Metropolitan (1990) Script

You mustn't listen to what your younger brother says.

I can't think of anyone less an authority on female anatomy.

He can see. It's enormous.

No, it isn't. It's hideous.

Why don't you show me that dress again?

It is a bit full here. Let me have it.

Thanks, Mom.


Taxi.! Taxi. Taxi.!

Is this your cab? It's not my cab.

Is this your cab? Really, it's not my cab.

We'll share it. But I don't want it.

No, we'll share it. I insist. That way there'll be no ill feelings.

Are you going to Sally's too? No.

Well, that settles it. Come with us. That way we'll all be going the same direction.

You should come, otherwise we're all gonna freeze out here.

Come on.!

Hi. I'm Nick. Hi, Nick. I'm Tom.

Nice to meet you. I'm Jane. This is Audrey.

Hi,Jane. You are going to Sally's, aren't you?

Of course there's a God. We all basically know there is.

I know no such thing. Of course you do.

When you think to yourself-And most of our waking life is taken up thinking to ourself- you must have that feeling that your thoughts aren't entirely wasted... that, in some sense, they are being heard.

Hey, I think it's this sensation of silently being listened to... with total comprehension...

Hi, Sally. You got here so fast.

Hello! that represents our innate belief in a supreme being.

Nice to meet you. We stole his cab.

What's his name again? Tom Townsend.

No, I think it was something else.

No, it's Tom Townsend, I'm sure.

He looks familiar.

He's the guy that was sitting at the table behind ours without talking to anyone all evening.

Then, outside, he got the cab that we were trying to flag down.

But he insisted that we take it, so Nick insisted that he come along too... so that there should be no ill feeling.

What it shows is that a kind of belief is innate in all of us.

At some point most of us lose that... after which it can only be regained by a conscious act of faith.

You've experienced that?

Uh, no, I haven't.

I- I hope to someday.

Actually, it wasn't my cab. I was just there waiting for the light to change when it pulled up.

I never take cabs. You never take cabs?

No, I either walk or take public transportation.

Why? A lot of reasons.

So you're one of those public transportation snobs.

You look down on people who take taxis. No, not at all.

That's how New York's seen, at least in the popular imagination.

I don't think that there is a popular imagination.

What do you mean? Just that.

I don't think that there is a popular imagination.

Pomfret. Where did you go? Farmington.

Both of us did.

Did you know Serena Slocum there?

The inevitable question. What?

All the guys ask that. Serena had an incredible number of boyfriends. At least 20.

She could manage it because they were all at different schools... and she wrote letters incredibly quickly.

Three in a single study hall. She became really famous.

It's incredible how naive some guys are. How do you know Serena?

Actually, that might give someone the wrong impression.

She wrote a lot of guys, but I'm sure she liked some a lot more than others.

Oh, you think so? I never noticed that. How do you know Serena?

I was one of her boyfriends.

Oh. You must be Pomfret.

Your letters were really good. Yes.

What do you mean? They were interesting.

Serena let you read my letters?

No. She read them aloud.

I can't believe it.

She only read us the ones that she thought were really good.

Or really bad. But yours were really good.

There was no suggestion of ridicule, if that's what's worrying you. At least not that I can recall.

I remember a long letter you wrote Serena about agrarian socialism.

I think it was one of the first things to set Alice Dreyer off about Marxism.

Since then she's joined the Red Underground Army.

If she blows herself up, it'll be your fault.

It's actually surprising to see you at something like this.

In your letters, you expressed a vehement opposition to deb parties... and to conventional society in general.

I take it you've changed your mind. No.

I'm just as much opposed to them as ever. Then what made you decide to come tonight?

He got an invitation.

He's right. I got an invitation and didn't particularly have anything else to do.

I think that's the case with almost everybody.

No. Nick goes whether he's invited or not.

Unlike Tom, I'm in favor of these kind of parties, and I wanna show that support however I can.

It's a bit ridiculous for someone to say they're morally opposed to deb parties... and then attend them anyways.

It's - It's untenable.

Everyone does. But that's no contradiction.

I wasn't trying to.

I think it's justifiable to go once, to know firsthand what it is you oppose.

I'd read Veblen, but it was amazing to see that these things still go on.

You're a Marxist? No, I'm a committed socialist, not a Marxist.

I favor the socialist model developed by the 19th-century French social critic Fourier.

You're a Fourierist?


Fourierism was tried in the 19th century and failed.

I mean, wasn't Brook Farm Fourierist?

It failed. That's debatable.

Whether Brook Farm failed? That it ceased to exist, I'll grant you.

But whether it was really a failure I don't think can be definitively said.

Well -Well, for me, ceasing to exist is failure.

I mean, that's - that's pretty definitive.

Well, everyone ceases to exist. That doesn't mean everyone's a failure.

You really feel that way? I really do.

Really? Really!

Tom Townsend.

Tom Townsend.

It's a fine name.

What about Tommy? Tommy Townsend?

It's sounds more U.C.

Really? What's that?

Well, we come here all the time, thus the S.F.R.P. -

Sally Fowler Rat Pack. Oh.

Mine and Charlie's are too.

But that's the ex - exception though.

I mean, divorce is actually comparatively rare among standard New York social types... contrary to what people might think.

Well, usually there's something wrong though.

Dead fathers are a common problem.

Jane's father's dead. Very suddenly, last year.

Must have been awful for her. Yes.

It was tough on him too.

That's different though. That doesn't mean a broken home.

Well, it still means having your mother go out on dates.

My point was that the common image of divorce and decadent behavior... being prevalent among New York social types... is not really accurate.

That's more Southampton.

Okay, Cynthia, let's cha-cha-cha.

It's completely ridiculous.

Oh, now, the cha-cha is no more ridiculous than life itself.

I don't know how to do it. You must have learned it in dancing school.

Cynthia was a dancing school dropout. I've got it.

? Cha-cha-cha?

Ah, the cha-cha.

I don't think it's possible to forget the cha-cha. I think you're blocking it out.

♪ Cha-cha, cha-cha-cha Cha-cha, cha-cha-cha ♪

♪ Cha-cha, cha-cha-cha ♪

♪ Cha-cha, cha-cha-cha Cha-cha, cha-cha-cha ♪ Tom! Audrey! ♪ Cha-cha-cha ♪ Tom! Audrey! ♪ Cha-cha-cha ♪ I love this.

♪ Cha-cha-cha♪ Oh! ♪ Cha-cha-cha ♪ Bob! ♪ Cha-cha-cha ♪♪ Bob!

Hi. Hi.

What are you doing here in the dark? I was just getting a glass of water.


It's gone awfully late. Yes.

What time do after-parties end?

There's no set time.

They usually end whenever people go... or whenever the parents get up.

Although the last time I was here, over Thanksgiving...

Sally's parents asked us to stay for breakfast.

That's amazing.

No one stayed except Nick. Really?

He likes everyone's parents.

I don't think I've ever met anyone's parents, except Serena's.

I once had quite a long talk with her father.

What's the situation between you and Serena now?

There is none.

When did you stop seeing each other? Yale game weekend.

Dawn in the big city.

There are eight million stories out there.

Give our apologies to them. Oh, it's not necessary.

No, I think it is. Good night.

Good night. Good night, darling.

Good night. Thank you.

Oh, you're welcome. Thanks a lot.

You're welcome. We'll see you tonight? No.

You should come. Hope's a friend of ours. You won't be coming to any more dances?

No. Oh, well, that's a shame.

It was nice meeting you. Thank you. It was nice to meet you.

Ciao, Sally. Ciao! Ciao!

Good luck with your Fourierism. Thank you.

Unless we get a Checker, we're gonna have to take two cabs.

Don't worry about me. I'm gonna walk. Really? But it's terribly cold.

I prefer to walk. You'll freeze dressed like that.

This is actually very warm. It has a lining.

Good-bye. Ciao, Tom. Bye-bye, Tom.

Good night. Bye.

Where are we headed?

He's gonna freeze dressed like that in weather like this.

Driver, follow that pedestrian.

Hey, fella! We have a Checker. Can we give you a lift?

