A Good Woman Script - Dialogue Transcript

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A Good Woman Script

When I was going through
my wardrobe

I found an extra hairpin
on the floor

That's nothing, I found
her hair in my bed.

Just another tragedy of
a down-and-out, I guess

For I'm selling
the thing

That means everything
to my life...

Some women
bring happines...

wherever they go.
Others, whenever they go.

I do both.

Husbands like to
see me come...

wives prefer to see
me go.

There she is.
That's her.

Whose husband didn't she
sleep with?

- Who's she with now?
- Who knows.

- She's older than I thought.
- Look. Watch.

This will teach her.

I'm sorry, Mrs Erlynne, but
that account was closed.

By Mrs Fairchild.

I wish you'd told me before
I ordered the Bordeaux.

What Bordeaux, Mrs Erlynne?

Joe, you're my kind of guy.

- Is she behind me?
- In the blue.

Charge it to Senator Kleghorn.

That's Mrs Kleghorn sitting
next to Mrs Fairchild.

- What a small world.
- And Mrs Winters on her right.

And getting smaller.

You wanna go out
the back?

No, if you go out the back, you'll
never come in the front, Joe.

A lady always leaves the
way she came.

I thought my husband
had more taste.

So sorry to hear you're
leaving us, Mrs Erlynne.

- I'm leaving you?
- I'll prepare your bill.

I ask you to
make me an offer

I don't know how much
it will bring

It isn't a lot...

but it's all I've got

Pooled by an old
gold ring?

It's known me as poor
as a beggar

And it's known me as
rich as a king

And it's known me in hell
And in heaven as well

Pooled by an
old gold ring?

My sudden change
in circumstance...

was not the only reason
for my departure.

The italian coast in summer
attracts the rich and famous.

I'm infamous and poor.

Close enough.

One door closes,
another opens.

Sometimes that door is
not the one you expect.

I saw my chance and
decided to take it.

Meg, dear. Come along.
Come along.

Ah, Giuseppina.

She's my friend.
Give her a discount.

Come here.

It's the best glove shop in the city.

She'll give you a good discount.

You go along, I'll find your
husband, don't worry.

This way, madam.

These are pretty.

- Your hand looks about right.
- I beg your pardon?

My little sister. She was
adamant about every detail but...

neglected to tell me the size.
Would you mind?

Oh, no, of course not.

It's always a little snug
the first time.

Maybe you should take
off your ring.

It's my wedding ring,
I never take it off.

The other hand, then.

No need to button it. You can see
it fits perfectly.

Lord Darlington,
you depraved man.

What have you been up to?

Ignore him, Meg, dear.
He's a great sinner.

But an excellent bridge partner.

Or I would never tolerate him.

- Do you know each other?
- The year I spent in the London office.

I told you about John.
But you've met.

- No. It's nice to meet you.
- It's a pleasure, Mrs Windemere.

Your wife was helping me select
gloves for my mother.

- Your sister, you said.
- Either one.

We should have dinner.
Where are you staying?

The Grand, but we're trying
to find a villa.

So late in the season.
I warned you.

I know one that's available.

Isn't it an election year in
the wild west?

Who says I'm running?

- It's perfect. It's beaultiful.
- Did I mention the ghost?

I feel like a princess
in a fairly tale.

You are a princess.

That's because I
married the prince.

I have her completely fooled,
poor girl.

If I could fool a woman as
pretty, I wouldn't be a bachelor.

- Now you've made her blush.
- Don't be silly.

Come and see the paintings.

Come on.

Good evening.

Lady Plymdale?

Oh, is she the one
with the big...

Feet. Enourmous feet.
Poor old Plymdale.

- Ace, Queen, King, Jack.
- No honours.

No, no, John's yacht,
John's rules.

- Have it.
- Thank you.

Huge feet. Pontoons.

If desire had an antidote, it would
be those pontoons of hers.

I grow ill thinking of then.

How many times have you
been divorced, Tuppy?

- Three, four? I've simply lost count.
- That's bigamy.

Bigamy is having one wife
too many.

So is monogamy

One should always have a proper
basis for marriage. A mutual...

- Misunderstanding?
- Exactly.

A man can't be happy
with one woman.

A man can be happy with any woman.
As long as he doesn't love her.

For a man who's never thought
of getting married...

you seem to know an awful
lot about it.

I've thought very seriously of marrying.
That's why I'm still single.

Hear, hear.

I just haven't met the right woman.
Look at Cecil, still with Edna.

One keeps one's eyes wide open
before the wedding...

and half shut after.

- That's all there is to it.
- Exactly.

I fancy raising the stakes.

Oh, lucky blighter!

You don't look as if
you're enjoying yourself.

Oh, I am. It's a very
nice party.

- Can I get you a drink?
- No, thank you. I don't drink.

You don't drink?

- Do I seem like a prig?
- No, of course not.

- It's the way I was raised.
- In a convent?

By my Aunt Julia.
My father's sister.

My mother died when I
was very little.

It's the only picture I
have of her.

My father never remarried.

She's every bit as beaultiful
as her daughter.

