Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Script

[MAN WHISTLING]

[HONKING]

Best ketchup we ever made, Katie.

-Too sweet. -Mr. Smith likes it sweet.

All men like it on the sweet side. Too sweet, Mrs. Smith.

Hello.

-Too flat. -You can always put spice in...

...but you can't take it out. That came.

[HUMMING]

-Did you get everything? -Everything.

It's my Princeton catalog. I've been waiting for this.

Boy, Mama, you should've taken a swim with me.

That's all I have to do.

-Don't track up the floor, now. -I won't.

[SINGING] Oh, meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at the--

[SNEEZES]

[SINGING] Don't tell me the lights are shining Anyplace but there We will dance the hoochie-coochie I will be your tootsie-wootsie Meet me in St. Louis, Louis

[SINGING] Meet me in St. Louis, Louis

-I'll be out in a minute, Agnes. AGNES: All right, Grandpa.

[SINGING] Meet me at the fair Don't tell me the lights are shining Anyplace but there We coochie-coochie-coochie We'll be a tootsie-wootsie If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me in the fair La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

[HUMMING]

Louis

[HUMMING]

Anyplace but there

CROWD [SINGING]: Be your tootsie-wootsie If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at the fair ESTHER: That was a good ride.

MAN: So long, Esther. We'll see you later. Bye.

Certainly was hot on the tennis court.

Too hot, if you ask me. Don't forget to wash your hair.

I won't. Rose is bringing shampoo from downtown.

-Too sour? -Just what I told Katie.

[WHISPERING] Is it all right?

Please.

Would it start a minor revolution in this house if dinner was an hour early tonight?

Mr. Smith hates to eat early on a hot day.

It gives you more time to digest your food before retiring.

Besides, I'm due at my sister's house 7:00 on a family matter.

-Something wrong? -Trouble with her husband...

...him being a man.

It's all right with me. You explain it to Mr. Smith.

Oh, he won't mind, seeing as how tonight's corned-beef night.

-Is it all right, Katie? -Yes, but I had to tell your mother lies.

-They're white lies. -A lie is a lie.

Dressing it in white don't help it. Now, if it's not asking too--

Just why was I lying this time? Why must we have dinner an hour early?

-Rose is expecting-- -Don't blame your sister.

Blaming her? We're doing this for her. You know Rose's problem.

Warren's been writing to her for six months...

...without one word that smells like a proposal.

What's that got to do with having dinner an hour early?

Warren Sheffield is telephoning Rose long-distance at half past 6.

-Long-distance? -From New York City.

If the family's sitting here, she'll be loath to say...

...what she's compelled to, to get a proposal out of a man.

If he, unfortunately, is Warren Sheffield.

Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention.

Well, we can't be too particular. Although we love Rose...

...the brutal fact is that...

-...well, she isn't getting any younger. CHILDREN: Hello, Rose.

There's the poor old maid now.


Esther. Esther! He's out there.

-John Truett? -On the porch.

Now, be perfectly calm. We have the perfect right...

...to sit on our own front porch.

-Isn't it a lovely day, Esther, dear? -Heavenly, Rose. Simply heavenly.

Well. He's not very neighborly, I must say.

He's only lived here three weeks. You can't expect him to fling himself at you.

Well, that's true. Besides, meeting across the lawn for the first time would be...

...so ordinary. I don't want to be just introduced to him.

I want it to be something strange and wonderful...

...something I'll always remember.

I'll get George to bring him to Lon's going-away party.

Could you?

Rose. Esther. The water's hot.

You should wash your hair. We're eating early.

All right, Mother. Why are we eating early?

You certainly don't want the family in there while a man proposes long-distance.

Proposes? I don't see why you assume Warren's gonna propose to me.

Well, why else do you think he's calling you long-distance?

-Do you know what it costs? -I'm not even sure I'll be in.

When you get to be my age...

...you'll find out there are more important things in life than boys.

[SINGING] The moment I saw him smile I knew he was just my style My only regret Is we've never met Though I dream of him All the while But he doesn't know I exist No matter how I may persist So it's clear to see There's no hope for me No I live at 5135 Kensington Avenue And he lives at 5133

How can I ignore The boy next door?

I love him more than I can say Doesn't try to please me Doesn't even tease me And he never sees me glance his way And though I'm heart sore The boy next door Affection for me won't display I just adore him So I can't ignore him The boy next door


I just adore him So I can't ignore him The boy Next door

Too sweet?

Too sour?

-Too thick. -Oh, Grandpa!

Katie, where's my cat? Where is she?

I don't know. She got in the way, I kicked her down the cellar steps.

I could hear her spine hit on every step.

Oh! If you've killed her, I'll kill you.

I'll stab you to death in your sleep, and tie you to wild horses...

-...until you're pulled apart. -Won't that be terrible? There's your cat.

AGNES: Oh, poor Lady Babbie.

MRS. SMITH: Don't go away. We're eating early.

AGNES: Huh? I can't get hungry till it gets dark.

Dinner's at 5:30. You can eat blindfolded.

We have to be out of the dining room by 6:30.

Warren Sheffield is telephoning Rose long-distance from New York.

Rose, I wouldn't commit myself one way or another.

-After all-- -For goodness' sake.

We know very little about him. We haven't even met his folks.

It seems to me--

It seems to me that one little phone call is causing an awful lot of excitement.

Besides, you're entirely too young. I don't think your father would allow it.

If I keep lying for your daughters, I'll need more money.

Not a word of this to Papa. He plagues the girls about their beaus.

-Everybody knows but Papa? -Your papa's not supposed to know.

It's enough that we're letting him work hard to support the flock of us.

He can't have everything.

[ESTHER HUMMING]

Where's Tootie? I haven't seen her all day.

-Did Tootie come home with you? -No, Mama.

Oh, I suppose she's working on the ice wagon.

GlRL [SINGING]: Hide in the corner where you are Hide in the corner where you are

[SINGING INDISTINCTLY]

Who gets ice now, Mr. Neely?

Oh, Mr. Neely!

-Who gets ice now, Mr. Neely? -No one, Tootie.

Robin just can't seem to remember Mrs. Wilkins moved.

Now, you get out of there.

Poor Margaretha. Never seen her look so pale.

Well, sun ought to do her some good.

I expect she won't live through the night. She has four fatal diseases.

And it only takes one.

But she's gonna have a beautiful funeral in a cigar box my papa gave me...

...all wrapped in silver paper.

That's the way to go if you have to go.

Oh, she has to go.

Mr. Neely, is Robin a girl horse or a boy horse?

-Girl. -How old is she?

-Four. -She's awful big for 4. I'm 5.

-Is she strong? -Strongest ice horse in St. Louis.

Excuse me, Mr. Neely, but it's pronounced St. "Louis."

Is it, now? I've got a cousin spells it the same way, and we call him Louie.

-He's not a city, though, is he? -No.

-Is he a saint? -No.

-Then there's no comparison. -Well, anyway, she's a grand old town.

It isn't a town, Mr. Neely. It's a city. It's the only city that has a world's fair.

My favorite. Wasn't I lucky to be born in my favorite city?

