Pilot Feud: Bette and Joan


Pilot

Drama series. In 1962, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford realises that good roles are not being written for women of her age, so she decides to find one for herself.


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Transcript


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This programme contains very strong language

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CHATTER

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There was never a rivalry like theirs.

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For nearly half a century, they hated each other,

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and we loved them for it.

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You know, Joan's real name was Lucille LeSueur.

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The poor thing, she was raised in utter squalor.

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I mean, literally.

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Scrubbed toilets before coming to Hollywood.

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At the peak of the Depression - that's when I first started out -

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she was the woman every man wanted, and every woman wanted to be.

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Many think of her

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as the greatest star of all time.

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Now, my dear friend Bette...

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Well, she, quite frankly,

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was the greatest actress Hollywood had ever known.

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During the war, she played all the best roles,

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and she played them with a...

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I don't know how to say this,

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but with a ballsy intensity

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that none of us, actor or actress, would have dared.

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You know, they only made one film together.

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And how that happened and what happened afterwards, well...

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Well, that was a story and a feud

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of Biblical proportions.

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What was behind their feud?

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Why did they hate each other so much?

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Feuds are never about hate.

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Feuds are about pain.

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They're about pain.

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Please welcome to the stage, tonight's winner,

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Miss Marilyn Monroe!

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I've got great tits, too,

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but I don't throw them in everyone's face.

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All right, darling.

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Gee.

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Gosh, I just sure didn't expect this.

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You know, I always said that, if I was the star,

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it was because the people made me a star, and...

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You know, when I was a girl,

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I used to look out into the Hollywood sky and think,

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"Gosh, I just want to be a movie star," you know?

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And now I'm part of you. So thank you so much.

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Gosh, I should try to thank some people, huh?

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I'm just so bad at remembering names.

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Hedda Hopper for Joan.

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Miss Crawford is occupied.

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She's had enough time to sleep it off.

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Announce me.

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Is there anything we can do about these lines?

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I'm afraid I'm gonna be served for Thanksgiving dinner.

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The best you can do for this? High collars.

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Turtleneck for turkey neck.

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Christ, Nonah, can't you give me some hope?

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Ugh. You know how it is.

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Men age, they get character.

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Women age, they get lost.

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KNOCK ON DOOR What?

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I'm sorry, Miss Joan.

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Hedda Hopper's downstairs.

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Oh, Jesus.

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Hedda.

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You know I never receive unscheduled guests - not even my children.

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But here you are.

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Well, you ran out of the Globes last night before I could get a quote.

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Did I?

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Mamacita? Coffee.

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Well, it was a marvellous event.

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I do so appreciate the foreign press.

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They've been so very kind to me.

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I didn't come here for the boilerplate, Joan.

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From what I hear, you stumbled out of there in a drunken fit.

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-I'm gonna go back inside.

-Baby...

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Well, you know how those award dinners can be.

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Stop it!

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I must've eaten something that disagreed with me.

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Crow?

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Had to have been pretty galling,

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watching the foreign press fawn all over Monroe like that.

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Hedda, you know when I'm out in public events like that,

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I only drink Pepsi-Cola.

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I am the brand ambassador.

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I don't know why you keep plugging that shitty sugar water.

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Word is, since Al died, the board isn't paying your bills any more,

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and you're having to sell your custom Billy Haines furniture

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piece by piece just to keep the lights on.

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You wouldn't print those lies.

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Got to print something.

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All right.

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Then print this.

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Joan Crawford, after mourning the passing of her husband,

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her beloved Alfred Steele,

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is ready to get back to work.

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Oh, come on, Joan.

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Give me a quote.

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You know my readers would be fascinated

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with hearing the thoughts of yesterday's It Girl about today's.

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There can only be room for one It Girl.

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Is that right?

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Well, men built the pedestal, darling, not me.

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There's only room for one goddess at a time.

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Well, men may have built the pedestal,

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but it's the women who keep chipping away at it

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until it comes tumbling down.

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So what's it gonna be, honey?

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A quote on Monroe, or am I gonna have to write about

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how a valet saw you stumble into a Cadillac?

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All right.

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Good.

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I think that Marilyn Monroe

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and the vulgarity of her clothing and pictures

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is ruining this great industry that I love.

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People don't want to see stars like Monroe in pictures.

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They want their stars to be wholesome, with good morals.

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Like me.

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That's not the only difference between you and her.

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She's getting roles.

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What's this about?

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This, my friend,

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is the Academy Award for Best Actress I won in 1945

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for Mildred Pierce.

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And I would like another one.

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And do you know what I need, Marty, to make that happen?

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A great script.

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I want to work now that Al's dead.

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I want to work, Marty.

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I need to work.

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I sent you a great script four months ago, Joan.

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-You did it, and you were wonderful in it.

-No. It was a pilot.

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I had to do my own make-up, and it wasn't even picked up to series.

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Joan, how about this. Let me read everything that's out there,

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send over the highlights.

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You go through the pile and find something that excites you.

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Joanie!

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I can't play Elvis's grandmother.

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I won't do it. Maybe you better send me some other scripts.

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That's all I have, Joan. That's all they're making.

