Fate has given us something to fight for, to live for.
I'm going back, every foot of the way from this rotten dive... and I'm paying my debts as I go.
And me... What of me?
You? I'm taking you back with me.
Ladies and gentlemen, as many of you have noticed... our star, Miss Trixie Farrell... has been acting her part under great difficulties... owing to an attack of laryngitis.
With your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen... the role of Marcelle will be played by her understudy, Miss Molly Adair.
I thank you.
Maybe if we squawked, they'd give us our dough back. - Yeah.
Hey, wait a minute. We're in on passes.
Yeah, but if we squawked loud enough...
Henry, be sensible. Come home where you belong.
I've been eavesdropping.
Not very ladylike.
Ooh, you're not going! Henry.
I don't think I need say any more.
You've been taking that stuff again.
Sure I have. So you're free.
Now you can go back where you belong... to your family.
But you promised. You swore you'd never touch it again.
You're my wife, and my wife you're going to remain and act.
Well, you come along with me and watch how your wife acts.
Come here! Come here!
Say, that gal is all right.
Stop that laughing! Stop it!
Stop that laughing, or I'll...
Then it... Then it was all a trick?
Yes, a trick.
Just a trick to test you out.
Oh, but it's all right now, Henry.
Go back to your family for six months... and... and then I'll come to you... and you can take me or not, as you choose.
But, Marcelle... Oh, I'm not afraid now, Henry.
She's 10 times as good as the star. Did you ever see such fire?
And looks too. She's got everything.
The last half of the ninth, huh?
Say, bud, where's that understudy's dressing room... Molly Adair?
Right down those stairs. Thanks.
Is that so... Hey, wait a minute. Who are you?
Dramatic Mirror. Oh. No foolin'!
Miss Adair in there? Yes.
Miss Adair? Yes?
I hope you'll forgive this intrusion, but I saw your performance tonight... and I-I just couldn't leave the theater without telling you about it.
That's very nice of you.
I don't mean this as just flattery, but I-I think you're better than the star.
I suppose you've waited along time for this opportunity.
Yes, I have. - You know, my coming here is not entirely personal.
I have a business proposition Id like to discuss with you.
I'm Michael Linnett Connors.
I'm, um... I'm a director with the Globe Picture Company at Edendale, California.
And I'd like to offer you a contract, Miss Adair.
A contract to go in moving pictures? That's right.
You mean... You mean go to California and leave Broadway?
Oh, well, naturally. This is really a great opportunity.
Well, I'm very grateful, Mr. Connors... but, uh, a career in motion pictures wouldn't interest me in the least.
Yeah? I know just how you feel.
I know how all Broadway actors feel about the "flickers," as they call 'em... but we might as well face the music... pictures are here to stay.
Well, if I ever change my mind...
I'd be only too glad to look you up, Mr.- Mr.-
Connors. Mr. Connors.
Good night. Good night.
Read it back, will you, please?
"Lyle P. Stout, Globe Film Company, Edendale, California.
"You have always wanted a real star from the stage. Now is your chance.
"I have opportunity sign girl who played the leading role tonight...
"in Man Who Came Back.
"Wire expense money if you are interested.
"Otherwise, I will get in touch with Pathé and Vitagraph.
Michael Linnett Connors." That's right. Fine.
Four dollars and 60 cents. Uh, just charge that to Globe Pictures.
We have an account. Yes, sir.
Oh, uh, who are you? You're welcome. Good night.
Already an hour and a half late. What'll I tell the boss?
Tell him anything. Sure.
Remember, you're my attorney. Don't say anything unless you get the nod from me.
All right, all right. So I'm an attorney, and I don't say a word.
Well, well, well. Good morning, Miss Adair.
This is quite a coincidence, our meeting again like this.
Are you sure it's a coincidence? I've been watching you from the window for the last half hour.
You have? Well, that's one on me.
Miss Adair, this is my attorney, Mr. Spingold.
How do you do? How do you do?
I've been giving thought to our conversation last night... and I think you're making a great mistake in turning down my offer.
I also have given it thought, and I'm sure that I've made no mistake.
Oh, oh, but you have, Miss Adair.
You're the ideal photographic type.
You have the exact poise and personality that pictures are crying for.
You can't say ho. I'm sorry, Mr. Connors.
New York is my life, and I wouldn't think of leaving.
Nothing can make you change your mind?
Nothing, Mr. Connors. I'm sorry.
Good morning, Gus. Good morning.
Orange juice. Nothing for me.
Al right, Miss Adair. I quit.
I'm all through arguing with you. Thank you.
They give orange juice away out in California.
Cool ocean breezes.
Soft, warm sunshine.
And you're satisfied here.
One thing you forget, Mr. Connors.
Every Saturday Mr. Brady pays me $50.
Why, lady, h-how do you keep from starving to death?
I'll start you at a hundred.
A hundred... A hundred dollars a week?
Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?
Well, I... That's what I've been trying to do.
You sure there's no mistake, no hitch to it?
Oh... Uh, Mr. Spingold, have you got that contract?
What? The contract! The contract!
Oh. I had a contract drawn up, Miss Adair.
I knew you'd see reason eventually. Go ahead and read it, will you?
Uh-Uh... Here, I'll read it.
Uh, "For the sum of $100 per week, plus transportation to California...
"Molly Adair herewith agrees to give her services as an actress... to Michael Linnett Connors for one year from this date."
Sign right here on the dotted line.
Is it all right? Oh, of course it's all right.
Do you think I'd go to all this trouble for nothing?
Right here. Write, please.
That's it. That's wonderful.
That is wonderful, wonderful! Lady, this is the most important day of your life.
Mr. Connors, are you sure you're not crazy?
I've got a strange feeling that any minute a black wagon's gonna back up and take you away.
You got me on your side there, lady.
Cool ocean breezes.
Oh, I've got sand in my toothpaste, in my food, in my throat.
What are you doing?
Writing a series of scenes for your first picture, after you make your test.
Test? What test?
Uh, just a photographic test, so the chief of the studio can see what you look like.
But suppose he don't like the way I look.
That doesn't... That doesn't change the fact that I've got a contract.
