Bachelor Party, The

                               THE BACHELOR PARTY
                               by Paddy Chayefsky

    Under the credits, the CAMERA PANS slowly across the project, 
    capturing the sober monotony, the endless straight apartment 
    houses. Seven o'clock in the morning.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    The bedroom of a two-and-a-half-room apartment in the housing 
    project. It is early morning, but the shades are drawn and 
    the room is dark. CAMERA moves slowly across the room, over 
    the large double bed on which Charlie and Helen Samson, a 
    young couple in their late twenties, are sleeping. They are 
    sleeping more or less on their sides, facing away from each 
    other. One of Helen's pajama-clad legs projects from under 
    the light covers. We close in on Charlie's sleeping face.
    The alarm clock at a distant end of the room suddenly bursts 
    into a soft relentless buzz. Charlie's eyes open. There is a 
    muffled movement at his side, and Helen gets up on one elbow. 
    Then she sits up, rises, and pads barefooted -- a rather 
    pretty girl in rumpled pajamas -- to the alarm clock and 
    turns it off. Charlie's head turns on the pillow so that he 
    can watch her. She pads back to the bed now and stands at the 
    foot, looking down at her husband. She produces a smile, then 
    turns and shuffles into the bathroom where she turns on the 
    wall switch. A shaft of light now pours into the bedroom.
    Charlie sits up in bed. His shoes and socks are on the floor 
    by his feet. He reaches down and starts to put them on. 
    Suddenly, from the recesses of the bathroom, Helen's rather 
    vague soprano lifts into the first lines of a popular song. 
    Then it stops as abruptly as it began. Charlie's head slowly 
    turns to look at the bathroom, back again to the business of 
    putting on his socks. His face is expressionless, but there 
    is no mistaking the sodden distaste he has for the world 
    He just sits on the bed, a young man of twenty-nine, clad 
    only in his pajama trousers, one sock dangling from his hand, 
    his head hanging, his shoulders slumped. Behind him, the 
    sudden noise of rushing tap water, then off. Then his wife 
    comes back into the bedroom. She is carrying a bath towel 
    with which she is drying her face. Finished, she drops the 
    towel on the bed and begins to dress. A moment later, she 
    pads around the corner of the bed to Charlie's front. She 
    is still barefooted and wears her pajama top, but she has 
    exchanged the trousers for a half-slip. Charlie hasn't moved 
    a muscle since the effort required to lift one sock from the 
        You think it's too early to call 
        my mother?
        I don't know.
    Charlie shrugs without looking up. Helen goes out of the 
    bedroom, into the little square of foyer where there is a 
    telephone table with a telephone on it. She dials, waits. In 
    the bedroom, Charlie rubs his eyes with two fingers.
            (on phone) 
        Hello, Ma, did I wake you up? This 
        is Helen.... Well, I'll be going to 
        work, and I wanted to get ahold of 
        you before I left. I called you last 
        night. Where were you and Pop anyway? 
        I kept calling you every half hour 
        up till one o'clock.... Oh, yeah? Did 
        you have a nice time? ...
    of Charlie in bedroom.
             HELEN'S VOICE
        Well, listen, Ma, I got something to 
        tell you. I'm pregnant.... Yeah, 
        pregnant.... Of course I'm sure. 
        I've got the report back from the 
        laboratory.... No, you wouldn't know 
        him, Doctor Axelrod.... Second month. 
        He says I can expect the baby in 
        February.... Well, Grandma, act a 
        little excited, will you? ... You 
        bet I'm excited....
    He is not excited. If anything he is miserable. His bowed 
    head rises slowly. The eyes open. He stares abstractedly 
    ahead for a moment. Then he sighs a profound sigh of 
    resignation. Then his eyes close again, and his head slowly 
    sinks back to its previous abjection. 
                     DISSOLVE TO:

    Helen, dressed in skirt and blouse now, is preparing two 
    cups of instant coffee, pouring hot water from the saucepan 
    into the two cups. The toaster is ticking. A packaged loaf 
    of white bread is open on the cupboard shelf. Finished with 
    pouring the water, Helen sets the saucepan back on the stove 
    and comes out into the dining area. The dinette table is 
    covered from end to end by open textbooks, several very large 
    accounting worksheets on which are scrawled meticulous 
    numbers, a ruler, several pencils and a pen, an ash tray 
    glutted with cigarettes, a cup and saucer. 
            (calling to the bedroom)
        Do you need any of this or can I 
        take them off the table? 

