Imitation of Life (1959) Script

What is love Without the giving Without love You're only living An imitation An imitation Of life

Skies above In flaming color Without love They're so much duller A false creation An imitation Of life

Would the song of the lark Sound just as sweet Would the moon be as bright above Every day would be gray And incomplete Without the one You love Lips that kiss Can tell you clearly Without this Our lives are merely An imitation An imitation Of life


Susie! Susie!

Susie!

The most sensational...

Susie!

Pardon me. Have you seen a little girl in a blue sunsuit?

Oh!

Oh, I'm awfully sorry. No harm done.

I'm looking for my daughter. Have you seen a little girl all by herself?

No, but if you'll... She's lost and l... Susie!

Relax, lady. Take it easy. Susie!

The easiest way to find Susie is to go to the police.

Well, where are the police?

Right there.

Right where? Right down there under the pier.

You're it!

Come, children.

You hear me, Sarah Jane? Hot dogs!

Oh, boy! Come on! Boy! Hot dogs!

It might be the noise of that old ocean, but it seems to me I didn't hear thank you.

I was too hungry. Thank you! Thank you!

Honey, you gonna be all right. I reported you.

Come on, Sarah Jane! No, you're gonna stay right here.

Oh! Else how your mama gonna find you?

Susie! Oh, Susie!

Oh, my baby! Oh, I thought you were lost.

Thank you, Officer. Thank you very much.

And thank you for being so kind, Mrs... . Johnson.

I'm Lora Meredith. I've never been so frightened in my life.

One moment I had her, and the next moment she was gone.

Thank Mrs. Johnson for being so nice. Thank you!

And say good-bye to the little girl. Good-bye? Now?

But, darling, we have to go back to the city. But we wanna play!

Please? Please, Mommy, please!

Oh, all right. But only for a little while.

Come on, Sarah Jane!

You're it! You're it!

You're it! You're it!

Susie doesn't have many children to play with where we live.

I guess Sarah Jane's kind of lonesome too.

They got along fine right off.

Sarah Jane's a lovely child. How long have you taken care of her?

All her life.

Oh, I wish I had someone to look after Susie.

A maid to live in? Someone to take care of your little girl?

A strong, healthy, settled-down woman... who eats like a bird and doesn't care if she gets no time off... and will work real cheap?

Well, yes, if one exists. Oh, someday.

Why not today? I'm available.

You? Me. Annie Johnson.

You mean you'd consider leaving that lovely little girl?

Oh, I wouldn't be leaving her. My baby goes where I go.

Sarah Jane is your child?

Yes, ma'am. It surprises most people.

Sarah Jane favors her daddy. He was practically white.

He left before she was born.

Seems to me, Miss Meredith, I'm just right for you.

You wouldn't have to pay no wages. Just let me come and do for you.

I couldn't do that. I'd have to pay you, and I... can't now.

Susie!

I ought to knock your blocks off.

I'll take care of it, mister. I'll wham the hides off both of them.

Susie! What are you doing? About time you showed up!

If your husband can't keep these brats in line...

No use talking to her. She not only spoils them, she goes around losing them.

I don't know what this is all about.

Mommy, look at his stomach. It went up and down. It was so funny.

He took our picture. Will you send me one?

Me too. Sure. Where?

Send it to Susan Meredith, 450 Prescott Place, Apartment 32.

Never mind, dear. See? I remembered.

Thank you. And send her one too. Where do you live, Sarah Jane?

Where do I live... No place.

We'll find a place come night, honey.

Come on, darling, we have to go. Say good-bye to Sarah Jane and Mrs. Johnson.

Good-bye. It was very nice meeting you.

Same here. And good luck, Miss Meredith.

Mommy, I'm tired. I know, baby.

I know. I wanna go home too!

Come on, honey.

Thank you. Mrs. Johnson.

Oh. Oh, come on.

First.

I don't like to mention it again, but you must understand that... this arrangement can only be for tonight.

Oh, I understand, Miss Lora.

There must be plenty of jobs for a woman like you.

But people won't take in a woman with a child.

And no matter what, I won't be separated from my baby.

Hurry up, Mother. I want to show Sarah Jane my dolls!

Well, all right.

There's a little place off the kitchen.

But you could, uh, hardly call it a room.

Oh, it'll do for Sarah Jane and me.

And the kitchen, we can make use of that too.

I'll get you some pillows and blankets. Thank you.

Here, Sarah Jane, you can have Nancy.

It's a present. Mommy just got it for me. I want that one.

Frieda's my friend. I've had her all my life.

Mommy! Mommy! Yes?

She took my doll! Oh.

Sarah Jane. Where are your manners? Now give it back.

I don't want the black one. I'll take those.

It's been a long day and they're both tired and cranky.

Yes, Miss Lora. Everything will be all right.

Come on, come on.

Come on.

I don't wanna live in the back.

Why do we always have to live in the back? Shh, honey.

Thank you, Mr. McKinney.

Shh. Good-bye.

Shh!

Good morning, darling.

Good morning, Sarah Jane. I want a kiss too.

Well, of course.

Annie said we had to be quiet until you got up.

Now we can talk out loud. Now we can even scream.

Children!

Children! What...

Oh, good morning, Miss Lora. Good morning.

How are you this morning? Just fine.

I'd love some coffee.

Well, Annie, you shouldn't have done my laundry.

I like taking care of pretty things.

Thank you.

Eggs? Where did they come from?

The milkman was here a minute ago.

I told him to leave your regular order.

Oh, no. He didn't come to leave my order. He stopped doing that two weeks ago.

May I? Thank you.

He wanted to collect something on his bill.

Didn't say anything about a bill to me. He was very polite.

Gave me the order and said, looked like things were picking up.

He thought you were my maid. Now he thinks I'm prosperous.

No sin in lookin' prosperous. Just a way of showin' your trust in the lord.

Telling him you're ready whenever he is.

I'll get it, Miss Lora.

Miss Meredith's residence.

I'll see if it's convenient for Miss Meredith to come to the phone.

Is it the landlord Mr. Berwitt?

Pretty sure he said the A-Acme Model Agency.

Hello?

Yes, this is Miss Meredith.

Yes. Yes, I can be there by then.

Fine. Thank you.

Oh, Annie, I've got a job modeling.

A job?

I've registered everywhere. But this is the first call.

Now, isn't that fine?

Annie, if you have no other plans, will you stay with Susie until I come back?

Why, certainly.

Do you know this will be the first money I've earned since I came to New York?

Except for those envelopes.

I was wondering what they were. I address them for a mail-order house.

By hand. It gives them a personal touch, and I can do them at home.

They should have been finished yesterday. Well, can't be helped.

If I get a job modeling, at least I'll be seen.

Good boy.

Yes, that's fine. That's what I want. Hold it. Beautiful.

Just a minute. Hold it.

How could you sneeze? I had it.

I'm sorry, but it must be this flea powder.

No, no, no. Don't move. You'll unfocus me.

Art they want and I get sneezes.

Now, don't move a hair. Not one hair.

Hold it, hold it.

Okay.

Got it. Perfect.

You were wonderful, Henry. I never sneeze. Really...

Your check will be in the mail.

It would be so much more convenient... Checks are mailed on Thursday.

We don't want to confuse the bookkeeper.

Don't forget to leave the wardrobe.

But wouldn't you like to have a bite to eat?

Later. Thanks.

You can keep the money from this batch, Annie.

It'll pay you for staying today and cooking and...

Uh-uh. That money goes into our kitty.

"Our"?

Seems as if you intend to stay.

Seems like I do, if, if you want it.

You know I do. But you can see how bad things are.

Miss Lora, we just come from a place where, where my color deviled my baby.

Now, anything happens here has gotta be better.

Oh, Annie. Oh.

Susie? Susie? I'm home...

Oh, baby. Mmm. Hi, dear.

Hello, Miss Lora. Hello, Annie.

Mommy, we had such fun today. Annie took us to the park and we caught a squirrel.

No, we didn't. Well, we nearly did.

Tomorrow I'll take you both to the park and we'll really catch one.

How'd it go? Oh, Annie.

It didn't.

And I'm exhausted.

Walked my feet off trying to see every agent on Broadway.

And some off Broadway. Way off.

I'll get it.

The children have eaten.

Yes? Hello, this is Steve Archer.

Steve Archer? I brought the pictures.

You brought the pictures? The ones of the children on the beach.

Oh, the man on the beach. The man on the beach?