They can't back out now, not after making me quit my job.
Oh, now, don't you worry. Don't you worry about a thing.
I just want them to see you the way I saw you.
I want them to get the same bang out of you I got... the same lift, the same feeling.
"Blinded by the snow, the runaway droshky crashes over the precipice... and she is hurtled down to"-
Oh, no. Not me. You're not gonna hurtle me over any precipice.
Oh, no. No, not me. No, sir. I don't go for... listen.
No, no. You're not gonna do that to me. No. Let me... Listen to this.
This is really great. Now, look. You're in northern Russia, snowbound.
Your lover has been sent to Siberia.
Now your last chance of seeing him alive is gone.
The fury of that snow blinds you.
The frozen blasts of that northern wind bite into your very marrow.
You're hurt. You're suffering.
But sheer desperation drives you on, on, on.
Now, finally, darkness has fallen.
In the distance you hear the howling of the wolves.
Coming nearer and nearer.
Finally, finally, you can go no further.
You stumble, then you fall.
You're half-conscious from fear and pain... and cold, Oh, but you're still, still thinking about your lover.
You're visioning him being lashed with that knout.
I'll double expose him up-up in the corner of the screen.
And there you lie, moaning, calling to him.
"Oh, come to me, my loved one!
Come to me?"
Is everything all right, sir?
Get out! Can't you see I'm dying?
Yeah... Yes, sir. Well, then get out!
Now, your lover is riding off to war.
That's right. Wave to him.
That's it. Dreamy.
Aw, that's fine. Now think of him.
Think he might never, ever, ever come back to you.
That's it. Fine, fine. Now look down at his roses.
All right. Come on now. Let it grow... bigger.
Come on. Bigger, bigger, bigger!
That's it. Give, baby, give!
All right, Fade it out, Pete. Fade it out.
Oh, that's swell. Beautiful.
You photograph very good, little lady. Thank you, Mr. Stout.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
What do you mean, "Not bad"?
Did you get that smile and that personality? Why, she's terrific!
Maybe you're right. I'm glad we signed her.
But a hundred dollars is a whale of a lot of dough.
Oh, of course it is, but she's worth it.
And this new scenario I've written for her is surefire. They'll love her in it.
So you're a writer now? - Oh, no, no. I'm gonna direct her first picture, chief.
But you're no director. You never directed a foot of film in your life.
You're a prop boy. How can you... A what? A prop boy?
Don't let him frighten you, honey. You're right. I was a prop boy.
I was a janitor. When there was nobody else to do pratfalls, I did them.
I played bits and figured out gags too.
In fact, I did everything in the studio that called for a little dough... and no credit and lots of bruises.
All the while, you promised to give me a chance. I made my chance, and this is it.
Either I handle the megaphone on her first picture, or I walk her right over to Pathé.
Why, you're talking like a lunatic.
You can't take her to another studio. We've got her under contract.
You got my wire, didn't you? And you wired back to sign her.
Okay, I signed her to myself.
She's mine, and if you don't like it that way, that's okay by me.
I'll trot her over to Pathé, and they'll be tickled to death to get her at twice her salary.
But, Mike, be reasonable.
I might give you a raise and maybe later on a chance to direct, but...
No, no. You've made promises to me before.
Either I direct Molly in her first picture, or we walk right over to Pathé.
Don't we, honey? Yeah.
Well, all right. You've got me over a barrel.
But if the first day's work isn't good, you're out. You understand?
Don't you worry. It'll be good.
How "bout me, Mike? You're hired!
We go on location Wednesday morning in Topanga Canyon.
Topanga Canyon? A rock's a rock, a tree's a tree.
Shoot it in Griffith Park.
I oughta be put in a padded cell and the keys thrown away.
I've got a good job in New York.
I just got a big break to act a lead in a New York show.
I'm happy. No troubles. Nothing to worry about.
Along comes a maniac... makes me quit my job, leave my friends... travel 3,000 miles... and he turns out to be a prop boy.
Wait a minute. That's it!
-What's it? -Then I swing the camera around to a jewelry store.
You're standing in front of the jewelry store, looking at wedding rings.
Then along comes your boyfriend, a hick from the country.
What happens to those Siberian wolves?
Molly, wait! Wait a minute, Molly. Wait a minute.
You-You don't understand.
You okay? That's it.
Turn that one.
Could you fix your hair? That's fine.
Fix your hair.
Ladies and gentlemen... on the left, the Globe Moving Picture Company...
Is shooting a Western comedy... with Chester Conklin and Ben Turpin!
Places! All right. Everybody on the set.
All right, Chester.
All right, Ben.
How's that look now?
And on the right, folks...
Mike Connors is directing Molly Adair..
In her first movin' picture, with Buster Keaton... as the romantic lover!
Come on, Jim. Heat it up a little bit. Come on.
That's it. You eat now, master?
No, put it down. Put it over there.
How's that? Hey, Mike.
That's good. Who's that?
That's my, uh, number one boy. Your what?
I hired him last night, 12 bucks a week.
Cooks, takes care of my other suits and drives my car.
Your car? - Sure. I'm gonna make the first payment on it Saturday.
Then we can drive to work. Won't have to take that dinky old streetcar.
There are times when you amaze me.
In this business, sweetheart, not all the acting is done by the actors.
How "bout it, Pete? You ready? All right.
Okay! Places, everybody. Quiet now!
All right, Bob. Buster, go on.
All right. Start crankin' 'em, Pete.
All right. Down on your knees, Buster.
Make love to her.
Be coy, Molly. Be coy.
That's it. All right, Buster. Stand up.
Take her left hand, point to the fourth finger.
That's right. Now point to the rings in the jewelry store.
That's it. "For me?" Molly. That's it.
All right, Buster. Now tell her to wait. Go on in.
All right, Claude. Come on in.
Come on in. Easy. All right. See her.
That's it. She's beautiful! Beautiful!
Beautiful, Molly. All right, Molly. Be afraid!
That's it... afraid, Afraid!
Oh, she's beautiful, Claude. She's beautiful, Ah, she's beautiful, Claude. Come on now. Come on in. Come on.
