine.


Have you ever kissed a married woman?




No, you're not the type.

I... I wish I was.

Oh, me too.

Well, and that's that.

Yeah. I guess it is.

Better look for the cow.

Yes, I guess we had better.

Oh, there she is.

That's the barn. It is?

I mean, it is.


Do you think she got back there all by herself?


There she is.

Nice cow.

Lovely brown eyes.

Oh, no, no. They're gray.

Really? All the cows I ever knew had brown ones.

Nice firm rump.

Well, good night, Macushlah.

Good night, Macushlah. Thank you so much.

Elizabeth, are you all right?

Oh, I feel wonderful, darling.

How are you?

I thought you'd gone to bed.

There are one or two things we have to discuss.

Tonight? It's been an upsetting evening.

Of all the insane, inconsiderate things to do...

Could I help it if the cow got loose?

The cow. A fine "how do you do."

The judge was very annoyed. Oh, was he?

Yes. Do you mind?

Really, Elizabeth, this is very awkward.

Where am I going to sleep tonight?

You sleep in your room, and I've put my things in the guest bedroom.

Oh, fine. And this is my wedding night. Go to bed, John.

But we've got to get these things settled.

Go to bed, John. Oh, all right, if you insist.

The judge will be here first thing in the morning...

Good night, John. Good night.


But I shan't sleep a wink.

Not a wink.

The cow? What happened then?

Nothing. The judge went home.

Now I like cows.

Oh, Felix, he's so wonderful.

Sure. They are fine animals.

Milk and cream, they give, and butter too. And buttermilk.

No, no. I mean Mr. Jones.

I've never met anyone like him before in my whole life.

Oh, Lizka, Lizka. You give me goose pimples.

Watch now. I show you how to flip-flop the flop-flips.

You see? It's easy. Now you try it.

Throw it up.


Not on the stove.

In the pan. Now, throw it with this.

High, high, high, high.

Oh, up!

Take this. Throw it up.

High, high, high. Oh, up!

Lizka, better you cook on the typewriter.

Oh, Felix, what am I going to do?

Don't ask me. Ask the rocking chair.

I'll answer it.

I'm Mrs. Gerzeg.

Thank you for taking care of our babies while we work.

Mrs. Wright told me you took care of hers.

Yes, but where is her baby?

She doesn't need to leave her baby today.

She's not working. I have to work.

So I leave you mine. Yes, but...

I have to go to work. Thank you so much. Darling, be careful.

He's no trouble at all. His name's Louie.

I'm late to the factory.

Goodbye. Goodbye.



Oh, Felix. This is awful.

We have a new baby. It's a boy.

It's life. Sometimes you get girls. Sometimes, boys.

Mrs. Sloan. Oh, here, quick, take it.

Take it around the back to the bedroom. Hurry up.

Hello. Good morning. Merry Christmas.

I hope I'm in time to see you flip the flapjacks.

I'm not in a flipping mood this morning.

Nora will attend to breakfast. Nora, Mr. Yardley wants to watch you flap...

I mean, flip the flapjacks.

I don't flip them. I scoop them.

Won't you flip just one for me?

I never flipped in me life, and I won't start flipping now for nobody.

Elizabeth? Yes?

I must go now. If you'll excuse me, please.

I've been looking for you. The judge is in the study.

Let's hurry before anyone sees us.

But, John, couldn't we all have breakfast first?

There you are. Now, if you'll stand here, please, and join hands.

Where are the witnesses?

Mrs. Sloan.

Oh, excuse me.

Well, this looks like a wedding.

It does? I mean, it is.

You see, it's an old custom.

We were married on Christmas... we usually repeat the ceremony every Christmas.

Well, well, what a charming idea.

I hope you don't mind my being here. I'm quite a sentimentalist myself.

Now all we need is one more witness.

Suppose I get Mr. Jones? No, no. I'll get Felix.

No, no. You stay here. I'll get Felix.



The judge is here. We need you as a witness.

But, Mr. Sloan, something happened. Something terrible. Catastrophe.

What is it? The baby.

The baby. My watch.

I gave him to play with it.

He put it in her mouth.

Goodbye, watch.

You mean to say the baby swallowed your watch?

Good heavens. I must call a doctor. The police too. It was a gold watch.