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Marty, I am an actress. I want to act.

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I'm at the top of my game right now.

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Then you need to find a project yourself,

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cos the roles just aren't out there.

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May I help you?

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I need books.

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Was there a particular title you were interested in?

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Anything with ladies on the cover.

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Oh, Mamacita. Good.

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That's all they had. I could try Encino next,

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unless you found something you like.

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Everything written for women seem to fall into just three categories.

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-Ingenues, mothers, or gorgons.

-So what does that leave you?

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We'll find something.

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No, no, Mamacita, nothing Sapphic.

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I ran into the gardeners outside.

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They want to know when they'll get paid. We owe them two months.

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What did you tell them?

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That it was an honour to prune Miss Crawford's bush

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and to shut up.

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These are lean times, Mamacita, but we'll get through them.

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This one is about a baby.

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Which pile - "mothers"?

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And action!

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CRUNCH

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-Cut! Cut!

-Plywood. You get the plywood in there...

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-Plywood.

-Plywood.

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Dad, you're needed in the control centre, pronto.

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Plywood. Plywood!

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If I make another sandal saga, put a bullet in my head.

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Eva Braun's on the horn.

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I told her you're busy, but she keeps calling back.

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Gretchen, my love.

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How's my little strudel?

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What? No, no, you can't come down here today.

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Why? Because my kids are working on the set, that's why.

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What if word got back to my wife?

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Yeah.

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I'll call you back.

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Christ.

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She wants to be in the movie now.

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Well, that's because she knows the only time

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you really pay attention to a woman

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is when she's in front of your camera.

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This movie we're making, Pauline? It is a piece of crap.

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Hey, what about that espionage script?

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Oh, no, stinko.

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I know who did it on page three.

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But...this one...

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This one has potential.

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Horror/thriller, two broads, former movie stars.

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A cripple and her crazy sister

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battling it out in their Hollywood home.

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A horror picture?

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Hitch just did it with Psycho.

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Still raking it in.

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But even better, Baby Jane has one set.

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It's a very small cast. You can have final cut.

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You can produce this yourself.

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Face it, Bob, Ben-Hur has already been done.

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Where'd you get this?

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Oh, it came by messenger, special delivery.

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Along with this.

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BOTTLES CLINKING

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Miss Crawford?

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Yes?

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Special delivery.

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# The falling leaves

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-# Drift by the window... #

-She's expecting you.

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# The autumn leaves

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# Of red and gold... #

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She's expecting you on the patio.

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# I see your lips

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# The summer kisses

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# The sun-burned hands I used to hold... #

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Joanie.

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Bob.

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-Tea?

-If we're gonna talk business,

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I'm gonna need a real drink.

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Sally, dear, will you go in the house

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and see if Mamacita needs any help?

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One of your fans?

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Well, if they're going to hang around all day,

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I'm going to put them to work.

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So, are we gonna make this picture?

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If you can satisfy my demands.

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-Can anybody, Joanie?

-We did pretty well the last time.

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-Autumn Leaves made millions.

-It would have made a million more

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if you'd gotten off your goddamn high horse

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-and let me mess you up a little.

-It would have made 2 million more

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if you'd gotten me Brando. Now, you listen to me on this picture.

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I'll get you the perfect co-star.

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Who do you have in mind?

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# ..Autumn leaves start to fall. #

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I didn't know the patrona had turned to a widow,

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a sort of bright widow spider.

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Cocktails, anybody?

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No, thank you, Mrs Faulk. I don't believe we'll have any.

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They don't serve cocktails

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between the fish and the entree, Maxine, honey.

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Mercilessly accurate, Mr Shannon.

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But when I asked you for one,

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you offered it to me without a sign of reluctance.

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Aren't you making a large point out of a small matter?

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Just the opposite, honey.

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I'm making a small point out of a very large matter.

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Where'd you learn how to light a match in the wind?

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Oh, I've learned lots of useful little things along the way.

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I only wish I'd learned some big ones.

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-Such as what?

-How to help you, Mr Shannon.

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-Now I know why I've come here.

-So you can meet someone

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who knows how to light a match in the wind?

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APPLAUSE

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-KNOCK ON DOOR

-What?!

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There's a lady here to see you.

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Who is it?

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Joan Crawford.

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You're fucking kidding me.

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Bette.

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Lucille, what the hell brings you to the theatre?

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Well, you, of course.

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Oh, you were wonderful tonight.

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You lit up the stage.

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I can't believe you didn't get better reviews.

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New York critics - they don't like us Hollywood people

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coming in, taking over their town.

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I say screw 'em.

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Make it quick, Lucille,

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I've got a car waiting to take me to the country.

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Guess what, Bette?

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I have finally found the perfect project for the two of us.

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It's always been my dream to work with you.

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Do you remember how I begged Jack Warner

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to put us together in Ethan Frome?

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-With Mr Gary Cooper.

-You do remember.

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You wanted to play the pretty young servant girl,

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and I was to play the old hag of a wife. Forget it.

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But this is different.

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These are the parts of a lifetime.

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No, thanks, Lucille. I've got plenty of better offers.

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Bullshit.

