Prick Up Your Ears Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Prick Up Your Ears script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Gary Oldman movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Prick Up Your Ears. 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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Prick Up Your Ears Script



Mr. Orton?



Mr. Halliwell?






Dear, oh, dear. Somebody here

has been playing silly buggers.



You look ill.

They have some brandy in the kitchen.



I won't keep you a moment.



- I can't find his diaries.

- You can't find them?



- Itís    years ago.

- But they'd be so valuable.



Yes, I don't like to think

what they'd be worth.



For a biographer.



Tess is so disorganized.



- Oh, dear.

- Don't worry.



I can't stand those things.



Every little word.

One can't possibly be natural.



- Is it on?

- Yes.



I knew nothing at all about him

the first time he walked in.



When was that? My God,     .



He had considerable confidence and charm.



It was his first play, a radio thing.

I thought it was derivative.



I told him so. He didn't mind.



I thought it was derivative.



I told him so. He didn't mind.



Not Joe.

"I'll try and write you a better one," he said.



I said, "Well, that would be gorgeous."



As he was leaving...



he said, "Next time, can I bring my friend?"



And I thought, does he mean "friend"?



Then I thought, yes, he does mean "friend."



Which was quite bold in those days.



It was the Dark Ages. Men and men.



And they could still put you in prison for it.



And they did, dear.



Bollock naked?



No, keep your socks on.



London was still quite exciting then.

Remember that?



No, you wouldnít.



- This is when?

-     .



- You're in good shape.

- Itís the weights.



When I die, I want people to say:



"He was the most perfectly developed

playwright of his day."



Joe was having a wonderful time.



His second play, Loot, was a smash hit.



- So he was making lots of money?

- Oh, yes, dear.



Offers to do this and write that.



And he had six months to live.



Is that it?



Is that my present?



- It is terrible, darling.

- It was $  .



I thought you said splash out.



Cheap clothes suit me. They always have.



Itís because Iím from the gutter.



- A contract from New Zealand.

- New Zealand?



I know, but we won't think about it, dear.



Am I right in thinking we're still

interested in writing the Beatles script?



Oh, yes.



Why don't I call Brian now

and set up a meeting?






Is it "Epstein"...



or "Epstine"?



Better wait.



Americans are so sensitive

about their names.



He's not American, is he?



Well, he moves in that world.



We'll see each other later?



I hope people come.



They will. I put out a three-line whip.



- Thank you.

- How is he?



He's fine.






Itís  :  .



Itís  :  .



Itís only $  . Peggy hates it.



- That's where you've been.

- She likes you.



Peggy's one of your few fans.



- Any calls?

- Iíve been worried stiff.



Why? It doesn't start till  :  .



The whole point about irrational behavior

is that it is irrational.



I don't worry about any thing. I just worry.



- Stop that.

- And you stop being such a bilious queen.



Iíve to be there by  :  

to check the arrangements.



- Iím frightened nobody will come.

- They'll come.



"And what sort of day

have you had, Kenneth?"



Well, not unproductive, Joe, actually.

I caught up on a big backlog of dusting.



Then I went down the road

to replenish our stock of corn flakes.



When I returned, I rinsed a selection

of your soiled underclothes...



by which time it was  :  

the hour of your scheduled return.



When you failed to come, I redeemed

the shining hour by cutting my toenails.



What did you expect me to do?

Shag the Dimplex?



You can still be quite funny.






Have you been reading my diary?



- No.

- Why not?



I would.



- They lived in Islington.

- Isn't that quite fashionable?



Not then, dear.



An apartment?



Hardly. It was a cupboard.



All right?






- Can we go past the theater?

- Oh, no, I knew you'd say that. I knew.



This is supposed to be my night!



Actually, I just want to get out

of this fucking room.



- Iíd better have my Valium now.

- Give us a couple.



Name in the paper again last night.



Mrs. Sugden says

you're halfway to being a household word.



Kenneth looks smart.



Don't look at me. Iím not washed.



Going out to supper.



Candle-lit, probably.



Itís one function after another.



They've got the world at their feet.



When I was hanging them,

I kept thinking Schwitters.






Not entirely. You see, when I first started...



- it would be in a cellar.

- Shut up. This is our be-kind-to-Kenny day.



- The avalanche begins.

- We came together.



Always the best way.



- Hello.

- Well, Kenneth, your big day.



- Joe, how are you?

- Where are these pictures?



- Nice of you to come.

- We girls must stick together.



I had a friend once in soft furnishings.



The number of times

I trailed around the ideal Home Exhibition...



Iíve had an invitation

to the Lord Mayor of London.



Itís a banquet for those

eminent in the arts and sciences.



Sounds exciting.



Itís because Iíve sold the film rights to Loot.



Iím as rich as them,

so Iím invited to their rubbishy dinner.



Joe, I believe they give you

some excellent turtle soup.



Who's paying for all this?



Success! Our first sale.



Peggy's bought my Cat Screen.



And Iíve almost sold another.



- You've no need to.

- I like it.



And you've no need to, either.

You don't owe him anything.



Not anymore.



You must leave him, Joe. You've got to.



I can't.



No, I couldn't.



And was he going to leave him?



No shortage of offers.



I don't know.



Could he have left him?



You're married. How can you tell?



What for? Sex?



I suppose that's where they learnt it.




