-- by Donna Moore --
Chapter 1 - The Mystery Dame
The Scene: A studio lot - a hive of activity, noise and
people. We are looking down a straight road to the entrance of the lot, with an archway at
the entrance. Through the archway strolls Cary Grant, dapper as always. He is singing to
Cary (sings softly) "I used to dream about a cottage
small, a cottage small by a waterfall. But I wound up with no home at all. My dreams are
gone with the wind." etc. Every time he gets to the line 'gone with the wind' he
raises both his eyebrows and the bottom of his jacket coquettishly.
He is tailed by a small boy, who is getting closer and
closer, creeping up in a furtive manner. Cary realizes that someone is following him, but
every time he turns round, the boy stops and gazes at the sky, bends to tie a shoelace, or
becomes enthralled in a blade of grass. Cary shakes his head, smiles and walks on.
Eventually the boy gets close and falls into exact matching steps behind Cary, singing
along with him in a foghorn voice (this part would be ideal for George Winslow) and raises
his grubby jumper when Cary raises his jacket.
Cary stops in his tracks, turns and bends down until he is
at eye level with the urchin.
Cary: Are you following me kid?
Boy: So what if I am, Mister?
Cary: Say, you're a little fresh, ain't
ya? What's your
Cary: Say, I used to know a man by that name
Archie: What man?
Cary: The man with the power.
Archie: What power?
Cary: The power ........oh, never mind, this isn't getting
us anywhere. What is it you want?
Archie: Some glam lady in a big old car back there (he
gestures to the studio entrance) said she'd give me some money if I brung you this letter.
(he hands over a letter, which Cary takes). Dunno why she wanted you to have it. You ain't
so good looking in real life are you?
Cary: (laughs) Why you young tyke, if you were 3 feet
taller I'd punch you on the nose.
Archie: (calls over his shoulder as he runs off) If I was 3
feet taller, it'd be me the ladies was writing to, I'm much better lookin'.
Cary laughs again, shakes his head and resumes his route,
stuffing the letter into his pocket.
The cameras follow the boy out of the studio gates, to a
large expensive car. He sticks his head through the open window. Try as we might, we can't
see the lady.
Archie: I did it, Miss, I gave him the letter, now can I
have me money?
Lady: Here you go, Sonny, don't spend it all on wine women
and song (an elegantly gloved arm reaches out of the window and deposits some notes in the
grubby outstretched palm). Now vamoose, you're dirtying the car's paintwork child. Haven't
you ever heard of baths? You look like something Asta dragged in, or even worse, something
Asta rolled in. Bye kid.
The car pulls away quietly and expensively.
Archie: What a dame, boy, her momma sure din't raise no
(He struts off trying to look like Jimmy Cagney.)
We now return to Cary as he reaches the big mogul's office
and is shown in by the secretary. The mogul is sitting at a huge desk, smoking a huge
cigar, and scratching his huge stomach. He is on the phone and waves Cary to a seat. Cary
sits, crosses one elegantly tailored leg over the other and takes out a cigarette.
Mogul: (loudly into telephone) It won't work I tell
ya. Sheesh, these writers are so darn picky. I only wanna change it a little bit.......OK, so
she wrote a book set in the deep south. Well, that's been done too may times, alls I'm
asking is that we change it to Canada. ....sure, I know the hero is a woman, but we've had
too many strong broad pictures, I want a picture with a good strong man. And all that
civil war malarkey has to go. Here's how I see it...Red, that's the hero's name, he's
gonna lose his big ole house 'cos his daddy drank and gambled the place away. We put in a
few barroom brawls, take out that romantic claptrap and Bob's your auntie. I know, we'll
make Red a flyer and get Gable to do it, he's good at pilots. And that title HAS to go.
Who ever's gonna go see a film called 'Gone With The Wind'. It'd be laughed off the
screen. Sheesh, all I see is a plate of beans whenever I think of it. (He raises his
eyebrows and shakes his head at Cary, pointing to the phone.)
Cary tuts sympathetically, reaches into a
pocket for matches, and pulls out the letter Archie gave him. He opens it and starts to
read, with the mogul still on the phone.
-- Derna Simpson --
Chapter 2 - The Elegantly Gloved Hand
As a founding member you are cordially
invited to attend the annual meeting of
the 5th Avenue Anti-Stuffed Shirt And
Flying Trapeze Club.
Dress is, as always, stuffed shirt and mink lined Black Tie.
And flicking the letter over, in an elegantly sloping
scrawl, Cary reads
ps: I'm content, the angels must have sent
And they meant you just for me.
Mogul: Well, Mr Grant. What about this script?
Cary: (smiling secretly to himself) Hmm?
Mogul: Id like to suggest a few changes, nothing
I just cant see that a leopard is right for the animal.