What is it? The baby swallowed his watch.

I'm calling a doctor. Oh, how awful. I must go to it.

Don't get excited, Mrs. Sloan. Babies often swallow things like that.

Poor darling. Does your little tummy hurt?

That's strange. He looks different this morning.

Wouldn't you look different if you had swallowed a watch?

But he's a blond. Mama.

He has teeth. Mama, Mama.

And he talks. Mr. Yardley...

...this is no time to take inventory.

Oh, please go. I must get him quiet. Please go.

Most extraordinary thing I ever saw.

How is it? There's only one thing to do.

A good dose of castor oil.

I'll go upstairs and see if we have any. When is that doctor getting here?

I wouldn't want anything to happen. It would ruin the circulation.

It wouldn't do the baby no good, neither.


Felix, this is awful. Has the doctor arrived yet?

No. But the judge went home.


Oh, Felix, you did it to stop the wedding.

If a cow can do it, I can do it.

Oh, Felix. You're wonderful.


Excuse me. What's the matter?

The baby swallowed a watch.

He swallowed what? Felix's watch.

He gave it back.

The baby swallowed that?

Everything is hunky-dunky. It's still going.

How is the child? Is it all right?

Oh, perfectly fine.

And where's Mr. Yardley? I think he's in the den.

Let's have breakfast. Good morning, Mr. Jones.

Good morning. You're having lots of excitement here.

Yes, but it's all over now. Do you mind if I see the baby?

Oh, no. You mustn't. It's been through a trying experience. And I want it to rest.

Suppose you have breakfast. Nora's making some lovely pancakes.

Where's the judge? He will be back later.

But if you don't get married, then you will have to wait until next year.

That settles it. I'm tired of having my marriage put off.

I'm going to tell Mr. Yardley the truth. No, John, please.

I think it's best we skedaddle.

When the bag lets out the cat, somebody gets scratched.

There's something I wanted to talk to you about.

There's something I want to talk to you about too.

Something important. What I have to say...

I'm not easily fooled. I know the real from the fraudulent.

Exactly. I knew you'd realize. That's why I decided...

Those models are yours, of course. Yes.

They're splendid. That's why I want to talk to you.

Those? Yes.

I told you about my competitor in the magazine field, American Housekeeping.

I'm going to keep ahead of them. I'm starting a new department.

But... A Build Your Own Home section...

...for postwar planning. I need an editor. An honest and dependable man.

I know you're the real thing. I know you're busy, but this will pay well.

It all sounds very wonderful, Mr. Yardley. You bet it's wonderful.

It's the biggest promotion plan in the country.

And the tie-up with the Elizabeth Lane feature will put it over.

I can see our February cover right now.

"Beginning this issue, John Sloan, Elizabeth Lane's husband...

...conducts our new Home Planning Department."

And you'll put that on the cover? Right.

Now, what is it you wanted to tell me?

As a matter of fact, it was almost exactly the same thing.

Well, there you are, great minds think alike.

Mr. Yardley, Mr. Jones is way ahead of you on flapjacks.

He is, is he? Well, I'll give him a head start of a dozen...

...and still eat him under the table.

Did you tell him? Well, no. I decided not to.

There's no point in destroying his Christmas.

Come on, let's have breakfast.

Would you mind doing something for me, as a special favor?

Anything you want.

Would you mind just flipping me one flapjack?


Well, you see, Mr. Yardley... Oh, just one to please me, huh?

But, Mr. Yardley... Won't you please, Mrs. Sloan?

Well, all right, but I'm a little out of practice.

Oh, come on. Go ahead.

Go on, dear.



And for dinner, Mr. Yardley, we will have potage Mongol...

...with roast goose Bernoise, with walnut stuffing.

Oh, Uncle Felix, stop.

Please. You make my mouth water.

Good morning.

Mr. Sloan? Yes.

How do you do? How do you do?

I'm Homer Higgenbottom of the Christmas Entertainment Committee of Stanfield.

Mr. Sloan, I understand you're entertaining Jefferson Jones...

...the war hero. Is this the young man?

Yes, that's right. I'm proud to shake your hand.

Thank you, sir.

We're having a community dance this evening at the town hall.

People of Stanfield would consider it a great honor to entertain you and your guests.