    Charlie appears in the bedroom doorway, dressed and washed 
    now, a neat, clean young man in a white shirt and neatly 
    knotted tie.
        I'll clean that up in a minute.
    He disappears back into the bedroom. Helen picks up the ash 
    tray and the cup and saucer.
        How late were you up last night?
             CHARLIE'S VOICE
        About two.
    Charlie standing by the window, is picking up his keys, a 
    few dollar bills, a comb, etc., from a chair and putting 
    them into his trouser pockets. The blinds of the bedroom 
    window have been opened, and the high August sun streams in, 
    whitening Charlie's face. After he has pocketed his odds and 
    ends, he moves to the chest of drawers on which, among all 
    sorts of other things, there are several textbooks and an 
    opened notebook. He stands a moment looking down into the 
    open notebook, his lips moving ever so little, as he commits 
    some of his notes to memory. He turns a page of the notebook 
    back to check something and then goes back to the previous 
    page. Now he opens one of the smaller drawers in the chest 
    of drawers. The drawer contains wisps of his wife's stockings 
    and other feminine things. He finds a small roll of bills and 
    takes one of them, putting the bill in his pocket and closing 
    the dresser drawer. 

        I'm taking five bucks from your 

    He pauses now to affix a less frowning expression onto his 
    face and goes out into the little foyer and into the dining 

    Helen is seated at the dinette table, sipping coffee and 
    reading yesterday's newspaper. There are two cups of coffee 
    on the table.
        A guy in my office is getting 
        married, and I got clipped four 
        bucks for his wedding present.
    He begins assembling the mass of papers and textbooks on the 
        Who's getting married?
        Arnold. I told you about him. The 
        guy with the sick mother.
        Oh, yeah.
            (trying to decide 
            whether he needs a 
            certain worksheet) 
        The rest of the guys are giving him 
        a bachelor party tonight.
        Do you want to go, Charlie?
        I got class tonight.
        What have you got -- cost accounting?

        I think you ought to take off a 
        night. You ought to go, have a little 
        fun for yourself. I think you need 
        that. You go to work all day, you go 
        to school all night. You can miss one 
        night, Charlie.
        No, these bachelor parties get kind 
        of wild sometimes. The whole 
        philosophy is: it's the groom's last 
        night of freedom. So it gets kind of 
        wild sometimes.
        That's a good philosophy to start a 
        marriage with.
        Well, a bunch of guys get together, 
        they like to tear up the town a 
    He has assembled his notes and notebooks and texts in a pile 
    on the table, ready to take with him. He sits down and 
    begins sipping his coffee. Helen looks back to her newspaper, 
    frowning a little, then looks up at Charlie again.
        I think you oughta go, Charlie. I 
        know you're upset about the baby.
        I'm not upset about the baby.
        Come on, Charlie. I know how you 
        feel. Listen, you don't have to 
        pretend you're excited about the 
        baby. We weren't exactly planning 
        on a baby right now ...
        I'm not upset about the baby.
        It's a shock. I had some bad days 
        before I told you. I said: "Oh, boy, 
        that's all we need. A baby." Then I 
        said to myself: "If I'm having a 
        baby, I'm having a baby. That's all 
        there is to it." And I like the idea. 
        We're going to have a family, 
        Charlie. I like the idea.
        Well, give me a couple of days to 
        get used to the idea. I'll be all 
        I know you will, Charlie. That's why 
        I think you ought to go to this 
        bachelor party tonight.
            (bursting out) 
        I don't want to go to this bachelor 
    He looks down at his coffee, embarrassed at the outburst.
        I'm sorry I yelled.
        Don't be silly.
        I better get going. Kenny's probably 
        waiting for me now. I'm sorry I 
        yelled like that.
        What are you sorry about? Don't I 
        yell at you all the time?
    WE STAY ON HELEN, as she reads her newspaper, but there is 
    a faint frown on her face.

