Thirteen Women (1932) Script

Woman: June!

Look who's here, sis.

Why, Hazel cousins!

Hello, June.

How you been, you old so-and-so?

Oh, gosh, it's good to see you!

Tell me, do you see any of the old crowd--

You know, the dear old campus?

No. I don't get around much.

I've been taking a motor trip with a friend.

And when I saw you were here, I simply had to come in and say hello.

That's swell.

Come on, snap into it, honey.

We're on next. I'll be right back.

What's the matter, June?

I'll have to tell you.

I've got to tell somebody to get it out of my head.

Hazel, I shouldn't go on with this act.

I'm afraid.

Afraid? Of what?

Oh, it's something that's been on my mind for a long time now.

Didn't bother me much at first, but now it's driving me-- No, no, I can't go out.

What's the matter? What's happened?

Do you remember that round-Robin letter we all sent each other?


Well, in that letter, one of the girls mentioned how miraculous some swami in New York was in predicting what was going to happen to us.

So you sent for your horoscope?

Did you, too?

Well, he sent us 3 letters--warnings.

I didn't tell my sister.

Hazel, he said something terrible was going to happen to one of us--

An accident--

And that the other one of us would go--

Oh, no, I can't go on, way up there.

Oh, no, I'm afraid.

Sister: June!

Come on, we're on.


[Audience applauds]

[No audio]

Ladies and gentlemen!

I take great pleasure in introducing to you the marvel of the Joe E. Marvel circus, the Raskob sisters!


[Circus music playing]

And now the Raskob sisters will do their world-famous double flip, done without a net--

The most breathtaking, death-defying aerial feat that this, or in my opinion, ladies and gentlemen, any generation, will ever see!


[No audio]

[No audio]

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[Drumroll stops]


I worked this horoscope out 5 times.

It predicts great happiness, but still I’m afraid to send it.

Why, swami?

Because I was fatally wrong about June Raskob.

Her future was as happy as this one.

A week after I wrote her, her sister was dead, and she was insane.

You must send it.

Have I--

Have I lost the power to divine the stars?

No, swami.

But you must send the letter for the sake of those 12 women who wrote the round Robin asking for their horoscopes.

They were schoolgirls together.

Their lives form one chain of destiny--

12 women who believe.

Don't destroy their fate in the occult, swami.

What is in that brain of yours?

Your eyes--

We've met before, of that I'm certain.

Not on this earth.

Were we lovers in another incarnation, swami?

Tell me.

Couldn't you learn by casting my horoscope?

I have cast it...

To see if the heavens could explain your--

Your effect on me.


Please don't make me tell you.

Tell me.

It is death I read for you.

Aren't we all to die?

But you not pleasantly.

Oh, the thought is too horrible.

Your body-- mangled like that.


An accident, the stars say.

A railroad, perhaps.

How strange.

So are you to die like that.

Don't look at me that way.

Don't look at me like that.

You're very tired, swami.

Sleep is so sweet.



Boy: Oh, mother!

We're playing Tarzan, and nan' says I can't climb trees.

But Tarzan did, mother, so why can't I--


Los Angeles calling Mrs. Helen Frye, New York.

Mrs. Helen Frye?


Hello? Hello, Helen.

Why, Laura Stanhope.

It's grand hearing you again.

What's up?

Oh... oh, yes.

His prediction came true.

Oh, but, dear, that's just a coincidence, may going like that, and then Hazel.

We mustn't believe in it, Helen.

I'm going to put a stop to it, do you hear?

Listen, Grace Coombs lives out here, and Jo Turner's going to stop off on her way back from Hawaii.

Helen, you try to come out.

Oh... oh, I'd love to, Laura, but George has been so wretched since--

Since the baby left us.

I don't think I’d--

But the trip will do you good.

We'll laugh those fool horoscopes right out of our heads.

All right. Let me know.


Can I, mother, in my old clothes?

Yes, darling, you can climb the apple tree in your own yard.


Oh, hello, Grace.

How are you?

Come on, sit down.

Oh, another one of those messages, huh?


Grace, if you don't stop selling your soul to the devil by believing in those foolish horoscopes...

What about may?

And Hazel is in jail.

It's pitiful, yes, but the result of natural causes.

