-- by Jenny "the
Nipper" Curtis --
Deck of QE. Cary and Maggie, dressed as
Mary Margaret are enjoying the sunset.
Cary: Im sorry you have to endure that get-up
darling, it wont be much longer though, I promise.
(Just then the ships photographer appears.)
Photographer: Smile, Mr. Grant. Beautiful! This way, Mary
Margaret. You look swell dear. I have a daughter back home about your age. . . (and then
muttering to himself) and thanks to this photo, shell be getting those braces after
(Posing, Cary squeezes Maggies cheeks affectionately
and kisses her forehead)
Maggie (under her breath): Take it easy, youre laying
it on a bit thick arent you?
Cary (through smiling teeth): Sorry, love, just a moment
more, then well be alone with the sunset.
Cary (sighing and throwing his arm over Maggies
shoulder): Where were we darling?
Maggie: I dunno, (scratching her at her face in irritation)
This make-up itches, these Mary Janes are killing my feet and Susan was just so much
better at the schoolgirl schtick.
Cary: (Spinning Maggie around to face him) Youre not
having second-thoughts are you darling?
Maggie: Try second, third and fourth thoughts.
Cary: Oh dear. Well, as soon as we get back to our state
rooms, Ill help you off with those freckles. (She smiles, softening. Forgetting
himself, he bends towards her nuzzling her painted freckles with his face. Red paint comes
off on the tip of his nose. Maggie notices, is about to point it out, when the Captain and
his wife, appear around the corner.)
Captain: Mr. Grant, er, excuse me sir. May I present to
you, my wife, Martha. When she heard you were coming on board, she simply had to make the
Martha: Oh its a pleasure to meet you Mr. Grant
(extending her hand) and your niece, of course, as well. I was so touched when I read
about her plight in the papers. I thought, that poor child. Motherless. Well dont
you worry sweetie, Auntie Marthas going to make it all better. (Thrusting an UGLY
big cupie doll at Maggie, who jumps back a bit.)
Cupie doll: Mama!
Mama: (to herself) You said it. Captain: Well, I trust that
you and your niece will join me at my table for dinner?
Cary: Well, um, actually, Mary Margarets a little
tired, I thought we might just have a snack brought up to our state room. She hasnt
quite gotten her sea legs yet.
Captain: (referring to paint on Carys nose) You look
a little red-faced yourself, but I think a bit of sea air will do wonders for your
appetite. Curious how the sea affects different people. You get red, many get green, I had
a chief Steward once who turned orange...
Martha: Dont you worry about Mary Margaret, Ill
tuck her in with a nice box of saltines and a soda. That always helps me when Im
(Martha grabs Maggies arm and drags her off toward
their cabin. Cary is left standing, holding the ugly doll, wondering what to do.)
Captain: Martha swears by saltines and bed rest, but I say,
stare the beast in the face. Get out for a walk on deck right away. The sea air is the
thing. Dont you agree, Mr. Grant?
Cary: Hmm? Yes, I suppose so.
Captain: Now, you take the case of the Steward, the one who
turned orange, he developed a regimen of deep knee bends and deep breathing. . .
(Captains starts walking toward dining room, Cary follows, miserably.)
Cupie doll: Mama!
Cary (to doll): Shut up!
Captain: ...it was the darndest thing youve ever seen
in your life, up and down puffing in and out like an asthmatic whale. But it turned him
pink every time--
Cary: Excuse me, sir. I seem to have wound up with
Magg-er-Mary Margarets present. She wont be able to sleep without it Im
sure. Besides I couldnt bear to think of your wife, stuck there while we live it up
at your table. Ill join you tomorrow, Im certain of it.
(Cary walks toward his state room quickly, before the
Captain can tell him further about seasickness cures.)
(Maggies Cabin: Maggie is hiding in the tiny bathroom
with her suitcase. She has not brought any Mary Margaret pajamas with her, and is wearing
a glamorous, floor length satin nightgown.)
Martha (knocking on bathroom door): are you alright in
Maggie: Just a minute Im brushing my teeth. (to
herself) No, this will never do, shell suspect in a minute that Im not
Carys niece, then both our reputations will be ruined. (She undoes the big pink bow
from the back of her dress and sets in on the counter. She pulls on a pair of tennis
shorts for bloomers. She pulls out a tiny scissors from her vanity case.) Oh Mr. Grant,
you just better be worth all the trouble Im going through to save your hide!
Martha: (Through the door) Did you say something dear?
Maggie: I was just gargling. (She begins hacking the
nightgown to shorten it to a babydoll length. She attaches the bow across the bosom of the
nightgown with a safety pin to camouflage herself. She puts on a bathrobe and hopes that
Martha wont notice that shes big for her age)
Martha: Now thats a good girl, you get into bed and
Aunt Martha will tell you a story.
(Knock on the door.)
Martha: Who is it?
Cary: Its me, Cary, I need to see Mary Margaret right
Martha: Of course, you dear, dear man, come in.
Cary: (Rushing to Maggies bedside, stopping to survey
her pajamas he suppresses a giggle. Maggie shoots him a steely look thinking
about the wrecked nightgown) Oh my darling, I forgot to give you your doll.
