Il signor Max (1937) Script

MISTER MAX


"Il Piccolo"!

"Il Piccolo"!


I had forgotten. My clothing surprises people.

Say...

Gianni!

Max, did you get it?

Sure, here it is.

First class. First class?

Cabin number 15, Naples-Genoa. No charge.

Oh, thanks. You're very kind.

It will be a nice travel. Look, here is a Leica.

Take good care of it. I will.

You speak English?

After I left school I continued to practice it.

What about Greek?

Didn't interest me.

Come, Peppe, don't waste any time.

I found English more useful.

Shame! You remember? We copied everything from you.

Why did you stop?

When dad died, I hesitated on selling the kiosk.

But dad was very attached to it, and considering the income it brings and the location...

I kept it.

But I'm not getting into a rut.

Don't worry, I take my yearly month of vacation.

I travel around Europe, I meet people, I have a good time.

By the way, do you have a tuxedo?

Why do you ask?

It's obligatory when you're traveling first class.

I've got it and this year I also have an evening dress.

Gianni!

Let's hurry, the train is leaving soon!

I'm coming!

It's my aunt, she's taking me to the train station.

Bye, Gianni.

I don't know how to thank you.

You have done me a great service. Have fun.

Good bye and bon voyage.

Don't fall asleep.

Don't worry about it. Have a nice trip.

Good morning, madam.

The papers...

What do I look like to you? We could have taken a cab.

A carriage is less expensive.

Always thinking about saving a buck!

Once a year I feel like living in a lordly fashion.

You know very well that your uncle won't hear about taking cabs.

Tickets.

Gentlemen, tickets.

Dad, we're here!

This way.

You have come to the wrong place.

This is first class. Yes, it is.

It's first class. Keep quiet.

Do you have a first class ticket?

Yes, I have one for Naples-Genoa, got it for free.

You got it for free?

And I'm doing my trip on first class in order not to look ridiculous.

The train takes you were you are going to in third class too.

For 35 liras less...

You have delusions of grandeur.

Leave him alone, it's his holiday.

I told you to keep quiet!

If I could travel like you do, I would travel in 4th, in 5th class, in the wagon for animal transport, and I would keep my money in order to be able to see even more.

Are we talking about your money?

It's yours, but you're not spending it well. Anyway...

Do you have the program that I prepared?

Look, I have planned everything: trains, timetables, everything is noted down.

One more thing to add: visit the Postojna Cave in Trieste.

Say, are you planning on selling papers or what?

They are English papers for myself. You look like a news vendor.

I would like to pass for an English gentleman...

The papers may be English, but you're a news vendor.

An English news vendor!

Let's go, the train is leaving.

Bye, Gianni.

Write to us! And don't do anything foolish!

Goodbye, English gentleman of first class!

Don't do anything wild!

Goodbye. Bye.

Goodbye! Write to us!

Do you have the camera, by the way?

Yes, I have a Leica.

Bravo! Take some nice pictures!

The Postojna Cave, Parthenon, Rhodes.

Rhodes! The flower island!

Hurry, the ocean liner is leaving.

Madam, your handbag.


Whisky? Yes.

Which brand? Johnny Walker, White Label?

Black and White, Canadian Club, Old Scotch?

The last one.

Are you dancing?

Are you dancing? Of course.

Here is your party novelty. Thank you.

He seems like a lively one, don't you think?

Party novelties!

The ladies will dance with the gents wearing the same headgear.


It looks good on you. It only needs a bit of adjustment.

Here, madam, it's the last one. How funny!

Let me see...

I'll go look for my partner. Good luck.

I'm Italian too.

Are you coming from New York? Yes.

The crossing was superb, the weather divine and our fellow passengers were very nice.

Do you know the Piccoli-Milettos?

Yes, from sight.

They are very nice, they have been in Hollywood.

It's their honeymoon.

She's a Carotti, the second of the Carottis.

Let me introduce myself.

I know your name.

How is that?

Max Varaldo.

That's it: Max.

I saw it on your little Leica.

Are you related to the Varaldos of Genoa?

Very distant relation. But we are of the same family line.

You seemed to be enjoying yourself, Paola.

Madame, it's 2 am.

Pucci, off to bed. No, not yet.

It's late.

Good night.

Ciao, Pucci.

Bridge?

Sit down and play with us.

Ah, play?

I didn't understand.

Paola, aren't you playing?

No, I'm tired and it's too hot.

I'll get some fresh air on deck.

Is the game finished?

Are you giving up?

It's true that we two are unbeatable.

Sit down here.

Paola... I'll accompany you.

You're so annoying, Riccardo! You never understand anything.

