Jennifer (1953) Script

Yes, what will you have?

I was wondering if you could tell me how to get to the Gale estate.

I've been looking for Gale Road, but I seem to be lost.

Oh, you thinking of buying that place?

No, I'm hoping to get the job of caretaker up there.


Well, if you'd take my advice young lady you'd go right back where you came from.

You can't need a job that bad.

Well, as a matter of fact, I do.

So. Please can you tell me how to get there?


I don't give you more than two or three days, if that.

Now remember, I told you.

I don't think I quite understand.

There's been a lot of strange things happening up at the Gale estate ..

That us people down here in the village don't understand.

They're a peculiar lot, those Gales.

I see.

Well, thanks for the advice anyway.

Now, could you tell me how to find it?

It's up to you.

You got your mind made up.

You go up this road half a mile, until you come to a sign that says Gale Place.

Then you turn up Eucalyptus Grove.

And the house is on the right.

You can't miss it. Thanks.


See you in a couple of days.

Miss Langley?


Hello .. come in.

Thank you.

I didn't expect you so soon.

I'm Lorna Gale.

Well, I didn't realize it was such a short trip from Ventura.

Father built it just two years before the '29 crash.

Back in those days, you were camping out ..

Unless you had a music conservatory and a bowling alley.

Has it been empty long?

No. Just a few months.

My cousin was the last caretaker.

Would you come with me, Miss Langley?


If I suit you, when did you want me to start?

Well, immediately if you can.

This is where Jennifer lived. My cousin.

Originally it was the servant's quarters.

You can live anywhere you like though. She liked it here.

No, this will be fine.

Your letter offered room and a $150 a month?

Yes, that's right.

Why, I was just packing some of my cousin's things.

I'll help you.

Did you know the Rands in Ventura?

Barbara Rand and I went to boarding school together.

I think I've heard the name.

Your cousin will want these. No, she won't be back.

I guess we can throw them away.

They're worthless.

Besides, I wouldn't know where to send them.

She won't be back. She disappeared one day.


Well, it's in the hands of the Bureau of Missing whatever-it-is.

I'm sure they'll find her.

Oh, I suppose you have your usual references?


You left your last job four months ago?

I know. I haven't been too well.

I do need this job badly.

Oh that reminds me. We'll have to connect that phone.

Oh no, that won't be necessary. I haven't ..

Can you move in immediately?

Tomorrow is Saturday. Yes, that's as good a day as any.

If you need anything, get in touch with Jim Hollis. He takes care of the place.

And it won't be too lonely. The village is only ten minutes away.

Oh, I don't mind being alone. I'm used to it.

Well, nice having you. Thank you.

And don't forget, you're going to send me Jenny's things.

Oh .. what if your cousin returns?

How did it go?

Better than I'd hoped. I'm not much good at this sort of thing.

She seems a sensible person. Be sure and help her out if she needs anything.


You think just one gardener can handle this entire place, even in winter?

Try it. Saves 600 dollars.

Heaven knows, the place is a drain.

I wish someone would finally buy it.

I'm doing the best I can to sell it.

I haven't received a bill yet for the repairs to the roof. Have you?

It won't be much.

One small leak.

I hope it is the only one.


Hello. Who are you?

I'm Jim Hollis.

I got the grocery store at the Inn down at The Springs.

Lorna Gale asked me to look in on you.

As long as I was coming up, I brought the rest of your groceries.

What's wrong? Nothing.

Are you sure nothing's wrong?

Well, I just thought I heard something. That's all.

Oh. Might have been me.

Getting settled? Yes, thank you.

Anything I can do to help you?

No, I don't think so.

Miss Gale said she had some things to be shipped.

Well, they aren't ready yet.


I'm afraid Jennifer didn't smoke. Why don't you use that.

Miss Gale didn't tell me much about ..

Jennifer's disappearance.

I think she just got lonesome. I don't think she liked living in the country.

I wonder.


I'll show you.

Why would she leave all her clothes behind?

Well, what did she leave behind?

A few old clothes. Things she didn't want.

This doesn't look so old.

Look .. these shoes are good.

Look at this half-finished sweater.

Lots of things. Well, I wouldn't worry about that.

Say, I can use a drink. It's about that time.

I'm afraid I didn't order any with the groceries.

I thought I saw some Scotch in the box. No, I'm sorry. I didn't.