[SINGING] Meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at the fair Don't tell me the lights are shining Anyplace but there We will dance the hoochie-coochie You will be my tootsie-wootsie If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at the fair Meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at the fair Don't tell me the lights are shining Anyplace but there We will dance the hoochie-coochie You will be my tootsie-wootsie If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis Meet me at--

For heaven's sake, stop that screeching.

We're sorry, Papa.

That song. The fair won't open for seven months.

That's all everybody sings about or talks about.

I wish everybody would meet at the fair and leave me alone.

Hello, dearest. Did you have a nice day?

-I lost the case. -I'm sorry. You were so sure you'd win it.

I overlooked one thing. That judge is an old thief.

If losing a case depresses you, quit practicing law...

...and go into another line of business.

That's a good idea.

Beginning tomorrow, I intend to play at first base for the Baltimore Orioles.

-Sorry if I was bombastic. -That's all right.

-You'll feel better when you have dinner. SMITH: I suppose so.

But right now I'm going to soak in that cool bathtub for one solid hour.

ESTHER: But that's impossible. Dinner's being served in five minutes.

Five minutes?

-It's only 5:25, not 6:25. -We're eating an hour earlier tonight.

The plans have changed. I'm taking a bath.

We're eating early for Katie.

Family trouble. She wants to go there when we finish.

-Her sister's fighting with her husband. -I see.

-And they'll stop if I don't bathe. -Katie's been here 10 years.

She never asks favors. We don't wanna lose her.

You can't get a maid for less than $12 a month.

Lon, count three.

One, two, three.

I don't care if we have to pay a maid $15 a month. Dinner will be at 6:30.

If Katie wants to hand in her notice, she can reach me in the bathtub!

[CLOCK CHIMES]

It's way after 6:30, and Warren hasn't called yet.

-Maybe he got himself another girl. -Quiet, you two.

I'm not the slightest bit sensitive about Warren Sheffield.

-The queen has spoken. LON: I suppose Warren's too young too.

-Everyone I introduce her to is too young. -Now, listen.

Your father will be down in a minute. If we eat quickly, we may get him out...

-...before the call comes through. -Warren's 21. I think that's a perfect age.

-Practically a child. -Your father was 20 when we married.

We gave him a bachelor dinner the night before. He almost missed the wedding.

[CRASHING]

The lord and master.

[BANGING]

Now I remember where I left my other skate.

I hope I haven't held you up.

I was just taking a little ride before dinner.

Hello, Papa. I buried Maude Rockefeller today. You missed all the fun.

Oh, I wouldn't say that. I've had a pretty full day.

Tootie, remind me to spank you right after dinner.

Okay, Papa.

Lord, we thank you for the bountiful blessings we are about to receive. Amen.

If I forget to remind Papa, you remind me.

AGNES: All right. -Katie, this is delicious.

Well, I guess this hasn't been exactly a red-letter day for any of us.

Now, suppose we all relax and enjoy a nice, leisurely meal.

Katie, I'm sorry I couldn't eat an hour early.

Don't blame me if the corned beef's an hour tougher.

You finished already, Tootie? That's the way I like to see you eat.

You'll be a big girl if--

Either I've lost some soup, or I've found a spoon.

-Oh, Katie. -Lonnie, did you have a nice day--

-Oh, no, you didn't, did you, dear? -Oh, Katie....

There's a fashion pavilion at the world's fair. Isn't that exciting?

-We have to wait six months. -Katie!

I'll die. I'll simply die!

Anybody want dessert?

-What happened to dinner? -I didn't think anyone could eat meat...

-...on a hot day like this. -I'm not hot.

I had a cool bath, which nobody can take away from me.

I have every intention of eating an enormous dinner!

Anna, I think Katie's getting a little old.

Her mental processes baffle me.

Ah, corned beef and cabbage.

I could smell that cabbage when I got off the trolley.

Cabbage has a cabbage smell.

In this house, we cut the corned beef. We don't shave it. Where's the knife?

Mrs. Smith, you said you wanted this for two meals.

Katie.

[PHONE RINGING]

I'll take it.

Hello.

What?

You'll have to speak louder, please. New York?

No, I'm not calling New York. Hello.

Hello.

-I'm taking that phone out. -Alonzo.

-Yes, Anna? -Every telephone call isn't for you.

That one wasn't.

Those operators.

Katie, take this out in the kitchen and slice it.

Rose is crying.

SMITH: What's the matter with you?

Oh, nothing, Papa. You've just ruined Rose's chance to get married, that's all.

What?

That was Warren Sheffield calling long-distance to propose.

Oh, I see.

Tootie, did you know a long-distance phone call was coming to this house?

The ice man saw a drunkard get shot. The blood spurted out 3 feet.

Answer yes or no.

-Yes, sir. -Agnes?

Yes, sir.

-Lon? -Yes, sir.

Well, that's just fine.

Anna, I'm curious.

Just when was I voted out of this family?

-Oh, Lon, really, now. -What else am I to think?

My eldest daughter is practically on her honeymoon...

...and everybody knows about it but me.

In view of the fact that this family refuses...

...to let me in on their little intrigues...

... I'll handle the telephone in my own way.

From now on, I'll take all incoming calls.

[PHONE RINGING]

SMITH: Rose, you answer that. -Thank you, Papa.

Hello.

Yes, this is Miss Rose Smith. Yes, you may put that New York call on.

Hello, Warren. Yes, I'm fine. How are you?

SHEFFIELD: Oh, I'm fine, Rose. How's St. Louis?

-What did you say? -I said, how's St. Louis?

-Oh, St. Louis is fine. -Is it hot there?

Yes, it's very hot. It's as hot as July.

-Is it hot there? -Yes, it's hot here too.

I'm calling from a booth in the Hotel Delmonico.

-Can you hear me all right? -Yes, I can hear you fine.

-What did you say, Warren? -Nothing.

I was waiting for you to talk.

Oh.

Well, did you want to discuss anything in particular?

What?

I said, was there anything special you wanted to ask me?

-I can't hear you, Rose. -That's funny. I can hear you plainly.

Isn't this great? Here I am in New York, and there you are in St. Louis...

...and it's like you're in the next room.

-What was that? -I said it's just like...

...you're in the next room!

Say, Rose, I hope you won't misunderstand what I'm going to say.

Yes?

I don't think you better mention this call to anyone.

Why not?

Because there'd be "h" to pay if my family knew I called long-distance.

-What did you say? -He said there'd be--

--"h" to pay if my family found out I called long-distance!

That's strange. My family's home, and they don't think anything of it.

Well, I better not waste any more of your time and money.

-Wait, Rose. We've still got...36 seconds. -I have an engagement.

I think I can hear Joe's voice now.

Good evening, Joe.

-I was gonna write you tonight. -You can write to me tonight if you want.

I'll write you right after I hang up.

Yes, do that little thing.

[CRUNCHING]

MRS. SMITH: Lon-- GRANDPA: I beg your pardon....

I'll bet there isn't another girl in St. Louis...

...who's had a Yale man call long-distance...

-...just to inquire about her health. GRANDPA: I should say not.

I've figured out a new move in chess.

[CHATTERING]

SMITH: I'd like a slice of corned beef. I thought you were mad at me.

I couldn't be mad at you, Mr. Smith.

ROSE: Es, he's here. -What did he say?

Nothing concrete, but his voice is wonderful.

-It would've been nice to be a brunette. -You should've been.