Annoying, I willingly admit being so.

I annoyed you during your first marriage, during your second and I will continue to do so as long as you're not married to me.

But saying that I never understand anything at all...

No, Paola, I know you all too well.

Look.

Are you bidding? Me?

I have the impression that the sea is stirred, no?

Stirred?

Will you let me have your seat?

With pleasure.

You're getting out the easy way, huh? Oh, yes.

You're not playing?

Me neither, I prefer to have a bit of fresh air.

I'll accompany you.

This is the first night of my trip without a game of bridge.

And I am glad I didn't play because I don't know the game.

You don't know how to play bridge?

I don't know how... tonight.

You tease...

Do you travel a lot?

Quite a lot.

Are you going to New York?

Why? Why New York?

It seemed so to me.

Exactly, in Naples, I disembarked... from another ocean liner after a voyage to the Far East.

The Far East! My very own Far East!

Shanghai, what a delight!

It's beautiful, no?

Superb. I was just about to tell you...

Do you recall in Naples?

My journals? Your belt?

You want me to believe that you are doing this trip because of me?

No!

Yes.

Do men like that really still exist?

I think so.

My "Corriere della Sera"! I'm still waiting!

Yes, sir. I will get it for you.

Yes...

I think men like that... still exist.

Thank you.

How much do I owe you? Miss?

Full treatment. Manicure, massage, shampooing. 120 liras.

Pardon me? 120 liras.

Keep the change. Thank you.

Goodbye.

Max... Hello, Max.

Hello.

Giancarlo has gone to buy me some roses.

Good.

Max, I heard that you have been courting my sister recklessly.

Here are the roses.

I told you to buy me some roses.

And what is this? A couple of roses.

You wanted roses. Two are enough, no?

What a shame to be so cheap.

Come on, miss.

Why?

If Paola had asked for orchids, which are a lot more expensive, Max would have bought all that there were, wouldn't you?

Of course.

That's your sister we're talking about.

Always the same story! She's my older sister.

I am the younger one!

Let's go. Bye bye, Max.

Orchids. Which ones?

Orchids. These?

They're pretty. How many?

All of them. How much will that be? 800 liras.

Pardon? They're quite inexpensive.

Those are giant orchids from Bermuda.

They are conserved in ice.

Must be fresh. Very.

It's the end of the trip...

We must say goodbye, unfortunately.

No, Max. You have made this trip only because of me, we can't go our separate ways like that.

We are all going to Sanremo, with Riccardo.

Riccardo!

We have a new guest for you!

I'm enchanted.

Thank you.

What's with the coffee, when will I get it?

Dad, look at the Postojna Caves that Gianni visited.

No, no, this is the blue cave on the island of Capri.

The Postojna Caves are here.

The blue cave is here, below Vesuvius.

Here? Here.

And now... Where's Gianni?

Oh... It's July 6th, 9:21 and he's on the Belgrade-Sofia train.

Sofia!

Sofia, you donkey. And tomorrow evening he'll be in Athens.

What's there to see in Athens? Athens?

In Athens you can see the P... the Pa...

The Parthenon.

Bravo. And the morning after tomorrow Gianni will see the Parthenon.

Gianni!

Back already?

Hello.

Say, did your train go off its tracks?

Yeah, right...

Were you robbed? No, it's not that.

What do you bring with you? What kind of gift?

Nothing. I don't believe it.

Speak up!

C'mon, tell us!

Is there anything to eat? Sure.

Did you get into trouble?

Some problems? No.

Why did you come back?

Give me some time to breathe, will you?

Dad!

Who told you that you could search through my suitcase?

Who is she? "To Max."

Who's Max?

"Hotel Royal, Sanremo."

You were in Sanremo in a tailcoat?

Look at him! My goodness!

I get it! You gambled and you lost everything!

Who's the half naked girl? A film actress?

So you never went to the Postojna caves, neither to the Parthenon.

It's like I'm living in a boarding school!

What's wrong with you? Pierino didn't do anything to you.

If you are angry, better calm your nerves elsewhere. You understand?

Put the boy to bed.

I get it...

You wanted to act like a big shot.

Those people aren't for you to hang out with.

Why?

They're from a different circle, which has nothing to do with us.

And yet, they don't share your opinion.

I spent three days as their guest.

"Guest", you hear me? Everything went very well.

You have some strange prejudices. They are very kind people.

I see...

A woman noticed you, a handsome young man, she had some fun with you and after a while, goodbye!

If you really want to know, I'm the one who left.

I went away discreetly.

I had no money left, because of you.

Because if I had had my money at my disposal, I guarantee you it wouldn't have ended like this.

Your money?

