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All About Eve (1950) movie script
by Joseph Mankiewicz.
More info about this movie on IMDb.com
INT. DINING HALL - SARAH SIDDONS SOCIETY - NIGHT
It is not a large room and jammed with tables, mostly for
four but some for six and eight. A long table of honor, for
about thirty people, has been placed upon a dais.
Diner is over. Demi-tasses, cigars and brandy. The overall
effect is one of worn elegance and dogged gentility. It is
The CAMERA, as it has been throughout the CREDIT TITLES, is
on the SARAH SIDDONS AWARD. It is a gold statuette, about a
foot high, of Sarah Siddons as The Tragic Muse. Exquisitely
framed in a nest of flowers, it rests on a miniature altar in
the center of the table of honor.
Over this we hear the crisp, cultured, precise VOICE of
The Sarah Siddons Award for
Distinguished Achievement is
perhaps unknown to you. It has been
spared the sensational and
commercial publicity that attends
such questionable "honors" as the
Pulitzer Prize and those awards
presented annually by the film
The CAMERA has EASED BACK to include some of the table of
honor and a distinguished gentleman with snow-white hair who
is speaking. We do not hear what he says.
The distinguished looking gentleman
is an extremely old actor. Being an
actor - he will go on speaking for
some time. It is not important what
you hear what he says.
The CAMERA EASES BACK some more, and CONTINUES until it
discloses a fairly COMPREHENSIVE SHOT of the room
However it is important that you
know where you are, and why you are
here. This is the dining room of
the Sarah Siddons Society.
The occasion is its annual banquet
and presentation of the highest
honor our Theater knows - the Sarah
Siddons Award for Distinguished
A GROUP OF WAITERS are clustered near the screen masking the
entrances of the kitchen. The screens are papered with old
theatrical programs. The waiters are all aged and venerable.
They look respectfully toward the speaker.
These hollowed walls, indeed many
of these faces, have looked upon
Modjeska, Ada Rehan and Minnie
Fiske; Mansfield's voice filled the
room, Booth breathed this air. It
is unlikely that the windows have
been opened since his death.
CLOSE - THE AWARD on its altar, it shines proudly above five
or six smaller altars which surround it and which are now
The minor awards, as you can see,
have already been presented. Minor
awards are for such as the writer
and director - since their function
is merely to construct a tower so
that the world can applaud a light
which flashes on top of it and no
brighter light has ever dazzled the
eye than Eve Harrington. Eve... but
more of Eve, later. All about Eve,
THE CAMERA MOVES TO: CLOSE - ADDISON deWITT, not young, not
unattractive, a fastidious dresser, sharp of eye and
merciless of tongue. An omnipresent cigarette holder projects
from his mouth like the sward of D'Artagnan.
He sits back in his chair, musingly, his fingers making
little cannonballs out of bread crumbs. His narration covers
the MOVE of the CAMERA to him:
To those of you who do not read,
attend the Theater, listen to
uncensored radio programs or know
anything of the world in which we
live - it is perhaps necessary to
introduce myself. My name is
My native habitat is the Theater -
in it I toil not, neither do I
spin. I am a critic and
commentator. I am essential to the
Theater - as ants are to a picnic,
as the ball weevil to a cotton
He looks to his left. KAREN RICHARDS is lovely and thirtyish
in an unprofessional way. She is scraping bread crumbs,
spilled sugar, etc., into a pile with a spoon. Addison takes
one of her bread crumbs. She smiles absently. Addison rolls
the bread crumb into a cannonball.
This is Karen Richards. She is the
wife of a playwright, therefore of
the Theater by marriage. Nothing in
her background or breeding should
have brought her any closer the
stage than row E, center...
Karen continues her doodling.
... however, during her senior year
in Radcliffe, Lloyd Richards
lectured on drama. The following
year Karen became Mrs. Lloyd
Richards. Lloyd is the author of
'Footsteps on the Ceiling' - the
play which has won for Eve
Harrington the Sarah Siddons
Karen absently pats the top of her little pile of refuse. A
hand reaches in to take the spoon away. Karen looks as the
CAMERA PANS with IT to MAX FABIAN. He sits at her left. He's
a sad-faced man with glasses and a look of constant
apprehension. He smiles apologetically and indicated a white
powder with he unwraps. He pantomimes that his ulcer is
Karen smiles back, returns to her doodling. Addison mashes a
cigarette stub, pops it out of his holder. He eyes Max.
There are two types of theatrical
producers. One has a great many
wealthy friends who will risk a tax
deductible loss. This type is
interested in Art.
Max drops the powder into some water, stirs it, drinks, burps
delicately and close his eyes.
The other is one to whom each
production mean potential ruin or
fortune. This type is out to make a
buck. Meet Max Fabian. He is the
producer of the play which has won
Eve Harrington the Sarah Siddons
Max rests fitfully. He twitches. A hand reaches into the
SCENE, removes a bottle of Scotch from before him. The CAMERA
follows the bottle to MARGO CHANNING. She sits at Max's left,
at deWitt's right. An attractive, strong face. She is
childish, adult, reasonable, unreasonable - usually one when
she should be the other, but always positive. She pours a
Addison hold out the soda bottle to her. She looks at it, and
at him, as if it were a tarantula and he had gone mad. He
smiles and pours a glass of soda for himself.
Margo Channing is the Star of the
Theater. She made her first stage
appearance, at the age of four, in
'Midsummer Night's Dream'. She
played a fairy and entered - quite
unexpectedly - stark naked. She has
been a Star ever since.
Margo sloshes her drink around moodily, pulls at it.
Margo is a great Star. A true Star.
She never was or will be anything
less or anything less...
... the part for which Eve
Harrington is receiving the Sarah
Siddons Award was intended
originally for Margo Channing...
Addison, having sipped his soda water, puts a new cigarette
in his holder, leans back, lights it, looks and exhales in
the general direction of the table of honor. As he speaks the
CAMERA MOVES in the direction of his glance...
Having covered in tedious detail
not only the history of the Sarah
Siddons Society, but also the
history of acting since Thespis
first stepped out of the chorus
line - our distinguished chairman
has finally arrived at our reason
for being here...
At this point Addison's voice FADES OUT and the voice of the
aged actor FADES IN. CAMERA is in MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT of him
and the podium.
I have been proud and privileged to
have spent my life in the Theater -
"a poor player ... that struts and
frets his hour upon the stage" -
and I have been honored to be, for
forty years, Chief Promoter of the
Sarah Siddons Society...
(he lifts the Sarah
Siddons Award from its
Thirty-nine times have I placed in
deserving hands this highest honor
the Theater knows...
(he grows a bit arch, he
uses his eyebrows)
Surely no actor is older than I - I
have earned my place out of the
... and never before has this Award
gone to anyone younger than its
recipient tonight. How fitting that
it should pass from my hands to
EVE HANDS: Lovely, beautifully groomed. In serene repose,
they rest between a demi-tasse cup and an exquisite small
Such young hands. Such a young
lady. Young in years, but whose
heart is as old as the Theater...
Addison's eyes narrow quizzically as he listens. Then,
slowly, he turns to look at Karen...
Some of us a privileged to know
her. We have seen beyond the beauty
Karen never ceases her thoughtful pat-a-cake with the crumbs.
-that have made her name resound
through the nation. We know her
humility. Her devotion, her loyalty
to her art.
Addison's glance moves from Karen to Margo.
Her love, her deep and abiding love
Margo's face is a mask. She looks down at the drink which she
cradles with both hands.
-for what we are and what we do.
The Theater. She has had one wish,
one prayer, one dream. To belong to
(he's nearing his curtain
Tonight her dream has come true.
And henceforth we shall dream the
same of her.
(a slight pause)
Honored members, ladies and
gentlemen - for distinguished
achievement in the Theater - the
Sarah Siddons Award to Miss Eve
The entire room is galvanized into sudden and tumultuous
applause. Some enthusiastic gentlemen rise to her feet...
Flash bulbs start popping about halfway down the table of the
Aged Actor's left...
Eve rises - beautiful, radiant, poised, exquisitely gowned.
She stands in simple and dignified response to the ovation.
A dozen photographers skip, squat, and dart about like water
bugs. Flash bulbs pop and pop and pop...
THE WAITERS applaud enthusiastically...
AGED ACTOR, Award in hand, he beams at her...
EVE smiles sweetly to her left, then to her right...
MAX has come to. He applauds lustily.
ADDISON's applauding too, more discreetly.
MARGO, not applauding. But you sense no deliberate slight,
merely an impression that as she looks at Eve her mind is on
KAREN, nor is she applauding. But her gaze is similarly fixed
on Eve in a strange, faraway fashion.
ADDISON, still applauding, his eyes flash first at Margo and
then at Karen. Then he directs them back to Eve. He smiles
ever so slightly.
The applause has continued unabated. EVE turns now, and moves
gracefully toward the Aged Actor. She moves through
applauding ladies and gentlemen; from below the flash bulbs
As she nears her goal, the Ages Actor turns to her. He holds
out the award. Her hand reaches out for it. At that precise
moment - with the award just beyond her fingertips - THE
PICTURE HOLDS, THE ACTION STOPS. The SOUND STOPS.
Eve. Eve, the Golden Girl. The
cover girl, the girl next door, the
girl on the moon... Time has been
good to Eve, Life goes where she
goes - she's been profiled,
covered, revealed, reported, what
she eats and when and where, whom
she knows and where she was and
when and where she's going...
ADDISON has stopped applauding, he's sitting forward, staring
intently at Eve... his narration continues unbroken.
... Eve. You all know all about
Eve... what can there be to know
that you don't know...?
As he leans back, the APPLAUSE FADES IN as tumultuous as
before. Addison's look moves slowly from Eve to Karen.
KAREN, she leans forward now, her eyes intently on Eve. Her
lovely face FILLS THE SCREEN as the APPLAUSE FADES ONCE MORE -
as she thinks back:
When was it? How long? It seems a
lifetime ago. Lloyd always said
that in the Theater a lifetime was
a season, and a season a lifetime.
It's June now. That was - early
October... only last October. It
was a drizzly night, I remember I
asked the taxi to wait...
EXT. NEW YORK THEATER STREET - NIGHT
Traffic is not heavy, the shows have broken some half-hour
before. The rain is just a drizzle.
There are other theaters on the street; display lights are
being extinguished. Going out just as Karen's taxi pulls up
is: MARGO CHANNING in 'AGED IN WOOD'. The marquis display
below includes "Max Fabian Presents" and "By Lloyd Richards."
The taxi comes to a stop at the alley. Karen can be seen
through the closed windows telling the driver to wait. Then
she gets out. She takes a step, hesitates, then looks about
Where was she? Strange... I had
become so accustomed to seeing her
there night after night - I found
myself looking for a girl I'd never
spoken to, wondering where she
She smiles a little at her own romanticism, puts her head
down and makes her way into the alley.
EXT. ALLEY - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
Karen moves toward the stage door. She passes a recess in the
wall - perhaps an exit - about halfway.
Karen hesitates, looks. Eve is barely distinguishable in the
shadow of the recess. Karen smiles, waits. Eve comes out. A
gooseneck light above them reveals her...
She wears a cheap trench coat, low-heeled shoes, a rain hat
stuck on the back of her head... Her large, luminous eyes
seem to glow up at Karen in the strange half-light.
So there you are. It seemed odd,
suddenly, your not being there...
Why should you think I wouldn't be?
Why should you be? After all, six
nights a week - for weeks - of
watching even Margo Channing enter
and leave a theater-
I hope you don't mind my speaking
Not at all.
I've seen you so often - it took
every bit of courage I could raise-
To speak to just a playwright's
wife? I'm the lowest form of
You're Margo Channing's best
friend. You and your husband are
always with her - and Mr.
Sampson... what's he like?
Bill Sampson? He's - he's a
He's the best.
He'll agree with you. Tell me, what
do you between the time Margo goes
in and comes out? Just huddle in
that doorway and wait?
Oh, no. I see the play.
You see the play? You've seen the
play every performance?
But, don't you find it - I mean
apart from everything else - don't
you find it expensive?
Standing room doesn't cost much. I
Karen contemplates Eve. Then she takes her arm.
I'm going to take you to Margo...
She's got to meet you-
No, I'd be imposing on her, I'd be
just another tongue-tied gushing
Karen practically propels her toward the stage door.
There isn't another like you, there
But if I'd known... maybe some
other time... I mean, looking like
You look just fine...
(they're at the stage
... by the way. What's your name?
Eve. Eve Harrington.
Karen opens the door. They go in.
INT. BACKSTAGE - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
Everything, including the doorman, looks fireproof.
Eve enters like a novitiate's first visit to the Vatican.
Karen, with a "Good evening, Gus -" to the doorman, leads the
way toward Margo's stage dressing room. Eve, drinking in the
wonderment of all the surveys, lags behind. Karen waits for
her to catch up...
You can breathe it - can't you?
Like some magic perfume...
Karen smiles, takes Eve's arm. They proceed to Margo's
EXT. MARGO'S DRESSING ROOM - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
No star on the closed door; the paint is peeling. A type
written chit, thumbtacked, says MISS CHANNING.
As Karen and Eve approach it, an uninhibited guffaw from
Margo makes them pause.
You wait a minute...
... now don't run away-
Eve smiles shakily. At the same moment:
(loudly; through the door)
"Honey chile," I said, "if the
South had won the war, you could
write the same plays about the
Karen enters during the line.
INT. MARGO'S DRESSING ROOM - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
It is a medium-sized box, lined with hot water pipes and
cracked plaster. It is furnished in beat-up wicker. A door
leads to an old-fashioned bathroom.
Margo is at the dressing table. She wears an old wrapper, her
hair drawn back tightly to fit under the wig which lies
before her like a dead poodle. Also before her is an almost
LLOYD RICHARDS is stretched out on the wicker chaise. He's in
his late thirties, sensitive, literate.
Between them, by the dressing table, is BIRDIE - Margo's
maid. Her age is unimportant. She was conceived during a
split week in Walla Walla and born in a carnival riot. She is
fiercely loyal to Margo.
Karen enters during the line Margo started while she was
outside. Lloyd chuckles, Birdie cackles.
(she goes to kiss Lloyd)
(she goes right on - in a
think "Suth'n" accent)
"Well, now Mis' Channin', ah don't
think you can rightly say we lost
the wah, we was mo' stahved out,
you might say - an' that's what ah
don' unnerstand about all these
plays about love-stahved Suth'n
women - love is one thing we was
nevah stahved for the South!"
How was the concert?
Lemme fix you a drink.
No thanks, Birdie.
Karen laughs with them.
Margo's interview with a lady
reporter from the South-
The minute it gets printed they're
gonna fire on Gettysburg all over
It was Fort Sumter they fired on-
I never played Fort Sumter.
She takes the wig into the bathroom. Margo starts creaming
the make-up off her face.
Honey chili had a point. You know,
I can remember plays about women -
even from the South - where it
never even occurred to them whether
they wanted to marry their fathers
more than their brothers...
That was way back...
Within your time, buster. Lloyd,
honey, be a playwright with guts.
Write me one about a nice, normal
woman who shoots her husband.
Birdie comes out of the bathroom without the wig.
You need new girdles.
The same size?
Well. I guess a real tight girdle
help when you're playin' a lunatic.
She picks up Lloud empty glass, asks "more"? He shakes his
head. She pours herself a quick one.
Margo does not play a lunatic,
I know. She just keeps hearin' her
dead father play the banjo.
It's the tight girdle that does it.
I find these wisecracks
increasingly less funny! 'Aged in
Wood' happens to be a fine and
- 'at's my loyal little woman.
The critics thought so, the
audiences certainly think so -
packed houses, tickets for months
in advance - I can't see that
either of Lloyd's last two plays
have hurt you any!
Relax, kid. It's only me and my big
It's just that you get me so mad
sometimes... of all the women in
the world with nothing to complain
Ain't it the truth?
Yes, it is! You're talented,
famous, wealthy - people waiting
around night after night just to
see you, even in the wind and
Autograph fiends! They're not
people - those little beast who run
in packs like coyotes-
They're your fans, your audience-
They're nobody's fans! They're
juvenile delinquents, mental
detectives, they're nobody's
audience, they never see a play or
a movie, even - they're never
indoors long enough!
There is a pause. Lloyd applauds lightly.
Well... there's one indoors now.
I've brought her back to see you.
(in a whisper)
She's just outside the door.
(to Birdie; also a
Birdie starts. Karen stops her. It's all in whisper, now,
until Eve comes in.