I'm sure I saw a bottle in here.


My brand, too.


No ice.

It's good Scotch.

Thank you.

What is it?

I was thinking about Jennifer.

Look, Miss Langley.

Thousands of people disappear every year.

For purely personal reasons.

Too many bills, too much wife.

Not enough wife, too much love .. not enough love.

They just walk off quietly into the night.

I wouldn't worry about her.

This is her diary.

I know it was wrong but I read some of it.


'Iron clothes'.

'Tuesday. Paint closets blue'.


She painted everything blue.

She even painted the sewing-machine blue.

Look, it isn't what's in the diary that is so important.

What is important?

What happened right after I put it down.

What happened?

I felt that .. someone had been in here.

When I put the diary down it read: 'Wednesday. Wrote the letters today'.

When I came back .. it read 'Saturday'.

'Oil the sewing-machine'.


The pages couldn't have turned themselves.

Maybe there was a draught?


Here was someone in this house. And they've been reading the diary.

I'll get a flashlight.

Well, I looked all around. There is not a trace of anyone.

You know, in an old house like this, you're liable to hear almost anything.

Mice, termites.

Maybe just the house settling.

I wouldn't worry about it.

Maybe you're right.

If you like, you can stay at the Inn tonight.

No. No thanks.

I'm already beginning to feel pretty silly about this.

It happens to me all the time. Well, thank you for the groceries.

Is it alright if I get my cigarettes?


Yes, of course.

Goodnight. Goodnight.

See you soon.

Good morning Miss Langley. Did I leave something out last night?

I have that list of yours around here somewhere.

Where is that list? Molly.

Where is that list of Miss Langley's? She says I left something out last time.

Just a minute.

No, you didn't leave out anything. I forgot some things.

Let's be sure, Miss Langley Let's be sure.

You're new here, I'm old here.

Check everything.

You'll know that when you've been here long enough.

Molly, where is that slip?

Look, all I want is a box of Kleenex.

A can of orange juice and some clothes-pins.

How do you like living at the Gale estate?

I remember when they built it.

You do? Of course.

Why would I forget it? Like it was yesterday.

Now don't you go disappearing like that Jennifer Brown.

Did you know her? Of course.

I talked to her over the phone. Nobody's ever seen her.

She didn't owe us anything. They usually do when they disappear.

Morning, Miss Langley. I've got my own theory about Jennifer.

Before you can tell why Jennifer went away ..

You have to know who she was and what she wanted.

A least, that's what I think.

He don't know any more than anybody else.

I think she ran away. That is different from disappearing.

You'll find her in the hills one day. Mark my words.

They looked for her in the hills.

You talking about that Gale caretaker? This is the new one.

Miss Langley - Mrs Carraway.

Another woman. I didn't see the other one.

But I always thought that maybe she found some money on the estate.

And stole it and just disappeared.

She never came into the Store. We delivered everything.

We'd bill her and she'd send us a check.

I've seen her.

He's seen everything. I've seen her.

What did she look like?

She was blond and sort of washed-out looking.

He's never seen her. I want some coffee.

I'll get it.

I did too. Once.

An apple jumped out of a bag and rolled from the back porch to the kitchen.

I went in to get it, and she was there and I saw her.

She was just about your size.

Bout a five.

Thank you.

There was no hot water this morning. How do I have it turned on?

Oh, I know how you fix the pilot light for the water-heater.

He knows everything, too.

Would you? I'd appreciate it.

Morning. Good morning.

I'll be up at noon.

She's sort-of attractive.

Who? Miss Langley.

Of course.

I wonder what Jennifer really looked like?


I've only got an hour, but it shouldn't take me that long to fix the heater.


It is so damp down here.

I suppose the heat hasn't been turned on since Jennifer left.

I wonder who turned it off.

Why wouldn't Jennifer?

My theory is she couldn't have. Something prevented her.

What do you mean?

Well, the rumor is that Jennifer worked for a prominent attorney in Los Angeles.

His name was Sampson.

There were a lot papers missing.

Sampson's papers.

What kind of papers?

Legal papers I guess, or personal.

Not only from Sampson, but from some of his clients.

No-one can be sure because Sampson suddenly committed suicide.

That's when they discovered the papers were missing.

I bet Jennifer stole those papers.

I bet they were worth a lot of money.


I heard that old lady Gale was very fond of Jennifer.

