Mildred Pierce Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Mildred Pierce script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Joan Crawford movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Mildred Pierce. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Mildred Pierce Script






What's on your mind, lady?



You know what l think? l think maybe

you had an idea you'd take a swim.



Leave me alone.



lf you take a swim, l'd have

to take a swim. ls that fair?



Because you feel like killing yourself,

l gotta get pneumonia.



Never thought about that, did you?

Okay. Think about it.



Go on, beat it now.



Go on home before we both take a swim.



Mildred. What are you doing

around this pigeon perch? Slumming?




-You sick or something?



No. l don't think so.



lf you're feeling weak, why not come

have a drink on the house? For free.



Come on.



Buying this joint was

the smartest move l ever made.



-Give us a couple drinks, will you, Tony?

-Yes, sir.



l hope you're not sore at me about

this afternoon. Strictly business, see?



lt might just as well have been you

selling me out. You can't expect--



What are you looking

at me like that for?



You can talk your way out of anything.

You're good at that.



ln my business you have to be.



Only now, l'd rather talk myself into

something. Do you know what l mean?



-Still trying?

-lt's a habit.



-l've tried once a week since we were kids.

-Twice a week.




Anyhow, l'm still drawing blanks.



You never used to drink it

straight like that.



l've learned how these last few months.

l've learned a lot of things.



-Like, for instance?

-Like, for instance, that's rotten liquor.



There's better stuff to drink

at the beach house, Wally.



-ls that a dare?

-Could be.



All right. l'll take it.



You know l like good stuff.



-Maybe this is my lucky day.




-Come in.

-How about your husband?



ls he getting broad-minded

all of a sudden?



Monte isn't here. Besides, you can talk

your way out of anything, can't you?



l get by all right.



-You keep saying that.

-Do l?



-Nervous, Wally?

-No, l'm cold. Temporarily.



-lsn't this more comfortable?

-Yeah, l guess so, but....



-What's the matter?




-You don't seem very happy here.

-l'm happy. Believe me.



lnside, my heart is singing.



-That's pretty corny, Wally.

-Well, l'm a corny guy, but smart too.



-l wonder about things.

-What things?



For instance, l wonder why

you brought me here tonight.



All of a sudden, husband gone,

soft lights, quiet room, opportunity.




-Maybe l find you irresistible, Wally.



You make me shiver, Mildred.

You always have.



You make love so nicely.

You always have.



All my life when l've wanted something,

l've gone after it. l get it too.



lt may take me a little time,

but l get what l want.



-Do you? lt must be nice.

-Yeah. lt is.



-l'm sorry.

-Hey, what's the score?



l feel sticky.

l think l'd better change my dress.



Yeah, sure, Mildred.

lt's a good idea.



l'll only be a minute.



-Leave the door open so we can talk.

-l like to hear you talk.



So do l. Something about the sound

of my own voice fascinates me.



l'm glad you're not sore about me

taking you over the hurdles.



l didn't mean to cut up your business.

l just got started and couldn't stop.



l see an angle, l start cutting myself

a piece of throat. lt's an instinct.



With me, being smart's a disease.

Know what l mean?



Hey, Mildred!



Hurry up!

You know l don't like to drink alone.



Say something. This one-sided

conversation is beginning to bore me.









Come on. Don't play any games.



l'm a nice guy up to a certain point,

but don't get me sore. Mildred.



What's the matter?



What kind of business is this, anyway?



Hit that house with the light.



Stop, you!



Okay, okay.



What's the hurry, pal?



-No gun.

-Better take a look in that house.



This guy came through that window

like he was shot out of a cannon.



-Get that from the window?

-l cut myself shaving.



Get going, smart guy.

You need some fixing.



Oh, brother.

l'm so smart, it's a disease.



All right, go ahead.



What were you doing in there, pal?

Picking up souvenirs?



No, pal. Nothing petty.

This is a pretty big night for you.



Lots of excitement.

There's a stiff in there.



ls that so?



And l suppose you were running

right to the station to report it?



He says there's a dead guy

in the house.



-You never saw deader.

-Better call headquarters.



Car    calling K-Q-V-B.



Car    calling K-Q-V-B.



Mother, where have you been?

They won't tell me anything.



-Who won't tell you? Who's ''they''?

-These men.



Mrs. Beragon? We're from headquarters.



The inspector would like you

to have a little talk with him.



-Why? What's the matter?

-l'm sorry.



We only ask the questions. Besides,

we don't know what the trouble is.



-lt's probably just something about the car.

-At this time of night?



Whatever it is, l'll take care of it.

Don't think about it. Now, go to bed.




-Please, go on.



-Can't you tell me what's happened?

-We'd better go.



-What's the matter?

-l didn't want your daughter to hear.



lt's your husband. He's been murdered.






-Hi, Joe, what'd you get?

-This is Mrs. Pierce. l mean, Beragon.



Which? Pierce or Beragon?

Make up your mind.



-Mildred Pierce Beragon.

-Okay. Wheel her in.



Right over there, please.



Mrs. Beragon just came in.



Sit down. He'll be right with you.



Look. l bruise easy.



-lda, what are you--?

-No talking.



lda Corwin.



-Well, what is this, a class reunion?

-Looks like it.



lt'll be tough talking

my way out of this.



-Keep moving.

-All right, all right.



Hi, Ed.



-Charley, what's the good word?

-My feet hurt.



l'm crying. How about a nice,

juicy item for the morning edition?



-Nope. Not today.

-What's she in for?



Parking gum under her seat

in a movie. Satisfied?



Okay, Charley. Okay.



-l'm sorry. l just couldn't help it.

-No talking.



Take a seat.



You know that guy?



Yes. We were married once.



Paper, lady?



No, thank you.






He wants you now.

Now you can talk.



lnspector Peterson, Mrs. Beragon.



-How do you do?

-How do you do?



Won't you sit down?



Sorry about your husband.

lt must be a shock to you.



Well, l....



l'm afraid l don't quite know

how to begin.



You see, the fact of the matter is,

Mrs. Beragon, we don't need you.



You don't need me?



l don't know how to apologize for

bringing you down here for nothing.



But, you understand, we had to be sure.

Well, now we are sure.



Aren't you going to ask me questions?

l thought you would.



l know. Everybody thinks detectives

do nothing but ask questions...



...but detectives have souls,

the same as anyone else.




-No, thank you.



Go ahead. lt's all right.



Mrs. Beragon, being a detective is like,

well, like making an automobile.



You take all the pieces

and put them together one by one.



First thing you know, you got

an automobile. Or a murderer.



And we got him.



You're in the clear, Mrs. Beragon.

The case is on ice.



Well, you can go now.



All right, men.



Could you--?



-Would you tell me who---?

-Who did it?



Sure. You're entitled to know.









Yes, he did it.



-Your first husband. Pierce.

-No, Bert, l won't let you do this.



And Wally Fay?

How do you know he didn't do it?



Fay had no motive. This man had.



You see, we start out with nothing.



Just a corpse,

if you'll pardon the expression.



We look at the corpse and we say,

''Why? What was the reason?''



And when we find the reason,

we find the man that made the corpse.



ln this case, him.



Come on.



-But he didn't do it. l know he didn't.

-Do you?



The murder was committed with this.



-Do you know who it belongs to?

-No. l don't know.



We do. lt belongs to Pierce.

That's fact number one.



Fact number two:

He doesn't deny killing Beragon.



He seems to think it was a good idea.



But he didn't. He couldn't.

He's too gentle and kind.



Okay. He's kind and gentle.

He's wonderful.



But if he's so wonderful, Mrs. Beragon,

why did you divorce him?



Because l was wrong.



lt's taken me four years to find

that out, but now l know l was wrong.



Let's see. Four years ago he was

in the real-estate business, wasn't he?



Yes. He and Wally Fay were partners.

For a long time they made good money.



They built a lot of houses.

Suddenly, everybody stopped buying.



-The boom was over.




Then one day they split up.

Wally was in and Bert was out.



They weren't partners anymore.



That day when Bert came home,

he was out of a job.



-Here's the mail for you, Mr. Pierce.

-Thanks, Jack.



-Have you got a change-of-address card?

-Why, yes.



Thank you.



We lived on Corvalis Street

where all the houses looked alike.



Ours was number       .



I was always in the kitchen.



I felt as though I'd lived

in a kitchen all my life...



...except for the few hours

it took to get married.



-That you, Bert?

-Yeah. Who else?



-l thought it might be Mrs. Whitley.

-Well, it isn't.