Have I offended you?
I meant it as a compliment.

- You pay me too many compliments.
- I'll stop at once.

- Thank you.
- Just so you know, I meant every one.

You pretend to be bad, but...

- you're not really.
- There is no good or bad.

People are either charming
or tedious.

If I've been the latter,
I sincerely apologize.

- I'd like us to become friends.
- We already are, aren't we?

Not if you keep flattering me and
paying me silly compliments.

Define silly.

I want your word.

I find the best way to keep my
word is never to give it.

It's always a pleasure
to see a pretty woman.

Good day.

It has to be something
really special...

My wife's birthday.

This is a very special

What do you think?

The sapphire matches your eyes.

It's for my wife.

A man should never buy his
wife jewellery.

And why is that?

It makes her wonder what
he bought his mistress.

My wife has nothing to
wonder about.

She's a lucky woman.

If I was your wife...

- this is what I'd want.
- A fan?

Not for stirring the air,
for stirring the heart.

For centuries...

an erotic language between
men an women.

If a woman placed it on her breast
like this, it meant "I love you".

"When can I see you?"

"Wait for me. "

"You may kiss me. "

"We're being watched. "

I'm sold.

How much?

No, it's not for sale.

Not for sale.

It would break my
mom's heart.

My mama.

Real gold.

If you give him everything, who's
going to buy me an espresso?

My back.

And Americans everywhere.

You'd never know there was a
depression in that country.

Please, something to drink
before I faint.

They don't shop, they pillage.

And they speak loudly.

Could the entire nation be
hard of hearing?

Something in the diet, perhaps?

But we have American
friends, mama.

They don't need to know what
we say about them.

If everyone knew what everyone
said of each other...

there wouldn't be four friends
in the world.

I like America.

Name me another society that's gone
from barbarism to decadence...

without bothering to create a
civilization in between.

Tribute to American efficiency.

- There's Mr Windemere.
- He must join us then.

He can't see you, mama.

Who's that with him?

Looks like his wife.

No, I don't think it is.

I can't see now.
They're getting into the car.

It must be the wife if she's
getting into the car.

It wasn't her.

Then I must know who it is.

I think we should mind our
own business.

My own business bores me.

I much prefer other people's.

Poor little Meg,
she's so sweet.

And the girl has no mother.

- I want to take her to my breast.
- I had a similar thought.

I don't suppose Mr Windemere
would be pleased to hear it.

Merital bliss...

is a great burden to place
on two people, Tuppy.

Sometimes a third person is
needed to lighten the load.

It would seem,
Mr Windemere agrees with you.

I can guess what you were doing.

Shopping for my birthday present?

I was right.

What did you get?

Not a thing. You're too old
for presents.

- A hint. A tiny speck of a hint.
- You'll have to wait and see.

- Perfume?
- No, stop it.

A book of poems?

A dress?

A crocodile handbag like the
one the Contessa has...

with the little claws hanging
off the bottom?

No more guessing.


Promise we won't end up like those
old married couples...

sitting opposite each other at
dinner with nothing to say.

You, with nothing to say?

I promise.

We'll always tell each
other the truth?

Except around birthdays.

You're feisty.
What have you been reading?

- What do you mean?
- No, it's nice.

Turn out the lights.

- But I like to see you.
- Please?

I'll take them all.

- Good day, madam.
- Excuse me.

I bought a suit.

It's being altered.
For Margaret Windemere.

Ah, Mrs Windemere.
One moment, please.

Thank you.

Forgive me.
You're American, aren't you?

I'm from New York.
Mrs Erlynne.

Rhode Island.
Mrs Windemere.

I need an opinion from here.
Now be honesty.

Would you wear it?

Well, it doesn't leave much
to the imagination, does it?

That depends on the imagination.
Some men have more than others.

I suppose it's certainly immodest.

Do you think it's vulgar?

Some people might.

Is your husband with you?
I'd love a man's opinion.

I can tell you.
He's very conservative.

A woman doesn't know
her own husband.

Oh, I know Robert.
We've been married over a year.

A year? Pratically forever.

Here it is, signora.

Oh, thank you.

Thank you very much.
Come back again to see us.

- Goodbye
- You're not taking the hat?

The colour looks perfect on you.
Don't you like it?

No, I've nowhere to wear it.
It's not exactly church on sunday.

Why not?

Can you imagine what
people would say?

Well, if we're always guided by
other people's thoughts...

what's the point of
having our own?

It was nice meeting you,
Mrs Ewin.

- Erlynne.
- Erlynne.

She was staying in a pensione...

now she's in a villa a
few minutes from the club.

He's there.

I can't help seeing him.

He comes and goes all
hours of the day.

Of course, in public, she's
always with other men.

She wears nothing but
the latest fashions.

Somebody must be giving her a very
generous allowance.


And she'll have her hand in Tuppy's
pocket next, if he doesn't wake up.

She's nothing better than
a common prostitute.

And Mrs Windemere has no idea?

None at all.

- I'm sorry.
- She must be on the terrace.

I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to frighten you.

- Yes, you did.
- Yes, you did. What's that?