Cupie Doll: Mama!
Maggie: Thanks. Aunt Martha was going to tell me a story.
Did you come for your goodnight kiss, Uncle Cary?
Cary: (Blushing) Well um, not exactly. You see Mary
Margaret, Martha is needed right away in the dining room. The Captain asked me to send for
her at once. Hes in a bit of an awkward situation. Hes invited to his table
three single men, and no women at all to help him make conversation.
Martha: Oh dear, I hope he doesnt start in on his
Navy stories. Hell have them catatonic by the time the salad arrives.
Cary (to Martha): Yes, you really must go and save him,
Im afraid. The Queen Elizabeths reputation depends on it.
Martha (kissing Mary Margaret on the forehead): well
goodnight dear. That story will have to wait until another evening I suppose. Sleep tight.
Maggie: Goodnight, Martha.
(Cary, escorts Martha out the door and shuts it in her wake. Maggie slings the Cupie doll
at Cary and he ducks just in time.)
Cupie doll: Mama!
Maggie and Cary: Oh Shut Up! (Cary smirks and begins to
Cary: Oh you look so cute. Are those babydoll pajamas?
Maggie: Why this old thing, just a little something I
whipped up in the bathroom. Whats left of my very expensive elegant nightgown can be
now be used to swab the poopdeck.
Cary (crossing to bathroom, finding the leftover satin rag
on the sink basin and holding it up to his face like a veil. He bats his eyes seductively
at Maggie until she laughs. He sits on the edge of the bed with one FOOT ON THE FLOOR,
thank you very much censors!): Oh my, Im so sorry my dear. Well, darling after my
little surprise, you shouldnt need to worry about a little thing like a nightgown.
Maggie: What is this surprise? This miraculous cure for all
my wardrobe ills?
Cary: Oh-ho it wouldnt be a surprise then would it?
No, you will just have to wait until tomorrow at 4 to find out.
Maggie: Whatever shall I wear?
Cary: Anything but the Mary Margaret get-up. (He dabs at
her face, removing her freckles with the satin rag.) Dont forget, 4 oclock in
the Captains quarters. (He starts to leave.)
Maggie: What about my good-night kiss, Uncle? (Cary leans
in for a nice, long kiss)
Cary: What Hedda Hopper wouldnt give to see that one,
Maggie: Goodnight, and sleep tight, Uncle.
Cary: (slightly excited, nervous whimper) Sleep tight
yourself, kid. As for me Ill put this (holds up rag) under my pillow and wont
sleep a wink knowing your just on the other side of this door. Oh its too much,
really too much. (He exits, giggling.)
(Next Morning: Cary and Maggie are shown dressing
separately in their cabins via Splitscreen ala Stanley Donen in Indiscreet. Cary hops
around on one leg trying to put his pants on while Maggie fusses with an ornate flower on
the strap of her sundress. Maggie removes the flower and puts it in her handbag. Cary
eventually gets his pants on, then moves on to his bow tie. He is nervous as a groom and
fumbles, with what should be second nature to him--putting on formal wear. He nervously
hums The Wedding March. A third panel is added to the screen as Cary and
Maggie complete their dressing and we see BROOKSIE putting on her veil over her wedding
dress. Maggies panel disappears leaving Cary and Brooksie to hum The Wedding March
separately, ominously as the disastrous hour of 4 approaches...)
(4 p.m. The Captains Quarters. The Captain and his wife are
on hand, dressed to the teeth and waiting. Theres a knock at the door.)
Captain: Well, well, that must me the groom.
Martha: Oh, Im soo excited. Imagine, a celebrity like
Cary Grant getting married in our State Room. Wait till I tell my bridge club.
Captain: Easy, Martha. Try to get a grip dear. (He opens
(Carys is standing holding an enormous bouquet of
flowers that obscures his entire upper body and face)
Captain: I trust thats you Mister Grant, behind the
Cary: Yep, Im really coming up in the world. Next
Ill be delivering my own groceries and dry cleaning.
Martha: Let me help you with those, my dear man. These are
simply lovely, Mr. Grant. They look familiar, I could have sworn Ive seen them
Cary: The best I could do at sea Im afraid.
Martha: Werent these at the end of the buffet table
Cary: The very same. I spoke with the chief waiter and he
said they could do with out them for a few hours. I hope you dont mind.
Martha: Nonsense, I would have suggested it myself, but you
are, as true to your reputation, so thorough when it comes to matters of the heart.
Cary: Well, gosh I...
Captain: Now, I thought, you and the lucky lady would stand
over here (pointing to a spot near the window) while Martha would stand here with your
niece Mary Catherine.
Cary: Mary Margaret.
Martha: Where is she?
Cary: Shell be along any minute, with the
Captain: Er, yes, ah Mary Margaret will stand with Mary
Martha, I mean Martha and I will stand here, being that Im doing the Dearly
Cary: For a second there I thought I was in a Noel Coward
play. (A knock at the door.)
Captain: That must be the bride.
Martha: I think I will faint.