What about a penguin? (Cary raises his eyebrows)
And well send Mark to the Pole (eyebrows higher).
After all I think Asta would be more comfortable with feathers (and higher)
and itd make the whole mating call thing less ludicrous (and higher).
And I cant see this intercostal clavicle thing working either, what I would like to
suggest is making David Huxley, terrible name by the way - Hmm Guiseppe is better - (and
a puppet maker (and higher)
and Asta could hide his antique Punch (eyebrows hit the ceiling).
Much more acceptable I think, the public are not stupid you know Mr Grant.
Cary: (stifling an explosive laugh as he begins to
gravitate towards the door) Whatever you think Mr Mogul.
Mogul: (gives a questioning look) Where are you going?
Cary: Shave. Must have a shave. Ill just nip down to
the barbers, back in a flash.
Mogul: (getting up and heading towards Cary) Oh, but
youre as smooth as a baby.
Cary explodes from the moguls office and streaks
across the set of a new exploration movie, narrowly avoiding a collision with a penguin
named Justin. They look at each other briefly then Cary speeds off down the Avenue.
The camera focuses on a large, spacious and bright morning
room with high full-length arched windows behind gently billowing fine white drapes. It is
furnished completely in white.
From offstage left a womans voice croons I
cant give you anything but love baby... And in direct competition offstage
right another, more harmonious, voice drifts in through the open doorway, My dreams
are gone with the wind... The two voices draw nearer, and nearer, and as each figure
enters at their respective sides of the morning room they reach a crescendo. Each figure,
removing their hat, performs a sweeping bow towards the other and then, in unison, they
turn and bow to the camera.
As Katharine, dressed in a close fitting mans suit,
trips across the room and flops elegantly onto a chaise longue, she is closely followed by
a purring leopard. Baby settles with forepaws resting on the chaise longue.
Simultaneously, Irene, dressed in a loose fitting oversized mans suit, trips across
the room in the opposite direction and flops onto an identical chaise longue. She is
closely followed by Asta, who looks expectantly at her as he sits with paws resting on the
Katharine: (giving Baby an affectionate rub between the
ears) Whats wrong? Dyou get lonely?
Irene: Whered you pick up that cat anyway?
Katharine: (with a vague hand gesture) Oh, around.
(Turning her attention to Asta) George, nice George.
Asta glances round at her, then looks disdainfully at Baby
Irene: Smitty, Smitty.
Asta returns his gaze to Irene as Baby begins to paw at Katharine.
Katharine: Oh Baby, stop making a nuisance of yourself.
Katharine takes a cigarette case from her pocket. Removes a cigarette and gently taps it
on the case. She strikes a match and lights the cigarette.
Irene watches Katharine moving her hand in time as she
continues to hum to herself. The fine whisp of smoke rising from her cigarette dances in
time with the tune. Baby is engrossed in a vain attempt to capture the whisp.
Irene: Will you stop doing that.
Katharine: Doing what?
Irene: Doing that... thing with your hand. Your always
waving your hands about, it is the one part of you that never stops acting.
Katharine: You should talk.
(Irene raises an eyebrow.)
And you can put that eyebrow down. Did you give him the bone... I mean note?
Irene: (smiling secretly to herself) Yes, I dropped it off
Katharine: Is he coming?
Irenne: Oh, I think hell come.
Katharine: Whats the time?
Irene: Six thirty, hadnt we better get dressed?
Katharine: (meditatively blowing a cloud of smoke) I
Cut to a very classy cocktail bar. A group of well dressed
young men rest against the bar sipping from delicate cocktail glasses. A couple, strangely
familiar, dance floatingly across the floor. Cary enters.
Cary: Is this where The Club meets?
The couple stop dancing, bow to each other and then drift towards Cary hand in hand.
Cary: Nick and Susan!
He grasps Nicks hand and shakes it hard.
Nick: Hey, hey, this isnt a pump handle.
Cary: (to Susan) Say, hes sharp!
The gentlemen from the bar surround the trio and greetings are exchanged.
Enter Katharine and Irene arm in arm. The group turns as
Katharine: Hello you.
Cary: Hello. How are you?
Katharine: Im fine, and you?
Cary: Fine. And (to Irene) you?
Irene: Fine, fine.
(to Katharine) Im fine, are you fine?
Katharine: Im fine.
They both turn to face Cary.
Together: We're fine!
Cary winks at Irene.
Katharine: (noticing the glance and looking from one to the
other) Hey, what goes on?
Cary reaches for Irenes elegantly gloved hand to furnish it with a kiss as Katharine
is led off by Randolph towards the bar, and a tantalizing dish of olives|...
Katharine: (stumbling slightly) Ooo, I've lost my heel.