And belief in anything else is believing in... Magic.

But, Laura--

And you could help the rest of us, Grace, if you'd hush... and stop writing your letters telling us all to prepare for our--

But the moon does control the tides, and nothing can live without the sun.

Why shouldn't we be controlled?

Because we are reasoning human beings, silly, and not irresponsible machines.

Listen, Laura, this letter came from the swami just an hour ago.

I have to tell you.


"I would do anything to prevent the disasters

"that have come down upon you and your friends, "as I would do anything to save my own life.

"But I can do neither, for I am helpless, too.

"I knew too much about the heavens.

"They're killing me.

"My own horoscope shows that I am to leave this earth before July 1st."


Well, if I needed anything more than common sense to disprove your argument, that would be enough.

No one is going to take his own life just to prove to 12 women that he's a good stargazer.

You're deranged, Grace.

If this happens...

If the swami himself does die, how can we disbelieve?

In New York before July 1st.


Well, that makes it practically unanimous.

I'll have a lemonade with bitters, please.

Excuse me.

Aren't you Helen Dawson?

Before I was married, yes.

Hello, um...

St. Alban's school, wasn't it?

Oh, I--I have forgotten your name.

Ursula Georgi.

Oh, yes, of course.

Well, isn't this fun meeting like this?

Are you going to the coast?

It doesn't seem long since we were in St. Alban's, does it?

Tell me about the girls.

It's nice of you to ask about the girls.

As I remember, it wasn't very pleasant for you.

Oh... I didn't mind having to leave.

It was hard on the missionary who sent me there.

He picked me up in India to, uh, to save me.

All those things mattered so dreadfully then.

They seem so childish now.

How I used to envy you girls--

Your parties, your sororities.

You're lucky you don't belong, if you ask me.

Because of those timetables laid out by the stars you were talking about?

You straight-thinking, oh-so-rational Anglo-Saxons don't believe in such things, do you?

Laura doesn't, thank goodness.

Mrs. Stanhope always was a strong character, wasn't she?

Yes. That's why she's getting us all together--

To laugh it all away.

I haven't laughed in so long.

My little girl had the bluest eyes.

She was just 2 1/2 years old.

It's what happened to Yogadachi himself that makes it all so convincing.

He predicted even the date he'd go.

You can't laugh that off, can you?


I want you to read his last letter.

[Train whistle blows]

Isn't that silly?

A man I've never seen--

He has the nerve to tell me that I'm going to kill myself.

Why the gun, then?

Aren't you afraid that--

Afraid? Why, of course not.

It belongs to my husband.

I brought it along with me just to prove to myself that that swami is bogus.

If--if I avoided the thing now, I would know that I was afraid.

Oh, are you going to bed?

Yes. It's so late.

We'll be in Los Angeles in the morning.

I'll see you at breakfast.


If I were you, I’d--

This? Oh, don't worry.

No stars are going to twinkle, twinkle me into committing suicide.

Good night.

Good night.





Oh, you let an old lady beat you.

You did not beat me.

I let you win 'cause you're a girl.

You're going to help mother now, darling. Come on, you run--

Ah, she don't want to help you, mother.

Yes, she does want to help me, too.


Oh, he's precious.

I do envy you, Laura.

To me, life is just an ashtray full of cigarette butts.

Why don't you marry again, Jo?

Oh, I would if I was sure of getting a kid like Bobby.

What about the present fiance?

Oh, he's a lot of fun, but all he wants is a well-stocked cellar, a racehorse, bridge...

Anything but babies.

Laura, why don't you marry again sometime?


I could never be dependent on anyone again.

I love standing on my own feet.

I wonder if any woman can.

Why not?

I say, do you remember how you were always afraid the boys would go too far, and I was afraid that they wouldn't?

[Both laugh]

Here, let me help.

Well, here's Helen's. Where do you want her?

Oh, let's put Helen there, hmm?

Excuse me, Mrs. Stanhope.

Bobby: Mother!

Can I put this up in my room with nails, mother?

It's for my engine to sleep on.

Hey, Burns, will you do it for me?


That's keen! Come on.

Burns, where's Mrs. Frye? Didn't you meet her?

I met the train, yes, ma'am, but no one came.

Isn't it funny Helen didn't wire?