- And what do you do?

- Iím the artist.



Oh, really?



Well, they're very unusual.



Seems to be going well.



Have we sold any more?



No, but Iím getting lots of enthusiasm.



- Isnít that Joe Orton?

- Yes.



I loved Loot!



The title was mine, actually.



I gave him all his titles.

Iím his personal assistant.






I don't care for these at all.



And what does that entail?



It entails washing his underwear.

It entails taking his jumpers to Sketchley's.



It entails poaching his fucking eggs.



And it entails reading his manuscripts...



only to find

everything Iíve thought or said is included.



That must be very rewarding.



If you're referring to the occasional bout

of mutual masturbation...



no, it is not rewarding at all!



I really do love my Screen.






"How do you justify your existence?"



"Iím Joe Orton's friend."

As if it's a profession.



Well, it's not a profession.



Itís a fucking full-time job.



Itís not a profession.



Was this customary?



Oh, yes. According to the diary,

practically a daily occurrence.



But you lost his diary.






No, I haven't seen him.



I thought he left with you.



No, Kenneth, of course I wanted it.

I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't.



I shall have it here, in my office.



Yes, if he rings, Iíll tell him.






Then what?



Then he did the same for me.



Shall we eat? Iím starving.



I write it all down, all the sex.

Itís all in my diaries.



How did he know you were here?



You do, don't you?



In that state.



You know everything.






Iím sorry.



I brought the melon.



Any calls?



Iím sorry.






You found us.



I just got here myself.



This is my wife, Anthea. Ms. Ramsay.



I think it is perhaps Peggy.



We're working on the book together.



Why don't you get Ms. Ramsay a drink?

White wine?



White wine. You're not American.



No, he is.



John's American. He is, Iím not.



Yes, I think I have

just about got that straight.



We're working on the book together.



These are the diaries.



You must guard them with your life.



Believe me.



We can eat.



Urinals figure largely, of course.






The more insalubrious the circumstances,

the more Joe seemed to enjoy it.






His first taste of sex,

or the first that he records...



took place in a cinema lavatory in Leicester

at the age of   .



The film was My Favorite Brunette.



Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.






Joe says he came

all down the man's raincoat.



Lovely melon.






Iíll set Anthea to work transcribing these,

and then you can have the originals back.



Do you type?



Itís tiresome, but sometime

we are going to have to talk about a fee.



- I do have Joe's relatives to think about.

- Of course.



He's all they have.



What is this?



This is the film script he was writing

for the Beatles that final summer.



Darling Joe.



Iím about to get Brian Epstein on the phone.



When do you think

we could set up a meeting?



Not there, Ms. Ramsay. On the Coast.



When you say he's on the Coast, dear,

do you mean he's in Brighton?



When he gets back

and has shaken the sand out of his shoes...



perhaps you could get him to call me.






Joe, dear.



Iíve started on the script for the Beatles.



Iím using some of a novel I wrote years ago.



Iím surprised how good it is.



You didn't write that. We wrote it.



So what were you planning on doing?

Selling it to Warner Brothers?



I wouldn't care, if you gave me some credit.



If you only told people I helped you.



- Tell the Beatles I help you.

- You're not being much help now.



- Have you nothing to do?

- You do it!



Try a spot of post-coital dusting yourself.

It always has to be me.



Who's this?



Itís the police. Itís one of your pickups.



Your sex life has caught up with you.

Now you're going to have to pay.



I thought you might like

a preview of my frock.



Itís for the firm's annual get-together

in a month or two's time.



The actual venue is not definite yet...



but it's thought to be

one of the leading London hotels.



There's been some dispute

about the design.



Itís a floral motif, obviously, all hand-done.



Only, I say these are roses.



And Mr. Sugden will insist they're peonies.



This could be a lily.



- Looks more of a rhododendron to me.

- That's a thought.



Iíll go try that one out on Clifford.



Do you notice Iím limping?

Spilled a hot drink down my dress.



My vagina came up like a football.



If you were successful...



so successful

that you couldn't walk down the street...



what would you do?

Iím thinking of the Beatles.



Iíd have a home.



In the country. With servants.



I wouldn't.



Iíd just shag everything in sight.






Have a wank.



I can't just have a wank.



I need three days' notice to have a wank!



You can just stand there and do it.



Me, it's like organizing D-day.



Forces have to be assembled,

magazines bought...



the past dredged

for some suitably unsavory episode...



the dogged thought of which

can still produce a faint flicker of desire.



"Have a wank."



It'd be easier to raise the Titanic.



- And don't write it down.

- Itís only my diary.



- Do you read it?

- Iíve told you, no.



My mom did. I used to have to put

the dirty bits in shorthand.



Only time it's been of any use.



Iím sorry, I can't help you.



My secretary does shorthand,

but Iím on my own here.



Well, dear,

you'll just have to use your imagination.



Mother, didn't you once do shorthand?



Yes, for about five minutes.



Itís this playwright John's working on.



He went to secretarial school as a boy

and took shorthand.



This is his diary.



He keeps going into shorthand, you see.



It was a long time ago, dear.

I never got the diploma.



"Woke up late. Did not go to school.

Told Mom I felt sick.



"When she'd gone to work,

I listened to Housewives' Choice."



"Then went into Mom's bedroom...



"and arranged the dressing table mirrors...



