Wednesday, August 24, 2016

did I dream those days?

INTERIOR - Attic - Night

Paula Anton stands just inside the door, looking at her husband, who is tied to a chair.  Behind her is Brian Cameron.

"I want to speak to my husband," she says. 
Cameron doesn't think "that's advisable."

"I want to speak to him alone," Paula insists.

CAMERON:  I'm afraid that's impossible.

GREGORY ANTON:  I assure you, I'm quite helpless.

PAULA:  Please.

CAMERON:  Well -- I'll be waiting on the stairs.

From behind the chair Gregory Anton is tied to, the London policeman, Mr. Williams, emerges, and he goes out the door with Brian Cameron.

Paula reaches for the doorknob, and closes the door behind them.  Her shadow looms behind her on the door.  Even the shadow seems to pulsate with anguish and betrayal.

GREGORY (eager, desperate) -- Look!  Go and see if he's listening!

Dead-calm, Paula slides the bar-latch lock into place.  She speaks softly, in a measured style -- "He is not listening."

She walks toward her husband.

GREGORY:  You have great confidence in him.  He told you a lot of things about me, didn't he?

PAULA:  Yes.

GREGORY:  They were lies!

She takes a couple of steps toward him; her long dress swooshes softly around her as she moves.

PAULA:  Why should he lie to me?

GREGORY:  Because he's in love with you.  I can tell.  I feel it.

PAULA:  Do you?  Do you really, Gregory?  Or shall I call you Sergis?

GREGORY:  Oh!  So he told you that, too.  Well, what of it?  Have you never heard of an artist taking a stage name? Well 'Sergis Bauer' was mine.  It was a part of my life I didn't care to tell you about.  I was a failure, then.  They don't hang a man for that, do they?

PAULA:  No, they don't hang a man for that.

GREGORY (softening his voice, injecting tenderness [or, begging, maybe?]) -- You remember our first days.  You remember Italy?

PAULA:  There have been times when I thought I only -- dreamed -- those days.

GREGORY:  Come closer, Paula.

She takes a very slow, hesitant step toward him, then -- another.  Slow, almost like she's under-water.

GREGORY:  Closer.  Look into my eyes.


{Gaslight - MGM - 1944}


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