Oh, she probably missed him and is taking a cab.

[Train bell clangs]

Man: What do you say, sergeant?

I agree with you, coroner, for once.

Mmm. Much obliged.

What is it? What's happened?


Sergeant Clive here says the restricted angles of the compartment prove that.

He's the mathematician of the department, so--

Suicide's bad enough, but I'm relieved it wasn't--

Murder? No.

On the other hand, something makes one kill oneself.

So suicide is murder.

Trouble is, you can't arrest a "something," can you?

I beg your pardon.

The Porter believes he saw you passing Mrs. Frye's drawing room at about the time the suicide happened.

That's very possible.

Tell me, did you hear or see anything unusual?

I can't say that I did.

I feel terribly upset about it.

I met the lady on the train, and she seemed very charming.

Thank you, miss--

Or is it "Mrs."?

Miss Сlemons.


Thank you, miss Clemons.

Sergeant: All right, folks. You can go now.

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

[Playing light tune]

Jo, I sent a wire to Helen in New York--

"thought perhaps you'd missed the train."

Haven't gotten an answer yet.

Strange, isn't it?

Hello, Grace. Hello, dear.

How are you? Very well, thank you.

Jo Turner's here. Oh.

Hello, darling. Jo, dear.

Quite in the flesh.

Darling, I'm sorry to make a liar out of your infallible swami, but I haven't killed myself over a man yet.


He should have known that it's the men... that kill themselves over me.

Sit down, Grace dear. Sit down.

Oh, Jo, please don't be so flippant.

What is written in the stars must come to pass.

OK with me. I've had a lot of fun.

You're both faithless.


Sure. When the gods are fed up with me--voila.

Don't pay any attention to her, Grace.

Beg pardon, madam.

Oh, yes.

We'll wait dinner for the others, Henry, but you might bring some cocktails in here, please.

Yes, but, excuse me, a policeman.

May I come in?

You'll excuse me, but the baggage belonging to a Mrs. Frye... was marked to be delivered here.

Has anything happened?

I'm terribly sorry.

It appears to be... Suicide.

It happened on the train.

Do you know of any reason that could account for--

I, uh--Mrs. Frye, a couple of months ago, sergeant, lost her only child, and since then--

I can understand that, Mrs. Stanhope.

We were just going to have a reunion dinner.

Old classmates.

Mrs. Stanhope, if you'll be kind enough to drop into headquarters...

Tomorrow, say... A routine statement about Mrs. Frye--

Oh, yes, of course, sergeant.

Thank you. Good night.

Good night.

Well, do you still doubt, Laura?

Are you still laughing, Jo?

Yogadachi's been right again.

Oh, you must accept his truth, as I have.

That's the trouble with you, Grace! Glorifying such rot!

Rot? I tell you that nothing could save Helen, nor may, nor Hazel, from fate.

Don't you understand? It was written for them...

As it is for all of us.

Well, if it's all settled for us, why worry?

Stop talking about it! Stop thinking about it!

Anyone can think themselves into anything!

You two are stumbling in a dark, material world.

I am above it... As Yogadachi was.

Death means peace, freedom.

I shall meet him... Gladly.

Well, I shan't.

Depression or not, personally, I'm mad about this world.

Oh! Go on home, Grace! You give me the creeps!

No, no, not I, but what's written for you, only you're afraid to face it.

Grace, I think you'd better go.

Just as you say.


She gives me the jitters!

Guess you'd feel the same way, too, if you'd received one of those horoscopes.

I have.


I've been trying not to think about it, Jo.

He warned me that...

That something dreadful would happen to Bobby... on or... Before his birthday.

But my dear, why on earth didn't you go to the police?

Oh, I... I was determined not to give in to superstition.

Yes, but... Surely it's gone beyond a joke now.

You're right.

When I see that detective in the morning, I'm going to tell him everything!

I think you should.

When is Bobby's birthday?


Three days.

[Wind blowing]

I don't know how I've... Lasted... Away from you.

You haven't.

You've grown fat.

Well, it's a soft job.

Did you have any trouble finding the place?


I thought a little house would be better--

Yes, Burns.

How long does a man have to be in love with you before you call him by his first name?

Why, you--you'd think I was working for you.