I married Bert when I was    .

I never knew any other kind of life.



Just cooking and washing

and having children.



Two girls, Veda and Kay.



l pressed your pants. You might want

to see McLary about that sales job.



lt'd be nice if you left me alone once.

When the time comes, l'll get a job.



l know you will, Bert.

l was just trying to help.



Good afternoon.

Package from E. Langlin.



-Thank you.

-Thank you.



-What's that?

-A dress.



For Veda?



l thought so.

Where'd you get the money?



Making cakes and pies

for the neighbors. l earned it.



Right, throw it up to me that

l can't support my own family.



l don't say half as much as most women

would say with nothing but bills to pay.



There'd be less bills if you didn't

raise the kids like l was a millionaire.



No wonder they're so fresh

and stuck up. That Veda.



l'm so fed up with her high-hatting me,

one of these days l'll slap her face.



Bert, if you ever dare

touch Veda, l'll--



All right. All right.



You're trying to buy love from them,

and it won't work.



l make enough to get by,

but no, that isn't good enough.



Veda needs a piano, lessons

and fancy dresses...


            she can smirk her way through

a piece a talented  -year-old could play.



Veda has talent.

Just ask any of the neighbors.



She plays the piano like l shoot pool.



And Kay, a nice, normal kid who wants

to skip rope and play baseball.



But she has ballet lessons. She has to

be a ballerina so you can feel proud.



All right. What of it?



What if l do want them

to amount to something?



l'd do anything for those kids,

understand? Anything.



-You can't do their crying for them.

-l'll do that too.



-They'll never cry if l can help it.

-There's something wrong.



l don't know what. l'm not smart

that way. But l know it isn't right to--




-I just wanted to know if--



Yes? Yes, he is.



-Who's calling?

-Mrs. Biederhof.



Just a moment.



lt's for you. Mrs. Biederhof.



Maggie, l can't talk now.

l told you not to--



-I tried to call you at the office.

-l can't talk to you now. Later.



So the noble Mr. Pierce

can't talk right now.



You're busy saying what's wrong with

our marriage is how l treat the kids.



Maggie means nothing to me.

You know that.



l wish l could believe it.



You'd better apologize, or she won't

play gin rummy with you anymore.



-lt is gin rummy, isn't it?

-Now, don't go too far.



-One day, l'll call your bluff.

-You're not calling me. l'm calling you.



You might as well get this straight.



Those kids come first in this house.

Before either one of us.



Maybe that's right and maybe

it's wrong. But that's the way it is.



l'll do the best l can for them. lf l

can't do it with you, l'll do it alone.



You're looking for an excuse

to heave me out on my ear.



-l didn't say--

-l'm fed up.



Get along without me. When you

want me, you know where to find me.






You go to that woman's house,

you're never coming back here.



l go where l want to go.



Then pack up, Bert.



All right, l will.



-Kids haven't come home yet, huh?

-No, not yet.



l don't want you to tell them l said

goodbye or anything like that.



-You can just say--

-l know. l'll take care of it.



Okay, then l'll leave it to you.



Goodbye, Mildred.



Go on, Bert. There's nothing

more to say. Just go on.



One, two, three, hike!



Pass it, pass it!



-Come on!

-Pass it!



-Kay, for goodness' sake!

-What's eating you?



-You're coming home with me.

-l ain't done nothing.



-You never let anybody have fun.

-Look at your clothes.



Honest, Kay, you ought to take

more pride in the way you look.



-You act like a peasant.

-Pretzels, what do l care?



You'll care someday, Miss Smarty!

Wait till you get interested in boys.



l got over that when l was  .



-All right, l'll try. Hello, Mom.

-Hello, darling.



-Good afternoon, Mother.

-Hello, darling.



-Who's the cake for?

-Eddie Whitley. lt's his birthday.



That goon.



-How was your lesson?

-l'm learning a new piece.



-Are you?

-''Valse Brilliante.''



-That means ''brilliant waltz.''

-Does it really?



l saw Father go out.



Did you? Why don't you play your

new piece for me? l'd love to hear it.



All right.



When do we eat?



Now you stop that

or you'll spoil your dinner.



-Look at your clothes.

-l know. l should have been a boy.



Come on, bring me those dishes

off the sink, will you, darling?



-Father had a suitcase with him.

-Did he? That's a lovely piece, Veda.



-Where was he going?

-l don't know.



-How long will he be gone?

-That's hard to say.



Don't stop playing, darling.



ls he coming back?

Has he gone for good?



Look, you might as well know it now.



Your father and l

have decided to separate.



You mean, Dad's not

coming home anymore?



-Doesn't he like us?

-lt has nothing to do with you, honey.



lt just couldn't be helped. We'll have

to get along by ourselves now.



What did you and Father quarrel about?



l can't tell you now.

Someday l will, but not now.



lf you mean Mrs. Biederhof,

l must say my sympathy is all with you.



-She's distinctly middle class.

-Please, Veda. lt wasn't Mrs. Biederhof.



-lt was little things. Mostly about your dress.

-My dress?



-lt came?

-Yes, it's upstairs in your room.



-Come on.




You ought to do something

about your sit-down.



-What's wrong with it?

-Sticks out.



lt's the dress. lt's awful cheap

material. l can tell by the smell.



What do you expect,

want it inlaid with gold?



lt seems to me if you're buying

anything, it should be the best.



-This is definitely not the best.

-Quit. You're breaking my heart.



lt's impossible.



Look at it. Ruffles.



l wouldn't be seen dead

in this rag. lt's horrible.



How could she have bought me

such a thing?



It didn't take me long that night

to figure out that I was dead broke.



And with Bert gone,

it looked as though I'd stay broke.



I felt all alone. For the first time

in my life, I was lonely.



There was so much to remind me of Bert.

How things used to be with us.



And what great hopes we had.



-Hi, Mildred!

-Hello, Wally.



-Bert around?

-Not right now, he isn't.



He left things a mess at the office.

l thought he could straighten them out.



-Ask him to drop over, will you?

-lf it's important, find him yourself.



He isn't living here anymore.



-You mean you've busted up?

-Something like that.



-For good?

-As far as l know.



lf you don't know,

l don't know who does know.



-You here all alone?

-No, l have the children.



Bert must be crazy.



You know, l never did mind

being around you, Mildred.



You don't hear opportunity knocking,

do you?



Me? l'm conscientious.



Not too much ice in that drink

you're about to make for me.



-You're moving in?




l won't cry my eyes out

about you and Bert splitting up.



l like the idea.

lt makes me feel good.



l wish it made me feel good too.



-l like Scotch.

-l know what you like.



With soda.



l've always been soft in the head

where you're concerned.



-You surprise me.

-This is on the level.



Bert's gone. Okay. l figure maybe

there's a chance for me now.



l wouldn't drop dead

at the idea of marrying you.



Quit kidding, will you?



l figured maybe one day

you might have a weak moment.



lf l do, l'll send you

a telegram, collect.



Easy on the ice for this, will you?

No soda?



-Sorry. Bert never had it around.

-We'll take care of that.



-Say when.

-Not for me. l'm not used to it.



We'll take care of that too.



-You're sure of yourself, aren't you?

-You gotta be educated.



You just joined

the world's biggest army.



The great American institution

never mentioned on the  th of July.



A grass widow

with two children to support.



-Why don't you make an effort to grow up?

-You make an effort to forget Bert.



-Maybe l don't want to.

-But you'll be lonesome.



-You can't get along by yourself.

-Well, l can try.



-Come on, get wise.

-Wally, you should be kept on a leash.



-Why can't you be friendly?

-l am being friendly.



l mean it. Friendship's much more

lasting than love.



Yeah, but it isn't as entertaining.



Cut it out. You make me feel

like Little Red Riding Hood.



And l'm the Big Bad Wolf?



You got me wrong.

l'm a romantic guy, but l'm no wolf.



Then quit howling!

l know you romantic guys.



One crack about the moon

and you're off to the races.



-Especially when it looks like a sure thing.

-Here we go again.



Did l do something wrong?



You'd better go, Wally.



-No dice, huh?

-Good night.



Well, no dice, no dice.



You can't shoot a guy for trying.



l just thought maybe that--

Mildred, l was only kidding.



l wouldn't pull any cheap tricks

on you.



-You know that.

-Yes, l know.






-l said good night, Wally.

-Okay. Round one goes to Mildred.



-There won't be any round two.

-l'll keep on trying.



-l know, once a week.

-Twice a week.



-Veda! You awake?