I'm making a menu for
my birthday party.

What's italian for lobster?



Very good. Now you've made me hungry.

Leave it, come on. Everyone's
lunching at the club.

Okay. I'll get Robert.

I thought you agreed not to
call me at home?

How can I seduce you if you
always bring your husband?

Too slow. Come on.

All right.

Yes, I'll be there.
In an hour.

Okay, in an hour.

It's quitting time.
We're going to lunch.

Can't, sorry.

- You're working?
- Money never sleeps.


All paying jobs absorb...

and degrade the mind.

You never had a paying job.

I rest my case.

Cultivated leisure is
man's true calling.

- I have to send some telegrams in town.
- I'll wait for you.

I'll be all afternoon.
I don't want you to waste the day.

- Do you mind, John?
- Do I mind?

No, of course not.

If you have to escort that woman to
the opera, please don't sit with us.

Think of Alessandra.

Mrs Erlynne has her own seats.

Who pays for them?

Her uncle just died.
She's come into some money.

And Mr Windemere's visits?

He's managing her investments,
of course.

You're so fond of gossip.

You don't give the truth a chance
to put its pants on.

It's not the truth that's going without
pants, dear Tuppy.

Would you mind not smoking?

Opera makes me feel so romantic.

Anything too stupid to be
said is sung.

How's that romantic?

And the women are
always so fleshy!

Excuse me, that's my foot.

Right over here?

What did I tell you?

Stop, boy!

Fried anchovies and clams
in a bog. Delicious.

Careful, it's hot.

You told Robert we were
going to the club.

I have a very poor sense
of direction.

You have a very poor sense
of decorum.

I never use that word.
I'm not sure what it means.

- At the club we'd be with other people.
- You're right.

Here we are,
in the sunshine...

eating fish, literally
just off the boat...

when we could be squashed between Lord
Tubby and Cecil the Scintillating...

listening to one or the
other gripe about his digestion...

while the Contessa, in a
counter-medley, wails that...

Alessandra cares more for...

the mating habits of the
blue bellied finch...

than those of her own species,
and the widow Plymdale...

bats her eyes logingly every
passing pair of trou.

All of which is time well
spent in my book.

So, yes, I take your point.

I can't argue. At the club, we'd
be with other people.

Afraid we'll be seen?

Set the chins wagging?

Do you know what I find
worse than being talked about?

Not being talked about at all.

Mrs Erlynne will see you upstairs.

In her bedroom.

Thank you. I won't be long.

"I won't be long. "

This is expensive.

- Nothing but the best for you.
- I know, I paid for it.

Well, there is that.

Should we be drinking this
early in the day?

Well, somewhere in the world
it's very late.

I don't want you thinking
I make a habit of this.

Is that why you look so guilty?

I don't like lying to her.

I should go.
She's only gone to lunch.

This is all the cash
I have right now.

I'll set you up with an account.

You can draw on it directly.

I met Meg.

It was by chance.

It's all right,
she had no idea who I was.

You spoke to her?

Yes, for a minute.
She's very pretty.

How did you two meet?
Was it love at first sight?

I have to go.

I'm curious. It's only natural.

There's no point
to these questions.

- Do you love her?
- Very much.

I'd rather cut off my arm
than see Meg hurt.

Are you protecting her or
your reputation?

You don't know me at all.

Did he work on your
wedding night?

He's very conscientious
and I respect him for it.

Suppose it wasn't work,
suppose he had a mistress.

Well, I couldn't respect that.

Once a wife's been betrayed...

she has the freedom to
do likewise.

No, that would make her as bad
as her husband, wouldn't it?

Modern marriage thrives on
mutual deception.

We are completely honest
with each other.

You should make
him your model.

I intend to.
From this moment on.

Don't you like it?

Oh, I'm saving it for Robert.
He loves figs.

Share mine, then.

Can we go to the
telegraph office?

He probably hasn't eaten.

Alberto? Fabrizio?

Oh, what's his name?




And another thing, your Mrs Erlynne
has no principles at all.

I like people more than principles.

And people without principles,
even better.

But Lord Augustus, she only
wants you for your money.

Now why shouldn't she?
It's my best asset.

Old-ish, fat-ish,
absolutely no brain...

heaps and heaps of banknotes.

No need to
put yourself down, Tuppy.

Your friends can always do that.

Down by the marina, strolling along,
pretty as you please...

guess who I saw with
Lord Darlington?

They haven't seen him today.

Do you know where
my husband is?

I thought he left
after you, signora.


How was lunch?

We went to the telegraph office.
Where were you?

Well, we must have just
missed each other.

Now I see uncle.
He's with the american woman.

Too much rouge and not
enough clothing.

She's appealing to the worst
in the poor man.

It's what women do best.

I heard she left New York
without paying her hotel bill.

Quite a scandal.

- Who? Someone you know?
- Someone you don't want to know.

No. Steer clear.

She's the one
with Lord Augustus.

You've met Mrs Erlynne,
haven't you?

- No.
- But I've seen you.

Oh, was that your foot?

Wherever do you find
shoes to fit?

My feet are in perfect proportion
to the rest of me.