You are!


Burns: Haven't you missed me? Of course I have.

When are you going to tell me about things?

When are we going to stop with all this?


I didn't figure on going this far.

I didn't even think it'd work!

But you see it does.

With the others, perhaps.

But... but miss stanhope!

Is Mrs. Stanhope-- Laura--

Is she still strong?

Yes, she is.

I hate her--

Her cool, poised character, her rigid mind.

You will never break her.

Yes, I will.

"That big elephant that was so friendly picked him right up with his trunk!"

Here, Robert. It's for you.

Does it say my name on it?!


I bet it's a present for my birthday!

Mmm! Chocolates, nan'!

Not until you've finished your milk!

'Bye, darling.

[Muffled talking]

Where'd that come from?

The mail, madam.

Perhaps I shouldn't have given it to him.

It must be a present for sunday.


Now, can I, nan'? Can I?

No! No. Not so early in the morning, darling.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Stanhope.

Come along, Bobby. You'll be late for school.

No! No... No... Bobby.

How would you like to miss school today, stay at home and help nan' with your birthday party?

Can--can Burns finish building my pirate place?

You bet he can! Would you like that?

Thank you, mommy!

Hey, Burns! I don't have to go to school today!

Well, the candy's ok, but it's been tampered with since it was bought.

If anybody had eaten it, he'd have strangled to death in 30 seconds.



How many of the swami's predictions have come true, Mrs. Stanhope?

3. 4.

You must remember that the swami foretold his own death.

Well, there's no sense in it.

The man goes out and mails the candy, then goes and kills himself. No sense!

That's right, chief.

Looks like the swami was hired to scare those women into--

How can you hire a man to kill himself?

Eh, there's no sense in it.

Anyway, sergeant, it's your case.

If I think about it anymore, I'll probably wind up in the booby hatch!

That's just what happened to the other people--

Thinking about it too much.

This case is just crazy enough for sergeant Clive to solve.

Excuse me, lady.

Oh, w-why should the swami want to kill my little boy?

Perhaps he didn't.

This package was stamped at the parcel post window at 14 minutes past 3:00.

Now, the accident happened at 2 minutes past 12:00.

Hmm! The swami was dead for over 3 hours when the candy was mailed. Dead?!

But someone else is still alive.

S-Someone who-- Who still wants to kill Bobby!


There must be an accomplice...

And the person that mailed this box of candy is very likely responsible for everything that's happened.

I'm going to find that person. Oh!

I'll send some men to your house at once.

I suggest that...

You be at your boy's side constantly.

Oh, yes. Yes, I'll be very careful.

Good-bye, sergeant. Oh, pardon me.

Is that sorority pin always worn there?

Yes. That's the ritual.

And only the girls who were members of your particular club wear them?


Where is St. Albans seminary?

North of San Francisco, at Medura.

What are you thinking, sergeant?

I was just thinking of you, of your boy, Mrs. Stanhope.

Oh, thank you. Not at all.

Good-bye. Good-bye.

It seems incredible that such things as you describe could possibly be happening to those other children of mine out in the world.

They're not children anymore.

The New York police questioned Mrs. Hazel cousins in jail.

She told them that she started the round Robin, but, uh... You gave her the idea.

Why, how could she say that, when I didn't?

I was merely having luncheon with the dear child, when I was attending a conference of educators in New York.

Pardon me, miss Kirsten.

Hazel cousins insists that you suggested the idea to her.

Oh, but Mr. Clive, I?

Why--oh! It's simply impossible!

Why--why, I-- wait a moment.

I'm remembering something.

Yes, I did see someone else.


Yes... yes! The mood is coming back to me.

Schoolgirl friendships fading and soon forgotten.

That's a lovely sentiment, but would you mind telling me who?

Of course not. Who?

Another one of my girls. Ursula Georgi.

Hmm. That's a very musical name, isn't it?

Do you mind saying it again? Ursula Georgi.

Ha! You enunciate beautifully, miss Kirsten.

Oh ho!

What was she like?

Sweet--very-- and mystical!

Sounds very interesting.

Now tell me, miss Kirsten, have you a photograph?

I mean, a class group or anything--

Oh, no. She wasn't here long enough for that.

One day, she decided to leave, and--

And she left.