No, thanks. You sure?

Yep. Thanks anyway.

He's getting a crosstown bus.

That explains it.

A Westsider is amongst us.

There is a real escort shortage.

It's no joke.

What was your impression of him? He seemed nice. I didn't talk to him much.

Mom, I don't want to seem rude. I know I got up very late.

But I'm having what, for me, is breakfast... and I really don't want to think about returning my tuxedo right now.

It's just that I think it's getting too late - Mom, get off my back!

It's nearly 6:00. They're going to close.


If I have to pay for another day-

Was it already closed?

How much extra will it cost?

Twenty-five dollars.

I'm sorry about what I said earlier. Not at all.

A girl called. Her number's by the kitchen phone.

She said it was a bit urgent.

I know it's very late, but we had trouble getting your number.

Basically, we'd all be going together, although officially you'd be Audrey's escort.

Who? Audrey Rouget.

The party should be of some sociological interest.

Peter Duchin, the Plaza ballroom, et cetera.

You think you'll be able to come? Um -

Well, actually, there's a bit of an escort shortage.

Hi, Rick.

What a mystery. Rick Von Sloneker and Serena Slocum, still together.

Seems like months. It has been months.

Well, one thing's for certain - she's lost her virginity by now.

How can you say that? You're right. Maybe she wasn't a virgin.

Riffraff. He's hardly that.

Oh, you mean because of his title. We're supposed to be impressed by that.

On the contrary, I think the titled aristocracy are the scum of the Earth.

By Tolstoy, War and Peace... and by Jane Austen, Persuasion and Mansfield Park.

Mansfield Park? You've got to be kidding.

No. But it's a notoriously bad book.

Even Lionel Trilling, one of her greatest admirers, thought that.

Well, if Lionel Trilling thought that, he's an idiot.

The whole story revolves around, what... the immorality of a group of young people putting on a play.

In the context of the novel it makes perfect sense.

But the context of the novel, and nearly everything Jane Austen wrote... is near ridiculous from today's perspective.

Has it ever occurred to you that today, looked at from Jane Austen's perspective... would look even worse?

You must be freezing dressed in that.

It has a lining. What kind of lining is it?

You gonna wear a raincoat all winter?

Princeton's south of here. I guess it's a lot warmer.

No, I just didn't know where to get a good overcoat.

Uh, Brooks,J. Press, Tripler-

Actually, I haven't had time to buy one.

I'm not sure I wanna go back to Princeton next year. It's too much of a country club for me.

You really shouldn't treat Serena that way.

What? Giving her the silent treatment.

I'm not giving her the silent treatment. Come on.

I'm not giving her the silent treatment. I just don't have anything to say to her.

Listen, I know you're angry with her. You're probably right to be.

But it's still not right to treat her that way. I think Serena really feels hurt by it.

Oh, give me a break!

Serena Slocum, a real feeling?

Serena's basically a good person.

She has feelings like anybody else. I find that very hard to believe.

All this is - is pretty deceptive.

All what? Well, I -

I think that - that - that we are all, in a sense, doomed.

What are you talking about?

Downward social mobility.

We hear a lot about the great social mobility in America... with the focus usually on the comparative ease of moving upwards.

What's less discussed is how easy it is to - to go down.

I think that's the - the direction that we're all heading in.

And I think that the downward fall is gonna be very fast.

Not just for us as individuals, but the whole preppy class.

Where do you get all this?

Well,just look around. Take those of our fathers who grew up very well off.

Maybe their careers started out well enough... but just as their contemporaries really began to accomplish things... they started to quit... on rising above office politics... or- or refusing to compete and risk open failure.

Or not - not doing the humdrum part of the job.

Or only doing the humdrum part.

Or gradually spending more and more time on something more interesting - um, conservation, or the arts... where even if they were total failures no one would know it.


I guess we all know who you're talking about.

I can't deny your point, but... unlike you, I've always assumed I'd be a failure anyway.

That's why I plan to marry an extremely rich woman.

Pretty depressing.

A bit overstated, don't you think?

I'm not so sure. "Doomed. "

Even if he were right... it wouldn't be any great tragedy if some of these people lost their class prerogatives.

"These people" are everyone I know.

And besides, it's not a question of losing class prerogatives, whatever that means... but the prospect of wasting your whole productive life... of personal failure.

That's so melodramatic.

Life is melodramatic, if you look at the whole sweep of it.

I don't know.

I think my father considers himself a failure... although I don't think he's one.

I guess few people's lives... match their own expectations.

I always drink two glasses of water before going to bed anyway.

It's great for your complexion.

I thought I should mention I'm putting you on the floor committee for the Christmas ball.

Essentially, all it means is, you'll be able to go on your own rather than as someone's escort... and that you'll get a white carnation for your lapel.

Thanks a lot, but actually I'm not planning to go to any more dances.

You weren't?

Well, I strongly advise you to change your mind.

Is it that your resources are limited?

This is about the only economical social life you're gonna find in New York.

Music, drinks, entertainment, hot, nutritious meals... all at no expense to you.

Basically, all you need is one suit of evening clothes... and a tailcoat.

Dances are either white tie or black tie, so you only need two ties.

You rented that from where? A.T. Harris.

Oh, good! You know about Harris.

They also sell them secondhand, very inexpensively.

It's a good arrangement. Thanks a lot.

My resources are limited, but actually that's not it.

I know. You're opposed to these parties on principle.

Yes. Exactly what principle is that?

Well -

The principle that one shouldn't be out at night eating hors d'oeuvres... when one could be home worrying about the less fortunate.

Pretty much, yes.

Has it ever occurred to you that you are the less fortunate?

I mean, there's something a tiny bit arrogant... about people going around feeling sorry for other people they consider less fortunate.

Are the more fortunate really so terrific?

Do you want some much-richer guy going around saying...

"Poor Tom Townsend doesn't even have a winter jacket - I can't go to any more parties"?

That's a bit cynical.

This is not just a matter of what you personally prefer.

I'll tell you this in confidence. You've made a big impression on these girls -

Oh, come on.! No, I'm serious.

They like you and are now counting on you as an escort.

Well, I like them, too, but that doesn't -

I'm not sure if you realize this, but these girls are at a very vulnerable point in their lives.

All of this is much more emotional and difficult for them than it is for us.

They're on display.

They have to call the guys up and invite them as escorts.

And preppy girls mature socially much later than others do.

For many of them, this is the first serious social life they've had... and if you just disappear now, they're gonna take that as personal rejection.

Give me a break. I'm not entirely joking.

You should go.

If Thorstein Veblen were here, he'd tell you the same thing.

I'll meet you at 4:30 at Brooks, main floor, southwest corner... where the pajamas intersect with the expensive shirts... right across from the undershorts counter.

As a romance, it never really existed.

Really? I made a classic mistake.

I fell in love with Serena long before I met her.

I'd seen her at a Chapin dance, but I didn't really meet her until a year later.

Even before we started going out, I'd built up this huge romantic vision about her.

It should be just the reverse.

You should get to know someone gradually, over time... before the possibility of falling in love even occurs to you.

Possibly not even then.

So the experience has somewhat hardened you?

Yes. At least, it's a very bad idea to fall for someone who doesn't for you.

Yes, but you can't know that you'll feel exactly the same way all the time.

I mean, I suppose there will be risk in any romance.

I suppose so.

Well, this is my building.

Thanks very much for coming. Thank you.

You'll come again tomorrow? It'll be as a group.


Thanks, Mom. I know how tight things have been.

Things haven't been that tight. I'll pay you back next month.

Or in February.

Has Dad called? He's never called here. You know that.

I thought maybe his office had. No.

Thanks a lot.

They're normally this long in the back? Yes, sir.

Uh-huh. Like to try on the tuxedo?


Here you go.

I think I'd prefer one more like the one I rented.

That is the one you rented. Oh.

I didn't realize it looked like this. I guess it'll be all right.

Thank you.

You haven't seen this? Detachable collar.

Not many people wear them anymore. They look much better.

So many things which were better in the past have been abandoned for supposed convenience.