That's it. Be afraid, Molly.
All right. Come on, Claude. Struggle. Come on. Afraid.
Struggle, Claude! Struggle!
All right, Buster! Come on out.
All right. See them, Buster.
Take it... big!
That's it. Come on. That's it. Come on.
That's fine. Now you know what to do.
Go on now. Hit him, Buster. Hit him!
Go... Go on, Buster!
Come on! Hurry up and hit him, Buster! Hurry up!
Go on! Hit him, Buster! We're running out of film! Hit him!
Buster, we're running out of film! Go on and hit him!
Oh, Mike. Mike! Oh, Mike!
Mike, do something!
I'm awfully sorry, Molly.
I give you my word of honor it won't happen again. - Oh, thanks. Thanks a lot.
Shall we retake it, boss?
This is awful. No. Print it.
I think it's sort of funny. Well, sort of.
Sort of funny? Why, that had you in the aisle.
Well, I said it was funny, didn't I?
Here this little lady works her heart out, takes pies in the face without batting an eye... and that's the thanks she gets... you think it's funny.
Why don't you try getting a pie in your face sometime, Mr. Stout?
I'm sorry, Miss Adair, if I sounded ungrateful. It's swell, something new.
Well, don't thank me. Thank him. It was his idea. You heel.
Swell job, Mike. I'm proud of you.
But I always knew you had it in you.
And if it hits in the box office like I think it will... you won't have a thing to worry about.
Not a thing. And neither will you, little lady.
The little lady! Socko!
If I have to photograph stuff like that, I gotta have more money.
Hiya, pal. Say, I want to get some pies delivered every day.
What kind? Oh, it don't matter. What's the softest you got?
Wait a minute. What's this here? Custard.
I-I-Please! That looks like pretty good pie.
I think probably that's the angle.
Well, let's see.
Oh, yeah. That's the pie, all right. Can't miss with that pie.
Tell you what you do.
Send 500 of those over every day... to the Globe Pictures in Edendale.
Yes, sir. Here.
Gracious me! Those flies are terrible, aren't they?
See you later, brother.
Five hundred pies?
All right now, Molly. Let me have that pretty smile of yours.
Come on. Smile bigger now. Come on. Bigger. Bigger!
All right, Marie, Gloria, come on. Smile, smile.
Mabel, come on! Smile big!
Phyllis, come on, smile!
That's it. Come on. Keep the smile. Big!
Can't get 'em all in, Mike.
All right. Then move back for an extreme long shot.
All right, girls. One hour for lunch.
Set up, fellas.
And don't get those bathing suits wet!
Another cup of coffee, Slim.
Oh. So there you are. Oh. Hello, chief.
Cup of coffee for the boss, Slim.
Do you real...
Do you realize how long you've been shooting this picture?
Eight days. Eight whole days!
The cost is bigger than any picture we ever made.
No coffee. $2,600.
And it'll be cheap at twice the price.
Wait"ll you see those girls. Bathing beauties!
Who wants to see a lot of girls sitting on rocks at the seashore?
There's no action in that. No movement. No falls.
What they want is pies, the way you did it in the first place.
Pies! Pies are out with me.
Let the other fella make pies. I was the one that started pies.
Now I've got something that'll make more money for you than all the pies in the world.
That's for me to decide. what I want is pies...
No! And anything else is out.
Then that lets me out, and that means Molly too.
You wouldn't be that crazy.
You'll see how crazy I am. I'll trot her right over to Vitagraph.
Vitagraph? That's what I said... Vitagraph.
Vitagraph! Vitagraph! I've heard that threat just once too often!
Why, they never even heard of you over at Vitagraph.
Now you get this straight. Fix up what you're doing tonight, or you're through!
I s... I said no coffee!
That music has possibilities.
How "bout dropping by the ship for a few minutes before we go back to town?
Sure, if you want to. Oh, no, no. Maybe we'd better not.
It's kind of nice just... just being here alone.
I don't care what Stout or anybody else thinks.
I still think that bathing beauty idea is a natural.
Why do magazines put beautiful girls on their covers?
Why do people pay more money for front rows at musical shows?
There isn't a person in the world who doesn't get a kick out of a beautiful figure.
Of course, you've gotta have belly laughs in a comedy. I know that better than anybody else.
But if I can have belly laughs with beauty, I can't miss.
Oh, of course you can't. What does Stout know?
Just because he hasn't got imagination enough to see beyond his nose... is no reason why you should be discouraged.
Oh, I'm not discouraged.
Only this morning when they... when they turned me down at Vitagraph... and Pathé said they heard I was expensive and hard to get along with... it sort of took the wind out of me.
There is one thing I'm worried about though.
Why should you turn down $250 a week... just because I had a fight with the boss and lost my job?
Because your troubles are my troubles, Mr. Connors.
And besides, I... think you're good.
And there's nothing you or anybody else could do to make me change my mind.
I know, honey, and that's swell of you... but you can buy a lot of egg sandwiches with 250 bucks... and egg sandwiches are very important when you're hungry.
Let's not talk about it anymore tonight, huh?
Let's just pretend that... that you're the greatest director in the whole business... and I'm the greatest star... and we just finished the greatest picture ever made.
Now here we are with nothing to think of... nothing... nothing but ourselves.
Someday that little weasel will get on his knees and beg me to come back.
So will Vitagraph and Pathé.
The more I think about it, the more I know that bathing girl idea is good.
Just wait till it opens in the theaters. I'll show 'em.
Of course you will, Mike.
Well, come on. Let's get back to town.
I've gotta send a wire to my friend Dave Spingold in New York.
Maybe he can line up something for me there. Oh, your-your hat.
I always heard geniuses were absentminded.
Come on. Come on out.
His uncle's dead. What?
His... His uncle's dead. Come on. Come on.
Dave's uncle's dead, and... and he left him all his dough.
That's not all. Our picture's a smash in New York. Dave's on his way here with the money.
We're in the picture business, honey! Our own studio!
Are you happy?
Of course I'm happy.
Gee, do you feel me? I'm... I'm shakin' like a leaf.
Wait a minute. I've got it!