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I know what kind of offers you've been getting.

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Exactly none, because the same is true for me.

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They're not making women's pictures any more.

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Not the kind we used to make.

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It's all cyclical. They'll come back in fashion.

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But we won't.

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If something's going to happen, we have to make it happen.

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No-one's looking to cast women our age.

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But together?

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They wouldn't dare say no.

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We need each other, Bette.

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So what the hell happened to her anyway, Baby Jane?

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Read it. Find out.

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Oh, I'm offering you the title role.

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The lead?

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You can call it that.

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# In the evening

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# In the evening, people When the sun goes down

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# Don't your heart feel mighty empty... #

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Thank you.

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BD! # ..when your baby's not around?

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# If I could holler

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# Just like a mountain jack

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# Then I would go way up on the mountain

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# And call my baby back

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# In the e...vening

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# In the evening

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# When the sun goes down... # PHONE RINGS

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-Did you fuck Joan Crawford?

-No, I did not fuck her.

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Not that I didn't have ample opportunity.

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We all know what special relationship

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Joan has with her directors.

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Oh, come on, Bette. William Wyler?

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Oh, I see someone has been a good little boy

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-and done all his homework.

-Bette, listen, here's the deal.

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Crawford's name on the marquee gets us distribution.

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I need her to get the picture made,

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but I need you to make the picture great.

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Keep talking.

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Bette, I've made my share of steaming piles of shit,

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but every now and again I get a chance to work with

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an artist like you. Someone who isn't afraid to leap off a cliff.

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Most people are terrified to go anywhere near the edge.

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Now, that gets me excited.

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I'm a kid again. Everything's possible.

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Bette, I promise you this is gonna be

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the greatest horror movie ever made.

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And Baby Jane's the greatest part you'll play since Margo Channing.

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All right, answer this question, and don't lie.

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Why this picture?

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Honestly?

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I'm not being offered anything else.

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You're too big for Broadway, Bette.

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Come back to Hollywood, where you belong.

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I'll get back to you, Bob.

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It's a socko script, Bob, just socko.

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We ran the numbers and it looks doable, very doable.

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-Fantastic.

-We feel like Crawford and Davis

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may be a little long in the tooth. Why don't we go a little younger?

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How about Hepburn in the Blanche role?

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Well, Katharine Hepburn's the same age as Davis.

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I think she's a year older.

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Audrey Hepburn, and Doris Day as Baby Jane.

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Are you kidding?

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-We love Davis and Crawford for this.

-Oh, that's terrific.

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The sexy neighbour girl, have you thought about that?

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-Not really. It's a small part.

-Yeah. Let's beef that up.

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In fact, we want to tell the story from her point of view.

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Like Hitchcock did with Rear Window.

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It's not a story about a sexy neighbour girl.

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I want to make it about her.

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We've been looking for something for Natalie Wood.

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-It's not gonna work here, Bob.

-No, I won't take no for an answer, Ed.

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These two women are legends.

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They've got millions of fans across the globe

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who would pay good money just for the chance

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-to see them together on screen.

-I agree,

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but it's not Davis and Crawford we don't want - it's you, Bob.

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They're just not willing to get into bed with you.

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Not after Sodom. No offence.

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Bromo.

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Would you fuck 'em?

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I don't know.

0:22:200:22:22

It's a very simple question, Bobby.

0:22:220:22:24

Would you give either of those broads a toss in the hay?

0:22:240:22:27

Would you fuck 'em?

0:22:270:22:29

-Yes.

-What?

0:22:290:22:31

Bullshit.

0:22:310:22:32

It's a no, Bobby.

0:22:340:22:37

Sorry.

0:22:370:22:38

So every other studio passed on this project, huh?

0:22:380:22:41

And you come to me as the last resort?

0:22:410:22:42

I find that disrespectful.

0:22:420:22:44

No. Not last, Jack...inevitable.

0:22:440:22:47

It's kismet that we make the movie here.

0:22:470:22:50

Warner Brothers is the studio where both Davis and Crawford worked

0:22:500:22:53

when they were still under contract. It'll be like a homecoming.

0:22:530:22:56

You know, I can see the headlines.

0:22:560:22:58

They're still big stars.

0:22:580:22:59

Big has-beens, you mean.

0:22:590:23:01

All right, that's good. That's enough, that's good.

0:23:010:23:03

And big pains in my ass.

0:23:030:23:04

Both those women made my life a living hell when they worked for me,

0:23:040:23:07

because they thought that I worked for them.

0:23:070:23:10

SLAP

0:23:100:23:11

More perks, more perks, more perks.

0:23:120:23:15

And always questioning the material that I wanted them to do, always.

0:23:150:23:19

-Oh, come on, Jack.

-No. It's true.

0:23:190:23:21

And you know what the worst part is?

0:23:210:23:23

The ingratitude.

0:23:230:23:24

I created goddesses, Bobby.

0:23:240:23:27

I created goddesses.

0:23:270:23:28

I was Zeus and they were a couple of Aphrodites.

0:23:280:23:31

But you know what happens to Aphrodite

0:23:310:23:33

when her tits start to sag and her pictures start losing money?