I had no idea anyone wore those anymore. It's a small thing, but symbolically important.

Our parents' generation was never interested in keeping up standards.

They wanted to be happy, but the last way to be happy is to make it your objective in life.

I wonder if our generation's any better than our parents'.

Oh, it's far worse. Our generation's probably the worst since the Protestant Reformation.

It's barbaric, but a barbarism even worse than the old-fashioned, straightforward kind.

Now barbarism is cloaked with all sorts of self-righteousness and moral superiority.

Will you look at this? You're obviously talking about a lot more than just detachable collars.

Yeah, I am.

Because he's obviously not an interesting guy.

Why is he so successful with girls then?

Rick Von Sloneker is tall, rich, good-looking... stupid, dishonest, conceited... a bully, liar, drunk and thief... an egomaniac and probably psychotic.

In short, highly attractive to women.

You're completely unfair. You don't know anything about Rick.

In fact, he's quite shy. God!

He's a considerate and sensitive man.

The rest is just a superficial game he plays, a façade... which you've obviously been taken in by.

It's incredible, the eagerness of girls like you to justify the worst bastards imaginable... as being sensitive and shy.

But if any guy who really was shy dared talk to you... you wouldn't give him the time of day- your eyes would glaze over.

You're really hung up on Rick, aren't you? He must really threaten you somehow.

You're right. I do feel threatened... that I may get a venereal disease from one of the St. Tim's girls he's been with.

Did you learn that from your lovemaking with Rick?

I hear it can get really rough.

Hey! Don't do that again.

For me, it isn't erotic.

What are you looking at? My father's apartment.

Where? The fourth floor.

Corner apartment. That's Kate Preston's building.

Have your parents been divorced long?

The actual divorce was three years ago... but they were separated for a year before that.

Do you see your father much? We have lunch when I'm in town.

That's very little. No, actually we have a very good relationship.

Probably much better than most people who see their father all the time.

It's just that my stepmother is a writer and having us around makes her nervous.

I read that Lionel Trilling essay you mentioned.

You really like Trilling? Yes.

I think he's very strange.

He says that nobody could like the heroine of Mansfield Park.

I like her.

Then he goes on and on about how we modern people of today with our modern attitudes... bitterly resent Mansfield Park because its heroine is virtuous?

What's wrong with a novel having a virtuous heroine?

His point is that the novel's premise - that there's something immoral in a group of young people putting on a play- is simply absurd.

You found Fanny Price unlikable?

She sounds pretty unbearable. But I haven't read the book.

What? You don't have to have read a book to have an opinion on it.

I haven't read the Bible either.

What Jane Austen novels have you read?

None. I don't read novels.

I prefer good literary criticism.

That way, you get both the novelist's ideas as well as the critic's thinking.

With fiction, I can never forget that none of it ever really happened... that it's all just made up by the author.

One thing I like about him is he doesn't say all the expected things.

He doesn't just agree with everything everyone else is saying.

That's true. He disagrees with everything everyone else says.

I'm not sure I prefer that.

He's quite good-looking though. I think serious guys tend to be better-looking.


The term "bourgeois" has almost always been - been one of contempt.

Yet it is precisely the - the bourgeoisie which is responsible for- well, for nearly everything good that has happened in our civilization over the past four centuries.

You know the French film, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie?

When I first heard that title I thought...

"Finally, someone's gonna tell the truth about the bourgeoisie. "

What a disappointment.

It would be hard to imagine a less fair or accurate portrait.

Well, of course. Buñuel's a surrealist.

Despising the bourgeoisie is part of their credo. Where do they get off?.

But the truth is, the bourgeoisie does have a lot of charm.

Of course it does.

The surrealists were just a lot of social climbers.

Is there any more wine?

I like the French.

Really? At least those I met in Grenoble.

Actually, the only girl I ever knew who studied in France stayed over there and got married.

So I guess she liked the French too.

I'm not sure I like them that much.

S.P.S., we used to call him.

Never mind.


I think I'll visit the powder room. What really goes on in there?

Oh, it's fabulous.

You seem to be in an awfully good mood tonight, Townsend.

Of course, you're in your element here. Are you kidding?

You're part of it all - the whole Manhattan thing.

It's different for those of us from the country.

You're from Greenwich. North Greenwich.

This is your world, not mine. Oh, come on.

You're part of that whole Sally Fowler crowd. Doesn't get much more inside than that.

Not that I particularly care. I don't believe in those things.

Oh, hi, Serena. Hi. Hi, Tom.

How's your brother? Fine.

Tom, I think we should talk.

I haven't been giving you the silent treatment. I just haven't been talking to you.

Well, I felt it.

I love the St. Regis.

There's all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies.

It's really charming.

Yes. They'll probably knock it down soon.

It hardly explains why you just left me there waiting for you to call... without even a phone call to explain why you didn't show up.

I'm sorry it was such a bad time for you, but I don't see how that should make me feel any better.

You don't? Well, it always makes me feel better.

Well, it makes me feel somewhat better, but it still doesn't change anything.

It shows that it wasn't intentional.

To me, that's an important distinction.

Things are definitely over with Rick.

With some relationships, the breaking up is easier to understand... than how you got involved in the first place.

Do you think I'd have any trouble getting a cab?

You're going already? Yes. I'm exhausted.

My mother's doctor's been giving me these vitamin shots. They've worn off or something.

Oh, Fred, something's come up and I've got to go out for a while.

Would you tell Audrey I should be back soon, but if there's any problem I'll meet her at Sally's?

Should I not get back, could you see that she gets there okay?

Thought I was gonna puke.

I had hardly anything to drink.

It must have been something I ate - those Vienna sausages.

Actually, I was surprised to see you at the dances this week.

You used to be so opposed to that sort of thing.

I still am, basically.

I went to the first one almost accidentally and that night just happened to fall in... with an extraordinarily nice group of people.

Otherwise I wouldn't have gone to any more.

I'd hardly call Nick Smith nice. He's a terrible snob.

He's basically a nice guy, I think.

His behavior toward Rick has been vicious.

What did he do?

Tried to make a big stink about some girl. Rick didn't want to talk about it.

Apparently it was awful.

Rick thinks Nick could be really crazy.

I'm just worried that something's happened to him.

I don't see how - how anything could happen to him in a hotel.

Maybe it was the same thing that happened to Fred.

Tom hasn't had much experience in places like these.

Maybe he went through one of those fire doors that lock from the inside and shut himself in the stairwell.

The fire stairs here aren't like that. I've had to use them when people have forgotten to invite me to their parties.

I've never had any trouble.

I just don't understand where he could be.

Well, that - that's interesting... because actually there's very little social snobbery in the United States.

I mean, it's considered unacceptable.

There's almost a national taboo against it.

It's looked down upon. That's good, isn't it?

No, I'm not talking about what's good or bad.

I'm just making a- a-an observation of fact.

Well, I think it is good.

I can't stand snobbery or snobbish attitudes of any kind.

Could you see who's there?

Sorry to be so late. Where were you?

Didn't Fred tell you? Tell us what?

The only thing we heard from Fred was -

Fred left ages ago. God, Audrey, I'm sorry.

Why? I asked Fred to tell you if I didn't get back-

Don't worry. It's nothing.

Well, where were you? I had to take Serena home.

She was feeling badly and she was going to go home alone.

She's broken up with Rick. It just took longer than I expected.

I asked Fred to tell you that if I didn't make it back, I'd meet you here.

We didn't get that message. We thought you'd gotten trapped somewhere in the hotel.

Audrey was very concerned. I'm very sorry.

You sound very sorry.

I find it very hard to believe that Serena broke up with Rick.

It was probably the other way around.

I'm worried about Audrey. She seems to have taken this so hard.

I'm a bit surprised.

I had no idea Fred was gonna get sick.

You know, where - where do you get off?

I mean, you're surprised?

You were Audrey's escort, yet you blithely left her stranded in the middle of the dance.

And then you try to shirk the whole thing off on Fred.

I was not trying to shirk the whole thing off on Fred.

And I wasn't even Audrey's escort. We were all there as a group.

