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This film contains very strong language.
-Did he call anyone?
-How the hell should I know?
-You said he was distraught.
-I didn't say I knew why.
You don't look too happy either.
-That's the fiancee of the deceased, Miss Leonore Lemmon.
The one on the end's a house guest, Robert Condon.
The other two are friends, Carol Van Ronkel and Bill Bliss.
-Bliss found the body.
-What time did the party start?
-Just after midnight.
He woke up, came downstairs,
20 minutes, half an hour, said good night and went back to bed.
The coroner's ruling indicated suicide.
The fiancee said he was depressed.
Also predicted he would do it.
He went upstairs, she told her pals he was gonna shoot himself.
So why didn't she stop him?
Maybe she believed what she saw on TV.
Faster than a speeding bullet.
'# "Lonely Boy - Paul Anka'
(KNOCK AT DOOR) '(PANTING / GRUNTING)'
'(COUGHING)' '(DOG BARKS)'
'# I'm just a lonely boy'
'# Lonely and blue #' '(MUSIC STOPS)'
I have new information.
(CLEARS THROAT) Good.
I went to the office on Rossmore.
The office is occupied by an orthodontist.
You can imagine my... consternation.
We're setting up in a better location.
It's right off Wilshire, adding an operative.
But delays, phone lines, so, time being...
We believe that my wife continues to engage in illicit...
-I'm gonna take care of the mail.
Um, Mr Sinclair,
we did check into that and, um,...
..there was nothin' we came up with.
Yes, well, in that regard, I blame myself.
(CLEARS THROAT) How's that?
My wife became aware of a... change in my demeanour
and curtailed her activities accordingly.
(CLEARS THROAT) She still at Western Costume?
I drop her off there every morning. What transpires after that...
-I have fees.
-For 50 a day. Three-day minimum. In advance.
We'll do everything we can.
It's not right, you know.
Don't give me grief, OK? Nobody said you had to stay in Van Nuys.
You're the one that wanted a backyard.
What did I say?
Hmm. He like it?
Russ took him on a canoe, the Indian Village.
-It seemed to go alright.
Am I supposed to ask your permission?
I just wanna make sure his intentions are honourable.
-Yeah. Maybe somethin' big.
-Don't believe me?
-Oh, I always believed you.
-What's goin' on?
-That actor who shot himself, the one who plays Superman.
-What about him?
-It's made him very upset.
-He told you that?
Every kid on the block is upset.
Scout. Come on. Your old pops is taking you to school.
What's on your mind, Scout?
You know, things you see on TV, you know, someone's a cowboy, or...
..or a spaceman,... it's just pretend, right?
-You remember we talked about that?
-Hey, what's this?
-I don't know.
-Well, why don't you find out?
-You like that?
Come on, turn the knobs.
I'm thinkin', "Maybe I ain't the best DI in California,
but if I can't spot a one-eyed Negro Jew
sneakin' into a house, it's time to pack it in." (LAUGHS)
Davis is a very talented performer. (LAUGHS)
What did Rick do?
What's the matter, Alpha Beta not hiring any more parking-lot guards?
Not with you moonlighting, Chuck.
Study this gentleman.
Observe him closely, the haircut, the get-up.
Nobody told him the world don't need two Ralph Meekers.
Listen to him, kid. And don't start smokin', either. Filthy habit.
This isn't show business, pal,... it's just a job.
Punch in every day. Let's get outta here.
I'm still eatin', Chuck.
'Sweetheart, cheque please.'
-Rick working you hard?
-Payroll scam at Warner's.
-Wow. That's real detective work.
-I'm a real detective.
-Anything you guys throwing away?
-Look, I'm askin'. The shit you won't touch. Come on.
If it puts me in a Fleetwood bigger than Ricky Harris's, yeah.
-He drives a Lincoln.
-Come on, Del, feed me somethin'.
-Why should I?
Cos you owe me, partner.
What? The guy used to play Superman, he shot himself. What?
-Someone thinks he didn't.
-Oh, yeah? Who?
-How do you know what she thinks?
-She tried to hire us this morning.
-What does she have the cops don't?
You like a headline, there's a headline.
-What did Rick say?
-Maybe you forgot.
We're paid to keep things out of the newspaper.
Helen Bessolo, she's in from Illinois at the Ambassador.
-And you don't work for Rick Harris.
When you pitch her,... you're not an associate, you're not a stringer.
Who said I'm pitchin' her?
I'm done eating.
Oh, I forgot. Have one.
-Guess who's a daddy.
-It's a boy.
(KNOCK AT DOOR)
Mrs Bessolo, I'm Louis Simo. I called.
Our children, yes.
-They'll always be our babies.
-You work for Mr Harris?
I was an operative at the agency. I... branched out on my own.
There are certain situations the agency is...
..not prepared to handle. They come to me.
-A house full of strangers.
The ones there that night,
Van Ronkel, Bliss and that woman.
This is Leonore, the fiancee?
How could you trust anything they say?
Did he give any indication to you?
-Being, ya know,...
-Why would he be?
When was, um,... if I may, the last time you spoke with your son?
Do you know... a Herbert Spirakis?
-He's also an investigator here. Very professional.
He says I have a case.
Mrs Bessolo, I'm gonna level with you, alright?
LAPD, Los Angeles Police Department, they don't like to be shown up.
OK? They've closed the door on your son. It's a suicide, end of story.
You want that door open again?
You wanna make the cops and the DA pay attention?
You need a headline this big,... only with the truth,
so that everybody knows. OK? You gotta shove it in their faces.
Did Herbert Spirakis tell you that?
I have to pay by cheque.
Five minutes. I didn't let you in.
Hey. The 20?
Say, you know who people wanted to see?
Lana Turner's guy, um,... Stompanato.
I tell ya, that kid of hers,
the knife was practically sticking out of his ass. Think about -
-What are these?
These marks. What did he do, beat himself up before he shot himself?
Um,... I don't know.
Don't do that. Hey. I didn't say you could touch anything.
-Don't worry about it.
-Put it down. The coroner's gonna be back.
OK, that's it. You gotta go.