Cary: I think Ill join you. Save a piece of floor for
me, Martha darling.
(Brooksie enters wearing an elaborate wedding dress. The
others cant tell who she is because of the veil.)
Cary: What a gal! Always prepared. Howd you cop on to
my little surprise? Was it Randy? Ill kill him. No, Im too happy to kill.
Ill probably just mess up his hair a little, thatll get him. Ohh, my you do
look lovely, my dear. A dream. An absolute dream this is. (Brooksie curtsies silently)
Martha: Oh (grabbing a tissue, beginning to sob noisily.)
Captain: Dearly beloved--
Martha: Wait! Mary Margarets not here yet.
Cary: Its all right Martha. Ill explain later,
dear. Proceed with the vows Captain (winking at Brooksie, thinking that shes
Captain: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in
front of my wife. I mean these good people for the wedding of Cary Grant and Brooksie
Parker. (Maggie enters, unnoticed by the others.)
Cary: (spinning around when he hears Maggies voice)
Martha: Mary Margaret!??
Cary: Well if youre there, then whos there?
(pointing to bride) Oh. No. Waitasecond. I think I just figured it out. (Crosses over to
Brooksie and lifts up the veil) I should have known. This was going too well...
Maggie: So this is your surprise. You FINK! You asked me
here to be a witness to your wedding. (Bursting into tears)
Cary: There, there, darling. You see its all just
been a big misunderstanding. Im not sure how it happened myself, but you see I
thought I was marrying you today at 4 oclock. I didnt know Brooksie would show
up in disguise. Honest, darling. Havent I been trying to ditch this . . . this
Brooksie: I knew there was something fishy about your
niece. Wait till Hedda hears about this. Youll be RUINED.
Cary: Brooksie, now dont go off half-cocked. I can
explain if youll--
Brooksie: And to think, I had mothers dress refitted
for this day and everything and you were going to marry HER (pointing to Maggie) all
along. (Breaks into tears.)
Cary: I can explain, if youll just calm down and stop
Martha: Booohoooo! (Burying her face deep in her
Captain: Oh what are you crying for Martha? The wedding is
Martha: (between sobs) My bridge club will be devastated.
Cary: Im sure I can explain if everyone will just
stop crying. STOP CRYING! (He whistles loudly. There is a pause in the sobbing and then it
begins again worse than before. In disgust Cary pulls out his handkerchief and shrugs his
shoulders. He begins to cry, too.)
Captain: (crossing to Cary, comforting him by patting him
on the back) Chin up my good man. There. There.
Cary: Why cant I just get married to the right girl.
I dont care where or when or how... only who. Brooksie ought to know by now that I
dont want to marry her. (upon mention of her name Brooksie looks up, sniffs and
stops crying) Maggies the one for me. Has been ever since the first moment I saw her
at the studio. (Upon hearing this Maggie quits crying) It should be obvious to everyone.
Brooksie is like Barbara Vance and Maggie is like Lucy Warriner. Maggie is as fresh and as
fun as Susan Vance on a summer night, and Brooksie is Miss Swallow.
Brooksie: Who are these Vance sisters, youre talking
about? More girlfriends, I suppose. Ill scratch their eyes out!
Maggie: And Im like Ellen Arden and Brooksie is like Bianca, right?
Cary: Er, um I dont quite follow. Those first two
were from pictures I was in, but I dont recognize Ellen and Bianca.
Maggie: Oh sorry, just a little something from a screenplay
Im working on. I forgot where I was for a minute.
Cary: (crossing to her, putting his arm firmly on her
shoulder) Its quite alright, dear. The important thing is that you UNDERSTAND what I
mean. That everyone should understand that Maggie and I were meant to be together.
Its inevitable. But Brooksie, well, Im sorry, but I cant marry you. It
just wouldnt work out.
Brooksie: Well why didnt you just say so in the first
place, you idiot. (Taking her bouquet of flowers and smacking him over the head with it).
Brooksie: Thats nothing compared to the going over
Hedda and I will give you Monday in the papers.
Cary: Now, Brooksie hang on. Isnt there a way we
could settle this...discreetly.
Brooksie: Yeah, I could pay someone to dump your body in
the reservoir, but that wouldnt be as much fun as the public pummeling Im
going to give you.
Cary: Money, perhaps?
Brooksie: Forget it.
Cary: A public apology? A printed retraction? A formal
declaration at Manns Chinese I was a jerk to Brooksie Parker. Im a dope
and Im sorry?
Brooksie: That would be letting you off easy, chump!
Maggie: How about a part?
Cary: Yes, you could have a part in my next picture.
Ill see to it that you get a nice juicy speaking part, one that will showcase all
Brooksie: Really, a part. That would be better than
nothing. At least I would get some satisfaction out of this fiasco. Well, what is it,
then, your next picture?
Cary: Ahhhh, um, I really dont...
Maggie: A little screwball comedy called, My Favorite
Wife. I have just the part for you, Bianca. Shes really the femme fatale of
the whole thing. Its perfect.
Brooksie: But its not the lead?
