The Battle of the Sexes (1960) Script

Narrator: The battle of the sexes.

In this timeless struggle for supremacy between man and woman, man had held his own until that fateful day in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Out of this new world...

Emerged a new woman, destined to turn man the hunter...

Into man the hunted.

Mr James thurber, America's great chronicler of man's losing battle, has warned us all.

We are living at a time when in the mothproof closet dwells...

The moth.

Well, I think that's all for today, gentlemen.

Irwin, must look smart, you know!

If she does that to me once more, I'm going to kill her!

If we could only send her away somewhere to do an export survey.

Somewhere really wild, really remote.

I've got it!

We've never had an export survey of Scotland.

Scotland? Cj that's great.

Imagine! Scotland!

Irwin Hoffman here can go with her.

Cj, you can't do that to me. You can't do it.

Cj, I'll do anything, but you don't mean it, do you?

You wouldn't do a thing like that to me, cj...

We... we've been pals...

Narrator: So destiny sent mrs barrows to carry the sex war into one of the last bastions of man's supremacy...


Narrator: A man's world.

A world in which the shortest skirts are worn by...


A world in which even the can-can is danced by man...

Narrator: This was to be the battle-ground.

Now every war produces its hero.

The man with that little extra something that other men haven't got...

The super-man.

Mr Martin may not be cast in the heroic mould but he is a hero just the same.

Even buying this packet of cigarettes is an act of heroism.


Mr Martin has never smoked a cigarette in his life.

The purchase of this bottle of good scotch whisky too, is an act of valour because mr Martin has been a life-long abstainer.


It certainly is...

But perhaps we'd better begin at the beginning...

In Scotland's capital city...


Narrator: Here, in this old family business of fine hand-woven tweed the first faint rumbling was heard of distant battle.

Boy: Oh, sorry, mr darling.

Shop assistant: Do you mean something a little lighter in colour, madam?

She shouts: No, I mean a little lighter in...

Quietly: I mean a little lighter in weight.

This is a bit heavy for California.

Have you got any wool mixed with nylon or synthetic fibre?

Synthetic fibre?

We have nothing to do with synthetic fibre here, sir.


Excuse me.

Yes, darling?

Uh, message for mr Martin, from himself.

You'll find him upstairs.

How is mr MacPherson?

Oh, sinking fast, mr robertson.

It can't be long now.

Mr meekie...

Meekie: Yes, mr Martin?

Could you try to find a quieter nib please?

Oh... I'm sorry, mr Martin.

Mr Martin, Andrew darling to see you.

Martin: What is it, Andrew?

It's mr MacPherson, sir. I've to take you there at once.

How is he?

He's getting very weak, the poor man.

Dear, dear, dear...

I've heard the call, Martin.

The great Weaver himself is waiting for me.

Och, there's plenty of life left in you yet, mr MacPherson.

I am dying, Martin.

I shall be gone before my son comes home from America.

Will we telegraph him to hurry back?

Och, he's ill himself, the poor laddie.

In quarantine with the mumps.

He was never strong, you know, Martin.

It's a pity I sent him to school in england.

Too soft.

Careering about windsor in frock coats!

I'm worried about him, Martin.

He's not quite ready to take on the responsibilities of a big business.

You'll have to help him.

I'll do my best, sir.

I'm sure you will. You always have.

That's why I'm asking you.

Give me a drink.

Do you think that you should, sir?

The doctor was saying... Och, that ignorant old fool!

Give me a drink.

And have a dram yourself with a dying man.

If you will excuse me, mr MacPherson.

You know, I... I never...

I nearly had you, Martin.

I thought you might have given way to sentiment, but I should have known better.

Man is fallible, but Martin is not.

Well, put your dram in with mine and I'll drink for the two of us.

Well, here's to his memory.

There'll never be another like him, the old...

Ginger ale, on a day like this!

Mr MacPherson on his death bed respected my principles.

Anyway, it's the same colour.

He was a great man.


And here's to the new head of the house. Mr Robert MacPherson.

Mr Robert. Oh, ho, ho...

Heaven save us, what a come down, eh?

Mr Robert may never be the man his father was but he's a MacPherson for all that.

It's a pity he couldn't be here today.

It was bonny funeral.

His only bairn not there to see his poor father buried.


It cast a gloom over the whole proceedings.

Station announcement: Sleeping car train departs from platform eight.

At 11:35pm for Edinburgh.

I say, aren't you my chap?

No, not me, mate. I'm promised to another.

Station announcement: Perth, and inverness, change at Edinburgh.

Irwin! For goodness' sake! Where's your luggage?

Back at the hotel.

The hotel? But this train leaves in a minute.

That's what I figured. You got no time to get your luggage out.

You're cooked. Where have you been?

I've been brushing up on my Scottish!

You've been brushing up on your scotch!

This guy burns, he's got something.

"A man's a man for all that."

Excuse me. Angie, you're on your own.

Do you mean you're walking out on this trip?

Honey, I'm running.

You wait till cj hears about this.

He knows. I cabled him.

"Barrows takes the high road stop, I take the low road stop".

"She'll be in Scotland way, way ahead of me".

Great writer, that rabbi burns.

So long, Angie...

Really, damn it all, I mean where is my compartment?

Porter: You can't have reserved it, sir, because this is the last of the first class.

Of course I reserved it. I've to go, sir.

The train's due to leave. But where am I going to sleep?

Barrows: There's a vacant compartment here if you want it.

I reserved two but I only need one now.

Oh, I say, are you sure? Oh, what a bit of luck for me.

Most frightfully kind of you.

No, not at all.

My name is Angela barrows.

Oh yes, I... My name's Robert MacPherson.

The house of MacPherson tweeds?

Well, of course I've heard of them.

Do sit down. Oh, thank you.

So you're the Robert MacPherson. Well, you must have quite a business.

Well, it's really just an old family firm.

Oh, I love that British understatement.

I'm very interested in all businesses.

I'm the personal adviser to the president of a very big American corporation.

I'm a business consultant. You mean a sort of efficiency expert?

Well, it's a little more than that.

We try to apply psychology to business.

Apply psychology to business? My goodness, what will they think of next?

Well, you're certainly efficient. I mean, first my sleeper, and now the Brandy.

I don't know what I should've done without you!