You can't put her out, I
promised... Margo, you've got to
see her, she worships you, it's
like something out of a book-
That book is out of print, Karen,
those days are gone.
Fans no longer pull the carriage
through the streets - they tear off
clothes and steal wrist watches...
If you'd only see her, you're her
whole life - you must have spotted
her by now, she's always there...
Kind of mousy trench coat and funny
How could I miss her? Every night
and matinee - well...
She looks to Birdie.
Once George Jessel played my
hometown. For a girl, gettin' in to
see him was easy. Gettin' out was
They all laugh. Karen goes to the door, opens it. Eve comes
in. Karen closes the door behind her. A moment.
I thought you'd forgotten about me.
Not at all.
(her arm through Eve's)
Margo, this is Eve Harrington.
Margo changes swiftly into a first-lady-of-the-theater
How do you do, my dear.
Hello, Miss Channing.
Hello, Miss Harrington.
How do you do, Mr. Richards.
And this is my good friend and
companion, Miss Birdie Coonan.
Oh brother what?
When she gets like this... all of a
sudden she's playin' Hamlet's
I'm sure you must have things to do
in the bathroom, Birdie dear.
If I haven't, I'll find something
till you're normal.
She goes into the bathroom.
Dear Birdie. Won't you sit down,
I'm so sorry... Harrington. Won't
you sit down?
She sits. A short lull.
Would you like a drink? It's right
I was telling Margo and Lloyd about
how often you'd seen the play...
They start together, and stop in deference to each other.
They're a little flustered. But not Eve.
No, thank you.
Yes. I've seen every performance.
Every performance? Then - am I safe
in assuming you like it?
I'd like anything Miss Channing
Would you, really? How sweet-
I doubt very much that you'd like
her in 'The Hairy Ape'.
Please, don't misunderstand me, Mr.
Richards. I think that part of Miss
Channing's greatness lies in her
ability to choose the best plays...
your new play is for Miss Channing,
isn't it, Mr. Richards?
Of course it is.
How'd hear about it?
There was an item in the Times. i
like the title. 'Footsteps on the
Let's get back to this one. Have
you really seen every performance?
Why? I'm curious...
Eve looks at Margo, then drops her eyes.
Well. If I didn't come to see the
play, I wouldn't have anywhere else
There are other plays...
Not with you in them. Not by Mr.
But you must have friends, a
family, a home-
Eve pauses. Then shakes her head.
Tell us about it - Eve...
Eve looks at her - grateful because Karen called her "Eve."
Then away, again...
If I only knew how...
Birdie comes out of the bathroom. Everybody looks at her
sharply. She realizes she's in on something important. She
closes the door quietly, leans against it.
Well... it started with the play
before this one...
Did you see it here in New York?
San Francisco. It was the last
week. I went one night... the most
important night in my life - until
this one. Anyway... I found myself
going the next night - and the next
and the next. Every performance.
Then, when the show went East - I
I'll never forget that blizzard the
night we played Cheyenne. A cold
night. First time I ever saw a
brassiere break like a piece of
Eve looks at her unsmilingly, then back to her hands.
Eve... why don't you start at the
It couldn't possibly interest you.
Eve speaks simply and without self-pity.
I guess it started back home.
Wisconsin, that is. There was just
mum, and dad - and me. I was the
only child, and I made believe a
lot when I was a kid - I acted out
all sorts of things... what they
were isn't important. But somehow
acting and make-believe began to
fill up my life more and more, it
got so that I couldn't tell the
real from the unreal except that
the unreal seemed more real to
me... I'm talking a lot of
gibberish, aren't I?
Not at all...
Farmers were poor in those days,
that's what dad was - a farmer. I
had to help out. So I quit school
and I went to Milwaukee. I became a
secretary. In a brewery.
When you're a secretary in a
brewery - it's pretty hard to make
believe you're anything else.
Everything is beer. It wasn't much
fun, but it helped at home - and
there was a Little Theater Group...
like a drop of rain in the desert.
That's where I met Eddie. He was a
radio technician. We played
'Liliom' for three performances, I
was awful - then the war came, and
we got married. Eddie was in the
air force - and they sent him to
the South Pacific. You were with
the O.W.I., weren't you Mr.
That's what 'Who's Who' says...
well, with Eddie gone, my life went
back to beer. Except for a letter a
week. One week Eddie wrote he had a
leave coming up. I'd saved my money
and vacation time. I went to San
Francisco to meet him.
(a slight pause)
Eddie wasn't there. They forwarded
the telegram from Milwaukee - the
one that came from Washington to
say that Eddie wasn't coming at
all. That Eddie was dead...
(Karen puts her hand on
... so I figured I'd stay in San
Francisco. i was alone, but
couldn't go back without Eddie. I
found a job. And his insurance
helped... and there were theaters
in San Francisco. And one night
Margo Channing came to play in
'Remembrance'... and I went to see
it. And - well - here I am...
She finishes dry-eyes and self-composed. Margo squeezes the
bridge of her nose, dabs at her eyes.
What a story. Everything but the
bloodhounds snappin' at her rear
That breaks the spell. Margo turns to her-
There are some human experiences,
Birdie, that do not take place in a
vaudeville house - and that even a
fifth-rate vaudevillian should
understand and respect!
I want to apologize for Birdie's-
You don't have to apologize for me!
I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
It's just my way of talkin'...
You didn't hurt my feelings, Miss
Call me Birdie.
As for bein' fifth-rate - i closed
the first half for eleven years an'
you know it!
She slams into the bathroom again. At that precise instant
BILL SAMPSON flings open the door to the dressing room. He's
youngish, vital, undisciplined. He lugs a beat-up suitcase
which he drops as he crosses to Margo-
Forty-five minutes from now my
plane takes off and how do I find
you? Not ready yet, looking like a
Thank you so much.
Is it sabotage, does my career mean
nothing to you? Have you no human
Show me a human and I might have!
(conscious of Eve)
The air lines have clocks, even if
you haven't! I start shooting a
week from Monday - Zanuck is
impatient, he wants me, he needs
Zanuck, Zanuck, Zanuck! What are
you two - lovers?
Bill grins suddenly, drops to one knee beside her.
Only in some ways. You're
I'm a junk yard.
(vaguely; to Karen)
This is Eve Harrington.
Bill flashes a fleeting look at Eve.
My wonderful junk yard. The mystery
and dreams you find in a junk yard-
Heaven help me, I love a psychotic.
Bill grins, rises, sees Eve as if for the first time.
Hello, what's your name?
Eve. Eve Harrington.
You've already met.
Right here. A minute ago.
She, too, is a great admirer of
Imagine. All this admiration in
just one room.
Take your mistress into the
bathroom and dress her.
(Birdie opens her mouth)
Birdie shuts it and goes into the bathroom. In a moment we
hear a shower start to run. Eve gets up.
You're not going, are you?
I think I'd better. It's been -
well, I can hardly find the words
to say how it's been...
No, don't go...
The four of you must have so much
to say to each other - with Mr.
Margo, impulsively crosses to Eve.
Stick around. Please. Tell you what
- we'll put Stanislavsky on his
plane, you and I, then go somewhere
Well - if I'm not in the way...
I won't be a minute.
She darts into the bathroom. Eve sits down again.
Lloyd, we've got to go-
Lloyd gets up. Karen crosses to pound on the bathroom door.
She yells - the shower is going...
Margo, good night! I'll call you
Margo's answer is lost in the shower noise. Karen crosses to
kiss Bill. She's joined by Lloyd.
Good luck, genius...
Geniuses don't need good luck.
I'm not worried about you.
Keep the thought.
They shake hands warmly. Karen and Lloyd move to Eve.
Good night, Eve. I hope I see you
I'll be at the old stand, tomorrow
Not just that way. As a friend...
I'd like that.
It's been a real pleasure, Eve.
I hope so, Mr. Richards. Good
Lloyd shakes her hand, crosses to join Karen who waits at the
open dressing room door.
(Karen and Lloyd look
... I'll never forget this night as
long as I live. And I'll never
forget you for making it possible.
Karen smiles warmly. She closes the door. They leave.
- and I'll never forget you, Eve.
Where were we going that night,
Lloyd and I? Funny the things you
remember - and the things you
INT. MARGO'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
Eve sits on the same chair. Bill keeps moving around. Eve
never takes her eyes off him. He offers her a cigarette. She
shakes her head. He looks at his watch.
You said forty-seven minutes.
You'll never make it.
I told you a lie. We'll make it
easily. Margo's got no more
conception of time than a halibut.
He goes to the dressing table, picks up Margo's pocketbook,
opens it. He finds a letter. He glances at it, puts it back.
She's been carrying that letter
around for weeks. I've read it
There's a sudden sharp yelp from the bathroom.
You're supposed to zip the zipper -
Like tryin' to zip a pretzel -
What a documentary those two would
make... like the mongoose and the
He sprawls on the chaise, closes his eyes. A pause.
So you're going to Hollywood.
Bill grunts in the affirmative. Silence.
I just wondered.
Just wondered what?
Why you have to go out there.
I don't have to. I want to.
Is it the money?
Eighty percent of it will go for
Then why? Why, if you're the best
and most successful young director
in the Theater-
The Theatuh, the Theatuh-
(he sits up)
- what book of rules says the
Theater exists only within some
ugly buildings crowded into one
square mile of New York City? Or
London, Paris or Vienna?
(he gets up)
Listen, junior. And learn. Want to
know what the Theater is? A flea
circus. Also opera. Also rodeos,
carnivals, ballets, Indian tribal
dances, Punch and Judy, a one-man
band - all Theater. Wherever
there's magic and make-believe and
an audience - there's Theater.
Donald Duck, Ibsen, and The Lone
Ranger, Sarah Bernhardt, Poodles
Hanneford, Lunt and Fontanne, Betty
Grable, Rex and Wild, and Eleanora
Duse. You don't understand them
all, you don't like them all, why
should you? The Theater's for
everybody - you included, but not
exclusively - so don't approve or
disapprove. It may not be your
Theater, but it's Theater of
I just asked a simple question.
And I shot my mouth off. Nothing
personal, junior, no offense...
(he sits back down)
... it's just that there's so much
bushwah in this Ivory Green Room
they call the Theatuh - sometimes
it gets up around my chin...
He lies down again.
But Hollywood. You mustn't stay
(he closes his eyes)
It's only one picture deal.
So few come back...
Yeah. They keep you under drugs out
there with armed guards...
I read George Jean Nathan every
Also Addison deWitt.
You didn't have to tell me.
Margo, putting on an earring, buzzes out of the bathroom
followed by Birdie. Bill sits up.
I understand it's the latest thing -
just one earring. If it isn't, it's
going to be - I can't find the
She grabs her pocketbook, starts rummaging. Out comes the
Throw that dreary thing away, it
Margo drops it in the wastebasket, keeps rummaging.
Where do you suppose it could be?
It'll show up.
... look through the wigs, maybe it
Real diamonds in a wig. The world
we live in...
(she's been looking)
Where's my coat?
Right where you left it...
She goes behind the chaise. She comes up with a magnificent
Margo starts to straighten them.
Can't keep his eyes off my legs.
Like a nylon lemon peel-
Byron couldn't have said it more
graciously... here we go-
By now she's in the coat and has Eve's arm, heading for the
door. Bill puts his arms around Birdie.
Got any messages? What do you want
me to tell Tyrone Power?
Just give him my phone number, I'll
tell him myself.
Bill kisses her cheek. She kisses Bill.
Kill the people.
Got your key?
See you home...
Margo and Eve precede Bill out of the door...
EXT. LAGUARDIA FIELD - NIGHT
American Airlines baggage counter. The rain has stopped, but
Margo, Eve, and Bill are stymied behind two or three couples
waiting to be checked in. Margo's arm is through Bill's. They
become increasingly aware of their imminent separation. Eve
senses her superfluity.
A lull. Bill cranes at the passenger heading the line, in
earnest conversation with the dispatcher. He sighs.
They have to time it so everybody
gets on at the last minute. So they
can close the doors and let you
The man up ahead moves on.
I have a suggestion.
(they look at her)
There's really not much time left -
I mean, you haven't had a minute
alone yet, and - well, I could take
care of everything here and meet
you at the gate with the ticket...
if you'd like.
I think we'd like very much. Sure
you won't mind?
Of course not.
Bill hands Eve the ticket. Margo smiles gratefully at her.
Eve smiles back.
EXT. PASSAGE AND GATE - LAGUARDIA - NIGHT
It's covered, with glass windows. Margo's arm is in Bill's.
She's quite a girl, that what's-her
Eve. I'd forgotten they grew that
The lack of pretense, that sort of
strange directness and
Did she tell you about the Theater
and what it meant?
I told her. I sounded off.
All the religions in the world
rolled into one, and we're Gods and
Goddesses... isn't it silly,
suddenly I've developed a big
protective feeling for her - a lamb
loose in our big stone jungle...
Bill pauses and pulls her to one side. Some passengers go by.
Take care of yourself out there...
I understand they've got the
Indians pretty well in hand...
Don't get stuck on some glamour
You're not such a bargain, you
know, conceited and thoughtless and
Everybody can't be Gregory Peck.
- you're a setup for some gorgeous
wide-eyed young babe.
How childish are you going to get
before you quit it?
I don't want to be childish, I'd
settle for just a few years-
And cut that out right now.
Am I going to lose you, Bill? Am I?
As of this moment you're six years
He starts to kiss her, stops when he becomes aware of Eve
standing near them. She has his ticket in her hand.
She hands Bill his ticket, they start toward the gate.
INT. BOARDING GATE - LAGUARDIA - NIGHT
The D.C. 6 in the b.g. A few visitors. Bill hands his ticket
to the guard, turns to Eve.
Thanks for your help... good luck.
Goodbye, Mr. Sampson.
Bill puts his arms around Margo.
Knit me a muffler.
Call me when you get in...
They kiss. Margo's arms tighten desperately. Bill pulls away,
kisses her again lightly, starts for the plane. Margo turns
away. Eve puts her arms through Margo's.
Bill pauses en route to the plane.
Hey - junior...
Margo turns to look at him with Eve.
Keep your eyes on her. Don't let
her get lonely. She's a loose lamb
in a jungle...
Eve looks at Margo. Margo smiles.
Bill waves, climbs aboard. The door is closed behind him, the
departure routine starts...
Margo and eve turn to go. They walk down the passage. As they
walk, Eve gently disengages her arm from Margo's and puts it
comfortingly about her...
That same night we sent for Eve's
things, her few pitiful
possessions... she moved into the
little guest room on the top
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT
MARGO slides her fingers reflectively up and down the sides
of the almost empty highball glass.
... she cried when she saw it - it
was so like her little room back
home in Wisconsin.
ADDISON eyeing her quizzically. He offers her the whiskey.
MARGO shakes her head, absently. She looks down at her glass
again. Then, she raises her eyes to look at Eve.
... the next three weeks were out
of a fairy tale - and I was
Cinderella in the last act. Eve
became my sister, lawyer, mother,
friend, psychiatrist and cop - the
honeymoon was on...
INT. MARGO'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
It's one floor above street level. A long narrow room,
smartly furnished - including a Sarah Siddons Award.
MARGO'S NARRATIVE overlaps into the scene which is a SILENT
Eve sits at a smart desk. She is just arranging a stack of
letters which she carries to Margo with a pen. Margo sits
comfortably by the fire with a play script. She hands the
scrips up to Eve, shakes her head and holds her nose. Eve
smiles, takes the script, hands Margo the letters to sign.
Birdie comes in with a tea tray which she sets on a low table
before the fire.
The phone rings.
Birdie and Eve both go for it. Eve gets there first. By her
polite but negative attitude, we know she is giving someone a
Birdie glares first at her, then at Margo.
Margo leans her head back, closes her eyes blissfully...
Birdie slams the double door to the landing on her way out...
INT. BACKSTAGE - CURRAN THEATER - DAY
From the wings. The audience is never visible. Eve in the
f.g. Margo and company taking a curtain call. Tumultuous
applause... the curtain falls. The cast, except for Margo and
two male leads, walk off. The curtain rises again...
EVE, watching and listening to the storm of applause. Her
eyes shine, she clasps and unclasps her hands...
THE STAGE, Eve again in the f.g., but closer. Again the
curtain falls. This time the two men go off. Curtain rises on
Margo alone. If anything, the applause builds...
EVE, that same hypnotic look... there are tears in her eyes.
The curtain falls offscene, then rises again -
MARGO, the curtain falls again between her and CAMERA...