The man on the beach! It's our picture with the fat man!

Mommy, tell him to come up. Yes, please!

Oh, all right. Will you come up, Mr. Archer?

Come on. Let's see. Did you bring the pictures? Hi, Susie, Sarah Jane.

Where is it? Aren't you kids supposed to be in bed?

No, we waited for you!

Hello. Good evening.

If it's that funny, let me see it.

Don't you think it's funny, Annie?

I don't know who's funnier, you or that man.

All I got to say is, it's lucky I didn't catch Sarah Jane playing such pranks.

It just ain't seemly, Miss Lora. Now, off to bed.

Good night. Good night.

Good night, Mr. Archer. Good night, ladies.

Good night. Won't you sit down?

It was very nice of you to remember the children.

I like what you did... for Sarah Jane and Annie.

Well, they didn't have a place and since I live here alone...

I'm a widow. Oh, you... are.

What do you think of this?

Mother in distress.

Well, that's good. Very good.

Who are you anyway? Well, you don't look like a photographer.

Apparently the army thought I did.

Anyhow, they made me one.

Now all I wanna do is get pictures like this in The Museum of Modern Art.

Oh, you're aiming high.

Why not? It doesn't cost anymore.

Don't you believe in chasing rainbows?

Well, if I didn't, I wouldn't be here. I'm an actress.

What's the matter? Your bones.

What about my bones?

They're perfect.

My camera could easily have a love affair with you.

Don't you think it's getting a little late?

I don't suppose you'd like to have dinner with me.

Maybe. Sometime.

I don't mean right away. How about tomorrow?

I'm sorry, but I don't like to miss having dinner with the children two nights in a row.

I can understand that. How about lunch?

Lunch?

Would you mind taking me to Rodney's?

It's a little place on 45th and 8th.

Unemployed actors can afford it.

Sort of a poor man's 21.

All right, I'll meet you there at noon.

Oh, by the way, the name's Steve.

Everybody in here an actor? Just about.

So far you're the only one I really believe.

Thank you. Only so far, you're the only one in New York who does.

But someday I'm going to make them all feel that way.

Aren't you a little late getting started? I mean, it's...

Yes, five years late. That's why every day counts.

Why the five-year lapse? My husband was in the theater too.

A director. A good director.

Everything I know I owe to him.

It was a small town, a little theater, but professional.

When he died, I had to make a living doing something else.

I never really wanted anything but the stage.

Oh, except Susie.

So, it took me five years to save enough money to come to New York.

But you did it. Mm-hmm.

And I'm going to be an actress, an important one... Lora?

Lora. Oh, excuse me.

Nothing in it for me, honey, but they're beginning to cast a new Tennessee Williams play.

Oh, what agent? Allen Loomis... today.

So put on your roller skates. Oh, thanks, Fay.

Coffee? I'm sorry, but I've got to go.

You haven't eaten. You go ahead. Good-bye.

How about dinner? Tonight? We'll take Susie.

Fine. Where?

Come and have dinner with us. All right.

Good luck. Thanks, Fay.

But when can I have an appointment?

How about a week from today? Thursday.

Put me down. It's Iris Dawn. Don't forget it.

Tsk.

I'm sorry to add to your troubles, but...

I'm afraid I'm a little late for my appointment.

Name, please. Miss Meredith.

Mered... Meredith.

Well, I don't seem to have you down.

Never mind. Just tell Mr. Loomis that Robert Hayes sent me.

Robert Hayes? From International Studio.

It's probably just a slipup from the coast, but, uh, Mr. Hayes won't like it at all.

I hope you didn't slip up. Me?

Well, if you say there's no appointment, um, good-bye.

Well, just a second.

Why don't you sit down and I'll see if I can straighten this out?

Thank you.

Mr. Loomis? Yes?

There's a Miss Meredith here from Hollywood.

Yes, quite lovely.

Think we should send her away? No. I think you ought to see her.

Fine. Okay.

Miss Meredith? You can go in now.

Um, just right in.

Robert sends his warmest greetings.

Well, thanks. And how is he? Marvelous.

He's lost 15 pounds. You know what an effort that is for him.

And, uh, what can I do for you?

Robert thought I shouldn't do any more pictures before I did a show on Broadway.

Very sensible. I'm glad you think so too.

That's why Robert sent me to you. He thought I'd get more... personal attention from you.

He could be right there. You mind? No.

Incidentally, how's the new Tennessee Williams play?

Bound to be a blockbuster, but all cast.

Hello? Oh, Lillian! What?

Oh, well, can't you break it?

Oh. No, I don't mind.

I don't mind you standing me up. I'm fine. I'll just kill myself.

Yeah.

Never be a bachelor. There's no security. I know how you feel.

Yeah? Say, how'd you like to go with me tonight?

I'm afraid I can't.

Big party. Lots of important people.

Well, I could see if I could break a couple of engagements.

I'll call my place.

I'll call. What's the number?

Montgomery, 76120.

...One, two, oh.

Miss Meredith's residence.

Oh, this is Miss Meredith's residence?

That'll be Annie, my maid. I'll talk to her.

Annie, uh, call the Waldorf and tell, um, you-know-who I cannot have cocktails and dinner with him.

Uh, I know who? Oh, yes, Miss Lora, I'll do that.

Thank you.

Well, Mr. Loomis, it looks like I'm free.

That'll be just fine. Should be an interesting evening for me.

Hollywood actress and... Oh, that reminds me. Excuse me.

Yes, Mr. Loomis?

Annette, get me Hollywood, Mr. Robert Hayes.

International Studios, right? International... Um.

Maybe you better not go through with that call.

You don't think so? Why not?

Because Robert Hayes doesn't exist.

I understand. Annette, cancel the call.

Yes, Mr. Loomis. I was desperate.

You were pretty good. You lied. All actresses lie. I know that.

But I believed you. I'm sorry.

Don't leave. You took me in.

For all of 20 seconds, you took me in, but I don't mind.

It was a good acting job, and you're very pretty.

Now, about tonight. Shall I pick you up?

Um, no, it'll be easier for me to meet you here.

8:00? You'll find me very prompt, Mr. Loomis.


Come on in.

Sit down. I just have a few letters to sign.

Oh, drink? No, thank you.

But aren't we going to be late to the party? Plenty of time, plenty.

And I need a drink. So relax.

Say, you're not allergic to mink, are you?

Mink? No, I don't think so. Good.

Try this on for size.

But whose is it? Mine. And I only loan it to very special clients.

I want you to wear it tonight. You want me to wear...

Please. Got to think of my reputation.

I haven't been seen with a girl without a mink since the heat wave of'39.

Come on.

We should spend a little time talking about our future.

You can act. Well, that's of no importance at the moment.

The main thing is, you're a beaut.

Please, don't. Oh, and you're decent too.

No doubt possess some fine principles.

Well, me, I'm a man of very few principles, and they're all open to revision.

But I'm in a position to do something for you.

You'll get 10% of everything I make. Isn't that enough?

No. Now, sit down and listen.

Here it is, short and clear. You're not a chicken.

You're no high-hearted kid out of some drama school, wanting to do or die for dear old Thespis.

And you're beginning under a handicap.

I know I'm starting late. So time isn't on your side.

But you do have some qualifications.

Your face will pass. You've good, nice, long silky legs. I like them.

You have a chest full of quality and quantity. I like it.

Aren't you taking a few things for granted? Me? I don't count.

But there are certain people who do, and you're going to meet all of them.

That is, if you're really serious about your career.

I am, but... Good, then you're going every place with me.

Every party, opening night, every saloon in town.

With a complete new wardrobe at my expense.

Oh, it's tax deductible.

This is a tough, competitive racket.

Although it's a lot more than any agent is supposed to do, I'd do it.

What's this got to do with acting? Nothing.

But I'll show you how to realize your ambitions, if you do as I say.

If the dramatists' club wants to eat and sleep with you, you eat and sleep with them.

If some producer with a hand as cold as a toad wants to do a painting of you in the nude, you'll accommodate him for a very small part.

It's disgusting! It pays off.

You're disgusting. Maybe I am.

But let me assure you, once you get it made, you can be idealistic all of ten seconds before you die.

You're trying to cheapen me. But you won't. Not me.

Oh, I'll make it, Mr. Loomis, but it'll be my way.

You have a wonderful handwriting, Annie.

Oh, thank you, Mr. Steve. But my spellin' won't take no prizes.

I don't think Lora has anything to worry about as long as you're with her.