Your staff certainly should have reserved you a compartment.

You ought to give them hell.

Well, that is you ought to put somebody on that little old carpet.

No, I'll... I'll do that.

Perhaps when you've finished with your American, you'll come and put my house in order.

Well, I should certainly like to look over your business.

You would? It's a date!

I'll look forward to that.

My goodness... so shall I.

Well, I'll be saying good night, and thank you again.

Good night, mr MacPherson.

I say, have you got anybody meeting you in Edinburgh?

No. Oh, good well, tomorrow morning you must let me be your business efficiency expert.

Well, you're very kind.

Sweet dreams.

Darling's been with us for ages, you know.

He used to drive me to kindergarten. Didn't you, darling, eh?

My! When was that built?

She was built in 1925, lady.

She's a beauty.

Aha! Beat you to it.

The George hotel and then the office.

Wait! Wait, wait!

Barrows: Oh, are those for me?

Oh, mr MacPherson, thank you.

My goodness, aren't they beautiful?

Here's himself now.

Excuse me. It's himself.

It's himself, it's himself.

It's himself. Ooh!

Mr robertson! Mr Graham!

Mr robertson! It's himself.

It's himself.

Well, well, howdy folks!

All: Welcome home, mr MacPherson. Thank you, thank you.

As they say in Texas, "it's sure good to be back".

I've had a wonderful trip. Yes, indeed, a really wonderful trip.

Most stimulating.

I've had a wonderful trip. Ha!

I'll have a little talk with you all later.

He seems in wonderful spirits.

Aye. What's wrong with him?

He's a changed man right enough.

Do you know what he's brought back with him from America?

A lady!

A lady? Aye.

Arm in arm, they were mincing up the waverley steps like two turtle doves.

"Wait", he says to me...

And he dashes off and buys all the flowers old Annie had with her and just throws them over this lady.

The poor man.

He doesn't know what he is doing in his grief.

Well, 1, uh... I couldn't have wished for anything better.

A man in business needs a woman in the home.

First a funeral, then a wedding, and then who knows...

That'll be himself.

What like is she, Andrew?

An American.

Och, well... Thanks to the old Scottish settlers there are still some good families left in America.

Martin: Jeannie, must we have that clatter?

I'm sorry, sir, it's the tray.

The cups dance about on it as if they were doing a reel.

Well, try and keep them quiet.

We thought the heads of departments might open the list for the wedding present.

Aye... It might encourage the others.


He didn't actually say they were getting married, but he was quite poetic about her.

He said she was like a breath of the... Of the new world.

Barrows: Oh, honey, this place is just not for real!


Will that be herself?

Barrows: Oh, this is marvellous!

It's like something out of dickens.

Oh, do you think perhaps I ought to do it up a bit?

I mean, I could get myself a new desk... Oh, no, no!

It would be a shame to touch it.

It's a museum piece.

But if we are going to do it over, well, you just relax and leave everything to me.

A desk! No, no, you don't want a desk, no.

No big executive has a desk anymore.


Mind, we've only Andrew darling's word for it, they were like turtle doves.


That's for me.

Take it.

Are you alright, mr robertson? You look as if you've had a shock.


Robert: And this is mr Martin.

Martin's been with the firm for 35 years.

That's right, isn't it, Martin?

Next michaelmas, sir. How do you do?

"Next michaelmas", how quaint!

Martin, I'm very happy to tell you, that I've persuaded mrs barrows...

Oh, we already knew it, sir!

We were already ahead of you.

May I offer you both my heartiest congratulations.

No! I was never married myself, but I understand it's a great institution.

Yes, well you wouldn't think that if you'd been married to my ex-husband.


He thinks we're going to be married! Isn't that dreamy!

Do pull yourself together, Martin. What do you think I said?

Mr MacPherson has invited me to join the firm.

Join the firm? That's right.

As an industrial consultant.

Well, will you look at his face!

Haven't you ever seen a woman industrial consultant before?

Don't you have women in your business?

Well, there's Jeannie macdougall.

Oh? She makes the tea and cleans the offices.

Oh, quite a job.

Yes, a woman's work.

Mr Martin, you must join the 20th century.

"A woman's work".

Yes, well, I knew you two would get on.

Martin, in the morning, I want you to take mrs barrow under your wing.

Show her the ropes.

Nobody understands the working of the departments better than Martin, here. He holds all the purse strings.

Oh, I see, well, you are in the catbird seat.

Baseball term, means "sitting pretty".

Och... aye...

Oh, don't be such a square, Martin!

Ah, so this is the accounts department!

Oh, don't get up gentlemen, please.

Martin mutters: The accounts department...

My, my! Well, this is quite a change from any filing system that I know.

Yes, well I don't suppose you could really call it a system but, uh, we do find what we want when it's needed.

This I have to see!

Certainly, yes. Mr meekie, would you ask for something?

Ask for something? Aye, anything.

Can I have a cup of tea, please?

No, no, mr meekie, ask me for an account.


A statement of the accounts as to the end of July last year?

Aye, that should be a good one to demonstrate with.

If I just get the...

Steps, hm...

Oh, uh, mr MacDonald, would you mind just helping me across?

We don't usually keep these over there, mrs barrows, so I...

I will do it...

You'd maybe think this was a chair - it's not, it's a pair of steps.

Hold my legs, mr meekie.

Uh, let me see now.

Uh... ah, here it is.



Ask me another, mr meekie.

A letter from the Scottish Weaver's association asking us to participate in their exhibition last October.

Yes, that's a good one. I'll just go and get it.

Yes, there were two letters.

Uh, this one thanked us for our co-operation.

Yes, well, this makes a nice parlour game but we can't run a business this way, can we?

Must look smart!

And how can you work in this atmosphere.

Don't you have air conditioners?

No. Well, at least we can use nature's air conditioners.

Mrs barrows, we never open the windows!

Mrs barrows, look what you've done!

I'll tell you what I've done, I've got you a new filing system!

Oh, for Pete's sake shut it!

Great balls of fire!

Is that how you tackle the home market?

I don't understand, mrs barrows.

You're selling to 20th-century customers.

Your display figures must look like 20th-century people.

That's psychology, mr robertson.

I mean, who would want to identify themselves with a couple of scarecrows like that?