BACKSTAGE, the curtain just settling on the floor. Margo
(shakes her head)
From now on it's not applause -
just something to do till the
aisles get less crowded...
She walks as she talks and winds up at Eve - still in the
wings. Eve's eyes are wet, she dabs at her nose.
What - again?
I could watch you play that last
scene a thousand times and cry
Performance number one thousand of
this one - if I play it that long -
will take place in a well-padded
She takes Eve's arm, they stroll toward her dressing room.
I must say you can certainly tell
Mr. Sampson's been gone a month.
You certainly can. Especially if
you're me between now and tomorrow
I mean the performance. Except for
you, you'd think he'd never even
directed it - it's disgraceful the
way they change everything
Well, teacher's away and actors
will be actors...
During your second act scene with
your father, Roger Ferraday's
supposed to stay way upstage at the
arch. He's been coming closer down
When he gets too close, I'll spit
in his eye.
They're at her dressing room by now. Margo's been unhooking
her gown, with Eve's help. They go in.
INT. MARGO'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
It's undergone quite a change. A new carpet, chintz covers
for the furniture, new lampshades, dainty curtains across the
filthy barred window.
Birdie waits within. She's listening to a fight; she shuts it
off as they enter.
You bought the new girdles a size
smaller. I can feel it.
Something maybe grew a size bigger.
When we get home you're going to
get into one of those girdles and
act for two and half hours.
I couldn't get into the girdle in
two an' a half hours...
Margo's out of her wig and dress by now. She gets into her
robe, sits at the dressing table. Eve's on the chaise, by the
You haven't noticed my latest bit
of interior decorating...
Well, you've done so much... what's
The curtains. I made them myself.
They are lovely. Aren't they
Adorable. We now got everything a
dressing room needs except a
Just because you can't even work a
zipper. It was very thoughtful,
Eve, and I appreciate it-
A pause. Eve rises, picking up Margo's costume.
While you're cleaning up, I'll take
this to the wardrobe mistress-
Don't bother. Mrs. Brown'll be
along for it in a minute.
No trouble at all.
And she goes out with the costume. Birdie opens her mouth,
shuts it, then opens it again.
If I may so bold as to say
something - did you ever hear the
Behind in your dues? How much?
I haven't got a union. I'm slave
But the wardrobe women have got
one. And next to a tenor, a
wardrobe woman is the touchiest
thing in show business-
She's got two things to do - carry
clothes an' press 'em wrong - an'
just let anybody else muscle in...
As she talks, Margo hurries to the door and out after Eve.
INT. BACKSTAGE - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
Margo pops out, looks for Eve, then stares in amazement.
EVE, near the wings. She stands before a couple of cheval
mirrors set up for cast members. She has Margo's dress held
up against her body. She turns this way and that, bows as if
to applause - mimicking Margo exactly...
MARGO watches her curiously. Then she smiles.
EVE, startled, whips the gown away, turns to Margo.
MARGO smiles understandingly.
I think we'd better let Mrs. Brown
pick up the wardrobe...
Wordlessly, Eve brings it toward her...
INT. MARGO'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Margo's asleep. A bedside clock with a luminous dial reads 3
A.M. exactly. The phone rings. Her head comes up out of the
pillow, she shakes it. She fumbles, switches on a lamp, then
picks up the phone.
We are ready with your call to
Call, what call?
It this Templeton 89970? Miss Margo
That's right, but I don't
We are ready with the call you
placed for 12 midnight, California
time, to Mr. William Sampson in
Go ahead, please...
(a loud, happy squawk)
Margo! What a wonderful surprise!
Margo jumps at his vehemence. As she does so, the SCREEN
WIPES DOWN DIAGONALLY LEFT TO RIGHT, so that Margo remains in
the lower right-hand diagonal of the screen and Bill is
disclosed in the upper left. He, too, is in bed, reading. His
clock says midnight.
What a thoughtful, ever-lovin'
thing to do-
Bill? Have I gone crazy, Bill?
You're my girl, aren't you?
That I am...
Then you're crazy.
(nods in agreement)
When - when are you coming back?
I leave in a week - the picture's
all wrapped up, we previewed last
night... those previews. Like
opening out of town, but
terrifying. There's nothing you can
do, you're trapped, you're in a tin
- in a tin can, cellophane or
wrapped in a Navajo blanket, I want
You in a hurry?
A big hurry, be quick about it - so
good night, darling, and sleep
Wait a minute! You can't hang up,
you haven't even said it-
Bill, you know how much I do - but
over the phone, now really, that's
Kid stuff or not, it doesn't happen
every day, I want to heat it - and
if you won't say it, you can sing
(convinced she's gone mad)
Sure! Like the Western Union boys
used to do...
Margo's eyes pop. Her jaw and the phone sag.
Bill... Bill, it's your birthday.
And who remembered it? Who was
there on the dot, at twelve
Margo knows damn well it wasn't she.
Happy birthday, darling...
The reading could have been better,
but you said it - now "many happy
returns of the day..."
Many happy returns of the day...
I get a party, don't I?
Of course, birthday and welcome
home... who'll I ask?
It's no secret, I know all about
the party - Eve wrote me...
She hasn't missed a week since I
left - but you know all that, you
probably tell her what to write...
anyway, I sent her a list of people
to ask - check with her.
Yeah... I will.
How is Eve? Okay?
I love you...
I'll check with Eve...
I love you too. Good night, darling-
Margo hangs up. Bill hangs up. He replaces the phone, picks
up his book... SLOW WIPE until ONLY MARGO is on screen. She
puts her phone away. She gets a cigarette. She lights it. She
rolls over on her back...
INT. MARGO'S BEDROOM - DAY
Margo is propped up in bed, still reflective. Birdie comes in
with her breakfast tray and a "hi" which gets a "hi" from
Margo. She starts on some petty chores. Margo takes a sip of
You don't like Eve, do you?
Do you want an argument or an
Now you want an argument.
She works hard.
Night an' day.
She's loyal and efficient-
Like an agent with one client.
She thinks only for me...
(no answer from Birdie)
... doesn't she?
Well... let's say she thinks only
about you, anyway...
How do you mean that?
Birdie stops whatever it is she's doing.
I'll tell you how. Like - let's see
- like she was studyin' you, like
you were a play or a book or a set
of blueprints. How you walk, talk,
think, eat, sleep-
(breaks in; sharply)
I'm sure that's very flattering,
Birdie, and I'm sure there's
nothing wrong with that!
There is a sharp, brisk knock. Eve comes in. She's dressed in
a smart suit. She carries a leather portfolio.
Margo says "good morning," Birdie says nothing. Eve shows off
the suit, proudly.
Well - what do you think of my
elegant new suit?
Very becoming. It looks better on
you than it did on me.
I can imagine... you know, all it
needed was some taking in here and
letting out there - are you sure
you won't want it yourself?
Quite sure. I find it just a bit
too - too "Seventeenish" for me...
Oh, come now, as though you were an
old lady... I'm on my way. Is there
anything more you've thought of-?
There's the script to go back to
I've got it.
- and those checks or whatever it
is for the income tax man.
It seems I can't think of a thing
you haven't thought of...
That's my job.
(she turns to go)
See you at tea time...
(Eve turns at the door)
... by any chance, did you place a
call from me to Bill for midnight
Oh, golly. And I forgot to tell you-
Yes, dear. You forgot all about it.
Well, I was sure you'd want to, of
course, being his birthday, and
you've been so busy these past few
days, and last night I meant to
tell you before you went out with
the Richards - and I guess I was
asleep when you got home...
Yes, I guess you were. It - it was
very thoughtful of you, Eve.
Mr. Sampson's birthday. I certainly
wouldn't forget that. You'd never
(she smiles shyly)
As a matter of fact, I sent him a
And she's gone. Margo stares at the closed door. Then at
Birdie. Birdie, without comment, goes out. Margo, alone,
looks down at her orange juice. Absently, she twirls it in
its bed of shaved ice...
INT. DINING HALL - SARAH SIDDONS SOCIETY - NIGHT
MARGO, reflectively twirling her highball glass. The applause
continues. She lifts her glass to drink. Her glance meets
Karen's. She raises the glass in a silent toast.
KAREN smiles wanly at Margo's toast. Then the smile fades as
she looks reflectively back to Eve...
I saw Eve quite often after our
first meeting, but we never really
talked again - until the party
Margo gave for Bill when he
returned from Hollywood...
INT. MARGO'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
It's January. The bed is littered with fur coats. Through the
open door, from the floor below, the murmur of a party at a
late hour. No hilarity.
It's always convenient at a party
to know the hostess well enough to
use her bedroom rather than go
where all the others have to go...
Karen is making repairs at Margo's dressing table. Eve
enters, carrying a magnificent sable coat which she drops on
Now who's show up at this hour?
It's time people went home - hold
that coat up...
(Eve holds it up; Karen
... whose is it?
Some Hollywood movie star, her
plane got in late.
Discouraging, isn't it? Women with
furs like that where it never gets
Tell me, Eve - how are things with
Eve melts into warmth. She beams, sits on the bed. Karen has
spun around on the dressing table stool.
There should be a new word for
happiness. Being here with Miss
Channing has been - I just can't
say, she's been so wonderful, done
so much for me-
Lloyd says Margo compensates for
underplaying on the stage by
(she gets up, gets her
... next to that sable, my new mink
seems like an old bedjacket...
(throws it over her
... you've done your share, Eve.
You've worked wonders with Margo...
She starts out.
(she picks at the
... isn't it awful, I'm about to
ask you for another favor - after
all you've already done.
(crosses to her)
Nobody's done so much, Eve, you've
got to stop thinking of yourself as
one of the Hundred Neediest
Cases... what is it?
Well... Miss Channing's affairs are
in such good shape... there isn't
enough to keep me as busy as I
should be, really - not that I've
ever considered anything that would
take me away from her... but the
other day - when I heard Mr. Fabian
tell Miss Channing that her
understudy was going to have a
baby, and they'd have to replace
She looks down at the coverlet once more.
... you want to be Margo's new
I don't let myself think about it,
(she looks up, rises as
- but I do know the part so well,
and every bit of the staging,
there'd be no need to break in a
(suddenly afraid, she
- but suppose I had to go on one
night? To an audience that came to
see Margo Channing. No, I couldn't
Don't worry too much about that.
Margo just doesn't miss
performances. If she can walk,
crawl or roll - she plays.
The show must go on.
No, dear. Margo must go on.
(she sits beside Eve)
As a matter of fact, I see no
reason why you shouldn't be Margo's
Do you think Miss Channing would
I think she would cheer.
But Mr. Richards and Mr. Sampson-
They'll do as they're told.
Eve smiles a little. A pause.
Then - would you talk to Mr. Fabian
You won't forget it?
I won't forget.
I seem to be forever thanking you
for something, don't I?
She hugs Karen, leaves. She nearly collides with Birdie on
her way in.
The bed looks like a dead animal
act. Which one is sables?
But she just got here...
She's on her way. With half the men
in the joint.
(she hold up the coat)
It's only a fur coat...
What did you expect - live sables?
A diamond collar, gold sleeves -
you know, picture people...
They start out.
Bill says actors out there eat just
as infrequently as here-
They can always grab oranges off
trees. This you can't do in Times
Through the open door, we see them go down the stairs and out
INT. SECOND FLOOR LANDING AND STAIRS - NIGHT
Karen and Birdie come down the stairs to Bill, Max, Addison,
a blonde young lady named MISS CASWELL (Addison's protegee-of
the-moment) - and, at the feet of Bill and Addison... Eve.
They are all seated on the steps.
Birdie goes through and down the stairs to the first floor.
Karen remains with the others.
Addison is holding forth:
Every now and then, some elder
statesman of the Theater or cinema
assures the public that actors and
actresses are just plain folk.
Ignoring the fact that their
greatest attraction to the public
is their complete lack of
resemblance to normal human beings.
(as Birdie and the sables
Now there's something a girl could
make sacrifices for.
And probably has.
(to Miss Caswell)
Did you say sable - or Gable?
It is senseless to insist that
theatrical folk in New York,
Hollywood and London are no
different from the good people of
Des Moines, Chillicothe and
Liverpool. By and large, we are
concentrated gatherings of
neurotics, egomaniacs, emotional
misfits, and precocious children-
Gable. Why a feller like that don't
come East to do a play...
He must be miserable, the life he
lives out there-
These so-called abnormalities -
they're our stock in trade, they
make us actors, writers, directors,
et cetera in the first place-
Answer me this. What makes a man
become a producer?
What makes a man walk into a lion
cage with nothing but a chair?
This answer satisfies me a hundred
We all have abnormality in common.
We are a breed apart from the rest
of the humanity, we Theater folk.
We are the original displaced
(laughs; to Eve)
You don't have to read his column
tomorrow - you just heard it. I
don't agree, Addison...
That happens to be your particular
Oh, I admit there's a screwball
element in the Theater. It sticks
out, it's got spotlights on it and
a brass band. But it isn't basic,
it isn't standard - if it were, the
Theater couldn't survive...
(to a passing butler)
The butler goes right by.
That isn't a waiter, my dear.
That's a butler.
Well, I can't yell "Oh, butler,"
can I? Maybe somebody's name is
You have a point. An idiotic one,
but a point.
I don't want to make trouble. All I
want is a drink.
Leave me get you one...
Oh, thank you, Mr. Fabian.
Max leaves with her empty glass.
Well done. I see your career rising
in the East like the sun...
... you were saying?
I was saying that the Theater is
nine-tenths hard work. Work done
the hard way - by sweat,
application and craftsmanship. I'll
agree to this - that to be a good
actor, actress, or anything else in
the Theater, means wanting to be
that more than anything else in the
Yes. Yes, it does.
It means concentration of ambition,
desire, and sacrifice such as no
other profession demands... And
I'll agree that the man or woman
who accepts those terms can't be
ordinary, can't be - just someone.
To give so much for almost always
Eve speaks almost unaware of what she says. She looks at no
one in particular, just off...
So little. So little, did you say?
Why, if there's nothing else -
there's applause. It's like - like
waves of love coming over the
footlights and wrapping you up.
To know, every night, that
different hundreds of people love
you... they smile, their eyes shine
- you've pleased them, they want
you, you belong. Just that alone is
She becomes aware of Addison's strange smile, of Bill's looks
of warm interest. She's embarrassed, she turns away - then
scrambles to her feet as Margo approaches with Lloyd from the
direction of the pantry.
Margo's had too much to drink. Her fake smile fades as Eve
gets up. She's unpleasant and depressed.
Don't get up. And please stop
acting as if I were the queen
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-
Outside of a beehive, Margo, your
behavior would hardly be considered
either queenly or motherly!
You're in a beehive, pal, didn't
you know? We're all busy little
bees, full of stings, making honey
day and night-
- aren't we, honey?
Please don't play governess, Karen,
I haven't your unyielding good
taste, I wish I'd gone to Radcliffe
too but father wouldn't hear of it -
he needed help at the notions
I'm being rude now, aren't I? OR
should I say "ain't I"?
You're maudlin and full of self
pity. You're magnificent.
Max has come up with Miss Caswell's drink.
How about calling it a night?
And you pose as a playwright. A
situation pregnant with
possibilities - and all you can
think of is everybody to go to
It's a good thought.
It won't play.
As a nonprofessional, I think it's
an excellent idea. Undramatic, but
As she speaks, she makes her way to Lloyd's side.
Happy little housewife...
Cut it out.
This is my house, not a theater! In
my house you're a guest, not a
Then stop being a star - start
treating your guests as your
Now let's not get into a big hassle-
It's about time we did! It's about
time Margo realized that what's
attractive on stage need not
necessarily be attractive off.
All right! I'm going to bed.
You be the host. It's your party.
Happy Birthday, welcome home, and
She starts upstairs.
Need any help?
To put me to bed? Take my clothes
off, hold my head, tuck me in, turn
off the lights, tiptoe out...? eve
would. Wouldn't you, Eve?
If you'd like.
I wouldn't like.
She goes up, exits out of sight. A pause. Miss Caswell
reaches up to take the drink out of Max's hand.
I forgot I had it.
Bill gets up and goes after Margo...
Too bad! We'll miss the third act.
They're going to play it off stage.
Eve turns away abruptly, in sudden tears.
In a minute...
She crosses to Eve, puts an arm around her.
You mustn't mind Margo too much,
even if I do...
But there must be some reason,
something I've done without
The reason is Margo and don't try
to figure it out. Einstein
If I thought I'd offended her, of
Eve. I'm fond of Margo too. But I
know Margo. And every now and then
there is nothing I want to do so
much as to kick her right square in
Well - if she's got to pick on
someone, I'd just as soon it was
Karen smiles back. She joins Lloyd and Max.