                     DISSOLVE TO:
    An express train hurtles southward. We see it flashing by 
    through the concrete pillars of the subway. 
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    Charlie and another young man, named Kenneth, are seated in 
    a crowded subway car. People are standing tightly in the 
    aisles. Kenneth is an amiable young man of thirty-odd. He 
    has his jacket off and his tie loosened as a concession to 
    the August heat. Charlie is neatly and coolly dressed. He 
    has two notebooks and a battered text in his lap. He is 
    reading the text. Two young white-collar workers on their 
    way to work. They ride along silently for a moment. Kenneth 
    is rather stealthily concerned with a full-busted young 
    woman who is standing directly in front of him, holding on 
    to a strap. It is summertime, and the girls all wear light 
    summer frocks. There is a feeling of wistful sensuality to 
    the scene.
        You going to Arnold's bachelor party?
        I don't think so, Kennie. 


        I got two classes tonight.

        Yeah, I was going to go, but I think 
        I better not, because my kid, the 
        young one, the girl, she's been 
        acting up again lately. She's got 
        some kind of allergy, the doctors 
        don't know what.
        These bachelor parties get kind of 
        wild sometimes. Eddie Watkins is 
        making all the arrangements. He's 
        probably got us lined up with a 
        bunch of chorus girls.

        Yeah, do you think so?
        You know Eddie.
        Yeah, boy, he really lives it up, 
        don't he? Did you see that blonde 
        who picked him up for lunch last 
        week? Boy, sometimes I wish I was a 
        bachelor. Well, you know what I mean. 
        I never seem to get out of the house 
        any more, you know what I mean? 
        About once a week, I go to the 
        movies. We never even see the whole 
        picture. My wife starts worrying 
        about the kids. My youngest kid, the 
        girl, she's got some kind of rash. 
        We don't know what it is. I never 
        seem to see anybody any more. Do you 
        know how long it is since I've seen 
        Willie Duff? I haven't seen Willie 
        in about six months. My wife can't 
        stand his wife. You ever seen her, 
        Willie's wife?
        No, I didn't know Willie too well. 

        Boy, wait'll you have kids, boy. 
        You'll never get out of the house.
        Helen's pregnant now.
        No kidding.
        Oh, that's wonderful, Charlie, 
        that's wonderful! 

    The two young husbands look down again at their hands and 
    ride along silently. Kenneth sneaks a quick look up at the 
    girl standing in front of him, and then lets his attention 
    drift down the length of the car.
        Hey, there's a guy down there, 
        trying to pick up a girl down there.
    He is referring to a Young Fellow who elbowed his way down 
    through the crowded aisle but who stopped abruptly when he 
    noticed an attractive girl, seated about three seats down 
    from Kenneth. The Girl is reading a newspaper. The Young 
    Fellow stares at her. The Girl, aware of this sudden 
    attention, looks briefly up from her newspaper. The Young 
    Fellow smiles pleasantly. The Girl, with a show of 
    annoyance, looks back to her newspaper.
        Were you with us about eight years 
        ago when I picked up that chick in 
        front of the bus stop in Paterson, 
        New Jersey?
        When was this?
        Yeah, you were there. You were with 
        that girl from Brooklyn. We just 
        came from Palisades Amusement Park, 
        and we were driving Frankie Klein's 
        girl home, and the car broke down 
        right in the middle of Route One.
            (beginning to laugh) 
        Oh, yeah.
        And Frankie opened up the hood and 
        the water cap blew right up in the 
        And the cop came over ... 
        That's right, the cop. He thought 
        Frankie shot off a gun....
    They are both laughing audibly now at the memory.
        He was going to pull us all in. Oh, 
        Frankie, he was funny.
        Oh, that was a lot of fun, those 
        Yeah, they were.
    The little spasm of laughter is over. A sort of ruefulness 
    settles down on the two young husbands. Kenneth looks lazily 
    down the aisle to see how the Young Fellow is making out 
    with The Girl. He seems to be making out all right. They are 
    looking steadily at each other now. Kenneth turns back to 
        Hey, this guy's making out all right. 
        She's giving him the eye now.

    Charlie leans forward to see this progress.
            (looking out the 
            window at the passing 
            local station) 
        Where are we now, Prince Street? I 
        bet you he picks her up before we 
        hit Chambers Street.
    Somehow this has a sobering effect on the two young husbands. 
    Again they sit silently as the train buckets along.
        Boy, I'm bushed today. I was up till 
        two o'clock last night on this thing 
        here. I'm getting to be a nervous 
        wreck. I snarled at Helen this 
        morning. I think this whole night 
        school business is getting me down. 