Now, mrs barrows, this is the most important piece of furniture in the whole building.

Will you take a wee snifter?

No, thank you, it's too early for me, but you do keep a cosy little pub here.

Uh, well, you see, mrs barrows, our main export being to the americas, mr macleod does have to be hospitable to the buyers.

And naturally no buyer likes to drink alone.

Aye, you've said it. You change your mind?

Let's put it this way, mr macleod, liquor and efficiency don't mix.

Ah, yes, they do, mrs, uh...

You see, there's such a demand in our stuff, that your buyers queue up for their quota.

Really? In that case, they should be buying you drinks.

You know, uh, mrs barrows...

Mr macleod does sell every bit of tweed that we can produce for the...

Your loyalty is very touching, mr Martin.

Some chief accountants would say there's no need for an export manager.

Not when the stuff sells itself.

However, don't worry your little head about that, mr Martin.

I've got mr macleod's problem solved.

We'll simply step up production.

Increase production by a thousand per cent?

Um, I'm afraid, mrs barrows...

You're afraid, but I'm not!

But there's a limit to how much handmade tweed we can get from the weavers...

That comes up to our high standards.

I've heard that kind of talk before, mr Graham.

Where's your factory?

Factory? Yes, where the tweed is woven.

Uh, you see, mrs barrows, it's not exactly a factory.

Oh, well, come gentlemen, let's not mince words.

I don't care what you call it over here.

Where's the stuff made?

That's what I want to see. It's made in the hebrides.

The what? Well, never mind, that's where we're going.

In the hebrides, um...

Well, I'm off there next week to pay the weavers their advance money.

Advance money?

Yes, you see, they have to have their three months' pay in advance.

Three months in advance?

Well, no wonder you don't get productivity.

How do other factory workers manage?

But these are not factory workers, Mrs...

I have news for you - from now on they are.

And they clock in just like any other factory workers.

Do you have time clocks?

No, I thought as much. Well, you must order them. Pronto.

For each of them, mrs barrows? For every man Jack of them.

Yes, mrs barrows.

Three months in advance!

Well, it looks like I got here just in time.

Oh, brother! What a location for a factory!

Couldn't you have found some place nearer home?

It wouldn't be easy to move the weavers.

They've been making tweed here for hundreds of years.

They still make it in much the same way.

Yeah, mr Martin, you don't surprise me.

It's less primitive nowadays, you understand.

How primitive can you get?

Oh! Just get that picture. Isn't that something?

Oh, don't bother to stop on my account. I've got no time to be a tourist.

Let's press on to the tweed business.

Uh, this is it.

What is it? Well, uh...

Jock and chrissie macneil here are two of our best weavers.

You mean, that's all there is to it?

Och, no, no!

We've about seven hundred of them, scattered all over the island.

Are they all that old?

No, we've got some that are about... Well, I suppose there's no production that can't be rationalised.

I beg your pardon.

Well, you've heard of time and motion study, of course?

Though how that could be applied here I don't quite see.

We've plenty of time here, mrs barrows, but there's not a great deal of motion.

Oh, come now rip Van winkle, don't tell me you've never heard of mechanisation.

Well, I suppose it doesn't matter, as long as mr MacPherson has.

Just wait till 1 hit him with my plan for centralising the weaving.

Well, you go... oh...

Must look smart, you know.

Now you go off and do whatever it is you have to do, and then let's get the hell out of here.

I say, the windows...

Are they real glass? Perspex.

I could get a torch bulb and run it off a battery at the back.

They'd light up, they'd look wonderful in a dark room.

Yes, I'm sure they would, Robert, but what do you think of my project?

Well, it's bold of course, isn't it? It's very bold, I'll give you that.

Mind you, it's a break.

It's the biggest break you've ever had in your life.

And the best. I mean it's a break with tradition.

And how?

You're the head of this house now, Robert.

You must create tradition as your father and grandfather did.

Yes... I must say, it's beautifully made, isn't it?

In years to come, people will say "Robert MacPherson began it".

Encyclopaedias of the future will talk about "the MacPherson method" for the manufacture of tweed.

Oh, I say. I mean, you don't think... Encyclopaedias!

Well, I shall talk it over with the boys, I mean...

Try it out, you know. Talk it over with Martin. That's the one.

Try it on the dog! Well, don't let them talk you out of it.

Remember you're top dog.

Oh, this is a big step, Robert, but we'll take it together.

Robert, I wish you wouldn't think of me as a woman.

What? I'm your business partner.

Now, I've a lot to do and so have you.

He whispers: Yes...



This is mr Martin here.

Is that you, Martin?

Speak up, I can't hear you.

Martin, what's that damned noise?

I'm sorry, mr MacPherson. Excuse me, sir.

Robert: Martin, what I wanted to say...

Switch it off, meekie! Robert: Martin, have we been cut off?

Switch it off, I can't hear mr MacPherson.

Robert: Are you there, Martin? Uh...

I'm sorry, excuse me, mr MacPherson.

It's your repeater key, it's jammed.

He shouts: Switch it off, mr meekie!

Robert: Hello? Shall I hit it with this?

No, no!

Come in to my office straight away, will you?

I'll come over right away, mr MacPherson.

There's no reason to shout!

I'm not deaf! I'm very sorry, sir.

Uh, just a minute.

Don't come in till I say.

Come in now.

Robert: Martin, over here.

What do you think of it? Good effect, en?

Yes, it's, uh...

It's very nice, sir.

Is it for an advertisement?

You'd be surprised.

This is a model of the new factory mrs barrows wants me to build for the house of MacPherson.

Centralise all the weaving. What do you think of that, eh?

You can't mean it, mr MacPherson.

Well, I don't know, I mean... What do you think?

Do I like it, or don't I, hm?

Well, uh...

It's not for me to say, sir, I mean...

What would your father have said?

Well, I don't know, father said such a lot, didn't he?

But we can't dwell in the past.

We've got to move into the 20th century.

Encyclopaedias of the future may talk of the MacPherson new method of tweed manufacture.

I really ought to get one or two of those miniature cars to put outside the front entrance.

They'd look absolutely marvellous.

If there's anything else, sir...

No, I don't think so.

Think it over.

Some of mrs barrows' ideas need seasoning, you know.

Like timber.

How do you like the way she's done up my office?