"and had a lovely, long, slow...






"Wink." You sure that's an "i"?



No, dear, Iím not sure at all.



"Read all morning...



"but got another hard-on.



"Just putting soap on it when Mom came in.



"Said I thought I had a spot coming.



"Mom quiet all through meal."

I should think so.



Does he go on like this?



No, the early ones stopped

just when his life got interesting.



Sounds quite interesting already.



- Where's John?

- He's gone to Leicester to see the sister.



To look at the house

where Joe was brought up.






Was this the Orton house?



Is this the...



- Iím English. Ask me.

- Was this the house that Orton...



I hated that house.



There was no love in it.



No wonder he couldn't wait to get out.



In those days, if you were from Leicester

and wanted to be an actor...



you had to get rid of your accent.



Not that Mom knew anything

about the acting.



- She just wanted John to talk posh.

- You still call him John.



That was his name when we were little.

It was after he was famous, he was Joe.



- Mrs. Lambert?

- Madame Lambert.



- You are anxious to improve your diction?

- Yes, Madame Lambert.



What is your chosen field?



- I want to be an actor.

- Indeed.



Leicester has produced some fine actors.



Leicester is the hometown

of Richard Attenborough.






Movement, elocution,

all these I can teach you.



The arts proper to the stage.



How to smoke a cigarette

with poise, elegance...



and, above all, conviction.



The powder compact

as a means of expression.



Go to any production in the West End...



and you will see these arts

brought to a pitch of perfection.



But all that is as nothing...



without the one essential requirement.



- I have the money.

- Money? Pish!



Iím not speaking of money.

Iím speaking of talent.



Judging by what you've read,

you have no talent.



No talent whatsoever.



- I still want to learn.

- Bravo!



No marks for talent.

Full marks for Dunkirk spirit.



Bloody plays.



Mom didn't have much of a horizon.



She'd have liked him a civil servant.

A suit every day of his life.



Next time, tell them

to provide you with a costume!



Using our bedspread. Wicked!



You'll clean it!



Coloring it with distemper.



Ruined, bloody ruined.



I bet Dirk Bogarde

didn't distemper his mother's bedspread!



Bloody disgusting.



And get some clothes on.



Walking around like Sambo.

Don't know where to look.






There's somebody at the door.

Fetch us me teeth.



It'll be the gas man. I never paid.



Good afternoon.



Iím a Council official.

Iíve come about your lad.



Why? What's he done?

What have you done?



Shakespeare's what he's done.

He's taken a very good part.



He's favorably impressed a prominent

member of the Education Committee.



Yes, he'd have a bedspread.



Good afternoon.



- Who's this?

- This is my husband. Ignore him.



- Your son is a born actor.

- An actor?



But he went to Clark's College.

He's done shorthand.



- He had a badge in his blazer.

- This boy will never make a typist.



- He can do    words a minute.

- Shut up!



No, he must take up a dramatic career.



But Iíve sacrificed all down the line

in order for him to land a job in an office.



No, Mrs. Orton, your son must go in

for a scholarship to RADA.




- The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.






The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.






"Do you know who Iím looking for, Smee?"



"No, tell me again, Captain."



"Iím looking for a boy, Smee."



"What kind of boy, Captain?"



"A wicked boy. A heartless boy.



"A boy who never ate his rice pudding."



"Oh, horror! Can there be such boys?"



"Aye, there can.



"It was a boy like that that cut off my arm...



"and fed it to the crocodiles.



"His name...



"was Peter Pan."



You've had some amateur experience,

I gather, Mr. Orton.



Tell us about it.



I started off in Richard III.



As what?



A messenger.



That was most original.

You've done very well.



Yes, very nice and loud.



"O, that this too too solid flesh

would melt...



- "thaw and resolve itself into a dew!"

- Rather old.



- "Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd..."

- Not as old as he looks.



"...his canon 'gainst self-slaughter!"



Itís useful to have somebody as old as that.



Just for casting.



We seem to be taking

practically anything that stands up.



At least he's got the coat.



- What are you?

- Cats, miss.



Let's change the exercise slightly.



Iíve got a cat now.



Here you are. Catch it.



Movement, enunciation, breath control.



Itís all so wildly dated, don't you agree?



- Yes, it is.

- Still, I suppose the beginners find it useful.



- Are you new to London?

- Hardly.



A small legacy enabled me to spend

several weekends at the Strand Palace.



- Hotels are a closed book to me.

- You'll like the Strand Palace.



Perhaps we might venture there one evening

for coffee.






We're off over to South Bank. The festival.



Yes, it might be amusing, I suppose.



Yes, the plebs and their simple pleasures.



What did you ask him for?



Come on.



"Let us go then, you and I...



"when the evening is spread out

against the sky...



"like a patient etherised upon a table."



Come on.



You know, some of these people are...



- having sexual intercourse.

- Fucking, you mean.



What did you expect?

Many of them are from Australia.



Come on.



What was the Festival of Britain?



That was when it all came off the ration.



You mean food and things?



Life, dear. Sex. Everything.



Only it didn't, of course.



I wish he'd never come.

I wanted it to be just us.



- No.

- Why?



- Not here. People are looking.

- Fuck people.



You can't live like that, John.



- I want to take things gradually.

- I don't.



You don't know what life's like.



