What Price Bobby? (1980)
( Theme music playing )
( Scatting to radio )
634 East 62nd Street, please.
I can't believe it.
You're Nora Chandless.
Do I know you?
I'm an actor.
Do you know where I can find a cab driver, Mr. Wheeler?
I have an appointment to make.
Very Good. I'm sorry.
Hey, where was it you said you wanted to go again?
634 East 62nd.
BOBBY: Boy, this is some big coincidence.
You're one of the biggest actors' managers in New York.
And me, a young, talented, yet-to-be-discovered actor in the same cab.
I'll be talking about it for weeks.
I guess it's not such a coincidence, huh?
Especially since I cruise the theater district a lot, hoping to meet someone like you.
Not only did I meet someone like you, I met you.
Now you can't get any more like you than you, can you?
I scored a point, huh?
Yeah, a partial point.
You have a nice smile.
Oh, yeah? You can tell from back there, huh?
Yeah, I'm looking at your eight-by-ten glossy taped to the seat here.
Do you mind a suggestion?
No. You kidding? Go ahead.
I'd do something about the mustache and the missing teeth.
Oh, someone must have drawn on the thing again.
It's signed, "As always, Louie."
Look, uh... Miss Chandless, I know what I'm about to say is going to sound pushy and aggressive, but at this stage in my career I've run out of humble.
Hey, please don't start pitching, okay?
I get that from actors all the time.
I can't tell anything about their acting ability from their pitches, so... Okay, I'm sorry.
And you're absolutely right.
A New York Times reviewer once said that I was the most natural young actor he'd seen in years.
That's not pitching.
Look, I'm performing two nights a week...
There's no stopping you, is there?
In a little theater in Brooklyn.
Now, I don't want to impose, but I am really good.
Well, look, I hope you get a really big break some day, all right?
Oh, I have!
I've gotten a huge break! What?
Your getting into this cab!
Except... you know, one other time I came close.
I hate to be a name-dropper, but once I almost picked up Mike Nichols.
So did I.
( laughing )
I like your laugh.
( Continues laughing )
And that's my weakest feature.
All right. So, uh, Tell me about this play you're in two nights a week.
What's it called?
Stall. It's an experimental play about 12 people stuck in a stalled elevator.
It raises an age-old question: which is the greater agony...
To be stuck in an elevator or to be watching a show about being stuck in an elevator?
I'm not going to tell you any more
'cause you may not want to come and see me in it.
Well, I'll tell you what.
If I'm in the neighborhood and I get a chance, I'll try to catch it.
Oh, yeah. Sure.
You know, gave you my best shot.
Thanks for listening.
I said I'll try to see it.
Oh, I know, and thanks.
Hey, you're here.
That will be $2.50, please.
Wait a minute.
You don't think I'll try to see it, do you?
I think you're just trying to be nice to me.
I am not trying to be nice to you.
I said I'll try to see it and I mean, I'll try to see it.
You know, you don't have to let me down easy.
I'm used to disappointment.
I am not letting you down easy.
I am telling you that I'll... probably be there.
Hey, if you're not, it'll be okay.
It'll be all right.
It will not be all right, damn it.
I'll be there.
Hey, uh, Tony?
Alex called me this afternoon.
Oh, yeah? What did he say?
Well, he said to say hello to you guys and the skiing's great, and he misses us, and that he's never coming back.
What do you mean he's never coming back?
That's what he said.
Come on, you must have misunderstood. No.
What were his exact words?
Oh, well, his exact words were
"I'm never, ever, ever, never, never coming back."
You sure he didn't say
"I'm never, ever, ever, never coming back, ha-ha?"
You know how Alex likes to kid.
I don't think he was kidding.
I know how Alex feels.
I once left a city and moved to a commune to get away from it all.
We had acres and acres of beautiful, unspoiled land to plant and harvest and do our own thing on.
Well, that sounds really nice.
Unfortunately, everybody's thing was standing around, getting loaded.
You mean, nobody did any farming, huh?
There was this one guy who farmed when he was loaded.
One day I caught him trying to plant a chicken.
That might be all fine and well with you, Jim, but I know that Alex is coming back.
But Latka, he said that the skiing's great and he's never been happier.
It's all right, Elaine.
I know he will be back.
He's breathing clean, fresh air.
He will be back.
And meeting a lot of attractive women.
I'm going to miss him.
She came to the play last night just like she said she was going to.
Who's Nora Chandless?
Didn't I talk to you about this last night?
I mean, I know I talked to somebody about it.
Th-that was me.
Who's Nora Chandless?
She's a personal manager.
She's handled the careers of some of the most successful New York actors there are.
She is a star-maker, and if she decides to represent me, I'd be on my way.
Hey, Bobby, what's the big deal about this lady?
Don't you already have somebody that takes care of you... That fat, bald guy?
That fat, bald guy, he's my agent.