Max is going to drop us...
I've often wondered, Max, why you
bother with a chauffeur and
limousine in New York City.
In my case it's necessary. Too many
taxi drivers write plays.
And too many of them are produced.
Let's go sit by the piano.
You have me confused with Dan
Dailey. You go sit by the piano.
And you come sit by me.
(to the others)
They laugh, say "good night," and start downstairs. As Eve
crosses to Addison:
... you won't forget, will you?
What we talked about before?
No, Eve, I won't forget...
She follows the men downstairs. CLOSE UP of an old engraving
of Mrs. Siddons as 'The Tragic Muse' which hangs among other
theatrical mementos on the stair wall...
INT. DINING HALL - SARAH SIDDONS SOCIETY - NIGHT
The applause continues. Margo sits back in her chair now,
picking at a bit of fingernail polish...
party... a night to go down in
history. Like the Chicago Fire - or
the Massacre of the Huguenots. Even
before the party started, I could
smell disaster in the air...
INT. MARGO'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The same night as the previous sequence, but before the party
has started. Margo is all dressed except for jewelry. She
stands before her dressing table putting it on. She sips at
an enormous Martini...
I knew it, I sensed it even as I
finished dressing for that blasted
Birdie comes in.
You all put together?
My back's open.
(Birdie goes to work on
Did the extra help get here?
There's some loose characters
dressed like maids and butlers.
Who'd you call - the William Morris
You're not being funny, I could get
actors for less. What about the
The caterer had to back for hors
(she zips Margo)
That French ventriloquist taught
you a lot, didn't he?
There was nothing he didn't know.
(she starts tidying the
There's a message from the
bartender. Does Miss Channing know
we ordered domestic gin by mistake?
The only thing I ordered by mistake
is the guests.
They're domestic, too, and they
don't care what they drink as long
as it burns... where's Bill? He's
Late for what?
Don't be dense. The party.
I ain't dense. And he's been here
Well, I certainly think it's odd he
hasn't even come up...
Her glance meets Birdie's. She turns and strolls out.
INT. THIRD FLOOR LANDING - NIGHT
Margo speeds up going down the stairs.
INT. SECOND FLOOR LANDING - NIGHT
Margo shows up again deliberately as she reaches the landing.
Sound of Bill and Eve laughing together from the living room.
Margo strolls toward it casually.
We see Eve seated, looking up fascinated at Bill as he talks -
out of the laughter...
"Don't let it worry you," said the
cameraman, "Even DeMille couldn't
see anything looking through the
So that was the first and last time-
Eve sees Margo approach. She gets up. Bill turns.
INT. MARGO'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
As Margo strolls up, very off-hand.
Don't let me kill the point. Or
isn't it a story for grownups?
You've heard it. About when I
looked through the wrong end of a
Remind me to tell you about when I
looked into the heart of an
I'd like to hear it.
Some snowy night in front of the
fire... in the meantime, while
we're on the subject, will you
check about the hors d'oeuvres? The
caterer forgot them, the varnish
wasn't dry or something...
She leaves. A short lull. Margo looks into cigarette boxes.
Bill eyes her curiosity, crosses to the fire.
Looks like I'm going to have a very
I thought you were going to be late-
When I'm guest of honor?
I had no idea you were even here.
I ran into Eve on my way upstairs;
she told me you were dressing.
That never stopped you before.
Well, we started talking, she
wanted to know all about Hollywood,
she seemed so interested...
She's a girl of so many interests.
It's a pretty rare quality these
She's a girl of so many rare
So she seems.
(the steel begins to
So you've pointed out, so often. So
many qualities, so often. Her
loyalty, efficiency, devotion,
warmth, affection - and so young.
So young and so fair...
Bill catches the drift. Incredulously.
I can't believe you're making this
up - it sounds like something out
of an old Clyde Fitch play...
Clyde Fitch, thought you may not
think so, was well before my time!
I've always denied the legend that
you were in 'Our American Cousin'
the night Lincoln was shot...
I don't think that's funny!
Of course it's funny - this is all
too laughable to be anything else.
You know what I think about this -
this age obsession of yours - and
now this ridiculous attempt to whip
yourself up into a jealous froth
because I spent ten minutes with a
Thirty minutes, forty minutes! What
Stage-struck kid... she's a young
lady - of qualities. And I'll have
you know I'm fed up with both the
young lady and her qualities!
Studying me as if - as if I were a
play or a set of blueprints! How I
walk, talk, think, eat, sleep!
Now how can you take offense at a
kid trying in every way to be as
much like her ideal as possible!
Stop calling her a kid! It so
happens there are particular
aspects of my life to which I would
like to maintain sole and exclusive
rights and privileges!
For instance what?
For instance - you!
This is my cue to take you in my
arms and reassure you - but I'm not
going to. I'm too mad-
Mad! Darling, there are certain
characteristics for which you are
famous - on stage and off. I love
you for some of them - and in spite
of others. I haven't let those
become too important to me. They're
part of your equipment for getting
along in what is laughably called
out environment - you've got to
keep your teeth sharp. All right.
But you will not sharpen them on me
- or on Eve...
What about her teeth? What about
She hasn't cut them yet, and you
know it! So when you start judging
an idealistic dreamy-eyed kid by
the barroom, Benzedrine standards
of this megalomaniac society - I
won't have it! Eve Harrington has
never by word, look, thought or
suggestion indicated anything to me
but her adoration for you and her
happiness at our being in love! And
to intimate anything else doesn't
spell jealousy to me - it spells a
paranoic insecurity that you should
be ashamed of!
Cut! Print it! What happens in the
next reel? Do I get dragged off
screaming to the snake pit?
Bill and Margo look off. Eve is in the room. They have no way
of knowing how long she's been there.
The hors d'oeuvres are here. Is
there anything else I can do?
Thank you, Eve. I'd like a Martini -
I'll get it.
(he crosses to Eve)
What'll you have?
Eve, involuntarily, looks to Margo.
Eve smiles, turns to Bill.
A Martini. Very dry, please...
Bill smiles back and starts across the landing toward the
pantry. As he crosses the stairs, Karen, Lloyd and Max come
up from the street level below. General greetings. Bill
continues up to pantry. Eve and then Margo come up to add
May I have your coat?
Don't bother, I can take it up
Karen yields with a "thank you, Eve-." Eve goes up with the
coat. Lloyd looks after her approvingly.
I like that girl. That quality of
... Among so many quiet qualities.
They start for the living room.
Margo, nothing you've ever done has
made me as happy as your taking Eve
I'm so happy you're happy.
Look, you haven't been running a
settlement house exactly - the
kid's earned her way. You had a
pretty mixed-up inventory when she
took over - merchandise laying all
over the shop...
You've got Margo mixed up with a
Make it Bergdorf Goodman... and now
everything is on its proper shelf,
eh, Max? Done up in little ribbons.
I could die right now and nobody'd
be confused. How about you, Max?
How about me what?
They've come to a halt near the fireplace.
Supposed you dropped dead. What
about your inventory?
I ain't gonna die. Not with a hit.
This is the most ghoulish
Bill brings two Martinis. He hands one to Margo.
(it drips ice)
The kid - junior, that is - will be
right down. Unless you'd like to
take her drink up to her...
I can always get a fresh one. Karen
- you're a Gibson girl...
He hands Eve's drink to Karen. Max has wandered off. Other
guests are arriving. Margo gulps her drink, hands Bill the
empty glass. He puts it on a passing tray. Margo takes a
fresh one at the same time.
The general atmosphere is very
Macbethish. What has or is about to
What is he talking about?
We know you, we've seen you before
like this. Is it over - or just
Margo surveys them all.
Fasten your seat belts. It's going
to be a bumpy night.
She downs the drink, hands the empty glass to Bill, and
leaves them. She passes two women, gabbing by the piano. As
they see her:
She arrives at the landing just as Addison comes up with Miss
Caswell. Margo takes a drink from a passing tray.
I distinctly remember striking your
name from the guest list. What are
you doing here?
Dear Margo. You were an
unforgettable Peter Pan - you must
play it again, soon. You remember
I do not. How do you do?
We never met. That's why.
Miss Caswell is an actress. A
graduate of Copacabana School of
(his glance is attracted
by Eve coming downstairs)
Good evening, Mr. deWitt.
I had no idea you knew each other.
This must be, at long last, our
formal introduction. Until now we
have met only in passing...
That's how you met me. In passing.
Eve, this is an old friend of Mr.
deWitt's mother - Miss Caswell,
(the two girls say hello)
Addison, I've been wanting you to
meet Eve for the longest time-
It could only have been your
natural timidity that kept you from
You've heard of her great interest
in the Theater-
We have that in common.
Then you two must have a long talk-
I'm afraid Mr. deWitt would find me
boring before too long.
You won't bore him, honey. You
won't even get to talk.
Claudia dear, come closer.
(she does, and he points)
This is Max Fabian. He is a
producer. Go do yourself some good.
Why do they always look like
Because that is what they are. Go
make him happy.
Miss Caswell drapes her coat over the rail, heads for Max.
Addison puts Eve's arm in his.
You mustn't worry about your little
charge. She is in safe hands.
Eve smiles uncertainly at Margo as he leads her away. Margo
looks after them. She downs her drink...
INT. MARGO'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
It's many Martinis later. Most of the guests have gone. The
party has reached that static state - everyone's assumed more
or less permanent places.
Birdie passes, carrying a cup of coffee. CAMERA FOLLOWS her
to the piano where Margo sits on the bench beside the
pianist. He is just finishing "Liebestraum" and she stares
moodily into a Martini. Birdie halts beside her with the
coffee. Margo looks up. Birdie holds out the coffee. Margo
takes the onion out of the Martini, drops it into the coffee
and waves Birdie away. Birdie goes. "Liebestraum" comes to an
end. The pianist tries to ease into a more sophisticated
rhythm. Margo stops him.
I just played it.
Play it again.
But that was the fourth straight
Then this will be five. I suppose
you think I'm too drunk to count.
No. You're just crazy about
Look, Miss Channing... it's kind of
depressing. If you don't mind my
saying so, everybody's kind of
dying on the vine...
My dear Horowitz. In the first
place, I'm paying you union scale.
Second, it's my piano. Third, if
everybody doesn't like kind of
dying on the vine, they can get off
the vine and go home.
Unhappily, he plays "Liebestraum." Margo sips her Martini,
stares down into it again. Bill tiptoes up.
Many of your guests have been
wondering when they may be
permitted to view the body. Where
has it been laid out?
It hasn't been laid out, we haven't
finished with the embalming. As a
matter of fact, you're looking at
it. The remains of Margo Channing.
Sitting up. It is my last wish to
be buried sitting up.
(trying to kid her out of
Wouldn't you feel more natural
taking a bow?
You know nothing about feelings,
natural or unnatural.
Then without feeling, your guests
were also wondering whether the
music couldn't be a shade more on
the - shall we say, happier side?
If my guests do not like it here, I
suggest they accompany you to the
nursery where I'm sure you will all
feel more at home.
Bill is about to get mad - when Max bustles up.
Margo. You by any chance got
bicarbonate of soda in the house?
Poor Max. Heartburn?
It's that Miss Caswell. I don't
know why she doesn't give Addison
No heart to burn.
Everybody has a heart - except some
(she finishes her drink,
Of course I've got bicarb. There's
a box in the pantry. We'll put your
name on it. Max Fabian. It'll say
there. Always. Just for you.
Let the rest of the world beat
their brains out for a buck. It's
friends that count. And I got
I love you, Max. I really mean it.
I love you. Come to the pantry.
She takes off. Max waits to set Bill straight.
She loves me like a father. Also,
He starts off after Margo. As the CAMERA PANS with Bill we
see Margo going into the pantry with Max following her. Bill
joins Addison and Miss Caswell on the stairs.
INT. PANTRY - NIGHT
It's a good sized one. In the b.g., the caterers are packing
dishes, glassware, etc. Margo crosses to a cupboard. She
finds the bicarb.
Here you are, Maxie dear. One good
burp and you'll be rid of that Miss
The situation I'm in ain't the kind
you can belch your way out. I made
An audition for the part we're
replacing. What's-her-name, your
He adds water to the bicarb.
Well, if she can act, she might not
be bad. She looks like she might
burn down a plantation...
I feel right now like there's one
burning in me.
When's the audition?
A couple of weeks.
I tell you what. Why don't I read
Anything to help you out, Max.
This is real cooperation. I
Not at all. And you could do me a
big favor, if you would-
All you got to do is name it.
Give Eve Harrington job in you
You get quick action, don't you?
Margo, I wouldn't think of taking
that girl away from you...
You said yourself my inventory was
in good shape - all of my
merchandise put away. To keep her
here with nothing to do - I'd be
standing in her way... and you need
But what could she do?
She'd be a great help - read
scripts, interview people you have
to see, get rid of the ones you
don't have to... you'd be a man of
Think of your health, Max - more
time to relax out in the fresh air
at a race track...
I don't know if this would be a
That's my Max.
Lloyd enters, looking for her.
There you are, both of you. Max,
Karen has decided it's time to go.
Where is she?
Up in the room.
If you'll excuse me-
I'll tell Miss Caswell...
He goes out. A pause.
Who's left out there?
Too many. And you've got a new
guest. A movie star from Hollywood.
Shucks. And my autograph book is at
You disapprove of me when I'm like
this, don't you?
Not exactly. Sometimes, though, I
wish I understood you better.
When you do, let me in on it.
How's the new one coming?
The play? All right, I guess...
"Cora." She's - still a girl of
Twentyish. It isn't important.
Don't you think it's about time it
How do you mean?
Don't be evasive.
Margo, you haven't got any age.
Miss Channing is ageless. Spoken
like a press agent.
I know what I'm talking about,
after all they're my plays...
Spoken like an author.
Lloyd, I'm not twentyish. I am not
thirtyish. Three months ago, I was
forty years old. Forty. Four oh.
That slipped out, I hadn't quite
made up my mind to admit it. Now I
feel as if I'd suddenly taken all
my clothes off...
Week after week, to thousands of
people, you're as young as you
... as young as they want, you
mean. And I'm not interested in
whether thousands of people think
I'm six or six hundred-
Just one person. Isn't that so?
(Margo doesn't answer)
You know what this is all about,
don't you? It has very little to do
with whether you should play "Cora"
- it has everything to do with the
fact that you've had another fight
A pause. Margo closes the box of bicarb.
Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty
two. He looked it five years ago,
he'll look it twenty years from
now. I hate men.
(she puts the box down)
Don't worry, Lloyd. I'll play your
play. I'll wear rompers and come in
rolling a hoop if you like... let's
go say good night.
They exit into the dining room. As they open the swinging
door, the CAMERA REMAINS in the doorway. Margo and Lloyd walk
toward the stairs. In the b.g., Eve is talking to the group.
How much she says is dependent on how long it takes Margo and
Lloyd to reach her.
(in the b.g.)
Imagine... to know, every night,
that different hundreds of people
love you... They smile, their eyes
shine - you've pleased them, they
want you, you belong. Anything's
Just as before, she becomes aware of Margo's approach with
Lloyd. She scrambles to her feet...
Don't get up. And please stop
acting as if I were the queen
And as Margo speaks - or before - we
EXT. N.Y. THEATER STREET - DAY
Margo gets out of a cab in front of the theater and goes in.
It's Friday afternoon - no performance.
What was it the wise man said -
"This, too, will pass away"? Two
weeks later - the day of the
audition - all was well with Bill
and me, the world and me-
INT. LOBBY AND FOYER - CURRAN THEATER - DAY
Margo comes from the street through the lobby ( a few people
buying tickets) and into the deserted foyer. She spots
Addison sprawled on one of the sofas.
Why so remote, Addison? I should
think you'd be at the side of your
protegee, lending her moral
Miss Caswell, at the moment, is
where I can lend no support - moral
The ladies' - shall we say -
Being violently ill to her tummy.
It's good luck before an audition.
She'll be all right once it starts.
She heads for the auditorium.
Miss Caswell got lucky too late.
The audition is over.
Over? It can't be. I've come to
read with her. I promised Max.
The audition was called for 2:30.
It is now nearly four.
Is it really? I must start wearing
a watch, I never do, you know...
who read with Miss Caswell? Bill?
(he shakes his head)
(he shakes his head)
Well, it couldn't have been Max!
Naturally enough, your understudy.
