Wednesday, July 13, 2016

noises and footsteps

INT.  Staircase - night

CLOSE SHOT:  Gregory and Paula Anton, on the stairs.

PAULA:  Why should I take a picture down?  --  But then, I don't know what I do anymore.

GREGORY:  I know, Paula.  That's just the trouble.

PAULA:  But then, if that's true -- then you must be gentle with me.  You must bear with me, please.  Please, Gregory, please.

He continues walking her up the stairs.

GREGORY:  Now come, Paula.  You'd better go to your room.

PAULA:  What are you going to do?

GREGORY:  I'm going out to work and forget all this.

They are at the doorway to her bedroom.

PAULA:  No.  Please don't leave me here all by myself now.  I get so frightened when I am here alone, and you go out night after night. 

GREGORY:  Frightened?  You never told me that before. 

PAULA:  I'm telling you now!  I'm frightened of the house!  I hear noises and footsteps.  I imagine things, that there are people over the house! 

I'm frightened of myself, too.  Gregory, please!  Please don't leave me.  Stay with me.  Gregory, take me in your arms, please!  Please.  Take me in your arms, Gregory.

He exits her bedroom, and turns around in the doorway, to speak to her:  "I hope to find you better in the morning."

He descends the staircase, and, preparing to leave, looks at himself in a mirror.  In the mirror we see Nancy, the maid, behind him.

NANCY:  She seems to be getting worse, doesn't she, sir?

GREGORY:  You will please not refer to your mistress as "she."

He takes the coat she offers.

GREGORY (continued) -- Thank you, Nancy.

NANCY:  Gonna work on your tunes again tonight, sir?  You're always working, aren't you?

~~  Yes.  What are you doing with your evening out?

NANCY:  I'm going to a music hall.

~~  I've never been to an English music hall.

~~  You don't know what you've missed, sir. (pause) You'd like it a lot, sir.

~~  We must see about that.  And whom are you going to the music hall with?

~~  Gentleman friend, sir.

~~  Now, you know, Nancy, don't you -- that gentleman friends are sometimes inclined to take liberties with young ladies?


{Gaslight, 1944.  Screenwriters:  John Van Druten, John L. Balderston, Walter Reisch}


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