Quite right. Because here, in this house, I'm nothing.

I'm treated as if I were a little kid.

In Sanremo, if I had had the chance, I would have had all my money sent to me and spent it all up without anybody telling me that I couldn't.

I understand.

Wait.

Here, your bankbook and the key to your safe deposit box.

You're in a miserable state.

You have spent all your money and you didn't get to see anything during the nice trip I planned for you. You got carried away, was fooled into believing something and all that for what?

Because you had an upper class woman as a mistress.

Don't talk about her that way.

Why?

You didn't...?

You wasted all your dough, didn't get to make your trip, and you didn't even get to...

You're a fool, a stupid fool.

An idiot. You are wasting my time.

At this time of day, we used to play bridge.

Play what? Bridge.

What's that? A card game.

Do you know how to play? No, but I watched.

You watched them play tennis, "brigid"...

"Bridge". Then what did you do?

I compensated with my dancing. You should have seen me!

I wear a tailcoat as if I had been a gentleman all my life.

Everything was perfect.

I was in love and so was she.

Is she pretty?

Very!

That much, eh?

But as money was running out, I got worried and hit the road. Bravo.

You're saying that because you never met those people.

What people.

What a life.

If you say so...

As I'm rather intelligent, I realized that I was lacking some nuances.

My uncle is treating me like I'm an idiot.

Your uncle has a good flair, he understands things.

Well...

We'll see.

JULY BRIDGE LESSONS

AUGUST

No, the strike should be ample, more straight forward.

SEPTEMBER

This is golf.

What's the club for?

It's for playing.

You're starting on that?

Not for the time being, it's not indispensable and she doesn't play it.

Excuse me, do you have "Vogue"?

Mister Max?

Me, "mister Max"? Did you hear that?

What do you mean?

But...

It's incredible.

You wanted "Vogue"?

Yes.

I'll find it for you.

Here. Thank you. How much?

18 liras.

It's fantastic. You look just like Max.

Enough about that. Here's your change.

You want to see my profile?

Should I laugh?

Satisfied?

Evidently, there are some differences.

Which one is the most handsome?

You think that you are handsome?

No, not at all.

But you're not looking at me for my own sake, you're looking for Max, and as you are pretty, I find that very disagreeable.

So goodbye and excuse me.

No problem. Goodbye.

The maid. Who's maid?

Madame Paola's. She's here!

I'll follow her and find out where she lives. Act nonchalant.

She's taking a cab!

Get off the bike!

What are you doing?


Did you get hurt?

I don't know yet.

Where?

Easy, easy.

You?

Are you hurt? My arm hurts.

Is it broken? I don't know.

My fender is damaged.

An accident?

Of course!

We'll see about that.

To the pharmacy.

Let's get him to the pharmacy.

Move away! Let us through!

Come with us.

He's been in an accident.

Come in.

Is it bad? No.

What? I'm in pain here.

Where does it hurt? My arm.

Take off your jacket.

Gently... it hurts. Gently.

There you go.

Let's have a look.

Hello, doctor. You were riding like a madman, is that right?

That's right.

You see? Quiet.

Why?

What does it matter, if I admit it?

It concerns only me.

You admit your offense? Yes.

Everything is settled.

He should pay for my fender, the paint, the handle, etc...

How much will it be?

300 liras.

30 liras!

Give me 35.

Please, help me, miss.

Here are 40 liras. 5 liras...

My tip? No, give me my change.

There, satisfied?

I'm the one losing out here. I'll be waiting for you, miss...

Thank you.

Why were you riding so fast?

In the junction the cab passed and I didn't, so I had to speed up to keep up.

Your arm.

That's nothing. Don't move it. There you go.

Keep up? Why?

What do you mean?

Because I... Because you...

Because you're a pretty young girl and I'm a young man.

Come on. What now?

We have to bandage it.

Please, be gentle. Yes, yes. Don't move.

Where do you live?

Why do you want to know?

I want to see you again. Don't move!

I'm sorry.

Where do you live?

I'll pass by the newsstand tomorrow to see how you are doing.

You refuse to tell me?

Excuse me? Me?

Note the young lady's name. Why?

For assurance purposes. She's a witness.

But you're not hurt.

You know, complications...

Your name please, miss.

Lauretta Campo.

Laura Campo... Profession?

Maid.

Address?

Quiet, I know how to do my work.

Address?

Grand Hotel.

Thank you.

There you go.

How much do I owe you?

Nothing at all.

Thank you very much. Thanks and goodbye.

How are you?

Thank you, I'm not sure.

Well done.

Go home and have a rest.

Yes, I'm in pain.

I'll come by tomorrow to see how you are doing.

