Art Work (1980)
( Theme music playing )
Hey, guys, get your money out, I'm going to make you rich.
What's up, Tony?
I got a tip on a fight on the island.
We can't lose. You know how I know?
He's fighting you?
Better than that.
Nothing's better than that.
I heard these two guys talking in the gym about this light heavyweight named Johnson, right? Yeah? Yeah?
He's got a broken right hand, but he's going to fight anyway 'cause he needs the money.
Ooh, that sounds good to me. I'm in.
Me, too. I'm in. I'm in.
Hey, Latka, do you want to get in on this bet?
A bet? Yeah.
Oh, come on, guys.
ALEX: Yeah, What?
Do you have to get Latka involved in this?
Elaine, listen, we know you get a little irrational when it come to gambling, so...
No, it's not that.
It's just that, you know, Latka doesn't make much money and he has to work so hard, and he's sending money to people back home. Besides, I bet he doesn't even know what he's betting on.
TONY: Sure he does.
Okay, what are you betting on?
Uh... the horse racing.
Latka, it's boxing, and it's a sure thing.
There's no sure thing.
Hey, listen, Latka, it's your money and you can do what you want.
That's right, Latka.
What would you do, Alex?
What do you mean, if I was you? Yeah.
I would tell Elaine, uh...
( in Latka's voice ): Elaine, Elaine... this fellow has a broken hand, and I could win many dollars, and that would make my family and me very happy.
Thank you very much.
You may laugh, but I know people who talk like that.
There we go. All right.
Listen, I'll call the bet in, all right?
Thanks a lot, Alex.
Hey, come on...
Are you going to bet, too, boss?
I have one very firm rule in my life:
I don't eat at the same table, bet on the same side, or climb on the same airplane as losers.
Be gone, Iggy.
ALEX: Hey, Tony, thanks a lot for letting us in on that tip.
Hey, don't mention it, Alex.
Oh, it's a sweet one.
Hey, Tony? Tony, the guy's name is Johnson, right?
That's right, that's our man and he's going down.
Yeah, well, the guy Johnson's fighting is named Johnson, too.
What a coincidence.
I wonder how many Johnsons there could be?
At least two, and they're fighting each other tonight.
What do we do, Tone?
Oh, geez... Just bet on one of them.
We got a 50-50 chance on a sure thing.
Listen, you just have a nice day, okay?
Yeah, thanks a lot.
You must all promise to keep me informed of your flight plans.
ALEX: Elaine... if you value our friendship, you will not put that smirk into words.
Oh, I'm sorry, guys.
I don't mean to make you feel any worse than you do.
It's just that I see you guys miss every day.
Every day you come in here with some sure thing and it never works out.
And every day at that gallery I see rich people getting richer.
I mean, they are always gambling, and it never misses.
Just once, I'd like to see somebody like us make some money.
Oh, me, too.
By making intelligent investments, you know, like in art for example.
You bet on painters?
Yeah, in a way.
See, I find paintings that I know are going to go up in value and then I get other people to invest in them and then they become rich.
Hey, wait a minute, Elaine.
If you could do it for other people, you could do it for us.
You could do it for yourself.
Oh, no, I don't think so.
Come on, Elaine, Elaine, We can pool our money and you can invest it in some art for us.
I'm in, and there'll be more tomorrow when I get my fight money.
No, guys, I don't like to look at art that way.
See, I was just using art as an example.
Oh, no, but, Elaine, you have inside information.
I know I've got inside information, but, um, I love art, and I hate using it to make money.
Besides, how much could we raise?
As much as we need.
Come on, come on, let's do it.
Yeah, Yeah, come on, what do you say, huh?
No, No, No. I promised myself I'd never do it. No.
This could be the best thing that's ever happened for us.
No, guys, I mean, this is final.
That's it, forget it.
I don't think you ever had any inside information.
I think you were just trying to impress us.
As a matter of fact, I know of a great investment right now.
Yes. There's an artist named Max Duffin, and he's going to be so big. I mean, next week at an auction we could get a painting for $2,000, and by the end of the year it'd be worth $5,000.
We could make a fortune if we kept doing that.
Yeah, well, maybe not a fortune but $100,000 apiece.
100... well, it would still be worth it.
Listen, Elaine, please, come on, okay? Come on.
Yeah, come on, Elaine, don't deny us a Duffin.
Elaine, Elaine, don't let this chance slip by.
Do you remember "If"?
Yeah, "If" by Rudyard Kipling.
"If you could make one heap of all your winnings
"and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose
"and start again at your beginnings
"and never breathe a word about your loss..."
"If you can talk with crowds
"and keep your virtue
"or walk with kings... Nor lose the common touch.
"If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you.
"If all men count with you, but none too much.
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
"with sixty seconds' worth of minutes run
"then yours is the earth
"and everything that's in it and, which is more, you will be a man, my son!"
Where the hell did I learn that?
Okay, you got me.
Yeah, we'll do it. We'll do it.
( All cheer )
Okay, now, you're sure this guy's work is going to go up, right?