Nothing could've stopped us. Think how we'd look going out together.

You with your raven black hair and me with my auburn.

-Rose, I've decided something. -Hmm.

-I'm going to let John kiss me tonight. -Esther Smith!

If we're getting married, I should start it.

Nice girls don't let men kiss them until after they're engaged.

Men don't want the bloom rubbed off.

Personally, I think I have too much bloom.

Oh.

Maybe that's the trouble with me.

Oh....

[CHATTERING AND LAUGHING]

Hello....

Eve, it's been ages! And you brought your violin. How nice.

Harry, how are you? How nice of you to come.

Really, I'm so glad.

Yes, sir, Princeton's a peach of a school. A peach of a school.

-Oh, Es. -Yes, Alonzo?

-May I present our neighbor, John Truett? -I didn't quite catch the name.

-John Truett. -Welcome to our home, Mr. Truett.

Well, thank you. This is the first party I've been to since we moved to St. Louis.

-Oh, do you live here? -He lives next door.

Oh, well, that's where I've seen you.

[TRUMPET PLAYING]


[FIDDLE PLAYING]

[SINGING] Skip, skip, skip to my lou Skip, skip, skip to my lou Put on your Sunday go to meetin'

And I'll take you by the hand If you will be my dancin' partner We will dance to beat the band So join the promenade And leave the big parade And if you don't get home at all Your pa will understand LON: So choose your partner Skip to my lou Choose your partner Skip to my lou CHORUS: Skip to my lou, my darling Flies in the buttermilk Shoo, shoo, shoo CHORUS: Skip to my lou, my darling ESTHER: I'll be glad to go with you So prithee do not tarry But if I do It's up to you

-To let me dance with Harry MAN 1: Skip to my lou

-Charlie MAN 2: Skip to my lou

-Tommy MAN 3: Skip to my lou CHORUS: Skip to my lou, my darling

[WHISTLING]

Skip to my lou Corner boy, buck and wing corner girl!

Ida Boothby to the center and whirl!

Everybody dance!

-Lost my partner CHORUS: Skip to my lou

-Lost my partner -Skip CHORUS: Skip to my lou, my darling I'll find another one Prettier than you And go to another party Oh I'll fly away To a neighborin' state I don't care what my friends say We'll dance and sing Till broad daylight I won't get home till WOMEN: Wednesday MEN: Skip to my lou WOMEN: Thursday MEN: Skip to my lou WOMEN: Friday MEN: Skip to my lou CHORUS: Skip, skip, skip to my lou Skip, skip, skip to my lou Da-doo, da-doo Da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da Skip to my lou

[ALL LAUGHING]

Miss Esther. Miss Esther. There are mice in the house. Two of them.

ESTHER: Tootie and Agnes!

WOMAN 1 : Oh, aren't they cute? WOMAN 2: Oh, how cute.

-Why aren't you two asleep? -There was too much noise down here.

-I want to sing too. -One song, all right, Rose?

-Well, if they promise to go right up. -Come on. You're so bad.

-Come on, Lon. LON: Oh, there we go.

-Agnes, that's enough fudge. -Tootie sings quite well for a child.

What would you like to sing? "Baby's Boats," "A Silver Moon"...

...or "Did You Ever See a Rabbit Climb a Tree?"

No. I hate those songs. I want to sing a new one.

It goes:

I was "hmm" last night, dear Mother You can't sing that.

Do let her. She's such a sweet little thing.

Sweet? She's a hoodlum.

-Oh, come on. Let her sing. ALL: Let her sing.

Well, all right.

Go on. Go on, Tootie.

I was drunk last night, dear Mother I was drunk the night before But if you'll forgive me, Mother I'll never get drunk anymore You're a very bad girl. It's really Lon's fault. He teaches her those things.

I can do the cakewalk if Esther does it too.

-No! -Oh, come on, Esther, do it!

Oh, all right. Anything.

Now that you've insisted on doing this, you better be good.

TOOTIE: Too big. -Yes, I know. Well, here, try this one.

Now, put them on the chair.

-A verse and two choruses. -Oh, Es. Want an introduction?

Yes, the long one.

ESTHER: You're supposed to be over there.

-Oh, I want this side. -Oh, all right. Stay over there.

Now.

[SINGING] Down in the jungles lived a maid Of royal blood though dusky shade A marked impression once she made Upon a Zulu From Matabooloo And every morning he would be Down underneath the bamboo tree Awaiting there his love to see And then to her he'd sing To her he'd sing Vamp.

If you like-a me Like I like-a you And we like-a both the same I like-a say This very day I like-a change your name

'Cause I love-a you And love-a you true And if you-a love-a me One live as two Two live as one Under the bamboo tree


[CLAPPING]

-I'm gonna walk Eve home. -Thank you.

-Good night, Eve. -Good night.

-You played beautifully. -Thank you.

I can't find my hat anywhere, darn it.

-Oh, pardon the expression. -Your hat? Why....

I put it here with the others when you came in.

Oh, Es, have you seen Mr. Truett's chapeau?

It seems I saw it somewhere. I....

Oh, uh.... Excuse me just a minute.

Sorry to detain you. It was right where I left it.

Thank you.

-Good night, Miss Rose. -Good night, Mr. Truett.

-Good night, Miss Esther. -Good night.

And thank you for your neighborly hospitality.

Raisins.

-I wonder how those got there. -That's funny, isn't it?

-Bon soir, Mr. Truett. Coming up, Es? -Presently.

After all, someone has to show our guest to the door.

Remember, Es, dear, you have to get your beauty sleep.

-Well, I guess I better get going. -You haven't very far to go.

No, I haven't at that, have I?

-Well, good night. -Good night.

We'll be seeing some more of you, won't we?

You bet.

You'll join the crowd Friday to go to the fairgrounds, won't you?

If basketball practice doesn't run too late.

Yes.

-Well, good night. -Good night.

Uh. oh, uh....

That Welsh rabbit was ginger peachy.

-Good night. -Good night.

-Mr. Truett? -Yes, Miss Esther?

This is an untoward request, but...

...will you mind accompanying me...

...through the house while I turn out the lights?

-Well, I-- -It's just that I....

I'm afraid of mice.

Well, sure, sure.

That's the least a man can do for his charming hostess.

I have to turn them out everywhere.

In the dining room, and in the living room, and everywhere.

-Would you? -Sure.

No, it's here.

Well, it certainly is dark in here with the lights off.

It certainly is.

-Shall we do the dining room next? -Yes.

[HUMMING]


Say, that is nice perfume.

-Do you like it? -Uh-huh.

It's essence of violet. I save it for special occasions.

Exactly the kind my grandmother uses.


No, this one is different, you have to....

-There. -I'll turn these last two out.

Hadn't you better leave those lights on for your folks?

I'll just turn them down dim.


Gosh, Miss Esther.

I hope I'm not too presumptuous.

You don't need any beauty sleep.

What a nice compliment.

-How does it go? -How does what go?

"Over the banister leans a face...

...tenderly sweet...

...and, and...."

[SINGING] Beguiling While below her With tender grace He watches the picture, smiling A light burns dim in the hall below Nobody sees them standing Saying good night again Soft and low Halfway up to the landing Nobody, only those eyes of brown Tender and full of meaning Gaze on the Loveliest face in town Over the banister, leaning

Gosh, that's beautiful, Miss Esther.