-Yes, Mother.



-You'll wake Kay.

-No. She's tired out.



-She cried herself to sleep.

-Was it about her father?




ls he going to marry Mrs. Biederhof?



-l don't know.

-l do.



l do know that you should be asleep.



-l've been thinking.

-What about?



-l heard you and Wally talking.




-You could marry him if you wanted.

-l'm not in love with him.



But then maybe we could have

a maid like we used to...



...and a limousine.

And maybe a new house.



l don't like this house.



Neither do l. But that's no reason

to marry a man l'm not in love with.



Why not?



Veda, does a new house mean so much

to you that you would trade me for it?



l didn't mean it, Mother.



l don't care what we have,

as long as we're together.



lt's just that there's

so many things that l--



That we should have and haven't got.



l know, darling. l know.



l want you to have nice things.

And you will have. Wait and see.



l'll get you everything.

Anything you want. l promise.






l don't know.



-But l will, l promise.

-You darling.



-Come on, go to sleep.

-All right.



-Happy dreams, sweetie.

-Thank you.



-l love you, Veda.

-l love you, Mother. Really, l do.



But let's not be sticky about it.



Good night.



I had to get a job, any kind.



I had no experience in the business world,

but I had to get a job.



I walked my legs off. Getting a job

wasn't as easy as I thought.



Days seemed like weeks, and everywhere

I went I heard the same thing:



Sorry, we need people with experience.



I was sick at heart

when I saw the restaurant.



I decided to go in for a cup of tea.



Good afternoon.



Sit here?






Clear the dirty dishes

off number three. Pick up your feet!



-Roast chicken is nice.

-No, thank you. l'll....



l caught you red-handed.



l didn't take your rotten tip.



-What's the trouble?

-She's lifting tips. l've seen her.



Go into the kitchen.

You keep out of it.



-How about some service?

-Someone will take care of you right away.



-l hope so. l have--

-You mind your own business.



Sorry to leave you like that,

but we're so short-handed.



-You wanted tea?

-No, l want a job.




-Well, you seem to need help....



l want a job.



-You ever work in a restaurant before?




Follow me.



-You're a nervous gal, aren't you?

-l'm just a little anxious.



You want to watch that.

lt's tough on dishes.



l don't think you're the type for

the work, but l'll give you a trial.



You need white shoes. Ask for nurses'

regulation in any store. $ .  .



We furnish the uniform, but it

comes off your check. $ .  .



You get it at cost.

Keep it laundered.



lf you don't suit us, we charge you   

cents. That comes off your check too.



Keep your own tips.



Here, have your tea.



Thank you.



-What's your name?

-lda, what's yours?



Mildred Pierce.



Chef's salad. Hold the mayonnaise.



-Two plates, hold the potatoes.

-Two chops, medium and rare.



Two chicken dinners.

One without gravy.



Two chickens. Hold one gravy.

Not ''without,'' say hold.



I learned the restaurant business

the hard way.



In three weeks,

I was a good waitress.



-One chicken. Hold veg.

-Chicken. Hold veg.



Steak, medium. Club san. Roast beef.

Hold one. Combin salad.



In six weeks, I felt like I'd

worked in a restaurant all my life.



In three months, I was one

of the best waitresses there.



I took tips and was glad to get them.



And at home I baked pies

for the restaurant.



Those'll be done in minutes.

We have a dozen peach, a dozen berry...



...a dozen pumpkin, a dozen cherry.

After we finish the apple, we can quit.



l don't know how you keep it up.

Honest, l don't.



l sleep all morning, but you go to

that restaurant and work and work.



Just like you been sleeping all night,

only you ain't.



-lt keeps me thin.

-Beg pardon?



lt don't do nothing for me.



I was doing all right.

I was doing fine.



I was able to afford an expensive

singing teacher for Veda...



...and a good dancing school for Kay.



One thing worried me. That some day

Veda would find out I was a waitress.



-Good afternoon.

-Everything go all right?



-l had a busy day today.

-That's good.



-Where did you get that uniform?

-Miss Veda.



She makes me wear it in case

l have to answer the doorbell.



Miss Veda gave it to you?



l told her you wouldn't like it.

l told her right off.



But she hollered and went on,

so l put it on just to keep her quiet.



-ls that what you learned at ballet?

-Do you like it?



-What have you got on your face?

-lt's just some lipstick.







Take Kay upstairs and wash her face

and give her a good scrubbing.



My face don't need scrubbing.

l washed it this morning.



-Go on, hurry up.

-lt can stand more soap and water.




-Yes, Mother, what is it?



-Where did you find the uniform?

-l was looking for a handkerchief.



-ln my closet?

-l looked everywhere.



Your handkerchiefs are always in your

top drawer. Why were you in my closet?



You're making quite a fuss about

something which doesn't matter.



lf you bought the uniform for Lottie,

and l can't imagine who else it would it be for...



...then why shouldn't she wear it?



You've been snooping since l got this

job trying to find out what it is.



And now you know, don't you?



Know what? Know what, Mother?



You knew that uniform was mine,

didn't you?



-Your uniform?

-Yes. l'm waiting tables downtown.



My mother. A waitress.



l took that job so you and your sister

could eat, sleep and have clothes.



Did you have to degrade us?



-Don't talk like that!

-l'm not surprised.



You've never spoken of your people,

where you came from, so perhaps it's natural.



Maybe that's why Father--



l'm sorry l did that.

l'd have rather cut off my hand.



l'd never have taken the job

if l hadn't wanted to keep us all together.



Besides, l wanted to learn

the business the best way possible.



-What kind of business?

-The restaurant business.



l'm planning on opening a place of my own.

There's money in a restaurant.



-You mean we'll be rich?

-Some people have gotten rich that way.



I didn't know what to do next,

but suddenly it hit me.



Why not open a restaurant?



ln the  th, give me five

across the board on Materialize.



Hello. Grab a seat.



What? l know it's a dog,

but l happen to like red horses.



Call me back, will you?



-Well, well, well.

-Hello, Wally.



-lt's good to see you.

-lt's nice to see you. Sit down.



-l haven't seen enough of you lately.

-This is all business.



lf you keep on refusing me,

l'm gonna think you're stubborn.



Laugh? No laugh?



What's all this?



-l'm going to open a restaurant.

-You are?



-And you're going to help me.

-l am? l mean, am l?



Please, Wally.



l guess l am. What's the score?



l found the location. An old house

that hasn't been lived in for years.



lt's on a busy intersection.

So it's good for drive-in trade.



l clocked an average

of     cars an hour.



Do you realize what that means? And,

there isn't another restaurant in five miles.



lt listens good. What's the address?



-      Glen Oaks Blvd.

-      Glen Oaks Blvd?



-Who owns it?

-l don't know, but there's a ''For Sale'' sign.



-Let's see.

-l need help in getting this place.



You know the angles. l want

that house. Please get it.



All right.            .

There we are!



lt's listed at $       .



They'll take eight or less.

They want to move the property.



-And it's owned by the Beragon Estate.

-Do you know them?



No. They're some wealthy Pasadena family

got property here. Beragon Manor.



Beragon Estate. There.



-Well, what do you know.

-What is it? Tell me.



Beragons have lost two properties

because of back taxes.



lt sounds as if they're broke. Using

your gams all day hasn't hurt them.



Hello! Hello! Mr. Beragon, please.

Now watch your Uncle Wally go to work.



How do you do? This is

Wallace Fay of Fay Real Estate.



l've been looking forward

to calling you for some time.



lt's regarding your property

on Glen Oaks Boulevard.



l've succeeded in interesting a client

in the possibility of a purchase.



-Well, how about...?

-This afternoon.



Yeah. How about this afternoon?



Good. We'll be right down.



Fay is the name. No, Fay.

That's right. Goodbye.



He's sweating blood already.

Come on, let's go.



And, remember,

let me do all the talking.



Wally, you're wonderful!



This is all business, remember?



Yep! This is it.



Will you wait here, please?



Mr. Beragon, l talked to you

on the phone.



This is Mrs. Pierce, the client.



-How do you do?

-How do you do?



Would you like a drink?



-l'm trapped. You talked me into it.

-Mrs. Pierce?



As l see it, she wants the house

but doesn't want to pay.



Well, that's about it. Mrs. Pierce

needs time to get started.



But once successful,

she'll buy the property outright.



l see. A very unusual proposition.



-How long do you need, Mrs. Pierce?

-l'd say about a year.



-You think you can make $       ?