Maybe she was going to leave her a lot of money?

Anyway, I think something violent must have happened to her.

That's ridiculous.

You couldn't believe it if you read her diary.

Her diary?

Of course, I knew there would be a diary. What did it say?

Nothing, nothing at all. Where did you find it?

It doesn't matter. I found it.

It's chilly down here. I'm going upstairs.


I was just driving by.

I thought I would see how you are getting along.

Everything alright?

Yes, thank you.

Orin's in the basement.

Yes, I know. I just left him.

Something interesting?

I found it in the fireplace.


It's in the same handwriting that's in the diary.

I know the whole story about ..

Jennifer and those missing papers.

Orin told me.


Why don't you forget about Jennifer?

It looked as if she'd planned to take a cruise.


So she took a cruise.

I wonder.

Perhaps she ..

It's a little chilly in here.

Why don't I light the fire.

This is the nicest time of day.

The saddest time of the year.

Yeah .. when the wind blows.

Listen, Agnes.

It's working.

The furnace is working.

We'd better get back to the store.

See you soon.

Go ahead. Aren't you coming, too?

I'll see you down at the store.


Did you forget something? No. I remembered something.

Dinner .. how about it?

Well .. it is very nice of you, but ..

But what?

I'm afraid I can't.

Maybe you're right. It was only a bottle and a bird. Peasant's fare.

You see, I have to do a lot of shopping in Santa Barbara.

Things I need.

Surely. Well, some other time.

If you need anything, yell.

Bye. Bye.

The old Padre must have been quite a guy.

To build a string of these things, you had to believe in what you were doing.

It was easier then.


Well .. they didn't have the problems we have now.


The 'machine age' and everything.


What makes you think the 'machine age' is our real problem today?

It is. No.

No, our real problem today is the same one they had then.


Did you ever have your feelings hurt by a machine?

Of course not.

What's that got to do with it?

You have trouble with people.

Me, for instance.

You are sensitive about me.

I'm not sensitive. Of course you are.

Look, I didn't say you were a liar or a cheat. I just said you were sensitive.

Since when is that a dirty word?

You make is sound like a disease.

Watch it .. I'm sensitive.

Well, I am glad to know you are something.

Up until now, you've only made an issue of other people's feelings.

Mostly mine.

Come on, stop thinking you're the only one. It's a rough world for all of us.

But .. do you know of a better one?


That's my point.

Well ..

Thank you for the soda.

This fast-living is killing me.

Why don't you drive home with me in my car?

I can send somebody down to pick up yours in the morning.

Why should we both drive all the way home alone?

Well ..

No thank you.

It's getting late. I really should be going.



Run straight home.

That's a good girl.


I'm Miss Langley, the new caretaker.

How do you do.

You do such a good job of keeping up this large place.

I do the best I can.

I was told you leave a weekly bill.

I leave it in the office.

The office? Where is that?

Right up there, off that wing.


I suppose you knew Miss Jennifer quite well?

I just left the bills at the office.

Thanks Mac, I guess that will do it.

I hope we didn't disturb you. We had to make some repairs on the roof.

Here's your record. Thank you.

Mind if I have a beer? I put some in with your order.

Will you join me? No, thank you.

How's everything going? Alright.

Say, what made you take a job like this anyway?

It can't be the money.

I don't have the expenses here I have in town.

Nor most of the headaches either, I guess.

If they are the kind of headaches you get in town.

I got rid of most of mine. That's why I stay here.

The first year I came up here was just to work for the season.

Four months out of the year. I didn't know if I'd like it or not.

There wasn't much action for a city boy.

Did you ever work in a hotel?


Worked them all. Bus-Boy to Manager.

That's where you really learn about people.

Then I came here .. I may never leave.

I couldn't even if I wanted. Everything I've got is tied up in this operation.

There is only one thing missing.

The right girl.

Alright .. let's have it.

What is it? What?

You probably won't believe it.

Try me .. maybe I will.

I found Jennifer's bank-book.

This should prove that she didn't just disappear.

Look at the deposits.

'September 2nd'.


'September 10th .. $1,000'.

"September 15th .. $250'.

"September 21st'.


Look at the balance. Seventy thousand dollars.

There is a definite pattern.

On the first and second of every month.

There is a deposit of five hundred dollars.

Of course.

Now I know.

Don't you see?