So, pal,... who's TM?
Come on, what do you say? You help me, I'll help you.
-Don't order any more drinks. I can't afford it.
You couldn't afford the cover. Hello, Billy Wilder. Hire me, please.
We're two steps from the men's room. They'll think we're queer.
You do look fetching tonight. (CHUCKLES)
-OK, I'm leaving.
-No, you're not.
You're gonna stay right here and work the casting guy from Fox.
You and I will practise being noticed without looking like you're trying.
-He's a director. Pictures.
-He hires people.
-No-one's gonna hire me, anyway.
That's Rita Hayworth.
That's Rita Hayworth.
-You look absolutely ravishing, Rita!
Miss Hayworth, this way. Thank you.
-Just made it.
-I beg your pardon?
-Into the picture.
-Was someone taking a picture? I hadn't noticed.
My, we're awfully well trained, Mr...?
-Was it the line or the delivery?
-I laugh when I'm happy.
-I see. Well, who is it I'm making so happy?
-Just a poor girl with no last name.
-I had no idea I could spread this much joy.
Well, who knows what you might be spreading.
-I'm afraid you've got me.
This way, please. Thank you.
For you, sir.
(SIGHS) George, George, George.
(INSTRUMENTAL BIG BAND MUSIC)
That was your first picture?
That was my very first paid acting role.
Your very first paid acting role was in Gone With The Wind?
-And yet I don't remember you.
You don't? How's this? "We want all your waltzes."
-"First Brent, then me."
-You were a Tarleton!
-You hair was orange.
-It was tangerine.
-Ah, well. Alright, then, that was your first.
-What was your last?
-That I'm certain you didn't see.
-Ha! Try me.
The Adventures of Sir Galahad.
Saturday-morning serial, very cheap, we all rode the same horse.
Well, I'm sure you did a wonderful job and the children loved you.
I don't know. It's a lot of waiting, a lot of wanting
and, somehow, that's your life.
-How dare you?
How dare you permit me to talk about myself
-when I am standing next to the most beautiful woman?
-Well, you're an actor.
And how about you? Hmm?
Are those friends of yours over at Ciro's?
I know some of them.
Good people to know?
-Not if you know them. (LAUGHS)
-Well, that sounded sad.
-Oh! I was aiming for mysterious.
No, no, no, mysterious is like this...
-Oh, that's good! Do another one!
-Very good. Exactly.
-Well, you don't seem sad.
-What if I were?
I won't allow it.
I'm much too old for you, you know.
We don't give out that information.
Here's the thing, though.
Mr Tra... The person I work for, he, um...
I come back empty-handed, I lose my job.
-"Get me that watch that George had," he told me.
-Oh, Mr Reeves!
They were very close, like brothers.
You know, they spoke every week until...
Who do you work for?
No, I can't. I can't. I just do what I'm told.
The rest of the world knew what these stars are really like...
-Well, we got some stories, right?
A gold Chopard Quattro.
-Unfortunately, no longer made.
-He was a good customer?
-Oh, no, these are Mrs Mannix's account.
She, um,... she bought him a lotta things, you know?
Of course. Say no more.
Maybe there's some old stock.
I'd be grateful.
No luck, huh?
God. I better go break the bad news.
-If I showed you something else?
-No, I don't think that's gonna help.
-Now, how the heck did...?
-I'd heard he can be difficult.
Oh. Between you and me,... a complete prick.
I don't have a problem with a man drinking before breakfast, but...
..it is impolite not to offer me any.
Your husband... is the general manager of MGM.
He gives the word, I'm stuck doing serials for the rest of my life.
-He would never do that.
-No? Why not?
-Because it would hurt me.
-What about me?
It would hurt both of us.
-Look, whatever I said last night...
-It sounded true.
Was it, or were you acting?
It was true.
Listen,... Eddie's got a mistress,
a Japanese girl, very sweet.
An apartment in Brentwood, a cabin up in Big Bear.
And what do you have?
I have another seven good years,
then my ass drops like a duffel bag.
Well, it seems alright now.
Thank you for noticing.
Tell me the truth.
Did you think I could help you?
I thought that you were the most beautiful girl in the room.
-And, yes, I did.
-Do you know who you looked like?
George, nobody ever asks to be happy later.
Tell me what you want.
You can have it.
Should I leave?
No,... you should stay.
I got a fiancee, a mistress. A former mistress.
I'm not really sure on that yet, but I got bruises on the body... What?
After you dropped her off, she, um, never left the building.
I can't swear that nothin' went on in there, but she never left.
-There's an entrance in the rear.
And a loading dock.
Neither would be visible from your vantage point.
Look, Mr Sinclair, maybe,... you know, you and your wife
need to sit down and have a conversation and -
-This man. Here.
-He works there.
-No, I've seen him before.
Mr Simo, I have utter faith in your abilities,
but you might wish to entertain the notion
there is more going on than you realise.
"I, George Bessolo Reeves,
being of sound and disposing mind and memory,
do declare this my last will and testament."
"I hereby give, devise and bequeath all monies and personal property
owned by me at the time of my death to Toni Lanier Mannix."
-Maybe there's another will.
-There goddamn better be.
Miss Lemmon, can I talk to you?
I'm Louis Simo, I'm a private investigator.
I've been retained by Helen, the bereaved mother of your...
-..of your late fiance.
-Could I ask a few questions?
-You're not an investigator.
Yes, I am, ma'am. I am licensed by the state of California.
-You know what he is? A catfish.
Go clean the mud outta your whiskers.
-Sir, can you look this way?
-Are you the Times?
-I'm the Times.
You're the Times? What do you think about Superman offing himself
and cutting his fiancee outta the picture?
Leaving the green to Eddie Mannix's wife? Huh? Like she needs the dough.
-Hell hath no fury, huh?
People get killed for less than that.
-You saying Reeves was murdered?
-That's a heck of a question.
-What's your name?
# "Cheek to Cheek" - Irving Berlin
-Did you go to the doctor?
-What did he say?
-Those guys, they're all frauds.
Not a very helpful attitude.
Well, somethin' has to kill ya. Don't it?