0:23:330:23:36

Or Venus, who should just look pretty and keep her mouth shut,

0:23:360:23:39

and she starts having an opinion about everything -

0:23:390:23:41

you know what happens to her? Zeus picks up a lightning bolt

0:23:410:23:44

and he hurls it right at her head and he splits it open.

0:23:440:23:47

That's what happens.

0:23:470:23:48

I need a lunch thing.

0:23:500:23:52

And my clothing.

0:23:530:23:55

You've got a pretty short goddamn memory, Bobby.

0:23:550:23:58

What does that mean?

0:23:580:24:00

That bitch Davis sued me in 1936 to get out of her contract.

0:24:000:24:03

She literally sued me.

0:24:030:24:05

Bobby, I was so upset about that

0:24:050:24:07

that I got an ulcer and haemorrhoids from it.

0:24:070:24:09

I still have them. I'll show them to you.

0:24:090:24:11

And you know what else? I won that suit, I won it.

0:24:120:24:16

And she was ordered to come back to work for me...

0:24:160:24:18

She just wanted better parts, Jack. A say in her own destiny.

0:24:180:24:21

Yeah, OK, fine.

0:24:210:24:23

But because of her selfishness and her bullheadedness,

0:24:230:24:25

the entire studio contract system came crashing down!

0:24:250:24:28

The whole thing, because of her!

0:24:280:24:31

She's the one who put the crack in the levee,

0:24:310:24:33

and you want me to work with her again?

0:24:330:24:35

Are you fucking crazy?!

0:24:350:24:37

Never! Never again.

0:24:370:24:39

Never. That...cunt!

0:24:390:24:41

Her unemployment is my long-simmering revenge.

0:24:490:24:52

You're gonna make my picture, Jack.

0:24:590:25:02

I'm sorry?

0:25:030:25:04

You need it.

0:25:050:25:07

Television is kicking your ass.

0:25:070:25:09

-Oh...

-And the movies you're making, they're all bombs.

0:25:090:25:12

-Crowded Sky? Bomb.

-Bad title.

0:25:120:25:14

Fever in the Blood, you couldn't even give tickets away.

0:25:140:25:17

And you know why? You got no stars.

0:25:170:25:20

I got stars.

0:25:200:25:22

I got a great script that I wrote myself, a script I believe in.

0:25:220:25:25

And I've got a genre

0:25:250:25:27

television isn't doing, Jack - horror.

0:25:270:25:30

Hmm.

0:25:350:25:37

No.

0:25:400:25:41

We got most of our financing from Seven Arts.

0:25:410:25:43

-Yeah.

-I just need you to release the picture in your theatres.

0:25:430:25:46

-You'll be the single largest profit participant.

-Yeah.

0:25:460:25:49

I'll pay you first.

0:25:550:25:57

Miss Davis, how do you feel about Baby Jane Hudson?

0:26:080:26:10

We hear she's pretty mean.

0:26:100:26:12

She's full of venom and doesn't mince words.

0:26:120:26:15

We have nothing in common.

0:26:150:26:17

Which is wonderful for me, Jimmy.

0:26:170:26:19

Usually, I play the bitch,

0:26:190:26:21

but this time, I can sit back and watch Bette do it.

0:26:210:26:25

I told you - together, they're an event.

0:26:280:26:30

I can't believe I let you talk me into this.

0:26:340:26:37

How about signing some contracts, ladies?

0:26:380:26:40

Who do you think's gonna grab the chair on the left?

0:26:420:26:44

-What do you mean?

-Whoever gets there first gets top billing

0:26:440:26:47

right underneath the caption in tomorrow's paper.

0:26:470:26:49

Why, thank you, Lucille.

0:26:500:26:52

How about one with the two of you signing your contracts?

0:26:580:27:01

Oh, man, that's great.

0:27:060:27:08

And one more.

0:27:260:27:28

Get the car, Mamacita.

0:27:340:27:36

Joan, you didn't sign the contract.

0:27:360:27:38

You know, I expected more from you, Bob, I truly did,

0:27:380:27:41

though why I don't know.

0:27:410:27:42

Starting with my no-good father,

0:27:420:27:44

who ran off with a stripper from Galveston,

0:27:440:27:46

to Louis B Mayer, I have been lied to and cheated on

0:27:460:27:50

by men my entire life.

0:27:500:27:52

I don't know why you should be any different.

0:27:520:27:54

What are you talking about, Joan?

0:27:540:27:56

She's getting 600 more dollars a week in expenses than I am.

0:27:590:28:05

Now, I cannot go into this project feeling resentment for my co-star.

0:28:050:28:10

Not after it was my idea

0:28:100:28:12

to throw this party in the first place.

0:28:120:28:14

I bet you never treated Kirk Douglas like this,

0:28:150:28:18

did you, on The Last Sunset?

0:28:180:28:19

It's an oversight, Joan. I'll take care of it.

0:28:190:28:22

I promise.

0:28:220:28:23

You understand, don't you, Bob?

0:28:290:28:31

It's not about the money.

0:28:330:28:35

It's about trust.

0:28:370:28:39

Of course.

0:28:390:28:40

I want 1,500.