I-I-I can't lose a minute.
I've gotta line up my own gang... my own cameraman.
I'll steal him from Stout. I'll get Pete Tinney tonight.
By tomorrow morning I'll have the best crew in the business in my vest pocket.
So long, honey. I'll see you tomorrow.
Wait. I forgot the wire. Where is it?
Oh, here it is. Oh, gee, honey.
I've never been so high in my life.
I-I feel just like I could fly.
Well, we got the sign, we got the studio.
Now all we need is good pictures. That's a cinch.
There, Dave. Here, Willie. Thanks, master.
Here's to success.
Michael Linnett Connors Productions.
All right, you comics! On the set. Let's go.
Shake a leg there.
Good morning, boss. Morning. Morning, Jake. Good morning, boys.
Morning. How are you, Buster? Good morning.
Good morning. Good morning.
Morning, Pete. Good morning. Good morning, Molly.
Oh, let me see how you look.
Hat, dress... everything perfect.
Turn around. Let me see the back. Oh!
I feel like Mrs. Astor's pet pony.
Just how I want you to look... smart.
Come on over. I want you to meet your new leading man. Nicky? Nicky Hayden?
Nicky, this is Molly Adair.
Miss Adair, I'm very happy to know you. Oh, thank you.
He's a fine actor too, Molly.
I've seen every one of your pictures, and I think you're great.
I was afraid a big Broadway leading man like you would be just a little cool.
Most Broadway leading men are very snooty about pictures.
Miss Adair, I'm not a Broadway leading man.
I was working in a gas station when Mr. Connors saw me. - Well, let's get going.
Say, what's the idea, telling me he's a big Broadway leading man... and you couldn't get him unless you used him right away?
You kept talking about going on vacation. I had to do something to keep you here.
I give up. Anything's all right, as long as the picture gets made, huh?
That's right. All right. Come on. Let's go. Places, everybody.
All right. Places, boys. All right, Cops. Let's go.
Come on. Let's go. Up that ladder quick!
Hurry it up, fellas. Let's go.
All right, you guys. You know what to do up there. Make it right the first time.
I can't keep burning up this film. It costs four cents a foot.
We'll try our best, boss.
And, Pete, please, try and keep it in focus, will you?
I'll keep it in focus. You just keep it funny.
Ah, this new stage is just what we need... space, room to move around in.
Just about perfect, Dave. Molly, how do you like your new stage?
Oh, it's wonderful. We should have a lot of fun here.
A lot of work, you mean. Well, that's what's fun, isn't it?
Mike, what do you say we all go down to Tijuana over the weekend and celebrate?
Yeah, that's a great idea. Maybe Buster will go with us.
How 'bout it, Mike?
Aw, gee, I'd love to go with you kids.
Aw, but I've got a couple of ideas I've gotta kick around.
I... No, I can't do it.
But have fun.
Yeah. I'll put the entrance to the palace right over there.
Patio over on this side here. Make this wall a breakaway.
Trolly right in with the camera right here. Uh... Hey, Dave.
Dave, are you listening? Oh.
I was just wondering if you spoke to that real estate man... about buying that corner back there.
Ah, what do I want with corners in an orange grove?
So today it's an orange grove, so tomorrow it might be something else.
Famous Players are talking about moving out here.
Yes, soon there'll be a regular town springing up: streets, hotels.
Aw, forget it. Forget it, Dave. We're in the picture business.
Pete, are the hands in?
Yeah. They're in.
That's fine. That'll be very effective.
What do you want to shoot through the harp for?
It's good composition.
Sure are giving them something new, Mike. Yep.
I hope they don't look like they're in jail.
How "bout it, Pete? You ready? Mm-hmm.
All right. Places. Places, everybody!
Don't forget now, Molly and Nicky, you've gotta make me believe this.
All right. Music.
All right. Sit down, Nicky.
Now embrace her.
Use take number three, Elaine.
It's terrific, Mike. Terrific.
Pete, that was a great idea using that cigarette and that gauze.
I want a soft focus on all love scenes from now on.
Well, I gotta hand it to you again, Mike.
That boy is getting better in each picture.
Yeah. They're both great. They're great together.
Yeah, what a love scene.
I've got a great idea! We'll build them up romantically.
Have our press agent get out a... get out a whole lot of stuff.
Exploit them. Uh, sweethearts.
No. No. "Lovers" is the word. Lovers of the world!
Wonderful, Mike! Headlines in the newspapers.
Interviews in the fan magazines... all of them.
Pictures of them gazing into each other's eyes. Lovers of the world!
Good. Well, why shouldn't we be?
Where have you two kids been? I wanted you to see this stuff.
Swell, Molly. Swell. You tell him, Nicky.
Well, uh, we had a little date with the parson.
Who's gonna kiss the bride?
Molly, nobody's gonna kiss the bride. But, Mike, I...
I spent half the night goin' over that script. That marriage scene is out entirely.
It's old-fashioned. It's, uh, just a waste of footage.
Oh, Molly and Nicky!
You two kids have just played the most sincere love scene you've ever done.
Mike, you don't understand. - The two of you sit down here and look at this stuff.
It's really wonderful. Go on. Run it for 'em, Joe, will you?
How do you like this for a quick job?
The boys worked all night so we could shoot this afternoon.
What Nicky said was true. Place the two of you right down there.
Uh... What's true?
About... About him, us.
We're married, Mike.
Yes. We... We were gonna wait till after the picture was finished... but then we didn't, and last night, why...
It's not that surprising, is it?
I thought you knew.
You must have seen we were in love.
That's his ring, huh?
Oh, Mike, don't take it that way.
How'd you expect me to take it?
What do you want me to do, congratulate you?
Yes, of course I did.
You ran out on me without a word.
I did what? You heard me.
Mike, you're mad.
You've been everything in the world to me. Don't say that, Mike.
You've never been in love with me, not even for a minute.
If you had been, I'd have known it.
That's what I wanted to know, I waited to know.
You never showed the slightest interest, except in my work.
What did you want me to do, put it in the contract for you?
All you had to do was tell me just once.
Molly, I... I thought you understood.