-Yes, l have it all--



lf the place is successful,

it'll be very successful.



lf it isn't, you'll get your

property back in better condition.



lt's a gamble,

but you can't lose much.



l like to gamble, Mr. Fay.

But the odds are against me.



-l'm afraid l'm not interested.

-Please, listen to me.



This is a gamble for me too.



l'm putting every cent

l have into this place. l haven't much.



l can't afford to lose.

l've got all the information.



l know what it will cost

and how much l can make.



l know l can do it. l know l can!



Very well. lt's a deal.



Great! l'll draw up the papers.

One more thing.



-We'll need a pre-dated transfer of ownership.

-You want it immediately?



Yeah. We'll give you a note,

you give us the deed.



You take care of the details.



Well, how does it feel to be

the owner of a white elephant?



lt feels wonderful!



How about Uncle Wally?



-Nice guy.

-Very. Good-looking too.



-Maybe, but no brains.

-What do you mean?



You conning him out of the deed

without putting down a cent.




-You leave the angles to Uncle Wally.



-There's one other thing to do.

-What's that?




l don't feel romantic this afternoon.



No, nothing like that.

lt's serious. lt's about Bert.



-What's on your mind?

-You won't like it.



You'll have to get a divorce

if you want to open that restaurant.



What's that got to do with it?



ln California, they got

a community property law.



-Half of what's Bert's is yours.

-What's half of nothing?



lt works two ways.

Half of what you own is Bert's.



You open that restaurant and Bert's

creditors will be saying, ''Give me.''



-ls a divorce the only answer?




-lt takes a year to get a divorce.

-Are you getting cold feet?



Why bother if it takes a year?



lt takes a year to be final. Once

entered, the creditors can't touch you.



-Your worries are over.

-l'll be seeing Bert next week.



He's coming to take

the children for the weekend.



-l'll think about it.

-Nothing to think about!



-No divorce, no restaurant!

-l'll think about it, Wally!



l'd have to know a little more about

it. Divorce is serious. l'm not--



-Hello, Dad!

-Hello, dear.



We'll be down in a minute.



Veda wants to know where

her new bathing suit is.



-lt's in the top drawer of her dresser.




She says it's in the upper drawer

of the dresser.






l wonder if there are many boys

up at Arrowhead.



lf there are, they're sure to find you.

Don't worry.



-Well, what about you and Wally Fay?

-You should know better than that.



Bert, listen. l've put everything

l've got into this restaurant.



l've worked with painter, carpenters,




And suddenly,

everything is beginning to take shape.



l've worked hard.

l'm going to get that divorce.



l know. You want me to poke you in the nose

so you can claim l was guilty of cruelty.



No, Mildred. No divorce.



l'm going to file papers.

There's little you can do about it.



-l don't need your permission.

-No? Well, file away.



l'll fight you all the way.

You and Wally Fay.



-And what's more, l'm--

-You don't have to worry about me.



Well, that was quick.

My, how nice you look.



-Thank you.

-Hello, Father.



-Goodbye, Mom.

-Goodbye, darling.



Have fun. Be careful swimming.

That water's awfully cold!







On the way,

can we stop and have a hamburger?



l guess so.

We'll have to hurry, though.



lt's moments like this that make

me happy that nylons are out.



Well, if it isn't our silent partner.



l've been silent long enough.

l came to check on my investment.



-Well, how do you like it?




-You're here to check on your investment?




Then you'd better look

at your investment.



Over there's the counter. Here will be

one table and over here four tables.



We have     booths, four people

to a booth. That's    people.



-We can expect to feed--




Today's a holiday.

Why don't you get out of here?



l'd love to, but l'm awfully busy.

lsn't the bar beautiful?



l've got one at the beach house.

Why don't you come see my ocean?



l've seen one. lf you've seen one,

you've seen them all.



Why should people come to eat

and go someplace else to drink?



-That's why l put in the bar--

-Logical. But, back to my ocean.



Why don't we go have a swim

and forget about our investment?



l'd love to, but....



-l've got too much to do.

-Come on.



Look out. l might say yes.



-You know might be highly original?

-No. What?



Just say yes. Right away like that.



No. No, l shouldn't.



You'll find that the only things you

regret are the things you didn't do.



l hope you're right.



Look. Why don't l pick you up

in, say,    minutes.



No, l really can't.



-How about it?

-All right. You win.



There you are. Just help yourself. lf you

don't find what you want, let me know.



-Are you hoarding bathing suits?

-They belong to my sisters.



There's nothing like having

a large family.



-Yell if you need help with the zipper.

-Thank you, but l won't need any help.



-How do you like your drink?




-l like your ocean.

-l borrowed it from the Navy just for you.



-You have a wonderful view.

-l wouldn't say that.



l hope the suit fits better

than the robe.



lt does.



-Do you live here year round?

-The family mansion is in Pasadena.



Complete with iron deer, a ghost

and a greenhouse. l come here in the spring.



-lt must be lovely.

-Yes, but lonely.



ln the spring, a man's fancy turns to

what he's thought about all winter.



lt's a good thing California winters

are so short.



-No whistle?

-l'd need a police siren.



-Well, here we go.

-Go? Go where?



-Swimming. lsn't that why we're here?

-l suppose it is. Wait a minute.



-Come on.

-Hold it.




-No, thank you.



-You drink too much.

-l do too much of everything. l'm spoiled.



Too many sisters.

They all seem to be my size too.



Yes. l like them your size.



-To brotherly love!

-Thank you, Mr. Beragon.



Monte Beragon.

That's a very unusual name. Spanish?



Mostly. Maybe a little

ltalian thrown in.



But my mother is

a real dyed-in-the-wool Yankee.



That's why l'm such a self-controlled

and dignified young fellow.



And just what do you do?



l loaf in a decorative

and highly charming manner.



-ls that all?

-With me, loafing is a science.



-You're very beautiful like that.

-l bet you say that to all your sisters.



-Shall l tell your fortune?

-Can you?



We Beragons come from

a long line of teacup readers.



l'm not very impressionable. l lost

my awe of women at an early age.



But ever since you came here, l thought

of what l'd say when we met again.



Now l can't say anything.



-You take my breath away.

-Do l?



l like you, Monte. You make me feel--



-l don't know, warm.

-And wanted? Beautiful?






When l'm close to you, there's a sound

in the air like the beating of wings.



-You know what it is?

-No. What?



My heart. Beating like a schoolboy's.



ls it? l thought it was mine.



The record.



Monte, the record.



ls he there yet? That's good.



l think l have everything we need.



Yeah, l called everywhere.

l'll wait another five minutes.



Wait. l think she's coming now.




-l don't know.



-Thursday? Friday?

-Make it Wednesday.



-Good. Goodbye.




-Where have you been?

-What are you doing here?



l've been looking all over for you.

l've been nearly nuts.



-What is it?

-lt's Kay. She's sick.



We came down from Arrowhead

   miles an hour, but--



-Well, it's pneumonia.




She isn't here.



She isn't here? Where is she?



Mrs. Biederhof's.



l was frantic. l didn't know

what to do. l sent for Dr. Gale.



lt's all right, Bert, just hurry!






Yes, darling, Mommy's here.



More oxygen.



l hope it was all right to bring her

here instead of the hospital.



-But l thought it would save time.

-You did the right thing.



Yes, thank you.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Biederhof.




-Yes, doctor?



One more cc.



l'm sorry. l couldn't save her.



l'm sorry, Mildred.

We did everything in our power.



l brought her into the world,

and it seems hard that l was the one to--



l'll fix you a nice, hot cup of tea.



l'll never forget her.



Never, as long as l live.



She said, ''Mommy!''



And that was all.



l loved her so much.






Please, God, don't ever let

anything happen to Veda!



After that, only one thing was on my mind.

To open the restaurant and make it successful.



Short stack. Easy on the butter.

Adam and Eve on a raft. Hit me hard.



-l'm glad you enjoyed it.

-We'll come again tomorrow.



See you tomorrow. Good night.



Too bad you had to stand so long.



l'm sorry l've kept you waiting.

This way.



l'm so glad you liked it.



We've been jammed ever since the doors

opened. Here you are.



Arline, take the orders.



-We have great fried chicken.

-l'll have it.



l hope you like it.



Pick up something. Never make a trip

with an empty tray like that.



-lt looks like we're in.

-That's what it says here.



-lsn't that lovely?

-What would l do without you?



Probably have a nervous breakdown.



-Hello. How are you?

-Hello. We got your invitation.



l'm glad you came. Suzanne,

a booth for Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer.