Goodbye.


It's a wreck.

Help me.

I'll carry the basket.

Thanks.


Maurice, another whisky.

Maurice, a whisky.

Look who's here. Look who's here.

Happy to see you, Max.

How come you're here?

I arrived yesterday evening. And you?

Some days ago.

Fancy that... And what are you doing here?

Tonight? Yes.

Like always, I'm bored...

You see, I'm drinking whisky...

and maybe later I'll play a game of bridge.

Very good.

I'd like to say hello to Madame Paola.

Paola?

Too bad she's not here.

How so?

She's not here, that's all.

I should tell you something, Max.

In Sanremo, I think I could guess what you felt, and I'm telling you straight out as a friend that you'd better avoid cultivating those feelings.

I don't get it. Stop cultivating them?

Stop cultivating them. That's my advice to you.

May I ask why?

Because... Paola and I are finally engaged now.

Paola... I'm so happy to see you again.

You're not kissing my hand?

Excuse me, Pucci.

I'm very happy too. Let me congratulate you and give you my best wishes.

Wishes for what?

Wishes?

Whisky, darling? Another whisky, Max?

Maurice, three whiskies. Me too!

You're too young.

Wishes for what?

Your engagement.

My engagement?

Riccardo told me... I was saying...

Riccardo! Always making jokes.

It was a joke?

But yes, of course. How about those whiskies?

I'm... so happy.

Let's dance, Max.

I need to ask you something.

Why did you leave all of a sudden?

Without a word?

Why all that mystery?

It's been a while, we are old friends now.

I left because...

No, Paola, it couldn't go on like that, I simply couldn't help it.

Help what?

The suffering.

You were suffering?

I was suffering when I watched you surrounded like that, courted like that.

Max, are you jealous?

Yes, jealous.

That's despicable, Max, and very conventional.

Yes, yes, I know. It's very conventional, but...

I won't let you leave like that again, we'll see each other often.

Thank you.

Paola, Guido is here.

He's come to set the time for the horse ride.

Very good! Do you know Max Varaldo? This is major Appendino.

Is there some whisky? Yes.

Do you smoke? Yes.

Madame Paola? No, thanks.

Pucci? Yes, yes!

Look, Max, Pucci's still a child, she's only 13 years old.

When can I smoke?

Smoke chocolate cigarettes.

Madame, it's eleven o'clock.

Very well, get Pucci to bed.

Already?

Stop making a fuss!

Good evening. Good evening.

Good night, Riccardo. Good night, dear.

Good night, Paola. Good night, Guido.

We'll meet again, Max. Do you stay in the hotel?

No, I'm only here in passing.

I'm staying with an old uncle.

An old uncle... Is it a Varaldo?

A Varaldo.

Colonel... in the cavalry.

I'm also in the cavalry. Colonel Varaldo...

Doesn't ring a bell.

He's been retired for some time.

He's been sick, paralyzed, can't move anymore.

His name won't say you much.

I think he was in the campaign of 1866.

That's really prehistory...

It certainly is.

So, you'll be coming at 10 o'clock?

Certainly.

That's alright by me, but I want a peaceful ride.

That's alright.

Max, will you be joining us tomorrow morning?

Certainly, but...

Don't worry about the horse, Guido will supply you with one.

Certainly.

For the nephew of an officer of the cavalry I have a mare that is very lively and pleasant.

Thank you... Is it very lively?

Throws you off like nothing at all.

Perfect.

Shall we go, miss?

I have something to say to you.

Excuse me.

No gossip.

Max, I assure you.

Paola was really sad when you left.

I noticed it.

Do you know what she said? What?

That you are a mysterious guy.

Very mysterious... Good night, Max.

See you tomorrow. See you.

Goodbye.

A moment! Excuse me, Max, can you ride a bike?

Bike?

When I was young I did and I was rather good at it.

Why this strange question?

No reason. Excuse me.

Give me a glass of water.

Give me a hand, I have to get my jacket out of there.

Why?

To go riding.

This morning at 10 o'clock.

You saw her last night?

And? Formidable.

They treated me like I was an old friend.

And the lady?

Paola? More beautiful than ever.

And the maid? She saw me.

She's suspicious, asked me if I could ride a bike.

And so?

So nothing. What's the time?

9:30. The scarf!

Does your arm hurt?

No, it's for the girl.

If I don't do this, she will get even more suspicious.

Here's the water. Thanks, put it there.

What's that? Bicarbonate.

Is it for your stomach? With 7 whiskies in my belly...

7 what? Whiskies.

What's that? A sort of liquor.

Is it good?

They drink nothing else.

Go to the store "The Elegant Gentleman".