Oh, we'll get by. I made an agreement with the landlord.

He's really a nice person. Oh?

Just for doin' the staircases twice a week, we get $10 off our rent.

Is that a fact?

I answered an ad and got a job while the kids are at school.

Doing what? Doing shirts for a gentleman.

He's real persnickety about his shirts.


Oh, Steve. Hello.

I'm sorry. It's just that I got so involved.

We're having a wonderful time. How'd everything go?

Oh, just fine. I went to the 21 with Mr. Loomis.

Everybody there was somebody exciting.

For the first time, I felt that I was somebody too.

Is Mr. Loomis gonna find you a job?

Well, he, uh, he wanted to represent me, but...

But l... Oh, Annie.

What's wrong, Miss Lora?

Everything. Everything.

Now, you just rest. Everything will work out.

I'll go get you a glass of hot milk, huh?

Can I help in any way? No.

No one can.

No one.

I'm so ashamed.

It was horrible.

He tried to make me feel so cheap.

You could never be cheap.

You don't know what I mean. Yes, I do.

It happens all the time. Not just in the theater.

I love the theater. It's what I want.

Then hold onto your dreams. Forget tonight.

But they seem so stale after tonight.

So stale I can't believe in them anymore.

M-Maybe I'm a fool.

Maybe I should see things as they really are... and not as I want them to be.

If I know you, they'll have to be the way you want them.

Thanks, Steve.

You're so, so good for what ails me.

It's all part of the Archer service... day or night.

I'll call you soon, Lora.

Tomorrow.

Yes, please, tomorrow.


Annie, what's happened to Susie's wrist?

Oh, nothin' serious. Just a little experiment.

Experiment? Sarah Jane's fault.

After class, one of the kids said that Negro blood was different.

So later this evenin', Sarah Jane wanted to compare her blood with Susie's.

Well, I spanked her good.

Oh, well, you know how children are.

They were only playing.

I hope so, Miss Lora. I hope so.

Santa Claus has many names in many different countries.

In Holland, he is called Sinter Klaas.

In France, Saint Nicolas.

In Sweden, he is known as Jul Tomte.

In Germany, he is...

Oh, can I do something for you?

Sorry to trouble you, but I brought these for my little girl.

I'm afraid you've made a mistake.

I don't have any little colored girl in my class.

But they said 3-B. This is 3-B, isn't...

Why, there's Sarah Jane.

There's my baby. You mean Sarah Jane Johnson?

Yes, ma'am. I'm Mrs. Johnson.

Sarah Jane, baby, I brought you your...

Sarah Jane! We didn't know.

Sarah Jane? Wait.

Sarah Jane?

Baby? Wait.

Sarah Jane?

Sarah Jane, wait.

Wait. Now, now, let me do it.

Now, put your coat on. What do you want to do, catch pneumonia?

I hope I do! I hope I die!

Honey, nothing's hurt. You shouldn't have let them...

They didn't ask me. Why should I tell them?

Because that's what you are, and it's nothin' to be ashamed of.

Why do you have to be my mother? Why?

Why, you're practically normal.

You two are soaking wet. Get out of those things and I'll make some tea.

I'll be fine. You better get ready. Mr. Steve's comin'.

Serve him right to wait. He was due here over an hour ago.

I just don't want everybody having colds. Cups and...

What's wrong?

Sarah Jane's been passing at school, pretending she's white.

But I am white! I'm as white as Susie.

Oh, honey, don't you see it doesn't make any difference to us?

Because we all love you.

I'll take you back to school myself.

I'm never going back to that school!

Never as long as I live!

Sarah Jane! Don't cry!

Annie, don't be upset. Children are always pretending.

You know that.

No, it's a sin to be ashamed of what you are.

It's even worse to pretend, to lie.

Sarah Jane has to learn that the Lord must have had his reasons... for making some of us white... and some of us black.

Sarah Jane Doesn't want me with her.

She says I'm not her friend. She says nobody's her friend.

Darling, she's upset right now. But she'll be better soon.

So will you if you get back in bed. Come on.

Don't worry, Annie. I'm sure you'll be able to explain things to her.

I don't know.

How do you explain to your child she was born to be hurt?

Hello. Hi. Sorry I'm late.

That's all right. I'm ready. I thought you'd never get here.

Why, Steve, you sold it!

More than that, they gave me a job, a steady one on the advertising staff.

Oh, that's wonderful.

But, darling, is it really what you want?

Well, it's not The Museum of Modern Art.

But they pay you in the nicest-looking green folding money.

Which reminds me, this is the season for spending it.

Let's go.

We have to get a tree, and I have a list of gifts for the kids and Annie.

And I hope you like what I picked out for you.

Oh, Steve, you... You have to have something to put under a tree, don't you?

Well, I know, but... This way, ma'am.

Oh, I feel awful.

I haven't been able to buy you anything really nice.

It's been five months without a job...

Then I guess you'll have to marry me.

It's the least you can do for me for Christmas.

I love you.

But, darling, you're...

You're just getting started and...

It would be foolish.

At least we'd be foolish together.

But marriage is such a big step.

I want us to be together. Well, we are, most of the time.

Most of the time you're out fighting to get somewhere.

Breaking your heart, trying to do for yourself and Susie... what I want to do for you, what I finally can do for you.

Pardon me. I'm sorry. Pardon me. Oh!

Well, wait a minute.

I want to give you a home, take care of you, love you.

Oh, Steve, you don't know me at all.

I still love the theater.

You tried it and it's only hurt you.

Realize that and you'll get over it.

I want to be honest with you, darling.

I want more.

Everything.

Maybe too much.

Don't think I want any less.

So let's settle something right now. Do you love me?

I think I do, but...

Come here.

I want to kiss you so badly.

But if you did, the way things are right now, I might say something I wouldn't really mean.

That's why I want to kiss you.

That's my phone.

Hello? Miss Meredith's residence.

Who, Mr. Loomis? She's not in.

She isn't in, Mr. Loomis. No, not even if it's important.

What? A job? l... I have to find out. It could be something.

Yes, Mr. Loomis?

You look good with a St. Bernard dog. The St. Bernard dog?

Yes. Uh-huh.

Well, that's you in the picture, isn't it?

Sprinkling flea powder?

All right, well, I'm here with David Edwards.

David... Edwards, yes.

You know, the prize-winning playwright.

He saw that picture in a magazine.

He's looking for a girl with that certain "je ne sais quoi" for his new play.

That certain something you managed to get with the dog.

It's not a big part, I know... If this is one of your jokes, Mr. Loomis...

Jokes? So help me, I'm only thinking percentage-wise.

The part calls for about... Two and a half.

Two-fifty a week.

I left the script with my secretary. Can you pick it up immediately?

Uh, yes. Yes, Mr. Loomis.

Yes.

He wants me to pick up a script; I'm to audition tomorrow.

And you're going down there? Of course.

Even after what happened last time? This has nothing to do with Loomis.

I'm to audition for David Edwards. How do you know that?

I know. I just know.

But do you know if he's gonna be any different than Loomis? No, I don't.

I don't want you to go. Don't you realize what this could mean to me?

I'm not asking you not to go down there, I'm telling you.

What makes you think you have that right? Because I love you.

Isn't that enough? No, Steve, I'm sorry. Good night.

Lora, wait.

I didn't mean to sound dictatorial or to try to run your life, but you have to understand how I feel. And what about the way I feel?

Oh, stop acting. I'm not acting.

I want to achieve something, something you'll never understand.

What you're after isn't real. At least I'm after something!

Not the snapshot of a disgusting old man with a beer can on his belly.

Is that your idea of achieving something? Is a beer can "real"?

Going up and down, up and down.

Well, I'm going up and up and up, and nobody's going to pull me down!

Lora, listen, please.

I've been trying to do something with my pictures. It's meant everything to me.

Every minute, for a long time now. No, it hasn't.

Or you wouldn't give it up to sell beer.

I gave it up for something much better, You.

But you're asking me to give up something I've wanted all my life, ever since I was a child, and I can't do it!

If you grew up, you could.

What do you mean?

You're not a child anymore, and I might not be around to pick up the pieces this time.

Good.

I'd like it that way. Forever.

Joseph and Mary couldn't find no place at the inn, so they had to go to the stable among the animals.

The animals? Mm-hmm.

And in the manger Jesus was born.

And the heavenly hosts sang, "Hallelujah. "

There was a shining bright star in the sky, and it was a beautiful time.

That'll be Mr. Steve again.