Iím not going to find out at this rate, either.



- Thank you.

- Cheap clothes suit you.



Itís because you're from the gutter.



I said Iíll move in with Janet.



This is the room.



Iím only looking. Iím fixed up elsewhere.



Is it a northern light?



Never heard any complaints.



Of course, it's in dire need of decorating.



What is that smell?



Air freshener.

The carpet came from Reading originally.



Friends, are you?



- Students.

- Iíve nothing against friendship.



Itís the most wonderful thing in the world,

within reason.



Iím only looking.



- They say Islington's coming up.

- It is.



They've turned the greengrocer's into

an antique shop, and the pub is silent.



What do you think?



I think I shall keep an open mind.



Help yourself. Here.



- Where did you get them?

- I nicked them while he wasn't looking.



- You can type?

- Forty words a minute.



- Neither of us seems to have family photos.

- Iím an orphan.



I always wanted to be an orphan.



I could have been

if it hadn't been for my parents.



My mother died when I was a boy.



She was stung on the tongue by a wasp.



One minute

we were just sitting down to breakfast...



ten minutes later, she was dead.



- That still leaves your dad.

- Him?



He put his head in the gas oven

when I was   .



I came down one morning

and found him lying there.



So I switched the gas off, had a shave...



made some tea, and called the ambulance.

In that order.



I understand.

My dad always took a back seat.



My novels.



Anybody can act.



All these books. Iíll never catch up.



Iím a cultivated person, John.

You'll find it rubs off.






- Can you spell?

- Yes, but not accurately.



- I don't understand Shakespeare.

- We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.



Talking of Shakespeare,

we're missing the Queen.



I here present unto you Queen Elizabeth...



your undoubted Queen.



Improves the contrast.



Wherefore all you who are come this day...



to do your homage and service...



are you willing to do the same?



This is a new experience for me.









Iíve never seen it before.



... to govern the peoples

of the United Kingdom...



Do you like it?









... the other territories according to

their respective laws and customs?



I solemnly promise so to do.



Itís the beginning of a new era.



Thence goes Queen Elizabeth

to sit in King Edward's Chair...



for the most sacred rite of her anointing.



Are you up here helping John?



Holding his hand.



Did Kenneth ever come up to Leicester?



Did you like him?



I didn't dislike him.



I could see what he saw in Joe, after all.



I couldn't really see what Joe saw in him.



Of course, I didn't know what went on.



Upstairs, come on.



Did you know that Joe was that way?



- Yes.

- You didn't.



I did and I didn't.



The way you do, don't you?



Mind you, at our Douglas' wedding,

Mom found him in bed with a bridesmaid.



So you see? Itís as I say.



He couldn't have learned it in Leicester.



He was corrupted.



Joe wanted something from Kenneth.



And Kenneth wanted something from Joe.

Itís not corruption.



Itís collaboration.



He was born that way,

or else it was my mom.



Women don't care anyway.



- I don't care what men get up to.

- I don't care where they put it.



As long as they don't put it there.



Didn't I say upstairs?



A taste of their own medicine.



The lavatories shocked me a bit

when I read his diary, but...



A boy stopped me the other day...



and said, "I want to thank you for

your brother's plays." So what do you do?



Yes, I feel quite grateful

for his plays myself.



Personally, I think a lot of that is made up.



- What?

- The toilets.



You have to go into all that, do you?



It all seems a bit unnecessary to me.



The lawn mower is not unnecessary.

The Fiesta is not unnecessary.



You ought to be grateful

we get money from his plays.



Grateful? I work, too, you know.



This isn't royalties.

This is plumbing money, this is.



He's nothing in Leicester, Joe Orton.



- Ken?

- What?



You know you could be

put in prison for this.



So could you.






Iím the innocent party.



No, I want to get on.



Writing, John, is one-tenth inspiration,







That's a library book.

You should respect books.



I respect them more than you.

You just take them for granted.



Shit, Iíll never catch up.



So what's this?

We are halfway through a novel.



You are, you mean.



Itís a collaboration, dear.



We've written it together.



- Stop it, Iím reading.

- You're not.



- Test me, then.

- What on?






Who is the father of Oedipus?



- Laius.

- Who is his mother?



Fuck his mother.



Boy Hairdresser.



Nice title.



Iíve shown it to one or two...



selected colleagues...



- and we laughed.

- You're kidding.



We had a real chuckle.



The trouble is that normal sex...



is still a novelty for most people...



in book form.



A book such as yours...



- which very wittily...

- We thought it was witty.



...explores the byways of sexuality...



is ahead of its time.



We are a very conservative firm.



Isnít one of the directors T.S. Eliot?



Yes, that's right.



Is he in the building?



Thursday. Yes, he is.



Fancy, John,

we're under the same roof as T.S. Eliot.



He wants to know which is his chair.



This one.



Yes, well, thank you very much

for letting us see this.



You can keep it a little longer if you want.

Show it to a few more friends.



Thank you, no.



And remember, next time you see Mr. Eliot...



tell him he has two devoted fans

in Islington...



who think The Waste Land

is a real knockout.



Never mind.



At least you can say

you sat in the same chair as T.S. Eliot.



Yes, Iím never gonna wipe my bum again.



Why did you leave all the talking to me?

Itís your book as much as mine.



Iím shy. Itís not my territory.