You... You understood everything else all right.
Why I brought you out here...
I-I made a star out of you.
When... Whenever there was any trouble, I'd-I came to you... to talk it over.
Pictures, pictures, pictures! That's all I've ever heard! That's all you've ever said!
But it was all for you... everything I did.
Molly, we've... we've made a mistake. Both of us.
No. No, I've made no mistake.
You're not really in love with him.
You... You couldn't be.
Don't say that. I married him.
I won't stand for it, Molly.
You're mine, and-and you're gonna stay mine.
I'm sorry, Mike.
All right. Come foreground,
Take her hand.
Look at her.
All right. Take her in your arms.
Now kiss her.
All right. Slow fade.
All right. Slate.
Save your lights.
Well, that wraps up another one. Thanks, boys, all of you, very much.
Thank you, Mr. Connors. Hope you have a terrific hit, Mike.
Thanks. Mike, aren't you gonna make another take?
No. That'll do. Another hit, boss.
Hope so. Another one in the bag, Mike.
Have a drink, Mike. Thanks.
You look dead tired, Mike.
Tired? I never felt better in my life.
Thanks for the break, Mr. Connors. I certainly needed the work badly.
That's all right. You did a nice job. Thank you.
Drink up, boys. Have some fun. Yeah, that's enough playing. - Thank you, Mr. Connors.
Here. Have some fun now. Did a nice job on the picture, boys. Swell.
Thank you. - Oh, Mr. Connors, I hear that it's a wonderful picture!
What have you decided about that next new story for Miss Adair?
There isn't going to be a next one. Oh, you must be joking.
Miss Adair isn't gonna be with us any longer.
You mean we're not gonna be together? That's just what I mean.
We're through? Mike, you must be mad.
You keep out of this! I said she's through, and she's through.
But, Mike, do you realize what we spent making her a star?
She's our greatest asset. She's our business.
You're throwing it out of the window. Give her back her contract.
But, Mike, it'll ruin us. Tear it up! Do you hear me?
I don't want to hear her name again.
I stood it long enough to finish this picture.
Now get her out of here, and him too.
Thank you very much!
Hello, Bill. This is supposed to be a private suite.
Are you telling me? Cost us a hundred bucks to crash the gate.
You know Mr. Thomas, Famous Players? How do you do?
Allow me to congratulate you. Thanks.
And you too, Mrs. Hayden. Thank you. Thanks.
Please forgive this intrusion, but I had to see you before you sailed.
I'm authorized to offer you twice what you've been getting from Connors.
Oh, I'm-I'm very sorry, Mr. Thomas... but Mr. Connors is getting a few scripts ready for us... and when we come back from our honeymoon, we...
Oh, come, Miss Adair. I happen to know that Connors tore up both your contracts.
Now, I don't know what kind of a personal fight caused the split... but this is the best break you've ever had.
I've got a contract here.
You're to have your own production unit... making only Adair and Hayden pictures.
Select your own stories, pick your own directors. Do me a favor, Bill?
Sure, Nicky. Drop that at the telegraph desk as you go ashore.
You might read it to Mr. Thomas, if you care to.
"Mike Connors, Hollywood, California.
"We'll be back March the 10th ready for work. Have everything ready to roll.
Love, the other two musketeers."
That's clear enough, isn't it?
Perfectly clear, Mr. Hayden, but you can't blame me for trying.
Of course not.
Good-bye, Bill. - Remember, my offer's still good if you ever change your mind.
You wouldn't want a leading man with a long, gray beard.
Good-bye, Miss Adair. Bon voyage.
Good-bye, Bill. Nice of you.
I'm beginning to think I married the right man.
Oh, it was so swell of you, the way you acted about Mike.
I can't blame the guy for blowing up.
He couldn't help it. He was in love with you.
Oh, Nicky. You're crazy.
Maybe you didn't know it.
Maybe the fool didn't know it himself, but it's true.
So, you see, I can't be sore.
I know how I'd feel if I lost you.
Nicky... we're gonna make this thing go, aren't we?
We're a cinch, darling.
"The other two musketeers."
There's never been anything like the reception they got in New York.
Crowds followed them in the streets, and when they sailed... they had to call out the police reserves.
I'm telling you, we don't need them.
But, Mike, we can't afford to let some other company grab them.
They're ours... our stars.
And who made them? You, Mike, you. That's what I'm saying.
And what I'm saying is, we don't need them.
I'll make other stars, idols that'll top them by a million miles.
All that baloney doesn't mean a thing to me, not a thing.
There's plenty of talent in the world if you know what to do with it, if you've got ideas.
You just wait, Dave. I'll get the greatest writers, the greatest actresses... the greatest actors in this business!
All right. All set, Mr. Connors!
All right by me.
Ready to shoot. I've got a beautiful shot from here, Mr. Connors.
Hey, Oscar. Move your reflector in.
My first assistant, please!
Yes, Mr. Connors! I want one more rehearsal.
Yes, sir. Places, everybody!
Get in your places! Hurry up! Places!
Hurry up! Let's go! Everybody!
Places, everybody! Come on, come on. Move in there.
Hurry it up, everybody.
All ready, Mr. Connors.
Start the music. Music!
All right. Action!
Come on! Let's go!
Make the action broader! Broader!
Make the action broader! Broader!
Broader! Broader! Come on! Come on!
Hold it! Hold it!
Hold it! Hold it! Hold it!
I haven't got half enough people! Not half enough!
Who cut me down?
Mr. Spingold, sir. Go get Mr. Spingold!
Get Mr. Spingold!
Mr. Spingold! Mr. Spingold!
Hey, how "bout movin' in, Mike, and grabbing a couple of close shots?
It'll save us time.
I'm not interested in saving time. I'm interested in making a picture.
Here's Mr. Spingold, sir.
What... Oh, what's wrong, Mike?
Is this what you call a crowd?
I told you I wanted the place jammed with people, jammed as far as the eye can see.
But, Mike, on the screen, you won't even be able to see them way over there.
How do you expect me to work when all I get is opposition?
All right, Mike. All right. How many people do you want?
I told you I wanted the place jammed.