Hello? Hello, Annie.

Oh, hello, Mr. Steve. Has she come in yet?

I'm sorry.

I see.

Well, Merry Christmas, Annie.

Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Steve.

Mommy, isn't Steve coming here tonight?

I think you'd better go to bed, both of you.

But Annie was telling us a story.

Oh, all right, Annie can finish it. Where were we?

Jesus was almost borned. That's right.

As soon as the holy infant was born, three wise men saw a beautiful star in the sky.

The star of Bethlehem... Was Jesus white or black?

It doesn't matter. He's the way you imagine him.

But Annie said he was a real man.

He's not a pretend man.

He was real. He is real.

Then what color was he?

He was like me... White.

Now, the closet door is over here.

The clothes closet door is over there.

The door to your bedroom is over here.

And you trip over the vacuum cleaner over there.

All right, come on, let's have your offstage line.

Is anybody home?

Marjorie? Oh, Marjorie!

Colonel, what are you doing in there?

Why, Mr. Obermeyer, why aren't you in Duluth?

Oh, Herbert, you too?

No! No, no, Miss Meredith.

David, David. She can do it, David. I guarantee it.

She's just a little nervous. Miss Meredith.

Yes, sir?

This scene is supposed to be played for high comedy, with delicate reactions, not loud, goggle-eyed takes.

I'm sorry, Mr. Edwards.

But I'm an actress, and a good one.

But I couldn't play this part for high comedy. Nobody could.

Nobody. I think that's all, Miss Meredith.

And if you'll forgive me for saying it, you're too good a writer to have such a scene in your play.

Okay, sister, this way out.

I might as well confess... She's not really my client. Tell her to wait a minute.

Lora! Lora, wait a minute.

I think we've still got a chance. No, I don't...

Miss Meredith.

It's been a long time since anyone told me off.

Tell me, what would you do with that scene?

I'd cut it out. Drop it entirely.

That's not a bad idea. Let me think.

Yes, but the scene has a couple of lines that are important.

Give them to Amy.

Yes, it would work.

Ha! Think you could play Amy?

Amy?

Of course we'll have to work very hard together. I'd love it.

So would I. Tom? Yes, Mr. Edwards.

Call off auditions for the day. I'm busy.

You know, I always believed in that girl.


Lora Meredith! Lora Meredith!

Lora Meredith! Lora Meredith!

Thank you, David.

They applauded me. Did you hear them? Why not? You were great!

Author! Author! Your turn, Mr. Edwards.

Tom, may I borrow a dime? Sure.

I'll pay you back. Don't rush. You'll be around a long time.

I'll be right back.

Yes?

Oh, Miss Lora!

And they liked me too. They did? Ohh!

Now, isn't that wonderful?

Do you want Susie? Yes, please.

Congratulations, mommy.

Congratulations, Mommy. Did you remember your lines?

Yes, I remembered all my lines.

Did they clap for you? Yes, they did.

I'll be home very soon. I'll only stay a little while.

Then I'll come right home.

Here's a kiss, mommy. Ohh.

And here's one for you too. Mmm!

Let's go. The paper's will be out soon, and the party's waiting.

"This should be a Pulitzer prize play for David Edwards, "for tonight we saw the ranking comedy of the season, marvelously performed by Geraldine Moore and Preston Mitchell."

Listen to the Times.

Atkinson says, "A new star was born.

"Lora Meredith, an actress who heretofore has been hiding her light...

"somewhere in the hinterlands, gave a great performance in a small part last night."

Congratulations, baby. Thank you, Allen.

Congratulations. That was really...

Lora, this is a great night for us. For us?

Oh. Oh!

Well, I for one can't keep my beady eyes open anymore.

I'm going home. Well, good night, David.

Good night, all you lucky people.

Good night. Good night, dear.

Good night. Good night, David.

Good night, Gerry. Good night, David.

See you tomorrow. Good night, David!

Good night, all! Good night.

Congratulations again, baby. We did it, all right.

I'll see you first thing in the morning, in my office.

Agents.

By morning it'll be all over town that he wrote your part, directed you personally... and was your lover before you met me.

Well, lady, there's your new empire.

Not big, just stretches from 42nd to 52nd street.

But it's the heart of the world.

You happy? Oh, yes.

Yes.

I can't thank you... I can't begin to thank you for, for giving me the chance.

No thanks.

It's something we did together.

Yes.

We'll have more evenings like this.

More plays. I promise that.

Please.

And with you, David.

Always with you.

You are good for me.

You mean that?

Well, you must be, because l...

I've never felt this way before.

Never so... So complete... and so happy.

I don't think I could be happier with anyone else either.

I'm in love with you, Lora.

Though I must hasten to add, I always fall in love with my leading ladies.

Maybe that's all it is.

But I don't care, because I'm loving you now.

You and tonight.

Thank you.


Marvelous performance, darling.

Just as fresh as it was seven months ago. Hmm.

Now hurry up and get ready. David.

Can't I beg off tonight? I am so... Beg off? Impossible, darling.

Some nice, untouched money out there from Cincinnati.

Hardware. They want to meet you to invest in your success and my next play.

She oughta go to bed now. Annie, you're much too pretty to be a watchdog.

And I can bite sometimes. Five minutes.

But darling... While I keep Cincinnati and the money happy.

Doesn't he ever stop?

He can't, Annie.

If he did he'd be sure to find out how sad he really is.

And I know that feeling.

Funny, isn't it?

After all this time, the struggling and heartache, and you make it.

Then you find out it doesn't seem worth it.

Something is missing.

Now David wants to marry me.

I don't know. Do you love him?

No.

But he's good for me in many ways.

At least I'm trying to make myself think he is.

And of course it... It would be better for Susie.

This ain't no time to make decisions.

You're tired, and you don't know what you want.

Maybe I don't want so much anymore.

But what would you do if you gave it all up?

Well, I could spend more time with Susie.

And you could stay home with Sarah Jane.

Do you know, I haven't been up to see my baby at school in weeks.

Susie knows you love her.

And you need show business as much as it needs you.

Oh, Annie, what would I do without you?

Well. Beautiful.

Do you really like it?

You're more beautiful than I could ever possibly remember.

And we're late.

Good night, Annie. You see she gets home at a decent hour.

Annie, I think we'll try these, uh, over here.

Miss Lora, we been spending an awful lot of money up here.

Do you think we can really afford to have this place? We can't afford not to.

Ma'am? Ma'am? Oh, um...

Would you put it over there, please? In front of the window.

Oh, that's fine.

Would you sign this, ma'am? Mm-hmm.

Thank you very much.

Come on, let's go, Joe.

Did you see the bills from Susie's new school? Mm-hmm.

And it doesn't matter. But Miss Lora...

No matter what it costs, Susie's going to have everything that I missed.

From her letters she misses you more than she'd ever miss Latin.

She just wrote and told me... Annie.

You still haven't told me what the doctor said about those spells you've been getting.

What do doctors always say when they can't find nothin' wrong? "Take it easy."

Well, do. And I mean it. Oh, Miss Lora...

You can have anyone you want in here to help you.

Be more work gettin' 'em out of my way.

I'll get it.

Hello, Mr. Edwards. Hello, Sarah Jane.

How are you? Fine, thanks.

I'm going to The Village. I'll be back by 3:00.

Annie, that daughter of yours gets prettier every day.

And so sophisticated.

Darling. Hello, dear.

Oh. Nice. Yes. It's new.

Didn't you get my messages yesterday?

Or have you given up telephones?

Uh, well, we've been so busy getting the house in order.

Come sit down.

Would you like a drink? A long one. It's quite a trek from Manhattan.

Your usual? Uh-huh.

I'll get it. All right, enough chitchat.

Have you read my new play?

Great, isn't it? Yes, it's very good.

But David...

Darling, I don't think I should do another comedy.

No, no, wait a minute.

I've decided to do the new Stewart play. That? What part?

Not the dull social worker with the high dreams and low heels.

Yes. It's drama. No clothes, no sex.

No fun! I know.

But it's a great chance for... For good acting.

And that colored angle in it, it's absolutely controversial.

What do you know about controversy? Nothing.

And I don't want to know.

I only know it's a good script, and they're not easy to find.

Besides, l, I feel I need something different, a new experience.

All right, if you want a flop, have it on your own time.

I wrote my play for you. I tailored it to your every mood.

I never wrote better laughs in my life!

And you tell me you want controversy. Hmph!

It may sound ungrateful, after all you've done for me.