It's quite unusual, sir.

I'm very keen on my "squawk box". That's what they call them in the states.

Do you know how old this is?

Before Columbus discovered America.

They didn't wear tweeds in those days!

And there was mrs barrows complaining your father's ornaments were old-fashioned, sir.

MacPherson, speaking.

Barrows: Robert, it's me.

I've been thinking about my project.

Now, maybe you shouldn't mention it fo those old fossils you've got working...

Uh, I'm at a meeting, mrs barrows. I'll call you back.

Barrows: Don't bother. That's all I wanted to say.

They just wouldn't dig it.

Very amusing, the way she puts things.

Very American.

She wasn't referring to you, of course.

Well, think it over, Martin.

Yes, sir... yes.

Martin: Oh, look at that...

Darn, I'm, uh..

Terribly sorry, mr MacPherson...

Only the wire is not usually there.

Yes, but mrs barrows thought very highly of this.

Yes, well, I'll tell her that I did it, sir.

No, no, no. I'll say it was my fault...

That it was an accident.

Well, perhaps we shouldn't mention it at all.

Maybe she won't notice.


That'll be all, thank you.

Oh, I was just putting it in... um...

[, uh, I'm... I'm very sorry, mr MacPherson.

Good night, Angus. Oh, aye, good night to you, mr Martin.

Oh, Angus, you'd better have a look at the upstairs windows.

Mrs barrows is inclined to leave them open.

I'll see to it right away.

The insurance company don't share her enthusiasm for fresh air.

Deep voice booms: Stop where you are!

Come on, get those hands up!

Better come quietly.

Robert: Just look at those figures!

I mean, if we go on like this the firm will be ruined!

Salaries and wages are up three hundred per cent!

Look at this!

Office teas and biscuits for one month, nearly two hundred and fifty pounds.

Well, I mean, if you smothered the damn biscuits with caviar it couldn't have come to that, I mean...

How do you get these figures? Has your department gone quite mad?

Yes, I would just like to point out, mr MacPherson, that these are the figures that I gave to mr meekie and he arrived at these totals on the new electric adding machine.

Meekie, come into my office, please.

This is macleod here, sir.

Robert on intercom: I want to talk to meekie.

I expect he's in his own office, sir.

I am talking to his office.

This is my office, sir. No, it's not!

Are you sure?

Positive. Oh...

Absolute nonsense, the man's a perfect fool.

He's in meekie's office, he doesn't realise it.

Never mind, I'll see if he's in with mr Graham.

Man on intercom: Yes, sir?

Is that you, Graham?

Och, no, sir, this is jock munro at the front.

Well, is mr Graham with you?

No, sir, there's only myself and jock MacDonald.

Who is jock MacDonald?

Jock munro: The new lorry driver, sir.

Well, what is jock MacDonald doing in mr Graham's... no, no, never mind!

I don't want to talk to him.

L-1-1 think you'll find that mr Graham is in the showroom, sir.

Just allow me to press that button there...

Voice on intercom: Graham speaking.

Ah, well there you are, I've been looking for...

What are you doing in the showroom?

Graham: I'm not in the showroom, sir. I'm with mr meekie.

Meekie, well, that's the man I'm looking for!

Well, where are you? Are you in mr macleod's office?

No, sir. I'm in mr Martin's office.

Well, you better stay where you are and I'll come and find you.

I really don't know what's the matter with the staff today.

None of them seem to know where they are.

Yes, it's just, sir, that the boys are finding these a little bit difficult to get used to, but once they understand the working of them, it'll be alright.

Don't be such a stick in the mud, Martin.

Perfectly simple, a child could use it.


Macleod: Jeannie, you faithless old witch...

Where's my tea?

I had a bit of a rough night last night and I've got...

I've got a tongue you could roast chestnuts on.

Macleod, will you spare us your symptoms and take an aspirin!

Where was I?

I've been thinking, mr macleod, it's no use your nagging me.

I've only got the one pair of hands... Ah-ah!

And I'm not supposed to bring tea around until eleven.

And if you were to ask me, you'd be better off with a purge!

Mrs macdougall, will you try and show a little more respect for the heads of the departments?

Mr MacPherson!

That's me.

Now, come along, let's get out of here before there's any more of this...

Ah! Ah!

Robert: Don't be absurd, Martin!

Adding machines don't make mistakes. That's the whole point of adding...

Good grief, what's happening in here? Are they having a picnic or something?

We got them trying to sort out last month's figures for you, sir, to compare them.

We've been at it since ten o'clock.

I say, this new filing system takes a wee bit of a getting used to, but, uh, as you said yourself, mrs barrows' ideas do need seasoning.

Quite right. Well, where's the adding machine?

It's over here, sir.

Here? Oh I say, it's jolly compact, isn't it?

Now, how does it work?

Well, just add anything you like together, sir, say two and two.

Now you press that.

Oh, I say, that's jolly good, isn't it?

Yes, sir, but it says twenty-two.

Well, two and two do make twenty-two in a way, don't they?

I mean, it's got a sort of logic of its own, hasn't it?

You might say that, but it doesn't help with the salaries and wages total for the month.

No, you've got a point there. Perhaps that was a bit too simple for it.

Let's give it something it can really get its teeth into.

Now then, give me a number.

A hundred and forty-two pounds, fifteen and nine.

Divided by three pounds seven and six pence.

There we go.

Somebody's been tampering with it.

Well, there's none of us in this office, sir, have anything to do with machinery.

Well, you had better find somebody who does, and tell mrs barrows.

In the meantime, you can go back to your old system.

Just as you say, mr MacPherson.

Yes? Man: That you, Robbie, old man?

Just testing this infernal box.

Every time I try to get Jeannie, I get puffing Billy, and...

Get that machine out of here and tell macleod to come and see me in my office right away!

You can get him by buzzing the back gate!

Both: Mr Martin, we can't seem to find last month's figures anywhere.

Oh, well, don't worry. No doubt they'll turn up later.

And mr MacPherson seemed a wee bit upset.

Both: Aye.

Robert shouts: Martin!


Martin! Robert, don't shout.

You'll burst a blood vessel.

Use the inter-com. It's no damn good!

Robert: Martin!


Were you calling me, sir?

What is the meaning of all this?