Buy me a pair of riding trousers and a pair of boots.

I want the best of the best.

Boots in size 43 and baggy trousers, nice ones in beige.

What's that? A color.

Size 43. Right.

Here she comes! On your way!

"Domenica del Corriere"! "Il Piccolo"!

Good morning.

I showed up just because you would come.

I'm all broken up.

Does it hurt?

Yes, rather.

You think it's funny that I'm in pain?

No, that's not it. I should tell you... last night at the hotel, the gentleman that looks a lot like you showed up.

This is turning into a mania.

You come to talk about him when I have broken my arm.

Is it really broken? It could be just a chipping.

I'm having an X-ray taken today.

I hope it's nothing.

Gianni, how is your arm?

Not good.

Wasn't it a lot better this morning?

Who's that?

The dame who was in the cab that hit me.

I'm his uncle.

Happy to meet you. I came to hear how his broken arm was doing.

I know, Gianni told me the whole story.

You work at the Grand Hotel? Yes.

How much do you make a month?

Why do you ask?

300 liras.

Not bad... but earning 300 liras a month, can you afford riding in cabs?

Listen, uncle.

Your uncle's right.

I was on an errand, the cab was paid for.

That changes everything. Excuse me for sticking my nose into this, but I always say the things that are on my heart.

Your are very straight forward.

And very nice. Thank you.

You are too. Thank you.

I therefore permit myself, as a committee member, to invite you to the party we are throwing to celebrate the opening our new hall.

Here you are. Thank you.

You are going too, right?

He sings in the choir.

No, I can't.

What do you mean, you can't? I can't.

You can't? Pardon me.

Listen young man, I came by here because Mr. Coccia insisted that you be present at the party.

But my arm...

You sing with your arm?

You have been participating for ten years now.

So stop pestering me!

Why can't you go?

I don't feel in very good shape.

The aftereffects... but finally I think I'll be going.

Ah, this I like better.

He can be a bit gruffy, but all in all he's a good boy.

Thank you. But I can't be there before 5 o'clock.

Come when you want, we will be there.

Bye. See you soon.

Sure, with pleasure.

Thanks and goodbye.

Where are you going?

To the Grand Hotel.

I will follow you.

We'll catch a bus and I'll drop you off in front of it.

Come, let's go.

Goodbye, Gianni!

Hurry up!

I have done the best I could.

Close the door.

The trousers.

You know the last news?

Uncle met her.

And she is still suspicious. But you know what?

It's important that I arrive at the hotel before she does, and when she sees me dressed as a gentlemen that will remove all doubt.

What's that?

That's in beige. No, they're too tight!

It's size 43. 43 was the size for the boots!

I'll have them changed.

Too late, it's ten o'clock! Get the scissors and cut!

It will be visible. Not with the jacket to cover.

Come on, cut it, man!

Stop! Wait...

It's enough. Do you have the brilliantine?

And the shirt?

Quick, get me a cab.

Who?

Paola! It's Max.

Max! Have him come up.

Do you think that's appropriate when you are still in the bathroom?

Well, you are here, aren't you?

But I'm an old friend.

And Max, a young friend.

Hold it a moment.

Hello, miss. How are you?

Hello, Max.

Excuse me for last evening.

What for?

I was foolish.

But I asked because I know a young man who goes biking and you look a lot like him.

He looks like me?

The resemblance is striking.

Here we are.

May I ask who this young man is?

He is a newspaper vendor.

That's funny...

It's here.

Do you know what time it is, miss?

It's past 10:30, you have been away for over an hour.

I have been in several stores.

Always the same excuse.

Max is here.

Good morning.

Good morning, Riccardo.

Paola is in the bathroom.

Good morning, Paola!

I'm ready, shall we go?

Go where? Riding.

We are not going riding anymore.

Why have you changed you mind?

What does it matter?

Are you that keen on showing off your riding skills?

No...

Riding or not riding...

Riding or not riding, no big deal...

Here. Thank you.

I just said it because I am in my riding habit.

You only have to change.

If we were to go riding, we would be delayed.

We're leaving tonight.

Tonight? Yes dear, we're leaving.

Paola, I understand that you are leaving tonight?

Yes, with our friends. We're a whole group.

And of course you are a part of it, Max.

Thank you. The major is here.

Good morning, Guido.

Guido's here.

I have heard that you are not coming.

Everything's ready.

Thanks, Guido, but we're leaving tonight.

That's too bad.

You could go.

Oh, you know... horses and me.

Right.

You should go, Max, as you like horses so much.

Excellent idea, we'll have a splendid ride.

Let him have the mare that you talked about last night.

Are you sure? Yes.