0:28:500:28:52

The 1950s and early '60s were tough times for all us mature gals.

0:29:000:29:05

The studio system was dying out big-time,

0:29:050:29:08

and the only women who were getting hired were...

0:29:080:29:10

Well, they had big chests and small brains.

0:29:100:29:13

Say, is this documentary gonna be about all of us or just Joanie?

0:29:130:29:16

Is it like That's Entertainment?

0:29:160:29:18

Um, I'm not sure.

0:29:180:29:19

Well, honey, I'm sure both people who see it are gonna love it.

0:29:190:29:23

Can somebody get this girl a drink here?

0:29:230:29:25

Thanks, honey. Well, what were we talking about?

0:29:250:29:28

How tough it was for women in the '50s.

0:29:280:29:30

Right. But not for Joan.

0:29:300:29:32

Wow.

0:29:320:29:33

She was really something.

0:29:330:29:35

She barrelled through that decade like a freight train.

0:29:350:29:39

Thanks.

0:29:400:29:41

Hmm.

0:29:420:29:44

Who cares if her co-stars were getting younger and younger?

0:29:460:29:49

She was still Joan.

0:29:490:29:51

Still ambitious as hell.

0:29:510:29:53

And making hits till she got the best offer of her career.

0:29:530:29:57

A proposal from a widower, Al Steele, CEO of Pepsi-Cola,

0:29:580:30:02

and one of the wealthiest men in the country.

0:30:020:30:05

With all that money, after 40 years of working her ass off

0:30:050:30:08

and sweating over every goddamn dime,

0:30:080:30:10

she could finally exhale and live the high life.

0:30:100:30:13

Al, you may kiss the bride.

0:30:130:30:15

Come to Momma.

0:30:150:30:17

Oh, yeah!

0:30:170:30:19

Bette...

0:30:190:30:20

well, she was a different story.

0:30:200:30:22

After All About Eve, she was on top of the world.

0:30:220:30:25

And she thought she'd be swamped by offers,

0:30:250:30:28

but her biggest comeback turned into her biggest let-down.

0:30:280:30:31

So Bette decided to throw herself into the one role

0:30:320:30:35

she'd never gotten right - wife and mother.

0:30:350:30:37

She married her All About Eve co-star, Gary Merrill.

0:30:370:30:42

Bette was, to say the least...

0:30:420:30:45

..miscast.

0:30:460:30:48

Hello, wife.

0:31:120:31:14

Make yourself useful for once.

0:31:170:31:20

So I've been reading about you and Crawford.

0:31:200:31:24

Start shooting next week?

0:31:240:31:25

Day five, I get to kick her right in the head.

0:31:250:31:28

I can't wait.

0:31:280:31:30

So what brings you crawling back to Hollywood?

0:31:300:31:34

Another guest shot on Wagon Train?

0:31:340:31:37

Twilight Zone, actually.

0:31:370:31:38

Oh. Well, that should be easy for you.

0:31:380:31:40

Our whole marriage was a Twilight Zone.

0:31:400:31:43

You went to bed with Margo Channing and you woke up with me.

0:31:430:31:47

So why did we stop living together again?

0:31:470:31:49

You wanted me to starch your shirts and greet you at the door

0:31:500:31:53

with a martini in hand and ask,

0:31:530:31:55

-"How did your day at work go, darling?"

-Mmm.

0:31:550:31:57

I'm the one that needed a wife.

0:31:570:31:58

I brought you something.

0:32:000:32:02

You've wanted it for a long time.

0:32:020:32:03

Here it is.

0:32:100:32:12

It's all there.

0:32:120:32:14

I gave you everything - houses, kids, bank accounts,

0:32:160:32:19

-even the broken china.

-You goddamned prick!

0:32:190:32:21

Oh, admit it. You don't want me,

0:32:210:32:23

but you can't stand the idea of me being with anybody else.

0:32:230:32:25

-Who would have you, you broken-down has-been?

-You viper.

0:32:250:32:28

-You drunk.

-Takes one to know one.

0:32:280:32:30

THEY LAUGH

0:32:330:32:37

You know why they really broke up?

0:32:490:32:51

Well, it wasn't his performance in bed.

0:32:510:32:53

It was his performance on stage.

0:32:530:32:55

God, was Gary a stiff.

0:32:550:32:57

Just when Bette realised her marriage was about to close,

0:32:570:33:00

she took it on the road.

0:33:000:33:03

"Let the lights of Broadway spangle and splatter...

0:33:030:33:06

"and the taxis hustle the crowds away when the show is over.

0:33:060:33:09

"Let the lights of Broadway spangle. The girls wash off the paint

0:33:090:33:12

"and go for their midnight sandwiches.

0:33:120:33:14

"Let 'em dream in the morning sun, late in the morning,

0:33:140:33:16

"long after the morning papers,

0:33:160:33:18

"and dream as long as they want to in June somewhere..."

0:33:180:33:20

You know, she fired him from the tour.

0:33:200:33:22

Her own husband. And replaced him the very next day

0:33:220:33:25

with Barry Sullivan.