In any case, I'm very sorry there was a mix-up. There was no mix-up.

Well, it wasn't intentional.

When you're an egoist, none of the harm you do is intentional.

You're going already?

Yes. I'm really tired. Just a second. I'll get my coat.

No, that's okay. Charlie said he'd take me.

I'd like to. No, really.

Don't bother.

Listen, I'm really sorry about what happened tonight.

I thought I'd be back much more quickly. It's not important.

Thank you very much. Oh, good night.

You ready? Good night.

Good night, Audrey. Feel better.

I never thought of myself as a bastard, an egoist.

Listen, don't flatter yourself.

Charlie's standard of polite behavior is so exaggerated.

At school he used to individually answer all his junk mail.

I suppose he thought someone's feelings would be hurt if he didn't.

I like him a lot, but don't try to understand his thought processes.

The summer I met him - We were 10- he was trying to establish communications with the seagulls of Easthampton.

It was utterly hopeless. The Easthampton seagulls are complete morons.

We still spent several afternoons approaching shore birds, saying...

"We come in friendship. "

They could not have cared less - much like his efforts with girls in recent years.

Great. I'm hated by the preppy St. Francis.

I wouldn't worry about it.

That's the building where my father lives.

Do you know Kate Preston? She lives there. No.

Will you look at this?

It's incredible, the things some people throw away.

Steiff stuffed animals. An Aurora model motoring set.

A Derringer. Do you remember the Derringer craze?

These are the toys of our generation.

The childhood of our whole generation is represented here... and they're just throwing it out.

Maybe we should rescue the electric car set.

Could really add to these after-parties.

Uh, I turn here. Oh. See you tonight.

Listen, don't take this thing with Charlie too seriously.

No. See you tonight.

My feeling is that what happened last night had no real significance.

It was just bad luck that Fred got sick.

I can't believe you're talking like this.

He totally humiliated you last night.

Whether I've been humiliated or not is something I can judge for myself.

Besides, I don't think Tom's that way.

Well, I'm not sure you can judge for yourself.

Be careful, Audrey.

There's something dubious about Tom. What?

This whole thing about his being a radical when he's obviously not... and being over Serena when he's obviously not.

Everyone has some contradictions.

Anybody with as many conflicts as Tom... even if he seems nice, is better not to get involved with.

By those standards, none of us should get involved with anyone.

Well,you're probably right, but in this case certainly.

Tom is the only guy I've ever liked in my whole life.

I'm not gonna forget about him because of some apparent inconsistencies.

You hardly even know him. I know him very well.

You couldn't. You only just met him.

Well, I do.

I didn't know you sent out Christmas cards.

Well, I haven't in years.

When we moved, do you know what happened to my toys and things?

They were put in storage.

Do you think some of them could have been sent to Dad's?

It's possible. Why? Do you want them?

You're a bit old for that sort of thing. No, I just had a feeling they went to Dad's.

Well, why don't you call him then? I have. There's been no answer.

There's something about winter in the city at night, with everyone dressed up... that reminds me of War and Peace.

Really? Do you know what I mean?

Yeah, I think so, though I haven't read it.

Well, I don't think "preppy" is a very useful term.

I mean, it might be descriptive for someone who is still in school or college... but it's ridiculous to refer to a man in his 7 Os, like Averell Harriman, as a preppy.

And none of the other terms people use - WASP, P.L.U., et cetera - are of much use either.

And that's why I prefer the term "U.H.B."

What? U.H.B.

It's an acronym for urban haute bourgeoisie.

Is our language so impoverished... that we have to use acronyms or French phrases to make ourselves understood?

Yes. U.H.B.

The term is brilliant and long overdue.

But it's a bit of a mouthful, isn't it - U.H.B.?

Wouldn't it be better just to pronounce it simply "UHB"?

Well, I didn't expect it to gain immediate acceptance.

No, no, I think it's a useful term. The fact that it sounds ridiculous could be part of its appeal.

You see the world from such lofty heights... that everything below is a bit comical to you, isn't it?

Yes. You're so obnoxious.

I don't see how you can stand him.

You're always complaining about people being frauds and phonies.

Well, this guy is the phony of the decade... yet you act like he was your long-lost best friend.

Tom Townsend is hardly a phony- just mildly deluded. He's a perfectly nice guy.

That's just another aspect of his phoniness. He's a complete phony.

And when he's not being a phony, h- he's a bastard.

Oh, come on.

You saw how he treated Audrey last night. Audrey seems to have forgotten it.

She has to act that way. Otherwise, it would be even more humiliating.

But I don't have to pretend that Tom Townsend's a nice guy.

You're really gaga about Audrey, aren't you?

Well, if by "gaga" you mean, "Do I like her?"... yeah.

Well, why don't you do something about it then... instead of just going on and on about what a bastard Tom Townsend is.

What am I supposed to do? Declare myself? That would be an absolute disaster.

And don't think I haven't thought about these things.

Yes, Rick and Serena broke up.

But this afternoon they both went down to Washington for Holly Gilchrist's party.

It was Holly who was responsible for getting them together in the first place.

Oh, so she was responsible. They went together?

They went separately. How they'll come back-

I don't think that Rick is the sort of guy who lets himself be dropped.

Ha! What is that supposed to mean?


Rick really threatens you somehow.

How does he threaten me?

Maybe by being more of a man than you are.

You stupid slut. Oh, come on.!

What has Rick done that's so terrible?

He is terrible.

I shouldn't have to go into all the sordid details.

Could you go into a few sordid details?

I don't think there are any reasons, except for maybe jealousy.

Rick makes him feel terribly inadequate somehow.

Okay, I'll tell you about Rick Von Sloneker.

Does the name Polly Perkins mean anything to you?

Sounds familiar.

She grew up in Virginia.

A horse fanatic since childhood.

Went to one of those horsey girls schools - Garrison Forest, I think.

Sometime in her senior year she started feeling depressed.

Now, partly it was finally becoming disillusioned with horses.

But there were some real psychological problems too.

That summer she got a job in Edgartown and seemed completely recovered... except for a couple of idiosyncrasies - she'd only dress in blue... and she wouldn't eat hamburgers unless they were completely well done.

Any hint of redness and she'd send them back.

Out of loyalty to her boyfriend in Virginia... she'd only go on group dates, never individual ones.

Von Sloneker met her when he came to Edgartown for the regatta.

She showed no interest in him at all initially... which makes sense because he's a completely uninteresting guy.

But for someone like Von Sloneker, that's just inciting.

So he swung into action with a full rigamarole... about how desperately in love he was with her... how she was the first girl that ever made him feel that way... how it was their obligation to themselves... to do everything they could to live life to the fullest.

Polly had, meanwhile, quit her summer job and joined his boat for the rest of the cruise.

He now completely ignored her.

She, in turn, became obsessed with him.

Polly was a bit of a masochist and prone to drink too much.

Von Sloneker exploited this to get her drunk... and had her-

Do you know what "pulling a train" means?

I don't think so.

When Von Sloneker had gotten her blind drunk one night... he talked her into pulling a train - him, Victor Lemley, the other crew member.

When she arrived at Wheaton for her first semester, she was acting very strangely... always wearing the same clothes... never washing, except just putting on more and more makeup and perfume.

She'd remain silent for hours... and then talk obsessively about Paul McCartney.

After two weeks, she was sent to McLean's for treatment... but was able to go home to Virginia for Thanksgiving.

The day after Thanksgiving, she went into their stables... and killed herself.

I've heard about that girl, and it wasn't Rick's fault.

She was just some girl who had a crush on him, but whom he hardly knew.

She'd always had psychological problems and was, in fact, a pathological liar.

It was very sad what happened, but Rick had absolutely nothing to do with it.

I don't know.

She was carrying his photo when she killed herself.

That doesn't mean anything.

What an appalling story. Yep.

Not many people could know about it.

Von Sloneker could hardly show his face around here.

You really showed up Cynthia. Whew. Yeah.

That's what made it worthwhile for me.

What do you mean?

There is no Polly Perkins. What?

There's no girl. I made it up. You're kidding!