You're right. It is ungrateful.

But then I never expected gratitude.

Personally, I couldn't stand it.

May I have my property back?

Of course.

Good luck, David.

I know it will be a hit.

It won't without you.

It'll never be done.

Under the circumstances I think it's best if I destroy this.

What? But Mr. Edwards...

There goes my pride, up in ashes.

Well, good-bye.

What...

Just a theatrical gesture.

He never makes less than six copies.

Wasn't she great?

You're going to join us, aren't you? No.

Just wish her all the luck in the world for me.

Tell her I was wrong.

Oh, Annie, wasn't Mother just wonderful?

Susie! Susie, wait! I've got to hurry. Mama's bringing them all home.

Sarah Jane!

Oh, yes! Thank you.

Oh, that's very sweet. Darling, you were wonderful.

How sweet. Wasn't it... Steve!

Hello, Lora. And congratulations.

Oh, Steve, I can't believe it.

Oh, Lora, I'd... I'd like you to know Louise Morton. How do you do?

How do you do, Miss Meredith? I loved your performance.

Thank you very much.

Um, Steve Archer, everybody.

How do you do? How do you do?

A very old and dear friend.

Oh, and, uh, Miss Morton.

Hi. Hello. Nice meeting you.

Oh, Steve, it's been so long.

Ten years. Oh, and you haven't changed a bit.

How are Annie and the kids? Oh, Annie's fine.

You'd never know the children, they're so grown-up and lovely.

Uh, look, we're all going to my house to wait for the reviews.

Why don't you join us? Well, let's get going.

You mind us riding with you folks? Fine. We have plenty of room.

That'd be nice. All right.

Mmm. I'm glad the opening's over.

Now I hope Mother will have some time for me before my graduation.

I have a lot of subjects I wanna discuss with her. I don't want to forget any.

Annie, do you wanna hear them? Sure, honey.

The most important is Jane Beeler's party. There are gonna be boys.

And under that I have an "A" and a "B" I wanna discuss with Mother.

A... How do I make a boy like me, and B... Should I let him kiss me.

Isn't that subject comin' up a little soon?

The girls in school discuss it all the time.

My goodness! They're here already!

Honey, will you run upstairs and get Sarah Jane? All right.

All right, ma'am? It's wonderful.

Thank you.

Annie, are you ready for a surprise?

Wait till you see who's here.

Hello, Annie.

Why, Mr. Steve!

Oh, my goodness! I'll get you a drink.

You certainly look fine!

You too, Annie. How's everything been?

Each day I count my blessings.

You call doing this at 1:00 in the morning a blessing? Yes, sir.

I can remember when plenty of ham and eggs was more than a blessing.

It was a miracle.

Here you are. Scotch and water. I remembered.

Thanks, but I'd better get back to Louise.

She won't even know you're there.

She's being mesmerized by Allen Loomis.

Oh, Steve, it's good to have you here. I mean it.

Now that we finally have you back, we will not let you go.

No, sir, you're gonna stay with us. Listen.

I have this Sunday off, the first Sunday I've had in weeks.

We're going to drive into the country for a picnic, Susie, Sarah Jane and Annie.

How does that sound? Wonderful.

Steve! I heard your voice!

Ohh!

This can't be Susie. So pretty, and not little anymore.

Little? Why, I'm graduating in two weeks!

You'll come, won't you? I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Sarah Jane, look who's here.

Sarah Jane? Hello, Steve.

It can't be. Why, you were all legs.

I still have them. Yes, but they came up to here.

Steve, don't ever go away from us again. Will you promise?

Well, are we holding the party in here? Hi, Annie, Sarah Jane.

No, Allen, we're coming right out.

What a surprise to see you. Wonderful to see you again.

You have an open invitation to come here any time you can get away from Madison avenue.

Oh, yes, not just anytime, but all the time. Come on.

Even though it is a long drive.

You forget I used to walk up three flights of stairs to see you in the old days.

Oh, Mama, look! A falling star!

The food's on.

Excuse me.

Did you wish on it? Mm-hmm.

I wish it could always be like tonight.

All of us together. Don't you?

Yes, my darling.

And I'm going to do something about it.

I will not do another play for a long, long time.

Ohh, Mama! Come in.

We're goin' now, honey.

If that headache ain't gone in an hour's time, you take another aspirin.

You hear? Yes, Mama. Have a good time.

Mama. Yes, baby?

Tell 'em I'm... I'm sorry I had to miss the picnic.

Okay. Okay.

But by the time I find Steve the fire'll be just perfect.

You let them alone. Maybe they got things to talk about.

This is a fine picnic.

Sarah Jane announces she's getting the flu. Mom and Steve just go off.

Oh, well, if this is the way it's gonna be, I might as well get on with my list.

I can cross off pink sweater for Elizabeth and yellow sweater for Sarah Jane.

Then we skip ahead to algebra.

Do you think another year of that stuff is a good idea? I sure do.

It's gonna come in mighty handy with prices always goin' up.

Which brings us back to boys.

What do you think about kissing, Annie?

Well, there's kissin' and kissin'.

I still take pictures every chance I get.

Still trying to get them exhibited. Stop hedging.

What is your job, really?

I'm Vice President in Charge of Advertising for P.C. Beer.

Don't tell anybody. Why not? I think it's wonderful.

'Cause I'm quitting just as soon as I can wind things up. But why?

You ever get the feeling that you're tired of what you're doing, that it isn't all you really wanted?

Did you ever get the urge not to do what you don't want to do?

To let yourself go and follow the wind or a star, maybe even a dusty old rainbow?

Yes.

Well, that's why I'm going.

Where to?

I don't know. Around the world, I guess, for a start.

You going alone?

I'm afraid so, l... I went through my entire little black book.

Well, you shouldn't have skipped my name. l... I don't know why I said that, Steve, except that I haven't been this happy with anyone for years.

You know I still have you in my blood, don't you? Oh, Steve, do you really?

I never got over you, Lora.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't.

There's a kind of kissin' that's not careless and doesn't lead to harm, when the two people kissin' are nice and right.

Kissin' is part of fallin' in love.

The Lord wants his children to fall in love, when they're old enough and got sense enough.

Then kissin' is like yeast is to bread...

Pardon me, Annie, but I'm starving. Can't I please find Steve?

Don't think you'll have to.

Steve! It's time to cook the steaks! Even Annie says so!

Telling them will be wonderful, but Loomis, ohh.

Why tell him at all? He has a lot of commitments he'll have to get me out of.

Susie, will you go see how Sarah Jane is?

Tell her I'll be right up. Okay.

Let me help you with that. Thank you, honey.

Hello, Allen? l...

You've been trying to call me?

I'm sorry. We've been out all day.

When?

Oh. Well, that sounds simply marvelous, but...

Uh, no, not for dinner. I'm having guests.

Why don't you bring him for cocktails.

Yes. All right.

Steve! Amerigo Felluci!

The Italian movie director. Yes.

Oh, he wants me for the part of Rena in No More Laughter.

His agent is in New York now to talk to me about it. I see.

That means you'd have to go to Italy. Mmm. Of course.

Oh.

Well, I'll have to give a two-week notice to the play.

Yes.

Well, don't be so calm.

They want me for Rena!

Well, who is she? Only the best part since Scarlett O'Hara.

Sarah Jane?


Sarah Jane! Where have you been?

I've been looking all over for you! You're supposed to be in bed... Shh!

Uh...

Sit down.

Cross your heart.

You won't tell my mama? No, I won't tell Annie.

W-Well, what is it?

I've been out.

With my boyfriend.

Boyfriend? I didn't know you had a boyfriend!

Where's he from? The Village.

Oh. Did you meet him in school? School?

No.

There's an ice cream parlor in The Village with a jukebox.

Yeah? And he used to stand outside, and every time I'd walk by, he'd whistle! No kidding!

But first I pretended he wasn't on earth. Yeah?

But finally I had to laugh, and he followed me.

And we started to talk.

He's cute. Really cute.

Is he a colored boy?

Why did you ask that? Well, I don't know.

It just slipped out. It was the first thing you thought of.

I told you, it just slipped out! Well, he's white.

And if he ever finds out about me, I'll kill myself. But why?

Because I'm white too. And if I have to be colored, then I want to die.

What are you saying? I wanna have a chance in life.

I don't wanna have to come through back doors, feel lower than other people, or apologize for my mother's color. Don't say that!

She can't help her color, but I can.

And I will.