Maggie: Well I was thinking Irene Dunne for the lead, I
mean really, she was so brilliant in the Awful Truth, you would have to give her dibbs,
but I assure you that Bianca is a good role.
Brooksie: Well, Im not saying yes until
Ive had a look at the script, but--
Cary: But youll at least consider?
Brooksie: Yes, Ill consider.
Cary: I knew youd come around and be a sport
Brooksie: Dont push it. (Wacking him over the head
with flowers, again. She starts to leave.) Maggie youll be hearing from my mother, I
mean my agent Monday morning. (She slams the door).
Cary: Yippeee! Shes gone. Shes out of my hair. Hoooray! (Picking Maggie up and spinning her around and kissing her) its just you
and I from here on out, darling.
Maggie: Well, youve got her snowed for a little
while. At least till she sees that script.
Cary: But you said it was perfect.
Maggie: I was exaggerating, dear, to make the sale. Now
Ive got to get to work on that screenplay. If Brooksie sees it in the shape its in
now, youll be in hot water. (She turns to leave.)
Cary: But Maggie! The wedding, the surprise! Where are you
Maggie: Of course, Ill marry you... another day,
handsome. Right now, Ive got a screenplay to finish. To the typewriter! (She exists
with a full head of steam. Cary follows haplessly with his hands dug in his pockets).
Captain: NOW, why are you crying, Martha? The bridge club
will get over it, dear.
Martha: (between sobs) Im just confused!
-- by Debbie Dunlap --
The time is now nearly 7 p.m.:
The corridors are busy with passengers on their way to the dining room. A suspiciously
familiar figure lurks just out of view of the doors to Cary & Maggies adjoining
Inside Maggies cabin:
Maggie sits cross-legged in the center of her bed. Shes changed into a comfortable
pair of olive slacks and her favorite ecru sweater. A bright red headband holds her curly
hair from her eyes, hastily chosen for utility and not fashion. Pages of the script of
My Favorite Wife are scattered about her. She chews on the end of a pen and
stares off into space, her brow furrowed.
How can I make the part of Bianca as appealing to
Brooksie as possible? Maggie ponders for the thousandth time in the past three
hours. She picks up a page of script from a pile on her left, shakes her head and replaces
it. She picks up another page from a larger pile on her right, just not
believable. She replaces the page.
The pen tip finds its way to Maggies mouth again and
she stares unseeing at a seascape on the opposite wall.
A soft tap from the closed, connecting door to Carys
cabin snaps Maggie from her thoughts. Maggie darling?
Just a moment, Cary. Maggie carefully maneuvers
herself off of the bed so as not to disturb the script over which shes labored.
Opening the door, Maggie is greeted by every womans
image of THE Cary Grant. Elegantly dressed for dinner; hair is parted on the right &
slicked to perfection; dimpled chin freshly shaved & smelling deliciously spicy; hands
deep in his pockets as hes waited. But all Maggie sees is the fatigue in his eyes.
She reaches up to touch his cheek lovingly and says softly, Youve been
Though Cary is weary, he forges a bright smile for
Maggies sake; shes been through so much all because of him. Ah, but I
believe I may have the means of foiling our would-be blackmailer, he declares.
Maggie moves her hand to gently cover his mouth.
Please, Cary, lets not talk about that right now. Ive been working on
the script all this time for just that reason. Please stop worrying, Ill take care
Cary reaches up and takes Maggies hand in his own,
kisses her palm and holds her hand to his chest. Maggie, listen just for a
Maggie hangs her head and wearily shakes it. Please,
Cary, not now. Please, she pleads. She looks back up at him, a small smile adorns
her tired face.
Cary stares at Maggie. My Maggie, his heart
whispers. This woman standing before him with tousled hair, bare feet and ink-stained
fingertips, heedless of her appearance; indeed, she is heedless of his appearance as well,
seeing only the distress of his soul.
Cary pulls her into an embrace, buries his face in
Maggies soft, fragrant curls and closes his eyes. Maggie wraps her arms around Cary,
rests her cheek against his chest, closes her eyes and is comforted by the steady beat of
After a long moment, Maggie begins to pull away. Cary keeps
her within arms length, her upper arms held gently in his hands, not willing to let
this moment pass.
Maggie looks up at Cary. Maggies eyes, mirroring his
own fatigue and worry, pierce Carys heart. This woman loves the man beneath
the facade of Cary Grant, it whispers again.
The fatigue in Maggies eyes turns to wonder as Cary
looks at her and slowly lowers his head to capture her lips. Both close their eyes as the
kiss overtakes them.
When they pull away, both are shaking.
Maggie lowers her head, Cary gently tips her face up to
look at him. Maggies eyes are shiny with unshed tears.
Why are you crying? Cary asks gently.
Beauty does that to me, and she lowers her eyes
Both obviously overwhelmed with emotion, Cary attempts to
change the subject. He clears his throat; nonetheless, his voice cracks as he says,
Darling, youd best dress for dinner, its nearly seven.
Im sorry, I just cant, Maggie
shakes her head.
Cary interrupts, But, ...