-Oh, I guess so.
-You under contract?
-I was, at Warner's.
-But now you're not?
-Now, no. No.
Well, I'm always ready to play.
George was in Gone With The Wind.
That picture made money.
-So what brought you to Los Angeles, Miss Yoshida?
-Don't talk to her.
-She doesn't speak English.
Oh. Oh. Yes.
-Eddie, I've found a darling place up on Benedict.
It's about 12,000. I'd like to buy it.
Well,... it's a good investment.
-Well, you know what they say about land. They...
They're not making any more of it.
-What's not on the menu?
-We have some very nice Blue Points set aside.
-How's the flank steak?
-Bring me that, the Cobb salad, dressing on the side.
-(LAUGHS) I'm sorry.
My wife will take another Gibson.
Well, what do you think?
The most I got from a girlfriend was a tie.
-Just how Toni does things, I guess.
-You should be happy, George.
-Wouldn't mind a job.
-Well, maybe she can put in a word with her...
Hmm. Hey, um,... take it.
-It's a coupla hundred.
-Why are you giving it to me?
Cos I got it and you need it. Go ahead, kid, make your first million.
-Your talent is required!
(GUITAR MUSIC) (MEN SING IN SPANISH)
'Lois and Jimmy, what have you done with them?!'
'They're safe, Superman,
but don't get any big ideas about stopping the robbery.'
'Alright, you win this time, but if something happens to them,
I promise, you'll wish this day never arrived!'
Whenever you're ready, George.
They're safe for now, Superman,
but don't get any big ideas about stopping the robbery.
Actually, George, you're reading the other role.
-Oh, um,... Superman?
He's, you know, the hero.
-I suppose I've always felt more the criminal type.
We're looking for a new take here, George,
someone the kids will buy, but adults, too. It needs a real actor.
What's the worst that could happen? We offer you the part.
Well,... OK. (CLEARS THROAT)
Alright, Mr Prince, I got your message. What is it you want?
It's not what I want, it's what you want.
Listen, I'm not in the mood for games,
but I promise you this, if anything happens to Lois or to Jimmy...
An actor can't always act. Sometimes he has to work.
You're talking to a man who defended Camelot with a cardboard sword.
-I enjoyed you in that.
-You were the oldest boy in the theatre, Art.
Look, it's a dirt-cheap kiddie show. It doesn't even have a sponsor.
-Odds are no-one's ever gonna see it.
-It's sounding better and better(!)
And you need the money.
-I mean, money of your own.
Aw, come on, George.
-What do you want from life?
-Oh, I dunno.
I'd settle for Clark Gable's career.
Take the job. Cash the cheque.
Can I tell you something, Art, seriously?
-You're beautiful when you take your glasses off.
-So does this mean we're saying yes?
Why is it so drab? Superman was blue and red.
Not on TV, not enough contrast.
But maybe if the show flies, they might film in colour
for when the colour sets... come out.
Then I'll get to wear the blue and red.
(SIGHS) I look like a damn fool.
-That's my baby. Lou?
-Hey, I'm Russ Taylor.
-You went to Disneyland.
-Oh, yeah, that's right. Last week.
Um,... she's a little upset.
I happened to be in the neighbourhood, so...
Hey, he's a good kid.
I saw that right off.
Well, you would know, huh, Russ?
The policy will cover it, that's not a problem,
-but she's concerned.
-He took the charcoal fluid,
-poured it all over it and put it on the couch.
-Put what on the couch?
(KNOCK AT DOOR)
What's the deal, Scout?
Your mom is very upset with you.
What if you burnt the house down? Huh?
You wouldn't have a place to live. You know people get killed in fires?
Huh? Use your noggin.
-It was just to get rid of it.
-What, the costume?
Scout, you begged me for that thing.
You wanted it so bad, you remember?
Not any more.
He shot himself in the head with a Luger.
That's a Nazi pistol.
So, you know this man? He was an actor
and if he did shoot,... whatever he did,
you can still watch him on TV, can't you? Hmm?
Scout, I asked a question.
-(SIGHS) Evan, you hear what I'm saying?
Evan, you answer when I talk.
Evan! Put it down. Come on. What are you doin'?
-Let's leave it.
-Put it down. Evan, put it down.
Stop it, OK?! God damn it!
(SIGHS) Ah, this kid!
-Why do you bother calling me?
-I don't know.
-Possibly you might care your son -
-Maybe you should take a breath.
I do care. I care very much. Just cos I don't have every minute...
-No, you have so much going on(!)
-Is that what this is? Huh?
-Cos I've heard it already.
-The actor, this gimmick you're pulling.
-We noticed the item in the paper.
-What? I was hired!
-Can't you see what these tricks...?
-It's how I make my fucking living!
-Lou, that kinda language...
-I'm sorry, is this his business?
-I'm trying to keep things civil.
-Russ, this is between Louis and me.
Listen, Lou, he asked for you. I wasn't gonna call you.
I'm sorry I couldn't be more help, but, after all, I'm not Superman.
-Jeepers, no, Mr Kent.
-I suppose that would be too much to ask.
I suppose it would, Lois. I suppose it would.
-Sorry, that's me.
-Take it back a line.
Lois, would you like to see the real Man of Steel?
Well, sure I would.
Well, alright, then. Here he is! (ALL LAUGH)
-You're next, Jimmy! Leave the bow tie on!
-Great Caesar's ghost!
-More powerful than a locomotive!
No-one is safe! (ALL LAUGH)
What did you think?
The scripts are awful.
-And everything looks cheap.
-Well, that's all that matters.
-She's a lesbian, you know.
-The one playing Lois.
-(KNOCK AT DOOR)
-'Whenever you're ready.'
-Phyllis? Is she really?
She is now, as far as you're concerned.
Well,... there it is.
Action, George! One!
-Cut it! Cut the camera! Unhook him!
-Leave him alone!
-Alright, alright, alright!
I'd like to thank the Academy... (GRUNTS)
..and all the good people of Galesburg, Illinois,
for making me who I am today. (CLAPPING)
OK, everybody, let's take ten.