I consider it highly unnatural to
allow a girl in an advanced state
I refer to your new and unpregnant
understudy. Eve Harrington.
Eve! My understudy...
Didn't you know?
Of course I knew.
It just slipped your mind.
A moment of silence.
How... how was Miss Caswell?
Frankly, I don't remember.
Just slipped your mind.
Completely. Nor, I am sure, could
anyone else present tell you how
Miss Caswell read or whether Miss
Caswell read or rode a pogo stick.
Was she that bad?
As Addison speaks, he rises with excitement.
Margo, as you know, i have lived in
the Theater as a Trappist monk
lives in his faith. I have no other
world, no other life - and once in
a great while I experience that
moment of Revelation for which all
true believers wait and pray. You
were one. Jeanne Eagels another...
Paula Wessely... Hayes - there are
others, three or four. Eve
Harrington will be among them...
I take it she read well.
It wasn't reading, it was a
performance. Brilliant, vivid,
something made of music and fire...
In time she'll be what you are.
A mass of music and fire. That's
me. An old kazoo and some sparkles.
Tell me - was Bill swept away, too,
or were you too full of Revelation
Bill didn't say - but Lloyd was
beside himself. He listened to his
play as if someone else had written
it, he said, it sounded so fresh,
so new, so full of meaning...
How nice for Lloyd. And how nice
for Eve. How nice for everybody.
Addison, of course, knows exactly what she's doing. He senses
the approaching typhoon, he whips it up...
Eve was incredibly modest. She
insisted that no credit was due
her, that Lloyd felt as he did only
because she read lines exactly as
he had written them.
The implication being that I have
not been reading them as written.
To the best of my recollection,
neither your name nor your
performance entered the
Miss Caswell appears, uncertain, in the b.g.
Feeling better, my dear?
Like I just swam the English
Channel. Now what?
You next move, it seems to me,
should be toward television.
Margo, abruptly, starts for the auditorium. Addison smiles.
He takes Miss Caswell's arm.
Tell me this. Do they have
auditions for television?
That's all television is, my dear.
Nothing but auditions.
He takes her toward the street.
INT. THEATER - CURRAN THEATER - DAY
The curtain is up; the set, covered, is a bedroom in a
deteriorating Southern mansion.
There is no one in the theater but Max, seated on the aisle
about two-thirds down, and Eve with Lloyd and Bill on the
stage. She is seated; they stand between her and auditorium.
There is some ad lib talk among the three which we cannot
make out. Margo marches down the aisle with a steady pace.
She passes Max smiles a sickly, hopeful smile. She ignores
him as if he were a used paper cup. She disappears through
the door which leads backstage.
Max whistles. Lloyd turns. Max indicated the door and puts
his hands to his head in despair.
Margo walks out of the wings on stage. Bill and Lloyd turn to
her. Eve rises.
Terribly sorry I'm late, lunch was
long and I couldn't find a cab -
where's Miss Caswell, shall we
start? Oh, hello, Eve...
Hello, Miss Channing.
How are you making out in Mr.
(over the footlights to
I don't want you working the child
too hard, Max - just because you
promised. As you see, I kept my
Max slumps in his seat. By the time Margo turns back to them,
the others have exchanged swift looks.
It's all over.
What's all over?
(she turns to her)
(to Lloyd and Bill)
Wherever did you get the idea of
having Eve read with Miss Caswell?
She's your understudy.
Eve? Eve, my understudy? But I had
I thought you knew... She was put
on over a week ago-
It seems almost inconceivable that
I haven't seen her backstage, but
with so many people loitering
around... well, well. So Eve is not
working for Max after all-
(out to Max again)
- Max you sly puss.
Max submerges further in his seat.
Miss Channing, I can't tell you how
glad I am that you arrived so late.
Really, Eve? Why?
Well, if you'd been here to begin
with, I wouldn't have dared to read
... and if you'd come in the
middle, I'd have stopped, I
couldn't have gone on-
What a pity, all that fire and
music being turned off...
What fire and music?
You wouldn't understand.
How was Miss Caswell?
Back to Copacabana. But Eve. Margo,
let me tell you about Eve-
I was dreadful, Miss Channing,
believe me - I have no right to be
anyone's understudy, much less
I'm sure you underestimate
yourself, Eve. You always do.
You were about to tell me about
You'd have been proud of her.
She was a revelation...
To you, too?
What do you mean?
(the ice begins to form)
I mean, among other things, that it
must have been a revelation to have
your twenty-four-year-old character
played by twenty-four-year-old
That's beside the point.
It's right to the point. Also that
it must have sounded so new and
fresh to you - so exciting to have
the lines read as you wrote them!
So full of meaning, fire and music!
You've been talking to that
venomous fishwife, Addison deWitt-
- in this case, apparently, as
trustworthy as the World Almanac!
You knew when you came in that the
audition was over, that Eve was
your understudy! Playing that
childish game of cat and mouse...
Not mouse, never mouse! If anything
You have a genius for making
barroom brawl out of a perfectly
innocent misunderstanding at most!
Perfectly innocent! Man have been
hanged for less! I'm lied to,
attacked behind my back, accused of
reading your silly dialogue
inaccurately - as if it were Holy
I never said it was!
Then you listened as if someone
else had written you play - whom
did you have in mind? Sherwood?
Arthur Miller? Beaumont and
Max has edged his way to the stage.
May I say a word?
What makes you think that either
Miller or Sherwood would stand for
the nonsense I take from you -
you'd better stick to Beaumont and
Fletcher! They've been dead for
three hundred years!
He stalks into the wings. Bill's reaction to the fight is
typical. He lights a cigarette, stretches out on the covered
bed. Eve stands frozen with fear. Margo yells after Lloyd
into the wings.
And they're getting better
performances today than they ever
got! All playwrights should be dead
for three hundred years!
Lloyd comes out of the door leading to the auditorium. The
battle goes on without a pause. As he yells back, he crosses
to Max at row A, center.
That would solve none of their
problems - because actresses never
die! The stars never die and never
He starts up the aisle with Max.
You can change this star any time
you want! For a new, fresh,
exciting one fully equipped with
fire and music! Any time you want -
starting with tonight's
Now it's Max who stops and shouts back at her.
This is for lawyers to talk about,
this concerns a run-of-the-play
contract, and this you can't
rewrite or ad lib!
(from the stage)
Are you threatening me with legal
action, Mr. Fabian?
Are you breaking the contract?
Answer my question!
Who am I to threaten? I'm a dying
I didn't hear you.
I said I'm a dying man!
Not until the last drugstore has
sold its last pill!
(from the top of the
I shall never understand the weird
process by which a body with a
voice suddenly fancies itself a
mind! Just when exactly does an
actress decide they're her words
she's saying and her thoughts she's
Usually at the point when she's got
to rewrite and rethink them to keep
the audience from leaving the
It's about time the piano realized
it has not written the concerto!
Max has already walked out unhappily. Lloyd now slams out.
Margo glares after him, then turns to Bill who smokes his
cigarette peacefully on the bed.
And you, I take it, are the
Paderewski who plays his concerto
on me, the piano?
(Bill waves his cigarette;
Where is Princess Fire-and-Music?
The kid. Junior.
I must have frightened her away.
I wouldn't be surprised. Sometimes
you frighten me.
(paces up and down)
Poor little flower. Just dropped
her petals and folded her tent...
Don't mix your metaphors.
I mix what I like.
I'm nothing but a body with a
voice. No mind.
What a body, what a voice.
The ex-ship news' reporter. No
body, no voice, all mind!
The gong rang. The fight's over.
I will not calm down!
Don't calm down.
You're being terribly tolerant,
I'm trying terribly hard.
Well, you needn't. I will not be
tolerated. And I will not be
Here we go...
Such nonsense, what do you all take
me for - little Nell from the
country? Been my understudy for
over a week without my knowing,
carefully hidden no doubt-
Now don't get carried away-
(going right on)
- shows up for an audition when
everyone knew I'd be here... and
gives a performance! Out of nowhere
- gives a performance!
You've been all through that with
The playwright doesn't make the
performance - and it doesn't just
happen! And this one didn't - full
of fire and music and whatnot, it
was carefully rehearsed I have no
doubt, over and over, full of those
Bill Sampson touches!
I am sick and tired of these
I didn't know Eve Harrington was
your understudy until half past two
Tell that to Dr. Freud! Along with
the rest of it...
She turns away. Bill grabs her, pulls her down on the bed. He
holds her down.
No, I'll tell it to you! For the
last time, I'll tell it to you.
Because you've got to stop hurting
yourself, and me, and the two of us
by these paranoiac tantrums!
That word again! I don't even know
what it means...
It's time you found out. I love
(Margo says "Ha!")
I love you. You're a beautiful and
(Margo says "A body with a
- a beautiful and intelligent woman
and a great actress-
(he waits; Margo says
- at the peak of her career. You
have every reason for happiness-
(Margo says "Except
- every reason, but due to some
unconscious drive you permit the
slightest action of a kid-
(Margo sneers "Kid!")
- kid like Eve to turn you into a
hysterical, screaming harpy! Now
once and for all, stop it!
Margo seems quiet. He gets up. She sits up.
It's obvious you're not a woman.
I've been aware of that for some
Well, I am.
Don't be condescending.
Come on, get up. I'll buy you a
I admit I may have seen better
days, but I am still not to be had
for the price of a cocktail - like
a salted peanut.
Margo, let's make peace.
The terms are too high.
Just being happy? Just stopping all
this nonsense about Eve - and Eve
It's not nonsense.
But if I tell you it is - as I just
did. Were you listening to me?
Isn't that enough?
I wish it were.
Then what would be enough?
(Margo doesn't answer)
If we were married?
I wouldn't want you to marry me
just to prove something.
You've had so many reasons for not
wanting to marry me... Margo, tell
me what's behind all this.
I - I don't know, Bill. Just a
feeling, I don't know...
I think you do know but you won't
or can't tell me.
(Margo doesn't say)
I said before it was going to be my
last try, and I meant it. I can't
think of anything else to do. I
wish I could.
We usually wind up screaming and
throwing things as the curtain
comes down. Then it comes up again
and everything's fine. But not this
(he takes a breath)
You know there isn't a playwright
in the world who could make me
believe this would happen between
two adult people. Goodbye, Margo.
No word from her. He starts away.
... where are you going? To find
That suddenly makes the whole thing
He goes out. Margo, alone, sit for a moment sadly. Then she
begins to cry...
INT. RICHARDS' STUDIO APARTMENT - DAY
One large room, a small foyer with a door to the corridor. A
stair up one wall to a narrow balcony from which a couple of
Karen is painting. Earnestly but badly. A still life of an
orange, an avocado, an eggplant and three bananas.
On the day of the audition, my
biggest worry was to keep a banana
looking part of an eggplant... then
Lloyd came home.
(in the b.g., Lloyd lets
It was right after his brawl with
Lloyd slams the door, flings his hat away, strides in,
peeling off muffler and overcoat.
Lloyd, what happened...?
Up to here! That's where I've got
it - up to here! Of all the star
ridden, presumptuous, hysterical-
And again and again! Two hours late
for the audition, to begin with-
That's on time for Margo.
Then a childish, heavy-handed
routine about not knowing Eve was
It's just possible she didn't...
Of course she knew! For one thing,
Addison told her how superbly Eve
had read the part-!
Karen, let me tell you about Eve.
She's got everything - a born
actress. Sensitive, understanding,
young, exciting, vibrant-
- don't run out of adjectives,
- everything a playwright first
thinks of wanting to write about...
until his play becomes a vehicle
for Miss Channing...
Margo hasn't done badly by it.
Margo. Margo's great. She knows it.
That's the trouble.
She can play Peck's Bad Boy all she
wants, and who's to stop her? Who's
to give her that boot in the rear
she needs and deserves?
He starts up the stairs to the bedroom.
It's going to be a cozy weekend.
We're driving out to the country
tomorrow night. Just the four of
us. Bill, Margo, you and I...
Well. We've spent weekends before
with nobody talking...
(continues up stairs)
... just be sure to lock up all
blunt instruments and throwable
As he goes into one of the bedrooms, Karen sits thoughtfully
on a couch. She muses...
Newton - they say, thought of
gravity by getting hit on the head
by an apple. And the man who
invented the steam engine, he was
watching a tea-kettle... but not
me. My Big Idea came to me just
sitting on a couch...
She lies down, folds her hands behind her head.
That boot in the rear to Margo.
Heaven knows she had one coming.
From me, from Lloyd, from Eve,
Bill, Max, and so on - we'd all
felt those size fives of hers often
enough... but how? The answer was
buzzing around me like a fly...
She sits up. She smiles. The smile fades...
I had it. But I let it go.
Screaming and calling names is one
thing - but this could mean...
She shakes her head, crosses to her easel, resumes work on
the bananas. She slows down, then stops.
Why not? Why, I said to myself,
not? It would all seem perfectly
legitimate. And there were only two
people in the world who would know.
Also, the boot would land where it
would do the most good for all
She puts the brush away and crosses to the phone which is by
Lloyd's work chair. As she crosses:
And after all, it was not more than
a perfectly harmless joke which
Margo, herself, would be the first
She looks in a leather phone book, pick up the phone and
... and no reason why she shouldn't
be told about it - in time.
There's an answer at the other end.
Hello... will you call Miss Eve
Harrington to the phone, please?
Not at all... thank you.
And as she waits we...
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - NIGHT
Open country. Preferably no houses in sight. Plenty of snow.
Lloyd's car drives along.
It was a cold weekend - outside and
in. Bill didn't come at all.
Margo didn't know where he was and
didn't care - she kept saying.
Somehow we staggered through Sunday
- and by the time we drive Margo to
the station late Monday afternoon,
she and Lloyd had thawed out to the
extent of being civil to each
INT. COUPE - NIGHT
Lloyd driving. All three in the front seat.
What time is it?
When you asked a minute ago it was
five-forty-two. It is now five
forty-three. When you ask a minute
from no, it will be-
I just don't want Margo to miss her
train. As it is, she'll barely make
Five-fifty-five. We'll be at the
station in plenty of time...
That little place just two hours
form New York. It's on my list of
collecting shrunken Indian heads...
Of all people you should know what
it means to want some peace and
Peace and quit is for libraries.
The car swerves - suddenly and slightly.
Lloyd, be careful...
Just a little skid, that's all.
This road's like glass.
Karen and I just don't want an
I have no intention of having an
It's not important whether you do.
We are wearing long underwear.
They all laugh. Suddenly the car slows and stops - with that
hissing sound that can mean only one thing - no gas.
Now what's this...?
He tries to start it again. No luck. He turns on the
dashboard lights. The gas gauge reads empty.
But it can't be! We can't be out of
gas! I filled it myself yesterday!
Wasn't it full when you drove to
Brewster this morning?
I guess I didn't look. You know I
don't pay attention to those
Futilely, he runs the started again.
How much time have we?
Roughly ten minutes.
How far to the station?
Three or four miles...
Any houses or farms around where we
can borrow gas?
None in sight, there aren't many
along this back road...
Not many car either, not much
chance of a lift...
A moment of silence.
Well. No sense my just sitting
here. I'm going to walk up about
half a mile, just in case.
He starts out of the car. The cold comes in like a knife, the
You'll break your neck on that ice.
What a way to die - trying to get
an actress to the theater in time.
Tell Max I want to be buried with
Don't joke about such things.
How fortunate that I have an
understudy so ready, so willing and
so able to go on.
The audience will want its money
refunded, believe me.
Thank you, Lloyd. Godspeed.
Lloyd starts down the road. He slips once, recovers, waves
and keeps going.
He always looks so pathetic
whenever he does anything physical-
It seems to me that walking, for
most people, is not very dangerous.
I just never think of Lloyd as
anywhere but indoors and anything
but sitting down.
Be brave. He'll come back - with or
They tuck the fur car robe around them. A pause. Margo turns
on the radio... it's "Liebestraum."
Do you want it on?
It doesn't matter.
I detest cheap sentiment.
She turns it off. Another pause.
(Karen says "hm?")
I haven't been pleasant this
We've all seemed a little tense
Come to think of it, I haven't been
very pleasant for weeks. For that,
I'm truly sorry. More than any two
people I know, I don't want you and
Lloyd to be angry with me...
We're never deeply angry, we just
get sore. The way you do. We know
you too well...
So many people - know me. I wish I
did. I wish someone would tell be
You're Margo. Just - Margo.
And what is that? Besides something
spelled out in light bulbs, I mean.