Maggie raises a hand, No, Ive too much to do. I
must finish rewriting this script, she nods toward the disheveled bed, or
youll never truly be rid of Brooksie.
Cary interrupts again, But, Maggie...
Maggie pulls determinedly from Carys embrace and
turns toward the bed. Again, careful not to disturb all her hard work, she gingerly crawls
back to the center of the bed, and folds her legs beneath her.
She looks up at Cary standing in the doorway and smiles a
small, but victorious smile, Shes licked Cary. Brooksie will be true to her
word once she reads this revised script. Itll be the part shes always dreamed
of. She doesnt deserve it, but this is the only way to finally be rid of her.
Cary takes a step into the room, Maggie, please
Maggie shakes her head, picks up her pen and a page of the
script. This is the only way, and I cant rest till its finished. Give
the captain and his wife my best. Oh, and please apologize to them for me. What a terrible
scene this afternoon.
Very well, dear Cary walks over to the bed,
leans down and kisses Maggies forehead. Lingering but a moment to inhale one last
scent of her hair, he turns and silently closes the adjoining door.
In the hallway:
Familiar eyes watch Cary exit his cabin and head toward the dining room.
Inside Maggies cabin:
Maggie again sits amidst the papers, chewing on the end of her pen, but this time the far
away look in her eye has nothing to do with contemplating the script. Her feelings for
Cary Grant weigh heavy upon her heart. A myriad of emotions play across her face.
This whole relationship has been a whirlwind. Most of it a
storm of activity aimed at eliminating his former flame.
Gracious! His foiled attempt at marriage was meant for her!
Theyd only known each other for a few weeks. Known each other well for even less
Maggie chuckles and says aloud, He doesnt even
know that my name really IS Mary Margaret!
Insight into Brooksies expectations suddenly rush
into Maggies mind. If Cary had moved this fast with Brooksie, no wonder Brooksie
feels so betrayed. A beginning of compassion flares to life.
The crease of a frown creeps upon Maggies forehead as
an unsettling thought enters her mind. What if Im not there to rescue
him the next time? What if some other more beautiful woman is? What if the next time he
sees a fetching woman, I become just another Brooksie in Carys eyes?
No! she cries aloud, startling herself with her
A sharp knock at the cabin door further startles Maggie,
causing her to fling her pen across the cabin. She frowns at the door, looks in the
direction the pen flew and tersely demands, Who is it? Again, she delicately
extricates herself from the scattered script, and pads across the floor in bare feet to
search for her pen.
Its Brooke. May I come in? Not waiting
for an invitation to enter, Brooksie opens the door before the last word escapes her
mouth. Shes greeted with the sight of Maggie sprawled out on her stomach, struggling
to retrieve her pen from beneath the bureau. Brooke looks about the cabin and takes in the
rumpled, paper-strewn bed, the closet doors ajar and a pair of shoes flung haphazardly;
one near her own feet, another near the bathroom door. Brooksie sniffs in disgust.
Maggie retrieves her pen and is beginning to rise from her
most unladylike position when she realizes that shes not alone. In a half-crouch,
she looks over her shoulder.
Oh! Brooksie! I didnt hear you come in!
Maggie rises to her feet as gracefully as possible and whirls about to face Brooksie. She
holds up the pen in silent, this is what I was looking for.
Brooksie begins a contemptuous appraisal of Maggie,
beginning with the red headband and ending with the bare feet. She takes special notice of
the dust bunny clinging to a strand of Maggies hair.
Unbelievable, she silently curses. Aloud she
venomously spews, Im here to warn you, Mary Margaret! I am
not to be trifled with. The only way I will keep silent about your little
masquerade is if this part is good. And I mean very good. If this script is a
phony, so help me, Mr. Cary Grants name will be at the top of
Hollywoods blacklist, and your reputation will be in shreds. Ill expect a copy
of the script delivered by 7:00 p.m. the day after you dock. Do we understand each other?
Without waiting for a response, Brooksie turns smartly on
her heel and slams the door.
Maggie stands stunned, mouth agape. Then her jaw clamps
shut and steel enters her eyes. And to think I was actually feeling sorry for you!
Oh, itll be a very good part; one youll have no trouble playing.
As a matter of fact, itll be typecasting! seethes Maggie between clenched
Her relationship with Cary wiped from her mind and with
renewed resolve for the script, Maggie scrambles back upon the bed. She picks up one, two,
three, a handful of sheets of the script. She gives a cursory glance at them and tosses
them to the floor in disgust.
Oh! No! There will be no sympathy for Bianca!
Brooksie will play the conceited, conniving witch she truly is! Maggie leans over a
fresh page and begins to attack it with her pen.
The dust bunny detaches itself from Maggies hair and
floats down to land upon the bed. Unnoticed.
In the dining room, Cary, the captain and Martha are dining
alone at a discreet table. Cary is speaking to a stunned audience of two. Marthas
mouth forms a perfect O and the captain just continually shakes his head in
Cary splays out his hands, palms upward, And that is
the whole sordid story. You were, unfortunately, witnesses to the latest
Martha attempts to recover her ability to speak as Cary
reaches to take a sip of his wine. People just dont act that way, Mr. Grant.
