Monday, August 22, 2016

help, come quick

Last Friday when I was typing here, blogging Gaslight, I got one part wrong -- I wrote that Paula was in the downstairs hallway -- how could she be, she was in her bedroom?!  I misspoke -- mis-blogged... 

She's in her bedroom, or the adjoining sitting room, when she hears the shot.  Then she comes out into the hall.  She looks at the stairway leading up to the next floor, and we know she heard the men run up there.  She sees the gun on the floor.

She starts up the staircase, a couple of steps, then turns back and calls downstairs over the banister:

PAULA:  Elizabeth!  Elizabeth!

ELIZABETH:  What is it, ma'am?  I thought I heard a shot.

Then, not waiting for Mrs. Anton to say more, Elizabeth runs to the front door, opens it, and calls across the street:

"Help!  Mr. Williams, come quick!"

Officer Williams leaves Nancy standing alone under the streetlamp and runs across the street, and in the front door.

ELIZABETH:  Up there!

Officer Williams dashes up the first flight of stairs, careening quickly around Paula on the second floor, and keeps going up into the formerly closed-off attic.

First Floor Hallway - Nancy and Elizabeth

They anxiously look up toward the top floors.

SFX:  a SMASH of breaking glass

Meanwhile, the front door has been left open, and the intrepidly sociable neighbor Mrs. Thwaites appears in the doorway.  She gives a polite knock, though the door's open.

MRS. THWAITES:  Anybody at home?

INT.  Attic doorway

SFX:  the thump, scramble, footsteps of a struggle

INT.  Second floor hallway

Paula stands holding onto the banister, listening.  With grim determination, she starts up the stairs.  Background music of grim determination and drama accompanies her.

Nancy and Elizabeth watch her, from the hallway below.

Paula enters the attic, and moves through it, looking around her, taking in the scattered things that have been upended, cut open, and tossed around during her husband's jewel-search.

She arrives at a closed door, just as Brian Cameron comes out, closing it again, behind him.

BRIAN CAMERON:  Well, Mrs. Anton, you believe me now.  Perhaps you'd like to see these things.  (He holds out his hand containing the jewels) -- They cost a woman's life.  They cost you something, too.

She looks, then moves to pass him and open the closed door.  He moves to place himself definitively between her and the door.

She again steps toward the door, reaching for the doorknob, and this time Cameron acquiesces, opening the door for her and going in with her.

INT.  Attic room

MED. CLOSE SHOT - Gregory Anton's shoes and trouser legs, criss-crossed with rope tied to a chair.  CAMERA PANS upward, revealing him sitting, all tied up, his hands behind him.

He looks up at Paula.  She looks down at him.

Paula speaks to Cameron, keeping her eyes on Gregory.

PAULA:  I want to speak to  my husband.

CAMERON:  Mrs. Anton, I don't think that's advisable.

PAULA:  I want to speak to him alone.


{Gaslight.  1944.  MGM.  George Cukor.}


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