        I don't see how you do it.
        Neither do I. I thought I was 
        through with it. The plan was for me 
        to quit work and go to college full 
        time and cram through in a year or 
        so. But now we got this kid coming, 
        and Helen's going to have to quit 
        her job, and that sets me back where 
        I started from. Another five years 
        of this, summers included.
        I couldn't do it, man, I'll tell you 
        that. I wish I could, but I couldn't.
        Oh, what am I griping about? This is 
        the life I picked out for myself. 
        But it's a grind, boy, I tell you. 

    They sit silently again. The train hurtles along and then 
    suddenly slows as it approaches a stop. There is a rustle of 
    movement among the passengers in the subway car. A few 
    people start edging toward the doors. The Girl reading the 
    newspaper now folds her newspaper and stands almost directly 
    in the Young Fellow's face. They regard each other.
             YOUNG FELLOW
            (to the girl)
        Excuse me, can you tell me how to 
        get to the Nassau Street exit?
        Well ... well, at the top of the 
        stairs, you'll see all the signs.
             YOUNG FELLOW
        Are you getting off here?
             YOUNG FELLOW
        Well, I'll follow you then. That'll 
        be easier, if you don't mind.
        No, not at all.
    They start to crowd down the aisle. The train is chugging 
    into the Chambers Street station, and we can see the 
    yellowed lights of the platform and the quick blur of faces. 
    The two young husbands, who had been following the byplay 
    between The Girl and the Young Fellow, now watch them slowly 
    exit. There is an expression of poignant wistfulness on both 
    their faces.
                     DISSOLVE TO:

    We look down on the bookkeeping department of a life 
    insurance company in downtown Manhattan area around Pine 
    Street. It is a fairly large room, large enough to hold 
    eleven desks. But you get the feeling that this is one of 
    the smaller offices on the floor. You get the feeling that 
    this company occupies three or four floors of this building. 
    Despite the size of the office, it has a cluttered look. 
    Each desk has piles of paper on it, and all the impedimenta 
    of the bookkeeper -- the pens and pencils, the adding 
    machine, the telephone. Some of the desks have typewriters. 
    Along the walls there are rows of filing cabinets and wall 
    bins stocked with large worksheets and thick ledgers. At 
    the far end of the room, there is a row of windows, but it 
    is still necessary to keep the overhead fluorescent lights 
    on all day. They are on now. There are two middle-aged 
    women standing, murmuring to each other, and a rather 
    heavy-set balding man in his late forties, sitting at a 
    desk in his shirt sleeves, already hard at work, although 
    it is still ten minutes shy of eight-thirty.
    Kenneth and Charlie enter. Ad lib hellos between them and 
    the two middle-aged women. Charlie moves to the coat rack to 
    hang up his jacket, drops off his books on his desk, starts 
    for the coat rack. Behind Charlie, we see Kenneth, carrying 
    his jacket, moving to his desk, up where the middle-aged man 
    is working.
        Hiya, Walter.
        Hiya, Walter.
    Walter, the middle-aged man, nods his good mornings.
            (poking in his desk 
            drawer; amiably) 
        Walter, what time do you come in in 
        the mornings? You're making us all 
        look lousy, you know that? I get 
        the feeling sometimes, you stay here 