# "Fannie Mae" - Buster Brown
# Well, I want somebody
# To tell me what's wrong with me
# I want somebody (CHATTER)
# To tell me what's wrong with me
# Oh, I ain't in any trouble
# And so much misery #
(INSTRUMENTAL ROMANTIC MUSIC) Who was that next to you when I came in?
-Chad. He's in my acting class.
-He any good?
-He's OK, I guess.
You shouldn't hang around people who are less talented than you.
You've never seen me act.
-So you don't know if I'm talented.
You don't know what I could do.
You don't know a thing about me, do you?
-Ever gonna tell me how you got that?
Under your armpit.
My pop, he, um,... he was on the gate at Warner's.
-He used to go to work in this uniform with, ya know,
the crease in the pants like a knife.
I used to think he was the chief of police.
He... he did that?
I was a month outta the army. (CLEARS THROAT)
It was 1946, so no job and, you know, Pop got me set up.
And there was a strike at the studio, so keep the union guys off the lot.
And,... you know, platoon around the gate, me and 40 other saps.
You know, bats and billy clubs, and it got outta hand, so...
A little Teamster shit came at me with a razor and...
Two years in North Africa all I get are crabs. Six days in Burbank and...
(INHALES DEEPLY / SIGHS)
And my pop apologised.
To the studio... for his son screwin' up.
Like the chickenshit peasant he was.
-What's that look?
-I'm just watching you.
-I don't need this.
-I do. Sit down, please.
-Right here, miss.
-Mrs Bessolo, I'm James Engelmann from RKO-Pathe Studios.
Superman was filmed on our lot.
I'm here to express how saddened we are over your loss.
My son was not lost, Mr Engelmann, he was taken.
One more! One more! Thank you.
-What did you drag them here for?
-Freedom of the press, right?
-These in the report?
-They weren't there then.
Hang on there, Mrs Bessolo. Hang on, hang on. Come on.
-Just let me sit a minute.
-Grab a chair.
-Let's get outta here.
-There you go. There you go.
-There you go.
OK? There we go. There we go.
OK, good. Here.
OK? I'm gonna go handle this. You just relax.
-Is she alright?
-That's her boy's blood. You tell me.
The deceased woke up,
joined his guests for approximately half an hour, returned to bed.
No sign of forced entry or physical struggle.
The Luger, found there on the floor, heavily oiled, no prints.
He kept it in the nightstand.
The slug... there,
and the casing on the bed underneath the body.
You wanna explain to me how a man can shoot himself
-and end up on top of the shell?
-Is this your strategy,
-to impugn the laws of physics?
-No prints on the gun.
What, did he wipe it clean?
-Prints aren't automatic.
-Did you question the people in the house?
-They signed sworn statements.
-45 minutes to call the cops,
plenty of time to come up with some story.
-But you got sworn statements.
-You accusing me of something?
Was Reeves checked for powder burns? It's a suicide shot to the temple.
-Where's the burn?
-When a gun is discharged...
The coroner never checked. He didn't notice bruises on the body either,
which, by the way, aren't automatic, OK?
Certain conditions have to be present,
like maybe a fight with a guy that's about to fu...
..cause your expiration.
He won't be buried in that cape.
Mrs Bessolo, RKO Pathe would be honoured
to help you pay for any sort of floral tribute
that you might deem appropriate for your son.
Since when do suicides miss twice, lay down a rug and start over?
Is that normal? I'm just asking.
That cost this studio 15 grand.
-You think you're worth that?
-We were just...
This farmer's daughter picture, what is it?
-The Mating Game.
-A million-dollar investment.
You think I'll let you fuck with that? You think you'll be a star?
-Our concern here is -
-You're a face. Faces change.
-What Mr Mannix means -
-He knows what I mean.
Outta my sight.
Set somethin' up, him and... some starlet.
Picnic,... soda pop.
-They treat their contract like shit, Howard.
Whatever the fuck they want.
-The business is changing.
-Yeah. Fags and television.
And what are we? Huh?
The last of the Mohicans.
That was a UA picture, Eddie.
That, um,... spic,...
-..or wop, prick detective?
-I sent Jim Engelmann over.
He used to work for us. I'm sure you don't want MGM coming into it.
-Louis Simo. Two years with Rick Harris.
He shot his mouth off about Susan Humphries
to Confidential for 5,000. Harris fired him.
-Jennifer Jones type. Under contract at Fox.
-Drove off Topanga doin' 90.
-You have a good memory, Eddie.
Hmm. What's the prick want?
Money, press, whatever he can grab.
What's he got?
My wife won't get outta bed.
It's been almost a week.
-She won't get out.
-I'll stop by and see her.
Cheer her up.
She always liked you.
-You don't have anything to tell me?
Anything... I need to have a story ready for.
-She's not here.
That you thought I wanted to talk to her since this is your house.
Is that your father?
-(CHUCKLES) Oh. Sorry.
He's a screenwriter.
No-one could blame you for wanting to hang around people your own age.
What was his name again, Robert Condon?
I'm sure you're just friends.
Really oughta prune these.
My husband does the garden, it takes his mind off his writing.
Uh-huh. What do you do, Mrs Van Ronkel?
-I don't try to get my picture in the paper.
-You saw that, huh?
What are you gonna do when this blows up in your face?
There are two holes in the bedroom floor. What do you know about that?
-Leonore made them.
-I asked her to.
You asked her to shoot a gun in the floor?
When you're drunk, everything's funny.
Yeah. He shoots himself, you all wait 45 minutes to call the police.
-Ever been to a party where a man blows his head off?
-Then how do you know what's unusual?
-So, how do I find Miss Lemmon?
-She's not the way you think she is.
Yeah? What way is she?
She was only looking for love.
Just wanna remember that one. That's... that's good.
That's nice. It's, um, very futuristic.
-(LAUGHS) Hey, you're a detective, right?
Men hire you to find out what their wives are up to, that sort of thing?
-Yeah, they do that.
-Does the truth make 'em happier?
-You know, he wasn't gonna marry her.
-How do you know?
Well, she ran over here when he told her. I heard every word.