Besides something called
temperament, which consists mostly
of swooping about on a broomstick
creaming at the top of my voice...
infants behave the way I do, you
know. They carry on and misbehave -
they'd get drunk if they knew how -
when they can't have what they
want. When they feel unwanted and
insecure - or unloved.
There's a pause.
What about Bill?
What about Bill?
He's in love with you.
More than anything in this world, I
love Bill. And I want Bill. I want
him to want me. But me. Not Margo
Channing. And if I can't tell they
apart - how can he?
Why should he - and why should you?
Bill's in love with Margo Channing.
He's fought with her, worked with
her, loved her... but ten years
from now - Margo Channing will have
ceased to exist. And what's left
will be... what?
Margo. Bill is all of eight years
younger than you.
Those years stretch as the years go
on. I've seen it happen too often.
Not to you. Not to Bill.
Isn't that what they always say?
She turns the radio on again. A piano nocturne...
I don't suppose the heater runs
when the motor doesn't?
Silly, isn't it? You'd think they'd
fix it so people could just sit in
a car and keep warm...
Margo nods, get some cigarettes out of her bag. She offers
one to Karen. They light up.
About Eve. I've acted pretty
disgracefully toward her, too.
Let's not fumble for excuses, not
here and now with my hair down. At
best, let's say I've been
oversensitive to... well, to the
fact that she's so young - so
feminine and helpless. To so many
things I want to be for Bill...
funny business, a woman's career.
The things you drop on your way up
the ladder, so you can move faster.
You forget you'll need them again
when you go back to being a woman.
That's one career all females have
in common - whether we like it or
not - being a woman.
Sooner or later we've all got to
work at it, no matter what other
careers we've had or wanted... and,
in the last analysis, nothing is
any good unless you can look up
just before dinner or turns around
in bed - and there he is. Without
that, you're not woman. You're
something with a French provincial
office or a book full of clippings -
but you're not a woman...
(she smiles at Karen)
... slow curtain. The end.
A pause. There are tears in Karen's eyes.
Margo, I want you to know how sorry
I am about this...
This. I can't tell you how sorry I
Don't give it another thought, one
of destiny's many pranks. After
all, you didn't personally drain
the gasoline out of the tank...
She snuggles down into her furs. Karen flashes an unhappy
look at her. She, too, snuggles down...
EXT. THEATER ALLEY - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
The snow has been shoveled to either side of the alley,
making a lane. The performance is just over.
Addison, his back to us, stands looking toward the stage
door. A few actors, on their way out.
Eve, of course, was superb. Many of
the audience understandably
preferred to return another time to
But those who remained cheered
loudly, lustily and long for Eve...
how thoughtful of her to call and
invite me - that afternoon...
He starts to walk toward the stage door.
... and what a happy coincidence
that several representatives of
other newspapers happened to be
present. All of us - invited that
afternoon to attend an understudy's
He goes in the stage door.
INT. BACKSTAGE - CURRAN THEATER - NIGHT
More activity than last time, the performance being just
over. Addison comes through the door, picks his way toward
Margo's dressing room.
... about which the management knew
nothing until they were forced to
ring up the curtain at nine
o'clock. Coincidence. Also every
indication of intrigue, skulduggery
The door tot he dressing room is open just a bit. Addison
pauses beside the door to listen.
... you were better than all right,
kid, you gave a performance, you
rang a bell-
Addison uses his cane to swing the door open farther, so that
both he and WE can see as well as hear.
INT. MARGO'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
Bill faces Eve, who wears Margo's costume. She is a ravishing
sight. Her eyes shine up to his radiantly:
- little things here and there, it
doesn't matter. You can be proud of
yourself, you've got a right to be.
Are you proud of me, Bill?
I'll admit I was worried when Max
called. I had my doubts.
You shouldn't have had any doubts.
- after all, the other day was one
scene, the woods are full of one
scene sensations. But you did it.
With work and patience, you'll be a
fine actress. If that's what you
want to be.
Is that what you want me to be?
I'm talking about you. And what you
So am I.
What have I got to do with it?
The names I've been called. But
(he pats her shoulder)
He starts out. Addison ducks.
Don't run away, Bill.
From what would I be running?
You're always after truth - on the
stage. What about off?
I'm for it.
Then face it. I have. Since that
first night - here - in the
When I told you what every young
actress should know.
When you told me that whatever I
became, it would be because of you-
Your make-up's a little heavy.
- and for you.
You're quite a girl.
I'm in love with Margo. Hadn't you
You hear all kinds of things.
I'm only human, rumors to the
contrary. And I'm as curious as the
Only thing, what I go after, I want
to go after. I don't want it to
come after me.
Tears come to Eve's eyes. She turns away slowly.
Don't cry. Just score it as an
incomplete forward pass.
He walks out. Addison ducks to avoid being seen. Eve glares
after Bill, tears the wig from her head, throws it on the
dressing table. Her glance is caught by a pair of scissors.
Swiftly, she snatches them up and in a sharp, vicious gesture
she slashes the wig. Addison knocks politely at the door. Eve
May I come in?
Certainly, Mr. deWitt...
I expected to find this little room
overcrowded, with a theater full of
people at your feet...
I consider myself lucky they didn't
She starts creaming her face, removing make-up.
Of course your performance was no
surprise to me. After the other day
I regarded it as no more than - a
You're more than kind. But it's
still Miss Channing's performance.
I'm just a carbon copy you read
when you can't find the original...
You're more than modest.
It's not modesty. I just don't try
to kid myself.
A revolutionary approach to the
Theater. However, if I may a
I think the time has come for you
to shed some of your humility. It
is just as false not to blow your
horn at all as it is to blow it too
I don't think I've done anything to
sound off about.
We all come into this world with
our little egos equipped with
individual horns. If we don't blow
them - who will?
Even so. One isolated pretty good
performance by an understudy. It'll
be forgotten tomorrow.
It needn't be.
Even if I wanted to - as you say -
be less humble, blow my own horn...
how would I do it? I'm less than
I am somebody.
Eve rises. She eyes him steadily.
You certainly are.
She goes into the bathroom.
Leave the door open a bit, so we
Eve does so.
After you change, if you're not
busy elsewhere, we can have supper.
(from the bathroom)
I'd love to! Or should I pretend
Let's have a minimum of pretending.
I'll want to do a column about you-
I'm not enough for a paragraph.
- perhaps more than one. There's so
much I want to know. I've heard
your story in bits and pieces...
your home in Wisconsin, your tragic
marriage, your financial attachment
to Margo - it started in San
Francisco, didn't it?
(no answer; Addison
I say - your idolatry of Margo
started in San Francisco, didn't
San Francisco. An oasis of
civilization in the California
desert. Tell me, do you share my
high opinion of San Francisco?
Yes. I do.
And that memorable night when Margo
first dazzled you from the stage -
which theater was it in San
Francisco? Was it - the Shubert?
(a slight pause)
Yes. The Shubert.
A fine old theater, the Shubert.
Full of tradition, untouched by the
earthquake - so sorry - fire... by
the way, what was your husband's
Eve sticks her head and naked shoulder around the door.
I'm about to go into the shower, I
won't be able to hear you...
I can wait. Where would you like to
go? We'll make this a special
You take charge.
I believe I will.
She closes the door. He leans back, lights a cigarette.
EXT. 52ND STREET - NEW YORK - NIGHT
A cab drives up to "21."
Some of the morning papers carried
a little squib about Eve's
performance. Not much, but full
I couldn't imagine how they found
out about it - but Lloyd said Max's
publicity man probably sent out the
Karen gets out of the cab, pays and goes in.
... at any rate, I feel terribly
guilty and ashamed of myself - and
wanted nothing so much as to forget
the whole thing. Margo and I were
having lunch at "21" - just like
girlfriends - with hats on...
INT. LOBBY - "21" - DAY
Karen consults her watch and the doorman as she enters.
Has Miss Channing come in?
Not yet, Mrs. Richards...
Karen sees Eve who waits as Addison hands his hat, coat, and
cane to an attendant. She smiles, crosses to her.
Eve. I've heard the most wonderful
things about your performance-
Mostly relief that I managed to
stagger through it at all...
She was magnificent.
Then you've heard too.
I was there. An eyewitness.
You were there? At the play - last
A happy coincidence.
We're having lunch with a movie
They certainly don't waste much
Nothing definite yet - it's just to
They'll be wasting this much of
their time at any rate. Eve has no
intention of going to Hollywood.
He turns to Karen, changing the subject.
From the smartness of your dress, I
take it your luncheon companion is
Margo? Lunching in public?
It's new Margo. But she's just as
late as the old one.
She may be later than you think...
As he speaks, he crosses to pick up an evening paper, opens
it as he comes back.
(handing it to her)
Why not read my column to pass the
time? The minutes will fly like
(he takes Eve's arm)
... and now we must join our
sunburned eager beaver.
He goes up the stairs with Eve. Karen glances after them
curiously, then at the column.
It is headed: "Things I Promised Not To Tell" by Addison
deWitt. He expression becomes increasingly horrified. She
drops the paper and rushes out...
INT. MARGO'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
Addison's column quivers in Margo's hand as she strides about
reading it. Karen sits miserably.
"... my hat which has, lo, these
many seasons become more firmly
rooted about my ears, is lifted to
Miss Harrington. I am once more
available for dancing in the
streets and shouting from the
housetops." ... I thought that one
went out with Woollcott...
(she skips part of the
Down here... here, listen to this-
"... Miss Harrington had much to
tell - and these columns shall
report her faithfully - about the
lamentable practice in our Theater
of permitting, shall we say -
mature - actresses to continue
playing roles requiring a youth and
vigor of which they retain but a
I just can't believe it.
It get better! "- About the
understandable reluctance on the
part of our entrenched First Ladies
of the Stage to encourage, shall we
say - younger - actresses; about
Miss Harrington's own long and
unsupported struggle for
I can't believe Eve said those
Margo crumples the paper as if it were Eve's neck.
In this rat race, everybody's
guilty till they're proved
innocent! One of the differences
between the Theater and
(she hurls the paper away)
... what gets me is how all of
those papers in town happened to
catch that particular performance!
Lloyd says it's a publicity
The little witch must have had
Indians runners out snatching
critics out of bars, steam rooms
and museums or wherever they hole
up... well, she won't get away with
it! Nor will Addison deWitt and his
poison pen! If Equity or my lawyer
can't or won't do anything about
it, I will personally stuff that
pathetic little lost lamb down Mr.
deWitt's ugly throat...
She pauses in midair to look at... Bill. He has come up the
stairs tow at a time, stands at the landing.
I came as soon as I read that piece
of filth. I ran all the way...
Margo suddenly starts to cry. She turns from him. Bill takes
her in his arms. He holds her...
Bill's here, baby. Everything's all
Margo says nothing, just hides in his embrace. He soothes
her, pets her... he looks over at Karen.
I guess at this point I'm what the
French call 'de trop'...
Maybe just a little around the
Karen smiles back, waves, and goes out.
INT. RICHARDS' APARTMENT - DAY
Karen's having some lunch. Lloyd, still in his robe, sits
opposite her having some coffee and a cigarette. A copy of
the interview before him.
- it's Addison, from start to
finish, it drips with his brand of
venom... taking advantage of a kid
like that, twisting her words,
making her say what he wanted her
Where'd you get all that
(put out his cigarette)
She's been to see me, as a matter
of fact she left just before you
came in - you just missed her...
That was a pity...
She wanted to explain about her
interview, wanted to apologize to
someone - and didn't dare face
I wonder why.
Lloyd wanders about - he seems to be searching for words, for
a position to maintain...
She started to tell me all about it
- and she couldn't finish, she
He's over by a window, his back to her. Karen eyes him
curiously, waiting for the payoff...
You know, I've been going over our
financial condition - if you'll
pardon the expression...
That's quite a change of subject.
What with taxes coming up - and
since I'm a playwright and not an
oil well operator - well, I've been
I'm trying hard to follow you.
If - instead of waiting until next
season to do 'Footsteps on the
Ceiling', which is in pretty good
shape - and if Margo can be talked
into going on tour with 'Aged in
Wood' - we could put 'Footsteps...'
into production right away...
I'm beginning to catch up.
If we could cast it properly, that
Maybe get some younger actress for
the part? Someone who'd look the
part as well as play it?
You've got to admit it would be a
Now you're quoting Addison. Or Eve.
Eve did mention the play, you know.
But just in passing - she's never
ask to play a part like "Cora,"
she'd never have the nerve...
Eve would ask Abbott to give her
No, I got the idea myself - while
she was talking to me...
With gestures, of course.
For once, to write something and
have it realized completely. For
once, not to compromise-
Now Karen explodes. She rises.
Lloyd Richards, you are not to
consider giving that contemptible
little worm the part of "Cora."
Now just a minute-
Margo Channing has not been exactly
a compromise all these years, half
the playwrights in the world would
give their shirts for that
Now just a minute!
It strikes me that Eve's disloyalty
and ingratitude must be contagious!
Lloyd's full of anger and guilt. He snaps back.
All this fuss and hysteria because
an impulsive kid got carried away
by excitement and the conniving of
a professional manure slinger named
deWitt! She apologized, didn't she?
On her knees, I have no doubt! Very
touching, very Academy-of-Dramatic
That bitter cynicism of yours is
something you've acquired since you
The cynicism you refer to, I
acquired the day I discovered I was
different from little boys!
The phone has been ringing. Lloyd snarls into it.
(he quiets down)
... hi, Margo... no, not at all,
Karen and I were just chatting...
hmm?... why - why, yes, I'm sure we
can and I'm sure we'd love to...
right... 11:45ish. See you then...
He hangs up. He smiles - suddenly, there's peace.
Margo - and Bill - want us to meet
them at the Cub Room tonight, after
theater. For a bottle of wine.
Margo in the Cub Room. I couldn't
be more surprised if she'd said
I'm glad Bill's back.
They'd die without each other.
Darling, I didn't promise Eve
anything. Just said I thought she'd
be fine for the part, but there
were some practical difficulties...
You - for one. I told her you were
set on Margo playing the part - and
I certainly wouldn't make a change
without your approval.
Karen smiles happily.
That's fine. Fine and dandy. I'd
enjoy nothing more. Just refer all
of Miss Harrington's future
requests to me...
INT. CUB ROOM - STORK CLUB - NIGHT
Margo, Karen, Bill and Lloyd are ensconced happily at a table
in the rear of the room. A bottle of fine wine is being
poured. Their mood is equally bubbly.
The so-called art of acting is not
one for which I have a particularly
But you may quote me as follows.
Quote. Tonight Miss Margo Channing
gave a performance in your
cockamamie play, the like of which
I have never seen before and expect
rarely to see again. Unquote.
He does not exaggerate. I was good.
You were great.
As they look at each other, they reflect the understanding
that has hit them both at last.
It's been quite a night. I
understand that your understudy -
Miss Harrington - has given her
(eyes still on Bill)
(eyes still on Margo)
I'm broken up about it...
The wine has been poured by now.
For some reason you can't just pick
up champagne and drink it.
Somebody's got to be very witty
about a toast.
(he lifts his glass)
I'm going to propose the toast.
Without wit. With all my heart.
Lloyd lowers his glass. There's a little pause.
To Margo. To my bride-to-be.
Well of all-
They drink, then burst into a flurry of questions.
When? When are you going to do it?
Tomorrow we meet at City Hall at
- and you're going to be on time.
City Hall, that's for prize
fighters, and reporters - I see a
cathedral, a bishop, banks of
It's only for the license. There's
a three-day wait - blood tests,
things like that...
I'll marry you if it turns out you
have no blood at all.
Three days, that's for the
bourgeois - I see a midnight
elopement, waking up a village
What are you going to wear?
Something simple. A fur coat over a
The point is - in the cathedral, a
ball park or a penny arcade - we
want to have you two beside us our
nearest and dearest friends.
Lloyd fills all the glasses.
There are very few moments in life
as good as this. Let's remember it.
(he lifts his glass)
To each of us and all of us...
never have we been more close - may
we never be farther apart.
They drink. A waiter approaches with a note.
Karen stares at it curiously, then opens it.
Very discreet. A note right out in
the open like that. Next time tell
your lover to blow smoke rings - or
tap a glass...
Lloyd, I want you to be big about
this... the world is full of love
tonight, no woman is safe...
This beats all world's records for
running, standing and jumping gall!
She whips the note to Margo, who reads it aloud.
"Please forgive me for butting into
what seems such a happy occasion -
but it's most important that I
speak with you. Please" - it's
underlined - "meet me in the
Ladies' Room. Eve."
I understand she is now the
understudy in there.