    Walter merely nods, doesn't bother to look up from the work. 
    Kenneth finds a stick of gum in his drawer, unwraps it. Two 
    more women, gray-haired and bespectacled, come into the 
    office. There is an ad lib mumble of hellos in background. 
    Charlie hangs up his jacket on the coat rack.
        Arnold in yet?
        He starts his vacation today. He's 
        getting married Sunday, you know.
    CLOSEUP of Charlie looking out the window into the bright 
    August morning. His face is just a little ruffled by a 
    frown, and there is a kind of pain in his eyes. Behind him, 
    Walter and Kenneth.
            (a nervous, anxious man) 
        Well, the doctor was over last night. 
        Brought over the X rays; brought 
        over the allergy tests. Brought over 
        a bill for sixty-eight dollars.  I 
        said to him: "Doctor, you're a young 
        man, professional, highly educated, 
        four years of college, two years of 
        premedical training, several years 
        of interning, of residency. If 
        you're so smart, how can you charge 
        me sixty-eight dollars? One thing 
        they apparently didn't teach you in 
        medical school. You can't get blood 
        from a stone."
        So what's wrong with you, Walter?
        What's wrong? I have to go to 
        Arizona, that's what's wrong. I have 
        asthma. When I was a kid, they 
        called it hay fever, and you carried
        a bag around your neck. Asafetida. 
        Now, they call it asthma, and you 
        have to go to Arizona. I said to him: 
        "Doctor, you're a professional man, 
        four years of college, premedical 
        school, Bellevue, several diplomas. 
        Answer me a question. Who's going to 
        pay for Arizona?" I said to him: 
        "Doctor," I said, "perhaps you have 
        the illusion I am the Aga Khan. I 
        have a bearing about me, perhaps, 
        that misleads you to believe I have 
        blood ties with the Whitneys and the 
        Rockefellers. This isn't true." 
        Arizona. Did you ever hear of such 
        How serious is it, Walter?
        Serious. Nothing serious. I have hay 
        fever, I sneeze a couple of times. 
        The idiot told my wife I have to go 
        to Arizona, and she wouldn't leave 
        me alone all night. She's already 
        packing the bags. I said: "For 
        heaven's sakes, you listen to 
        doctors, we'll all be dead." My son, 
        Harold, believe me, he's going to be 
        a doctor. That's some racket, boy. 
        Sixty-eight dollars.
    CLOSEUP of Charlie, still at the window, when a bell 
    suddenly clangs, indicating the start of the workday. The 
    sudden jangle makes him start, and he closes his eyes 
    briefly against the noise.  Walter, in background, who had 
    risen and was bent over Kenneth's desk, darts nervously back 
    to his own desk.
        You better get to work. Hey, Charlie, 
        that was the bell. I think Flaherty 
        is here this morning. We'll all be 
        fired today. I have a feeling.
    He hunches over his ledgers again, his anxious, harried face 
    drawn into intense wrinkles of concentration. Several other 
    women have come into the office by now, and there is a 
    general movement to the desks. There is the click of a 
    typewriter, and Walter runs his fingers glibly over the 
    adding machine on his desk. The day has started.
    After a moment, Charlie turns from the window and comes back 
    to his desk, sinks down onto his chair.
                     DISSOLVE TO:

    We look down on the bookkeeping department. All the desks 
    are occupied but two. There are six women and our three men. 
    The office is silent with industry, everybody's head bent 
    over his desk. There is the occasional punctuation of an 
    adding machine or a typewriter or a phone ringing.
    Our three men are bent over their tally sheets, worksheets, 
    and ledgers, occasionally reaching up to quickly tabulate 
    something on the adding machine. After a moment, Walter says:
            (without looking 
            up from his work) 
        You fellows going to Arnold's party 
            (without looking up) 
        No, I'm not going, are you?
        No. Eddie already hooked me for four 
        bucks for Arnold's present. This 
        dinner is going to cost another 
        couple of good dollars.
        It looks like nobody's going to 
        Arnold's bachelor party.
        You ain't going?
        No, I'm not going. 

        Eddie's going to be mad. 

        I told Eddie last week I couldn't 
        make it. I've got school. Eddie's a 
        bachelor. It's all right for him to 
        go rooting around town, picking up 
        Yeah, you get married you give that 
        kind of thing up.
        Yeah, Charlie says Eddie has a whole 
        bunch of chorus girls lined up for 
        us tonight.
    Walter's head comes up for the first time.
        No kidding. 

        I didn't say that. I just said that 
        if I knew Eddie, we'd probably wind 
        up with some of his crazy girl 

    Walter looks back down to his work again. 
        I don't know where he gets all these 
        girls. He's a screwy looking jerk.
        Did you see that blonde who was up 
        here looking for him last week?

        Yeah. He told me she was a 
        television actress. I think I saw 
        her once on "Studio One." She was in 
        a coal mine with some stir-crazy 
        coalminer who was trying to strangle 
        her with a necktie.
        I'd like to strangle her with a 
        Now, Walter, an old married man like 
        you, with asthma and everything.
    Walter looks up suddenly from his work, a strange sting of 
    pain crossing his face.
        I get real jealous of Eddie 
        sometimes. He's as free as a bird. 
        Did you see that convertible he's 
        Yeah, he really banged it up I hear.
        You ought to see the old heap I've 
        got. He walks out of here on payday, 
        he can spend the whole works on 
        having himself a good time. I walk 
        out of here, and I got three kids 
        and a wife, all of them with their 
        palms out. I lost two bucks playing 
        poker at my house last week. It was 
        an economic catastrophe. My wife 
        didn't sleep all night.