And how did Miss Lemmon react?
Like a longshoreman on a bender.
(SINGS IN SPANISH)
# "The Girl Can't Help It" - Little Richard
-Fuck you. Nobody wants to hear your mopey singing.
This is my house. I'm tired of you treating it like a bus station.
# If she winks an eye,
# The bread slice turn to toast
# She can't help it, the girl can't help it
-You goddamn miserable son of a bitch.
-Don't walk away from me!
I haul myself out to this shit hole burg for you
-and you don't have the balls to tell me it's off?
-God damn it!
Listen. What are you doing? Put that... (GUNSHOT)
I'm the fucking man in this room!
-(GUNSHOT) You're a fool! Gimme this gun!
-Give it to me! God damn it!
-Agh! (GUNSHOT) Ugh!
I had to take a leak. What's your excuse?
This is a sealed crime scene.
Then I guess we both deserve to get our bottoms spanked.
-Last I looked, it was 4,000 in traveller's cheques.
Georgie put it aside for our honeymoon.
-That's off the plate now, isn't it?
-That why you killed him?
You think he was rich? That Superman gig paid shit.
Oh, yeah? Well, maybe you found out a little too late.
He was fun. Knocked back the booze like nobody's business.
-Pretty good in the sack. Yeah.
Lady, I could nail you with this.
D'Artagnan, you couldn't nail me with roses and a trip to Vegas.
And you're not a cop,... so what the hell are you doing
following me into my dead fiance's bedroom?
"And then... Mr Simo showed me his member, Your Honour,...
..and I became frightened."
You're in my way.
-I'm gonna be on you, Miss Lemmon.
-Not unless you dope me first.
(CHUCKLES) See how I got us in the paper? Look at this.
Guaranteed, LAPD's gonna sweat this. Now, the more heat they feel,
the more pressure they're under to reopen the case.
-The police reopened the case?
-No. They will if I keep it up,
which requires a financial commitment from you so I can go on hammering.
I did get a copy of the police report.
Lots of holes. And I'm not talking about the ones in the floor.
Plus, your son called the wedding off.
That's a new motive for Miss Lemmon, OK? I intend to go -
-She was never going to be his wife.
-You knew that he didn't plan...?
Do you think my own son would get married without telling me?
And to a greedy slut like that?
(SCOFFS) All these people.
-What about 'em?
-Sitting around like they're so big. (CHUCKLES)
I don't know who they are.
George starred with Sinatra, with Gable.
He was an important film actor.
-Someone else can do that, you know.
-Well, now, it's a beautiful car.
Oughta keep it clean.
Why? Does this offend your delicate sensibilities?
-But you're new on the job, so I'll let it pass.
Art got a call.
-They're picking up Superman.
-Kellogg's, they bought it.
-After two years?!
That's right. I will be on television in a month...
..wearing brown and grey underpants.
-It wasn't your proudest moment...
-No, I'm quite sure it wasn't.
..but you did create a very likeable, very attractive,
-very heroic character.
-Is that right?
Mmm. I'd fuck you in a second. (CHUCKLES)
Well, one thing we can be sure of,
no-one with a lick of sense would watch that show.
(SUPERMAN THEME MUSIC)
-"Faster than a speeding bullet."
"More powerful than a locomotive."
"Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."
-"Look, up in the sky! It's a bird!"
-"It's a plane!"
"It's Superman! Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from another planet,
who can change the course of mighty rivers,
bend steel in his bare hands,
and who, disguised as Clark Kent,
fights a never-ending battle for truth,
justice and the American way."
Homes with children, Adventures of Superman,...
What does that mean, no adults are watching?
They're watching with the kids, George. Families.
Kellogg's has ordered 26 more. They wanna film in colour.
Well, I'll get to wear the blue and red.
(ALL SHOUT EXCITEDLY)
-Maybe you oughta put that out.
(ALL SHOUT EXCITEDLY)
Superman doesn't smoke.
Art, I'm coming right back.
-Keep your mitts off my grub.
(ALL SHOUT EXCITEDLY)
Excuse me, Mr Zinnemann.
George Reeves will be reading for the role of Maylon Stark.
Good morning, one and all.
Superman was on pain pills.
So he crashed his car a couple of months back, almost got killed.
-There wasn't any brake fluid.
How do you know that?
I went down to the Esso station at the bottom of Benedict,
said I was from the insurance company.
I spoke to a Mr Phelps. He was very friendly.
-Leak in the lining?
-Mr Phelps couldn't find one. Not bad, huh?
But they were still getting married then, as far as she knew.
-Well, wouldn't that be why?
-Why Leonore drains his brake fluid?
Why Mrs Mannix does. He leaves her, right, for this younger woman.
-She can't bear it and...
-And Toni wants him dead.
Well, wouldn't that be better?
-Help! Help! They've robbed the Docville Bank!
(SUPERMAN THEME MUSIC)
-(SUPERMAN THEME MUSIC BLARES)
(PA) "Stop right there!"
-Someone's in need.
You can't see my penis, can you? (BOTH LAUGH)
Hey, Superman! Hey, Superman!
-Well, hello, there, young man. What's your name?
Can I shoot you?
Kenneth,... why would you wanna do something like that?
So the bullet bounces off. Can I?
Well,... if you did shoot me...
..and the bullet bounced off,
it might accidentally hit someone else.
-We don't want that to happen, do we?
Well, why don't you just, you and I... Here we go, partner.
Why don't you just give me that?
Just hand me that for one minute.
-You think I don't see what you're doing?
-Day after day taking pictures.
I'm just waiting for the traffic to...
He leaves those where I can see them
and then he pretends he doesn't know what I'm talking about.
-Um, Miss Sinclair, I'm...
-What is he paying you?
-He's been out of work for seven months.
I don't know what he does all day, he won't tell me.
-Why don't you investigate that?!
Ma'am,... I'm just trying to turn a buck here,
so if there's a problem between you two,
maybe you should talk to a priest or whatever. Hash it out.
I can't fix your marriage, ma'am. (SIGHS)
-I thought you might put in a word.
-What do you suggest I say?