No .. but I'm interested.

Jennifer was a blackmailer.

Yes. She ..

She worked for a prominent attorney.

There was a scandal.

He committed suicide. Papers were missing.

She was investigated and cleared, of course.

But now I know better.

But she was just too smart for everyone.

How was she smarter than everyone?

She stole valuable information.

That information could be worth a lot of money to certain people.

Now, let's be logical.

Drab little Jennifer was just a front for her blackmail.

All the time she had other ideas.

That page from Vogue should prove it.

She disappeared because she had all the money she wanted.

She did? Yes.

There are no withdrawals.


If that is Jennifer's money, it's still there.

Hello, Miss Langley.

I was on my way up to the Baker place and I ..

Thought I'd drop in and see if you needed anything.

No, I don't need anything.

Only I .. just thought I'd check.

Well, I guess I'd better get up to the Baker place.

You know how they are if the deliveries are late.

Make sure it isn't.


See you later.



Jennifer is dead.

How did you arrive at that?

There was someone in this house.

I know it now.

Maybe they were hunting for the missing papers.

Maybe they killed her.

When you jump at a conclusion, you really leap.

Jennifer never left this house.

That's why the Police couldn't find her.

She's dead.

And she's here somewhere.

Alright .. let's look for her.

In the cellar. That's where they usually bury somebody.

No. That's too obvious.

Besides, it's used too much.

The grounds. Seven acres.

Not with the gardener digging around.



I discovered some stairs near the office.

They lead below the house.

Even below the cellar.

Now, before you go calling the police.

And scaring the life out of Lorna Gale and her family.

Let's make sure.

Let's find out right now.

I'll get the flashlight.

You want to hold the light.

Over here.

Now over here.

On the floor.

This place hasn't been touched in years.


Would you like to look some other place?

No. Let's forget about it.

You know, there were no names on the bank-book.

It could have belonged to any one of the Gales.

I know.

I just don't know what's the matter with me anymore.

I really thought she'd be down there.

Jennifer is becoming quite a problem, isn't she.

Every time I want to talk about you, you want to talk about Jennifer.


I don't know why.

I wish I'd never heard of her.

As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't exist.

Well, we've got to start some place.

Where were you born, Miss Langley?

Well, if you must know I was born in Ventura.

32 years ago.

Gender: female. Occupation: secretary.

Unmarried. Have you ever been?



Have you? Once.

It didn't work out, but it wouldn't stop me from trying again.


Close to what? To being married.

Yes, I was. I ..

At least I thought I was. What happened?

Well, we were going to be married and he ..

Just went away and never came back. That's all.

Did you hear from him?

Yes, he wrote me from New York saying he was sorry.

Later, I heard that at the time he wrote the letter he was already married.

Why do you suppose he didn't come back?

Well I .. I never thought much about it.

What did you do besides not think much about it?

Did you ask yourself why he didn't come back?

Maybe I didn't have what he wanted. What did he want?

I don't know.

Maybe you do, and you don't want to say.

I suppose you do. Yes.

I know what I want from a woman.

It's obvious.

Listen, Agnes.

I don't think you should stay in this house by yourself.

It's too lonely here.

I have to.

Why don't you move down to the Inn? You'll feel better there.

No. Thanks just the same.

I can't. Well ..


We're having our yearly pre-season party down at the Inn tonight.

Would you like to come?

No, I don't think so. Agnes.

About Jennifer.


Forget her.

I'll pick you up at eight.

In my car.

Hello, Miss Langley.

Hello, Orin. I just skidded.

I just wanted to ask you if you're not doing anything tonight.

It's usually a lot of fun. Everybody goes.

We're having a dance at the Inn tonight.

It's the last chance I'll have before going back to school.

Oh. Well I'm sorry, Orin. But I've already been invited.

Not by Hollis?

Yes. Just now?

That's right.

Just my luck. I should have thought of it yesterday.

Well, some other time. I'll see you tonight anyway.

Anything new on Jennifer?


Oh, Orin. Yup?

Hollis wants to see you. Yeah, why?

You have a theory for everything.

Did you call me? Come in.

Shut the door.

How old are you, Orin? 18, 19?

19, sir.

Well, there should be time enough to get some sense into that head of yours.

In the first place, I'm paying you a salary to work for me.

In the second, I don't like you putting your nose where it doesn't belong.

What have I done?