        He's late again.
        He'll be twenty minutes late again. 
        If Flaherty walked in now, he'd fire 
        him. If that ever happened to me, I 
        think I'd kill myself. What does 
        Eddie care? So he scrambles around 
        for another job. Flaherty told me 
        last week I had too many days off. 
        I told him I was sick in bed. What 
        do you want me to do?
    He turns back again to his work, his face creased with 
    anxiety. The three men work silently for a moment. Then the 
    office door opens, and a man of about thirty-five, a little 
    stout, but rather casual in his dress, wearing steel-rimmed 
    glasses, enters. This is Eddie Watkins, the office bachelor. 
    He seems to have had very little sleep the night before. His 
    eyes, behind the wire-rimmed glasses, are heavy-lidded. A 
    cigarette dangles listlessly, from his mouth. There is 
    something of the bacchanalian libertine about Eddie. There 
    is a perfunctory exchange of hellos and good mornings, 
    establishing that this is Eddie. He shuffles with ineffable 
    weariness to his desk.
        Hi, Eddie, you're early today, only 
        twenty minutes late, what happened?
            (muttering through 
            reluctant lips) 
        Flaherty come in yet?
    Eddie sits down at his desk, pulls his cigarette 
    automatically for a moment. Then he reaches over to a pile 
    of telephone directories on the floor beside his desk, pulls 
    up the Manhattan one, flips through the pages, finding the 
    number he wants. He picks up the phone. 
        Mary, give me an outside line....
            (he pauses, checks 
            the number in the 
            phone book again, 
            dials, waits) 
        Hello, is this Leathercraft on 
        Madison Avenue? ... This is Mr. 
        Watkins. I was in about a week ago. 
        I ordered a military set and a 
        wallet. They were supposed to be 
        ready yesterday.... Yes, please, 
        would you? ... 
            (he is searching 
            his pockets while 
            he waits, finds a 
            piece of paper, 
            pulls it out) 
        Yeah, a military set and a wallet....
        Is that what we bought poor Arnold?
            (on phone) 
        That's right. The following 
        inscriptions should be on them:
            (reads from the paper) 
        On the military set: "To Arnold: 
        Best wishes on your marriage from 
        Alice, Charlie, Eddie, Evelyn, 
        Jeanette with two t's, Kenneth, 
        Lucy, Mary, Olga, Walter, and 
        Flaherty." Now on the wallet ... 
        Yeah, what? .... Yeah, that's right 
        -- Flaherty. Now, on the wallet, 
        the following inscription: "To my 
        Best Friend Arnold from his Best Man 
        Eddie." ... No, to my best friend 
        Arnold. ... That's right. "From his 
        best man Eddie" ... Now, can I come 
        in at lunch and pick them up? ... 

    A young woman comes into the office, goes to Walter's desk 
    and drops some papers before him.
        What's this, Jeanette?
        It's from finance, don't ask me.
    This is the girl in the office who goes to the water cooler 
    three times a morning and all the men covertly watch her. 
    She is cute, but attractive more by comparison to the other 
    women in the office. Nevertheless, all the men, including 
    Eddie and Charlie, let their eyes cautiously watch her as 
    she leaves, her sheath dress tight on her hips.
    Eddie, who has hung up, now rubs his eyes with two fingers to 
    clear his head and picks up the phone again.
            (on phone) 
        Mary, give me the Hotel Westmore. 
        Circle 7-0598.
            (hands Kennie paper) 
        This isn't for me -- it's for you.
            (to the others) 
        Now who owes me on the presents? 
        Charlie, you owe me?
        I gave you four bucks yesterday....
        I owe you, Eddie. I'll pay you 
        tomorrow, payday.
            (on phone) 
        Miss Frances Kelley, please. I 
        think it's room 417.... 

    The three heads around him look slowly up from their 
    respective work, naked interest manifest on their faces.
            (calling to one 
            of the women in 
            the office) 
        Hey, Evelyn, you owe me four bucks. 