I couldn't let Cynthia get away with that nonsense about Von Sloneker.

And basically it's all true. I mean, Von Sloneker's doing those kinds of things all the time.

Though Polly Perkins is, essentially, a composite... based on real people, like New York magazine does.

But Cynthia said she knew all about her. Yeah. That was priceless.

I think it just shows that Von Sloneker's doing those sorts of things.

But you really do have some factual basis for saying all those things about him?

Of course, there's a factual basis.

♪ In keeping their sheep ♪

♪ On a cold winter's night ♪

♪ That was so deep ♪ Excuse me.

By any chance, would you have any book on the French social philosopher Fourier?

I can tell he's still obsessed with Serena.

You're actually much better off not being involved with a guy who's clearly so mixed-up.

There's not gonna be good news for anyone for a long time.

♪Dry your eyes♪

♪ There's no need to ♪

♪ Cry ♪

♪ I am so sorry, but ♪

♪Bye-bye ♪

♪ So long ♪

♪ Mother's gotta go now ♪

♪ La-la-la, la-la-la ♪

♪ I ♪

♪ I am so sorry to ♪

♪ See you cry ♪

♪ Wipe those tears from your- ♪ Hi, Audrey. Hi.!

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

Oh, I was talking with Tom Townsend the other night.

He spoke very highly of you. Really?

Yes, he - he said you were very... well-read.

♪ O come, all ye faithful ♪

♪Joyful and triumphant ♪

♪ O come ye ♪

♪ O come ye ♪

♪To Bethlehem ♪

♪ Come and behold him ♪

♪ Born the king of angels ♪♪

♪ Let us adore him ♪

♪ O come, let us adore him ♪

♪ O come, let us adore him ♪

♪ Christ the Lord ♪♪

Um,Jane? Are you familiar with Dr. Pomeroy's work?


Girls And Sex by Wardell B. Pomeroy.

"The long-needed modern guide to the understanding of girls growing up. "

"'The most frank and objective book currently available. ' Library Journal. "

Oh, that.

"The years of puberty and early womanhood are difficult, even frightening, for many girls.

"This is the time they most need objective, factual information... and sympathetic advice about their physical and emotional changes. "

You know, we don't have enough for two tables. There's only seven of us.

That's impossible. Tom's not here yet.

Is he coming?

Sure. He is coming, isn't he?

You didn't call him? I thought there were eight of us. He would have been the ninth.

You told me that he - - Well,just call him up. I'm sure he isn't doing anything else.

Well, surely there's - there's someone else in New York who can play bridge... other than Tom Townsend.

I mean, you know, seven can play.

What have you got against Tom?

Just one thing - He's not - not a good person.

Oh, what nonsense. Oh, all right. Go ahead.

Call him if you want. I don't care.

Actually, I don't think Tom approves of bridge, but we should ask him anyway.

Well, have a seat.

Then just say you pass.

I pass.

I couldn't believe you were actually going to play bridge. It's such a cliché of bourgeois life.

That's exactly why I play. I don't enjoy it one bit.

I intended to go and got as far as the door.

What happened? My mother got upset.

She said that she couldn't face being alone on Christmas Eve... and that it was really important that the family be together then.

My brother never comes home at Christmas anymore.

So, anyway, I just stayed and had a traditional Christmas with Channel 11 's traditional yule log.

Oh, yeah. I think I've seen that.

Noon on Christmas Day, every other year, we go to my father's place.

I was a bit reluctant to go this year, actually, because I hadn't been able to get in touch with my father all week.

But my mother insisted. It was a real nightmare.

First, the doorman at my father's building wouldn't let me up.

I guess he didn't remember me there from Christmas two years ago.

Then there was some confusion and whispering... and, finally, they gave me a piece of paper with a Santa Fe, New Mexico address on it.

They told me he'd moved to Santa Fe. I couldn't believe it.

They took me up to the apartment, and except for some paper and litter... and wire coat hangers lying around, it was completely empty.

He hadn't told me anything about moving.

It was quite a surprise.

That's awful. There must be some explanation.

He must have written you or something, and the letter got delayed.

I don't know.

And you had such a good relationship.

In retrospect, I wonder how good it was. I hadn't seen him since last spring.

Maybe I was just kidding myself.

Oh, I've been reading Jane Austen. Persuasion.

I like it. I was surprised.

The titled aristocracy are the scum of the Earth.

What really makes me furious is that you have a whole class of people- mostly Europeans- all looking down at me.

You always say "titled aristocrats. " What about untitled aristocrats?

I couldn't very well despise them, could I?

That would be self-hatred, which is unhealthy.

You're so conceited.

Well, saying that the titled aristocracy are the scum of the Earth... is -well, is obviously an exaggeration.

But - But it's true that the forces that oblige members of the U.H.B... to at least appear to act productively and responsibly... carries little weight, or none at all... with members of society whose social positions are secure no matter what they do.

So you had a trust fund? The pieces are beginning to fall into place.

I don't have one anymore.

Well, that's less important.

I mean, so-so - sociologically, I mean, what's important is... having grown up with the assumption of material security.

It - It explains a lot.

I call.

I had no cards. Why did you call?

I felt like it.

Playing strip poker with an exhibitionist somehow takes the challenge away.

His name is Frank Goodrich. He handles some financial things for my father.

Actually, it's a tremendous relief, not having that hanging over my head anymore.


There was a big load of guilt that went with it, even though it wasn't that much money... and I never really counted on having it.

You're a tragic case. You've just been robbed, and it's a great relief to you.

In part, regarding the money.

Regarding my relationship with my father, of course I'm concerned.

He moves to another state without telling me... he doesn't write or call me for over a month... and basically has me disinherited.

Obviously, our relationship is not what I thought it was. Geez.

It's as if he were incredibly angry with me, but I can't think of why.

I don't know what it could be. You don't?


One word - "stepmother. "

Well, I hope I can talk to them and straighten things out.

I'm sure nothing you did or said has anything to do with it... and nothing you say or do will change anything.

That's awfully pessimistic. It's the way things are.

The most important thing to realize about parents... is that there's absolutely nothing you can do about them.

You look terrific.

You like it?

This is really decadent. This is nothing.

Something's happened to Nick. It's my head.

It's my head. It's my head. What's happened?

There was this guy at school Nick liked to imitate saying this.

He had taken mescaline, and he went around doing this about his head.

It's my head. It's my head. "It's my head. "

Nick took mescaline? No. I mean, it was the other guy, Voss.

We did take mescaline. You what?

He shouldn't be reacting this way though. I don't know what happened.

It was really mild.

Are you joking?

It's called Truth.

You stretch a Kleenex over the mouth of a glass and place a dime on it.

We each take turns burning a hole in it with a cigarette.

If the dime falls in on your turn, you lose... and you have to answer, with absolute honesty... whatever question you're asked, no matter how embarrassing.

Yeah. The more embarrassing, the better.

What are you reading?

The Story of Babar.

I forgot how beautiful it was.

Sometimes you can find out the most amazing things.

It can really be incredible.

I don't think we should play this. Why not?

There are good reasons why people don't go around telling each other their most intimate thoughts.

What do you have to hide?

No, I just know that games like this can be really dangerous.

Dangerous? I don't see what's dangerous about it.

You don't have to. Other people have. That's how it became a convention.

People saw the harm that excessive candor can do.

You admit that it's basically just a social convention then.

What you say might be true among people who don't know each other well... but surely not with us.

Then it's even worse. Okay. Let's discuss this.

Basically, what this game requires is complete candor... which means honesty, openness.

I don't see how that can be bad.

Well, it can.

Well, then don't play, but don't wreck it for everyone else.

No, if we're going to play, we all should. That's the whole point.

I think if one of us isn't going to play, then none of us should.

I mean, maybe Audrey's right. Come on. Let's not disagree.

You're really both saying the same thing -

Either we should all play or none of us should.

Well, it's really all up to Audrey then.

Well, this isn't fair. If Audrey doesn't - No. Go ahead. I'll play.

What now? You get to ask me the most embarrassing question you can think of.