He drops a hint to Zinnemann. You know, it was a very solid audition.
It's Harry Cohn's picture. Eddie's at MGM.
Whatever happened to honour among thieves?
Let's save it for something important.
Oh, I see, this isn't important at all. Well...
Here. Because you've had a rough week.
Wow. Who needs another watch?
I just don't want some drunk finishing what that child started.
-I don't know that a gun's the answer.
-It'd make me feel more comfortable.
What'd make me feel safe is not prancing around in a monkey suit
-in front of 8,000 screaming...
-You'd be gone, George! Alright?!
And then what happens to me?!
-Hi. Mrs Mannix, please.
-Who shall I say is calling?
Lawrence Farmer from the St Jude's Foundation.
-To thank her for her generosity.
-One moment, please.
-Do I know you?
-No, but I'm familiar with you.
Everybody reads the Times, huh?
-I'm Howard Strickling. I handle publicity at MGM.
-How do you do?
I'm wondering why you would be trying to approach Mrs Mannix
-under false pretences.
-Are you speaking professionally?
-I'm speaking as a friend of Mannixes.
-Can I see Mrs Mannix?
She's not well. Neither she nor her husband appreciate
-being dragged into this business.
-What business is that?
-Your business, Mr Simo.
-"(POLICE RADIO CHATTER)" Oh.
You didn't have to go and do that.
You seem to have an inflated sense of your importance.
They're on routine patrol.
Could you, um, pass along a message to Mrs Mannix?
And what would that be?
Hope to see her at the funeral.
(PEPPY INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC)
Art! Where's the boy? I've been hunting all over.
-He's over there.
Zinnemann sure did keep us hanging long enough,
-but I knew it would pan out.
-How did you know that?
What choice did I have?
-Cheese! There you go.
Whatever you did to help.
You know how much he needed this.
-This is my friend, Delores.
'(CHURCH BELL RINGS)'
Mr Weissman? I don't wanna disturb you, but...
You knew George?
No. Um,... I'm Louis Simo. I'm...
I'm no speechmaker.
Saying what you really feel,... it's hard.
Thank you for coming.
(CHURCH BELL RINGS) Mr Weissman, I was just wondering if you...
Seeing me off the grounds again?
Mrs Mannix was unable to attend for reasons I'm sure you can understand.
You do a lot for your friends.
And you're just doing your job, but I am concerned.
-Yeah? About what?
People are rarely afforded the chance to make a same mistake twice.
-Are you threatening me?
-I'm offering you an opportunity.
There's a place for you at Metro if you'd like. Pay can be generous.
-I'd rather talk to Mrs Mannix.
-There's nothing there for you.
Yeah? Then, why you pitching me?
When it comes to publicity, what's true or false really doesn't matter.
If it hurts the studio, if it stops one person from buying a ticket,...
..I have to fix it.
That's my job. The offer's sincere.
Don't let pride stand in the way, it won't get you what you want.
Sad day, huh, boys? Tell you what's sadder.
Calling it suicide when it's really murder.
-Why would the cops do that?
-Sing us a new song, Simo.
What, you don't love me any more?
Two months ago somebody drained all the fluid out of Reeves's brake line.
Almost bought it right then. Coincidence, right?
(CHUCKLES) I mean, LAPD don't make mistakes. Hmm, Paterson?
What's the truth, huh, boys? Who wanted him dead?
You might be lazy but nobody said you're dumb. Gimme that.
-Name some names.
-Want me to write it for you, too?
-You got a story or not?
-You want names? Ask this guy.
He's got the names. The names, pictures.
What's he doing here when MGM never cut Reeves a cheque in his life? Huh?
Come on, do some work, will ya? Capa, lift the fuckin' camera, will ya?
There you go. Say cheese.
-Thank you so much.
-Hey, George. Good luck.
-Good to see ya.
(INTRO MUSIC) (APPLAUSE)
-Well, Buddy, they love it so far.
-"You got any prejudices against girls?"
"That's what I thought."
"Well, now, it looks like you're all primed for a big night."
-"Want some company?"
-"No, thanks, all tied up."
-"Leva tells me you've been eyeing the captain's wife."
-"He has, huh?"
-"What else did this character tell ya?"
-'Great Caesar's ghost!'
-"This ain't no story."
-'Look, up on the screen!'
-(LAUGHTER) "..you know?"
-"There's something strange..."
-'More powerful than a locomotive!'
-(People can see you.)
(CHATTER / LAUGHTER)
-'Hey, where's Lois Lane?!'
-"I didn't think you were coming."
I'll always take care of my boy.
Nice shot, Lou.
(LIGHT SWITCH CLICKS)
(GROANS) Get the fuck out of my house. Oh! (COUGHS)
Are you listening? Nod your head.
Be smart. Let it go.
(PANTS) What, your mother's snatch? She won't let me.
Here's what I mean.
Louis, can you hear me? Louis?
-I'm calling a doctor.
-I don't wanna go to the doctor.
-Well, at least some ice.
-There's no ice in the...
-Stop being stubborn, alright? You were unconscious.
-There's no ice.
-What did you say?
There's no ice.
What's this about?
This murder bullshit I've been slingin', I think it might be true.
I can help. Oh, come on, you know I can!
-Kit, let's call it a day, alright?
You shouldn't be around me. This isn't some TV show you wanna be in,
this is just a fucked up little business.
Makes you go around and you find out how shitty people are
-to make the rent.
-You don't really believe that.
-You care about what you do.
-You know what I care about?
You're ballin' this Chad kid and you don't got the guts to tell me.
-Well, I was...
-Going to, yeah. So now you don't have to.
Do you want me here today?
No, I don't think I do.
Let's go outside.
-Not when I cross the street for lunch.
Lou, I do what I'm told.
-You took the cash from that rag same as me!
2,500 for ratting on some hop-head actress and I never said a word
cos I'm loyal to my fuckin' partner! Huh?!
-He didn't say! Just take care of him.
-You tell me why, huh?!
Look, when I helped you out with the old lady,
I shoulda kept my mouth shut. I had to make good.
You would have done the same thing. It's how the mortgage gets paid.