This is dead-center me.



Nice bum.



- He heard that.

- So what?



Now you're shy.



This is Mr. Halliwell.






Doesn't knock on my box one bit.



He's got a big one.



- How do you know?

- Itís written all over his face.



- Look at the package on that.

- Where?



- We're on.

- I didn't see anything. What did he do?



What do you want, a telegram? Come on!



He's built like a brick shithouse.



- He's probably a policeman.

- Yes, I know. Isnít he wonderful?



We've got tickets for the Proms.



All right. What's your name?



- What do you mean, what's my name?

- Mine's Kevin.



Mine's Howard.



- That's a poncey name.

- Patrick, then.



Catholic, are you? What do you do?



- I don't know. What do you do?

- Iím a fitter, car components.



Iím a dog handler.



On an individual basis,

or are you a tool of a large organization?



Iím so shit scared, I don't know

if Iíll be able to do anything.



We don't want to let this

make us late for the Proms.



Listen, sweetheart, which do you prefer?



Him or Sir Malcolm Sargent?



Hello. My name's Kevin.



- Mine's Kenneth.

- Mine's Kenneth, too.



- Shit.

- Only, my friends call me Patrick.



We're all friends here.



Do you kiss?



I don't think he likes me.



You like him, don't you?






Kiss him.



And so,    years passed.



- Not like that.

- No, silly, not like that.



Nothing happened. Looking back on it,

I suppose it was some kind of preparation.



An education, maybe.



Well, if it seemed like that to Joe,

it can't have done to Ken.



- No.

- His hair was falling out.



God, I know the feeling.



And whereas he'd stopped writing,

Joe had started.



Still, they were both failures,

so it didn't matter.



- It didn't matter yet.

- Quite.



You want rice pudding

with the sardines or separate?












Mozart was dead by the time he was my age.



- Iím not even young anymore.

- What about me?



You never were.



I can't see

how we are ever going to make our mark...



defacing library books.



- You didn't tell me one of them was a nancy.

- Iím sorry, Mr. Cunliffe?



The bald one, Miss Batersby.



A homosexual. A shirtlifter.



- In Islington?

- Haven't you noticed?



Large areas of the borough

are being restored...



and painted Thames green.



Noel Road.



This calls for a little detective work,

Miss Batersby.



"Fucked by Monty." indeed!



Men died! Died!









 - - .



The above-mentioned vehicle...



appears to be derelict and abandoned...



in Noel Road...



and I have been given to understand...



you are the owner thereof.



"But before enforcing remedies...



"I give you the opportunity

to remove the vehicle from the highway."



The little prick.



Unzip our trusty Remington, John.



We will piss on this person

from a great height.



"Humber Hawk" indeed.



Dear sir,

thank you for your dreary little letter...



- "Dismal" is better.

- "Dismal," then.



I should like to know...



who provided you

with this mysterious information.



"Furnished" is better than "provided."

Itís more municipal in tone.



You will note the typing,

Miss Batersby, is the same.



Our book jacket...



their letter.



Got you, my beauties.



This is the novel Clouds of Witness

by the noted authoress Dorothy L. Sayers.



Could you read what the accused

have written on the flap of the jacket?



"When little Betty McDree says

she has been interfered with...



"her mother first laughs.



"'It is only something the kitty

has picked up off the television.'



"But when sorting through the laundry...



"Mrs. McDree discovers

a new pair of knickers are missing...



"she thinks again.



"Her mother takes little Betty

to the police station...



"where to everyone's surprise...



"she identifies P.C. Brecken-Coolidge

as her attacker.



"A search is made

of the women's police barracks.



"What is found there

is a seven-inch phallus...



"and a pair of knickers

of the type used by Betty.



"All looks black for kindly P.C. Coolidge.



"This is one of the most enthralling stories

ever written by Miss Sayers.



"Read it behind closed doors...



"and have a good shit

while you're reading it."



The probation officer has suggested

that you are both frustrated authors.



If you are so clever at making fun...



of what more talented people have written...



you should have a shot

at writing books yourselves.



You won't find that such a pushover.



Sheer malice and destruction,

the pair of you.



I sentence you both to six months.



- Fucking A.

- It was your idea.



But Iím the youngest.



Prison worked wonders for Joe.



And being a man, of course...



he made out it was much more of an ordeal

than in fact it was.



- Where did he go?

- Brixton, for about five minutes...



then one of those open places in Sussex.



Quite near my health farm, actually,

and with much the same effect.



Though at rather less expense.






And at my place you don't get psychiatry.



What about your parents?



Dead. Both of them.



When I was a little kiddie.



Iím an orphan.



The guy I share a room with...






he cracks on he's the orphan.



Don't you believe him.



He reckons he got up one morning...



and found his dad

with his head in the gas oven.



Didn't even call the ambulance.



How is he, by the way?



That was your mother.



Tell me about your father.



There's nothing to tell. I was   ...



I came down one morning and found him

with his head in the gas oven.



You called the ambulance, naturally?



Oh, eventually.



I made a cup of tea first.



He was quite plainly dead.



- You weren't fond of him.

- Not particularly.



You're fond of your roommate.



We're everything to one another.



Sleep together, do you?






but we have sex.



Are you sure?






You don't mean you want to have sex?



No, we do.



But your friend's not like that, is he?