How many will that take, Chick?
Oh, about 250 more, Mr. Spingold.
All right. So we'll get 'em.
Everybody, back on the set! Come on, everybody.
Figures don't lie, Mike. See for yourself.
Don't bother me with figures. Haven't I got enough on my mind now?
So you want me to kid you, tell you there's plenty of dough in the bank when we're broke?
Money isn't rubber bands. It don't stretch forever.
Well, when this one's finished there'll be plenty in the bank.
I know, but that's what you said the last time. This one's okay, I tell ya.
I haven't run into a whole lot of snags.-
Do you ever stop to think maybe it's your own fault, running into snags?
This isn't any longer a one-man show like when we started, Mike. There's too much competition.
You're still trying to write, direct, produce, and you can't, especially now.
You're in no shape. Oh, you're talking like a chump.
Getting cold feet just because we run into a few days' shooting trouble?
"A few days"? It's been months!
Months and months of trouble!
I'm sorry, Mike. I-I'm not blaming you.
Well, then shut up!
You do your end and let me do mine.
Go get the money! Get it from the banks. I can't.
Why not? You did it before, lots of times.
That was different. We had pictures showing.
The banks were glad to lend us money. Now they're not.
They have no faith in you, Mike, in what you're doing.
No faith in me, hmm?
And I suppose that goes for you too.
Yes, Mike, it does.
Oh, Mr. Connors.
There's a man with dog been waiting to see you. I've no time now.
He's been here six, seven times. I told you, I have...
Mr. Connors, I've been wanting to see you for weeks.
This dog is almost human. He can do any trick you can think of.
I'm sure if you'd use him on one of your pictures... Sorry. I'm not interested.
Someday you do more trick for Willie.
What you calling him? Rin Tin Tin.
Rin Tin Tin.
We didn't get a single shot again today.
I guess we'll have to have all those extras back again tomorrow.
I think you'd better talk to Mr. Connors about that.
This is his circus from now on.
Congratulations. Thanks, Dave.
Your wine is well iced, Mr. Spingold. Oh, fine, fine.
I'm sorry I was so late.
I was talking for two hours to New York.
And? I finally closed the deal with United Artists.
Put 'er there, Dave. Say, we oughta make this a double celebration.
Mr. Connors? Uh, ginger ale. Four glasses.
Here it is, kids.
Forbidden fruit, just off the boat.
Come on, Mike. Turn around.
Come on, Mike. Turn around.
Say a few words, Mack? With pleasure.
Ladies and gentlemen...
I take great pleasure in presenting to you a star maker...
Mr. Mack Sennett.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this whirligig business of ours... where imagination and personality are so very necessary.
It is wonderful to see such a gathering... paying tribute to a couple of real people... and most wonderful of all... to see unspoilt by fame or success... a love that is simple, deep and enduring.
I give you Molly and Nicky Hayden.
And may they always remain... still the lovers of the world.
Come on. Press hard, Mrs. Hayden.
For all those five tough years, Nicky?
Just make the next five as tough, darling.
Many happy returns, Molly.
Come on. This one's mine.
Swell place, eh? We oughta come here regular.
Tell your friends about it.
Here you are, sir. Ah, swell!
Mike! Come on. Let's get outta here.
I don't wanna go home. I said I wanted to leave!
Look, Mike, come on! We just came!
Mr. Hayden will be home shortly. Very well, madam.
Got pretty tired tonight, hmm?
No, not tired, just... Just... Just what?
Oh, I don't know. Will you have a drink, Dave? No, no.
I think I know. I saw him too.
Well, he... he looked so... so down.
If a man won't help himself... there's nothing his friends can do.
You saw him with that crooked, card-cheating little agent... and those girls.
Say, how many nights I haven't slept... trying to think of some way of helping him.
But whenever I get an idea, he won't listen.
Yes, I know.
Nicky tried to lend him money... when he heard the bank was foreclosing on his house.
Mike almost hit him. Hmm.
Did you ever stop to think, Dave... no one has ever come along that quite filled Mike's shoes?
That's right, Molly.
The way he used to work... like a dynamo.
And the great ideas he was always getting.
That's the tragedy of this business... one or two bad ones, and you're a has-been.
You're just as good as your last picture.
Oh, but it wasn't Mike's fault, what happened to him.
It was mine too, in a way.
Molly, you mustn't even think such a thing.
Oh, it's the truth, Dave. We both know it. Ohh...
Mike got the worst of it.
It threw him off balance, made him go completely haywire.
Ah, but people don't change.
I know that... deep down inside he's... the same old Mike.
But it's like I say... if a man won't help himself... there's nothing his friends can do.
Yes, there is, Dave.
If they're real friends, they'll find a way. How?
You know I'd give my right hand for Mike.
By believing in him again.
I'll tell you how... by letting him direct my next picture.
Molly! Are you crazy?
He hasn't been behind a camera for two years!
And two years in this business is more than two lifetimes.
No, I can't let you take a chance like that.
You-You'd be gambling your whole career.
But he gambled on me, didn't he? Why can't we give him a chance?
One good picture and he'll be right back where he was... on top.
Say... only four times in my life I got stewed.
This looks like the fifth.
What people will say about me.
"Spingold? He's a dope.
"A million dollars he took and put in the hands of a drunken has-been...
A million dollars."
It'll be chiseled on my tombstone...
"Dave Spingold, schlemiel."
But I feel swell.
I'll do it.
Oh, Dave, thanks. Oh, thanks so much.
But, uh, if he thinks it's charity...
It'll take a little handling.
Then you'll get in touch with him tomorrow?
Uh, Molly... what will, uh... what will Nicky say about this?
Oh, Nicky'll give three cheers.
Dave, you know Nicky. He's a great guy. Mm-hmm.
His wife is a great guy.
Good night, schlemiel.
Molly, you know...
I got no noodle for liquor.
The brandy is making rockets go round in my head... and-and I got a crazy idea.
Would you mind if -
if I kissed you good night?
No, no, no. Shh.
No, no. That... That don't help.
Hello, Mr. Connors. Thanks for asking for me. Wouldn't be my crew without you.