It just isnt civilized!
The captain covers his wifes hand comfortingly,
My dear, those Hollywood types arent civilized.
Cary arches an eyebrow.
I apologize, Mr. Grant, but you know what I mean,
surely. The search for power and fame turns many a head toward any means necessary for
that all-important climb to the top.
Cary nods his head, Yes, Captain, unfortunately I
must agree with you. And Brooksie is the epitome of that unpleasant beast.
He leans toward the two kind-hearted souls, I have an
enormous favor to ask of you two.
Martha nods her head, Oh, yes, anything.
The captain is a bit more circumspect, What is it you
have in mind, son?
Cary begins, You two are the only two on board who
know the truth about Mary Margaret...errr...Maggie. If you will agree to continue the
masquerade, I believe that I can foil all of Brooksies attempts at blackmail.
You see, Maggie thinks that once Brooksie gets a good
part in one of my movies, thatll be the end of our troubles. But like you Captain,
Ive seen the sordid side of Hollywood, and I know that Brooksie will continue to
blackmail me for bigger and better parts. Who knows where shed stop?
The captain nods his head in agreement and understanding.
Youre going eliminate her evidence?
Precisely, my good man! Cary sits up straighter
in his chair. Ive always kept my personal life very, very quiet. As such,
its nearly impossible to discover my relatives. Many, including that vile Hedda
Hopper, think they know everything about me, but there is literally no way she can. So,
Ill invent a cousin with several children who wishes to adopt Mary Margaret.
Ill, naturally, see the benefits of Mary Margaret growing up with other children and
agree to let them adopt her. When we dock in St. Thomas, Ill depart and youll
take Mary Margaret with you to meet my cousin in England.
Cary leans back in his chair, Which leaves Brooksie
with no witnesses to her revelation, but you two.
Again the captain nods his head, I agree to the
arrangement. He thrusts forth his hand to shake.
Martha shakes her head in confusion, Would someone
please tell me what is going on?!
Dear, we are going to take Mr. Grants niece
Mary Margaret to meet her cousin in England. If anyone asks, we will have seen her safely
into his hands. Weve never met, nor have any knowledge of anyone named Maggie.
Oh.... whispers Martha.
One further favor, Captain? Cary asks.
The captain lifts his eyebrow.
Could you disguise Maggie as one of your workers and
help me to get her off the ship in St. Thomas unnoticed? Cary knows hes
overstepped the boundaries asking for this last favor, but hes nearly desperate to
end this debacle with Brooksie. The thought of Maggie having to criss-cross the ocean to
avoid being seen seems a bit extreme, not to mention time-consuming.
The captain stands, again thrusts forth his strong hand.
Cary rises and eagerly shakes the captains hand, Thank you, sir!
The corridor before Cary and Maggies cabins:
Once again certain of his future with Maggie, Cary stops at Maggies door. He lifts
his hand to knock, looks up and down the corridor, stuffs his hand into his pocket, walks
down to his door and lets himself in.
Cary lightly taps on the connecting door . There is no
Maggie sits in a darkened room. All evidence of her battle
with the script has been cleared away. Shes been battling with her emotions again.
Maggie stares at the door.
Cary tries the door. It is locked. Hmmm?
Suddenly, a slip of paper beneath the toe of his shoe
captures his attention. He picks it up and reads.
My dear Cary,
Things are moving much too rapidly for me.
I think we need to slow down a bit.
Ill talk to you about it in the morning.
Through the closed doors Cary quietly appeals, Oh,
He presses his forehead against the cool wood. Please
dont be afraid.
Maggie wraps her arms about herself and begins to weep.
Memories of the kiss shared on this very spot stir emotions
in his heart he knows have never been stirred before. His voice is choked with emotion.
Aw, Maggie, dont you know? Cant you understand? No one has ever touched
my life the way that you have. I know it seems fast, but in my life, people come and go so
quickly. I was afraid that if I didnt grab you, youd be gone.
Maggie sits in the chair, her knees drawn up to her chest.
Tears stream down her cheeks.
I cant lose you, Maggie!
Cary stands at the door, his forehead pressed against the
door, the palm of his left hand flat against the door, his right arm hangs limply at his
side, the letter clutched in his hand. There is no reply.
He whispers, I love you, Maggie, and turns
toward his own bed.
He tosses his coat across the back of the only chair in the
room, loosens his tie and reclines upon the bed. He reaches up to turn out the light. This
day has ended much differently than hed planned.
Alone with his thoughts in the dark, Cary
hears the click of the lock being turned on the connecting door.
-- by Chris Leidig --
Maggie hears Cary walking around his room, and
she grabs the knob to the door separating their rooms.
Maggie: No, I can't do this. I wouldn't be able to control
myself. Oh, Cary darling. You don't know how you make me feel.
Maggie takes her hand and she places it upon the door and
she imagines that it is Cary's face that she is touching. She wants to feel the face of
the man that she loves so desperately.
Maggie: I want you so badly. I can't admit that to you!