He's married, he's got a child.



So you're surprised, are you?



Not really.



This may come as a shock to you...



but I suspect your friend...



may be homosexual.






And there I am,

sleeping in the same room with him.



You mentioned your wife.

Where is she now?



The last I heard,

she'd taken the kid to Lyme Regis.



Try and team up with them again.



Make a fresh start.



Don't you worry.



Not too Spartan, is it?



On the contrary, a room of one's own.



Prison gives a writer credentials.



Everyone else, it takes them away.



It was the first time in    years

they'd been split up.



- So prison was a taste of freedom.

- For Joe.



When did you do this?



- I haven't seen this.

- Itís a radio play.



I did it on my own in prison.



- Iíve sent it to the BBC.

- Why didn't you tell me?



I could help you write a proper letter.

You'll never hear back.



I already have.



"We had a little room...



"and our life was made quite comfortable

by the National Assistance Board.



"We had a lot of friends

of all creeds and colors...



"and no circumstances at all.



"We were happy enough.



"We were young."



"I was    and he was   .



"You can't do better for yourself than that,

can you?



"We were bosom friends."



- "I hope I haven't shocked you."

- "As close as that?"



"We had separate beds."



"He was a stickler for appearances.



"But we spent every night

in each other's company.



"It was the reason

we never got any work done.



"I used to base my life around him."



- "Don't often get that, do you?"

- "No."



"He had personality."



Could we make that line read

"stickler for convention"?



"His mentality wasn't fully developed.



"He was bound to make good

sooner or later."



I knew nothing about him

when he walked in.



Mr. Orton...



- Hello.

- Hello, dear.



I thought the radio play was derivative.

I said so.



- Did he mind?

- Not at all.



Iím writing a better one for the stage.



Mr. Orton, that would be gorgeous.



Would it be rude to inquire

how you're managing to live?



National Assistance, $ .   a week.



Iím afraid Iíve just come out of jail.






The papers will love all that.



This is what we call an advance.



It means that when you finish

the new play you're writing...



the one that's going to be better...



you bring it along and show me.



John Orton.



Don't like that.



Sounds too much like John Osborne.



Are you attached to John as a name?






Try to think of another one, dear.



Next time I come...



can I bring my friend?



Right around the back, and when you

hit the middle of the sofa, lunge.






- Is that better, Joe?

- Fine.



- Is the view better for you?

- Itís better for me.



Except, it's not our play.



You're making it into a cheap sex farce.

That's not what we wrote.






- Ken thinks...

- You wrote this play, Iím directing it.



I don't give a damn what this refugee

from a secondhand clothes shop thinks.



I will not have him in rehearsal.

It fucks up the actors.



- He's a friend.

- After all, it's your play.



It is your play, isn't it?



You just want to be liked.



That's your trouble.



Am I    or   ?



For publicity purposes.



Peggy's been pestering me

for some undisputed facts.



Why not tell the truth?    "Joe."



I can't put   .



I don't look   .



Besides,    is a well-known bus.



Married or single?









One kid.



Iíve dedicated it to you.



What more do you want?



Did you put my full name?



Or just Kenneth?



Iíll put your phone number, too, if you want.



Why now?



You're not ashamed of me?



Hair loss is often thought of

as a sign of sexual potency.



Does your experience bear that out?



More people wear wigs

than is commonly realized.



Trades union leaders...



sporting personalities...



members of the royal family.



Itís better than the beret.



Shall we keep it on?



Yes, I think so.



I shall wear it to our first night.



Itíll be $  .



$  ?



This is on me.



And this is on me.



Iím not calling you "Joe."

You sound like rough trade.



To me, you're John. You'll always be John.



For Ken and Joe...



opportunity knocked.



I just want to see if it works.






The wig.



Iím going to end up like you.






Stay there.



All right?



You got the time?



Not right now.






You see the fellow in the wig?



He's wanting it, ask him.



Oh, fear.



Go on.



Got a match?



- What?

- A light.



- Iím afraid I haven't.

- Pity.



I was thinking of popping in

for a Jimmy Riddle.



You know.



It works.



- It really works.

- Go on, get in there.



I daren't.



- Do you want me to come?

- No.



Go on.



They are called cottages, you know.

Gentlemen's laves.



In the States, it's tearooms.






In England, tearooms

are something quite different.



So are cottages.



Have you ever seen anything going on?



You don't want it stuck up your ass,

by any chance?



If you mean what I think you mean...






No harm in asking.






We were just having a chat.



- The police! Out! Quick!

- Jesus.



Thank you.



My second play, Loot,

is a bigger hit than my first.



Itís also a better play,

and it is the critics' choice.



Best play of the year.



The film rights have been sold

for a record figure.



Currently I am working on a screenplay

for four boys...



who are nudging Jesus Christ...



for position of number one

most famous person ever.



But have I ever met these fabled creatures?



Have I ever met their manager,

Ms. Brian Epstein...



and have I been paid?



No. Then why am I doing it?






Iím going to jack it in, Beatles or no Beatles.



What I would like to do at this moment...



would be to ease down

their Liverpudlian underpants...



and ram my Remington up their arses.



The lovable mop-heads.



- What about me?

- What about you?



I can't remember

when you last touched my cock.



I can, actually.



It was about two years ago.



Only, I can't remember the actual date.