0:33:250:33:27

# I love all

0:33:310:33:36

# The many charms about you

0:33:390:33:44

# Oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

0:33:460:33:53

# I want my arms about you

0:33:530:34:01

# Naughty, naughty baby

0:34:040:34:08

# Come to Mama

0:34:080:34:10

# Come to Mama, do... #

0:34:100:34:15

When Bette had to choose,

0:34:150:34:17

she always picked the professional over the private.

0:34:170:34:21

She actually claimed she coined the term "Oscar".

0:34:220:34:25

Can you believe that?

0:34:250:34:26

Back when she nabbed the award for Dangerous in '35,

0:34:260:34:30

she told the press that its posterior reminded her

0:34:300:34:33

of her first husband's ass.

0:34:330:34:35

His middle name was Oscar. No-one ever called him that.

0:34:350:34:38

It was just more of her bullshit.

0:34:380:34:40

His name was Harmon. Everyone called him Ham.

0:34:400:34:43

Joanie, do you have to keep doing that?

0:34:430:34:47

What? It keeps my elbows supple.

0:34:470:34:49

I wasn't talking about that. Do you realise from the time

0:34:490:34:52

we got in the car tonight, all through dinner, and now,

0:34:520:34:55

-all you've done is complain about Bette Davis?

-Oh, that is not true.

0:34:550:34:58

It is. And I'll be honest, I don't understand it.

0:34:580:35:01

You two have so much in common.

0:35:010:35:02

More than any two other people on the planet.

0:35:020:35:05

Why can't you just get along?

0:35:050:35:07

Oh, don't you think I've tried?

0:35:070:35:09

Back when she won that Oscar, I was the first person

0:35:090:35:12

to send a congratulatory note and a bouquet.

0:35:120:35:15

And you know that I never heard back.

0:35:150:35:18

Not a word. Radio silence.

0:35:180:35:20

And this after she tried to screw my boyfriend.

0:35:200:35:24

Franchot was her co-star in that picture, you know.

0:35:240:35:26

Yes, you mentioned it at dinner.

0:35:260:35:28

She knew he was mine. That's why she tried to take him away.

0:35:300:35:33

But he rejected her advances, of course.

0:35:330:35:36

Told me everything.

0:35:360:35:38

So then I married him, out of spite.

0:35:380:35:42

Do you realise that Bette Davis is responsible

0:35:430:35:46

for one of my failed marriages?

0:35:460:35:49

Personally responsible.

0:35:490:35:51

And yet you still wanted her to do this picture with you.

0:35:510:35:54

I think it's because you two survived all that

0:35:540:35:56

and you realise that you really should be friends.

0:35:560:35:58

Friends?

0:35:580:36:00

You think it's friendship I want from her?

0:36:000:36:03

Is that what you think?

0:36:030:36:04

You're wrong. It's respect.

0:36:040:36:05

It's the only thing I have ever wanted from her.

0:36:050:36:08

Or any of them, for that matter.

0:36:080:36:11

And it's the one thing I've never gotten.

0:36:110:36:13

It took me until Mildred Pierce to be taken seriously as an actress.

0:36:140:36:19

And when I won my Oscar,

0:36:190:36:20

do you think I received any congratulatory notes or bouquets?

0:36:200:36:25

No.

0:36:250:36:26

Mmm.

0:36:260:36:28

But I did.

0:36:280:36:29

From men.

0:36:290:36:31

Men whose admiration I already had,

0:36:310:36:34

and whose respect I never craved.

0:36:340:36:36

But not the women.

0:36:370:36:39

None of the bitches in this town.

0:36:400:36:42

Least of all Queen Bitch, who always thought she was better than me,

0:36:420:36:47

more talented than me.

0:36:470:36:50

You admire her.

0:36:520:36:54

I admire her talent...

0:36:580:37:02

..and her craft.

0:37:030:37:05

And I will have her respect.

0:37:050:37:08

Even if I have to kill both of us to get it.

0:37:090:37:12

ALARM RINGS

0:37:350:37:38

Keep practising.

0:38:040:38:05

Could be faster.

0:38:050:38:07

Billy. Billy.

0:38:190:38:21

Billy, how is that new baby?

0:38:210:38:24

Fred! Oh, looks like you've lost some weight.

0:38:260:38:30

Pablo. Mother not so good.

0:38:300:38:32

Pablo, how is your mother, dear?

0:38:320:38:35

Dave.

0:38:370:38:38

Miss Crawford.

0:38:380:38:40

How lovely to see you again after all these years.

0:38:400:38:44

It's small.

0:38:530:38:54

And dirty.

0:38:580:39:00

OK, Mamacita, let's go to work.

0:39:030:39:06

Christ, she's at it again.

0:39:170:39:19

Sucking up to the goddamn crew so she gets better lighting and props.

0:39:190:39:22

Maybe she's just being nice, Mother.

0:39:220:39:25

Before noon, Lucille?

0:40:090:40:11

Got enough for two?

0:40:120:40:15

To us.

0:40:310:40:33

Together at last.

0:40:330:40:35

At last.

0:40:350:40:36

Nervous?

0:40:440:40:45

Terrified.

0:40:470:40:48

I haven't done a film in...