But we've always talked things over.

You never told me this before.

Because I've never had a boyfriend before.

Because he wants to marry me someday.

A white boy. Me.

But how do you think he'd feel, or his folks, with a black in-law?

What do you think people would say where we lived if they knew my mother...

They'd spit at me. And my children.

Sarah Jane, you know that's not true! It is.

That's why he mustn't know her.

I don't want anybody to know her.

What if he comes here? He doesn't even know where I live.

I pretend I'm a... I'm a rich girl with strict parents.

Well, he's bound to find out... How?

I'm going to be everything he thinks I am.

I look it, and that's all that matters.

And you're not to say anything either. I won't. You know I won't.

I never did, but...

Sarah Jane, if Mama ever found out she'd never stand for it.

I don't care.

Your mother doesn't own me.

I won't be seeing you before you leave, so good luck in Italy.

You make that sound like good-bye.

Why couldn't we meet in Italy? What for?

You'll have a film. You won't need me.

But Steve, wait.

You tell Susie I'll be at her graduation. Good-bye, Lora.

Oh, Sarah Jane. Yes, Miss Lora?

I'm having some people come for a business meeting.

Later the dinner guests will arrive. Could you help your mother a bit?

Miss Lora, l... l-I'd like to, but I have a...

A date? Is it the Hawkins boy?

Hawkins?

Well, the Miller's chauffeur down the road. Why do you say that?

I met him at the station the other day and he asked about you.

No. It's with someone else.

Oh.

All right, you run along. I'll try to manage here.

Oh, there they are.

Look, honey, why don't you go over to the party at the church?

They bore me.

You're makin' a big mistake. You're young. You shouldn't be sittin' around.

Miss Lora feels the same way.

She'll lend you her car. Oh, she will? How nice of her.

I'd be happy knowin' you're meetin' nice young folks.

Busboys, cooks, chauffeurs!

Hmph. Like Hawkins.

No, thank you. I've seen your "nice young folks."

I don't wanna fight with you, honey.

Not tonight.

I don't feel too good.

While I get started on the anchovies, will you take this tray into Miss Lora and her friends?

Why, certainly.

Anything at all for Miss Lora and her friends.

But signor Romano, why should she need rehearsals? Ma scusa, signor.

You know her work.

Felluci always insists on two weeks' rehearsal.

Pictures are a different medium than the stage. She will need rehearsal...

Fetched y'all a mess of crawdads, Miss Lora, for you and yo' friends.

That's quite a trick, Sarah Jane. Where did you learn it?

Oh, no trick to totin', Miss Lora.

I learned it from my mammy, and she learned it from old massa 'fore she belonged to you.

Well... Excuse me.

Another drink, Sr. Romano?

Sarah Jane, why did you do that?

What's the matter with you?

Annie, did you see what she did? I heard her.

You and my mother are so anxious for me to be colored.

I was going to show you I could be.

You weren't being colored.

You were being childish.

I don't understand why you would want to hurt your mother or me.

I told her she has to be patient.

Things will work out. How?

Miss Lora, you don't know what it means to be... different.

Have I ever treated you as if you were different? Has Susie? Has anyone here?

No.

You've been wonderful, but...

Then don't ever do this to us again.

Or to yourself.

It won't solve anything, Sarah Jane.

Mama?

Oh, please.

Try to understand. l-I didn't mean to hurt you.

I love you.

Oh, I know, baby.

You're just like a puppy that's been cooped up too much.

That's why I wanted you to go to the party.

Oh, Mama.

Don't you see that won't help?

Lora, wait a minute.

I didn't mean the whole thing. I said...

Sr. Romano, she won't need rehearsal.

Frankie, you're late.

I thought you'd never get here.

Let's walk down by the river.

I wanna talk to you.

We can talk here.

Frankie, I'm...

I'm having trouble at home.

Your mother? Yes.

Frankie, you said you wanted to take a job in Jersey.

Couldn't we run away?

I'd do anything to be with you, anything.

That's not a bad idea.

That's not a bad idea at all.

Just tell me one thing. Yes?

Is it true?

Is what true?

Is your mother a nigger?

Tell me.

Tell me! What difference does it make? You love me!

All the kids talking behind my back! Is it true?

No! Are you black?

I'm as white as you! You're lying!

No, I'm not! You're lying!

No, I'm not! I'm not! You are! You're lying!

Don't hit me!

I'm not.


Mmm.

Oh, that felt so good.

And I'm glad the guests have gone.

I'm glad you're not going to Italy. So am I.

Felluci wanted me in Rome in one week.

But I won't miss Susie's graduation, not for anything.

You know, I can't believe it.

Susie and Sarah Jane all grown up.

You and I have gone through a lot together, haven't we?

The years are flyin'. I'm getting old.

You never sounded so solemn before.

Don't you feel well, Annie? Oh, just a little tired.

Well, do you need anything? Any money?

No, Miss Lora. Thanks to you, I'm well fixed.

I've plenty to send Sarah Jane to college, something set aside for her, and enough for my funeral. Oh, Annie.

That funeral again. Well, I'm gettin' on.

That's the one thing I've always wanted to splurge on.

I really want it elegant.

Got it written down the way I want it to be, all the friends I'd like to have there.

It never occurred to me that you had many friends.

You never have any visit you. I know lots of people. Oh, hundreds.

Really? I belong to the baptist church.

And I belong to several lodges too. I didn't know.

Miss Lora, you never asked.

Mama, Annie, quick! It's Sarah Jane!

Oh!

Sarah Jane! Oh, my baby!

Get some water and towels. What happened, baby? What happened?

Leave me alone. Honey, who did this to you?

Tell me! Leave me alone!

You've got to tell me! Who was it?

It was her boyfriend. Boyfriend?

Yes. He found out I'm not white, because you keep telling the world I'm your daughter.

Anything you can spoil, you spoil!

Stop that. Stop it!

Don't you talk to your mother like that.

I told you. Lies don't help none.

This always happens when you lie.

It wouldn't if you weren't always around!

Thank you.

Are you sure Annie will make it in time? Honey, you know Annie.

If she says she will, she will.

Oh, Mama, I'm so happy.

You know, I never really believed you'd be here.

Are you sorry about the picture?

I'm only sorry I couldn't bring your present with me, but he's a little bit too big.

He? Who's he? Who's too big?

That thoroughbred you told me about, the one you love so? Yeah?

Well, he's waiting for you at home. You mean he's mine?

Yes! Oh, Mama, thank you!

Happy graduation, angel.

Oh, Mama, look! It's Annie.

And Steve!

Steve!

Hi! Susie!

Oh, and Annie, I'm so glad you've made it.

Steve, you're such a darling to come.

I meant it when I said I wouldn't miss it for the... Lora!

Hello, Steve. I thought you were in Italy.

Annie, why didn't you tell me? Slipped my mind, I'm afraid.

This came for you this mornin'. Oh.

Honey, Sarah Jane's much better. I'm glad.

She's sorry she couldn't come, but she sends her love.

I think I'm gonna faint. This is the most exciting day of my entire life.

I never expected you'd all be here.

Oh, it's... It's from Felluci.

He still wants me for the part, and he'll wait after all.

He's even made my plane reservations. I'm to leave in two weeks.

Two weeks? Oh, Mama.

Oh! At least that time will be ours together.

Oh, don't look like that. Felluci agreed to my terms.

I can't turn him down now. I know, Mother, I know.

Look, honey, your mama feels worse than you.

Girls, the exercises are beginning. Come on!

Darling.

When do you leave, Steve?

I don't know when I'll be able to get away now. Oh.

Would you do me a favor?

Will you look after my child for me while I'm gone? Please?

I can think of nothing I'd like better.

All right? Fine. Let's ride down to the river.

Thank you.


Isn't this fun?

I wrote Mother last week and told her you were riding like Audie Murphy.

I'll wear my six-shooters tomorrow morning.

And your black tie tomorrow night at Bocce's.

Did we make it definitely tomorrow? You said Monday night.

I hope you won't be disappointed. It's nothing glamorous.

Disappointed with you, Steve? Never. Come on, I'll race you back to the old mill.

I hope you won't be disappointed.

Oh, no. I think it's romantic.

Good evening. A table for two? Please.

What a wonderful place to end a perfect evening. I'll have cognac and...

Could I have one too? Just once? Mm-mmm.

Maybe a little wine? No.

Coke. You don't want them to lose their license, do you?

No, of course not, but... Shall we dance?