-You have to stop, OK? I'm not gonna -
-"I need your help."
"Things are... (SIGHS)"
"They're not what they seem."
-What are you saying?
-"I've misjudged terribly."
"(SIGHS) And I..."
"Can you meet with me, Mr Simo?"
"I won't bother you again."
-Meet you where?
"(POLICE RADIO CHATTER)"
Yeah, that's all of it.
What are you doing here?
-I, um... My client, um...
-She was your client?
Shot her in the throat, the heart,...
-..and then the vagina.
-Oh, Jesus Christ!
-I do wish you'd been prompt.
The fault is mine for failing to see
that you and your whore were not aiding me,
but guarding the rampant fornications of my wife.
-I hope you learn the meaning of justice.
This one's easier...
..than your other murder.
So, what's the emergency?
-Better have a drink, Art.
-It's 10:30 in the morning.
-It's pretty bad.
Enough! George, let's deal with it.
We're cancelled. (LAUGHS)
-I just don't see the point.
-The point is it's my production company.
-If I don't sell myself, who will?
-The business is here, George.
Yes, but the money's in New York. I can get in the papers there.
-It's a lot of bother.
-I wanna do this.
-I'm looking forward to it. I'm taking charge of my own life.
No,... you don't.
-You think I should just sit around while both of us...
-While both of us what?
-My love,... this makes sense to me.
I can set up my own projects, direct and produce.
We'll get some other sap to jump around in coloured underwear.
Who knows, maybe I'll direct a picture for MGM. Hmm?
I'll be back in two weeks.
-Let me close this.
You have to.
Kiss me. Mmm! Mmm!
-I have to go. Toni.
-George, kiss me.
Alright. "(PHONE RINGS)"
-"That bitch who hired you, you think she loved Georgie?"
-Who is this?
-"He grew up without a father."
"When he's old enough, she finally tells him what happened to Daddy."
Suicide. Pistol in the mouth. George never stopped thinkin' about it.
"15 years later, he gets a visitor, his father, alive."
All he'd done was dump the bitch for another woman. Left George, too.
"So Mommy tells baby Daddy killed himself."
"She tells her own son. George swore he'd never speak to her again."
This lets you off the hook.
I didn't screw his head on backwards, she did.
(PHONE) "Why are you telling me now?"
I'm, um,... I'm just a little blotto, sugar.
..and pretty goddamn all alone.
-"I don't know."
I thought maybe we had something in common.
(KNOCK AT DOOR)
I won't be needing your services any longer, Mr Simo.
When were you gonna tell me?
-I intend to mail you a cheque.
-A cheque? That's it?
-I don't owe you anything else.
-How about an explanation?
Your son wouldn't give you the time of day.
Don't you use that tone with me!
-Mr Strickling gave me his word.
-A statue would be erected in my son's honour...
..outside the Chinese Theatre.
-(LAUGHS) You never gave a shit, did ya?
-You'll be paid.
Keep your goddamn cheque.
My son was a great star. He deserves a statue.
# "Blue Skies" - Irving Berlin
-Can I take your picture?
-Wait. I blinked. Take another one.
-Sorry, no retakes.
My goddamn eyes were closed!
-You know who that is?
-Can I take your picture?
-He's gotta be loaded. Me and my cousins are glued to that show.
# Never saw the sun shining so bright
# Never saw things going so right
-Look at her ass. Lem, look.
# When you're in love,
# My, how they fly #
-What's exciting to me is that I've been thinking about -
Look at you all dressed up.
-I haven't seen you since...
-You punched a waiter at Sardi's.
-I left a nice tip.
-Find something funny, junior?
-No, no, no.
-I know when I'm outta my league.
-Don't sell yourself short.
I got a big heart. I'll bet you've got a big one, too.
(CHUCKLES) Oh, well,... very nice of you to say, Miss...?
So, how about an autograph for my poor crippled nephew?
-Is he in an iron lung?
-He's in Yonkers.
# Blue skies
# Smiling at me
# Nothing but blue skies #
Superman wants to get laid.
-Make room for fuckin' Daddy.
-You know what, stallion?
-You're starting to get the hang of this.
(SIGHS) Let's do it again.
-Mom's picking me up.
-I know that, I just wanted to...
I got you something.
I left it in the car. I'll give it to you when we go home. Come on.
Let's go. Let's go home. Let's go home.
How come you're not at work?
Cos I don't sit in an office. OK? That's for suckers.
Your pop's an investigator.
Alright? Come on, let's go.
I'm supposed to wait for Mom.
-I'm supposed to wait for Mom.
Your mom and me, we... Come home.
Nobody has magic powers. You gotta be tough.
You gotta show 'em what you're made of, you know?
My father never taught me that.
OK, here we go. Come on. (KEYS JANGLE)
I'm his son. He's my son. He is.
Tell him, Scout. Tell him. Evan, tell him, please. Come on.
Evan. Honey, what's the matter?
-Would you take him? Just in there.
Whatever you wanna say, you know...
Are you gonna fight everybody?
I thought you liked tough guys.
-You're saying this why?
-I wanna be honest with you.
My, that's noble! (LAUGHS)
What is that, from some script you auditioned for in the '40s?
No, it's just me talking to you.
I'm so grateful! Straight-arrow George.
You go to New York, fuck some whore and you run back to tell me.
-She's not a whore.
-Oh. She's an actress?
A singer? Does she blow smoke rings with her cunt?!
-Is it a fling you want?
-It's not a fling.
Oh, you're in love?! Two weeks in a hotel room?!
She makes me feel young.
(SIGHS) Have you seen yourself, George?
-Your face is going.
-Don't do this.
-Your eyes, your hair, your stomach.
-You think no-one notices?!
-But you've got your projects.
You'll be a director. You'll sit in your chair, polishing your balls.
"Thank God I'm rid of that hag. What was her name?"
-"The one who bought me a fucking house!"
-For God's sake!
You want publicity? You'll get it. I'll say you're a Red.
-A faggot. A lush. Nobody can call that a lie!
-You never helped me.