Workman: Put it on top of that one.

I see they've arrived, sir.

I didn't tell them to unpack the whole lot, sir.

I thought that maybe you'd like to see just the one.

Well, how many of these are there?

There's, uh... three hundred and seven, sir.

I took the Liberty of cutting the order down.

Cutting it down? Yes, you see, sir, uh...

Mrs barrows' instructions were for six hundred and seven.

One for each Weaver.

But I thought we'd save money and just get one for each croft.

Mrs barrows, I wonder if you'd mind holding that there for a moment...

Why? So that mr MacPherson can view it.

That's the utility model.

Oh, I suppose I should have, uh, consulted you, but I was sure you wouldn't mind.

After all, it is, uh... quite a saving.

Mrs barrow, did you instruct mr Martin to order these infernal machines?


Well, yes, in a way I... I suppose I did...

I meant one clock, mr Martin! One!

Really, mr Martin I don't dig how you could...

Mrs barrow, if we go on like this, the only thing we'll dig will be our own graves, really, I... I'm not a bottomless well, Martin!

You must realise we haven't got all this money to throw around.

What am I expected to do with all these?

I shouldn't worry yourself, sir. I'm sure that something can be arranged.

Are you, Martin? Yes, I think, yes.

Oh, well, that's settled then.

Those are my instructions.

I want everybody to get this perfectly clear in my mind.

I mean... in your minds!

Mr Martin will see what can be arranged.

I want all these clocks removed.

I'm not going to pay for them, even if they sue me!

They... they can't sue me, can they?

It won't come to that... You won't let it come to that?

I don't think you have any need to worry about that.

I think I want an aspirin...

Ordo 1? Yes, I'm sure I do.

This is all your fault!

Oh, weave yourself something out of that!

You're a canny man, mr Martin, right enough.


Delivery man: Alright boys, back to the warehouse!

No, it's no use making excuses for me, Robert.

I've flopped.

I know when to quit.

I'll go back home.

I guess you could say I've met my Waterloo.

What? Oh, no! You mustn't think of going back to America!

Well, I mean, it's only business.

After all, we all make mistakes in business.

I wish you didn't think of me as just a business partner.

I am a woman too. Yes.

Do you want to know something? Oh, yes.

No, no, no, I...

I'd better not say it.

Look, come on, come on, out with it.

Well, it's nothing. I was just going to say...

Yes, yes. The only thing I'll miss in this dump...

Is you. Oh, no, no, no.

You mustn't think of missing me.

Well, I mean, you mustn't think of going back to America.

I'm not a rich woman, Robert, but if I could pay you just something against the loss...

The costs... What costs?

Well, well, all the money you're losing on my account.

Those squawk boxes, I haven't dared to tell you what they cost.

And now they're all going back.

Who said they were going back?

Did I say so? Oh, but I didn't mean it, did 1?

And the adding machines? Oh, that's not going back.

No, I must stop that at once. I'm very fond of the adding machines.

Oh! Then you don't think I am a flop? Oh, my dear.

Oh, Robert!

It's just that I'm so happy. No, no, now you mustn't upset yourself.

No, what you need is a good rest.

Look, I'll tell you what, I'll drive you home in my car.

No, no, I insist.

Now then... I don't care who you are, or where you are.

I want you to find Andrew darling and tell him to bring my car round to the front door at once.

Man's voice on intercom: Andrew darling speaking, sir.

Very well, then, get him!

Robert, are you sure you don't mind me going on talking about this?

I mean, well, I'm not interfering, am 17?

My dear, it's your job to interfere.

Alright, Robert...

Then I'm going to give it to you straight from the shoulder.

Now, honestly, there is nothing wrong with my improvements.

It's those old gremlins you've got working them.

And if you're as smart as I think you are...

You'll get rid of them.

Get rid of them! Every man Jack!

You can't have them and progress.

And as for those weavers, well, I mean, they can just draw their pensions and take you to the caves.

That's how much you need them. But who'd make the cloth?

Join the 20th century, Robert.

Stop making cloth for the privileged few.

Make cloth for the millions.

Build a factory of today to make the cloth of today.

Are you alright, darling?

Oh, yes, sir. Not you, you great oaf!

Clumsy oaf!

Oh, it's time you got rid of him too!

And this old crate.

Oh, Robert, you could have the whole industry by its ears.

I've got the slogan for you too.

"MacPherson's fibre's what you need, better far than handmade tweed".

May I trouble you for your name, sir?

MacPherson, Robert MacPherson.


Will that be MacPherson's tweeds now?

Synthetic fibre.

Synthetic fibre?

Man sings: J should old acquaintance be forgot j j and never brought to mind &

&§ should old acquaintance... & what do you think you're doing, eh? How about one for the road, mr macleod?

You'd better put your head under a cold tap.

If mr MacPherson sees you like that, you'll get fired, Mac.

I have been fired.

Eh? Aye.

And you'd better look out for yourself.

You're a gremlin.

That's what she said. Who says?

Mrs blathering barrows.

And you should hear what she's going to do with the house of MacPherson.

Aye? Aye.

Darling: Here...

What... what's a gremlin?

We'd better go and see mr robertson.

He's a fine old gremlin.

Will you please stop calling me a gremlin!

Can you be sure mr MacPherson agreed with mistress barrows?


Wasn't he agreeing with everything she said?

Even to building a new factory.

New factory?

Does mr Martin know about this?

No, he doesn't even know he's a gremlin.

There was some talk of a factory.

Aye, and there was more than just talk.

The weavers are going to be evicted from their crofts.

You're talking nonsense, Andrew. Why should they be?

Why? I'll tell you why!

So's they can get their old-age pensions and live in the caves.

You are drunk, Andrew darling!

He's only just discovered it!

But what could it mean?

They're surely not going to stop the weaving?

Darling: Stop the weaving?

They're going to make cloth for the million, her and mr MacPherson.

Darling sings: J mcpherson's fibre's what you need j fibre! Aye!

Synthetic fibre!

Mr Graham! Darling: Who's drunk now?

Martin: Let's come over to the chair. You'll be alright.

You'll be alright, mr Graham.

Darling sings: J mcpherson's fibre's what you... & there goes darling!

Aye, well, he's better off lying down.

It's all this stupid talk about the synthetic fibres.