You can drop the "Miss."

This has been a great evening. Really, it has.

-I'll never forget it, Esther. -Do you mean that?

Yes, yes, I do. And you know something else?

What?

You've got a mighty strong grip for a girl.

Good night...

...Esther.

Good night...

...neighbor.

Hey! You boys, stop that!

Leave that trolley alone!

It's gonna be the biggest fair ever. My father was talking...

...to the world's-fair commission, and they estimate it'll cost 50 million.

-That's a lot of kale. -I can hardly wait...

...to see Skinker's Swamp.

WOMAN: It must look like a fairyland! QUENTIN: Wait. It's still a little rough.

The exposition doesn't open for six months.

[BELL RINGING]

Here we go. All aboard, everybody!

MAN: Hurry it along. We haven't got all day.

Up in front, please. Move up, there's plenty of room.

Quentin, are we...?

-Are we all here? -Just too bad for those that aren't.

Time, tide and trolley wait for no man. Let her go, motorman.

[SINGING] Clang, clang, clang went the trolley Ding, ding, ding went the bell Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings As we started for Huntington Dell Chug, chug, chug went the motor Bump, bump, bump went the brake Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings As we glided for Huntington Lake The day was bright The air was sweet The smell of honeysuckle Charmed me off my feet I tried to sing But couldn't squeak In fact, I felt so good I couldn't even speak Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer Time to all disembark Time to fall went my heartstrings As we got off at Huntington Park As we got off at Huntington Park MAN: Hey! Look who's coming!

[SINGING] With my high starched collar And my high-top shoes And my hair piled high up on my head I went to lose a jolly Hour on the trolley And lost my heart instead With his light brown derby And his bright green tie He was quite the handsomest of men I started to yen So I counted to ten Then I counted to ten again

[WHISPERING INDISTINCTLY]

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley Ding, ding, ding went the bell Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings From the moment I saw him I fell Chug, chug, chug went the motor Bump, bump, bump went the brake Thump, thump, thump went my heartstrings When he smiled I could feel the car shake CHORUS: Clang, clang, clang He tipped his hat And took a seat He said he hoped he hadn't Stepped upon my feet He asked my name I held my breath I couldn't speak Because he scared me half to death MAN: Hiya, Johnny!

Chug, chug, chug went the motor Plop, plop, plop went the wheels Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings As he started to go Then I started to know How it feels When the universe reels CHORUS: The day was bright The air was sweet The smell of honeysuckle Charmed you off your feet You tried to sing But couldn't squeak In fact, you love him so You couldn't even speak Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer Plop, plop, plop went the wheels Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings As he started to leave I took hold of his sleeve With my hand And as if it were planned He stayed on with me And it was grand Just to stand With his hand holding mine To the end of the line CHORUS: Zing went my heart Heart


You be careful and don't run over Mrs. Truett's lawn. It's just been planted.

We won't. She's nice.

But wait'll you see what we do to Mr. Braukoff.

-That'll be a caution, won't it, Tootie? -We'll fix him fine.

It'll serve him right for poisoning cats.

Does he poison cats?

He buys meat, and then he buys poison, and then he puts them all together.

Then he burns the cats at midnight in his furnace. You can smell the smoke.

That's horrible. Are you sure?

Johnny Tevis smelled smoke and peeked in the window...

...and there was a box of dead cats.

And Mr. Braukoff was beating his wife with a red-hot poker.

I never would have believed it. He looks like such a quiet man.

-And you know something else? -Don't tell!

-You crossed your heart you wouldn't tell. -I crossed it with my left hand.

Mr. Braukoff has empty whiskey bottles in his cellar.

AGNES: Boo! -Boo!

Mrs. Smith, who are these boys?

It's me, Katie. It's Agnes.

The saints preserve us, it is! You had me fooled.

TOOTIE: Mama, we fooled her!

Well, if you can fool Katie, you can fool anyone.

[PHONE RINGING]

-I'll answer it, Mama. -I thought you were a drunken ghost.

Well, I am. She's a horrible ghost, and I'm a terrible drunken ghost.

She was murdered in a den of thieves, and I died of a broken heart.

I've never even been buried because everyone's scared to come near me.

MAN: Ooh....

What's that?

Here's the flour.

-Did anyone hear a moan just then? -I did.

Did it go like this:

Ooh....

AGNES: Uh-huh. -I didn't hear it.

Now, children, when people answer the doorbells...

...don't throw too much flour.

Just a small handful right in their face.

ROSE: Mama, that was Mrs. Wilkins.

Said she'll leave the hammock on the porch, and will the children return it...

-...when they're through stealing it? -Yes, and get back early or no ice cream.

-All right. AGNES: Come on, Tootie.

You couldn't catch me out on a night like this for a million dollars.

We'll show them.

If you wet the flour before you throw it...

...it makes it harder for the victim to get it off.


[CHEERING]

You, you, you, you, come here!

Take the Braukoffs!

BOY 1 : No. We ain't gonna take the Braukoffs.

What's the matter? Scared?

BOY 1 : We'll take the Mitchells. They're just as bad.

BOYS: Yeah!


Who's that?

It's me, Agnes.

-And who's that? -That's Tootie.

JOHNNY: Look at Tootie!

All right, go with them. They're taking the Braukoffs.

BOY 1 : We're taking the Mitchells! JOHNNY: All right, take the Mitchells!

But pull down their fence and kill them all!

BOY 1 : All right! -No, not you! You're too little.

You stay here, Tootie. And don't go too near the fire.

TOOTIE: Let me help! Let me help! Let me help!

-Oh, let me help! Please let me help! BOY 2: Get out of the way.

Let me help!

Johnny! Hey, Johnny! We just killed eight more people. Big ones too!

We tortured them! Burnt the soles of their feet.

-Fine! Now go get the Braukoffs. -No, we're gonna get the Ferrises.

All right then, the Ferrises. But blow down their house, roof and all!

BOY 3: Come on! TOOTIE: Can I go too?

AGNES: No, no, Tootie, you stay here. You're too little.

JOHNNY: Why don't you go home?

-Somebody's gotta take the Braukoffs! TOOTIE: I'll take them!

I'll take the Braukoffs.

-Yeah, let Tootie take them! -No! The Braukoffs have a fierce bulldog!

She'll be torn to pieces!

Yeah, you better go home. You're too small.

I am not. I won't go home. I'll take the Braukoffs.

All right. Tootie takes the Braukoffs.

Remember, if you don't hit Mr. Braukoff...

...in the face with flour and say, "I hate you"...

...the banshees will haunt you forever! Give her some flour.

No, I got my own flour.


[CHILDREN CHEERING]

[WIND HOWLING]

[NEIGHING]


[DOORBELL RINGS]

Well?

I-- I hate you, Mr. Braukoff.

Boo!

[SCREAMS]


AGNES: Tootie!

-What have you been doing? -She took the Braukoffs.

-All alone? -What's the matter, Tootie?

-Did the bulldog try to bite you? -Did Mr. Braukoff chase you?

-Tootie, can't you talk? -I killed him!

She killed him all alone.

Hey, wait a minute! Listen!

Listen! Quiet! Quiet!

Tootie killed the Braukoffs single-handed. She's the bravest of them all!