I hope you can all come.

Well, how about it, Elizabeth?

A dance?

Do you dance, Mr. Jones?

Oh, I get around.

I think it would be lovely.

Salute your partners.

On the right. On the left.

Join hands, circle left.

Meet your partner.


Forward, everybody swing.

Forward, and do-si-do.

Around to the right.

Now around to the left.

Around you go. Swing your partners right and left.

Isn't this lovely?

Eighteen days on a raft was nothing compared with this.

With the new prefabricated methods and postwar plastics...

...we shall positively revolutionize homebuilding.

Quite right, Sloan. Quite right.

Sashay down the floor.

Around you go.

Form an arch and all follow through.

Everybody forward and form a star.

Around to the right.

Now to the left.

All break away.

You see, with the new high-compression plywood, we'd become pioneers. Yes, sir.

Remember, this whole proposition depends on that other matter I discussed with you.

What other matter, Mr. Yardley?

We've got to beat American Housekeeping to that new baby.

Oh, of course, of course. That will be attended to, naturally.

A progressive architect like myself...

Mr. Sloan, Mr. Yardley, we are relying on you two to start the bond sale.

Why, of course. Whenever you say.

If you'll follow me, gentlemen.

Sure is nice here.

I'll hate to leave tomorrow.

That soon? I'm due back tomorrow night.

I'll have to leave early in the morning. Oh, so this is our...?

Your last night here?

I had a wonderful time.

You've all been very kind to me. Oh, let's keep on walking.

But your shoes.

Oh, yes, they are sort of inadequate.

I guess I was just letting my imagination run away with me.

Why not?

Milady, your carriage.

Oh, we couldn't. It's just parked here. Nobody will mind.

We'll make believe we're going for a ride.

Where should we go?

Well, where do you generally go in your dreams?

The horse is moving.

It wasn't tied up.

Confound it!

Speaking of marriage...

Were we? No.

I guess I was just talking out loud.

I've got marriage on my mind these days.

So have I.

If I wasn't married, what would you say to me now?

Well, first I'd call you Lizka, like Uncle Felix does.

Say it. Lizka.

Say it again. Lizka.

And then what would you say?

I... Gosh, I guess I couldn't say anything.

I know. It's all so lovely.

So lovely.

You're lovely too.

Go on, don't stop.

You're making fun of me. No.

I'm having fun, I admit that, but believe me...

...if I'm making fun of anybody, it's Elizabeth Lane.

Why? Oh, she's so smart. Knows all the answers.

Gets herself into a mess and hasn't the moral courage to get herself out of it.

You're not very happy, are you?

Well, I'm as happy as I have any right to be.

I think you deserve all the happiness in the world.

You do?

I think you're wonderful.

You do?

Maybe we'd better turn back. No. Not yet.


I'm going to spend the night at me sister's.

That makes 50,000 I owe myself.

I'm going to spend the night at me sister's.

Mrs. Gerzeg worked overtime tonight...

...and she'll be coming along pretty soon for her baby.

If she cries, you better change her.

Mrs. Gerzeg?

Never mind. Skip it.

Good night.

Hey, you.


Where do you think you're going?

That's what we'd like to know.

Stealing my sleigh for a joy ride, huh?

Well, get out. Oh, we didn't steal it.

That's what you say. You're four miles from where Mr. Harper parked it.

Holy smokes. You didn't get very far, did you?

The horse just walked away with us accidentally.

Oh, sure. Tell that to the judge, will you?

You mean, you're arresting us? That's right, lady.

Isn't that wonderful? Sorry, lady. In the car.

Mister, really... All right, Harper. There's your sleigh.

You better show up to prefer charges. Thanks, sheriff.


It's me, Mrs. Gerzeg.

I've come for my baby.

Hey! Hey!



Where is everybody?

Give me the police. The state troopers.

The FBI. Quick!

This is Alexander Yardley.

Certainly it's an emergency! A baby has been kidnapped.

Kidnapped? Yes.

Look. Don't get excited. Everything is hunky-dunky.

Are you out of your mind?

Do you realize what this baby means to my circulation?

Mr. Yardley, please. No, don't argue with me. Get Sloan.

Go down to the town hall and bring him back immediately.