            (calling back) 
        All right. I know.
            (on phone) 
        Hello, Frances, this is Eddie.... 
        All right, wait a minute. Give me a 
        chance to explain.... I know I woke 
        you up.... All right, let me tell 
        you. You know I'm supposed to be the 
        best man at this fellow Arnold's 
        wedding. So I called him up last 
        night because I didn't know whether 
        I was supposed to wear tuxedo or 
        tails. Well, he didn't know either, 
        so he said: "Come on over to my 
        girl's house with me tonight. 
        They're making all the arrangements 
        for the wedding now." So I called 
        you and left a message at the desk 
        saying I couldn't get over till 
        about ten o'clock.... All right! 
        That's what I'm going to explain! 
        ... Thank you.
            (holds receiver 
            against his chest 
            and looks at his 
            colleagues with 
            air of a man being 
            tried just a little 
            too much. Returns 
            receiver to his ear, 
            listens for a moment) 
        All right, so I had to go over to 
        Arnold's girl's house with Arnold 
        last night. Well, there was about 
        thirty people there, and, man, you 
        never saw such a crazy mess. There 
        was this little bald-headed guy 
        there. He's the bride's uncle. He's 
        come all the way down from Boston 
        with his whole family to go to the 
        wedding. The only trouble was, he 
        wasn't invited. Well, this crazy 
        uncle, he grabs ahold of me, he 
        starts shaking me by the lapels. So 
        I said: "What do you want from me? 
        I ain't the groom! I'm just trying 
        to find out whether I'm supposed to 
        wear tuxedo or tails." 
            (apparently this got 
            a laugh. Eddie breaks 
            into a smile) 
        Funny, huh? ... Look, Frances. I 
        have to go to work now. I'm calling 
        you from the office. How about 
        letting me make this up to you? I'll 
        take you out to dinner Saturday 
        night.... I can't make it tonight. 
        The bachelor party's tonight.... 
        All right, Saturday night.... It's a 
        date.... S'help me.... I swear, right 
        on time. Eight-thirty, okay? ... 
        Okay, we'll have a ball. Goodbye, go 
        back to sleep.
    He hangs up. The three married men look down again to their 
    ledgers and tap away again on their adding machines. Eddie 
    sits slumped in his seat for a moment.
        What did I just tell that girl, 
        Saturday night?
            (picks up phone)
        Mary, give me Columbus 5-1098.... 
        What do you mean personal calls! 
        These are business calls! Well, stop 
        listening to other people's 
        conversations.... What have you got, 
        stock in the company? Columbus 
        Listen, Eddie, I don't think I can 
        go tonight. My father-in-law's in 
        from Akron, Ohio, and----
            (all sweetness) 
        Hello, who is this, Mrs. Stebbins? 
        ... This is Eddie, Mrs. Stebbins. I 
        wonder if I can talk to Muriel.... 
        Could I speak to her? ... Thank 

    The three married men each look up slowly again, naked envy 
    on each face.
            (on phone) 
        Muriel, baby, listen, sweetie, I 
        can't make it Saturday night.... I'm 
        all loused up with this wedding I'm 
        supposed to be the best man at.... 
        We have to rehearse the ceremony. 
        You'd think they were getting 
        married on television.... Yes, 
        sweetie, why don't I call you Monday. 
        Maybe, we'll work out something 
        before you go back to California.... 
        All right, sweetie, good-bye.

    He hangs up, sits a moment, then finally removes the 
    cigarette from his mouth, crushes it in his ash tray, and 
    turns to the others.
        Well, what do you say? I'm going to 
        call Louie and make a reservation 
        for a table for tonight. Who's 
        coming and who isn't? Walter, you're 
        coming, right? It won't cost you 
        more than three-fifty for the whole 
        meal. What do you say, Walter? You 
        only live once.
            (strangely sad) 
        That's right. You only live once.
        Well, yes or no?
        All right, I'll come.
        Yeah, I'll get out of the house for 
        a change.
        How about you, Charlie?
    Charlie is frowning down at a sheaf of adding machine totals 
    in front of him.
        I don't think so, Eddie.
        Ah, come on, Charlie, you got to 
        bust loose every now and then. We'll 
        have a couple of drinks.
            (picks up phone) 
        Mary, give me an outside line and 
        don't give me no trouble.... 
        Chickering 4-5099. 
        Come on, Charlie, it's a short life, 
        believe me. 

    Move in for CLOSEUP of Charlie, frowning. Over this, Eddie's 
             EDDIE'S VOICE
        Hello, hello, Louie? Is this Louie? 
        ... Louie, this is Eddie Watkins. 
        I'd like to reserve a table for 
        four for tonight.... For four ...

