Thursday, August 25, 2016

are you suggesting that this is a knife?

INT.  Attic room - Night

MED. SHOT:  Gregory Anton, tied to chair, and Paula Anton standing

GREGORY:  If I ever meant anything to you, and I believe I did -- then help me, Paula.  Give me another chance.  Look! -- In the drawer of that cupboard there is a knife.  Get it and cut me free! 

Be quick, Paula.  Get me the knife.  Cut me free.  Would you get it, Paula?  Would you get it for me?

PAULA:  Yes, I'll get it.  I'll get it for you.

GREGORY:  Hurry, Paula!

She goes and looks in the drawer.

PAULA:  There's no knife here.

GREGORY (urgent, almost panicked) -- Yes!  I put it there!

PAULA (in dream-like voice, and expression) -- I don't see any knife.

GREGORY:  I put it there tonight!

She turns back around to face him, holding a knife.

PAULA: No, it isn't here.  You must have dreamed you put it there.  (then she seems to see the knife in her hand, in surprise and wonderment) -- Are you suggesting that this is a knife I hold in my hand?  Have you gone mad, my husband? 

Or is it I who am mad?  Yes, of course.  That's it.  I am mad! 

I'm always losing things and hiding things!

I can never find them.  I don't know where I put them. 

-------  She flicks the knife from her hand, it sails across the room and clatters as it hits the floor.  Gregory Anton gazes desperately after it, then back up at his wife's face.

PAULA:  That was a knife, wasn't it?  And I have lost it.

GREGORY:  Paula --

PAULA:  I must look for it, mustn't I?  If I don't find it, you will put me in the madhouse.  Where could it be, now?  Perhaps it's behind this picture.  Yes, it must be here.  No.  Where shall I look now?  Perhaps I put it over here.  (she goes back to the cupboard and opens a drawer in it) --Yes, I must have done that.

--------- Then she sees something else in the drawer, fishes it out, and holds it in her hand, momentarily completely surprised:  "My brooch!"

{Gaslight, 1944.}


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