Randolph: (patting her arm) I know dear.
-- Chris Darley --
Chapter 3 - Great Minds Think Alike
Cary: Irene, Im glad Ive got you by yourself
for a second - I wanted to have a little chat with you about Katherine. Im really
rather worried about her. She doesnt seem capable of maintaining a relationship,
and, well, Im afraid she is becoming ever more eccentric. Remember when she got
pulled over the by police for speeding and pretended she was Mickey the
Mouses girlfriend, and if he gave her a ticket shed have some nasty
things done to him and his family? And then there was the time she proposed to that
penniless writer from South Bend, and gave him her summer-house! Hes still there as
far as I know. Another Mickey I seem to remember. Maybe we should introduce her to Walt
Disney.. I just dont know where its all going - she really needs a good
Irene: Hmm, yes, well, as long as you are acting from
a voluntarily charitable basis and have no selfish interest werent you pretty
keen on Katherine yourself a few years ago?
Cary (reddening but trying to hide his discomfort at the
subject): Yes, no, I mean no, and anyway that was years ago and, why, she
probably never knew even if I had been which Im not because I wasnt. If you
see what I mean.
Irene: Well that wasnt exactly convincing, but
as it happens, I agree. Shes a wild one and needs some taming. But I feel sorry for
whoever picks up the whip. Have you got a plan?
Cary: Well you see what we need is a big occasion for
lots of eligible men to turn up. Some sort of charity do, maybe, where she could preach a
good cause and lots of adoring young or youngish, men could stare adoringly at the cross
between Florence Nightingale and Attila the Hun trying to win their hearts and
Irene: Interesting. And what charity do you have in
Cary: Well I was rather hoping you could help out on
that one. I felt sure you would know what would move her.
Irene Its got to appeal to men rather than
women. So what about, The society for the promotion of American sports and beer
drinking in Europe?
Cary: Perfect! Ill start to arrange the bash,
you consider a guest list. And get some celebrities along
Irene and Cary wander apart as other people demand their
attention. As the band plays Tuxedo Junction Cary looks over at Katherine, who quickly
looks away. Her look is one of suspicion rather than warmth, and she excuses herself from
the rather boring conversation to which she is paying minimal attention to find Irene.
Katherine: Say, what were you, and tall and handsome
talking about just now? Looked like you were getting into some serious
Irene: No nothing really. He was just talking about
his new film, sounds like a blast. He plays an young cockney lad who joins a dance troupe
who tour the States and find fame and fortune. But then in a rather sudden career change
he becomes a famous paleontologist, realising a lifelong dream. Until it all turns sours
when a young lad accuses him of stealing his caterpillar for research. Then he renounces
all his worldly goods and goes to live on a South Seas Island, but is rescued by a search
party looking for a woman who is stranded after a plane crash. It all ends happily ever
after when his arch rival commits suicide and he accidentally discovers a drug that takes
the years off your life. Oh and of course he gets the girl.
Katherine: Wow. That sure is some script. But I still
have a sneakin feeling that all is not well in the House of Grant. Say, he
hasnt got a dame on the boil at the moment has he?
Irene: Not as far as I know.
Katherine Well then, look no further for your
Irene Did I say there was a problem?
Katherine Didnt have ta I know.
Irene: So whats the answer?
Katherine: We gotta get him set up with a dame,
thats the answer! Say youre awful slow today.
Irene: (Quietly laughing to herself): Yes, maybe, but
its been a busy day.
Katherine: Quit it Baby Im trying to think. We
gotta set up some sort of do where there is a grand selection of fine fillies for him to
choose from, and where he has to make a speech. That'll get 'em going. Now what would
attract a gaggle of single girls to oggle and dream about the cross between Erroll Flynn
and Rasputin that they would witness?'
Irene (barely suppressing her mirth): 'How about a society
charity do for the promotion of French men coming to terms with living in America? We
could sell Cary as a French soldier from the War trying to make a fresh start in the US,
give him a nice sexy French name, like Henri or something?'
Katherine: Boy girl you still got it ain't
ya! That's a
humdinger of a plan. Lets set it up pronto.'
Irene: 'Well, yes all well and good.....but you are doing
this for Cary's benefit aren't you? I seem to remember you were sweet on him a while
Katherine (reddening and suddenly uneasy with the
conversation, but immediately on the offensive): 'Say do you think I, well do you mean you
reckon I, that's ridiculous, besides, I'm not that sort of girl, and anyway even if I had
been I aint and I havent been so thats an end to it.'
Irene (sotto voce): Even more convincing!
(louder) Well, whatever. You know better than I do. And after all, thats
really why we invited him here tonight, isnt it, to get him into circulation.
Katherine: Yep. And were gonna do
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