Friday, August 12, 2016

someone he never saw

INT.  The Antons' home - Night

MED. TWO-SHOT:  Brian Cameron and Paula Anton

PAULA:  Jewels?  I have no jewels!

CAMERON:  They're the jewels you didn't know she had.  Famous jewels.  Jewels for which he was searching that night -- when he was frightened away by hearing someone come down the stairs.  Someone he never saw.  A little girl.

PAULA (her eyes becoming sleepy, dreamy, in a defense mechanism, as she tries to sort things out) -- "Me."

With a tiny shake of her head, she walks past Cameron, and turns back to face him as she speaks, incredulous:

PAULA:  So he was here that night -- But he never -- he never knew her!

She walks toward Cameron again, trying to figure everything out.  Astonishment, fear, the love she believed in, sense, memory, and dawning realization all simultaneously help her and hinder her, in this bizarre scenario. 

She tries out another point of view, saying to Cameron with passionate doubtfulness, "You're wrong.  You are wrong! -- you're making a mistake -- I know him!  He's my husband.  I've lived in the same house with him."  (with a tiny, nervous laugh in her voice) -- "You're talking about the man I'm married to!"

CAMERON:  Mrs. Anton, there's not a detail of the Alquist case that I don't know...and unless I'm more mistaken than I've ever been in my life...the man called Sergis Bauer -- has a wife living in Prague, now.

CLOSE SHOT:  a pair of gaslights on a two-branched Victorian wall-sconce

The low flame in one grows taller, and fills out, bigger and brighter.

BRIAN CAMERON (continued) -- So you see, he must have planned the whole thing, step by step, from that night.

PAULA (tired, mournful) -- Oh, if that were true, then from the beginning there would have been nothing.

Her hope and belief deflate; she sits down, and her eyes close.

PAULA (continued) -- Nothing real, from the beginning.

CAMERON (with heartfelt compassion) -- I'm sorry, to take everything away from you like this.

PAULA:  No -- no.  No!

CAMERON:  But you must believe me.  (he sits down, opposite her)  Your life depends on what you're going to do now.  Nothing less than your whole life.  Don't you see the way everything fits in?

He looks up, noticing something which takes his focus away from Paula for a moment.  Staring upward, he rises and walks briskly toward the ornamental gaslights.

CAMERON:  The gas.  (he turns on a dime, with a quick frown)  How long has it been up?

{Gaslight, 1944.  MGM.  Directed by George Cukor}


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