Oh, yes, of course.

Though they have a habit of finding
themselves in peculiar places.

Those people are
staring right at us.


Don't worry about them.

It's my brother's wife and
her friend, Lady Plymdale.

Lord Plymdale passed on
last year. Liver, I think.

- Poor woman.
- Oh, yes, very sad.

Her hair turned quite
gold with grief.

Erlynne, that's right.
She came into some money.

- I made an investment for her.
- An inheritance, I suppose?

The woman in the shop.
I told you, remember?

The dress?

No, back and almost no front.
You could see everything.

It was indecent.

You're just not used to
Italian fashions, that's all.

No, I'm sure your wife is
on the mark.

Mrs Erlynne is a
notorious Jezebel.

That's a slanderous statement. If you
can't back it up, I wouldn't repeat it.

Robert always gives everybody
the benefit of the doubt.

I'm sorry, I just don't like gossip.

Gossip's all right, it's the
moralising that's in poor taste.

She's got her eye on me,
if you know what I mean.

So I wouldn't worry about what they
say, it's all cats in a bag.

Why, what do they say about me?

That I'm a wanton woman?

Brazen - with a past.

A brazen woman.
Oh, dear.

You're very brazen yourself
to be seen in my company.

I've got a bit of a past
myself you know.

Married and divorced twice.

Every experience is of value and
whatever you say...

about marriage it certainly
is an experience.

People call something
an experience...

They usually mean
it was a mistake.

I couldn't agree more.

We've all got a couple of
skeletons in the closet.

If they're going to rattle,
they may as well dance.

You're absolutely right.

Whenever anyone agrees with me,
I'm sure I must be wrong.

You like to be the
odd man out, do you?

I'll never understand women.

Women don't want to be understood,
they want to be loved.

You're dead wrong on that.

You're very understanding.

That girl in lilac,
do you know her?

Oh, yes, it's Robert's wife.

All lovey-dovey,
very charming.

I wish she'd stop staring at me.

She isn't at all.

Those women must be
giving her an earful.

- You mustn't mind.
- I don't, as a rule.

Look, it's terribly stuffy in here,
I can hardly breathe.

Shall we go? Would you mind?

I can't think of anything
I'd mind less.


I can't believe it - she's got him!

Poor Tuppy.

Shall I get a taxi?

- Could we walk?
- Why not.

Beautiful city.

The Romans call it
"The Land of the Sirens... "

from Homer's Odyssey.

Is that so? Aren't you clever?

- I read it somewhere.
- I like a good read myself.

Nothing too laborious. I don't want
to tamper with natural ignorance.

- It's the key to happiness.
- Do you really think so?

Absolutely. Good health,
it's important, but...

ignorance is the key. Too much
knowledge and you're doomed.

Well, here we are.

Aren't you going to invite me
in for a nightcap?

The sirens were said to be
half woman, half monster.

They lured the sailors with
their songs.

The ships crashed on the
rocks and the men all drowned.

Oh, let's go in. You can tell me
more about it.

Poor Lady Plymdale, I think she
really likes Tuppy.

- Where do you suppose they went?
- Who?

Tuppy and Mrs Erlynne.

Probably back to her apartment.


Do you think he'll invite
her to my party?

I'll make sure he doesn't.

- Well, don't be mean about it.
- No, of course not.

It's just I don't want anyone
to be uncomfortable, you know?

Someone like that makes
things awkward.

You can say it's a small party.
Private, just friends.

- No investors.
- All right.

It's not just girl gossip. John
Darlington knows all abou it.

He said her friend is
a married man.

It's disgusting.

You know what, people like to
hear themselves talk.

- Why do you insist on defending her?
- I'm not defending her.

Yes, you are.

Let's drop it.

It's just... Should you
be helping her invest?

Everyone knows how she
came into the money.

New topic.

Close your eyes.

- Robert?
- Close your eyes.

It's after midnight.
Happy birthday.

- It's beautiful.
- Do you like it?

Thank you.

- I love you.
- I love you, too.

Oh, my!

- Thank you.
- Don't mention it.

You like it?

Food is the rock...

on which we build.

No love is pure and simple
as the love of food.

Love is rarely pure, Lord Augustus.
And never simple.

I don't think you've been
in love, Mrs Erlynne.

You may presume
to call me Stella...

but don't presume
to know my heart.

For your information,
I'm always in love.

Good. Excellent attitude.
And you're beautiful.

Smart, too. Smarter than me,
I expect, but...

that's not saying much,
I'm afraid.

No, I think I'll do very well
to marry you.

How very practical.

I've begun too many romances
out of sentiment.

They always end in settlement.

I could listen to you all night,
Lord Augustus.

Tuppy, please.

You'll think about my offer?

Men don't marry women like me.

There aren't any women like you.

At least, not among the women
I've met, and I've met my share.

I was married - I didn't take to it.

People change. You might
feel differently.

When I think of it, I think
of a room...

where you can't open a window.

Where there is no window.

Every day you wake up
and the room is smaller.

You don't notice, not at first.
It happens slowly.

In inches.