-Congratulations, Mother.

-Thank you.



-How'd you like to sell?

-No. l know a good thing when l see it.



So do l. lt's some mob.

Those postcards you sent out did the trick.



Keep my seat and get me a drink.

l want to talk to your mother.



What do you want to talk to me about?

-lt's about Bert. He's coming here tonight.



-He is?

-He wants to see you about the divorce.



-What about it?

-He just wants to see you.



-Help me. l gotta go to the kitchen.

-All right, sure.



-Excuse me. l'm sorry.

-You big peasant.



-Look where you're going.

-Excuse me for living. l'm excited.



-What's this?

-We're swamped. Help us.



-Who me? l'm an executive.

-Now you're in charge of the potatoes.



-All right.




-You look very pretty.

-Thank you.



Not at all.



What do you know?

Beragon just came in.



-Did he? He didn't say he was coming.

-What do you mean?



-You been seeing him?

-Don't let the potatoes burn.



l was just asking.



Don't ever go in like that.

Put more potatoes on.



-You'll never make money that way.

-Just so the customers are satisfied.



This is just like my wedding night.

So exciting.



-Will you give Mrs. Pierce these?

-Can l tell her your name or is it secret?



Tell her they're from

an old gypsy fortuneteller.



Sit down and read a teacup,

and l'll see if she's busy.



-Hey, Mildred! Real, live orchids.

-For me?



Orchids? What is this?

Who they from?



From an old gypsy fortuneteller

with beautiful eyes.



-Beg pardon?

-Put them in the icebox, Wally.



Here, muscles.



Put it on this table, please?



l'm sorry,

l didn't realize this table was taken.



lt's quite all right. We're so crowded

tonight. Do sit down, Mr. Beragon.



Thank you. May l have a dry martini?



-So you know me?

-Everyone knows the Monte Beragon.



You play polo, go yachting,

are an excellent hunter.



And are seen with the most

attractive debutantes.



-l read the society section.

-l gather.



-l should introduce myself.

-Don't tell me. Your hand, please.



-Can you tell from my hand?

-l come from a long line of fortunetellers.






-What does it say?

-That you are very much like your mother.



And it says that

her name is Bierce. No. Pierce.



-How wonderful.

-And it says your name is Veda.



-Where does it say ''Veda''?

-That line right there. Unmistakable.



-Well, if it isn't Gypsy Beragon.

-The very same.



-lt looks like a good investment, huh?

-Anything would be an improvement.



Smile when you say that,

a third of this joint belongs to me.




-l've got another proposition.



-That orange grove you got--

-Save it.



-Well, here's to success.




Thank you.




-Two special. One Grade A. One black.



Hot stuff coming through.



That's a wonderful piece.



-All you need is a pair of bobby socks.

-Maybe Veda will lend me a pair.



Well, the last customer

just folded his tent.



-Good. We've only got one chicken left.

-Put my initials on that.



l don't know whether

l'm on my feet or my ankles.



-You must be dead.

-Well, if l am, just bury me with this.



l wish l felt the way they do.



-You've got a nice voice. Did you know that?

-Thank you.



Hi. Congratulations. You're a success.



-We've been getting acquainted.

-He's promised to take me the races.



-lf your mother comes too.

-l'd love to.



-Wally, do me a favor.




-Take Veda home.




-Anyone would think l was a child.

-lt's past your bedtime.



lt's not past my bedtime.

Besides, l want to take you home.



l've got to close up.

l'll go home with lda.



Sure is a big night for me.

l came out for an evening of fun.



What do l get? Dishpan hands

and a date with a Girl Scout.



-Good night.

-Good night.



Good night, Mr. Beragon.

Thank you.



-l trust that we may meet again very soon.

-l hope so.



Thank you, Mrs. Pierce. l trust that l might

see you in the not-too-distant future.



-Come on.

-l'm coming.



Come on. Never mind. Hurry up.



For heaven's sake.



Leave something on me.

l might catch cold.



l was just thinking.

Not about you. Come on.



-That's a cute youngster of yours.

-lsn't she?



l thought you had two.



-Kay died.

-l'm sorry. You should have let me know.



-Let's not talk about it.

-You're going to make a go of this place.



Well, l hope so.



-Don't you ever do anything but work?

-Somebody's got to.



Not all the time. There's a time

for work and a time for--



Seventeen. Six minus seven.

Monte, don't. Not here.



Why not? l've been waiting

all evening. A lifetime.



-l didn't mean to bust in like this.

-That's all right.



This is my husband.

Mr. Beragon, Monte Beragon.



-l've heard a lot of things about you.

-Nice things, l hope.



-l'd like to speak to Mildred.

-Yes, of course.



-What is it, Bert?

-This'll only take a minute.



lt's funny. lt's harder

to say than l thought.



lt's about the divorce.

You can have it.



When l walked out, l told you

to see if you could get along without me.



l didn't think you could.



When you asked me for a divorce, l still

didn't think you could make a go of it alone.



Now l know better. You're doing

all right. You're doing fine.



-l never thought it would end like this.

-Who knows how anything is going to end?



-l'm sorry.

-Yes, l'm sorry too.



Well, that's what l came

to say, and now that l've said it...



...l want you to know l wish you

all the luck in the world.



Thank you, Bert. Thank you.



-Well, goodbye.




This calls for a drink.



ln the Beragon family,

there is an old Spanish proverb:



One man's poison

is another man's meat.






l was in love with him,

and l knew it for the first time that night...



...but now he's dead, and l'm not sorry.

He wasn't worth it.



That may be. Whoever killed him

evidently agreed with you.



You haven't given us one reason why

your first husband wasn't the murderer.



ln fact, you've given us

a very good reason why he was.



Look at it our way. One: Beragon

was killed with Pierce's gun.



Two: Pierce cannot account for

his movements at the time of the murder.



Three: He had a motive. You've just

given it to us, Mrs. Beragon. Jealousy.



This just came in.

Thought you'd want it.



-Will you excuse me?




-ls he sure?

-Charley don't like to make mistakes.



Just a minute.



Mrs. Beragon, we have some

information here which puzzles us a little.



For instance, your business manager....



-Right away.




lda Corwin. She tell us that you

called her at approximately     :   p.m...



...and asked her where Mr. Beragon was.



-You seemed quite upset at the time.

-lt was just a business matter.



-Then there was nothing wrong?




Occasionally we run across

a witness who refuses to tell us...



...what we want to know, except under

pressure. Like Wally Fay, for example.



Why did you take him to the beach house?

Did you know Beragon was there, dead?



-No, l didn't.

-Then you were at the beach house.



Why didn't you tell us that before?

Why did you run from the house?



Wasn't it because you

knew Beragon was there, dead?



And if you did know, why were you

trying to pin the murder onto Fay? Why?



l think you'd better

tell us the truth now.



l did it.



l killed him.



But why? Your restaurant was a success.

You were in love with Beragon.



What happened to all that?



The restaurant was a greater success

than l knew. Profits were enormous.



ln a few months l opened another place,

and then l started a chain.



In three years I built five restaurants.



Everywhere you went,

I had a restaurant. They made money.



Everything I touched turned into money,

and I needed it. I needed it for Veda.



She was becoming a young lady

with expensive tastes.



Veda was growing up.



That Ted Forrester is nice-looking.

Veda likes him.



Who wouldn't?

He has a million dollars.



-What's the matter?

-Nothing. l've just run out of jokes.



-What is it? Tell me.

-l've had a little bad luck lately.



l won't be able to afford

many more evenings like this.



-Do you need money?

-No, no. lt isn't anything like that.



-l think you do.

-Mildred, please don't do that.



You've been awfully good to us, Monte.

Take it, please.



lf you say so. But l'll pay it back.

l want it understood that it's only a loan.



Anything you say,

just as long as we're friends.



That's how it began. At first it

bothered Monte to take money from me.



Then it became a habit with him.



There's a total here

of $      .   in six months.



-What's the big idea?

-We owe him.



The restaurant's paid for.

You don't owe him a cent.



l manage this business,

and l've done all right.



Keeping Beragon in shirts

is not my idea of business.







Look, l made this business for you

with my own hands.



l got the banks to give you credit.



l conned everybody, and for what?

So you could have a lap dog named Beragon?



When you walked out on Bert,

l was glad to see you get some sense.



-Beragon's worse.

-That's none of your business.



lt is. l helped you so l'd be around when your

mind changed about me. Maybe l was wrong.



-Maybe you were.

-Beragon is no good. He'll bleed you dry.