BOY: Yeah! Tootie's the most horrible!

ALL: Yeah!

Tootie Smith, you're free. Your banshee is dead.

-Here, throw that on the fire. -I'm the most horrible!

I'm the most horrible!

[SHOUTING]

Thank you for dropping me off, Colonel Darly.

It was my pleasure, Miss Smith.

The ice cream would have melted if it weren't for your thoughtfulness.

Glad to be of service. Good night.

Would you like to come in?

There's plenty of ice cream, and my folks would love to meet you.

Thank you, but some other time perhaps.

Oh, give my regards to Tootie.

Thank you. She's such a chère enfant.

Yes. Yes, she certainly is. Good evening.

-Rose! Him! -Oh, Es, he's simply enchanting.

-And so mature. -How'd it happen? Where did you meet?

I was coming out of Huntsinger's, he was coming in.

-I bumped into him. -Accidentally?

Almost.

Rose, that's the most exciting--

[TOOTIE SCREAMING]

-Tootie. -Where is she?

I thought I heard the trolley when....

Tootie.

-Rose, did you hear a scream? -Yes, it's Tootie.

-I heard Tootie. Where is she? ROSE: Down by the trolley.

GRANDPA: Something's happened!

MRS. SMITH: Oh, my Tootie.

-Oh, my goodness! KATIE: Oh, here!

-My, darling. Don't cry, honey. GRANDPA: Somebody call the doctor.

If you can't get Dr. Girard, get Dr. Brown.

-Katie, get some hot water. KATIE: Yes, yes, right away.

GRANDPA: It's all right now. MRS. SMITH: Honey. You'll be all right.

-He tried to kill me. -Mama, I think it's her lip.

Let me see, honey. Now, Mother won't hurt her baby. Let me see, dear.

-She lost a tooth. GRANDPA: The doctor must be walking.

ROSE: Shall I call Papa at the office? -Good heavens, no. What could he do?

-There, there, darling. -He tried to kill me.

Now, tell Mama, what happened?

-I think a streetcar hit her. -It must have tossed her onto the cinders.

No, it wasn't the streetcar. It was John Truett.

He tried to kill me.

-John Truett? -John Truett hit you?

He tried to kill me, and when I screamed, he ran away.

[PHONE RINGING]

Tootie Smith, that's a monstrous falsehood.

John Truett wouldn't hit a girl, least of all my sister.

[TOOTIE WHIMPERING AND CRYING]

GRANDPA: Let me have your coat, doctor.

Well, Tootie, what is it this time?

MRS. SMITH: John Truett hit her, Dr. Girard.

Well, let's have a look here, huh?

He hit her, all right. Someone did.

I'm afraid I'll have to take a couple of stitches.

Well, no bones broken, though.

What's that in your hand?

-Come on, Tootie, let the doctor see it. -Let's see. What is it? Come on, what--?

It-- It's hair, and I don't think it's Tootie's.

I had to do it. He tried to kill me.

She must have had quite a struggle fighting him off.

Most of it still has the roots on them.

Let's see, now.

We'd better take her upstairs to bed. Can you help me? There we are.

TRUETT: Hello, Esther. -John Truett?

-Yes? -I've come here to ask you something.

TRUETT: Really? -Yes.

What do you mean hitting a 5-year-old child?

Esther.

The next time you want to hit somebody, pick on somebody your own size.

TRUETT: Hey, Esther...!

If there's anything I hate, loathe, despise and abominate, it's a bully!

-I want to sleep right here. -Of course you may, dear.

-I want to wear Esther's nightgown. -I'll get it for you right now.

I hate to think what your father will say about this.

He may strike that Truett boy.

-I'll do that, Mama. -I'll get you some ice cream and cake.

Feed a cold, starve a fever.

[SINGING] I was drunk last night, dear Mother I was drunk the night before But if you'll forgive me, Mother I'll never get drunk anymore I got him. He didn't even have a chance to scratch me.

Your dress is torn.

Must have happened while he was trying to hold me off.

-I bit him. TOOTIE: I bit him too.

Tootie, I saw the whole thing!

-You should've run when I did. -What happened?

When I got loose from John, I ran back.

There was a policeman and a big crowd, and he was mad.

-Everyone in the trolley was mad. -Mad about what?

-Did it go off the track? -No.

But the cable came off when the motorman put on the brakes.

-What have you two been up to? -Nothing. It was that dress we found.

-We stuffed it. -It looked just like a body. A live body.

AGNES: We put it on the track. We thought the streetcar would go off.

You're nothing less than a murderer. You might have killed dozens of people.

Rose, you're so stuck-up.

Tootie, how did you get that lip?

Agnes and I put the lady on the track.

And when John Truett saw the streetcar...

...he tried to make us stay in the woodshed...

...so the policemen wouldn't get us.

As though policemen ever pay attention to girls.

Get out of that bed and take my nightgown off.

Let her alone. After all, she was good about her lip and didn't cry.

You're not my sister.

You're the most deceitful, horrible, sinful little creature I ever saw.

-I don't want anything to do with you. -Were those people very mad?

They were furious! The motorman nearly had a fit!

You shouldn't laugh. There's nothing to laugh at.

[LAUGHING]

That's terrible!

Merciful heavens. John....

John.

-John, I've come to ask you something. -Oh.

I just found out that--

-Did I do that? -Uh-huh.

And this. And this.

And this.

Oh, John, I....

-I'm terribly sorry if I hurt you. -It's no worse than football practice...

...except it's better with a girl.

[CHUCKLING]

How's Tootie?

Oh, Tootie....

-She'll live. -I heard her crying.

I guess. So did everybody in St. Louis.

John, it's awfully nice of you to accept my apology.

If you're not busy tomorrow night, could you beat me up again?

[CHUCKLING]

TRUETT: Huh?

Well...

... I guess I'd better be getting home.

-It's getting late. -Yeah, yeah, right. I guess so.

Well...

-...good night. -Good night.

Esther? Uh....

Would you mind helping me turn off the lights?

I'm afraid of mice.

[CHUCKLING]

All the lights are out.

Wouldn't take a minute to turn them on.

Well, wouldn't that be kind of wasting a minute?

Yeah. Yeah, I guess it would.

You know...

...you've got a mighty strong grip...

...for a boy.

Here comes the invalid.

I have to have two kinds of ice cream. I'm recuperating.

If I ever catch you fibbing again like you did...

... I'll give you something to recuperate about.

[DOOR CLOSES]

Esther, your ice cream is melting.

Isn't it?

Esther, is there anything wrong with you?

Yes, Mama.

Roses are red, John's name is Truett Esther's in love and we always knew it I refuse to stay while my sister's humiliated by these ghastly children.

They're your sisters too.

Stop it, you two, or up you go.

"Truett." "Knew it." That's pretty good.

I can't think of any word that rhymes with "colonel."

Unless it's "infernal."

It's very difficult for a person to have any private life in this family.

Well, another Halloween. We're all a year older.

SMITH: Is this the Smith family home? -Hello, Papa.

We stopped a trolley, I lost my tooth. I got two stitches, and I didn't cry once.

-What's this, Anna? -She fell and cut her lip. She's fine.

That's a brave little girl.

Anna?

-Sweets to the sweet. -Louis Sherry!