I'm supposed to ask you the most embarrassing question I can think of? - Uh-huh.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?

No, something specific.

Like who was your most recent conquest? Something like that.

Who was your most recent conquest? You mean, who did I sleep with last?

You don't have to answer that. No, it's okay. I'm not embarrassed.

I have nothing to hide. It was Nick.

After all that about what a slut she was.

But a very attractive slut.

So,you're just another hypocrite.

That's not hypocrisy. It's sin.

It was hardly that.


I have a question.

With absolute honesty and frankness... list all the girls you're interested in romantically... in descending order of interest, and why, including significant detail.

I thought that was pretty obvious.

I've had a crush on Serena, with some ups and downs, for over two years.

Recently it seems to have developed into something more serious.

But who else do you like romantically?

I don't think it works that way.

If you're really interested in one person, you're not interested in anyone else.

I suppose it's possible, but what's the point?

But if that doesn't work out, there must be someone else.

If it doesn't work out this time, I'll be off romance for a long time.

I suppose this is embarrassing, but it's hardly a revelation.

I'm sorry I asked him that. It was my fault.

I always think other people are foolish. I'm the big fool.

It's better for her to know the truth. I don't see how knowing the truth could do anyone any harm.

It's not just the truth. It's how and when you learn it.

I don't accept that.

I mean, you - you were right about that game.

It's terrible.

You know, you may not realize it, Audrey, but everyone li - likes you a lot.

Thank you, but I find that very hard to believe.

It's the truth.

And it's not just because you're smart and good-looking and - and charming and have principles.

It's because they can see that- that you're a good person.

If you want to tease me, this is not the best time.

I mean, maybe this isn't the best time, but for some time now, I-

Well, I like you very much.

I mean, I-I know that you don't yet feel that way, but -

No, please. Stop.

Doesn't Serena look awful here? She's not exactly photogenic.

There's one of you and Tom.

There it is.

Maybe Cynthia's right. That's impossible.

Her essential view is experience is good, and she's set out to acquire it.

I've been just the opposite. Everything's been in my imagination.

All the romance imaginary, nothing real.

She's a slut. That's what Nick says.

He proved it. That's unfair.

I don't think so.

I'm catching the dawn train upstate to East Aurora.

My father's place.

It's the first time they've invited me in years.

I can't help wondering why my stepmother's suddenly so willing to have me come.

If I should die while there, would you see that there's a thorough investigation... even if it looks like an accident or natural causes?

Would you promise me that? Yes.

Even if I do return alive, I don't think I'll be attending any more dances after this one.

With everything that's going on, this is probably the last deb season as we know it.

I don't want to just hang around, watching the decline.

Everyone's going tonight? No. Just me.

The International is an inorganic debutante ball.

The others were natural outgrowths of local UHB formations.

This was assembled like a tourist attraction.

Each girl has two escorts - one, a cadet in uniform from one of the service academies... the other a civilian like myself.

And the whole thing's televised on Channel 9.

You're kidding. No.

I guess you could say it's extremely vulgar.

I like it a lot.

And these Texas and Oklahoma debs are really nice... a real relief from these hypercritical New York girls.

What's everyone else doing then?

I imagine they'll be glued to the set.

From the state of Texas, Miss Sabina Johnston... daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Johnston.

She's cute. But what about the dress?

Nick said he thought this would be the last real deb season.

How come? Because of everything going on.

Like what? Well, everything.

The stock market, the economy, c- contemporary social attitudes.

Is Audrey coming tonight?

She said she felt tired and thought she'd stay at home.

She can watch Channel 9 equally well from there.

From the state of Kentucky- -

I'll get it. Thanks.

Miss McLean, Mr. Von Sloneker coming up.

Um, Cynthia's coming up with-with Rick Von Sloneker.

Oh, she mentioned they might come by. What would Nick say?

What Nick says or thinks I couldn't care less.

I'll get it.

See you. Hi! Hi!

This is Rick Von Sloneker and Victor Lemley.

Tom Townsend. I've heard a lot about you.

Of course you have. So, who was talking about me?

Nick Smith? Yes, actually.

That jerk. How could anyone take him seriously?

He's just a jerk. I think he feels incredibly threatened by you.

What a clown. Is it true you're a baron?

As a matter of fact, it is.

I don't take that sort of thing seriously though.

That was Audrey. She is coming after all.

Oh, Audrey Rouget? Uh-huh.

She's getting pretty attractive. What are we watching?

Oh, the International.

In a little bit more than an hour, the, uh, season will be over.

You really take that sort of thing seriously? I can't.

There are a lot of things you don't take very seriously.

One could get the impression you're not a very serious person.

Who is this guy, some Nick Smith impersonator? I was already sick of the original.

Yeah, Tom, cut it out. That's really gotten tiresome.

The things that Nick said were completely untrue.

I'm sorry about last night. I didn't mean what I said.

No. I mean, it was idiotic of me to... approach you that way.

I hadn't intended to. No, it wasn't idiotic.

Miss Sabina Johnston of Tyler, Texas... and Cadet Lieutenant George Frawley of our armed services.

Hello. Hi.

I still have a feeling. It's his age.

I go away for a couple of hours, and you have Von Sloneker up here?

I can invite anyone I want. So you invited him.

I didn't, but even if I did, it's none of your business.

How can you say that? I mean, you know what kind of guy he is.

I don't. It's just what you say, and you're completely untrustworthy.

Not about something serious. Hey, Smith!

You're a liar. I've heard the crap you've been telling about me.

Ah, you have? Yeah, about some girl I supposedly mistreated.

A Polly Perkins? There isn't any Polly Perkins. You know that.

Such a girl never even existed.

Go on. Tell 'em. You made it up.

Is this true?

Yes and no.

Oh, God, Nick! You did make it up.

There is no one Polly Perkins. There are many of them.

So you admit you lied!

Polly Perkins is a composite, like New York magazine does.

Name one girl.

Girls that have been degraded by you don't need the further humiliation... of having their names bandied about non-exclusive Park Avenue after-parties.

You see? There isn't one. This looks really bad, Nick.

Cathy Livingstone. No more harm can be done to her now.

I had nothing to do with that, and, anyway, she was completely unstable.

Oh, that didn't stop you from boozing her up and then talking her into pulling a train for you and Lemley.

That is not how it happened. Aw, what did happen, Ricky?

Anything that happened between Cathy Livingstone and myself... is entirely private and entirely personal... and had nothing to do with her suicide, which was months afterwards.

She kept trying to call and talk to you, but you wouldn't even see her.!

I liked Cathy, but sometimes these things don't work out, and a clean break is usually the best.

Oh, spare us this fake sensitivity. Are her panties still in your collection?

Rick keeps a collection of panties of the girls that he's seduced.

Oh, when they later kill themselves, do you do anything special to memorialize them?

I don't let anyone say that kind of thing to my face.

Before you complained that I said it behind your back.

Now it's that it's to your face. Frankly, how can you tell which is which?

He had that coming for a long time.

How dare he hit me!

He's the scoundrel. I should have thrashed him.

Well, you missed your chance.

I would have if I hadn't been doing my damnedest not to splatter blood all over the apartment.

I got back, he was gone. Nobody did anything to help me.

I'm facing one of the worst guys of modern times... and all I get's this whining criticism -

"Oh, this looks really bad, Nick. "

Why should we believe you over Rick?

We know you're a hypocrite. We know your Polly Perkins story was a fabrication.

A composite!

That you're totally impossible and out of control with some sort of drug problem... and a fixation on what you consider Rick Von Sloneker's wickedness.

You're a snob, a sexist, totally obnoxious and tiresome... and, lately, you've gotten just weird.

Why should we believe anything you say? I am not tiresome.

What's Rick to you anyway?

Your shy friend hits me in the face...

I'm about to go upstate to the domain of a stepmother of untrammeled malevolence... very possibly to be killed... and I get this.

Well, who could blame her?

If not spattering blood was your objective, you weren't terribly successful.


I'm going to Grand Central.

The people are friendlier.

I'll help you with your stuff.

Why don't we all go see Nick off?