Then one morning,
you open your eyes...

and the room is so small...

you can't move.

You can't take a breath.

You have to get out.

You can't think of anything else.

Or anyone else.

You married the wrong man,
that's all.

He married the wrong woman.

It's late.

It's time for bed.


"... Perchance to dream".

That's the bard, you know.
I'm a bit of a reader myself.

So you said. Goodnight, Tuppy.

I hate the taste of tobacco.

Well - that's it then.

I quit. On the spot.

What else can I tell you?

I'm a very rich man, you know.

You're a very nice man.

Go to bed.

You know, I'm glad I quit.

Filthy habit, really.


Is there going to be a lion tamer,
or is it just the usual clowns?

Robert was afraid it might rain.

I just wanted a few people for dinner
but he said you are only  once.

I know plenty of women who, of their
own accord, turn  year after year.

I'm sure you can be  as many times.

I think it's silly to lie about your age.

- You have no redeeming vices.
- I hope not.

Happy Birthday.

The invitation said no gifts.

That's why I brought it now.

It's too expensive. I know you
don't mean anything by it, but...

it wouldn't look right.

Gold looks right with everything.
Just wear it. No-one has to know.

I'd know.

I do mean something by it.

- Please...
- It's a gift of friendship, Maggie.

You'll hurt me deeply if you refuse.

Now look what you've made me do.

A little sincerity can be a very
dangerous thing.

Any more could be fatal.

Just take the damn thing before
I die and ruin your terrace.

It's very pretty. Thank you.

Where's Robert? Off sending
another telegram?

Signora, the florist is waiting
for his money.

I'll have to get it from
Mr Windemere.

Can he come back later?

Has Robert a cheque-book
in his office?

- Can you sign on the account?
- Ah, yes, of course.

Tell him to wait.
I'll see you tonight.

People don't always behave
the way we expect.

Just the opposite. The truth is I
don't want to see you hurt.

What are you talking about?

You may need a friend
one of these days.

When you do, I'm here.
Will you remember that?

Yes, of course.

I came as quickly as I could.

We're all so distressed over it.

But you mustn't take it personally.

Mrs Erlynne is one of
those women...

that attract men like a
bee to a flame.

- A moth.
- Bee to a moth.

There must be some
other explanation.

I have an idea - shall
we go for a walk?

When there's marriage without love,
there'll be love without marriage.

But Robert and I married
for love...

Of course. And so did I.

But before the year was over...

Benito was lifting all kinds
of petticoats.

I had to dismiss my best maid.

No, no, I remember.

I passed her on to
my cousin.

Her husband was so
short-sighted, I thought.

But he navigated by scent,
it seems.

So unfortunate.

Believe me, darling,
it happens to us all.

Undying love is like the
ghost in your villa.

Everybody talks about it...

but try and find one person
who has seen it.

- Can I ask you a favour?
- Anything at all.

About, Mrs Erlynne...

Very clever woman.

She threw me out last night.

Knows what a fool I am.
Knows it as well as I do myself.

She's meeting me here
for tea, though.

It's a great thing to come across a
woman who thoroughly understands me.

Would you mind not bringing
her to our party tonight?

That's the favour?

Meg feels it might make
things awkward.

So it's true, then?

I don't believe it.
You don't seem the type.

Though I will say Mrs Erlynne's damn
fascinating. Hard to resist, but...

You're not serious, are you?

I warn you, you'll have to
fight me for her.

And I'm a man in love.

What are you talking about?

This ways, Mrs Erlynne.

- Thanks.
- You're welcome.

- Come with me.
- Where are you taking me?

- Let go of my arm.
- I have to talk to you.

I'm meeting Lord Augustos.

You must leave Amalfi at once.

And go where? You've paid my
rent here for the season.

I'll pay it somewhere else. I want
you on the first plane out tomorrow.

- I don't understand.
- People are talking.

About us.

I don't see the humour.

Bury a real secret and
a false one pops up in its place?

There's a certain irony,
you have to admit.

I'm not ready to leave.
I'm enjoying myself here.

I'm begging you.

Think of Meg. If she knew that
you were her mother...

it would destroy her.

Meg, of the magnificent

Family scandal is unhealthy
for aspiring politicians.

I'm not the only pragmatist
in this room.

Pragmatist? Twenty years,
and not a word.

You turn up when she marries
a man with money.

You call that pragmatism?
I can think of other words.

Are you trying to hurt
my feelings?

Do you have any? That can't
be purchased, I mean.

How much - to get you
on the first flight out?

I feel every time he's
kissed me it's filthy.

A lie, every minute we've
been together.

How could he?

Every man is born truthful
and every man dies a liar.

Now, whatever you do, you
mustn't make a scene.

It's too unpleasant.
And you waste your energy.

No, of course not. I wouldn't.

Crying is the refuge
of plain women.

Pretty women go shopping.

Be on that plane.
I'll send the cash.

Did I hear you correctly?

That Meg Windemere is
your daughter?

My daughter?

Robert's wife?

How dare you.

She must be twenty at least.
Her mother?

Do I look as old as all that?

Of course not.