Well, because there's this thing, you know, um, that I really don't want to talk about because it's terrible and sort of ghoulish.
Well, what is that?
Well... well, okay.
It's kind of morbid, you know, but it's a reality of the art business.
See, um... Max Duffin is an old man, and he's in very bad health.
And, well, uh, an artist's work always goes up in value after the artist... dies.
Yeah, I've known works to triple and quadruple in value the day after the artist passed away.
Oh, I'm feeling so creepy even talking about it.
Yeah, ooh, let's not talk about that, no.
How sick is he?
Louie, I don't want to talk about it.
Well, you don't have to give me the gruesome details.
Can he eat solid food?
Does he recognize visitors?
Is he on any machines?
I mean, is there a plug somebody might accidentally...
Whoop! Trip over?
Hey, Louie, what do you care?
Well, suddenly, this investment interests me.
I mean, as I see it, buying one of the old geezer's paintings is like betting he's going to die.
We can't lose.
What do you mean "we"?
I want in.
Hey, forget it, Louie.
No way, Louie.
No, wait a minute, hold on.
You two dumb bozos can't decide for everybody.
All the dumb bozos have to have a say.
All right, let's be democratic about it.
All those in favor of keeping Louie out of this deal signify so by spitting on his shoes.
Now, wait, hold on, here.
You better think this over.
I mean, this is not penny-ante stuff here.
I mean, we're dealing with big stakes here, boys and girls.
You need somebody who's got a bankroll.
I got money.
Why don't we vote on it?
Maybe we should.
BOBBY: Oh, we don't need to vote...
No, I think we do. Uh, Louie...
Would you mind giving us a little privacy so we can talk about this?
I'll just sit over here turn my back away and, uh, you know, you just pretend I'm not in the room, and I'll respect the confidentiality of your discussion.
I hate him.
Okay, look, maybe he's right.
Maybe we do need his money.
No. Come on, we got enough amongst ourselves.
How much you said we needed, $2,000?
Okay. How much are we all going to throw in?
A ballpark figure, Tony.
What do you think?
Oh, 200 bucks.
All right. Bobby?
About the same.
Elaine? Maybe $250?
ALEX: Good. Latka?
How much is that in American money?
Jim, Jim... $18.
Is that all?
Hey, I can buy and sell Latka.
Okay, uh, so without you, Alex, we have about $700 and with you we have...?
A desperate need for Louie.
I'm sorry. I blew my whole bankroll on that skiing trip.
Okay, but no... guys, this is our chance.
Come on, this one painting could do it for us.
Really. Whatever we have to do we should do it.
Trust me on this.
I'm the practical one, remember?
Guess there's only one way to settle it.
Okay, but look, let's make it unanimous... unanimous.
Otherwise, he's not in, okay?
( All agree ) Jim.
All those in favor of keeping Louie in, raise your hands.
Raise it or lose it, Wheeler.
That a boy.
You know, I... I've-I've heard that there's a thrill associated with coming in contact with great art, but I never realized how true it was until this very moment.
Bobby, these are just prints.
They're copies of original paintings.
They're almost worthless.
The actual paintings for auction are in the other room.
Alex, just so you'll be informed, I want to explain what this paddle is for.
You see, you use it...
I know what it's for, Elaine.
I'm not a total dummy.
I know something about the world of culture.
Hey, what's it for?
What do you mean, this paddle? Yeah.
Well, it's for making your bid. Well, it's for making your bid.
You hold it up to be You hold it up to be recognized by the auctioneer. Recognized by the auctioneer.
Does that explain it for you, Bob?
Oh, good, you gave Latka the day off.
Yeah, I told him that all he had to do is fix the problem in cab 643, he could come with us.
Oh, did you get it fixed?
Uh... uh... I don't know.
That's the problem.
I thought you were going to dress up.
Yeah, I loaned you a suit. What happened?
I know, but it didn't fit me, except the tie.
As luck would have it, we've got the same tie size.
Yeah, that is lucky.
Guys, why don't we go in and get a good seat.
Whew. Hey, Elaine better tell us what to do in there.
We never been to nothing like this.
Oh, Tony, don't worry about it, just relax.
I'm going to take care of the bidding, so, uh, you guys just try to maintain an air of dignity.
Miss Nardo, which one is ours?
( Whispers )
This is worth 2,000 bucks?
Yes, and it's going up as we're talking about it.
Gee, you know, it's untitled.
For 2,000 bucks, you'd think they'd throw in a name.
You... you know something?
I like it.
LATKA: Me, too.
It is very pretty.
Well, enjoy it all you want now, because we're only holding onto this rag until the old geezer croaks, and then it's gone.
Well, on that inspiring note, I think we better take our seats.
Why don't we sit in the front where we can be heard?
But there's only one seat left in the front.
Not for long.
( Starts to cough )
( Clears throat )
( Hawks up phlegm )
( Hacking loudly )
( Heaves )
( Coughing loudly )
( Hacks )
( Snorts )
( Coughing )
Way to go, Louie.