Pass me the empty bottle. I may
find her... why, look. There's
Addison sits near the entrance, at a banquette table for two.
A crumpled napkin and a wine glass indicate Eve's place. He
nibbles daintily at some blini.
Margo hails a passing captain.
Encore du champagne.
More champagne, Miss Channing?
That's what I said, bub.
After all, maybe she just wants to
I have no possible interest in
anything she'd have to say.
But what could she say? That's what
Go on - find out...
Karen, in all the years of our
friendship, I have never let you go
to the Ladies' Room alone. But now
I must. I am busting to know what
goes on in that feverish little
brain waiting there...
Well... all right.
She gets up and goes. The CAMERA takes her past Addison's
table. He rises in polite surprise.
Karen! How nice...
She walks past him without a word. He smiles, looks toward
the group. He raises his glass in a toast.
Margo responds to the toast by waving an onion with a grand
flourish, then eating it.
Very effective. But why take it out
He eats one in self-defense.
INT. LADIES' ROOM - STORK CLUB - NIGHT
Never having been, I can't say what it looks like. It is to
be hoped that there is an outer and inner room. We are
concerned with the outer.
There is an attendant in charge, and a constantly changing
flow of ladies who pause to make various repairs. All cafe
society - including one young drunk stretched out under a
mink coat and a wet towel.
There are two chairs - or a banquette - in a corner. Eve
waits there. She rises as Karen approaches.
I was wondering whether you'd come
Don't get up.
(she smiles grimly)
And don't act as if I were the
I don't expect you to be pleasant.
I don't intend to be.
Can't we sit down? Just for a
She sits down. Karen remains standing.
I've got a lot to say. And none of
it is easy.
There can't be very much-
Oh, but there is-
- and easy or not, I won't believe
Why shouldn't you?
Please sit down.
Karen sits, reluctantly and rigidly.
You know, I've always considered
myself a very clever girl. Smart.
Good head on my shoulders, that
sort of thing, never the wrong word
at the wrong time... but then, I'd
never met Addison deWitt.
I remember once I had a tooth
pulled. They gave me some
anaesthetic - I don't remember the
name - and it affected me in a
strange way. I heard myself saying
things I wasn't even thinking... as
if my mind were someplace outside
of my body, and couldn't control
what I did or said-
(leading her on)
- and you felt just like that
talking to Addison.
In a way. You find yourself trying
to say what you mean, but somehow
the words change - and they become
his words - and suddenly you're not
saying what you mean, but what he
Do you expect me to believe that
you didn't say any of those things -
that they were all Addison?
No! I don't expect you to believe
anything. Except that the
responsibility is mine. And the
Let's not get over-dramatic.
You've really got a low opinion of
me, haven't you? We'll I'll give
you some pleasant news. I've been
told off in no uncertain terms all
over town. Miss Channing should be
happy to hear that. To know how
loyal her friends are - how much
more loyal they are than she had a
right to expect me to be...
She turns away from Karen. Karen's embarrassed.
Eve... don't cry.
I'm not crying.
Tell me. How did your lunch turn
out - with the man from Hollywood?
Some vague promises of a test,
that's all - if a particular part
should come along, one of those
But the raves about your
- an understudy's performance.
Well. I think you're painting the
picture a little darker than it is,
really. If nothing else - and don't
underestimate him - you have a
powerful friend in Addison.
He's not my friend. You were my
He can help you.
I wish I'd never met him, I'd like
him to be dead... I want my friends
This time she does cry. Softly, miserably. Karen looks about.
A pause. She puts an arm around Eve.
Eve. I - I don't think you meant to
cause unhappiness. But you did.
More to yourself, perhaps - as it
turned out - than to anyone else...
I'll never get over it.
Yes, you will. You Theater people
always do. Nothing is forever in
the Theater. Love or hate, success
or failure - whatever it is, it's
here, it flares up and burns hot -
and then it's gone.
I wish I could believe that.
Give yourself time. Don't worry too
much about what people think,
you're very young and very
(she gets up, her hand
still on Eve's shoulder)
... and, believe it or not, if
there's anything I can do-
Eve has reached up to take Karen's hand. She holds it now, as
she turns slowly to face her.
There is something.
Karen stares down at her. Eve's eyes burn into tears. Karen
is caught, fascinated by them.
I think I know...
Something most important you can
You want to play "Cora." You want
me to tell Lloyd I think you should
If you told him so, he'd give me
the part. He said he would.
After all you've said... don't you
know the part was written for
It could have been - fifteen years
ago. It's my part now.
You talk just as Addison said you
"Cora" is my part. You've got to
tell Lloyd it's for me.
I don't think anything in the world
could make me say that.
She turns away again, but Eve's grip is like a vise.
Addison wants me to play it.
Over my dead body...
That won't be necessary. Addison
knows how Margo happen to miss that
performance - how I happened to
know she'd miss it in time to call
him and notify every paper in
(Karen stops struggling)
... it's quite a story.
Addison could make quite a thing of
it - imagine how snide and vicious
he could get and still write
nothing but the truth. I had a time
(she smiles, now)
... you'd better sit down. You look
a bit wobbly.
If I play "Cora," Addison will
never tell what happened - in or
out of print. A simple exchange of
favors. And I'm so happy I can do
something for you - at long last...
(Karen covers her face
with her hands)
Your friendship with Margo - your
deep, close friendship - what would
happen to it, do you think, if she
knew the chap trick you'd played on
her - for my benefit? And you and
Lloyd - how long, even in the
Theater, before people forgot what
happened - and trusted you again?
(now Eve gets up)
No... it would be so much easier on
everyone concerned, if I were to
play "Cora." And so much better
Karen looks up slowly.
A part in a play. You'd do all that
- just for a part in a play.
I'd do much more - for a part that
She leaves. Karen is alone.
INT. CUB ROOM - NIGHT
Eve enters and slides in beside Addison.
Just some coffee.
I'm not surprised. After all that
Nothing of the kind. Karen and I
had a nice talk.
Heart to heart? Woman to woman?
Including a casual reference to the
part of "Cora" - and your hopes of
I discussed it very openly. I told
her that I had spoken to Lloyd -
and that he was interested.
She mentioned, of course, that
Margo expects to play the part?
Oddly enough - she didn't say a
word about Margo. Just that she'll
be happy to do what she can to see
that I play the part.
Addison puffs at his cigarette, bemused.
Just like that, eh?
Just like that.
Do you know, Eve - sometimes I
think you keep things from me.
Eve's feelings are hurt.
I don't think that's funny.
It wasn't meant to be.
I confide in you and rely on you
more than anyone I've ever known!
To say a thing like that now -
without any reason - when I need
you more than ever...
I hope you mean what you say, Eve.
I intend to hold you to it.
Their eyes meet.
We have a great deal in common, it
seems to me...
They both look as Karen passes them on her way back to her
GROUP, as Karen joins them. Another bottle of champagne has
come and almost gone - there's a fine, cheery feeling among
them. Margo, in particular, is cheery. A pause. Karen downs a
glass of champagne.
- well? What happened?
Nothing much. She apologized.
But not right away? First the
business of fighting them off, chin
up, stout fella...
Very classy stuff, lots of
You mean - all this time - she'd
done nothing but apologize? What'd
(Bill says "huh?")
- may I have a wedding present?
What would you like? Texas?
I want everybody to shut up about
Eve. Just shut up about Eve, that's
all I want. Give Karen more wine...
... never have I been so happy.
Isn't this a lovely room? The Cub
Room. What a lovely, clever name.
Where the elite meet. Never have I
seen so much elite - and all with
their eyes on me. Waiting for me to
crack that little gnome over the
noggin with a bottle. But not
tonight. Even Eve. I forgive Eve...
there they go.
They all look.
ADDISON AND EVE, they get up and go without looking back.
GROUP, they watch for an instant.
There goes Eve. Eve evil, Little
Miss Evil. But the evil that men do
- how does it go, groom? Something
about the good they leave behind -
I played it once in rep in Wilkes
You've got it backwards. Even for
You know why I forgive Eve? Because
she's left good behind - the four
of us, together like this, it's
Eve's fault - I forgive her...
Karen's reactions are, of course, most important. Knowing
what she's done to Margo - wondering how to do what she must.
... and Bill. Especially Bill. Eve
did that, too.
You know, she probably means well,
She is a louse.
Never try to outguess Margo.
You know what I'm going to be?
A married lady.
With the paper to prove it.
I'm going to have a home. Not just
a house I'm afraid to stay in...
and a man to go with it. I'll look
up at six o'clock - and there he'll
be... remember, Karen?
You'll be there, won't you.
Often enough to keep the franchise.
A foursquare, upright, downright,
forthright married lady... that's
for me. And no more make believe!
Off stage or on... remember, Lloyd.
I mean it, now. Grown-up women
only, I might even play a mother -
only one child, of course, not over
(they all smile)
Lloyd, will you promise not to be
angry with me?
I mean really, deeply angry...
I don't think I could be.
Well. I don't want to play "Cora."
Margo misinterprets her vehemence.
Now wait a minute, you're always so
touchy about his plays, it isn't
the part - it's a great part. And a
fine play. But not for me anymore -
not a foursquare, upright,
downright, forthright married lady.
What's your being married got to do
It means I've finally got a life to
live! I don't have to play parts
I'm too old for - just because I've
got nothing to do with my nights!
I know you've made plans. I'll make
it up to you, believe me. I'll tour
a year with this one, anything -
only you do understand - don't you,
Lloyd never gets to answer. Because Karen, before anyone can
stop her, bursts into hysterical laughter...
What's so funny?
Everything... everything's so
Margo removes the champagne glass from in front of Karen...
INT. THEATER - CURRAN THEATER - DAY
Karen is seated unobtrusively in a rear lower box. Lloyd sits
beside Max up front.
On stage, the play is "on its feet." Eve plays a dramatic
scene with a young man. They carry "sides" but do not consult
As she speaks, Eve moves upstage, turns to face the young man
who is forced to turn his back to the auditorium.
Bill calls a halt. He indicates to Eve that she was to have
Eve seems to be at a loss. She looks at Lloyd.
Lloyd rises, says that he told her to make the change.
Bill comes down to the footlights to tell him to stick to
writing, he'll do the directing. It mounts swiftly to a
screaming fight. Bill throws the script out into the
auditorium, takes his coat and stalks off.
Eve runs after him. Max retrieves the script. Lloyd remains
adamant. Karen has risen in dismay.
Eve drags Bill back. Without looking at Lloyd, he takes the
script from Max, tells the actors to pick up where they left
Eve whispers to Lloyd from the stage. Lloyd smiles,
mollified, sits down again with Max.
Karen walks up the side aisle, out of the theater...
Lloyd never got around, somehow -
to asking me whether it was all
right with me for Eve to play
"Cora"... Bill, oddly enough,
refused to direct the play at first
- with Eve in it. Lloyd and Max
finally won him over... Margo never
came to a rehearsal, too much to do
around the house, she said. I'd
never known Bill and Lloyd to fight
as bitterly and as often... and
always over some business for Eve,
or a move or the way she read a
speech... but then I'd never known
Lloyd to meddle as much with Bill's
directing - as far as it affected
Eve, that is... somehow, Eve kept
them going. Bill stuck it out - and
Lloyd seemed happy - and I thought
it might be best if I skipped
rehearsals from then on...
INT. RICHARDS' BEDROOM - NIGHT
It is a lovely, large room. Two double beds, not alongside
each other and each with an extension phone beside it. In
addition to the door to the living room, there are two more -
to separate dressing rooms and baths. Lloyd is asleep. But
not Karen. She turns restlessly, finally sits up, lights a
It seemed to me I had known always
that it would happen - and here it
It felt helpless, that helplessness
you feel when you have no talent to
offer - outside of loving your
husband. How could I compete?
Everything Lloyd loved about me, he
had gotten used to long ago...
The phone jangles suddenly, startling her. It wakes Lloyd up.
Hello... who?... who's calling Mr.
INT. ROOMING HOUSE - NIGHT
A girl, in a wrapper, at a wall phone. Her hair's in curlers.
My name wouldn't mean anything. I
room across the hall from Eve
Harrington, and she isn't well.
She's been crying all night and
hysterical, and she doesn't want a
RICHARDS' BEDROOM, Lloyd is sitting on the edge of the bed,
Who is it? What's it all about?
Did Miss Harrington tell you to
call Mr. Richards?
Lloyd picks up his phone.
No, Eve didn't say to call him, but
I remembered I saw Mr. Richards
with her a couple of times - and I
thought they being such good
Hello...hello, this is Lloyd
Richards. Where is Eve? Let me talk
She's up in her room, Mr. Richards.
I really hate to bother you like
this, but the way Eve's been
feeling - I'm just worried sick
what with her leaving for New Haven
tomorrow, and everything...
Tell her not to worry - tell her
I'll be right over.
I'll tell her, Mr. Richards.
She hangs up. As she moves from the phone, the ANGLE WIDENS
to disclose Eve at the foot of the stairs. The girls smile at
each other. They go upstairs, arm in arm.
RICHARDS' BEDROOM, Karen is still in bed, phone still in her
hand. She hangs up, swings her legs out, puts out her
cigarette, gets into a robe. The open door and light of the
dressing room tell us where Lloyd is.
Karen walks to the door, starts to say something, changes her
mind. She crosses to a table, lights a fresh cigarette, comes
back to the door.
Aren't you... broadening the duties
of a playwright just a bit? Rushing
off in the middle of the night
like a country doctor?
No answer except the opening and closing of drawers.
What would you do if, instead of
Eve, the leading man had called up
to say her was hysterical?
Still no answer. Her tension increasing, Karen goes back to
the table, snubs out the fresh cigarette, then strides
swiftly back to the open door.
Lloyd, I don't want you to go!
Now Lloyd appears. He's in flannels, and a sport shirt with
no tie. He's confused and guilty and tortured.
I didn't think you would! It seems
to me, Karen, that for some tine,
now, you've been developing a deep
unconcern for the feeling of human
being in general-
I'm a human being, I've got some!
(goes right on)
- and for my feelings in
particular! For my play, my career -
and now for a frightened,
hysterical girl on the eve of her
first night in the Theater!
He goes back into his room.
Have you forgotten about Eve? What
she is, what she's done?
Old wives' tales, born of envy and
jealousy! And a phobia against
Then tell me this isn't true! That
your concern for your play and
career is one thing - and that poor
frightened hysterical girl another -
and that your concern for her has
nothing to do with either your play
or your career!
Lloyd comes out wearing a jacket. He crosses to the door,
Karen after him.
That first, last, and foremost -
your reason for going now is that
you want to be with Eve! Three in
the morning or high noon - play or
no play - wife or no wife!
(Lloyd stops at the door)
Isn't it true, Lloyd?
Lloyd goes out. Karen looks after him, despairing.
EXT. SHUBERT THEATER - NEW HAVEN - DAY
The theater is but a few doors from the TAFT HOTEL. The
marquee announces a new play by Lloyd Richards, presented by
Max Fabian, opening tonight.
Addison and Eve stand before the theater admiring her photo
on a lobby display. None of the actors are starred.
To the Theater world - New Haven,
Connecticut, is a short stretch of
sidewalk between the Shubert
Theater and the Taft Hotel,
surrounded by what looks very much
like a small city. It is here that
managers have what are called out
of-town openings - which are
openings for New Yorkers who want
to go out of town...
They start for the hotel - Eve's arm through Addison's.
What a day - what a heavenly day...
Just like it.
And tomorrow morning you will have
won your beachhead on the shores of
Stop rehearsing your column...
Isn't it strange, Addison?
I thought I'd be panic-stricken,
want to run away or something.
Instead, I can't wait for tonight
to come. To come and go...
Are you that sure of tomorrow?
Frankly - yes.
They've arrived in front of the hotel.
It'll be a night to remember. It'll
bring to me everything I've ever
wanted. The end of an old road -
and the beginning of a new one...
All paved with diamonds and gold?
You know me better than that.
Paved with what, then?
She goes in. Addison follows her.
INT. CORRIDOR - TAFT HOTEL - DAY
Addison accompanies Eve along the corridor to her door.
Plenty of time for a nice long nap -
we rehearsed most of last night...
You could sleep, too, couldn't you?
They've arrived at her door. She opens it.
The mark of a true killer.
(he holds out his hand)
Sleep tight, rest easy - and come
Why'd call me a killer?
Did I say killer? I meant champion.
I get my boxing terms mixed.
He turns to go. After a few steps-
- come on in for just a minute,
won't you? There's... I've got
something to tell you.