Even within this group, there are certain standards.

Apparently, I failed to live up to them.

Thanks for coming. Will you write? Yes.

Good-bye. Thanks for coming. Good-bye, sir.

Good-bye, Tom. Good luck.

I leave, counting on you and Charlie to maintain the standards and ideals of the U.H.B.

I've obviously failed to.

You and Charlie are the only ones who understand this kind of thing.

What? Here.

Thank you.

Oh. Also, you remember, in case I die - Yes.

All right. Good-bye. Bye.

Bye. Good-bye.

Is the 21 Club very expensive?

I believe so.

That's priceless.

And then she told Miss Radford, "They look awfully big for mice. "

She believed it? Oh, completely.

Oh, that's priceless.

You mentioned something about it in one of your letters.

When I was going through some stuff over Christmas, I found a packet of your old letters.

You saved my letters? Of course.

I save all the personal letters I get. Don't you?


You mean, you threw away all the letters I wrote you?

I throw away nearly everything.

I don't want to go through the rest of my life with the mail I got when I was 16.

I'm surprised.

Someone goes through the trouble of writing you a real letter, I save it.

People don't write many personal letters anymore.

People in boarding school do.

And what if someone who wrote you becomes famous?

Those letters could be the only record of what they were thinking at that time. Crucial for their biographers.

Anybody who writes me who expects to become famous should keep carbons.

It just seems to me that it's a kind of trust.

If someone takes the trouble to write you a substantial letter, you do not throw it out.

I didn't save your letters, but I didn't throw them out.

I don't understand. Is that a riddle?

There was a girl at school who had some kind of a crush on you.

She came into my room when I was throwing things out, so I gave her your letters.


I know it sounds queer.

She kept them? Mmm. I'm sure.

How strange. She must be really odd.

No, she's very nice.

In fact, you know her.

Audrey Rouget.

You mean, you think you've gotten over Serena again.

Yes, but it's different this time.

Then I was still intensely involved with her, though in a negative way. Full of bitterness.

I don't feel that way now.

Charlie's on his way up.

Damn. There's something I wanted to ask you.

Oh, yeah. What was that surprising thing Serena told you?

Well, you probably already knew about it, but I was surprised about Audrey saving my letters.

What letters? The ones I wrote Serena.

Audrey saved them?

God, how queer.

Well, it's not so queer really.

Serena was about to throw them out... and Audrey apparently didn't think people's letters should be destroyed that way.

The really odd thing was though, while I was with Serena, who's really nice and who's so good-looking -

Yeah, Serena's basically a good person.

On the big night I'd looked forward to for a week...

I started feeling this incredible loneliness being with Serena... and nostalgia for all those conversations with Audrey before the big blowup.

That was before I knew anything about the letters.

I think I preferred arguing with Audrey than to agreeing with Serena or someone else.

I'd only had that calmly unemotional perspective on my relationship with Serena for a little while... when I started getting this warm glow at the prospect of seeing Audrey here again tonight.


It surprised me because I thought that if- if it didn't work out with Serena this time...

I'd put that sort of thing on hold for a long time.

People shouldn't get married till their late 20s, and that's a long way off.

Well, your timing is really awful. What do you mean?

Damn. I'll get it. I want to continue this.

Where's Jane? She's still in her room.

What would you like to drink? So you're our host?

I don't know. What do people who don't drink have?

Ginger ale? Ice water? Ah, maybe a Coke with an aspirin.

You don't need to put on pink eye shadow for us.

It's not for you. I've got a date.

A date? What's that? It sounds like something from the 1950s.

Yeah. Who's the fella?

None of you know him, and I'd like to keep it that way.

What did you mean when you said that about my timing being off?

Audrey's gone to Cynthia's in Connecticut for the weekend... and then on Wednesday she flies back to France.

And besides that, she thinks you're a total jerk.

She hates you. She hates me?

Well, she despises you. Actually, it's a bit my fault.

I asked for that Truth question with a specific idea in mind... of showing her you hadn't gotten over Serena yet.

A Mr. Andrews is downstairs for you. Say I'll be right down.

We'll go down with you. No, you won't.

We can all go out together. No. This is a date.

Well, it seems rude not to go down and check him out.

Please don't. Feel free to stay here. There's plenty of food and stuff.

But it's all right if we stay here and wait for everyone else?

Sure, but what "everyone else"?

Well, the rest of the S.F.R.P.

You are the S.F.R.P. tonight.

Oh, could you be out by midnight? Feel free to stay until then though. Bye!

Bye. Bye.

Bye. Be out by midnight? What's going on?

Jane brings this guy she hardly knows back for some kind of assignation?

We don't know that. Well -

I'm really surprised at Jane.

Some guy asks her out, and she abandons everything.

The rest of us can, well, just go to heck.

The whole Rat Pack thing seems to have disintegrated.

The Rat Pack is down to the rats.

This is really depressing. Let's get out of here.

I guess it's understandable that she would prefer to go out on a date... which offers some romantic promise, even if very slight, than stay with us.

Still, it's a bit disappointing. I thought we were better friends than that.

I wonder whether we're really friends for them at all.

We're just way stations between dates.

I mean, for them, men are either dates, potential dates or date substitutes.

I find that dehumanizing.

That might be the case with Cynthia or Sally... but Audrey, for instance, is completely different.

She's someone who would keep up her friendships no matter what.

And Audrey has a rare largeness of mind. She's not obsessed with her love life.

She's good-looking, smart... charming, principled.

It's an unusual combination.

What do you mean?

You've given her nothing but grief all the past week. I think I'll be going now.

I have nothing to say, and I'm completely boring without a drink.

It's only midnight. You can't go.

I'm sorry, but without cocktails, staying up all night loses its charm.

Besides, I haven't had anything amusing to say since I stopped drinking.

Did you have anything amusing to say before you stopped?

I know, but it seemed amusing. Now it doesn't.

Well, you were asleep. Was that it?

Good night, Charlie. Ciao, Tommy. Ciao, Fred.

♪I won't be loved, baby♪ When I was in college, we'd go to dances during Christmas vacations.

Do they still go on? Yes.

Pretty much reduced though. Yeah.

Ah, well, I wouldn't put much stock in them.

You go to a party, you meet a group of people, you like them, you think...

"These people are going to be my friends for the rest of my life. "

Then you never see them again. I wonder where they go.

Do you think it's true, though, that, generally speaking... people from this sort of background are doomed to failure?

Doomed? That would, uh, be far easier.

No, we simply fail without being doomed.

But you feel that you have failed. Yeah.

You can still afford to come to places like this though.

I'm not destitute. I've got a good job that pays decently.

It's just that it's all so mediocre, so unimpressive.

The acid test is whether you take any pleasure in responding to the question...

"What do you do?"

I can't bear it.

You start out expecting something much more, and some of your contemporaries achieve it.

You start reading about them in the papers or seeing them on TV.

That's the danger of midtown Manhattan - running across far more successful contemporaries.

I try to avoid them whenever I can.

But when I can't, they're always very friendly... but inevitably they ask, what am I doing, or think it.

I - I find it hard to believe that many people from our background are successful.

Aren't you confusing them with people that you might have known from college... who came from normal backgrounds?

It's not surprising that - that an energetic, self-confident achiever... free of UHB illusions... should be successful.

UHB? What's UHB? UHB.

U.H.B. It's an acronym for Urban Haute Bourgeoisie.

It's a more sociologically precise alternative... to "preppy" and other terms.

Well, you're partly right.

Some of the people whom I mentioned were not from... UHB?

That's right. UHB backgrounds, but some of them were.

You're going to have to accept that people from our background... are not doomed to failure.

I - I wonder if they were typical UHBs.

There was -There was probably some factor which set them apart.

And, also, their- their career is not over.

I mean, the failure could still be to come.

He seems less pessimistic than you. I know. It doesn't ring true.

Look, there's a light on.

We can't go up to her place unannounced after midnight.

It all depends who's on the elevator. It's not a question of who's on the elevator.

I mean, you've known Sally for, what, 10 days?