Suppose l'm in love with him.






-At least now l know where l stand.

-Right. Now you know.



-l hate all women.

-My, my.



Thank goodness you're not one.



Laughing boy seems burned

at the edges. What's eating him?



-A small, green-eyed monster.




Doesn't sound like Wally. No profit in it,

and that boy loves a dollar.



-l told him l was in love with Beragon.

-Are you?



l thought l was once, but not now.






-What's that?

-A $       birthday present for Veda.



-The car. lt's here. Where is it?

-lt's that shiny thing a block long.



-Do you think she'll like it?

-lf she doesn't, have her head examined.



Here, you have to sign this in blood.



-lt isn't any of my business--

-lf it's about Monte, l agree.



lt's Veda.

She's been borrowing money.



-From whom?

-Anybody. Waitresses mostly.



Hasn't she paid them back?



They're afraid to say anything

or turn her down. You know how it is.



l'll see that they're paid back.



l'm sorry l had to tell you.

l don't blame her much.



Monte was with her--



Did you bring the Laguna Beach

and Los Feliz statements?



Yeah. They're over here.



-Hello, everybody!




-Hello, Mother.




l hope we aren't interrupting

a big conference.



-Just a teeny one.

-l wish l could get interested in work.



You were probably frightened

by a callus at an early age. l'll take that.



-Thank you.

-One missing.



You're sitting on

the Laguna Beach statement!



That's what l like about you.

You're so delightfully provincial.



l like you too. Don't look now,

but you're standing under a brick wall.



-l don't get it.

-You will, when it falls on you.



-When did you start smoking?

-Just the other day.



Monte gave me this for my birthday.

l couldn't hurt him by not using it.



l mean, that would have been dreadfully

recherche, n'est-ce pas?



Yes, l suppose so.



Here's something for your birthday too.

l hope you like it.



-Mother! A car? Where is it?

-Look out the window.



-Mother, it's beautiful.

-l'm so glad you like it.



How about me?

After all, l picked it out.



Monte, it's the nicest present

l ever got.



-You're sweet. Let's go for a drive.

-Nothing l'd like better.



-Do you mind? l'd like to talk to you.

-Not at all.



-Run along and dent your fenders.

-All right.



-See you later at the club.

-Be careful.



l will.






-What's the matter?

-l want you to do me a favor.



-Sure. What?

-Stay away from Veda.



What's the matter with me?

Have l sprouted two heads?



l just don't want you

to take her out so much, that's all.



lt isn't funny.

She's only     and spoiled rotten.



-What has that got to do with me?

-l've worked hard...


            give Veda the things l never had.



l've done without a lot of things

because l wanted her to have everything.



Now l'm losing her.



She's drifting away from me.



She hardly speaks to me

except to ask for money...



...or poke fun at me

because l work for a living.



-All kids are thoughtless.

-Perhaps. l still don't like it.



l blame it on the way she's living.

And on you.



l don't think you understand Veda

very well. She's not like you.



You'll never make a waitress

out of her.



You look down on me because

l work for a living, don't you?



All right, l work. l cook food,

sell it and make a profit...



...which you're not too proud to share.



Yes, l take money from you...



...but not enough to make me like

kitchens or cooks. They smell of grease.



You don't shrink away from a $   bill

because it smells of grease.



-Take it easy.

-There's no point in going on like this.



You're interfering with my life

and business.



Worst of all, you're interfering

with my plans for Veda.



l always knew that someday

we'd come to this particular moment.



You want Veda and your business

and a nice, quiet life.



And the price of all that is me.



You can go back to making your pies

now, Mildred. We're through.



Wait a minute, Monte.

l forgot something.



You've been very good to us.

l know you've had expenses taking Veda out.



l don't know how much

we owe you, but....



lf that isn't enough,

you can let me know.



Thank you. l've always wondered

how it felt to take a tip.



Well, now you know.



You can mark

our account ''paid in full.''



-l'd like some of that.

-You gotta work for it.



Keep your motor running.

Bring me three glasses, will you?



-This is beginning to look serious.

-lt is.



-Yes, we finally made up our minds.

-This calls for a celebration.




-You've been swell to us.



l get a kick out of doing

things for people.



-Don't l, Veda?




Looks like we never serve

champagne in this joint. Or place.



Try this on for size. lt's our very best,

reserved for special customers.



California, '  .



Well, here's to....



Here's to true love.



To true love.



The receipts at Arcadia have dropped

roughly  o% during the last month.



-Say, Mildred.

-Nearly  o%.



There's a Mrs. Forrester

waiting to see you.



-What about?




Excuse me, Mr. Jones.



-Do you always interrupt?

-Only because l want to be alone with you.



Come here and let me bite you,

you darling boy.



-Mrs. Pierce?




-l'm Mrs. Forrester. Ted's mother.

-How do you do?



Sit down, it would be

more comfortable.



l've been looking forward

to meeting you, Mrs. Pierce.



l'm sure we're going

to work out our problem splendidly.




-Veda hasn't told you?



Told me what?



Your daughter has somehow

got the idea that--



l understand it.

Any girl wants to get married.



Ted had no such thing in mind.

l want that made clear.



-Do you mean they're engaged, Veda and Ted?




l'm quite sure you'll agree with me...



...that any discussion of marriage

between them would be most undesirable.



Why should Veda want to marry

your son if he doesn't want to marry her?



l'm not a mind reader,

but let me tell you...



...if this girl employs any more tricks

trying to blackmail my son--



-Trying to what?

-Understand me, Mrs. Pierce.



l shall prevent this marriage

in any way that l can.



l don't think you need worry.



Having you in my family is a pretty

dismal prospect. Good afternoon.



Veda, l want to talk to you.

Hello, Wally.



-What about?

-Mrs. Forrester came to see me today.



-Wally, this is private.

-That's all right. Wally knows about it.



He knows you and Ted

want to get married?



Want to get married?



We are married.

We were married on my birthday.



-l'm sorry, but it's done.

-Veda was trying to spare you.



She wanted to make things easier

for you so she asked me to help.



-Why didn't you tell me?

-l wanted to so many times.



But you seemed so far away.

l couldn't somehow. l was afraid.



-Afraid of your own mother?

-Mother, l've been so miserable.



l made a mistake,

and l didn't know how to tell you.



Darling, don't you love Ted?



No, Mother.



l'm sorry about that, Veda.



But maybe we don't belong

in a family like that.



That's right. Veda doesn't love this boy.

All right, so she made a mistake.



The thing to do is to settle the case out

of court. That's the clean way to handle it.



All right.



''l, hereby, of my own free will,

renounce all right and title...



...that l, or my heirs and assignees,

may have to any moneys or estate...



...real or otherwise, which will accrue

or evolve to Theodore Forrester...


            exchange for considerations

of value received.''



-Are you agreeable to this?

-Why can't we stay married?



-You will be good enough to keep quiet.

-Yes, Mother.



We can assume the waiver

is acceptable.



-Will you sign this, please?

-Yeah, sure. Glad to.



My client feels, and l am in complete

accord with her, that she has been irrep....






Unduly damaged.



Therefore, there's one more formality

we should discuss.



-What's that?

-The financial settlement.



You see, my client would like $       .



l think l'm safe in observing that

almost anyone would like $        but....






We see no necessity

for a financial settlement of any kind.



-You don't, huh?




-You will.

-l doubt it.



l don't understand all this.

There's no need for a financial settlement.



-The only thing we're interested in--

-Please, Mother.



l need the money.

l have to think of the future.



-That's right.

-l'm going to have a baby.










You see, $       

is not entirely unreasonable.



-This is moral blackmail, sir.

-That's no way to talk about a baby.



-l won't pay it.

-Yes, you will. Ask your lawyer.









l guess that's about all. You can make

out the check to Mrs. Forr-- To....



Miss Veda Pierce.



Well, that's that.



l'm sorry this had to happen.

Sorry for the boy. He seemed very nice.



Ted's all right, really.



Did you see the look on his face when

we told him he was going to be a father?



-l wish you wouldn't joke about it.

-You're a scream.



-Next you'll be knitting little garments.

-l don't see anything ridiculous about that.



lf l were you, l'd save

myself the trouble.



-You're not going to have a baby?

-At this stage, it's a matter of opinion.



ln my opinion, l'm going to have

a baby. l can always be mistaken.



-How could you do such a thing?

-l got the money, didn't l?



l see.



l'll have to give Wally part of it

to keep him quiet, but there's enough.



Money. That's what

you live for, isn't it?



You'd do anything for money.