You've been hanging around the Gale place and upsetting Miss Langley.

I haven't been up there much.

Just every time I've been up there. That's all.

It doesn't hurt you to play games but you're causing trouble for other people.

I didn't mean to. How?

This 'Jennifer' mystery you're building up.

I didn't mean anything.

Murder, blackmail, bank-books.

Cut it out.

Yes, sir.



Hello Lorna, how are you?

"Fine .. is something wrong?"

Yes. I'm going to be brief. It's about Jennifer.

What about Jennifer?

Did you say 'Jennifer'?

Just a minute, Jim.

It's nothing mother. Nothing at all.

Jim, please. Mother's here.

You know what a problem I have with her.

I'm sorry, I can't help it.

Jim, please. The Springs' operator listens to everything.

I'll be up tomorrow.

I've got to straighten this out right now.

Jim, please. There is something I must tell you but I can't right now.

You've got to wait until tomorrow.


I'll meet you at the Inn.

Don't be late.

[ Singing: ]

"Angel-eyes tonight."

"Pardon me, but I've got to run."

"The fact is uncommonly clear."

"Got to find .."

"Who is now number one."

"And why my angel-eyes ain't here."

"Order anything you see."

"Have fun."

"You happy people."

"The drink and the laugh is on me."

"Pardon me."

"But I've got to run."

"The fact is uncommonly clear."

"I've got to find who is now number one."

"And why my angel-eyes ain't here."

"Excuse me while I disappear."

"So drink up all you people."

"Order anything you see."

"Have fun you .."

"Happy people."

"The drink and the laugh is on me."

"Pardon me, but I got to run."

"The fact is uncommonly clear."

I've had such fun this evening.

You know.

I've never really had fun like this before.

You haven't?

No, never.

You should always look the way you look tonight.

How do I look?


You know.

I really think I am.

And it's all your fault.

Do you realize that if it hadn't been for you ..

I'd have been having dinner all alone this evening.

Wandering around that big house, locking all the doors.

Probably .. just like poor Jennifer.

Did you ..

Did you like my dress?


First time I've ever worn it.

[ Door knocks ]

[ Door knocks ]


It's you.

Did I do something?


I thought it was someone else.

I'm going out. With Hollis?

I just left him at The Inn.

He was talking with Lorna Gale.

That's what I wanted to talk to you about.

About what?

Jim Hollis and Lorna Gale.

I think they are involved with Jennifer's disappearance.

You didn't tell me about this.

Where did you get it?

I found it in Hollis's desk. Didn't you give it to him?

I don't know. I don't remember.

This is why Lorna Gale is up here today.

This book is important.

I understand now why he told me not to talk to you about Jennifer anymore.

Who told you not to talk to me about Jennifer?

Hollis did. Yesterday.

He told me to keep my nose out of your affairs, or else.

Now I know why.

Are you sure it was him with Lorna Gale? Of course I'm sure.

I knew it.

They are both involved with Jennifer's disappearance.

I think you had better go now. Well ..

What are we going to do about Jennifer?

Please. Just go.




Go on! Go on, kill me.

You killed her, didn't you?

Stop it, do you hear. You murdered her. I know now.

Listen to me, will you?

You murdered her, because I found her body.

Agnes, you couldn't have found her body. She's dead, yes.

But she died in a sanatorium. She was insane.

You're lying.

Agnes, stop it .. come back.


Keep away from me. Keep away from me!

Don't you understand? I didn't murder Jennifer.

I don't believe you. I know what you are trying to do.

You're trying to make me think I'm insane.

Well, I'm not insane. I tell you I found her body.

Where did you find her body? You know where she is.

No, but you're going to show me. No, let me go!

You are going to show me. Show me!

Let me go, let me go.

Let me go. No.

You're going to show me where Jennifer is.

No .. no ..

Please .. please ..



It's only a reflection.



Don't you see?

There was no disappearance.

That was just a story the Gales made up.

Right or wrong, they couldn't face the idea of insanity in the family.

They put her in a sanatorium where she died a few days ago.

That's what Lorna came to tell me.

But the things l found?

The diary .. the bank-book?

That was her insanity.

She did all of those things, but it was all part of her imagination.

Her imagination?


Just her imagination.

I'm not like Jennifer.

No, you're not like Jennifer.

She was sick and alone.

You aren't.

Not anymore.