Friday, August 26, 2016

how can a madwoman help?

INT.  Attic room - night

Anton tied to chair.

Paula Anton holding the brooch she found hidden in a drawer.

PAULA:  The brooch I lost at the Tower.  I've found it at last!

(Gregory Anton, tied to the chair, his emotions steaming -- frustration, helplessness, fear, greed...)

PAULA:  You see?  But it doesn't help you, does it?  And I'm trying to help you to escape, aren't I?  How can a madwoman help her husband to escape?

GREGORY (desperate, eager, his eyes very wide) -- But you're not mad!

PAULA:  Yes, I am mad, as my mother was mad!

GREGORY:  No, Paula.  That wasn't true!  Help me.

PAULA:  If I were not mad, I could have helped you.  Whatever you had done, I could have pitied and protected you.

But because I am mad, I hate you. 

Because I am mad, I have betrayed you,

and because I am mad,

I am rejoicing in my heart,

without a shred of pity,

without a shred of regret,

watching you go with glory in my heart! 

Mr. Cameron, come!  Come, Mr. Cameron.  (she goes over to the door and draws back the bar-latch) -- Take this man away!  Take this man away!

Her voice breaks a little, and she bows her head and leans against the wall by the door.

Brian Cameron enters the room and crosses to Gregory Anton.

CAMERON:  You ready?

GREGORY:  Quite ready.

Freed by Cameron from the ropes that had held him, Gregory Anton walks toward the door where Paula stands.  She does not turn to look at him.  Gregory speaks to her:

"I don't ask you to understand me.  Between us, all the time, were those jewels -- like a fire.  A fire in my brain that separated us.  Those jewels which I wanted all my life!

(Hearing his own words, he stops, and thinks about it -- his eyes lose their momentary wild, jewel-crazed shiny stare, and become quiet) -- "I don't know why."

Officer Williams's voice is heard from beyond the attic room's doorway:  "The cab is coming, Mr. Cameron."

Paula and Gregory now face each other for a few seconds.

GREGORY:  Goodbye, Paula.

He walks out the door.  From behind him, Paula answers:  "Goodbye, Gregory."

Marched down the stairs with the policeman behind him, Gregory Anton walks past his servants, bathed in their scandalized gaze, and out the front door. 

A carriage waits to "take him away."  The scene is something of a "call-back" to the first sequence in the film, where Paula as a young girl is walked out of the house by a relative or friend,

with servants looking on, after the murder of her aunt.  And the old gentleman with her in the carriage advises her not to "look back."

The doors of the carriage slam with finality.  Audience POV is from inside the front door.

EXT.  Rooftop balcony - Night

Cameron and Paula step out from the attic's skylight-door.  The dark sky is cloudy.  A neighboring building can be seen in the background.

PAULA:  This night will be a long night.

CAMERON:  But it will end.  It's starting to clear.  In the morning, when the sun rises, sometimes it's hard to believe there ever was a night.  You'll find that, too.

INT.  Attic

Mrs. Thwaites, who's apparently been walking around the house looking for her neighbors, comes bustling enthusiastically through the door between the two attic rooms.

EXT.  Rooftop balcony

CAMERON:  Let me come and see you and talk to you.  Perhaps I can help somehow.

Paula turns around and looks up at him -- "You're very kind."

MED. SHOT:  Skylight door to the roof balcony

Mrs. Thwaites is framed in the doorway, as she leans a little, and peers out -- she spots Cameron and Paula -- the audience sees only Mrs. Thwaites seeing them.  With delighted surprise, she comments with a single word:  "Well!"

The quietness of the scene is then dramatically and cheerfully sliced with a strong, optimistic orchestral flourish, and that is

{Gaslight.  MGM.}