Dance? Oh, I'd love to, Steve.

You know, you're the only one that I can talk seriously with.

What about Annie? I thought she was everybody's Rock of Gibraltar.

She still treats me like I was a child, as if I were just out of rompers.

You don't. Well, you're almost a woman.

Almost?

Anytime you have anything serious on your mind, you try it out on me.

Well, l... I do have a problem that's been bothering me.

Let's have it.

No. Maybe I shouldn't.

I'll bet I know what it's about.

You do?

Boys. Oh, no.

You were teasing me. Yes.

Steve, what's the proper age for people to...

Well, to get married?

That is a problem. I'm no authority.

Isn't being in love enough?

As long as it's on both sides.

But then at your age, there's always the possibility of... being in love with love. No.

No, it's real. I am.

In love? Mm-hmm.

Wanna talk about it? Well, l...

No. Not yet.

Sometimes though, l... I feel awfully lonely.

Love is always a little lonely in the beginning, especially when you're not sure the other party feels as you do.

But it's heavenly, though. Don't you agree? I do.

Marvelous. No substitute for it.

Oh, I'm so glad I'm alive. I've never been so glad before.

Every time we've been together, it's been just perfect!

You ought to go out more with friends your own age. Than go out with Steve?

Annie, you can't believe how much we have in common.

Oh, it's Steve! Now, you're not going out without a coat.

I was going to borrow one of Mother's. Steve's seen all of mine.

Sarah Jane bought herself a new one. You can wear hers.

Oh, I'll be right down!

Annie, I haven't seen Sarah Jane in weeks.

Does she like that new job in New York?

Oh, yes. Thank you.

The Head Librarian thinks she's so good, why, she even gave her a raise. That's wonderful!

She just wrote me the other day and she said that...

Oh, don't wait up for me. I'm going to be terribly late.

Good night, sweetie.

Harry's Club?

Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long, Steve.

Hello? Is this the Manhattan Public Library?

Yes, it is. May I speak to Miss Sarah Jane Johnson, please?

I'm sorry. The library's closed.

Yes, I know, but she's on a late shift.

Reclassifying books after hours, she said.

There's no one here by that name.

You have no one there by that name? No.

Are you sure? Absolutely sure?

Yes, I'm sure. No one.

I see.

Well, thank you very much.

Thank you.


Can I help you, lady?

Is there a girl named Sarah Jane Johnson working here?

Never heard of her. Two?

The loneliest word I've heard of is empty Anything empty is sad An empty purse can make a good girl bad You hear me, Dad The loneliest word I've heard of is empty Empty things make me so mad So fill me up with what I formerly had

Now, Venus, you know Was loaded with charms And look at what happened to her Waitin' around she's minus two arms Could happen to me no, sir Now is the time to fill what is empty Fill my life brim full of charms Help me refill these empty Empty, empty arms

I thought you were great tonight, really great. Thank you.

Where do you go when you run out of here every night?

You got a boyfriend? Could be.

If you weren't such a cute... Sarah Jane Johnson!

You put your clothes on and get out of this place. Say, who is this character?

I don't know. I've never seen her before in my life.

Quit lyin'. You told me you had a respectable job in the library.

Hey, what's going on here?

Well, she must be crazy.

Tell her my name's Judy Brand. Make her go away.

Look, lady, why don't you blow?

You'd better keep out of this. This girl here is my daughter.

And if you don't tell her to go home with me, her mother, I'll have the law on you. Your mother?

Well, I'll be.

Go on, beat it.

She's through, anyway.

Sarah Jane.

What did you expect me to do... when I find you dancing in that lowdown dive?

If it ever got back to the teachers' college... that you were mixed up in such a place, they would never let you in.

I wouldn't be found dead in a colored teachers' college.

Please, come home!

We'll have some coffee and we'll talk about this.

Honey, nobody's all right about anything, and nobody's all wrong.

If you don't want to be a teacher, all right.

We'll talk about what you want to be.

Honey, Miss Lora gets home from Italy in the mornin' and I'm sure...

Sarah Jane.

Sarah Jane!

Oh. Ooh, dear.

Oh, Susie, darling!

All the flowers!

Oh, it's wonderful.

I was never so glad to be home.

Annie was up at the crack of dawn.

Where is she?

Well, I don't know. Annie!

Annie! That's funny. She was so anxious to see you.

Annie?

Annie, what's the matter?

What happened?

Is it Sarah Jane?

"Mama, if you really want to be kind, "really a mother, don't try to find me.

"Just pretend that I died or was never born.

"This is my life and I'm going to live it my way.

Sarah Jane."

Darling, I'm sorry.

We'll find her and bring her back.

No, Miss Lora.

It's her life and I'm done with interfering.

All I'd like to know somehow is where she is, so if she should ever need anything, I can help her.

Do you have any idea where she might have gone?

No, ma'am. I'll bet Steve will know what to do. I'll call him.

All right.

You lie down for a while.

We're going to take care of you for a change.

Hello, Steve? Yes.

Susie. Let me have it.

Hello? No, this isn't Susie.

That's right. Oh, a few moments ago.

Oh, it was wonderful. Yes.

And thank you for taking such good care of my child.

Yes, she is.

What's he saying about me? He thinks you're as cute as a button, and you are.

Only, Steve, something dreadful has happened.

When?

No, I'll put a detective agency on it... and I'll report the moment I hear anything.

Good-bye.

Then under the name of Linda Carroll, she got herself a job... in the chorus line at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood.

Where is she living? At a motel nearby.

Thanks, Mr. Steve. I'm going out there.

No, Annie, you can't. You're not well enough.

I'll go get her myself. No.

Miss Lora, I have to go.

I've just got to see my baby once more.

All right, Annie. I'll have my office make your train reservations.

Thanks, but I'm not going by train.

I'm going to fly.

I'm in a hurry.


What's up, honey?

Oh. I don't know. Just a funny feeling.

Don't forget the guys are picking us up at 12:30.

I'll rush to the motel and change. See you there.

Door's open.

I'll be ready in a minute.

I hope they're not here...

Now, don't be mad, honey. Nobody saw me.

It was you.

You were there tonight.

Why can't you leave me alone?

I tried, Sarah Jane.

You'll never know how hard I tried.

Well, I might as well pack.

Look, baby... I suppose you've been to the boss, Iost me my job, my friends...

I've been no place. I didn't come to bother you.

Well, you won't. Not ever again.

Spoil things for me here and I'll go somewhere else.

And I'll keep on going until you're so tired...

Baby, I am tired.

I'm as tired as I ever want to be.

You mind if I sit down? Yes, I do.

Somebody's coming. That's why the door was unlocked.

I'll only stay a minute.

I just want to look at you. That's why I came.

Are you happy here, honey? Are you finding what you really want?

I'm somebody else.

I'm white. White!

White!

Does that answer you?

I guess so.

Then please, Mama, will you go... and never do this again?

And if by accident, if we should ever pass on the street, please don't recognize me.

I won't, Sarah Jane. I promise.

I settled all that in my mind.

There's just one thing I wish from you. What?

If you're ever in trouble, if you ever need anything at all, if you ever want to come home... and you shouldn't be able to get in touch with me, will you let Miss Lora know? Yes.

Yes, anything. Now will you go?

That wasn't all I wanted, honey.

That was only part of it.

What's the rest?

I'd like to hold you in my arms once more... like you were still my baby.

All right, Mama. All right.

Oh, Sarah Jane.

Oh, my baby!

My beautiful, beautiful baby!

Oh!

I love you so much. Nothin' you ever do can stop that.

Oh, Mama!

Oh, my baby. Mama. Mama.

Oh, my baby.

Come on, Linda, they're waiting.

Listen, if you're the new maid, I want to report that my shower is full of ants.

Oh, I'm sorry, miss. That must be very uncomfortable.

But I just happened to be in town and dropped in to see Miss Linda.

I used to take care of her.

Well, I guess I'll be running along.

My plane's leaving in a little while, Miss Linda.

Good-bye, honey.

You take good care of yourself.

Good-bye.

Mama.

Well! Get you.

So, honey child, you had a mammy.

Yes.

All my life.

Hello, Steve.

Hello, Lora.

Some of my girlfriends get embarrassed when their mothers... wear shorts or capri pants, things like that.

I really don't mind. That's very big of you.

I mixed you a highball, but you only get one before lunch.

Yes, ma'am. I just had a call from Loomis.

Don't say a word. He's got a new role for you. No, no.