Why, Lonnie, what a lovely box--

Is anything wrong?

Just because I bring you a present, you think I've been up to something.

Well, I have. I have good news. Don't fly up in the air.

I'm as cool as a cucumber. You're shaking like I don't know what.

I was going to tell you before, but I wanted to wait until it was definite.

The firm is sending me to New York.

Is that all? Well, we can live without you for a while.

They'll be safe with me. I've got 12 guns in my room.

-You'll be back by Thanksgiving. -You don't understand.

They're sending me to New York for good.

To be head of the New York office.

-New York! -What?

New York?

I don't believe it.

I simply don't believe it.

It's true.

I start the first of the year. We'll leave after Christmas.

I thought we'd like to have Christmas in St. Louis.

I think I'll go pack.

It will take a week to dig up all my dolls from the cemetery.

MRS. SMITH: Come back. There'll be no packing as yet.

There are many things to talk over and you two are being very cool about it.

Why, Anna.

I thought you'd be overjoyed.

New York is a big city.

Not that St. Louis isn't big...

...but it just doesn't seem very big out here where we live.

And what will the children do?

The same as they do here...

...go to school, play, have their friends over.

What friends?

-Yes. What friends? SMITH: The friends they'll meet in school.

I don't go to school.

You will someday, if they'll take you in.

Agnes just ready to be promoted and Esther going to be a senior.

-I've worked all my life to be a senior. -And Rose is to be graduated.

Graduation is the least. All the people I care about are in St. Louis.

And what about me and my life?

You can take that with you.

It's settled. We're moving to New York.

You're being very calm about the way you pack us off.

I've got the future to think about. The future for us all.

I've got to worry about money, with Lon in Princeton and Rose going to college.

Maybe Rose won't have to go. Things are happening.

Tonight she met Colonel Darly, and he was very smitten with her.

I'm sure he was, but next year she'll still want to go to college.

I hate, loathe, despise and abominate money.

-You also spend it. -And what about Katie...

...and Grandpa and the chickens?

A minor detail we can discuss later.

I'm a minor detail, am I?

You all know I was talking about the chickens.

Of course. Never mind what happens to your family.

At a time like this, talk about the chickens.

Now, I guess you're all a little excited.

We'll talk this over calmly tomorrow.

Well, hickory nut cake as only Katie can make it.

I can't move to New York. I just can't.

I'm taking my cat. Lady Babbie goes wherever I go.

Where you gonna keep her? Cooped up in a tenement?

Don't they have houses in New York?

Rich people have houses. People like us live in flats.

I'd rather be poor if we could stay here.

I'd rather go with the "orphalins" at the orphalins home.

And what about the world's fair?

Just when St. Louis was going to be the center of attraction of the universe.

We'll come back here to see the fair. Maybe.

-Katie, it's as light as a feather. -You can bake anything in that stove.

They have little box stoves in tenements.

-Anna, how's this? -Oh, it's too much, Lonnie.

This is your favorite too, Rose.

No, thank you, Papa. I'll have some later before bed.

-Esther? -No, Papa. I had too much ice cream.

Grandpa, I guess you can handle this, huh?

Thanks.

I suppose you two are going to fight over the candy flower.

-You can have the candy flower, Tootie. -No, thank you just the same.

I'm starting a tunnel tomorrow from our garden under the streetcar tracks...

...and into Mrs. Middleton's terrace.

Then while she's walking around her lawn someday, I'll grab her by the leg.

-It'll take months. -And I'm not going till I'm finished.

Don't use that impudent tone to your father.

She's just stating a fact.

Excuse me.

-How about a game of cribbage? -Not tonight, Lonnie.

I've got some things to do.

Excuse me.

Aren't you afraid to stay here alone with a criminal?

Well, that's what I'm being treated like.

I'm trying to earn more money to give my grateful family everything they deserve.

That's worse than murder.

I'm wrecking everybody's life.

Now, Lonnie, it's not as bad as that.

If you think it's best for us to go away, why, that's what we'll do.

Now, eat your cake, dear.


It's good to hear you play, Anna. It's been a long time.

Whatever made you think of that?

[SINGING] You and I

[CLEARS THROAT]

Through the years Of dark and fair weather I'll put it down in your key.

You and I Together forever You and I

Through the years Of dark and fair weather You and I

"From my heart...."

From my heart A song of love Beseeching Just for you My longing arms Are reaching Time goes by But we'll be together You and I

From my heart A song of love Beseeching Just for you My longing arms Are reaching Time goes by But we'll be together You and I

[BELLS JANGLING]

[GIRLS LAUGHING]

LON: Well, what's so funny?

This one's named Lucille Ballard.

Oh, it is, is it?

-I suppose that was your idea. -Lon, don't get so touchy just because...

...Lucille doesn't think you're good enough to take her to the dance.

A girl has got a right to go with anyone she wants.

-I just didn't ask her soon enough. -Everyone knows she's an Eastern snob.

Keep Miss Ballard's name out of this.

Just because you had a few dates with her...

-...don't lose your sense of proportion. -Look who's talking.

You're sulking because Warren Sheffield didn't ask you.

That's not true. Rose turned down scads of dates.

She could have had any man she wanted.

Except Warren Sheffield.

Lucille Ballard's just throwing herself at Warren because of his father's money.

This is what I call real Christmas spirit.

You two have spent this entire vacation at each other's throats.

Katie.

Alonzo Smith, did it occur to you you might take your sister to the dance?

-What? -Is there anything wrong with that?

-And be the laughingstock of St. Louis? -Oh, thank you.

Katie's right. That solves all of our problems.

-And it's so full of the spirit of Christmas. -Leave Christmas out of this.

It's our last Christmas dance in St. Louis.

-It'd be tragic if either of you missed it. -You can talk. You have a date.

-A real one. -If I didn't have a date with John Truett...

...which I have...

... I'd be thrilled to go with my brother.

-Then that settles it. -Wait! What's she got to do with this?

Well...

...if you two won't go with each other, I won't go either.

You ought to be ashamed, wrecking your poor sister's evening.

Rose? I'd be willing...

... I mean, glad to....

-You would, Lon? -I was going to ask you anyhow, but I--

You two will have the best time of anybody.

You won't have to be polite to each other.

It'll be all right.

Now, take a deep breath.

Oh, come on.

[GROANING]

That was all right, wasn't it? It didn't hurt.

Es, it does wonders for your figure.

I'm like the ossified woman in a sideshow.

You look grand, simply elegant.

I feel elegant, but I can't breathe.

No, please....

I think if I just can sit down for a minute.

Oh....

-I can't go through with it. -You've got to start sometime.

-But-- -I went through this last year.

And if we ever needed every ounce of allure, it's tonight.

If we're going to wreck Lucille Ballard's evening, we've got to be a sensation.

Don't you think I could be a sensation without the corset?

You're competing with an Eastern girl.

I'll wager she doesn't move without a corset.

Well, I certainly don't relish wearing this thing...

...but pride has come to the rescue. For tonight, I'll do anything.

It'll be worth it. If we create a breathtaking effect...

...it'll be simple to monopolize all the worthwhile men.

Exactly.

There are only going to be about 20 boys worth looking at.

We can certainly handle 20 men.

I should hope.

-Can you handle 1 0? -Well, seven or eight.