Hello. Is this the state police?

This is Alexander Yardley.

Yes, the Alexander Yardley.

The Smart Housekeeping baby has been kidnapped!

Can we have a description of the baby? Photographs?

- We're from the Daily Press. How old was the baby?

He's 8 months old. A boy. He has blond hair and teeth.

Blond hair and teeth? No, no.

No blond hair? No teeth? That's right.

I'll give a $25,000 reward for the return of that baby.

Twenty-five grand.

It's the Elizabeth Lane baby, the most famous baby.

Where are its parents? Here's Sloan.

Will you give us a story? Quiet, please. He doesn't know yet.

Come inside, my boy. I have something to tell you. Keep a stiff upper lip.

Excuse me.

I'm sorry about the arrest, Mrs. Sloan. That's all right.

If we'd realized who you people were, it wouldn't have happened.

Well, good night, ma'am. Good night.

Good night? It's morning.

Imagine us being arrested.

Your husband won't think it's so funny coming home at 7 in the morning.

Oh, they all went to bed hours ago. We seem to have company.


No? No.

Elizabeth, where've you been?

Yes, where have you been? When did you last see the baby?

Quiet, everybody.

Where do you suppose she's been?

She's been out searching every nook and cranny for her lost baby, of course.

My lost baby? There, there, Mrs. Sloan.

You mustn't collapse now. No, indeed. You must be brave.

Hold still, Mr. Jones. Did you get any ransom note?

Take it easy, boys. Mr. Jones is just out of hospital.

Go into the kitchen, Jones. Felix has some coffee for you.

Boys, you realize Mrs. Sloan has had a very trying time.

I will let you know of any further developments.

We'll take care of everything.

We'll have an extra on the street in an hour.

The second you hear news, let me know. I will.

Now, what is this all about?

Fine time to be asking what it's all about.

Lucky for you, I prevented the press from printing the truth...

...whilst you've been gallivanting about all night.

I've been in jail.

In jail? Your baby.

What about my baby? It isn't here, dear.

Of course it isn't. No. I saw it being kidnapped.

Our baby, the Smart Housekeeping baby.

Kidnapped? As I came home I saw a woman... a cloak and hood go out of this house carrying your baby in her arms.

Oh, that. Don't get so excited. Elizabeth.

Well, of all the heartless, callous, irresponsible women...

...l've ever met in my whole life.

You can sit there and tell me not to get excited while your own baby...

Be careful, Mr. Yardley, or you'll have a stroke.

This is incredible.

This is fantastic.

Here, I believe you to be the finest, the most exemplary wife and mother.

Mr. Yardley, if you'd just sit down and calm yourself...

Of all the brazen, cheap...

I suppose you've fallen in love with this young whippersnapper, hero Jones?

Well, frankly, I... I have.

So your husband and child no longer mean anything to you.

Well, let me tell you something, Mrs. Sloan.

If you feel no moral responsibility towards your husband and child...

...I have a magazine to protect.

If you think you can make a mockery of Yardley Publications, you're mistaken.

My public believe in you.

Millions of women in these United States pattern their daily lives after that feature.

You'll live up to their ideals, or my name is not Alexander Yardley!

But if you'd just let me talk a minute. You see, John and I were never married.

Never married?

Such blatant immorality!

But you don't understand. We meant to get married.

Yes. But we never got around to it.

You mean to stand there and tell me the Smart Housekeeping baby is...

No. Oh, no. Oh, no. No.

Thank heaven, at last.

You'll be rewarded, my good woman. Good morning.

Two babies? Which one is yours, Mrs. Sloan?

Hers? You make fun.

These are our babies. Nora. She takes care of them.

While we are at the war plant. We're on the early shift today.

Yes, darling. Goodbye. Thank you so much.

Will someone take this...? This...?

What are you doing to that child?

What am I...? Give it to me.

The poor little thing.

Nora, you'd better take them upstairs. Indeed, I will that.

There now.

There now.

The poor things.

If it's not asking too much, will you explain?

It's all very simple. I have never lived on a farm before.

Never lived...? No, I have no husband and no baby.

And she can't cook.

No husband? No baby?

Well, of all the dirty, scoundrelly tricks to play.

But, Mr. Yardley, we were only trying to protect the feature for you.