It's just what I expected...
They estimate our painting will sell for between $1,000 and $1,800.
We only have $2,000.
Louie, are you sure you can't go any further?
I told you, I got every penny I own sunk into this deal.
I thought you said you had a lot of money.
Yeah, but it's not in cash.
Most of my assets are tied up in investments.
I know I'm going to regret asking this: what sort of investments are your assets tied up in, Lou?
Well, right now all my money's in a nursing home in Jersey.
I mean, you know, nursing homes are a really good deal.
The only problem is the people that run this one spend too much money on upkeep, you know, and there's not enough profits to go around.
Why don't you straighten them out, Lou?
I tried. I told them, "Those people don't eat three meals a day." I mean, their memories are so bad they don't know whether they had three meals or a cracker.
I say let them sleep.
You're a slime, Louie.
Ladies and gentlemen, we're about to begin the auction.
All right, all right, let's settle down here and concentrate.
Our first item today will be a painting by Wallace Leidegger entitled Nude at Daybreak.
My God, I know her!
She's dyed her hair, but that's her.
Jim, Jim, sit down.
And may we have $1,800 to start, please?
$1,800. Thank you... $1,800 is bid.
19 for it... $1,900. Now $2,000.
LOUIE: Hey, Elaine, our painting's next.
Now, as I see it, it's in our best interest that we make everybody else think it's worthless, right?
Our next painting is another work by Max Duffin.
How did that get in here?
( Blows a raspberry )
This painting is untitled.
I got one for it.
How about "Garbage"?
( All shushing Louie )
What is wrong with you?
Okay, listen, everybody, this is it.
Now, pay attention.
May we have $1,000 to start this painting, please?
$1,000... Thank you.
Now at 11... $1,100 is bid... 12.
$1,200... Now at 12.
$1,300 is bid... 14.
It's going too fast.
Going at 14... 15.
What's with this guy?
It's getting too high!
Well, let's bring it down a little.
One hundred bucks, and that's my final offer!
$1,600... and don't do that again, sir.
$1,600 once... and 17.
You're getting on my nerves!
18... $1,800 is bid.
19... $1,900... now at $1,900.
$2,000 at two.
At $2,000 once... We got it, we got it.
Oh, we got it, we got it, we got it!
$2,000 third... and $2,100 is bid.
You better hope you don't spend your twilight years at Sunset Acres!
( Growls )
Hey, listen, we need more money!
Yeah. Louie, don't you have any more?
I told you it's all I got!
Somebody's got to have some money, man.
I can't believe we're going to lose this painting for $100.
Oh, great, now all we need is $400.
Now may we hear 25?
May we see 25?
Thank you, sir, $2,500.
25, 26... going to ask 27, 28... go for broke... what do you care?
Look at your nice suit...!
You probably got a maid and a butler!
( Chair crashing )
You got maids, you got everything!
At 25... may we have
May we... $2,700.
$2,700... now 29.
$2,900, $2,900 is bid...
At $2,900 once... at $2,900 twice... at $2,900... and sold for $2,900, number 498.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have some bad news for you.
I have just been handed a note that Max Duffin, the artist of the last two paintings that we sold, died this morning at his home in New Mexico.
That's not fair!
That's not... God, why, God?
Well... this should be a lesson to me.
I thought maybe, maybe just this once, maybe once, I could have some dealings with losers and not get burned.
It can't be done.
It just cannot be done.
But, you know, if you guys were at Normandy, we'd all be eating strudel right now.
Oh, come on, Louie, knock it off.
We feel as bad as you do.
No, you don't.
Now you don't.
Defeat and humiliation are a way of life for you.
It's bad for my system.
Elaine, what happened?
How come everything was more than we could afford?
It just goes to prove one thing:
You got to have money to make money.
I must admit I feel pretty silly getting all dressed up for nothing.
Come on, let's go to Mario's, have a beer.
You guys go on ahead.
I'm going to stay here and look around for a while.
Look around at what?
I came here to buy a... piece of art.
I feel like... buying a piece of art.
I mean, uh, I'm going to buy one of these things.
They are for sale, aren't they?
So, they may not be original.
I mean, I may not make any money from it.
I'm not, am I?
So what? I'm going to buy something I like.
Well... actually, I... there is some stuff here I kind of like, too.
Yeah, maybe I'll buy something, too.
I got some wall space to cover up.
Well, yeah, let's look around.
And, you know, if you don't see anything you like here, I know a lot of places.
I mean, what's the big deal here?
I mean, why buy any of this junk if it's worthless?
Louie, I think it has a value that you can't understand.
Hold on, here.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you just called me a slob.
I mean, I'll show you what kind of slob I am.
Hey, there, cookie.
I want one of your classiest things here...
Something by... Vincent Van Patten, or one of those guys.
ALEX: Hey, Elaine?
This is a reproduction, isn't it?
Is it good?
Do you like it?
Yeah, I like it a lot.
Then that's good.
Then I'm going to buy it.
Come on... with me.
( Theme music playing )
WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.
( Grunts )