0:40:480:40:50

Three years, Joan.

0:40:500:40:51

You haven't worked in three years.

0:40:510:40:53

You know, when I drove on the lot this morning,

0:41:000:41:05

saw the crew bustling about, sets being built, the smell of sawdust...

0:41:050:41:11

It's magic what we do, isn't it?

0:41:110:41:15

All right, let's cut through the bullshit.

0:41:150:41:19

I don't like you, you don't like me.

0:41:190:41:22

But we need this picture to work.

0:41:220:41:23

Both of us. All I ask is that you do your best work. Try.

0:41:230:41:28

Because when you're good, Joan, goddamn it, you're good.

0:41:280:41:32

Do you really think so?

0:41:360:41:39

Oh, Christ, you're not going to cry.

0:41:390:41:41

Yes, I really think so.

0:41:410:41:43

I've always thought so.

0:41:430:41:46

Oh, one last thing.

0:41:490:41:51

Lose the shoulder pads.

0:41:510:41:54

I beg your pardon?

0:41:550:41:57

And cut back on the lipstick.

0:41:570:41:59

You're playing a recluse who hasn't seen the sun for 20 years,

0:41:590:42:02

for Christ's sake.

0:42:020:42:03

You have a perfect face for the movies, Miss Crawford.

0:42:140:42:18

There are no bad angles.

0:42:180:42:20

Thank you, Jimmy.

0:42:200:42:22

(Look, just give me a chance to talk to her.)

0:42:240:42:27

(We can work this out...)

0:42:270:42:30

Are you talking about me?

0:42:300:42:32

No.

0:42:320:42:34

Yeah. I'm just offering some ideas.

0:42:340:42:36

Don't tell me how to play my character

0:42:360:42:38

before I've even shot a scene.

0:42:380:42:40

I have done a lot of hard work and preparation,

0:42:400:42:43

and you are just trying to throw me.

0:42:430:42:45

I'm trying to help you.

0:42:450:42:47

You want me to look bad, but I won't do it.

0:42:470:42:49

My fans show up to a Joan Crawford picture

0:42:490:42:53

expecting to see Joan Crawford.

0:42:530:42:56

This is not a Joan Crawford picture.

0:42:560:42:57

Mr Aldrich, will you please escort Miss Davis back to her dressing room

0:43:000:43:06

so she can work on her character?

0:43:060:43:08

Or shall I get out of this wheelchair and walk off the set?

0:43:080:43:12

I'll handle it. Bette, please.

0:43:120:43:14

Did you see her?

0:43:140:43:16

She's ridiculous, Bob. She's got falsies on under there.

0:43:160:43:19

Bette, it's the first day, OK?

0:43:190:43:22

May I remind you I took out a second mortgage on my house

0:43:220:43:25

to make this picture? So don't look at me as if I don't care.

0:43:250:43:27

I've got to handle her very carefully. She's nervous.

0:43:270:43:30

And we got a lot of work to do today.

0:43:300:43:32

We haven't even decided on your look yet,

0:43:320:43:34

and your first scene is straight up after lunch.

0:43:340:43:36

I've got to get that right.

0:43:360:43:38

Fine. Handle it.

0:43:380:43:41

Scene 11, take one.

0:43:500:43:52

Joan?

0:44:020:44:04

Joan, now, in this scene,

0:44:050:44:07

Blanche is looking at one of her early pictures on TV.

0:44:070:44:10

There's your mark right there.

0:44:100:44:12

OK.

0:44:160:44:18

Ready?

0:44:180:44:19

Yeah.

0:44:190:44:20

Camera's rolling.

0:44:220:44:23

And action.

0:44:280:44:29

'Everything.

0:44:340:44:35

'We were gonna be married.

0:44:350:44:37

'This girl, Dolly Merrick.

0:44:390:44:41

'Oh, Jack, please try to understand.

0:44:440:44:46

'I married you because I was...'

0:44:460:44:48

We should've held that shot a little longer.

0:44:480:44:51

I told him that when we were rehearsing, also when we shot it.

0:44:510:44:55

But he wouldn't listen.

0:44:550:44:57

'I can't think of anything else.'

0:44:590:45:01

Still...

0:45:020:45:05

it's a pretty good picture.

0:45:050:45:07

Cut.

0:45:120:45:14

That's great work, Joan.

0:45:160:45:18

-Yeah?

-Oh, yeah.

0:45:190:45:21

Let's do another one, Bob.

0:45:240:45:25

Right away.

0:45:250:45:27

I'm just getting warmed up.

0:45:280:45:30

These are wrong. I want her to look demented.

0:45:360:45:38

This one.

0:45:410:45:43

Wigs.

0:45:430:45:45

Funny fact for you, Bette.

0:45:450:45:46

Joan wore this one in some early 1930s MGM melodrama.

0:45:460:45:51

And from the looks of it, it hasn't been touched since.

0:45:510:45:55

Clara Bow beauty mark.

0:46:080:46:11

-Mm.

-My God, Mother, is that how you really want to look?

0:46:160:46:20

Just wait.

0:46:230:46:24

Now, I just think there are too many words in this section, Bob.