You're a very understanding young man.

Oh, why didn't I go to the police sooner?

I've been crazy, Jo!

Trying to whip instinct with-- With just reason.

Oh, you mustn't talk like this! You mustn't even think like this!

No, I know I mustn't. I know I mustn't.

But I am!

That boy of mine's all I've got, Jo.

How can I help it with things I don't understand striking at him, like it did the others, out of the dark wh-- Where you can't protect him, imagining that--that every little breath he takes may be his last!


Nothing can happen here.

No. My mind tells me it's impossible, but it is happening!

I'm afraid.

Jo, I'm afraid!

Bobby! Bobby!

Darling, promise mother you'll never leave the house alone again.

Promise? Why not, mumsy?

Oh, mother's just a little worried, that's all.

You don't need to worry, mumsy.

I'll take care of ya.

Clear this to New York right away, will ya?

All right, sergeant.


Give this to master Bobby, with all your love.

And don't drop it.


I can't.

I can't bear the thought of it. I...

I can't do it!

Of course you will!

Darling! You and I are going away together, aren't we, as soon as everything is done?

You'll do it, won't you?

What... what will it do to him?

He won't know anything.

He'll bounce it.

Children always bounce rubber balls, don't they?

And then-- [Gasps]

Why, it--it--


You've done a lot for me, Jo.

We've helped each other, rather.

But with sergeant Clive around, you won't need me.

Ah! But just the same, I hate to see you go.

I hate going, too, only I don't dare stay.


Oh, well, I've followed my fiance, and...

I believe anything of myself when I'm in love.

Look here, Jo.

You surely don't believe your prediction?

[Laughing] I'm human, too.

Do you know, the only credulous animal on the whole face of the earth...

Is the human!

Ha ha ha! Jo! Ha ha ha!

If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Stanhope.

Yes, Burns.

I hope you don't mind.

I, uh... I took the Liberty of...

Well, of getting the little fellow a...

Well, I got him a ball for his birthday.

Oh, that's very thoughtful of you, Burns!

I'm sure he'll like it.

Is the car ready, Burns?

Yes, miss Turner. Oh, good.

Well, darling.

Good-bye. Good-bye, Jo.

What's that?

A present, dear, from Burns.

Can I see it?

Oh, no! No, no, Bobby!

If you open it now, you won't have anything left for your birthday!

Come on, sweet. Now, take your nap.

That's a man.

All right?

Here's a wire from New York, sergeant.

Are you almost through? Just about, sergeant.

Say, I know that woman! Yeah?

Yeah, she was on the train when Helen Frye committed suicide!

Let me have it.

Mike! Coming.

We want this woman. Her name's Ursula Georgi.

Half-breed type.

Half-hindu, half-Japanese. I don't know.

She's living right here in this town. I want you to find her.

Check every move she makes.

There are 1,238,048 people in Los Angeles, and you want only 1 woman? Cinch!

[Laughing] Get going. Get going.

Nan', did you tell Burns I wanted him?

He's bringing the car, Mrs. Stanhope.

Are these all the presents? Yes, Mrs. Stanhope.

Well, I won't feel satisfied until I have every one of them tested.

I suppose it's silly, but ever since that poisoned candy came...

Put these in the car please, Burns, and then take me to headquarters.


What's the matter, Burns?

I beg your pardon, Mrs. Stanhope.

I'd... I'd hoped to have the afternoon off.

You see... My mother is not well.

Oh, well, I'm sorry, Burns.

Well... well, I'll tell you what you do.

You drop me off at headquarters, and then you take the car on out to your mother's.

Sergeant Clive will bring me home.


[Engine won't turn over]

[Engine grinds]

Anything wrong, Burns?

Why, I don't know. Something--

[engine grinds]

Is your switch on?


[Engine starts]

Well, I got a hot line on Ursula Georgi.

She bought herself some dynamite at a hardware store.


How could she get hold of dynamite without a permit?

Talked him right out of it. He says she gave him the willies.

Mike, we've got to get that woman!

Oh, sergeant!

Here's some more dope on that hindu dame's case.

Read it.

"Yogadachi's chauffeur Burns disappeared a month ago."


Hello. Get me Mrs. Stanhope in Beverly Hills, quick.