Highball? Yes.

No, they've flown over a print of the Italian picture.

He's arranged a special showing tonight, and a party afterwards.

Darling, I'd like you to see it too, but I'm worried about Annie.

Ever since she came back from Los Angeles, she's changed.

Dr. Miller's quite concerned about her condition.

I think someone should stay in the house with her tonight. Do you mind?

No, of course not, Mama. I'll see you tomorrow, Steve?

Sure.

What can we do to help Annie, Steve?

There's no answer, Lora, never has been.

Not for a broken heart.

Mmm, and I know Mother didn't understand.

Oh, it was so embarrassing. And poor Steve.

I mean, what could he do? She just swept over him like a tidal wave.

Honey, it's only natural he'd like to go out with your mother.

He always enjoyed her company. You remember that.

But it's different now.

All summer long it's been Steve and me.

Annie, you know, don't you? Know what?

That I'm in love with Steve. I've always been in love with him and always will be.

Sure, Susie, but like a little girl.

No. I don't think it even started like that.

In a funny way, I always knew.

Every time I thought I liked a boy, it was because he reminded me of Steve.

And then I'd stop liking him because...

Because he wasn't Steve.


Susie? Are you up, darling?

Yes.

I just had to tell you. I have the most wonderful news.

You're going to do another picture. No.

Not a picture, not a play, never again.

Oh, I know you don't believe me. I can't blame you.

Steve didn't either. He probably won't until our tenth anniversary.

A-Anniversary?

Oh, Steve and I have always been in love.

But it seems I've never had time for anything but my work.

So I just up and proposed that we get married.

Well, Susie, what's the matter? Are you all right?

Yes, I'm fine. I hope you'll be very happy.

Oh, we will be, all of us.

What is it, darling? Tell me.

I'm very tired. Good night, Mother.

Good night, dear.

You know, Annie, last night when I told Susie the news, she was like ice.

It's strange. l... I thought she would be ecstatic.

She always seemed to... To adore Steve.

Something's wrong with her, Annie.

Do you know what it is?

Miss Lora, you've got to be very careful the way you handle Susie.

She's got a real problem. Problem?

Why don't I know about it? Why didn't she come to me?

Maybe because you weren't around.

You mean, l...

I haven't been a good mother.

I know you meant to be a good mother, the best kind of mother, but look, I meant to be a good one too, and I failed.

But you couldn't have been a better mother to Sarah Jane.

Then where's my little girl? But Annie, that's different.

Hers is a very real problem.

What's complicated Susie's life?

We made a home for her; the prettiest clothes; the best schools.

Susie's in love. Oh, Annie.

Is that all? Why didn't you say so?

It's not unusual for a girl Susie's age to be in love.

It's who she's in love with that's causing all the trouble.

Why? Who is it?

Mr. Steve.

What?

That's impossible.

How did it happen? Why did he let it happen?

I don't think he knows.

Annie, it can't be serious!

It is, Miss Lora. Plenty serious.

I better have a talk with Susie right now.

Wait, wait.

Susie.

I've just spoken to Annie. Have you?

Now I know why you were so upset last night. So Annie told you.

That's how you usually find things out about me. That's not true!

Let's face it, Mama. Annie's always been more like a real mother.

You never had time for me. By the way, is this worded correctly?

An application to college? Uh-huh.

But you're going to study in New York.

Denver... It's 1,500 miles away.

1,628, to be exact. That's quite a distance.

I don't think I'll be missed. Don't be unfair, Susie.

You know I'd miss you. I'm sure you'd be too busy to miss anyone.

Much too busy.

You give me credit for nothing.

Yes, I'm ambitious, perhaps too ambitious, but it's been for your sake as well as mine.

Isn't this house just a little bit nicer than a cold-water flat?

And your new horse. Aren't you crazy about it? Yes, but l...

And that closet of yours... Has all the dresses fit for the daughter of a famous star.

Now, just a moment, young lady.

It's only because of my ambition that you've had the best of everything.

That's a solid achievement that any mother can be proud of.

How about a mother's love?

Love? But you've always had that!

Yes, by telephone, postcard, magazine interviews.

You've given me everything but yourself.

No wonder I went to Annie last night when I told her about Steve.

Oh, Susie.

If Steve is going to come between us,

I'll give him up.

I'll never see him again.

Oh, Mama, stop acting!

Stop trying to shift people around as if they were pawns on a stage.

But, Susie, l... Don't worry, I'll get over Steve, but please, don't play the martyr.

Oh, Mama, I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt you.

But last night I was so unhappy!

Oh, darling. l... I don't know.

Maybe it was all to the good because... this morning I felt strangely independent and...

Well, I like the feeling.

That's why I think I'd... I'd like to go away, at least for a while.

Oh, Mama, please try to understand.

I'm very sincere about it.

Ah, it's funny the way things turn out.

Thank you.

I still can't get over Susie at the station yesterday.

She looked so... grown-up when she said good-bye.

Yes, she did.

It does seem awfully quiet here without her.

Annie and I were talking about that last night.

With both the girls gone, we felt so alone in this big house.

When did this idea of college come up?

Susie never once mentioned it to me.

She decided suddenly.

And why Colorado? So far away.

It's what she wanted.

Miss Meredith, it's Annie. She's terribly sick.

Did you call the doctor? Yes, he'll be right over.

And she wants the minister too.

Oh, God, no!

I hate to dispute you, Miss Lora.

Oh, Annie, don't talk.

I've got to talk. I've got to. Oh, please.

Please, not now.

You stop crying. But l...

No, listen to me. All right. I'm listening.

When my bills are all paid, I want everything that's left to go to...

Sarah Jane. Of course.

Mr. Steve? Yes, Annie?

Find her, Mr. Steve. Find her.

I will. You may be sure.

I will. Thank you.

Miss Lora, just tell her...

Tell her I know I was selfish, and if I loved her too much, I'm sorry.

But I didn't mean to cause her any trouble.

She was all I had.

Tell her, Miss Lora. Oh, please, Annie!

Promise me? Promise me? I promise.

Ohh.

My pearl necklace. Yes?

I want you to give it to Susie... for her weddin'.

Give her a real bridey wedding... with all the fixin's.

Our weddin' day... and the day we die... are the great events... of life.

Oh, Annie!

Annie, darling.

There's no cause to cry.

Reverend? Yes, Annie?

I'd like for your wife to have my fur scarf.

She always admired that fur.

She never believed me when I said it was genuine mink.

She did, Annie, she did.

Oh, please, you don't have to...

And I want Mr. McKinney... to have a nice, clean 50-dollar bill.

M-Mr. McKinney?

The milkman at the old cold-water flat. Oh.

He was so nice and understanding about the bill.

I always send him a little something at Christmas time, in both our names.

You've been so good.

Sure hope you're right, Miss Lora.

I'd like to be standin' with the lambs... and not with the goats... on judgment day.

And my funeral...

Mr. Steve, you'll find what I want in the drawer... over there.

I've got it, Annie.

I want to go... the way I planned, especially the four white horses... and a band playin'.

No mourning, but proud and high-steppin', like I was goin' to glory.

No. I won't listen.

There isn't going to be any funeral, not for a long, long time.

You can't leave me. I won't let you.

I'm just tired, Miss Lora.

Awfully... tired.

Annie!

Annie!

No!

Soon I will be done Trouble of the world Lord Trouble of the world Trouble, Lord of the world I soon will be done Trouble, Lord of the world I'm going home to live With God No more Weepin'and wailin'

No more Weepin'or wailin'

No more Weepin' and wailin'

I'm going home To live with my Lord Lord Soon I will be done My trouble Of this world Oh, my trouble in this world Lord, the trouble in this world Lord, I soon Will be done The trouble of this world I'm going home Ooh-ooh-ooh-ohh To live With my Lord Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.

"My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.

"He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.

"He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

"The Lord is thy keeper.

"The Lord is the shade upon thy right hand.

"The sun shall not smite thee by day...

"nor the moon by night.

"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil.

"He shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in. "

Let me through! Please!

Please, let me through!

Hey, stand back, miss.

But it's my mother! Stand back.

I'm telling you, it's my mother!

Please.

Mama!

Mama!

I didn't mean it.

I didn't mean it.

Mama, do you hear me?

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, Mama.

Mama, I did love you.

Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane, don't!

Miss Lora.

Miss Lora, I killed my mother.

I killed her.

I wanted to come home. Shh.

Now she'll never know how much I wanted to come home. Come with us.