It's very lively.

It will be great fun. Good.

The mare's a bit nervous, eh?

Do you have it under control? Certainly.

Let's do the course.

Let's go.

It's important not to do a single fault.

Let's go.


Where's Gianni?

He's in the second row, a little hidden, since he isn't an employee, but my nephew and he's been singing in the choir for 10 years now. He's greatly appreciated, as if he were one of us, because he's a serious, modest and simple guy, not extravagant, but with very clear ideas in his head.

And he's a great worker: home, newsstand, newsstand, home...

He lives with us, the family.

And when he wants some distraction, he comes here.


Have you seen her? I have.

She's a great girl, who would do you a lot of good.

You haven't said anything, have you? About the trip, about Max...

I have told her everything. Then I'm screwed!

No, I didn't say anything, I even described you in flattering terms.

I lied as best as I could...

Here she is.

Good evening.

You sang really well.

Well, you know...

How is your arm?

Better. I did an X-ray today.

An X-ray?

Yes, I didn't tell you because I didn't want to worry you.

I'll have the results on Tuesday.

Don't forget to write me to tell me how they are.

Write to you? Why?

Because I'm leaving. Too bad that I can't stay, it's so nice, so cheerful here.

Our little jazz orchestra, as we call it.

You heard, Gianni, she's leaving tonight. Go on and invite her.

Not with my broken arm.

You can very well dance like that!

If I were your age!

Quiet.

Do you want to dance? Of course!

Let's go greet Mr. Coccia on stage.

Why don't you say anything?

I...

I think it's a question of character.

I would never have thought...

I'm not like this normally.

It's mostly like this when I feel something...

What?

How can I put this?

When I'm moved by someone, I stop talking.

Your uncle said that you were like that.

How so?

Very serious.

I like serious people.

If you only knew...

I live with people that are so different.

I'm the maid for people who travel, who amuse themselves...

I thought that kind of life...

But that's not what I wanted to say.

I wanted to say how happy I am to be here, with your family, with you...

And I can only think of one thing.

What?

I'm thinking that if I had any courage, I wouldn't leave.

What do you mean you wouldn't leave?

I would resign.

Resign? Yes.

Can I offer you a drink? Yes, please.

Shall we sit down?

With pleasure. What would you like to drink?

I don't... A beer?

A beer.

Two beers. Small ones.

In your opinion, I shouldn't resign?

When one is to make an important decision, one should take the time to think things over.

You're right.

How much? Two liras.

I'm following your advice. Tonight I'll leave and I'll think it over. But I'll be writing to you.

Very well.

Will you be writing me?

Of course.

What will you be writing?

I'll write: "Dear Lauretta..."

And then?

"Dear Lauretta..."

You know my name?

Of course I know it...

Well yes, in the pharmacy, with the constable.

Of course, how foolish of me! So, go on and tell me.

I'll write...

"Dear Lauretta..."

When you look at me that way, I can't...

I promise I'll write.

Do you smoke this brand?

Not normally, but I do for this special occasion...

When do you leave?

You have seen enough of me?

No, it's for your own sake. When are you leaving?

At 8 pm.

It's 7:15.

It's late!

I should be going. Can I get a cab here?

Yes. I'll come with you. Thank you. It's so late!

My jacket!

Say bye to your relatives from me.

My head is spinning so much I completely forgot about my arm.

It doesn't hurt that much anymore.

What's the matter?

Listen, I can't say it to you right now, but I have something on my heart. What? Say it.

I can't right now.

But come to the train station to say goodbye.

I would really like to do so, but the newsstand...

Why can't you? Why?

I'll try to do my best to be there.

I'll be waiting for you.

I'll come.

I'll be waiting for you.

Gianni! Peppe!

The ticket? Here it is.

I'll be traveling with them. We'll form a "clique".

It means we'll be together.

Do you know that Donna Paola let me in while she was in her bathroom today?

Bath? Yes.

So you saw her... Was she beautiful? No one saw her...

She was over there, I on this side... Then you saw her from behind?

Excuse me, I'd like to know something. Does she love you?

Paola? No, the other, the maid.

Poor thing... and I even faked being in love with her.

She's cute, but how do I get out of this mess?

How so?

If Max isn't on the train, if Max vanishes, she could think that Max is me: Gianni, and that I was afraid.

If she sees me as Max on the train, she will think that Max is Max and that I, Gianni, is another. Get it?

If she sees me on the train...

You'll miss it. Get changed.

I'll change on the train.

Scarf, coat... I'll change on the train.

Where? In my compartment.

What do I look like? Like a... "clique"...

There's Max!

Good evening.

Good evening. Max Varaldo... Bubbi Bonci.