Even blackmail.



-Grow up.

-l've never denied you anything.



Anything money could buy, l've given you.

But that wasn't enough, was it?



Things are going to be different.



l'll say they are.

Why do you think l went to all this trouble?



-Why do you think l want money so badly?

-All right, why?



-Are you sure you want to know?




Then l'll tell you. With this money,

l can get away from you.






From you and your chickens, pies and

kitchens. Everything that smells of grease.



l can get away from this shack

and its cheap furniture. And this town....



lts women that wear uniforms.

lts men that wear overalls.



l'm seeing you for the first time

in my life. You're cheap and horrible.



You think just because you made money,

you can turn yourself into a lady.



But you can't. You'll never be

anything but a common frump...



...whose father lived over a store

and whose mother took in washing.



With this money l can get away

from every rotten thing...



...that makes me think

of this place or you!






-Give me that check! l said give it to me!

-Not on your life!



Get out, Veda.



Get your things out of this house

before l throw them into the street.



Get out before l kill you.



I went away for a while.

I traveled, but not far enough.



Something kept pulling me back.



Finally, I gave in. I went home.



Why, Miss Pierce, this is a day

for rejoicing. lt certainly is.



-How are you?

-You look wonderful.



Thank you.

You been away so long.



-l've been to Mexico.

-ls that a fact?



l don't know what we would have

done if you'd stayed away longer.



-Thank you. lt's nice to see you too.

-Likewise, l'm sure.



-Welcome home.

-Thank you. Hi, lda.



-Well, long time no see.

-How are you?



-How was Mexico?




-How's business?




-You want your desk back?

-No, thanks. On you, it looks good.



You know, l like Mexico.

lt's so Mexican. Thanks.






You're in great shape.



There's nothing

like a nice, long rest, is there?



-Got a drink handy?

-Yeah. l guess so.



Gene, crack open the safe

and get out some of that good bourbon.



-You never used to drink during the day.

-l never used to drink at all.



-lt's a habit l picked up from men.




l never yet met one who didn't

have the instincts of a heel.



Sometimes l wish l could

get along without them.



-You've never been married, have you?

-Men around me get allergic to wedding rings.



You know, big-sister type.

''Good old lda...


            can talk it over

with her, man-to-man!''



l'm getting tired of men talking

to me ''man-to-man.''



-l'll have a drink myself.

-l'll take mine straight.



Well, if you can take it, l can.



-Seen anyone l know lately?

-You mean Veda.



l wondered how long it would take you

to get to that.



Yes, l mean Veda. Have you seen her?

ls she all right?



-Why don't you forget about her?

-l can't. l've tried, but l can't.



Well, try, try again. That's my motto.



You don't know what it's like being

a mother, lda. Veda's a part of me.



Maybe she didn't turn out as well

as l hoped she would...



...but she's still my daughter,

and l can't forget that.



l went away to try. l was so mixed-up,

l didn't know where l was or what l wanted.



But now l know.

Now l'm sure of one thing at least.



l want my daughter back.



Personally, Veda's convinced me

that alligators have the right idea.



They eat their young.



l'm slightly drunk.




-Is Mildred there?



-Yes. Who is it?

-This is Bert.



Hold on. lt's Bert. He's been calling

every day on the hour for a month.




-How are you? Just get in?



l'm fine. l got back this morning.



-How about dinner?




-Dinner tomorrow?

-Tomorrow night?



Don't you want to?



Of course, but what

about Mrs. Biederhof?



-She's married.

-She is?



Yeah, a couple of weeks ago.



Okay, you pick me up

at the house at  :  . Goodbye.



Somebody married Mrs. Biederhof.



Well, that's a novelty. Remind me

to bake a cake. How's Bert?



-He's fine. He's working now.

-No kidding.



-He has a job with Condor Aircraft.

-Manpower shortage must be pretty bad.



To the men we have loved.



The stinkers.



l never did like this place.

Does Wally still own it?



-Two rum Collins, please.

-Yes, sir.



-l don't know why you insisted on coming here.

-l thought it was a good idea. Now l'm not sure.



l am sorry l did it like this,

but l didn't know how to tell you.






-Hello, Wally.

-Hello, Mildred.



-Here to see me?

-l'm going to take Veda home.



-Veda know about that?

-No. l want you to help me, Wally.



Not me. She's your daughter.

l've never been a father.



Veda's been here for about a month,

and l know the best way to handle her.



lf you want her to do anything for you,

just hit her on the head first.



l'm telling you. What could he say?

He was floored.



''Are you kidding?'' he says.

''No,'' l says.



-The powder room's down the hall.

-lt's all right. She's my mother.



-l didn't know you had a mother.

-Everybody has a mother.



Yeah. l guess you're right.



-This is Miriam. She sings.

-That's what they tell me anyhow.



-l'm glad to know you.

-lt's mutual, l'm sure.



l guess this calls for a celebration.

Maybe l'd better send out for a beer.



-None for me.

-What can l do for you?



-l want to talk to you.

-Go ahead.






-Go see if Wally wants you.

-He won't.



Pardon me, l'm sure.



Won't you sit down, Mother?






l want you to come home, Veda.

This isn't your kind of life.



-No? What is my kind of life, Mother?

-Well, l don't know.



Whatever makes you happy, l guess.

That's all l've ever wanted for you.



-Do you think l was happy in Glendale?

-Are you happy here?



When l first came here, l used to cry

occasionally. l've gotten over that.



-You're very fortunate.

-l know l've made you unhappy--



lt isn't easy for me to beg like this,

but won't you please come home?



No. You must think l'm on a string.

''Go away, Veda.'' ''Come back, Veda.''



lt isn't that easy. l'm free now.



No one tells me what to do. l do

what l think best, and l like it that way.



l've had the house redecorated. All new

furniture. Even a new piano. You'd like it.



You still don't understand, do you?



You think new curtains

are enough to make me happy.



l want more than that.



l want the kind of life Monte taught me,

and you won't give it to me.



l'm sorry for the trouble l've caused.

lf l went home, it would start again.



You know that. You know how l am.



The way you want to live

isn't good enough for me.



lf l could give you the life

Monte taught you...



...would you be willing

to come home then?



But you couldn't, could you, Mother?



You can powder your nose just so long.

Then people look at you funny.



-Your number's coming up.

-All right.



Sorry, Mother. l'm on next.

l have to change.



-Do you mind?

-Not at all.



-When will l see you again, Veda?

-Just drop around. l'll be here. Bye.






So much for the upstairs.

lt's a little gloomy, isn't it?



Not quite so bad down here,

with the exception of the entrance hall.



As you can see, the pride of the

Beragons isn't rolling in wealth.



-You're not exhausted?

-Not at all.



-You can't be serious about buying it.

-You're not a very good salesman.



No, l suppose l'm not.

ln here used to be a sitting room.



Still is. l do all my sitting here.

Becoming quite an expert at it.



-Do you live here alone?

-There are complete living quarters.



Somebody has to be on the premises

to show the place.



-Won't you sit down?




-Can l fix you a drink?




l have the heel of a bottle,

no ice or seltzer.



-Sorry l can't be more hospitable.

-That's all right. l prefer it straight.



-l beg your pardon?

-l said, l prefer it straight.



-Say when.




-What happened to your orange grove?

-Sold for taxes.



-The beach house too?

-No, not the beach house.



An uncle with a little money

wouldn't let me sell it.



He's hoping to foreclose on it instead.



Sounds like a nice uncle.



Now, Mildred, what do you want?



-Well, l don't understand.

-Yes, you do.



You don't really want to buy

this antiquated tomb.



You'd be out of your mind.



l don't know. lt isn't such a bad

house. Remodeling would do wonders.



Take off some of that gingerbread

and redecorate the inside and--



My businesslike air

isn't fooling you much, is it?



No, l remember too well. l remember

how it was with us once, and so do you.



lt isn't something either of us

can forget.



-You haven't forgotten?

-Not for an hour.



-Even this doesn't help.

-Then you can do me a great kindness.



-lf l can.

-Ask me to marry you.






l must say, your attitude isn't

exactly enthusiastic.



You went to considerable trouble

to get rid of me once...


            naturally, l'm startled by your proposal

of marriage. This is a little sudden.



l have my own reason

for wanting to marry you.



-A reason named Veda.

-Why should it be?



Because your reason for doing anything

is usually Veda.



Well, whether it is or isn't,

what's your answer?



l can't afford you.

You have money, and l haven't.



All l have is pride and a name,

and l can't sell either.