I think I'll sit down.

Macleod: Och, mrs barrows should never have been allowed near this house.

Robertson: It was a terrible error.

"A terrible error".

No good speaking about her as if she was just a...

An entry in one of Martin's ledgers.

I mean, an entry can be rubbed out, can't it, Martin?


Oh, aye, aye.

Aye, yes, you could rub out an error.

Regarding the matter of...

The matter... Yes, yes, well, the matter of what?

Of synthetic fibre.

We were thinking that perhaps it might be an error.

Martin whispers: You could always rub out a...

An error. What was that, Martin?

Oh, um, nothing, sir. I was just thinking.

Quite right, Martin.

Mrs barrows says we must all put our thinking caps on.

She regards herself in this organisation as a sort of baffle or sounding-board, against which members of the staff must be free to bounce as often as they please.

On cinema screen: You are surprised, my friend, but the killer was not.

He had studied his victim.

He knew she was a drug addict.

He had calculated that by the time he entered her house, she would be what our American cousins would call

"coked to the gills”.

"Coked to the gills"!

Actor on screen: But where does that lead us?

There were no finger prints in the house other than those of the dead woman.

For an obvious reason, the killer never removed his gloves!


And the fingerprints on the knife? Never removed the gloves...

Those, too, were the prints of the unfortunate victim?


The killer would not risk the purchase of so obvious a weapon.

The knife which dealt the mortal blow belonged to the woman herself.


How can we ever hope to catch such a calculating rascal? No, no...

My dear friend, can you not see for yourself?

The presence of the whisky glasses and the pipe, points to the unknown intruder being none other than Elias lindstrom.

Tobias lingum.

You have just said yourself that Elias lindstrom neither smoked nor drank.

It is quite elementary...

My dear friend. Neither smoked nor drank.

Lindstrom had brought a pipe into that poor woman's house and had poured himself out a drink.

Hm. Perfect... perfect...

Perfect... excuse me...


He was secure in the knowledge that he would be the last person...

To be suspected. Well done, well done.

Yes... oh...

It's very well done, that film...

Very well done.

Uh, yes, sir?

Uh... serve your customer first.

Oh, we're just having a crack. What would you like, sir?

Uh... uh, some cigarettes, please.

What kind?

Any kind.

Uh, th-those red ones...

I always have those.

Filter tips? No... just the cigarettes, please.

How much is that?

You'd better try these then, they're three and eleven, sir.


Three and eleven...

Cheap at half the price...

But which brand of whisky, sir? We have them all.

I'd... I'd better have a flat bottle.

Flat bottle? Yes, I always have a flat bottle, you see, because it goes in my pocket here.

Oh... Fits in there, do you see?


Has to be the right size.

Aye, well. Will you try this one for size, sir?

It's quite a new brand - kilwhillie.

Kilwhillie? Aye.

No, no, I don't like the name.

Oh, but it's a good fit... And a very good blend.

No, no, I don't like the name. Do ye no'?

I'd like a different name with another bottle.

I see. Well now, how about this "old acquaintance"?

Aye, that'll... Sure, that will do fine, aye.

I have a... Shall I help fit?

Try it in there. Yes.

How much do I owe you?

Uh, nineteen and nine, sir.

Oh, well, keep the change and have a drink on me...

"And how are you today, mrs barrows?"

Uh... "And how are you today?"

Uh... and how... and how...

"A-a-and how are you today, mrs barrows?"

Oh! It's, uh... it's mrs barrows.

Uh, yes. And how are you today?

Well, I'm just fine. How are you, mr Martin?

Och, well, I can't complain.

Have you noticed the evenings are getting longer?

That generally happens about this time of the year.

It's a problem to know what to do with them.

I usually stay at home of an evening.

Well, I can't say I blame you.

If there is any night life in this dump, I haven't found it yet.

Still, it's nice to stay at home and entertain your friends.

Uh, I suppose you have a lot of people to see you of an evening?

Yes, sometimes. But, you must excuse me, I must get on.

Yes, um... do you ever spend an evening by yourself at home sometimes?

Yes, sometimes. I'll be seeing you.

Never works out as you plan it...

"How are you today, mrs barrows?"

"I'm fine, how are you?"

"Oh, not bad, fine..."

Barrows: Will I see you later in my apartment?

Robert: I was thinking, perhaps I'd better spend the evening at home.

Try and kill my wretched cold, what?

Barrows: That may be wise.

If you change your mind, just give three rings.

I won't come down and answer the door unless I know it's you.

Good night, Robert.

Robert: Oooh...

Good night, mr meekie.

Oh, I'm sorry, mr MacPherson.

I didn't realise there was anybody still here.

Hear a sound and I thought they'd all gone.

It's the mackeith file, I thought I'd leave it on your table...

For the morning. Thank you, Martin.

Everything under control? Yes, thank you very much, sir.

Are you feeling alright?

Why do you ask that?

Well, I don't know, it's probably it's the light, sir, but you did seem to have a strange pallor.

I think it's the light, though.

Good night, Mr... Martin...

As a matter of fact, I don't feel very well.

Do you think I ought to see a doctor?

Oh, I wouldn't do that, sir.

The poor men have got their hands full with this diphtheria epidemic.

Diphtheria epidemic!

Yes, sir, but there's a lot of it about, you know.

Well, good night to you. Just a moment, Martin, please.

What are the symptoms?

Well, sir, I do understand from some people that those who have it seem to complain of dryness of the throat and the motion of the legs.

Of course, the trouble is, the poor dears don't know they've got it and will insist on gadding about and if they only knew the truth of it they're a few hours from the grave.

Well, good night to you, sir.

Robert, dear, are you feeling any bet...

Well, for Pete's sake, what are you doing here?

I want to talk to you.

I've got a message.

From whom?

Um, from somebody you were expecting...

Uh, can we go up?

Hi there!

Good evening, mrs barrows, and how are you?

Just fine. How's yourself? Fine thanks.

Just letting Sally take me for a walk.

Good night. Barrows: Well, have a nice walk.

Oh, this is mr, uh...

Good night.

What are you up to?

I didn't want you to mention my name.

Why not? What's the matter with it?

Oh, no, no. I was thinking of your reputation.

I mean, what would he think, inviting men into your flat?