How do you do?

Monticelli.

Everything's set.

Captain Balbi. Nice to meet you.

Shall we go? Where's your place, Max?

In the other wagon.

We'll meet in the dining car.

Leave it, please.

Thank you. You're welcome.


Good evening, Max. Good evening.

Is your arm better?

My arm? What arm? What are you talking about?

Nothing...

Excuse me.

You are posing some strange questions.

Gianni, what are you doing here?

Quiet!

Shut the door!


Gianni! Thank you so much for coming!

I almost didn't make it in time.

If you hadn't showed up... I'll explain later.

You know, that Max fellow... Yes?

He's there, you know. In this train.

Look at him. Max.

Him? I want to see if he really looks like me.

He's not like you in fact, he's very different.

But as you hadn't shown...

I took him for you yet again.

Me? Yes.

I have always believed it a little.

That's what I wanted to say, that's what was weighing on my heart.

But now that's all over. I'm so happy.

Let's go, miss!

I should be going.

I'll write to you and you'll answer? Yes.

We'll meet again soon.

Yes, we'll meet again.

Goodbye!

Bye!

Thanks, you saved my skin.

Let's go, quick!

The hat! Come here!

The papers!

Max, how was your ride?

Did you meet the colonel?

No. It was a magnificent ride.

And the mare? It did a clear round.

Excellent!

You don't know Max, he's a dreamboat, a romantic, who lives like that...

You are romantic?

Please, Paola...

I have to tell you.

It was such a charming thing for him to do.

Imagine that Max got on the liner only because he had seen me.

It's tremendous, like Clark Gable.

Have you seen his last film?

What a charmer! We saw it in the original English version.

Diana, you know, we saw it with little Fossi.

Are they back from Paris? Yes, all of them.

Even the aunt Fiarengo? She's a cousin!

No, wait a minute. Franceschino's father had 3 wives.

He is the son of the second, who's a Burbianschi. The first was a Serpieri, and the third one a cousin of his first, so both aunt and cousin.

Because the Fiarengos...

They are split in two branches: Courzet and Pierandrei.

Tano, Beneamata, Dolores.

Ah, Dolores! She who married...

She's a Courzet, she married the brother of Elena's husband, Robertino.

Elena?

Elena Varaldo. Yes, one of Max's cousins.

Yes, very cute.

Cute, Max?

Kind, but very homely.

That's correct.

I have a special reason for saying that she was cute.

You know how some people are cute when they are small and then it changes.

Well, she was marvelous as a kid, a real cutie.

A lovely creature... I was deeply in love with her and that's the picture that has stayed with me: her blond braids on her shoulders. But, she's a brunette, isn't she?

Yes, but she bleached it.

She bleached it when she was a child?

She bleached it. What can I do about it?

Rather advanced for her age...

As I was saying, Poupon Pistamidio is Polemo's nephew.

Polemo argued with the Biallis. Because of the Sumia inheritance.

Ludovico is furious. His mom too.

I saw Maria. She was in touch with the Lauris.

The usual Bonos. And Ninetto?

Was he with Cesare? Cesare Della Pera.

Yes, and with Pistamidio. And Camillo.

And Courzet, too. I saw Boni Laudi yesterday.

Was Purghianti there? Yes.

Then Pilo must have been there. No, there was Serpieri.

A spade, then. You were saying a spade.

Yes, Max!

A spade, it is... So then I bid...

Wait a moment...

You don't tell your game out load, Max.

You just make your bid.

You're right. I say... two diamonds.

Two spades.

Three diamonds.

3NT.

4NT.

Five spades.

5NT.

Double.

Fine.

5NT? What are you doing?

There's no logic to it. You're not forced to play, you know!

We don't mean to be hurtful, but we simply can't play with you.

Say, what would you have done in my place, with these cards?

I don't know what to say.

You saw my cards. What would you have done?

You can't improvise in bridge. You have to know the rules.

But the manual by Cal... Cul...

Culbertson! We have all read Culbertson.

Obviously you haven't even opened it.

Say, when...

Take Max's seat, will you?

We can't play like this.

I'm sorry.

Not at all.

He doesn't have a clue.

Excuse me? Yes, sir?

Give me Fernet... a double.

I can't sleep here.

Calm down, miss.

Turn it around, it's filthy! It fell on the floor!

It's pulling my hair!

Good night.

Who was the young man that came to greet you at the station?

An acquaintance.

I demand to know who it was.

Excuse me, miss, but that only concerns me.

I want to know or I'll tell Paola.

Tell her what you want. Good night.

Come, look at this bed.

Go away, I don't want to see you. You're good at nothing!