-l see.

-l'm not enjoying this.



Things are very different now

from the way they were.



-l know. l haven't forgotten.

-Neither have l.



l want you to love me again

the way you did then.



l need that more than anything else.



l told you then you were

the only woman in the world for me.



-l loved you then, and l love you now.

-Then why--?



l can't marry you. l won't go on

taking tips from you as l used to.



Of course, if l owned a share

in your business--



l see. l think l understand now.



How much of a share

would your pride require?



Don't put it that way.

lt hurts me to do this.



-l'm doing it--

-How much of a share?






All right.






One Beragon.



-Hello, Lottie.

-Why, Mr. Pierce.



ls Mrs. Pierce--?

Mrs. Beragon, is she in?



She's in there.

l mean, this way, please.



-Thank you.

-lt's nice to see you again.



-lt's nice to see you, Lottie.

-lt's been such a long time. Follow me.



No, no, no. l'm supposed to announce

everybody. You stay there. Pardon, please.



Please pardon.



Mr. Albert Pierce!



-Lottie, not so loud.




Hello, Bert. lt's nice to see you.



Thanks. l thought l'd drop in.

l hope you don't mind.



Of course not. Come in, sit down.



-Want a drink?

-No, thanks.



-My hours are too long these days.

-Let's sit over here.



-This is quite a nifty place.

-We just finished redecorating.



-You didn't come to the wedding.

-l read about it.



lt was informal.

Just Monte's family and friends.



l probably have a lot of nerve to ask

this, but do you really love this guy?



-l married him, didn't l?

-That doesn't answer my question.



-Monte's okay.

-That still doesn't answer me.



Are you in love with this guy?



No, Bert.



l'm not exactly in love with him.

But Monte and l understand each other.



l thought if l moved from that

other house and fixed this place up...



-...l thought, maybe--

-Veda would come back.



l thought that was why.



l know you think l'm a fool, Bert.

But l can't help it.



l'd do anything to get her back. l couldn't

leave her where she was, could l?



No, l guess not.



Anyhow, that's all l wanted to know.



l guess we'll always fight about her.




l brought you a wedding present.



A wedding present?



Take a look out that window.



-Bert! Did you ask her to come?

-No. She called me up.



She pretended it was something

else. But l got the truth out of her.



She wanted to come home, Mildred.



Tell her to come in.






l wanted to come home weeks ago.



When it was Christmas,

l couldn't stay away.



-l'm so glad, darling.

-l'll change, Mother. l promise.



-l'll never say mean things to you again.

-l said mean things too.



-Mother, this is a beautiful place.




l forgot to thank your father.



-Bert, l'm very grateful.

-That's all right, Mildred.



l don't believe it.

l simply don't believe it.



The prodigal returneth.

We'll have the fatted calf for dinner.



-Hello, Monte!

-Hey. Tears of joy at seeing me again?



-Of course.

-You look lovely, prodigal.



lt's about time you came to see us.



Veda's come home.

She's going to stay with us.



-lf Monte doesn't mind.

-l think it's wonderful.



Just don't call me ''Father.''



-Blow, darling, come on.

-Make a wish.



-Make a wish first.

-You can do better than that.



Three is all you get.

Three is all you get.



Happy birthday, Veda.



Be careful how you pour

that champagne. That's from      .



-ls that better than '  ?

-lt's the newest we could get.



lsn't this a beautiful night?

l just love parties, don't you?



-l beg your pardon?

-Thank you kindly.



Yes? Hello. This is the Beragon

residence. Who shall l say is calling?



Yes, yes, Miss Mildred. l'll call her.



Business is business, Mr. Jones.



-Just take a look at this receipt.

-Hello, lda. This is Mildred.



-How's the party?

-Fine. Veda just cut the cake.



-Get your clients to agree to more time.

-Out of the question.



l'll be delayed a little.



What's going on? Are you in trouble?

You sound so funny.



No, l'll tell you about it later.

Keep the party going, will you?



Okay, Mildred.

Get here as soon as you can.



-Was that Mother?

-Yes. She's at the office.



l'm worried. l think

she's in some sort of business trouble.



lt happens in the best of families.



You've got canary feathers

all over your face.



Business and money is all she

thinks about. How about that drink?



-Beauty calls. Excuse us.

-lt's a pleasure.



My clients demand an accounting.



You must satisfy your creditors

or show cause why Mildred's lnc...



...should not be taken away from you.



lf you resist, your creditors force you

into bankruptcy. lt's as simple as that.



Can they do it?



-l'm sorry, Mrs. Beragon.

-Yes, so am l.



l haven't a cent of ready cash in any

of the restaurants. So that's that.



l hoped you'd scrape up enough dough

to get yourself out of this.



-You can still manage the business.

-That's very nice.



Stealing the business from me

and then letting me run it.



l'm not enjoying this.

l haven't any choice.



You've bled this business to live

the way you have since Veda came home.



-l know.




You let a few bills go by.

Pretty soon you're in trouble.



The creditors want your hide.

l can't stop them.



-Another month like this, and we're all out.

-As it is, only l am, right?



lt looks that way. You'd be all right

if Monte hadn't forced it.



Monte? What's he got to do with this?



This was his idea. He wants to sell his share.

l gotta go along or l'm out. Didn't you know?






-You married him. l didn't.

-Good night, Mrs. Beragon.



l'm sorry this happened. lf

l do say it, as perhaps l shouldn't....



l think Mr. Beragon acted badly.

Very badly indeed. Good night, Mrs. Beragon.



Good night, Jones.



Hello, lda.

l want to speak with Monte.



He isn't here. He drove off    minutes

ago, just after the party broke up.



l see.



Mildred! Mildred!



l went to the house.

Monte was alone. And l killed him.



You're lying. We know you weren't

alone in the house with him.



We have proof of that.

And various other things.



Okay, now. Yes.



We've had a slant on you from

the beginning. You were the key.



We had to put the pressure on you.

The key turned. The door opened.



And there was the murderer.



We picked her up at the airport, off

a plane for Arizona. She didn't like it much.



-l don't understand.

-You will. We know all about it.



Your mother told us everything.

Why did you kill him?



You promised not to tell.

You said you'd help me.



-Don't say anything more!

-Too late. That's all we needed.



You left at     :    with Beragon.

Your mother left her office at     :  .



You were at the beach house

when she got there after midnight.



lsn't that right, Mrs. Beragon?






l didn't know Veda was there

when l came in.



I expected Monte to be alone.



We weren't expecting you, Mildred,




lt's just as well you know.



l'm glad you know.



How long has this been going on?



Since l came home and even before.

He never loved you. lt's always been me.



l've got what l wanted. Monte's going

to divorce you and marry me.



No, Veda!



There's nothing you can do about it.






Use your head.

This won't solve anything.



Just where did you get the idea

l'm going to marry you?



-Don't joke like that.

-l'm not joking.



lf you think l'm going to marry you,

you're mistaken.



You told me over and over again

that you loved me.



-Did l? Then l must have been drinking.




You don't think l could love

a rotten tramp like you, do you?






Veda. What's happened?



lt's Monte. He's dead.



He said horrible things.

He didn't want me around anymore.



He told me to get out. Then he laughed

at me. He wouldn't stop laughing.



l told him l'd kill him.

He said l didn't have guts enough.



l didn't mean to do it.

l didn't mean to, l tell you.



But the gun kept going off

over and over again.



Then he was lying there.

Looking at me, just looking at me.



You've got to help me.

Give me money to get away. And time.



l've got to get away

before they find him.



l can't get you out of this, Veda.



What are you going to do?

What are you going to do?



-Number, please.

-Give me the police.



No. No, Mother. Think what

will happen if they find me.



-Think what will happen.

-l don't care anymore.



Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

Give me another chance.



lt's your fault as much as mine.



-Santa Monica Police. O'Grady speaking.

-Help me, Mother.



-Just this once!




-l'll change. l promise l will.




Give me another chance.

lt's your fault l'm the way l am!



-Santa Monica Police Department.

-Help me.






l thought maybe, in a way, it was

my fault. So l tried to help her.



-l wanted to take the blame for it.

-Not this time, Mrs. Beragon.



This time your daughter pays

for her own mistake.



Okay, book her.



Darling, l'm sorry.

l did the best l could.



Don't worry about me, Mother.

l'll get by.



See that those others are released.



We need some fresh air.



lt looks like a nice morning.



You can go now.

We'll call you when we want you.



You know, Mrs. Beragon, there are

times when l regret being a policeman.




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