Well, nobody's invited you.

However, now that you're here, what's the message?


Mr MacPherson...

He asked me to tell you something, but I can't quite remember what it was.

Barrows: Well, I'll be...


Is something wrong with you?

Uh, yes. I've got a bit of a chill.

I'll be alright presently.

Oh, well, I'll get you something for that.

And, please, try to remember what the message was.

Barrows: A little nip would do you good but I forgot you don't... Oh, you do drink?

Yes, I never go anywhere without a bottle.

Well, what do you know!


Would you like to have a cigarette?

Uh, no thanks, I smoke only filter tips.

Oh, that's handy...

Look, mr Martin, I don't quite get this.

What is the message you had for me?

Uh... well... it was, mr MacPherson, uh...

He said that he was feeling poorly and, uh, that he wouldn't be around to see you but that he would go straight home to bed.

And mr MacPherson sent you around here to tell me that?

Oh, come off it, mr Martin. Now what is this?

You live by yourself, don't you?

Gets pretty lonely sometimes, I expect.

I believe you came around here just to see me, isn't that it?

Yes, uh... that is just how it was.

That's why you asked me the other day what I did with my evenings.

Oh, well, I think that's real cute.

Well, now that you're here, you might as well have a drink.

Oh, no! Can't have you drinking your liquor in my house.

You must drink mine.

Why? What's so special about yours? Is it poisoned?

Oh, no, no!

That was just a little joke.

Well, make yourself comfortable. Take your hat off.

No, I-i-i never take my hat off in the house.

Uh, well alright, you just sit there and I'll bring you a drink.

Barrows: What are you doing out there, Samson?

Breaking up the house?

Come in and help me.



Oh, come here.

Look, will you get that bottle of whisky down from up there?

Yes. Thank you.

I put it up there out of reach of the cleaners.

You know what they are.

I don't think the really mean to steal, but when they see it in front of them, the temptation's too great.

Now, let me see.

Ah, there we are. Thank you.

Now, would you like to get some ice out of the fridge for me?

Yes... yes...

Here, you'll need this.

These trays get stuck.

Just stab that underneath the trays and they'll come loose alright.

Well, what are you waiting for? Start stabbing!

How are you getting on? Is it coming out?

Here it is. Ah, there's my little boy scout.

Thank you... oh, and this...

Barrows: That's right, that goes in here.

So you're a secret drinker, eh?

Well, well...

"Still waters", that's your name from now on.

Say "when".

Don't you ever say "when"?


Say, you weren't kidding when you said that about drinking!

Come on, still waters.

Come on still waters!

No secret drinking in this house! Bring it in here.

I was trying to.

I'll just get my drink and follow you right in.


Now, sit down and relax.

And take that coat off, you must be hot!

No, no...

Oh, well, I'll be right back.

Well, Robert, if a thermometer says you're "normal”, I expect you are" normal'.

Are you coming round to see me?

Well, I-i-1 don't like to risk it. I mean, the doctor's just been.

He doesn't seem to know much about it. He didn't think it was diphtheria, but...


Oh, Robert, now you are imagining things.

Get into that little old car of yours and come on around.

Well, I don't really like to, dear. It's been rather a shock, you know.

Well, yes of course it was a shock. I'm just sorry you can't come, that's all.

I had a surprise for you... a visitor...

A gentleman visitor...

However, you just stay where you are if you're feeling groggy.

I expect you've been working too hard.

He's a bit late, isn't he?

Still waters, now what are you doing?

Oh, steady, boy!

Don't go falling out.

Well, now, come and sit down and tell me all your problems.

There's a poor wee cat stranded on the ledge out here.

Yes, well, that's his worry, not yours.

Pussy... pussy puss... Come on, puss...

Oh, for heaven's sake! Come along, puss!

Where is the silly animal? I'll get rid of it.

It's just, uh... stranded on the ledge down there.

Where? I don't see any cat.

Martin: On the left.

You'll need to get up onto the ledge to see it.

Choir: J all things bright and beautiful... & - oh, there's nothing down there.

I'll hold on to your legs, don't worry.

Barrows: But, where? Where's the cat? Pussy?

Can you see it, mrs barrows? Barrows: No, I don't see any cat.

Choir: J all things wise and wonderful & well, you will do now!

J the lord god made them all j each little flower that opens j& j each little bird that sings j j he made their glowing colours j I he made their tiny wings & You must have had a few before you came.

There's no cat down there.

I all things bright and beautiful & Hey! Where are you going?

J all creatures great and small j I'm very sorry, mrs barrows.

I've made the most terrible mistake.

You see, uh, when I came here tonight, I meant...

I know what you meant, you silly boy.

I'm not offended.

Come on, here, here. Come on, back and finish your drink.

Well, well, mr Martin, drinking and smoking, and being a lady killer.

What would they think at the office if I told them?

I don't think they'd believe you.

You're darned right they wouldn't believe me.

They'd think I was imagining things, like you seeing that cat that wasn't there.

They'd think I was out of my mind.

Yes... they would think that you were out of your mind.

Little men in white coats would come for me, I'd be put away.

Oh, you never fooled me for a minute, mr Martin.

There's no such thing as a man with no vices.

Oh, do take off your gloves!

No, no. Well, you really are...

I going to drink a toast, mrs barrows.

A toast?

Aye, a toast.

Damnation to that fat, over-fed buzzard, puffing Billy bunter!


Wee MacPherson. Are you speaking of poor Robert?

Really, mr Martin!

I'm preparing a bomb that'll blow that fat fool sky high.

Mr Martin, you are drunk. You'd better go.

If mr MacPherson could hear you...

There are ways of shutting a man's mouth, mrs barrows!

Have you gone mad?

No, not mad, doped!

Doped! Aye, I'm a drug addict!

I'm gonna murder that fellow...

And when I do, I'll be doped to the gills with coke!

And then we'll have the house of MacPherson, you and I together!

We'll have each other...

You! Come here, you little naughty darling!

My god, you're crazy!

Barrows: Robert! Help! Robert! Who's it?

Quick, quick, Robert, hurry!


Well, I rang the right bell that time.

Oh, Robert. I'm so glad you've come.

He's upstairs, he's drunk, he's going to kill you!

Who's going to kill me? Mr Martin!

Martin? No, no, no.