Do you realize what you've done? My face will be in all the papers.

I'll be the laughing stock of the publishing business.

Give me the police.

This is Yardley, Alexander Yardley.

It was all a mistake. The baby's all right. There's been no kidnapping.

I tell you, it was all a mistake.

As for you, young woman, you're fired.

Now, see what you've done. Why'd you tell him?

I didn't. He found out.

After all I've done to help, you have to spoil it all. Where were you?

Well, we were sitting in a sleigh, and the horse walked off with us.

A likely story. First a cow and then a horse.

I don't know what to think. Think the worst.

You always would anyway. You're not even sorry...

...for what you've done. No.

And I think you're glad it happened.

I must say the way you've been behaving isn't exactly...

As the wife of John Sloan, the eminent architect should behave?

You've disrupted my household.

Yes, I have, haven't I?

You told Yardley that you were in love with Jones.

Of course, all that's an absolute lot of nonsense, but... Oh, please.

Now, where was I? You were throwing me over.

I cannot afford to incur the enmity of a man like Yardley.

Oh, no. Of course you can't.

I must say you're taking it lightly.

What do you want me to do? Weep on your shoulder?

I've been through as much as I can stand. Don't raise your voice.

My nerves won't stand it. That's fine.

That settles it.

What's the matter? Is something bust?


More company.

Does Miss Elizabeth Lane live here?

Everybody lives here. Come in.

Jeffy boy!

Oh, I'm so glad to see you.

How do you feel?

Well, just great. I feel great.

Oh, my, but it's good to see you.

This is Miss Mary Lee.

Oh, yes, your fiancée.


Yes. Mr. Yardley told me all about it.

I'm surely delighted to meet you all.

How do you do?

It was so sweet of you to have Jeffy boy out here for Christmas.

It was a pleasure.

Oh, Jeffy, I've got so much to tell you.

About our engagement and everything.

Why did you come up here at this hour?

Well, Mr. Yardley phoned for me to come as a surprise.

But I was sort of delayed.

Then I took the wrong train and landed in Bridgeport.

I got the milk train back. It was simply awful.

There was no diner on it.

Well, maybe you'd like some breakfast.

Well, thank you. I haven't had a bite since last night.

Felix will fix you some. I have to pack.

In case I don't see you again, Mr. Jones, goodbye.


It was certainly an experience knowing you.

Goodbye, Miss Lee. Goodbye, and I'm surely grateful to you.

I guess I'd better pack too.

Run along, Jeffy boy.

I fix Miss Lee.

I won't be long.

My, he certainly does look good.

Fine boy.

And to think I've got to break his heart.

You got to what? Break his poor little heart.

Why do you do that?

You see, after he left the hospital, I married.

You got married?

I married Sinky.

You mar... Well, you get married?

Yes, I married Sinky.

You... Who is this Stinky?

His pal. He was on the raft with Jeffy boy.

She married!

Come quick! Come with me!

Quick, come along with me!

In here! In here! I mean...

I fix your breakfast.

I want to have a few words with you, Mr. Yardley.

I have nothing more to say, Sloan. She's fired.

Oh, not about that. I mean the contract. Contract?

Yes. The home-planning feature in Smart Housekeeping.

Now, an idea has grown on me... Oh, that. Well, you'll have to see...

I'm hungry.

But, Mr. Yardley.

Good morning, Felix.

What a delightful aroma.

You're a good chef.

Do I smell kidneys?

Special for somebody.

But, Felix, I'm famished. And kidneys...

Cook your own kidneys.

I don't cook for somebody that's not nice to my friends.

Why, I've done nothing to your friends, Felix.

No? You fired Elizabeth.

Well, didn't she make a fool of me? Pishy-poshy, you done it.

Nobody can tell you something.

Sometimes, if you shut up, maybe you learn something.

Now, look here, Felix. I'm not an unreasonable man.

So then maybe you don't fire Elizabeth, yes?

Well, maybe not.

Yes or no? Well, I don't know...

...after the way she lied to me. She lie? For you she lied.

Anyway, she got another offer.

Another offer? Yes.

This came last night.

I show you.

I read it to you.

I can offer contract with American Housekeeping.

American Housekeeping! Stealing my people! They won't get away with it.