You have her number on the board.

Hello? Is Mrs. Stanhope there?

Mrs. Stanhope has just left for your office.

She's taking all the packages that Bobby had for his birthday.

Is Burns there?

Burns? He's driving her down.

Do you know if there was a present from Burns among those things?

A what? A rubber ball?

Come on, Mike!

Los Angeles police department calling all cars.

Man, on radio: Watch all roads from Beverly Hills.

Be on the lookout for a limousine driven by a chauffeur.

Contains a woman passenger.

They're headed toward police headquarters.

Be careful.

Not so fast, please, Burns.

[Engine speeds up]

Burns, don't you hear? Not so fast, please!

Burns! Burns!


Throw out the packages!

Laura: Take me home, sergeant! Take me home!

Mike, take care of Mrs. Stanhope's car.

Ok, sergeant.

I--I can't stand any more of this!

Why should she want to kill Bobby?

I don't understand it!

Mrs. Stanhope, I wish you'd get out of town until we catch this Ursula Georgi.

Oh, anything! Anything to get away from all this!

Why don't you take the train for New York tonight?

Yes... yes, I will! Tonight. Fine.

Man: Los Angeles Police Department calling all cars.

Be on the lookout for a man.

He may be dressed in a light-gray chauffeur's uniform.

Also a woman, a half-caste Indian.

Watch all trains.

Watch all highways. Watch all boats.

How are we going to beat this dragnet?

If you'd only let this go this morning...

They've got-- They've got everything watched!

As if I--I'd run into their arms!

They don't think! Well, what-- what about me?

I'll come back for you. So wait.

I'll check this at the station, and you can pick it up when we leave.

Go on a train? Didn't you hear that?

All trains are-- Why can't we hide out here till this thing blows over?

They can't hang anything on us now!

Nothing's going to happen to the boy now.

You can't go on a train after what Yogadachi said would happen to you.

Yogadachi was a fake!

I was his brain, as I am yours!

You're running out on me! They'll get me!

I won't stay here!

Oh, yes, you will.

I'll... I'll be alone!

You'll be more alone if you go out, because you won't know what to do or where to turn, and they'll pick you up in minutes.

That's why you'll stay here.

[Train bell clanging]

Good-bye, Bobby.

Be sure and take good care of mother.

Sure, and don't forget you said you'd get me a policeman badge.

I won't forget, and I'll get you a gold one, too.


Good-bye, Mr. Clive. Good-bye, Bobby.

Good-bye, Mrs. Stanhope. I hope you have a pleasant trip.


I wish... I'd feel better if you were going with us.

I wish I were going.

[Steam hisses]

Man: All aboard!

Board! Board!

[Train bell clanging]

Everything's all ready, sergeant.

Good night. Good night, Mrs. Stanhope.

Good evening... Laura.

Ursula Georgi!

Does the exclusive Mrs. Stanhope further honor me... by remembering my name?

[Train clacking loudly and bell]

Bobby! Bobby!

Nan'! Let me go! Let me go!

[Train whistle blows]

[Clacking ends]

How is your child, Laura?

They tell me he's handsome and bright and very lovable.

Yes, Burns told me.

And tomorrow is his birthday.

I looked at his star tonight, and it was glowing red, like the ball I sent him.

Why should you want to kill Bobby?

He's your child, isn't he? Yours!

What have I done?

What has anyone done to make you so inhuman?


Do I hear the very human, white race asking that question?

When I was 12 years old, white sailors--

You're insane! You're insane! Maybe I am!

But do you know what it means to be a half-breed, a half-caste in a world ruled by whites?

If you're a male, you're a coolie.

And if you're a female, you're--

Well... the white half of me cried for the courtesy and protection that women like you get!

The only way I could free myself was by becoming white!

And it was almost in my hands, when you-- you and your kappa society stopped me!

You're crazy! We never did--

I spent 6 years slaving to get money enough to put me through finishing school, to make the world accept me as white!

But you... And the others wouldn't let me cross the color line.

But we were young! Maybe we were cruel...

But you can't use that to justify murder!

I can! Y--

[train whistle blows]

You're very tired, Laura.

[Door opening]

Mrs. Stanhope! Mrs. Stanhope!

[Train whistle blows]

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