Hello, Mr. Connors. Glad to see you back. Thanks. Good to see you.
Hello, Sid. Mr. Connors, glad to see you.
Hello, Mr. Connors. Good to see you.
Hello, Lee. Stubby. Nice to see you, boss.
How are ya, boys?
Good morning, Mr. Connors. How are you? It's good to see you.
Pete. Hi, Mike.
Long time no see.
How you been, you old worrier? Fine.
Gotta make a good one, you know.
We've made plenty of good ones, Mike. That's right.
Uh, Chick, place everybody for rehearsal.
Principals and extras, on the set! Let's go, everybody! - Hit 'em, Ronnie.
You wanna take a look at it? No smoking in there, now!
Let's have a lot of pep this morning!
You're way ahead of me on the setup, I see.
Let's rehearse dollying in, boys.
Hello, Mike. Hello, Molly.
It's wonderful being together again.
Yeah. Just like old times.
I'm sorry I was late, Mike, but the wardrobe had to alter my dress... and Emily didn't get to me until 10 minutes ago.
That's all right. There are always hitches the first day.
Let's rehearse the first scene on the witness stand. - Right down here, Molly.
All right, heat 'em up, boys! Okay!
Light these up here! How 'bout this one?
Light 'em all! Places!
Start your music, boys.
All right, let's go.
All right, fellas. Come on! Faster!
All right, hold it. Whoa!
All right, Miss Adair, read your subtitle.
No, I didn't go to that speakeasy to do anything wrong.
I went there to have a good time and dance. That's no crime, is it?
Now read yours, Paul.
Confine yourself to the question, please. I merely asked you...
Yes, I know what you asked me.
And if I answered the way you wanted, I'd have said something that wasn't true.
Quick! Yours, Paul, That's all we want, just the truth.
Well, you don't act like it... trying to twist things around, trying to make me look like a bad girl.
I'm not ashamed of anything I've done.
I want everybody to know the truth about this.
His family, the Fullertons, have everything on their side... they beat me every way I turn.
I came to this court expecting everything to be open and aboveboard and...
Such opinions are not allowed in this court.
No, no, no. Stop the music. No, no, no.
Paul, please, don't cross on your line. I'm sorry, Mr. Connors.
And, Miss Adair, please keep your face toward the camera.
All right, everybody, let's get fixed up for a take. - Mike.
Don't you think it'd be good if, at the end of the scene, I turned away from the camera?
No, I don't think it'd be a good idea.
The public pays to see your face, not the back of your head.
Save 'em all! All right, cover up!
Don't leave the set, now!
Come on, move your dollies. Okay. Dolly coming back.
Move that arc in.
Hello, Dave. Hello, Molly.
Say, you were great out there... even if the director didn't seem to think so.
Well, he isn't exactly using the velvet glove technique. -
Want me to tell him he's got to handle our star more gently?
No. He's only acting like that to keep reminding me that this is strictly business.
And like everything else Mike ever did in his life, he goes completely overboard.
But I don't mind. I always understand him.
That is, most always.
All right, hold it, boys. Save your energy till the scene.
Rest those horses!
Who gave Miss Adair the call? I did, sir. Gave it to her myself... 9:00 sharp.
Sit down, Mike. Might as well take it easy.
Nothing else we can do, boss, till she gets here.
Last picture I was on, the star didn't show up till after lunch.
Molly Adair never does that.
She doesn't, huh? She was late yesterday. She's always late.
Where's Mr. Connors? Here he is here.
Mr. Connors, there's been an accident. Miss Adair and, uh...
What? Miss Adair and Mr. Hayden.
They must have been driving at an awful clip, judging from the wreck.
Mr. Hayden was killed.
And Miss Adair? I don't know.
They took her away in the ambulance. Santa Monica Hospital.
Where'd it happen? About three miles up the road.
We were trying to... trying to get there... so I wouldn't be late.
Is Nicky all-all right?
He... He isn't...
I wish I could say something.
Don't say anything.
It's too late.
Say, listen, fellas.
We can't get anyplace sitting around like a bunch of crows glooming.
We've got to snap out of it, make some kind of a move.
Sure. Pass it off as though nothing had happened.
Now, don't talk like that, Mr. Connors.
Well, then don't tell me to snap out of it and make moves.
Molly in the hospital... her husband dead, whole world in pieces.
Yes, I know all about that.
I feel just as badly about it as you do.
But I've got a million dollars in cold cash at stake... so this problem's gotta be solved.
Mighty tough problem, Mike.
Did you see the papers this morning?
You read what happened in New York last night?
What happened? Talking pictures.
That's what happened.
What I've been prophesying all along.
But you two boys pooh-poohed me.
"The Jazz Singer, first feature-length picture with songs...
"opened last night at Warners.
Had to keep the theater open all night to accommodate the crowds.
I tell you, it's the end of silent pictures. Oh, bunk.
I've got a fortune tied up in a silent that isn't finished yet.
Three months' time, my investment won't be worth a nickel.
Oh, you sound like a child.
People don't want to hear their idols talk.
Takes away all the mystery and the glamor.
Makes them ordinary a-and commonplace.
What's more, they go to the theater to relax, not to strain and listen.
That's what you say. No, you're wrong, Mike.
I was talking to Zukor and Schenck last night.
They tell me that theaters throughout the country are working 24 hours a day... installing sound equipment.
We've gotta get this picture finished quickly. Get on it without a moment's delay.
I-I've gotta shoot the whole last reel, the climax.
Then change the climax. And spoil the story.
We could get a double for Molly, fake it somehow.
For all you know, Miss Adair might never work again. -That's a lie!
She'll be all right in two or three months. The doctor said so.
And I told you in two or three months you won't be able to give a silent away.
Mike, do as we say. Get a double for Molly.
Steal a couple of scenes from one of her other pictures. It's been done before.
Only get it done.
No, I... can't.
I won't! I-It'll be a bust.
It'll ruin Molly. It'll ruin us all!
Mike, it puts us in an awful spot.
Oh, you just think you're in a spot.
You're both panicky because of The Jazz Singer, because Jolson put over a couple of songs.