What kind of woman would you take me for? I am no Brooksie. I don't want to ruin this. I
don't want to lose you. Oh, Cary! You have me so flustered that I'm talking to myself. My
whole body aches.
Maggie grabs the knob, but she can not make herself do it.
Maggie: I'm so afraid. I know I'll just get scared and
resort to jokes. I know it. I want this night to be so special.
As Maggie is thinking, she turns the doorknob and opens the
Margaret comes through Cary's door and into his stateroom.
CG: Hello there.
Margaret: Room check.
CG: Excuse me?
Margaret: You're room is nice. I can sleep soundly now.
Margaret turns to go back into her room, but Cary calls
Margaret: Don't read anything into this Cary. I'm a good
CG: How unfortunate.
Margaret: You're impossible.
CG: Not for you dear.
Margaret: I'm going.
Margaret: Yes, really. I'm not influenced by your charm or
your wonderful brown eyes or...oh, leave me be!
CG: Is that an order?
Margaret: If you value my sanity, you'll let me leave here
CG: I would never dream of molesting you.
Margaret: What??? Am I so unattractive? So forbidding?
CG: You're lapsing into Katharine Hepburn.
Margaret: I can't believe you're not putting up a fight!
How can you just let me leave your room?
CG: I'm a good boy.
Margaret: Oh, I hate you!
Margaret goes into her room and slams the door.
CG: Goodnight darling.
Cary Grant falls back on to his pillow and begins to laugh
The camera pans in on a woman who is tapping her
beautifully manicured fingers on a table. The camera pans up to reveal the beautiful and
petulant Brooksie. Brooksie has the look of a woman who can never be friends with another
woman because she is so beautiful. She knows that she is ravishing, and she never lets men
or their wives forget it.
Randolph Scott: Penny for your thoughts.
Brooksie: A rich man! How quaint. Randolph, how blonde of
you to rescue me from my impending depression!
Randolph: Is this about Cary?
Brooksie: No, I'm depressed because I can't figure out how
a thermos can keep liquids both hot and cold.
Randolph: There's no reason to bite me!
Brooksie: Oh, there's a thought to stave off the
depression. Is that an offer or just a defense?
Randolph: It's a...Oh, I don't know. I'm not adept at this
clever repartee. Cary's much better.
Brooke: Say three Hail Marys before mentioning that devil's
name to me!
Randolph: You're not even Catholic.
Brooksie: Don't be a ghoul! Cary has been a perfect beast
to me! I'm fretting. You know what that means? Wrinkles! I'm too young and beautiful to
have wrinkles. Oh, men are such horrific animals. I'm a devastatingly beautiful woman.
Beautiful women should always be happy. Happiness supplies them with smooth, supple skin.
Look at me Randolph! Why should I be worrying about some little script troll with a face
like a mud fence?
Man: Fences are nothing to scoff at.
Brooksie: Loonies on the loose alert! I'm not buying
anything you're selling.
Man: I'm sorry to intrude. My name is Berris Adams.
Randolph: Berris Adams of the Philadelphia Adams Family?
Brooke: Oh, not another Philadelphia Story. Nice to meet
you Mr. Adams. If you'll excuse me, I have an almost husband to murder.
As Brooke starts to go, Mr. Adams grabs her arm.
Brooke: Contact sports are outlawed on this boat Mr. Adams.
Remove your hands.
Berris: I saw your picture in the paper and I wondered what
you looked like.
Brooke: What does that mean?
Randolph shrugs his shoulders.
Randolph: Clever repartee again. I need a translator.
Berris: I heard it in a movie. I thought it might impress
you to invoke Irene Dunne.
Brooke: The way to a woman's heart is definitely not Irene
Two waiters rush past Randolph, Brooksie, and the fence man
Waiter: Ridiculous that we have to spend this time on a
Waiter 2: It's lime on top of it! All this money to make a
life-size gelatin mold.
Brooke: I believe that's called a break in the action.
Berris: Excuse me?
Randolph: Don't bother. Only Cary Grant understands clever
repartee. It must be a DNA thing.
Randolph: Do not 'ave!
Man: I'm lost.
Brooke: That would explain your look. I have a cabin. I
intend to use it.
Brooksie runs off.
Berris: What a woman!
Randolph: Yes, we've been thinking the same thing! Berris:
Is she married?
Randolph: Not if she can help it.
Berris: Pardon me?
Randolph: Go on with your story.
Berris: I wasn't telling a story!
Randolph: Weren't you? I would have sworn you were telling
a story. Fancy my mistaking that!
Brooksie:I'd scratch your eyes out if I weren't afraid of
chipping a nail.
Cary: I can explain.
Brooksie: I'm sure you can. If you'll excuse me, I'm on a
quest to find the perfect blunt instrument.
Cary: Brooksie darling, violence is not the answer.
Brooksie turns to Cary and she raises her hand and brushes
a wisp of his hair away from his eyes.
Brooksie:You have hurt me Cary.
Margaret comes out in to the corridor and she spots
Brooksie's hand upon
Cary's face and she runs back into her cabin.
Brooksie: Beautiful women deserve compassion.