I must have nodded off.

You were dozing.
Go back to sleep.

Come on.

No business tonight.
We can talk another day.

- Good to see you.
- Lovely party.

More champagne.

Have a great party.

- Good evening, Mr Dumby.
- Oh, good evening, Mrs Stutfield.

Last party of the season,
I suppose.

- It's been delightful, hasn't it?
- Quite delightful.

Good evening. Here it is,
the last party of the season.

I suppose so. It's been a very dull
season, though, hasn't it?

Dull. Yes, terribly dull.

- Evening, Cecil.
- Hello, Dumby.

I suppose this'll be the last
party of the season.

Surely not. Probably
be two more at least.

I had the oddest dream today.

A bit of it has just
come back to me...

So what are we drinking?

- Where's the birthday girl?
- Transforming herself.

Sausages and women.

If you want to enjoy the

never watch the
preparation of either.

- Is that new?
- Just out of the box. Do you like it?

You might be a little cold.
I'll get you a wrap.

And spoil the lines? Didn't your friend
teach you about Italian fashion?

My friend?

I saw the cheques. Don't even...

Lady Plymdale, so good of
you to come.

Do you want another glass of

Let's get us both some.

Why don't you ask me how I am?

I like people to ask.

It shows a widespread
interest in my health.

And you can't imagine how
comforting that is.

Lovely party.

- How are you, Cecil?
- Oh, not well at all.

I'd like Alessandra...

to know Mr. Hopper
from Austrália.

- Would you introduce her?
- Would you just excuse me for a moment?

Go with Mr Windemere.
Thank you.

She's my last, you know.
I will miss her.

But it's best to get them out
of the nest...

before they turn on you.

Girls begin by loving their mothers.
But as they grow they judge us.

Rarely do they forgive us.

Oh, poor fool.
He'll never learn.

Which fool?
Don't make me choose.

he's brought Mrs Erlynne.

All the women will snub her.

She may have better
luck with the men.

It is because of men...

that women distrust other women.

Women don't trust women,
men don't trust women...

no-one trusts women.

It's what binds the Hindu
and the Catholic.

I know I promised, but I must tell
you how beautiful you look tonight.

Well, if you must, you must.

I beg your pardon, I was
looking for someone else.

Well, you found me.

Mrs Erlynne.

May I call you Stella?

Lord Augustus is getting
me champagne.

You and I can trade favours.

Tempting, but no.

I'd rather he didn't see us under the
moonlight. He might misunderstand.

Hear me out.

Windemere's fortune exceeds Tuppy's.

Why change horses now?

You can have waht you
want and Meg's free.


She hasn't the courage to leave him.

But if it's clear to her that
he's with you...

He's not.

You've been buying idle gossip.
You should get a refund.

Excuse me.

I had to invite her, Dumby.

The point is, she's a changed woman.
You can see it in her eyes.

Do you think she'd look at
you if you were poor?

Do you think I'd look at her
if she were ugly?

Fair's fair, exchange rates
and so forth.

I know she's had her this
and her that, but...

if a man can tolerate
his own past...

Why not a past in his wife?
At any rate...

it's wipe the slate.
Clean start.

She and I, we...
understand each other.

And you know what they say.

Every saint has past,
every sinner has a future.

I'm going to ask her to marry
me if she'll have me.

You know why they call it
an altar, Tuppy?

It's where they make
human sacrifices.

I had a dream about
Mrs Erlynne today.

Yes, well...

you couldn't help it,
I suppose. She...

she is quite the woman.

But in future...

please try to dream of
someone else.

Don't you think you've
had enough?

- Lovely party.
- Thanks for coming.


I have to change.

- Did you see her?
- Don't.

You're lovely.

It's ridiculous on a woman at her age.

Why didn't you tell me?

You said you were my friend.

Men and women can't be friends.

- Meg?
- No.

Can you stay with him?

Can you get into bed
with him tonight?

Tomorrow night?
Nights after that?

You said yourself, there's no
forgiving a man who betrays his wife.

What will you choose?

A false degrading marriage, or your
own true self, free of compromise?

I've loved you from the beginning.
It's the truth.

Moment you held out your hand to me in
the glove shop, I thought 'there she is".

And then, suppose I'd walked
by without stopping?

Just the thought of it.

I've never loved anyone until now.



I'm sorry, I didn't mean
to startle you.

I'm looking for Meg. If you see her,
it's important.

Have you had a row?

A little misunderstanding.

Try the bar.

Tuppy's given up smokes for her.


Women inspire us to great things.

Then somehow prevent us
from doing any of them.

He's proposing to her.

It will be his third time up the aisle.

Hope trumps experience, Dumby.

It's God's joke on the human race.

He's quite convinced she's
changed her spots.

Care to make it interesting?

I told you I was serious.

Hasn't anyone warned you
against me?

Oh, yes. Everyone.

Put it away.

Now, you don't have to love
me right away.

Think of the money.

Suppose I marry you, and in a year
your investments go sour.

I'll be stuck with a pauper.

On the other hand...

I could drop dead on the golf course
next Tuesday...

and you'd be left very

Life's a gamble, Stella.