Well, I'm not panicky!
You know what one bad picture can do as well as I... and I'm not gonna ruin her for you or anybody else!
I'm no genius, no creator.
I just represent the financial side of this business.
But I've made up my mind this picture's gonna be finished. Now.
Not with me it isn't.
Seems to me that I've heard it said... that you're the bright genius that turned down Rin Tin Tin.
Well, we all make mistakes sometimes.
Then make 'em on your own time.
You finish the picture with a double, or get out. Now.
Then I'll get out. Now.
Mike. Mike, wait... Wait a minute! Mike!
Mike, listen to me.
Think what you're doing.
I can't see you walk out this way. It would mean curtains for you.
I can't help that, Dave. But you've got to help it.
You know I'd do anything I could, but... he has the say.
He controls the money strings.
Please, Mike, go on back. Patch it up with him.
Oh, I wish-I wish I could, Dave.
It's not only you I'm thinking of, Mike.
I'm thinking of Molly too.
I know you're not the kind that can humble himself before anyone else... but please, Mike, for all our sakes...
All right, shrimp.
Mr. Roberts. Yes?
I want to apologize. I'm sorry for the things I said.
But I want to urge you, please reconsider.
Why don't you wait just a week or two and see how she gets along?
I tell you what... you can take me off salary. I'll work for nothing.
I've made up my mind I'm gonna finish this picture the way I said.
You might as well know that I never wanted you in the first place.
It was just a charity job. Molly and Dave talked me into it.
As far as I'm concerned, you're out.
You understand? You're fired.
Don't you think you'd better get some sleep?
I can't sleep.
Won't you just try?
Evening, Father. Good evening.
Wonder who that guy is.
I've seen him around here two or three nights now just standing around.
Oh, some movie director. Yeah?
Where you go now, master?
Just drive. Anywhere.
How are you? Oh, hello, Connors.
Any, uh... Any chance of getting in here? Standing room only.
If you wanna stand, go ahead.
You can go in now.
How are you, honey?
Oh, I'm getting on, I guess.
Molly, I... I had to see you.
Yes? What about?
About the picture.
They're gonna finish it without you, with a double.
Yes, I know.
Dave phoned me.
Well, what did you say?
I told him to go ahead.
But, Molly, that'll... that'll ruin it.
They'll make hash of it.
Oh, please, Mike. I'm tired.
It doesn't matter. Really, it doesn't.
Now go. Please.
All right, Molly...
I know what it is to be tired... the way you're tired... when your whole world topples and..
Nothing seems to matter anymore.
It'll lick you, that feeling... if you let it.
You've got to fight back... get well.
Then things'll... things'll look different, Molly.
What happened to you wasn't your fault.
What happened to me I was to blame for.
I was wrong, Molly...
about you... about everything, I guess.
Bullheaded and blind.
Through all those years, the only... the only thing that really mattered to me was... was you.
When I was down at the bottom, on my way out... you gave me a chance to, come back... you and Dave and Nicky.
I didn't want to take it.
I didn't want to take anything from you.
I had to.
I had to see you.
Had to be near you again.
From that first day on the picture, I... began to live again.
And what we did was great, Molly... every scene, every foot of it.
I treated you badly on the set... just because I didn't want you to know how I felt... what was going on inside.
Didn't want myself to know.
But now I...
I want you to know everything.
Please don't tell me any more.
Please listen. Just a little bit more.
Last night I saw something.
I saw a crowd such as I've never seen before... in front of a theater.
Traffic was tied up for blocks.
Inside I saw an audience that... that was spellbound.
You could have heard a pin drop.
They were looking at shadows on the screen that were no longer shadows.
They were flesh and blood human beings.
Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, singing.
I've said all along that the public didn't want talk.
They didn't want their movie idols dragged down to ordinary human beings.
But I was wrong. I knew that the minute I heard that voice, those songs.
I went... I went out of that theater like... like a drunk.
All I could think of was-was what I'd seen on that screen.
And then I got an idea.
They're not gonna butcher our picture.
That's ours... yours and mine. We made it.
And they're not gonna ruin it or ruin you.
But what can you do?
I went back to the studio... and took away the negative.
You stole it? Every bit of it.
And they're not gonna get it back unless they promise to let me finish it my way.
They say they're afraid to hold it up until you get well.
They're scared it might be old-fashioned, out of date. But it won't be.
I've figured out a way to make that a sock hit... a hit just as modern and new as-as The Jazz Singer.
I studied that picture carefully.
Ninety percent of it is silent film.
Only 10% has singing and music in it and just a few words of talk.
Our picture is 90% finished.
Now, what I'm gonna do is put in two or three sound sequences.
You're gonna talk, Molly. Talk!
Just like you did when... when I first saw you... and you knocked me dead.
That's where you're from... the stage.
You've had the training, the background.
And remember, we'll be doing a play.
Common Clay was a terrific hit on the stage.
It's all there for us, made to order.
What Jolson did with song we can do with talk.
If ever there was a perfect setup, this is it!
Oh, Mike. Aw, honey, you... your career has only just begun.
But... But, Mike, where are you gonna get the money from?
From Dave and Roberts, of course. They'll put it up. They'll have to.
But suppose they won't. Roberts might do anything.
Have you arrested or put you in jail.
Let him put me in jail. He'll never get that film. I'll burn it first.
It's gonna be made the way we want it... great! The greatest picture ever made!
It was a lovely picture, Mr. Spingold. Glad you liked it.
Congratulations, Dave. Thank you very much.
Good night. Good night.
A beautiful picture, Dave. I'm glad you liked it.
It was grand. It was really marvelous. Awfully nice of you to say so.
Good night. Good night.
Well, how'd you like it?
It got me right here.
If it touched your stone heart, brother, we sure got a hit.
And remember, he's still the guy that turned down Rin Tin Tin.
Strangest feeling, sitting there in the theater... actually hearing myself.
Remember that first scene you wrote for me coming out on the train?
We've come along way since then... the three of us.
It used to be a kind of game, the movies.
And now look at it... a city... as far as the eye can see... filled with people who make the entertainment... for all the peoples of the world.