I'll outbid them. I'll give her a big raise. No, no, no, no. Wait a minute.

Cross your heart.

Kidneys, kidneys, kidneys.


Thank you, Felix. I hope we have many meals together.

Any time. At Restaurant Felix.

No cover charge.

Having a nice breakfast, Mr. Yardley? Yes. Everything is hunky-dunky.

Very hunky-dunky.

Jeffy boy, put down the bag.

Where is everybody?

Miss Lee is in the den waiting for breakfast.

But first, I have news for you. Come, come, come.

Yes, I'm finished with her.

You mean you're not gonna marry her? I am not.

Mr. Yardley, about that contract.

There's only one contract that interests me.

The Elizabeth Lane contract with Smart Housekeeping.

You were perfectly right to fire her. Fire her?

I'm not going to fire her.

I'm going to double her salary.

Who is it? Yardley.

I want to have a few words with you. Come in.

What does he want?

I don't know. But I know what I want.

You mean to tell me Lizka did all this because of me?

Positively. I've got to talk with her.

I should wait till the fat man comes out.

Listen, my boy...

So I've come to ask you to reconsider leaving my employment.

As I remember it, you fired me. I spoke in temper.

I want you to stay, with a big raise, of course.

A raise?

I'll double any offer American Housekeeping make.

- American Housekeeping? Felix told me of their offer.

Oh, he did, did he?

You wouldn't want to leave old Yardley, would you?

Oh, wouldn't I?

I'll even give Sloan that contract.

Well, I'm glad of that.

He's a bore, but why not marry him?

Lt'd make a great difference to circulation. Husband and wife on the same paper.

I can see the heading of your next column. Quote:

"My dear husband now joins me in my daily work.

Here we are, side by side, fellow workers in the vineyard.

My baby..." Unquote.

You're a great fixer, aren't you? If you'll listen to me, you'll find...

You listen to me for a change. Now, Miss Lane...

I'm tired of being pushed around, told what to do!

Tired of writing your gall-darned articles, dancing to everybody else's tune!

Tired of being told whom to marry! In short, I'm tired.

Miss Lane... Oh, get out.

You'll regret this. I said, get out!

Well, really.

Most unreasonable woman I've met! She's crazy. Even last night...

Pardon me, gentlemen.

This is where I take over.

What does he think he's going to do?

I give you one guess.

Don't hear a thing.

I wonder what's happening?

Why did you do that? I changed my type.

What do you mean? I'm the type that kisses married women.

And I like it. Well, I don't like it.

No? There's only one thing to do with you.

Yes? Let's do it. No. No.

Now, don't you come near me. You attract me, remember?

Well, you forget, I... Oh, no, I don't.

You're a married woman, but you don't feel like one.

It's not fair. There are rules to this game, are there?

You must teach me. Well, men who are engaged must...

Play the game. Yes.

Well, let's play.


They've stopped talking. That's good.

Have you noticed the even temperature in this room?

That's the triple-wall insulation.

Oh, shut up. Yes.

Excuse me. Good heavens.

It's just little me. I forget all about you.

Your breakfast is in the kitchen.

Won't you join us and wait?

What are you waiting for? Only Uncle Felix knows.

Well, I'm powerful hungry.

I'll show you where the kitchen is. Thank you.

What...? What...?

Don't you come near me, you sea wolf.

After the way you've deceived me. I deceived you?

You're engaged. You're married.

That has nothing to do with it. Nor has my engagement.

If you take another step, I'll scream. Go ahead. Scream the house down.

Perhaps your husband will come to your rescue.

I haven't got a husband.

You haven't? No.

Then Felix was telling the truth.

Felix told you? Everything.

Then you knew all the time? Yes.

I know something you don't know.

I'm not engaged anymore.

You're not?

She married my shipmate.

She did?

I'm as free as a bird.

Oh, that's what you think.

They've stopped talking.

What, again? But this time, it's for keeps.

Now I bring the judge, yes?

But definitely. Yes, please.

Well, young man, I suppose you know what you're doing...

...but I warn you, she can't cook.

She can't cook? No, I can't cook.

She can't cook, but what a wife.

I hope you'll be very happy.

Thank you.

What a Christmas.

What a Christmas.