If you guarantee eight, I can ha--

I can handle the rest of them.

-What about John Truett? -I'll devote myself to John...

...but in between, I'll make my presence felt amongst the others.

Es? Someone to see you at the back door.

-Who? -Someone that looks like John Truett.

Oh.

-What did you get me for Christmas? -You'll find out tomorrow.

I hope it's a hunting knife.

-Hello, John. Come in. -Hello.

Es, I've got some bad news.

-Your aunt in the hospital? -No, no. My tuxedo in the tailor's.

-Well, what about it? -I was playing basketball...

...and when I got there, it was closed. The tuxedo.

I mean the tailor's.

Well, can't you borrow one?

Everybody who has one is going to the ball.

Well, what about your father's?

That was my father's.

Well, find the tailor and make him open the shop.

I know his name is Jones, but I don't know where he lives.

-Oh, this is ghastly. -I'm sorry, Es.

I wouldn't blame you if you never spoke to me again.

Oh, well, you didn't do it on purpose.

Well, I guess there's nothing else to say.

Unless you want to do something else tonight.

No, thank you. I think I'll stay home and do some packing.

You know, we're leaving St. Louis in a few days.

TRUETT: I know.

And this is a fine going-away present I'm giving you for Christmas.

-I'll bet you really hate me. -Oh, no, John, I don't hate you.

I just hate basketball.

Es, darling, what is it? What's the matter?

Nothing. I just wish I were dead, that's all.

Did something happen with John?

-He can't take me to the dance. -Why not?

His father's suit's locked up in the tailor's.

Oh, that's awful, you poor dear, but don't worry.

Lon will take the both of us.

You don't think I'm going to the smartest ball of the season...

...with my brother, do you?

Well, I like that. You wanted me to go with him.

Well, that was different.

-You didn't have a date. -Neither have you.

Well, I had one.

If Lon's good enough to take me he's good enough for you.

Besides, you have to go.

I can't handle 20 men alone. I admit it.

One sister going with her brother has been done...

...but two sisters makes the whole family look ridiculous. I won't do it!

We'll see what Mama has to say about that.

[KNOCKING]

ESTHER: Come in.

You know, the man that built this house cheated your father.

The walls are as thin as paper.

-Oh, Grandpa. -Now, now, now, now.

You know, with your hair like this...

...you're the very image of your grandma.

I remember the first dance I took her to.

Her father told her she'd have to be home at 10:00.

And she was crying, just like you are now.

I'm sorry. I--

Oh, you must think I'm an awful baby.

Now, now, now. You go right ahead.

It isn't often a pretty girl has a real legitimate reason to cry.

A funny thing.

I took my tuxedo out of mothballs yesterday.

Looks pretty good too.

You know, suits are like men.

They like to step out once in a while...

...with a pretty dress.

That suit of mine does the greatest one-step you ever saw.

Grandpa, are you actually...?

What's this about your not going to the dance?

Who says I'm not going?

Of course I'm going...

...with the handsomest man in town.

I'll pick you up at 8.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[CHATTERING]

[MUSIC STOPS]

-Have you got her dance card filled out? -Practically.

"Clinton Badger, Hugo Boorvis, Sidney Gorcey--"

Oh, Es, you fiend.

Everyone's a perfect horror!

She'll remember St. Louis.

Oh, look. There's Warren.

-That must be her. -Come on.

No. You go on. I have one more name to put in. Go on.

GRANDPA: Did he go to Chicago and see the man? He started.

He was going to see him. What happened--

-Hello, Lon. -Good evening, Lucille.

-How are you, Warren? -Hello, old man. Good evening, sir.

-May I present my grandfather? -Grandpa Prophater.

-You're one of my favorite people. -Thank you.

Lon has spent hours talking about you.

I can understand any young man wanting to spend hours talking to you.

-On any subject. -Oh.

ROSE: Good evening. -Hello.

-Miss Ballard, may I present Miss Smith? -Oh, I'm so glad to know you.

-Is this Esther or Rose? -Esther will be along in a few minutes.

Then this must be Rose.

[LAUGHING]

Now, look. I'm gonna take my life into my hands and say something.

That is if I can say it before Warren tries to strangle me.

SHEFFIELD: Hmm.

We're all grown up, and if we'd only act that way...

...Warren would be here with Rose...

...instead of spending the evening talking about you--

-Lucille! -Well, you're not going to deny it?

No. No, I'm not.

Of course, that leaves Lon and me without partners.

But otherwise it's a lovely arrangement.

I think we can work out that problem if we give it a little thought.

Well, we've got the whole evening to think about it.

-Hello. How are you, Warren? -Just fine, Esther.

Miss Ballard, this is Esther Smith. Esther, Lucille Ballard.

-I've been anxious to meet you. -Esther, we've been talking.

Yes. I wish I'd been here.

I hope you don't mind...

...but we've taken the liberty of filling out your dance card.

Thank you. How considerate.

I'm so thrilled about you coming to New York.

Promise to let me give you your first party. You will, won't you?

Esther, the plans have been changed.

Lucille suggested Lon and she pair off tonight...

...and Warren and me.

The plans have been changed.

Oh.

What's this about Miss Ballard's dance card?

I must have mislaid it. I better go and find it, though.

Try looking in your hand.

"Clinton Badger"?

"Hugo Boorvis"?

"Sidney Gorcey"?

[MUSIC PLAYING]

-How about a dance? -Well, if you're on my card.

May I have my card, please?

Is this Miss Ballard's card?

Well, let me see.

Oh, no. I made a mistake and put your name on my card. That's yours.

-Thank you. -This is mine.

Why, Lon, you're down for the first dance.

-Hello. CLINTON: Hey, Miss Esther!

Where's this Lulu Ballard you put me down for? I'm ready and willing.

Oh, well, Clinton, there's been a mistake.

-I'm taking her dances, if you don't mind. -Mind? I should say not!


Pardon me, young man, but in the great country of China...

...when a stranger admires one of your possessions...

-...it's courtesy to offer it to him. -Interesting.

Yes. Well, I spent many years in China.

If you want to make me feel at home, you might offer me your partner.

-Huh? -Spoken like a gentleman.

Oh, Grandpa, you're the first human being...

... I've danced with all evening.

Esther, I wouldn't want this rumored about...

...but I'm pretty proud of you.

It's our last dance in St. Louis.

I feel like I'm gonna cry.


I wouldn't have said it, Esther, if I thought it would make you cry.

ESTHER: I've imagined you saying it thousands of times.

And I always planned exactly how I'd act.

I never planned to cry.

-Well, at least you didn't laugh. -Laugh?

I never asked a girl to marry me before.

-I guess maybe I was kind of-- -Oh, John.

No one could have done it more beautifully.

I'm very proud.

Esther, will you?

-Will you, Esther? -Of course I will, John.

TRUETT: Well--

Gosh, the time we've wasted.

Say, do you realize I might have lost you?

Three more days, you'd have been gone.

Let's not even think about it.

We might never have seen each other again.

I kept telling myself even if I did go away...

...we'd find some way to be together.

But I never really believed it.

When you go to New York, it'll be with your husband.

Your folks can show us the town. Meet us at the station.

-Let's go and tell them now. -Oh, no. Not tonight.

I mean...