I could have put it in my diary.



"The last time Joe touched my cock.



"Grouse shooting begins."



Maybe we should go away.



Somewhere where there is plenty of sex.

And I don't mean Southport.



Somewhere even you might be happy.



Morocco, maybe.



What do you think?



I don't want to go away.



I just want to go to the awards.



I could! Look, "Joe Orton and guest."



Iíd behave. I wouldn't say a word, I promise.



- No.

- Why?



- Because it's for me. I wrote it.

- I gave you the title.



Okay, so when they have awards for titles,

you can go to that.






No, this is Mr. Orton's personal assistant.



No, he's tied up at the moment.



I see.






Thank you.



Paul McCartney's calling to see you.



He's on his way now.



- Here?

- Yeah.






- Was that him?

- No, no.



Someone more cultured.

The chauffeur, I think.



- Did you tell him the address?

- He knew the address.



I wish Iíd known. This place is like a pigsty.



He won't mind. He's used to it.



He's an ordinary working-class boy.

They all are.



He's the nicest, though.

Iíve always liked him.



The others are more instinctive.



I won't sulk. Just introduce me.



Say who I am, then Iíll make myself scarce.



This is what it must be like

when one is about to meet the Queen.



Except, when one meets the Queen...



one normally hasn't threatened

to ram one's typewriter up her ass.



Mr. Orton?



Iím his personal assistant.



He's waiting for you in the car.






- That was Paul McCartney.

- Was it?



Kenneth, you are going to have

some memories.



So Ken didn't get to the awards ceremony,

and I did.



I give you the award

on behalf of the Metropolitan Police...



At moments of triumph,

men can do without their wives.



They cramp our style.



- But sharing is what wives want.

- Right.



And Ken was a coach as well as a wife.



Poor Ken.



Still, it was a popular win.



Joe was young, the play was naughty.

It all seemed very bold.



My plays are about getting away with it...



and the ones who get away with it

are the guilty.



It's the innocents who get it in the neck.



But that all seems pretty true to life to me.



Not a fantasy at all.



I've got away with it so far...



and I'm going to go on.



Thank you.



- Shall I drop you?

- Actually, the    is handier.



- Why, where are you going?

- Just going on somewhere.



- Congratulations again.

- Thank you.



What did you say?



- Did you say anything?

- Nothing.



You know me.



Thank you.



Various people...



kissed me.



You should pack.



- Do you read my diary?

- No.






Maybe you'd like me a bit less.



Should I take my typewriter?



- No, this is a holiday.

- Oh, just in case.



Which one do you want?

Abbott or Costello?



I don't mind.



Which one do you think likes me?



Iím not sure liking comes into it.



Iím not sure liking comes into it.



So your sister's husband works in Epsom?



Epsom, yes.



In a hotel?



Yes. Waiter.



Epsom's in Surrey...



near London.



And to think there's another two

coming round at  :  .



My life's beginning to run to a timetable...



that no member of the royal family

would tolerate.



- Iím improving.

- You are.



Having it sucked regularly

is turning you back into a human being.



Who is this? No one knows we're here.



I gave the Beatles' office the number.

Just in case.



Itís Brian Epstein.



I was very impressed

with your screenplay, Joe.



But some areas Iím not sure

Iíve understood correctly...



and perhaps you could

talk me through those?






The Beatles are all pursuing

the same girl, right?






Well, maybe.



Knowing the boys as I do,

I would say that was...



well, iffy.






it's on Page   ...



Scene    when we definitely

seem to kiss reality goodbye.



Cut to the boys in bed with Susan.



One of them is smoking a joint.

He passes it around.



Two points there, Joe.

One, these boys do not take drugs.



They never have taken drugs

and they never will take drugs.



Itís only a joint.



Second point.

If the boys are all in bed with Susan...



this means, as I understand it,

that they are all in bed with each other.



No, no, no.






Why? Because these are

normal, healthy boys.



I take it they all sleep together.



They do not.



But they're all very pretty.



I imagined they just had a good time.



Sang, smoked, fucked everything in sight,

including each other.



I thought that was what success meant.



Mr. Orton, success means...



it means a respect for the public.



Besides, one of the boys is happily married.



Iím sorry, Mr. Orton.



I hope you're having a pleasant vacation.



Why do you have to work?



Enjoy yourself.



I am enjoying myself.



- Listen to this.

- Not now. I don't want to.



Not here.



We'll get enough of this

when we get back to London.



Stop it.



Piss off.



Stupid nutter!



When we get back, we're finished.

This is the end.



Why don't you add,

"Iím going back to Mother"?



That's the kind of line

that makes your plays ultimately worthless.



He's waiting to be paid.



Actually, he's rather sweet.



I think Iíll retire.



Lick my wounds...



or have them licked for me.



You might at least open a window.

The place stinks.



That's good.



Peggy sold the Beatles script

to someone else.



I get paid twice over, apparently.



The Observer would like to interview me.



The Observer would like to interview me.



And Vogue wonders if Iíd be interested

in modeling some clothes.



So much for the holiday.



- What?

- I take you away for four weeks...



you come back,

still the same jealous bitch as before.



Have you got them out?

Yes, you have. I know you, come on.



Come on, do your act.



- No!

- Come on, do your act.



How many is it, the fatal dose?



Twelve, is it?