0:46:270:46:32

God, I miss the silent pictures.

0:46:320:46:34

Christ! She can't be serious.

0:46:460:46:49

Hello, Daddy.

0:47:150:47:17

APPLAUSE

0:47:330:47:36

All right, all right!

0:47:440:47:45

Everybody back to work! Back to work.

0:47:450:47:47

Action.

0:48:050:48:06

Blanche, you aren't ever gonna sell this house.

0:48:060:48:10

And you aren't ever gonna leave it...either.

0:48:100:48:14

And...action.

0:48:180:48:20

Blanche,

0:48:210:48:23

you aren't ever gonna sell this house.

0:48:230:48:26

And you aren't ever gonna leave it.

0:48:260:48:28

Bob, isn't that lighting unnecessarily harsh?

0:48:280:48:32

Oh, we haven't balanced the footage yet, Joan. Don't worry.

0:48:320:48:36

Don't worry about it.

0:48:360:48:37

Blanche,

0:48:370:48:39

you aren't ever gonna sell this house.

0:48:390:48:42

And you aren't ever gonna leave it...

0:48:420:48:46

either.

0:48:460:48:48

Cut.

0:48:480:48:50

And action.

0:49:110:49:12

# Hey, little girl

0:49:380:49:40

# Comb your hair, fix your make-up

0:49:400:49:43

# Soon he will open the door

0:49:430:49:47

# Don't think because there's a ring on your finger

0:49:470:49:53

# You needn't try any more... #

0:49:530:49:58

DOORBELL RINGS

0:49:580:50:01

Welcome to the house that fear built.

0:50:030:50:06

Come on in.

0:50:060:50:07

-Just the two of us?

-The three of us.

0:50:110:50:14

Oh, didn't I specify that in my invitation?

0:50:140:50:17

I suppose you expected one of my legendary dinner parties.

0:50:170:50:20

No, Gloria and Jimmy Stewart and the Fondas are on Wednesday.

0:50:200:50:25

Tonight it's just us gals.

0:50:250:50:27

Sit down, please. The sofa's comfy.

0:50:270:50:29

Can I get you ladies something to drink?

0:50:400:50:43

Scotch.

0:50:430:50:45

Just a glass.

0:50:450:50:47

I take it that's not Pepsi-Cola.

0:50:470:50:49

Vodka. 100 proof.

0:50:490:50:51

I say if you're going to drink, drink something you like.

0:50:510:50:53

I'll be right back.

0:50:530:50:54

Dining room's through there.

0:50:540:50:56

I hope you gals have brought your appetites.

0:50:560:50:58

It's an ambush.

0:51:010:51:02

She's out for blood.

0:51:020:51:04

You gonna give it to her?

0:51:040:51:05

Are you?

0:51:050:51:07

Fish Jell-O.

0:51:090:51:11

-Goody.

-No, it's aspic, darling.

0:51:110:51:13

It's all the rage.

0:51:130:51:15

I thought it'd be the perfect dish for our little tete-a-trois.

0:51:150:51:19

Something substantial, but transparent.

0:51:190:51:23

All right, ladies.

0:51:250:51:26

You know what I need, and you know what the fans want.

0:51:260:51:29

So feel free to let 'er rip.

0:51:290:51:32

So, who gets top billing?

0:51:400:51:42

Oh, Bette, of course. I mean, she plays the title role.

0:51:420:51:46

It only makes sense.

0:51:460:51:47

Both roles are tremendously important.

0:51:470:51:50

You know, Hedda, I have been wanting to work with Bette since 1944,

0:51:500:51:55

when I first went to Warner Brothers.

0:51:550:51:58

And when I found What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,

0:51:580:52:02

I sent it to Bob Aldrich and told him

0:52:020:52:04

in no uncertain terms that this was for Bette and me only.

0:52:040:52:10

I was thrilled. Think of it,

0:52:100:52:12

Joan Crawford was a big star when I arrived fresh off the boat.

0:52:120:52:17

Such a lovely thing to say.

0:52:170:52:20

Fascinating.

0:52:200:52:22

Ah.

0:52:280:52:30

Oh, how lovely.

0:52:300:52:33

-What are you serving for dessert?

-We're skipping dessert.

0:52:330:52:37

I'm already getting diabetes.

0:52:370:52:40

Dateline: Los Angeles.

0:52:430:52:45

Stars of the night sky tend to keep to fixed orbits

0:52:450:52:49

and never interfere with one another.

0:52:490:52:51

Things sometimes operate that way in Hollywood, too.

0:52:510:52:54

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, stars of equal magnitude

0:52:540:52:58

who ruled in motion pictures during the fabulous '30s,

0:52:580:53:02

never got to know one another.

0:53:020:53:04

Now, in the Indian summer of their careers,

0:53:040:53:07

they're about to.

0:53:070:53:09

In 1962, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford realises that good roles are not being written for women of her age, so she decides to find one for herself. Coming across the novel What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell, she knows that she has found the perfect part. She convinces director Robert Aldrich to champion the movie, but now she needs to bring her bitter Hollywood rival and star of equal magnitude, Bette Davis, on board the project. Sparks are about to fly.


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