... I'd rather just the two of us knew about it tonight.

Esther, you're not changing your....

You do feel it's the right thing, don't you?

Oh, yes. Yes.

I don't have to be an engineer. College takes too long anyway.

I can get a job right away and support you in style.

Of course you can, darling.

We're not gonna let them talk us out of it.

After all, we are of age.

Practically.

John.

Even if I did go to New York...

...we could still work something out somehow.

Couldn't we?

Do you think so?

[CHURCH BELL RINGING]

Merry Christmas, John.

Merry Christmas, Esther.

[MUSIC BOX PLAYING]

Tootie, you bad girl. You should be asleep.

Did he come yet?

I've been waiting such a long time, and I haven't seen a thing.

-Did who come? -Santa Claus.

He's not going to come until you're asleep.

How will he know how to find us next year?

He's so used to coming here.

Oh, you can't fool him.

He can find anybody he wants to find.

If Santa Claus brings me any toys, I'm taking them with me.

I'm taking all my dolls. The dead ones too.

-I'm taking everything. -Of course you are.

I'll help you pack them myself.

You don't have to leave anything behind...

...except your snow people, of course.

[LAUGHING]

We'd look pretty silly trying to get them on the train, wouldn't we?

[MUSIC PLAYS]

[SINGING] Have yourself a merry little Christmas Let your heart be light Next year all our troubles Will be out of sight Have yourself a merry little Christmas Make the yuletide gay Next year all our troubles Will be miles away Once again As in olden days Happy golden days of yore Faithful friends who are dear to us Will be near to us Once more Someday soon We all will be together If the Fates allow Until then We'll have to muddle through Somehow So have yourself A merry little Christmas Now

Tootie?

Tootie.

-What's wrong with Tootie? -I don't know, Papa.

[CRYING]

ESTHER: Tootie!

Tootie, where are you?

Tootie!

What are you doing? Come in the house. You'll catch pneumonia.

TOOTIE: Nobody's gonna have them if we're going to New York.

I'd rather kill them if we can't take them with us.

Tootie, darling, don't cry.

It's all right. Don't cry.

-You can build snow people in New York. TOOTIE: No, you can't.

You can't do anything like you do in St. Louis.

Oh, no, darling, you're wrong.

No, no, New York is a wonderful town.

Look, everybody dreams about going there.

But we're luckier than lots of families because we're really going.

Wait'll you see the fine home we're gonna have...

...and the loads and loads of friends we'll make.

Wonderful friends.

But the main thing, Tootie, is, we're all going to be together...

...just like we've always been.

That's what really counts.

We could be happy anywhere as long as we're together.

[TOOTIE SOBBING]


-What's the matter, Papa? SMITH: Huh?

Nothing, dear.

Nothing.

Everything's fine.


ESTHER: Come on, darling. That's a girl.

Come on, darling. That's a girl.

Santa Claus is gonna be here any minute.

Don't cry.


Anna! Anna!

Anna! Anna! Rose!

Grandpa! Esther!

MRS. SMITH: Lonnie, what is it? GRANDPA: What is it, Anna? I'm coming.

-What's the matter? -What is it, Lon?

SMITH: Go and sit down. GRANDPA: What's happened?

Sit down, everybody. Over there.

ROSE: Papa, what is it? -All of you.

I've got a few words to say.

We're not moving to New York. I don't want to hear a word about it.

We're going to stay right here.

-We're going to stay here till we rot. -We haven't rotted yet.

But what will you say to Mr. Fenton?

That I've changed my mind.

I'm a junior partner of Fenton, Rayburn and Company, not a puppet.

And if they don't like it, well, that's just too bad.

They'll have to like it.

But Lonnie, you did think it was a fine opportunity, didn't you?

New York hasn't got a copyright on opportunity.

St. Louis is headed for a boom that'll make your head swim.

This is a great town.

You don't appreciate it because it's right here under your noses.

The grass is always greener in somebody else's yard.

[DOORBELL RINGS]

Rose Smith, we can't go on like this any longer!

We're going to get married at the earliest opportunity.

And I don't want to hear any arguments!

That's final.

I love you! Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Anna, who is that boy?

Now, Lonnie. He's a very fine young man.

-We'll discuss it later. -He's so excited...

...he's liable to leave on his honeymoon without Rose.

You handled the whole thing magnificently. He's putty in your hands.

Rose, I hope you'll be very happy.

-I'd like to meet that boy sometime. -Oh, Papa.

Mama, Rose is gonna get married. Maybe she ought to open her presents now.

You little faker, it's your presents you're after.

Good heavens. We've completely forgotten. It's Christmas.

ALL: Merry Christmas.

AGNES: Merry Christmas, Mama. MRS. SMITH: Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Rose.

Oh, Papa, you've given us the nicest Christmas present anybody could ask for.

Merry Christmas.

-Merry Christmas, Papa. LON: Don't crowd, now.

I hope you like that, it's the same as mine.

LON: Gee, thanks. ESTHER: This is for you, Rose.

ROSE: Oh, thank you.

GRANDPA: This couldn't be a tie. AGNES: Yes. I wrapped it.

GRANDPA: Really? ROSE: This is for Agnes.

AGNES: Thank you. GRANDPA: This tie is so light...

-... I'll have to wear a muffler. AGNES: A hatpin! Just what I needed!

-Oh, Lonnie. -Oh, Rose, thank you. I love it.


-Oh, look at Tootie. -Oh, here's Warren!

-Oh, Warren. AGNES: How are you?

[CHATTERING]

We're gonna beat you.

ROSE: Bye. See you later. -Bye.

Perfectly beautiful day.

-Grandpa, it'll be perfect. SMITH: Come on. Here's the cab.

TOOTIE: Mommy's here.

AGNES: Oh, Mommy, you're beautiful!

[CHATTERING]

SMITH: Get in. -I want to sit with the driver.

All right, Tootie. Up we go.

-There we are. SMITH: All right.

-Sit over there. Make room for Grandpa. GRANDPA: There's room enough here.

-All ready. -Where to, Mr. Smith?

-You tell him, Tootie. -To the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Right you are.


Mama, you should have seen what we saw.

-Daddy, you never saw anything like it. -Stop eating that spun sugar.

-You'll spoil your dinner. -Papa, we saw the Galveston Flood.

Big waves came up and flooded the whole city.

When the water went back, it was muddy and horrible.

-Full of dead bodies. -Oh, Tootie.

Oh, isn't it breathtaking, John.

I never dreamed anything could be so beautiful.

I liked it better when it was a swamp and there was just the two of us.

[ESTHER CHUCKLING]

SMITH: Esther! John! -Oh.

I forgot about it too.

SMITH: Hurry up, you two. We're starving.

ESTHER: I'm so sorry. We didn't mean to keep you.

-We're all here. -Where is the French restaurant?

-It's over there. -No, it's across from Machinery Hall.

Now, now, let's not lose our heads! I know exactly where it is.

Just follow me.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

-Oh, look. The lights! MRS. SMITH: Oh, how beautiful!

There's never been anything like it in the whole world.

We don't have to come here on a train or stay in a hotel.

It's right in our own hometown.

Grandpa, they'll never tear it down, will they?

Well, they'd better not.

I can't believe it.

Right here where we live.

Right here in St. Louis.

[English - US - SDH]