One, two...



Here you are. Fetch.



And another. Yeah, and another.






- Answer that.

- No.



Answer it.






Hello, Leonie.



Yes, it was very nice. Thank you.



Hold on.






When was this?



Does that mean

there will have to be a funeral?






Iíll come up. Okay.






- My mother's dead.

- Oh, Joe.



I know what it's like.



My whole life changed

when my mother died.



Iím so sorry.



Iím not.



And while Iím away, see a doctor.



A proper doctor. You're sick.



Hello, duck.



Your mother's ready now...



if you'd like to come in

and pay your respects.



I think father first.



Stop it, Joe. I don't want to laugh.



I didn't know her. I don't want to laugh.



I still don't know

why you want to go calling yourself Joe.



John's a much classier name.



You've left her glasses off.



Yes. You'll find that's normal procedure.



Generally speaking, people prefer it.



What's happened to her teeth?



Mislaid, apparently.






She was proud of her teeth.



Oh, God. Chuck them away.



I want something to remember her by.



You've no feeling at all, do you?



Iíve started night school now.



Modern English Literature.



Itís amazing how many writers are queer.



Do you think Mom's why you like lads?



Lay off.



You do look at lads. Iíve seen you.



You do look at lads. Iíve seen you.



Iíve had a better time than they had.






We had no time at all.



There must have been times...



when you were happy.









You kiss now. You never used to kiss.



That's London.



I never told you...



I met Paul McCartney.



Thought you were a bobby at first.



- Black tie.

- A funeral.



- Who died?

- My mother and two sisters.



Dead in the fire that consumed our home.



- You must be heartbroken.

- I am.



Handle my balls.



Do you need any assistance

in stripping the corpse?



I do not need a lesson in anatomy.

I was a trained nurse.



I am now removing her underclothes.



Please. You forget, this was my mother.



- Iím sorry.

- What about?



Your mother.



Hand me the prop teeth.



Don't mess about. Iím on.



Use these instead. They were my mother's.



Jesus Christ!



Is there anything else?



Is there anything else?



Her teeth.



I don't know what to say about the end.



It wasn't a natural act.



Well, obviously.



I didn't mean that.

These things happen, that's all.



I have an appointment with the psychiatrist

at   :   tomorrow.






Thank you for all the trouble you've taken.



You don't want a psychiatrist.



Itís this room. You've lived here too long.






I keep finding places.

You won't even go look.



"Two bedrooms, two reception rooms,

bathroom, and patio.



"This well-proportioned accommodation

can be easily maintained...



"with minimum effort,

leaving more time for leisure pursuits."



- Where?

- East Croydon.



I won't live in East Croydon.



You're so unadventurous. I love the country.



Itíll be nice

to see the occasional green field.



- East Croydon?

- Anywhere! Not you.



You'd be having a troll up and down

till your balls dropped off.



What did the doctor say?



He's already talking about hospital.



I haven't even seen the psychiatrist.



Still, he's a very good doctor.



He treats cabinet ministers.



What happens if we split up?



How would that help me?

We're talking about me.



We can't go on like this.



Iíve given you everything. I made you.



Listen to the dialogue, dear.



Iím not Eliza fucking Doolittle.

I made myself.



- Those are my books.

- Iíd see you all right.



- I taught you.

- I taught you, too.



What? How to go into a public lavatory?






if it hadn't been you,

it would have been someone else.



- Sleep on it.

- How?



I could give you a wank.



- What do you want?

- Joe.






Iím not John.



John's dead.



If you change your mind about the wank,

don't wake me up.



I don't understand my life.



I was an only child.



I lost both my parents.



By the time I was    I was going bald.



Iím a homosexual.



In the way of circumstances

and background...



I had everything

an artist could possibly want.



It was practically a blueprint.



I was programmed to be a novelist

or a playwright.



But Iím not and you are.






You do everything better than me!



You even sleep better than me!



I should have used this.



More theatrical.



But you'd have spotted that straight away.



I loved him.



I must have loved him.



I chose him to kill me.



I was scheduled to pick him up at   :  .



A private lunch.



He leads an increasingly glamorous life.



Is he a heavy sleeper?



I know nothing about his personal life.



Idle curiosity has never been

my strong point.



Try looking through the letterbox.



Hello, Mr. Orton.



Personally, Iíve driven in the firm's car,

but different destinations.



Has the other got a bald head?



No, he wears a wig.



Can you break down this door?






Can we break down the door?



Certainly not.



If there's damage to be done, call the police.



That's their job.



If he hadn't murdered Joe,

nobody would ever have known his name.



Ken was the first wife.



Did all the work and the waiting, and then...



First wives don't usually

beat their husbands' heads in.



No, though why, I can't think.



So what does that make you?

The second wife?



Better than that, dear.



The widow.



There were two ceremonies.



Joe's at Golder Green.

Everybody there. House fall.



Ken's at Enfidle.

You couldnít give tickets away.



Three people.



That's sad.






they fetched up together at the end.



Strictly speaking,

we would have preferred it...



if both the deceased

had been cremated on the premises.



Intermingling would then have been

carried out by experienced personnel...



under controlled conditions.



I think Iím putting in more of Joe

than I am of Kenneth.



Itís a gesture, dear, not a recipe.



I hope nobody gets to hear about this

in Leicester.




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