Mister Max...

What's happening?

Can I be of any help?

I have been leading this life for three years.

I feel so alone.

Alone? How is that possible?

Imagine, I was a typist, writing on typewriters.

Then I was out of work and this opportunity presents itself.

It seemed swell to be traveling, to be with nice people, I told myself... I was wrong.

What a fool I am.

Why?

Every day, when I have done my chores there's nothing more, I have nothing to say to them and they have nothing to say to me.

They may be nice people, but they're of another world.

They all know each other, they are friends.

They talk of this, of that, of a lot of grand names.

I understand you.

In my home town I had a lot of friends, we enjoyed each other, we had fun, we went dancing.

We worked hard! But it was real life.

I left it all behind.

Now I have nobody, and what for? For nothing.

To be badly treated by a 12 year old girl.

Excuse me for telling you all these things, which must bore you, but, as I already told you, you look so much like someone who wants me a little good, with whom I now feel like I am really talking,

talking with Gianni.

But you...

I am Gianni.

You're not Gianni, you're Max, a lout!

You profited from one of my weak moments.

I confided in you, and... Go away!

Leave!

Miss, the young lady is calling on you.

I can't sleep. This is impossible!

I'll do your bed again.

Don't touch me!

Get out of there.

Stop your playacting!

I won't allow you to treat me like this!

Miss!

You dared hit me!

No. Yes, you slapped me.

I came to greet you.

We've played a fine game.

Paola!

She hit me!

Who hit you?

The miss.

Ah, there she is.

I had forbidden you to put your hand on the girl. The next time...

There will be no other time.

I'm taking the first train back.

I have made my decision. I can't go on like that.

I am no longer in your service. Good night.

Riccardo, let her have what we owe her. I don't want to see her again.

After all that we have done for her...

The used clothes she was given.

We took her all around the world, like she was a sister.

Unbelievable!

Excuse me, Paola, but in my opinion she isn't entirely to blame for all this.

But, Max!

Well, maybe I'm wrong. Excuse me.

Good night.

Max, this evening...

Porter!

Another porter.

There she is.

Porter! Come here!

When does the return train depart?

In an hour.

You, come here.

Where is Max?

We'll find him, he must have gone to buy some cigarettes.


You're back?

Take this.

Problems ahead? No.

What do you mean, no?

How much?

Here. Go, now.

She's coming.

There she is!

Lauretta, you're back!

Yes, like I told you at the train station yesterday, it couldn't go on, so I quit.

You quit?

Hello, miss! You're back.

You did well. Since you left, he's shut himself off from the world all day, with a sad, very sad face.

What a lovely night.

A night to go for a nice stroll.

Go ahead, I'll close the store.

You'll close, eh?

Don't be upset.

I have reason to be! He's gone completely mad!

I checked with the bank, he has withdrawn 10.000 liras!

I ask myself if we should have him locked up!

Put in an asylum!

Lauretta, let's stop being foolish, I must tell you something.

What?

You know my uncle and aunt, you know that they are old fashioned.

While you, on the other hand, have travelled, been to palaces, but...

I don't really know you. Have you been engaged before?

No, never.

Have you been in love?

Never before.

I assure you I haven't.

A girl can stay decent even if she's traveling.

You're not going to have me believe you have never kissed a man.

Never.

Look me in the eyes, it's important for me to know.

Tell me the truth.

Only once.

There! You see?

Only once.

And I was thinking of you.

That's a good one!

It happened last night in the train.

The guy who looks like you, Max...

Him again!

Precisely, because he looks like you.

And I was so sad and helpless having left you...

I cried, I didn't understand a thing, and suddenly... it seemed to me that it was you.

When I grasped that it wasn't really you...

I slapped him.

You can try that story on someone else!

I swear. A little slap.

No, a big smack. Do you want a demonstration?

Who is it?

Hello!

Get out of here!

There's the door! Don't show up here again!

Right, Lucia?

Don't be angry, I have returned.

And I'm not alone, Lauretta is with me.

Where is she? She waits downstairs.

The maid of that lady, you know...

She quit and has come back.

We have decided... to get married.

You're getting married?

Miss! Good evening!

Get up! Take the elevator!

But how did you get back?

We were on the same train.

She knows everything?

No, I made sure I wasn't seen.

It's very important that you don't say anything.

Please come in, miss.

Lucia!

How are you? Please come in.

I beg you not to say anything about the trips or about Max for the moment.

For the moment?

Why? Are you thinking of telling her later?

When we are married and time has passed, no?

Listen, Gianni, do you want some sound advice?

If you don't want to pass off as an imbecile, don't ever talk about it, do you hear?

Never!

THE END