Brooksie: Are you Jimmy Stewart now? What do you have to
Brooksie removes her hand, and she wipes the tear from her
face. She looks at Cary, and she realizes that she will never love anyone the way she
loves this brown-eyed dream standing before her. She wishes that she could be the kind of
woman that he could love--that selfless woman that can only be seen in movies about poor,
noble people. She was too shallow and she knew it. She knew that her greatest fault was
that beneath that shallow exterior was an even shallower interior.
Brooksie: It's over Cary. If you want that script monster,
I won't stand in your way. I deserve happiness. It's good for the pores.
Cary: Do you forgive me?
Brooksie: Of course I do. Who can stay mad at Cary Grant?
Cary: What are your plans?
Brooksie: I hear William Powell is available. If only he
weren't such a cheapskate!
Brooksie walks away.
Cary: How do you fancy that!
Randolph: Tough break man! Should I call for a therapist?
Cary: Randolph! Where did you come from?
Randolph: A rather boring man who sells fences. He gives
white picket a bad name.
Cary: I'm free to marry my angel. Margaret and I will be
the Hollywood couple to set the standards. We'll be the model for Hollywood couples for
years to come! We'll be like Gable and Lombard.
Randolph: Broken up.
Cary: Jean Harlow and Paul Bern.
Cary: Nick and Nora Charles.
Randolph: Fictional, but at least married. These tuxedos
are harming your brain.
Cary: Let's go tell my angel the good news.
Cary and Randolph walk to Margaret's cabin. The door is
ajar, and Cary and Randolph walk in. Cary calls out for his angel, but she does not
answer. That blonde, strapping Randolph spots a note on the floor. Being a clever chap, he
bends down and hands it to Cary. Cary reads the note. Because the author is compassionate,
she has transcribed the contents of the note for her readers: "Darling, meet me in
the dining room at nine o'clock. Important news!"
Margaret paces back and forth upon the top deck of the
Margaret: Oh, it's only you.
Woman: Should I be insulted?
Margaret: He's here.
Woman: Have you seen him?
Margaret: He called my state room.
Woman: You can't see him. It would ruin everything.
Margaret: Irene, what am I going to do?
Irene: I'm an actress darling. Write my lines and I'll say
them with conviction.
Margaret: I thought he was out of my life for good. What
will I tell my Cary?
Irene: Tell him the truth. You don't want him to catch you
in a lie because there's nothing more illogical than the truth.
Margaret: This is not the movies, Irene! This is real life.
Irene: I remember a similar situation. A woman named
Margaret Garnett. Impossible situation. She was supporting her ungrateful relatives when
she met the most obnoxious man who looked suspiciously like that appalling Douglas
Margaret: Irene! It was Joy of Living! You really must
concentrate. This is not a movie! This is my life! What am I going to do about Berris?
Cary: You're looking well.
Brooksie: I'm not collapsing in tears if that's what you're
Cary: No hard feelings?
Brooksie: Is there still a part in My Favorite Wife?
Cary: Of course. I would not want to hurt your nonexistent
Brooksie: Thanks for the gallantry.
Cary: I'm Cary Grant. I do what I can. I like to spread a
little sunshine wherever..
Brooksie: You go, yes I know. OOH, Watch out! Here comes my
Cary: I'll see what's keeping Randolph!
Cary runs out.
Mrs. Parker: That man is always rushing off!
Brooke: Diuretics. Mrs. Parker: I have a feeling tonight is
going to look up for all of us.
Brooke: Why do you say that?
Cary and Randolph enter into the dining room, and take a
table on the opposite side of the room from Brooksie and her hag of a mother. Cary looks
around for Margaret, but she is nowhere to be seen. Mr. Adams walks in to the dining room,
sees Brooksie, and heads for her table. Berris and Brooksie engage in some banter which
the author chooses to withhold. After the off page chitchat, he sits down. Margaret is
still persona non grata or one such Latin phrase. As everyone prepares to eat their
entrees, the band strikes up and plays "In the Mood" which infuriates Brooksie.
The two waiters who participated in the break in the action wheel out the huge gelatin
mold which is covered with a rather divine cloth. The author asked the ship owner where
the cloth was made and she was told that it was frightfully unimportant. .
Bandleader: We now present a gift a Mr. Jerry Nipper. He
has kindly donated four cases of jell-o gelatin, and our prize-winning chef has made a
superb gelatin mold! Waiters, remove the cloth!
Irene Dunne comes through the doors as the waiters remove
the cover from the huge gelatin mold. As they do, Irene Dunne lets out a cream that
Beethoven could hear. Cary and Randolph run up to the hysterical Irene.
Cary: Irene, what is it?
Irene can hardly speak, but she has enough strength to
raise her left arm and point to the huge, lime, gelatin mold. Cary spots the gelatin mold
and he immediately turns white.
Irene: What a shame! He is going to scuff those new shoes.
The camera pans in on the huge gelatin mold to
show a sight so shocking that it makes Janet Leigh's shower scene in Psycho look like an
MGM musical. Inside the infamous lime gelatin mold is the lifeless body of Margaret!
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