See, Nora Chandless, she's a personal manager.
She'll take control over my career.
If she can find it.
You know, Louie... it's not like I'm invisible.
I'm doing this play, and I did that athlete's foot commercial for television.
What athlete's foot commercial?
You mean the one with the row of feet?
Yeah. You've seen it?
Yeah, I seen it.
Which foot was yours?
The one on the far left.
I should have known... The one that was overacting.
( Phone ringing )
Sunshine Cab Co., drivers' lounge.
Who, Bobby Wheeler?
No, he doesn't live here anymore.
I do! Get out of here! I live here! I live here!
Hey, this is Bobby Wheel... Yeah? Yeah?
Hey, hey, thank you.
Uh... thank you very much.
That was Nora Chandless's secretary.
Nora Chandless wants to see me in her office right away.
All right. See that? Yay!
Who's Nora Chandler?
Listen, now I only have a minute.
I want to tell you, I saw you in your play last night, and everything you said is absolutely true...
Oh, but... But wait, Okay, the rest of what you said is true, too.
You are marvelous.
Oh, sure, sure, sure.
No, I mean it.
Now, look, I'm in the middle of a meeting, so I have to be quick here, but I like what I see in you.
Yeah? You know, I think you've got a lot of promise.
I'd really like to work with you.
( Shrieking with glee )
Well, I'm going to have to think about it.
Oh, you just don't know what this means to me.
Okay, now listen.
I want to give you the name and address of my photographer.
Go over there this afternoon, arrange to have some new photos taken.
Also the number of, uh... my hair stylist.
Come back here later on this afternoon.
My personal secretary will take you out, pick you up a new wardrobe.
Oh, Miss Chandless... Oh, I am really good, and I can't wait to prove it to you.
You can start tonight.
Here are the keys to my apartment.
( Sighs )
Okay... I give up.
It is chess.
I was going to guess that.
Anybody else want to try?
Here you go, Lou.
I'm really worried about Alex.
Why? He called again?
No. That's why I'm worried.
He stopped calling.
Gosh. I just can't even imagine the Sunshine Cab Company without Alex Rieger.
Come on, Elaine.
We still got a chance he'll come back.
You know, once you live in New York for a while, you can't get it out of your blood.
Or your clothes or your hair or your skin.
I'll miss him, too.
You know... it's your fault he isn't coming back.
What are you talking about, Louie?
I'm talking about the burdens you are to him.
You're always inflicting your problems on the guy.
"Let's ask Alex.
"Let's ask Alex.
"Oh, my girlfriend... I got a little problem, Alex.
"Aw, my kids... aw, Alex.
"What should I do? My nose is running.
Let's ask Alex."
It ain't that way, Lou.
Gee, I don't know, Tony.
Maybe Louie's right.
You know... maybe we have been a burden to Alex, and maybe that's one of the reasons why he's not coming back.
Well, Elaine, if we're keeping him away, let's do something to get him back.
Okay, but what?
Let's ask Alex.
( Groans )
Bobby, so what happened?
Yeah, I thought you were going to call me.
Yeah, I mean, did she like you?
Uh, she's going to represent me.
( Screaming )
You must be so excited, man!
You must feel like jumping up and down and doing cartwheels and yelling from rooftops and exploding in a million pieces!
And... at least smiling.
Hey, man, ain't you happy?
Oh. Oh, yeah. Of course I'm happy.
It's just that I got a lot of work to do.
I'm auditioning for a Broadway revival.
Well, come on, Bobby, you can spare ten seconds.
I mean, this is big stuff.
Give us some details.
Well, there isn't much, you know?
Just went to her office, and-and-and she sent me to her hair stylist, and she bought me some clothes, sent me to a photographer.
Then we went to her apartment, we talked some business and then we went to bed.
Hey, Bobby, you're sleeping with your manager?
Hey, do you have to tell the whole garage?
Wheeler's sleeping with his manager!
Is she attractive?
Oh, sure, sure.
She's attractive, all right.
Well, then, Bobby, you got even more reason to be excited.
Not only have you found a manager, you've found a... A great manager!
I don't really want to talk about it right now, you know?
Come on, Bobby, it's not like you're prostituting yourself.
Man, hey, Bobby... you okay, man?
I don't know.
Just I'm afraid that I don't feel anything for her, you know, man?
Well, uh, maybe it was just a one-time thing.
Maybe it was just her way of saying, "Welcome aboard."
You know, this is the biggest break of my career, and I'm supposed to be ecstatic about it.
And all I feel is... cheap.
I don't know what's right, and I don't know what's wrong.
I don't even know what's going on.
Wheeler, are you saying that you're using your body to further your career?
Now, that is smart.
I'm glad you've finally figured it out that you're not going to get there on your talent.
Sometimes the best thing that you can do is to give the people in higher places anything they want.