You never helped me! You coulda gotten me something but you didn't
because you liked me where I was, in a fuckin' red suit!
Well, that's not who I am! You understand?! God damn you!
But that's all you were good for, ten-year-olds and shut-ins.
That was the best you were ever going to be. I knew that.
Why didn't you?
They rushed it and closed the case. I didn't like it from the start.
-There was pressure.
-Yeah? From who?
Look, I can't do what you can do. Understand?
I got a wife, kids,... car payments.
-I'm in for 20 and a pension.
-But I got nothin' to lose?
Look, think it through. MGM buys off the mother.
-I'm not gettin' paid, pal.
-That's all it's about for you.
I got that woman killed for nothin', OK?
50 bucks a day I'm stringin' her husband along like I'm runnin' him
cos I can't see straight in front of me. No,... I'm done.
Look, this is how they work. It just gets buried.
Don't you wanna know about this guy? Why don't you get on the right side
-of something for once?
-Where do you come off tellin' me what I should do?
Well, I'm not the one with the guilty conscience, am I?
(MUSIC BLARES) Who wants me to wrestle?
Professional circuit. They're serious.
-"You might get a kick out of it."
Whaddya got, a party?
No, just a few friends of Leonore's. (DOORBELL CHIMES)
So now when that old bitch calls, this gizmo records it so...
-I got a delivery for Mr Reeves.
-Hey! In there.
Put that on the table, hon.
-Georgie, why don't you show this boy how much we love him?
Why don't we take it easy on this batch, Lem?
Alright, kid, here's a hundred. Go make your first million.
Georgie, you are directing your own movie in a month. Live a little. OK?
-Don't ruin the party.
-Give me a kiss.
-Go. Come on.
-I'll fix you a drink, alright?
# "It's Only Make Believe" - Conway Twitty
(CONTINUES TO SCREAM / SOB)
It's very late.
What's he plan to do with the rest of his life?
He has some spaceman script
set up with Wasserman to direct.
-"If you offered some kind of -"
-Yeah, yeah, I know how to handle it.
(SINGS IN SPANISH)
Thank you. You're very kind. What did you think, my sweetest dream?
-Moved to tears?
-I thought you sounded like a goddamn beaner. (CHUCKLES)
Well, and so good night.
Buenas noches, Jorge.
# "The Girl Can't Help It" - Little Richard
# She can't help it, the girl can't help it
# She can't help it, the girl can't help it
# If she walks by
-# The men folks get engrossed
# She can't help it, the girl can't help it
# If she... #
Universal is not the only studio. Get him in the door someplace else.
-I already tried.
-Try harder. He's your only client.
-What kind of agent are you?!
-You come here, dragging around like a wet dog!
-Leonore, stop it!
Art, we talked about this.
This picture's important.
Or it was. These people don't want me.
They don't know what I can do. We gotta show it to 'em,
show 'em I can do something different.
We gotta cook something up for me now.
The wrestling offer?
-Does it pay?
-Their only concern,
are you up to it... physically?
Well,... you can film me, so they can see.
Why don't you just join the goddamn circus?
-Keep an eye on the car, huh, boys?
How ya doin'?
-(KNOCK AT DOOR)
I'll just put it on the bed for you.
(KNOCKS ON DOOR) (Mrs Mannix?)
Mrs Mannix, can I talk to you? It's about George.
George... shot himself.
He was... shot.
Someone shot him, is that what you mean? Who did that?
..can you help me understand? Will you please help me?
Did you know George?
Why don't you tell me about him?
He really was... the most beautiful boy.
-Mrs Mannix, please, if I could just come in.
-You're not invited, Simo.
-(SIGHS) We're workin'. Come on.
Why don't you lay off?
You come up from Palos Verdes just to see me?
I came here to celebrate my friends' anniversary.
-You've met Mr Mannix?
-Nah, but we got people in common.
-Ain't that right, Eddie?
-I've got nothin' in common with you.
..Bernice, the first missus.
-You like that car-crash gimmick, huh?
Huh? She get all clingy?
How'd it feel poundin' her face in? Happy times, huh, Ed?
Am I being indiscreet? Bad for business?
-Your problems are your own.
-How can you cover for this prick?!
-Whatever you're pursuing -
-You had a bullet put in Reeves's head!
-..will not alter -
-You used the studio and the cops to do...! Oof!
Argh! You're gonna burn in hell, you son of a bitch. (CHOKES)
You don't know me.
You don't know what I think, what I do. I don't let you.
You're an old man, Eddie. Who's gonna wipe the blood off your hands?
My hands? I'm in the picture business.
No, you're a murderer.
Prove it. You hear me?
Go on. I'm ready. Prove one fuckin' thing!
Oh, God! (GROANS)
(INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ MUSIC)
People are waitin'. You comin' down?
-Help with the dress.
I'm gonna let some light in.
I wanna tell you somethin'.
You know I'll always take care of you.
..whatever might have been done, it doesn't matter.
Nobody's gonna hurt you.
Nobody gets to ask. I won't allow it.
You're safe with me,... with your husband.
Let me see what you look like.
You always will be.
I see the pieces,...
..how they should fit,...
..how I want 'em to fit,...
..but I can't...
I looked in his face.
I know he could do it. Wouldn't think about it twice.
No, I would never say it wasn't possible.
-What about Mrs Mannix?
-You had to like her.
Such brightness. Could she have done what you're saying?
I don't wanna think that.
-We never got along. Leave it there.
-A charming man.
Not like the ones today, all the squinting and the mumbling.
A movie-star face.
Why wasn't he one?
Where he wound up,...
..it should have been enough, right?
Enough for a life.
I never showed this. I knew it wouldn't help.
You watch it.
Tell me what you see.
'(SINGS IN SPANISH)'
(CONTINUES TO SING IN SPANISH)
(CONTINUES TO SING IN SPANISH)
(INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ MUSIC)
Stylish 50s-set drama about a private eye investigating one of the entertainment industry's most enduring mysteries: the death of Superman star George Reeves. However, his enquiries lead him deep into Hollywood's seedy underbelly, uncovering a love triangle involving a former showgirl and a powerful studio executive.