I don't know what to say.

People say too much as it is.

Mrs Windemere and
Mrs Erlynne...

look like mother and daughter,
don't they?

They're wearing the same dress.

Well, that'll be it.

Come away with me.

We could set sail tonight.


Is this your idea of a joke?

I need to speak to you.
It's about Darlington.

Follow me.

He's in love with Meg.

I know we said cash, so I'm raising
the amount. I want you to leave now.

I'd be more concerned
if I were you.

You're not me.

The problem is I've been
lying to my wife...

and I'm not very good at it.

I can add up the rumours...

and show her a big fat zero.
I'm Tuppy's girl.

- Case closed.
- I'll do my own explaining, get out.

I'd like to say goodbye to her.

You said goodbye to her twenty
years ago. No second chances.

I'll leave first.

- We shouldn't walk out together.
- You're the expert.

Count to a .

Mrs Windemere?

Dear Robert, I thought our
marriage was perfect.

I thought we would
always be together.

If you love Mrs Erlynne,
you should be with her.

I feel so foolish.

Everyone knew but me.

Meg, let me in,
I wanna talk to you.

Please, open the door.

There is nothing between me
and Stella Erlynne.

How can you think it?

She's old for God's sake.
She dyes her hair.

She paints her face
like an Indian.

She's a cold,
selfish woman.

Not all attractive
once you know her.

Look, she was going
to damage someone.

A person who'd never done
her any harm.

She came here with a secret that
would have broken your heart.

Look, I wanted to tell you. I just
didn't know how.

I was trying to protect you,
you have to believe me.

She asked me for money
and I gave it to her, but...

I'm not proud of
being blackmailed...

I didn't know what else to do.

I should have told you
at the start.

I'm not lying to you now, I...

I love you.

And there's no other
woman in my heart...

or in my bed.


please open the door.

We both had too
much champagne.

We can talk in the morning.

- Splendid.
- Thank you for coming.

- Lovely party. Goodnight, Robert.
- I'll see you at the club.

- There's the girl.
- Take Windemere to the club.

Keep him out all night.
Get him drunk if you have to.

- Just don't let him come home.
- Why?

What? What?

I like you, I do.

But if this is going to work
between us, you can't do that.

- Do what?
- "Where? What? Why?"

I can't always explain
myself to myself...

let alone anyone else.

Good for you -
takes the pressure off.

Nine times out of ten, men
don't give two pins about why...

they just feel obliged
to take an interest.

So, I'll do exactly as you wish...

and I'll feel as if
we're married already.

Oh, can you get yourself
home all right?

Why, Tuppy...

you're the first man who's
asked me that.

I don't need to be the first,
Stella. Just the last.

There's a taxi waiting
at the end of the dock.

My husband sent you.

Your husband thinks you're
in bed sleeping off...

a litre of Perrier Jouet.

Let's go.

He gave me money,
that's all.

I'm an old friend of the family.

Do you think I'm stupid?

Married to man you love
and running off...

with an international playboy?
Do I think you're stupid?

This is none of your business.

You think because hems are higher
and women can vote...

that anything has
really changed for us?

Friends will stop calling.

He'll be invited into homes
you're not.

You manage.

Don't compare yourself.

It takes practice and
skill to live without regret.

A marriage takes
your whole heart.

Selfish people can't pull it off,
but you're not that.

You can succeed where
the rest of us fail.

- Why should I believe you?
- Don't believe me, believe him.

He's been faithful to you,
I'll swear it on my life.

He told you to lie.

He doesn't even
know you're here.

He never has to know.

You want me to lie again?

Everything's spoiled
between us. I can't.

What's happened to you?

Who taught you to be so

You made a mistake,
don't make it worse.

You shut your eyes to everything
that isn't perfect...

you're just asking to fall
into a hole.


Go ahead.

Step over love to pick up
pride and guilt.

What will that trade
be worth in a year?

In twenty?

Darlington, does your boat
really have to be so big?

You know what they say about
men with big boats.

- I should be getting home.
- You'll take a cigar, surely?

I thought you'd quit
for the love of a good woman.

Good woman isn't exactly the
moniker I'd choose for Mrs Erlynne.

You imply she's
the devil's handmaiden.

Dumby and I are just concerned
for your future.

Devilish women are a bother,
and good ones are a bore.

That's the only difference.

Mrs Erlynne is neither a bother
nor a bore.

You change your habits,
but I doubt she'll change hers.

I've bet Dumby fifty quid.

Enough of this.

I won't hear any more words
said against her.

She's everything I've ever
wanted in a woman.

My dear Tuppy, in this world
there are only two tragedies.

One is not getting what one wants,
the other is getting it.

The last is very much the worst.
The last is a real tragedy.


It has its pains - ask Edna.

Celibacy has no pleasures.

- What would you know about it?
- I can learn.

If it will prove my love.

A woman who needs proof?

Before she'll leave her husband.

John, you are a cad.

We're all in the gutter.

But some of us are looking
at the stars.

What men call gallantry...

ans God's adultery...

is far more common
where the climate's sultry.