Now I hope this lesson isn't lost on you...
Yeah, well, I can't take another step until I get a more reasonable offer.
Well, it's as simple as that.
Yeah, excuse me.
I'll be with you in a minute.
I'm on the phone here.
No. Somebody just walked in.
Well, I'll tell you, why don't we sleep on it?
No, no, no. I-I can't agree to lunch until we sleep on it.
That's right, let's sleep on whether to have lunch.
Yeah, okay, bye-bye.
So, how'd the audition go, huh?
I let you down.
I let myself down.
I let Tennessee Williams down.
I let my mother and my father down.
I don't deserve to be on the stage.
I don't even deserve to live.
Oh, come on, Bobby, every actor I know comes out of audition and thinks he didn't do well.
Didn't do well?
I threw up.
During the scene on the stage.
I was late, so I grabbed a chili dog on the way over, and they rushed me right on to the stage.
I was so nervous... I threw up.
I don't know, I just don't deserve a part like that anyway.
Well, I guess there's only one thing I can say to pick you up.
There's nothing you can say...
You got the part.
( Stammering )
You're telling me that I got the part that I auditioned for today on Broadway as Brick?
Well, actually, I did throw up in character.
I mean, it's not like I didn't use it.
And there's nothing in the script that says old Brick can't throw up.
Oh, hey, I hope they don't want me to do that every night.
That's a lot of chili dogs.
Ooh, they really thought I was good today, huh?
Uh, in a way... you had the part before you walked in the door.
You see, they didn't take you, then I didn't give them the actress they wanted for Maggie.
Welcome to show business.
Oh, it's everything I hoped it would be.
Bobby, come on.
Now, in the cab you said to me you wanted a great manager.
Well, you've got one.
This is what a great manager does.
Oh, no, it isn't.
Sure it is.
Great managers don't... hmm-hmm-hmm... with their clients.
First of all, the room you're pointing to is the kitchen.
And second of all, no good is going to come out of our having this conversation you seem to want to have right now.
Bobby, look, look, look... if it makes you feel any better, I think you are very talented.
However, I also happen to be interested in you, uh... personally.
I don't know how one affects the other.
I don't care.
Yeah, but, Nora...
I feel like I did a terrible thing last night.
I may have slept with you to advance my career.
And what was the terrible thing you did?
Hey, Bobby, look it...
If it bothers you that much, the answer is very simple.
Obviously, we cannot maintain both a business and a personal relationship.
No, no, we can't.
Well, then, let's not even try to have both.
Oh, great! Let's just have the relationship we both want.
( Chuckling )
Or business... or bismal?
I'm only kidding. Bobby...
I just wan... Bobby...
I think I'm losing a little interest here.
If you'll excuse me.
( Sighs )
I mean, I'd like you to leave.
You know, just let me understand what seems to be obvious here.
You're kicking me out, right?
And, uh, you're not my manager anymore, right?
We're not seeing each other socially, right?
I didn't get the part I got today on Broadway, right?
I guess the pictures are out.
No haircut, huh?
Whew... rough day.
Hey, look, Nora, I've lost a lot tonight.
I lost my manager...
I lost my job, I lost my future.
But at least I have one thing.
At least I have my self-respect.
Oh, no, you don't.
Oh, yes, I do.
Oh, no you don't. Because if I said come back, you'd come back in a second.
Now you don't have your self-respect.
So, I lost my manager.
I lost my job, I lost my future, I lost my self-respect.
But at least I have one thing left:
I have my shoes.
I don't know.
It's all I could think of.
But at least I have them.
And they're all mine.
Oh, no, you don't.
Oh, yes, I do.
Oh, no, you don't.
Because if I said, "Give me your shoes and I'll let you come back," you'd give me your shoes.
Give me your shoes and I'll let you come back.
No, I think we're finished.
Now you're just an out-of-work actor without pride or shoes.
You know, Nora, you've put me through a lot tonight, and we may never see each other again, but at least I have one thing to say...
If you don't give me my shoes back I'm going to bust your lamp.
Here. Here, take 'em.
My shoes are not for sale.
Yeah, Bob, I'm sorry it didn't work out with your manager.
Well, listen, we'll talk about it more when I get back tomorrow.
Yeah, of course I'm coming back.
Well, a man can only ski and relax and party and loaf for just so long before it gets old and boring.
Unfortunately, I ran out of money before I found out just how long.
Bob, I have to say good-bye.
The maid just came in.
( Sighs )
She kicked you out, huh, Wheeler?
Boy, did she ever.
Dropped me like a hot potato.
You're not going to do that part on Broadway?
I'm lucky if I ever get a job again.
( Louie chuckling )
I don't know.
It's the real pits.
I'll tell you that much.
Well, Bob... Yeah, Lou?
There's only one thing I can say.
Wheeler, cab 544!
( theme music playing )
WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.
( Grunts )