He's drunk!

Barrows: Please hurry, there's no time to lose.

Robert: Don't push me, Angela.


He's hiding. I'll flush him out.

Robert: You must have imagined it.

Barrows: "Imagined" nothing, he was normal and then suddenly he...

And I even trusted him with a carving knife!

In the bedroom...

Robert: What was he doing with the carving knife?

Barrows: For Pete's sake forget the knife and help me find him!

He must be here! He's behind... mr Martin!

He's in the cupboard... That's where he is!

Robert: I don't understand, Angela.

If he wants to kill me, what's he in your cupboard?

Barrows: Never mind what he's doing, he's there!

The little... rat! I'll get him out!

This... this...


Oh, I'm...

The bed! He's under the bed!

Angela, really, this is so undignified.

Barrows: Are you afraid? No, certainly not.

You can see for yourself, there's absolutely nothing there.

Barrows: The bathroom!

Oh, the cupboard!

Now come out, you son of a...

Oh! Oh, dear!

Oh, but you're so helpless! If only there were a man here!

Robert: Quite right, dear, quite right.

Barrows: Oh, oh, oh, oh...

Yes, yes, I quite understand.

I hope you didn't mind my ringing you, dr Fitch.

Oh, yes. Most distressing.

We employers have a personal responsibility for our staff.

Thank you.

Thank you.

This is mr Martin speaking.

Martin, old chap, step into my office right away, will you?

Yes, mr MacPherson, I'll come over straight away.

Well, have you fired him yet?

Now please, Angie, Martin's on his way over here.

Is he? Well, have you notified the police?

The police? We don't want to get involved with the police, do we?

Well then, we must send for a doctor.

No, I... I've talked to the doctor, he's standing by.

Oh, he is... Ah-ah! That'll be Martin now.

Stay where you are, Martin. He mustn't see you.

Come out this way. Well, I shall be listening.

Don't let that zombie fool you.

Remember... he must be put away!

Oh, it's you, Martin! Won't you come in?

Good morning, sir.

Good morning, Martin.

Won't you sit down, Martin, over here.

Are you feeling better this morning, mr MacPherson?

Yes, oh, yes thank you, I'm...

I'm quite recovered.

Oh, uh, you know that I never smoke, mr MacPherson.

Oh, how stupid of me.

After all these years with the firm, I ought to have remembered that.

How many years is it, Martin?

It's 35, sir, next michaelmas day.

And during all that time, you've never smoked a cigarette or had a drink, eh?

Your late father, sir, on his death bed, offered me a dram but I had to refuse it.

So last night, if you had had a drink and taken a cigarette, that would have been for the first time?

It would have been sir, yes.

Martin, last night when you went to mrs barrows' apartment it was simply to deliver my message, wasn't it?

Your message, sir?

About my cold.

I'm afraid I don't understand you, sir.

No, I didn't suppose you would.

Alright Martin, you can go.

Oh no you can't!

You're going to tell... No, please leave this to me.

Please, mrs barrows has been working rather too hard lately, and she's got it into her head that you went to her apartment last night and behaved in a rather disgraceful manner.

It's quite ridiculous, of course. Sorry, sir.

If there's something I could do? No, no, thank you so much, Martin.

You may go. Oh, you lying rat!

You tell him what you did last night!

He was drinking and smoking his own cigarettes.

Quite impossible, dear.

All the cigarette ends had lipstick on them.

There was only one glass, and that had lipstick on it too.

Thank you so much, Martin. Oh, for heaven's sake!

Ask mr white. Mr white saw him.

Who's mr white? The blind man.

What? Well, I mean he would have seen him.

His dog sniffed at his trousers.

I have no dog, sir. I mean mr white's dog.

Don't listen to him, Robert.

You mean Martin was seen by a blind dog?


Listen to me, Robert!

Last night he was drinking some scotch called "old acquaintance".

He had his gloves on.

And when you came in he was making a pass at me.

Making a pass at you with his gloves on?

Oh, how can you be so gosh darn stupid!

He's going to murder you!

He's going to take over the house of MacPherson.

He's going to get coked to the gills and kill you!

Robertson, Graham, macleod, here at once. Help!

You don't believe me! How stupid can you be?

As for you, if you weren't such a drab, ordinary little man, I'd think you'd planned this all.

How can you believe him? You're mad! You're crazy!

Crazy! You... you...


Mrs barrows, I beg you to control yourself.

You're overwrought. I've just discussed your condition with dr Fitch.

He tells me such breakdowns are perfectly common with women who undertake the burden of business life.


Oh... I'll give you business life!

Robert: I warn you, if you come close, I shall defend myself!

Well done, well done, everybody.

Will you see to it that mrs barrows... Take your hands off me!

Is escorted safely home.

How dare you! Take your... Oh, put me down!

I've never been treated like this before in my life!

You'll regret this, Robert. Wait till I get my lawyer on to this.

Help, will somebody please help?


I'm sorry this had to happen, Martin.

Most distressing, most distressing for all concerned.

I'm afraid mrs barrows' usefulness in this office is at an end.

I hope you will dismiss the whole thing from your mind.

I will. Thank you very much, sir.

Answer it, will you? I don't feel at all well.


This is mr MacPherson's office speaking.

Who is that please?

Oh, would you mind remaining connected for a moment, sir?

Mr MacPherson, it's the editor of the Scottish daily chronicle.

He'd like a few words with you.

I suppose we must carry on.

Men must work while women must weep.

Hello, MacPherson here.

Who said I was going in for synthetic fibre?

Why should 1? Just answer me that.

Nothing but a damn silly rumour!

You take the facts from me, sir.

I am in the, uh...

Where am I?

The catbird seat, sir.

I'm in the catbird seat.

No, I don't know where it is either, but that's what I'm in...

Thank you, Martin. That'll be all.

Thank you, sir.

Och, it's you.


There is no need to use violence.

There is many a battle been won without even striking a blow.

What did I gie ye?


Narrator: The battle of the sexes...

Ahd never a cease fire.

You see, mr Martin hasn't reckoned with man's greatest hazard...

A woman's tears.

Put it another way...

Mr Martin has won a battle...

But has he won the war?

Ah, well, that's the way it goes.

That's life.

Happy days, mr Martin...

But watch out!