And you're barging in on her uninvited in the middle of the night?

She said we should come up anytime we saw the living room lights on, which they clearly are.

At least call first. What, and wake up her parents?

Well, you act as if her apartment were our living room.

It is our living room.

Thanks, Ed.

What are we doing here? It'll be all right.

What are you doing here? You told us to come up if we saw the lights on.

I'm sorry to bother you. I was just about to go out.

Oh. Who is it?

Just some friends.

Well, come on in.

Allen, these are my friends, Charlie and Tommy.

Allen is the record producer who discovered The Hated Few.

They're very good. Yes, they are.

And Sally will be very good. She's got a wonderful voice.

I think we also have a friend in common- Rick Von Sloneker.

Yeah. You're a friend of Rick's?

Oh, sure. Rick's a great guy. Our houses are next to each other in Southampton.

Wow, it's late. Uh, we'd better get going.

I don't think there's time for drinks after all.

Do you have any idea when everyone's getting back? It's as if the whole S.F.R.P. had disintegrated.

We can't just keep getting together with the same people every night for the rest of our lives.

I don't see why not.

It's inevitable that things get more back to normal sometime.

This wasn't normal? No.

I wish somebody had told me that before.

Could you tell me, at least, when Cynthia and Audrey are getting back?

I don't know. That's their affair.

Your friend Cynthia's gone to that house party at Rick's. In Southampton?

Uh-huh. I'm not sure if she was really going.

You guys are so tiresome.

That was really embarrassing. Thank you for including me.

I can't believe it. God!

Maybe, underneath it all, he's a nice guy, but he sure doesn't make a very good first impression.

No, not about that. What he said about Cynthia. Oh.

Look, if Audrey's supposed to be visiting Cynthia in Connecticut... and Cynthia's in Southampton with Von Sloneker, what does that mean?

That Audrey and Cynthia are in different states.

No. There's only one explanation.

Audrey has gone with Cynthia to Von Sloneker's house party in Southampton.

You know, you're always selling Audrey awfully short, aren't you?

I mean, I find that - that really despicable.

Could you stop calling me despicable? I'm really worried about Audrey.

Jane says that since that Truth session, she's been in a very strange mood... and said some really odd things.

She told Jane she didn't feel like a real woman.

She said that? That's the way Cynthia talks.


I can't - I can't really share your concern.

I mean, Audrey wouldn't put herself in the situation you describe.

She's got very, very clear views on these things.

I mean, you know that - that she's a big admirer of Jane Austen.

But she's turned her back on all that. Oh, I don't believe that.

She's probably at home, asleep right now... with her pink coverlet tucked up tight and her stuffed animals looking down over her.

Well, let's call her then. We can't.

It's only a local call. We can't call her up now. It's nearly 3:00 a. m.

We'd -We'd wake up her parents.

This is important to them too. What if she's already at Von Sloneker's?

I'm sure he's not asleep.

Older people tend to get up really early. I'll call the Rougets at 7:00.

If there's any risk of Audrey going out to Von Sloneker's, I'll give you a call.

But - But I don't expect to have to.

Could you call me either way?

At 7:00? Okay.

Thanks. You're not such a bad fellow.

I'll call you. Call me.

I hate him.

Audrey Rouget? Uh-huh.

She's getting very attractive. She was the first girl that ever made him feel that way.

She thinks you're a total jerk. She hates you.

When you're an egoist, none of the harm you do is intentional.

Well, she despises you. Him. Victor Lemley, the other crew member.

I want to be a real woman. You're the only girl who's ever made me feel this way.

I had nothing to do with that, and, anyway, she was completely unstable.

I want to be a real woman.

I called Audrey's parents exactly at 7:00.

It turns out that they're not - not such early risers.

But they- they thought that Audrey was with Cynthia in Connecticut too.

So I called Cynthia's, and her mother answered.

Apparently, she was sleeping late also.

But she said that Cynthia was visiting Audrey.

Jesus! Well, Cynthia borrowed her mother's car.

And the last anyone has seen of either of them... was about 4:00 yesterday afternoon.

So they might have gotten to Von Sloneker's already last night.

You were right.

But I am authorized to use my mother's card.

I use it all the time.

She wasn't very polite. No, she wasn't.

That should be plenty.


I can't believe you don't have a license. Of course I don't. I live in Manhattan.

I'm just really surprised, that's all. Oh, give me a break.

I don't go out to the Hamptons. You could have gotten one easily.

I'm no jock. God, what a disaster.

No, I'm - I'm gonna get a license soon.

This must be how the - the, um, failure starts - an incompetence in mastering the common tasks of everyday life.

Doesn't Fred have a license? Yeah.



He says he can't. He's about to get fired as it is.

He was always saying what a lousy job it was.

Did you tell him how serious the situation is? Yes.

He's always complaining about what a lousy job it is.

You know, it's possible that, to other people, the situation might not seem so ominous... as it does to you and me.

I- I mean, what can really happen?

Of course, you have been right up till now, and Von Sloneker is a bad guy...

I mean, capable of anything.

It might sound melodramatic to say that he's ruined girls.

I mean, what does that really mean today?

But it's true. I mean, he's done some unspeakable things.

And if Audrey's as upset and bitter as it seems, well, then anything could happen.

We gotta get out there as fast as possible.

While we sit here, flailing around, anything could be happening out at Von Sloneker's.

If only Nick were here. He'd know what to do.

Yeah, he's got all sorts of licenses and credit cards.

What would Nick do? How would he get out of this?

You've got a lot of cash on you now.

Yes. Lots.

Whenever I think we might be overreacting, I remember Polly Perkins.

Or Cathy Livingstone. I think I knew her.

What are you gonna do when we get there?

I don't know. It depends on what the situation is.

Yesterday I was thinking, maybe Fourier was a crank... his ideas completely unworkable.

I wouldn't want to live on a farm with a lot of other people.

You know, Rick's a strange guy. He's pretty violent.

He might not be too pleased to see us.

I've thought of that.

Thanks a lot. We shouldn't be long.

Well, take as long as you want. I'm leaving.

Oh, no. Um, we need you to take us back. That -That was understood.

Think I'm gonna wait around for you guys? You're crazy.

But I - I don't know how we're going to get back.

What's this shit?

Oh, a gratuity is included. What's this shit?

I was sure th-that we agreed on 120 as the full price.

Hey, look at this. What is it?

Looks like some girl's panties. Jesus. That bastard.

What are you clowns doing here?

What are you doing? This is my place.

I can do whatever I want here. That's not true.

How dare you break in here? Did they break that?

What are you doing here? This is so embarrassing.

A little embarrassment could do you some good.

And by the way, whose are these?

I haven't the slightest idea. Just get out of here, you twerps!

They buy them new and scatter them around. It's one of Rick's little delicacies. That's a lie.

Look, get out of here and take this flat-chested goody-goody pain in the neck with you.

Thank you. She is not a goody-goody.

Oh, oh, before you go-

Hey! Hey!

Jesus! He's got a gun! What are you, crazy?

I warn you, he's a Fourierist. It's only a joke, Rick.

It's a toy or an antique or something.

Well, then let the jerk play his little game.

No, it's not that far. It's, like, an hour.

Or- Or maybe two, probably.

Did anything happen?

Of course not.

Then you were never really interested in Von Sloneker at all.

Well, then why did you come out here?

To get a suntan.

The whole thing with the Rat Pack was getting claustrophobic.

And Cynthia insisted I come. She's terribly impressed with Rick.

It's not something Jane Austen would have done.


I suppose Europe is over there.

No, that'd be more Brazil. Europe would be more that way.

Are you really going back next week?

I guess so.

What can you study in France that you can't study here?


Actually, I was thinking of coming back when the semester ends.

I was thinking of going over, though not necessarily to Grenoble, but to France or Italy.

Though my resources are limited.

There are some awfully cheap airfares these days.

It would seem a shame not to take advantage of them.

That's the way I feel.

Do you really think I'm flat-chested?

Well, I never thought about it. Well, I shouldn't say that.

The thing is, you look really great, and that's what's important.

You don't wanna overdo it.