Addison turns curiously, and enters behind her.
INT. EVE'S SUITE - TAFT HOTEL - DAY
Old-fashioned, dreary and small. The action starts in the
living room and continues to the bedroom.
Addison closes the door, crosses to a comfortable chair.
Suites are for expense accounts.
Aren't you being extravagant?
Max is paying for it. He and Lloyd
had a terrific row but Lloyd
insisted... well. Can I fix you a
She indicates a table elaborately stocked with liquor,
glasses, etc. Addison's eyebrows lift.
Also with the reluctant compliments
of Max Fabian.
Lloyd. I never have any, and he
likes a couple of drinks after we
finish - so he sent it up...
Some plain soda.
(Eve starts to fix it)
Lloyd must be expecting a record
run in New Haven...
That's for tonight. You're invited.
We're having everyone up after the
Lloyd and I.
She carries the soda to him, sits on an ottoman at his feet.
I find it odd that Karen isn't here
for the opening, don't you?
He sips his soda and puts away, carefully avoiding a look at
Eve. As he looks back-
She's always been so fantastically
devoted to Lloyd. I would imagine
that only death or destruction
could keep her-
Addison, just a few minutes ago.
When I told you this would be a
night to remember - that it would
bring me everything I wanted-
- something about an old road
ending and a new one starting -
paved with stars...
I didn't mean just the Theater.
Eve gets up, crosses to look out over the Common.
(her back to him)
Lloyd Richards. He's going to leave
Karen. We're going to be married.
For just a flash, Addison's eyes narrow coldly, viciously.
Then they crinkle into a bland smile.
So that's it. Lloyd. Still just the
Theater, after all...
It's nothing of the kind! Lloyd
loves me, I love him!
I know nothing about Lloyd and his
loves - I leave those to Louisa May
Alcott. But I do know you.
I'm in love with Lloyd!
Lloyd Richards is commercially the
most successful playwright in
You have no right to say such
- and artistically, the most
promising! Eve dear, this is
Eve drops her shocked manner like a cape. Her face lights up -
she crosses back to the ottoman.
Addison, won't it be just perfect?
Lloyd and I - there's no telling
how far we can go... he'll write
great plays for me, I'll make them
(as she sits)
You're the only one I've told, the
only one that knows except Lloyd
... and Karen.
She doesn't know.
She knows enough not to be here.
But not all of it - not that Lloyd
and I are going to be married.
I see. And when was this unholy
We decided the night before last,
before we came up here...
Was the setting properly romantic -
the lights on dimmers, gypsy
violins off stage?
The setting wasn't romantic, but
Lloyd was. He woke me up at three
in the morning, banging on my door -
he couldn't sleep, he told me -
he's left Karen, he couldn't go on
with the play or anything else
until I promised to marry him... we
sat and talked until it was light.
He never went home...
You sat and talked until it was
We sat and talked, Addison. I want
a run of the play contract.
There never was, there'll never be
another like you.
Well, say something - anything!
Congratulations, skol - good work,
Addison rises slowly, to his full height. As Eve watches him,
as her eyes go up to his, her smile fades-
What do you take me for?
I don't know what I take you for
It is possible - even conceivable -
that you've confused me with that
gang of backward children you've
been playing tricks on - that you
have the same contempt for me that
you have for them?
I'm sure you mean something by
that, Addison, but I don't know
Look closely, Eve, it's time you
did. I am Addison deWitt. I'm
nobody's fool. Least of all -
I never intended you to be.
Yes, you did. You still do.
Eve gets up, now.
I still don't know what you're
getting at. Right now I want to
take my nap. It's important that I-
- it's important right now that we
talk. Killer to killer.
Champion to champion.
Not with me, you're no champion.
You're stepping way up in class.
Addison, will you please say what
you have to say plainly and
distinctly - and then get out so I
can take my nap!
Very well, plainly and distinctly.
Although I consider it unnecessary -
because you know as well as I, what
I am about to say.
(they are now facing each
Lloyd may leave Karen, but he will
not leave Karen for you.
What do you mean by that?
More plainly and more distinctly? I
Have not come to New Haven to see
the play, discuss your dreams, or
to pull the ivy from the walls of
Yale! I have come to tell you that
you will not marry Lloyd - or
anyone else - because I will not
What have you got to do with it?
Everything. Because after tonight,
you will belong to me.
I can't believe my ears...
A dull cliche.
Belong - to you? That sound
medieval - something out of an old
So does the history of the world
for the past twenty years. I don't
enjoy putting it as bluntly as
this, frankly I had hoped that you
would, somehow, have known - have
taken it for granted that you and
... taken it for granted? That you
She smiles. Then she chuckles, then laughs. A mistake.
Addison slaps her sharply across the face.
Remember as long as you live, never
to laugh at me. At anything or
anyone else - but never at me.
Eve eyes him coldly, goes to the door, throws it open.
Addison walks to the door, closes it.
You're too short for that gesture.
Besides, it went out with Mrs.
Then if you won't get out, I'll
have you thrown out.
She goes to the phone.
Don't pick it up! Don't even put
your hand on it...
She doesn't. Her back is to him. Addison smiles.
Something told you to do as I say,
didn't it? That instinct is worth
millions, you can't buy it, cherish
it, Eve. When that alarm goes off,
go to your battle stations...
He comes up behind her. Eve is tense and wary.
Your name is not Eve Harrington. It
is Gertrude Slescynski.
What of it?
It is true that your parents were
poor. They still are. And they
would like to know how you are -
and where. They haven't heard from
you for three years...
What of it?
She walks away. Addison eyes her keenly.
A matter of opinion. Granted. It is
also true that you worked in a
brewery. But life in the brewery
was apparently not as dull as you
pictured it. As a matter of fact,
it got less and less dull - until
you boss's wife had your boss
followed by detectives!
(whirls on him)
She never proved anything, not a
But the $500 you got to get out of
town brought you straight to New
York - didn't it?
Eve turns and runs into the bedroom, slamming the door.
Addison opens it, follows close after her... he can be seen
in the bedroom, shouting at Eve who is offscene.
That $500 brought you straight to
New York - didn't it?
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Eve, trapped, in a corner of the room.
She was a liar, she was a liar!
Answer my question! Weren't you
paid to get out of town?
Eve throws herself on the bed, face down, bursts in tears.
Addison, merciless, moves closer.
Fourth. There was no Eddie - no
pilot - and you've never been
married! That was not only a lie,
but an insult to dead heroes and to
the women who loved them...
(Eve, sobbing, puts her
hands over her ears;
Addison, closer, pulls
... Fifth. San Francisco has no
Shubert Theater and North Shore,
you've never been to San Francisco!
That was a stupid lie, easy to
expose, not worthy of you...
Eve twists to look up at him, her eyes streaming.
I had to get in, to meet Margo! I
had to say something, be somebody,
make her like me!
She did like you, she helped and
trusted you! You paid her back by
trying to take Bill away!
That's not true!
I was there, I saw you and heard
you through the dressing room door!
Eve turns face down again, sobbing miserably.
You used my name and my column to
blackmail Karen into getting you
the part of "Cora" - and you lied
to me about it!
(into the bed)
I had lunch with Karen not three
hours ago. As always with women who
want to find out things, she told
more than she learned...
(he lets go of her hands)
... do you want to change your
story about Lloyd beating at your
door the other night?
Eve covers her face with her hands.
Addison get off the bed, looks down at her.
That I should want you at all
suddenly strikes me as the height
of improbability. But that, in
itself, is probably the reason.
You're an improbable person, Eve,
and so am I. We have that in
common. Also a contempt for
humanity, an inability to love or
be loved, insatiable ambition - and
talent. We deserve each other. Are
you listening to me?
Eve lies listlessly now, her tear-stained cheek against the
coverlet. She nods.
Then say so.
And you realize - you agree how
completely you belong to me?
Take your nap, now. And good luck
He starts out.
I won't play tonight.
I couldn't. Not possibly. I
couldn't go on...
Couldn't go on? You'll give the
performance of your life.
He goes out. The CAMERA REMAINS on Eve's forlorn, tear
stained face. Her eyes close... she goes to sleep.
INT. DINING HALL - SARAH SIDDONS SOCIETY - NIGHT
THE STOPPED ACTION of Eve reaching out for the award. The
applause and bulb-popping still going on.
And she gave the performance of her
life. And it was a night to
remember, that night...
THE ACTION picks up where it left off. Eve accepts the award
from the Aged Actor, kisses him tenderly, folds the award to
her bosom and waits for quiet.
She speaks with assurance, yet modestly and humbly.
Honored members of Sarah Siddons
Society, distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen: What is there
for me to say? Everything wise and
witty has long since been said - by
minds more mature and talents far
greater than mine. For me to thank
you as equals would be presumptuous
- I am an apprentice in the Theater
and have much to learn from you
all. I can say only that I am proud
and happy and that I regard this
great honor not so much as an award
for what I have achieved, but as a
standard to hold against what I
have yet to accomplish.
And further, I regard it as
bestowed upon me only in part. The
larger share belongs to my friends
in the Theater - and to the Theater
itself, which has given me all I
have. In good conscience, I must
give credit where credit is due. To
MAX sits erect, beaming proudly.
- dear Max. Dear, sentimental,
generous, courageous Max Fabian -
who took a chance on an unknown,
EVE, after applause greets Max.
And to my first friend in the
Theater - whose kindness and
graciousness I shall never
forget... Karen - Mrs. Lloyd
KAREN resumes her doodling as applause breaks out for her...
... and it was Karen who first
brought me to one whom I had always
idolized - and who was to become my
benefactor and champion. A great
actress and a great woman - Margo
MARGO, part of Eve's tribute has been over her CLOSE-UP. She
smiles grimly in reaction to the applause.
EVE looks to her right, waits for the applause to die.
My director - who demanded always a
little more than my talent could
BILL, seated at the speakers' table. He has his award before
him - a smaller one. He puts out a cigarette expressionlessly
as the applause breaks out.
- but who taught me patiently and
well... Bill Sampson.
LLOYD sits beside Bill. He, too, has a smaller award. As Eve
speaks, he throws her a brief glance.
And one, without whose great play
and faith in me, this night would
never have been. How can I repay
EVE waits for the applause to die.
Hoe can I repay the many others? So
many, that I couldn't possibly name
ADDISON smiles approvingly.
... whose help, guidance and advice
have made this, the happiest night
of my life, possible.
EVE stares at the award for an instant, as if fighting for
Although I am going to Hollywood
next week to make a film - do not
think for a moment that I am
leaving you. How could I? For my
heart is here in the Theater - and
three thousand miles are too far to
be away from one's heart.
I'll be back to claim it - and
soon. That is, if you want me back.
Another storm of applause. Much ad lib shouting as Bill and
Lloyd are summoned to pose beside her for more pictures.
People are thronging out. The Aged Actor shouts above the
A good night to all - and to all a
Eve disengages herself from the photographers, makes her way
toward Addison's table... Bill and Lloyd follow. CAMERA
FOLLOWS Lloyd to Karen. They kiss. He gives her the award.
For services rendered - beyond the
Max bustles into the SHOT.
Come on! I'm the host, I gotta get
home before the guests start
stealing the liquor...
She and Lloyd follow Max. Addison and Eve are on their way.
Lloyd goes right by. Karen pauses at Eve.
Thank you, Karen.
Karen goes. Eve is being constantly congratulated. Some ad
lib about seeing her at Max's party...
I'm giving her a very high-class
party. It ain't like a rehearsal,
she don't have to be late.
As soon as the peasants stop pawing
Max hurries out. Margo and Bill step into the SHOT. Eve turns
from a well-wisher to face her.
... nice speech, Eve. But I
wouldn't worry too much about your
heart. You can always put that
award where your heart ought to be.
Eve looks at her wordlessly. Margo and Bill leave. Addison
and Eve are alone. The tables about them are empty. Suddenly,
her face becomes expressionless, her eyes dull... she glances
at the table.
I don't suppose there's a drink
You can have one at Max's.
I don't think I'm going.
Because I don't want to.
Max has gone to a great deal of
trouble, it's going to be an
elaborate party, and it's for you.
No, it's not.
(she holds up the award)
It's for this.
It's the same thing, isn't it?
(she gives him the award)
Here. Take it to the party instead
You're being childish.
A well-wisher rushes up to Eve with an "Eve, darling, I'm so
happy!" Eve rises, thanks her graciously. Then she pulls her
wrap over her shoulder.
I'm tired. I want to go home.
Very well. I shall drop you and go
on to the party. I have no
intention of missing it...
They exit from the room, now empty of everything but tables,
waiters, and the usual banquet debris.
EXT. PARK AVENUE - NIGHT
Eve gets out of taxi in front of a fashionable apartment
hotel. She doesn't say good night to Addison, she enters the
hotel as the cab drives off. She hasn't the award with her.
INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE EVE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Smart, but not gaudy. Eve crosses from the elevator to her
apartment. She lets herself in.
INT. EVE'S HOTEL APARTMENT - NIGHT
A small foyer, from which one door leads to the leaving room,
another to the bedroom. The bedroom and living room do not
connect except through the foyer.
All the lights are out. Eve turns them on in the foyer, the
same as she enters the bedroom. There are some new trunks, in
various stages of being packed. Eve tosses her wrap on the
bed, goes through the foyer to the living room.
She turns on the light in the living room. CAMERA FOLLOWS her
to a smart small bar where she fixes a stiff drink. As she
turns from the bar, she stares - starts in fright - and drops
A young girl, asleep in a chair, wakes with a jump. She
stares at Eve, horror-stricken.
Who are you?
What are you doing here?
I - I guess I fell asleep.
Eve starts for the phone. The girl rises in panic.
Please don't have me arrested,
please! I didn't steal anything -
you can search me!
How did you get in here?
I hid outside in the hall till the
maid came to turn down your bed.
She must've forgot something and
when she went to get it, she left
the door open. I sneaked in and hid
till she finished. Then I just
looked around - and pretty soon I
was afraid somebody'd notice the
lights were on so I turned them off
- and then I guess, I fell asleep.
You were just looking around...
You probably won't believe me.
It was for my report.
What report? To whom?
About how you live, what kind of
clothes you wear - what kind of
perfume and books - things like
that. You know the Eve Harrington
clubs - that they've got in most of
the girls' high schools?
I've heard of them.
Ours was one of the first. Erasmus
Hall. I'm the president.
Erasmus Hall. That's in Brooklyn,
Lots of actresses come from
Brooklyn. Barbara Stanwyck, Susan
Hayward - of course, they're just
Eve makes no comment. She lies wearily on the couch.
You're going to Hollywood - aren't
(Eve murmurs "uh-huh")
From the trunks you're packing, you
must be going to stay a long time.
That spilled drink is going to ruin
She crosses to it.
The maid'll fix it in the morning.
I'll just pick up the broken glass.
The girl puts the broken glass on the bar. She starts to mix
Eve a fresh drink.
How'd you get all the way up here
How long does it take?
With changing and everything, a
little over an hour.
She carries the drink over to Eve.
It's after one now. You won't get
home till all hours.
I don't care if I never get home.
The door buzzer sounds.
That's the door.
You rest. I'll get it...
She goes to the door, opens it. Addison stands there, the
Sarah Siddons Award in his hands.
Hello, there. Who are you?
Miss Harrington's resting, Mr.
deWitt. She asked me to see who it
We won't disturb her rest. It seems
she left her award in the taxicab.
Will you give it to her?
She holds it as if it were the Promised Land. Addison smiles
faintly. He knows the look.
How do you know my name?
It's a very famous name, Mr.
And what is your name?
I call myself Phoebe.
Why not? Tell me, Phoebe, do you
want some day to have an award like
that of your own?
Phoebe lifts her eyes to him.
More than anything else in the
Addison pats her shoulder lightly.
Then you must Miss Harrington how
to get one. Miss Harrington knows
all about it...
Phoebe smiles shyly. Addison closes the door. Phoebe stares
down at the award for an instant.
(sleepy; from the living
Who was it?
Just a taxi driver, Miss
Harrington. You left the award in
his cab and he brought it back...
Oh. Put it on one of the trunks,
will you? I want to pack it...
Sure, Miss Harrington...
She takes the award into the bedroom, sets it on a trunk. As
she starts out, she sees Eve's fabulous wrap on the bed. She
listens. Then, quietly, she puts on the wrap and picks up the
Slowly, she walks to a large three-mirrored cheval. With
grace and infinite dignity she holds the award to her, and
bows again and again... as if to the applause of a multitude.