That's the one I bought Meg.

For her birthday.

Are you sure?

She must have left it last week
when you came for lunch.

She was carrying it tonight.

One fan looks very much
like another.


- I've no idea.
- Meg's not here, is she?

No, of course not.

- What's that?
- I didn't hear anything.

She's downstairs.

Calm down.
You've had too much...

Don't make an ass of yourself.

Too late.

- Bloody hell!
- You better put some ice on that.

I thought it was mine.

I must have picked up
Mrs Windemere's by mistake.

Tuppy, I swear, I had no idea.

You owe Cecil fifty quid. Sorry.

It seems I'm the ass,
Windemere. Not you.

I spent the night on John's boat.

I had too much to drink.

Can I ask you to forgive me?

I did something very stupid
last night.

You're not in my league.

I made a complete ass of myself.

Ruined it for poor Tuppy.

Better now than later, I guess.


His engagement to
Mrs Erlynne is off.

What are you talking about?

Last night on John's yacht, Mrs
Erlynne was waiting in his bedroom.

Look, I was drunk, I thought...

I saw your fan, I thought that...

I didn't think.

It was her.

She said she took it by mistake.

- No, that's not true.
- Oh, of course not.

Better count the spoons.

You were right
not to want her here.

I'd have expected more from John,
though. Tuppy's his friend.

She didn't take my fan.
I left it on the...

There's a telephone call
from America.

It's your father, Mr Windemere.

Not now.

No, I'll take it.
He'll worry.

- I love you.
- I love you.

And a woman brought this.

She's waiting downstairs.

Thank you.

What are you doing here?
We had an agreement.

I came to return the fan.

How is your wife
feeling this morning?

You don't get within ten feet
of my wife.

I only asked how she was.

If you're here to tell
her who you are...

it's better coming from me.

It's my secret, not yours.

You've kept it very well.

Twenty years is a long time.

It doesn't seem to have been
too much of a strain.

You see a little girl...

the right age,
you push the thought aside.

Close the door.

Only at three o'clock,
that in-between hour...

too late to do anything,
too early for dinner...

doors come flying open.

I don't believe you feel
anything for her.

You care about yourself,
and no-one else.


Your father needs to talk to you,
he says it's important.

Mrs Erlynne
came to return your fan.

She was just leaving.

No, don't leave, I need to
speak with you.

- She'll miss her plane.
- Just a few minutes.

Your father's waiting on the phone.
He said it's important.

It would be a great mistake...

to miss your plane.

I came to make sure
you got home safely.

You can't leave yet.

You're my only witness that
nothing happened.

Your witness?

I'm going to tell him the truth.

What you did is your mistake.

Your sack of bricks. You carry it.

You don't confess and had it off
to someone who loves you.

But everybody thinks
you were having...

They'll think it anyway.
It doesn't matter.

That's not true,
it matters to Tuppy.

I can't be responsible
for ruining that.

You wanna spoil the one
good thing I've ever done?

It's only right to tell him
the truth.

You love each other!
That's your truth.

Why you giving up your chance
of marriage to save mine?

- It doesn't make any sense.
- I'll tell you the truth.

But first, promise you're not
going to make...

some grand confession.

Swear it on whatever you
hold sacred.

I swear on my mother.


She's my guardian angel.

My whole life, I've wanted
to be like her.

I'm sure she wouldn't hold you
to such a standard.

She'd be so ashamed of me now.

We all straddle the abyss,
Mrs Windemere.

If we never look down, how can
we know who we are?

A mother could never be ashamed
of a daughter who didn't fall in.

I hope you're right.

I've never been more certain
of anything.

I swear, them.

What is it you wanted to tell me?


I'll miss my plane.

Goodbye, Mrs Windemere.

I hope we meet again.

So do I.

Mrs Erlynne.

- You didn't tell her?
- No.

Why not?

She has a mother.

A photograph in a locket.

It's a fairy tale.

A kind, caring mother, who loves
and watches over her.

I'm not going to take that away.

And neither should you.

Mrs Erlynne,
One thousand Dollars.

For one night I thought you were in
love with another woman.

For one night I thought you were in
love with another man.

- She was right.
- Who?

Mrs Erlynne said we can't
shut our eyes...

to everything that isn't perfect...

otherwise we might fall
into a huge abyss.

We almost fell.

She's a smart woman.

She's a good woman.

Better than I thought.

She insisted.


Something to remember her by.

And she explained everything.


Oh, yes, couse.
The flat tyre, the dog.

The Brazilian taxi diver with the
pregnant daughter...

who lost her purse.

And the only thing I can say
in my defense is...

that I have no defense.

I jumped to conclusions and
thought the worst.

Where's this old crate going to?

I don't know.

Will you marry me when get there?

A man gets the wife he deserves.

Well, I've been a very, very bad man.

You know, John,
love's a battleground.

It was only a flesh wound.

Men advance,
women resist.

We retreat and they
block our escape.

We can't win.

The sexes will never understand
each other.

Only because they take such pains
to deceive each other.

Oh, hello Dumby,
are you awake?

Am I winning?

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