        Hey, Eddie ...
             EDDIE'S VOICE
        Count me in.
    He immediately bends back to his work, takes his pencil up 
    again. CAMERA PULLS QUICKLY UP AND AWAY until we have an 
    ANGLE SHOT looking down at their desks in various positions 
    of work.
            (on phone) 
        Louie, make that five.... Five guys 
        ... Yeah, a bachelor party ...
                     FADE OUT


    FADE IN with a big loud blare on Eighth Street in Greenwich 
    Village on a warm August night. Packed sidewalks, jammed 
    traffic, taxis, trucks, buses, honking of horns, etc. 
    Man-we're-going-to-have-a-ball type feeling.

                     DISSOLVE TO:
    Thirteenth Street off Sixth Avenue not so blary and lit up 
    as the main drags, but traffic is heavy, and there are lots 
    of people on the sidewalks. There are a number of restaurants 
    dotting the street with their little striped awnings and 
    modest neons. If we are on our toes, we notice one neon that 
    reads: "LOUIE'S."
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    The entire interior isn't too much to show, really. It's a 
    small restaurant, but it is packed. Waiters scurry here and 
    there. People jammer and jab. Hustle and bustle. In 
    background, we can pick out our bachelor party, five men now, 
    clustered around a table, yakking it up.
    WIDE SHOT of our bachelor party, showing all five. They all 
    seem to be in the best of spirits. The new member of the cast 
    is Arnold, the groom, a towheaded, pleasant-looking young man 
    of thirty, shy to the point of being noticeable. Of all the 
    men at the party, he is the quietest. He sits, a smile nailed 
    onto his face, turning his head from one friend to another as 
    they talk, enjoying the rare privilege of being liked. The 
    dinner is over. During the ensuing scene, a bus boy continues 
    to remove the used dishes. Several large bottles of beer and 
    two fifths of Scotch are on the table. There is a welter of 
    variously assorted glasses. Eddie, Walter, and Kenneth are 
    smoking cigars, Charlie a cigarette. The Groom is not 
    smoking.  We have cut into the scene during a jumble of 
    conversation. Walter is talking to Charlie, whose head is 
    bent toward the older man. Kenneth is trying to tell the 
    Groom a joke, but the Groom's attention is being distracted
    by Eddie, who is leaning across the table trying to get 
    Charlie's attention. Ad libs.
            (finishing story) 
        Three hundred pounds! Isn't she kind 
        of fat? No, man, tall! Hey, waiter! 
        Hey, Charlie ...
            (to Charlie) 
        ... so we were stationed right 
        outside Paris, about eight miles, a 
        town called Chatou ...
        ... hey, Charlie ...
            (to Charlie) 
        ... so the first night, a whole 
        bunch of us swiped a jeep out of the 
        motor court. We had a feller there 
        who was a tech sergeant in the motor 
        court. Oh, what a character he was! 
        He used to get loaded every night on 
        that vanilla extract.
        Hey, Charlie ...
        What do you want, Eddie?
        Hey, Charlie, did I ever tell you 
        about the time I was stationed at 
        Buckley Field in Denver, and I 
        picked up this girl in Lakeside 
        Amusement Park?
        Hey, Eddie, listen to this story 
        I'm telling Charlie. Hey, Arnold, 
        I'm telling Charlie about the time 
        me and that crazy tech sergeant 
        from the motor court got loaded on 
        vanilla extract and went to Paris 
        ... Hey, Kenneth ...
        When do the Giants come back from 
        their road trip, does anybody know?
        Hey, let's give out the presents now.
        Hey, Kenneth, listen to this story. 
        I was stationed outside of Paris, 
        about eight miles ...
        Oh, that Paris! I was there for two 
        days! Clubs! You had to beat the 
        women off with clubs! ...
            (to people at 
            another table) 
        What ...? Oh, it's a bachelor party 
        -- this guy's getting married.
        Listen, I want to give the 
        presents ...
        Well, let me tell you what 
        happened ...
        Hey, you know what was a great town 
        for women, Hamburg!
        Hamburg! Clubs! Clubs! You had to 
        beat them off with clubs! Hey, 
        waiter -- who's our waiter?  
        Hey, Arnold, enjoying yourself?
        The first night I was in Hamburg, 
        two Frauleins come walking right in 
        the barracks. So I said to the 
        lieutenant ...
    Walter, who is pretty lit, suddenly stands and bangs the 
    table mightily with his fist.
            (bellowing out) 
        The best fighting outfit in the 
        whole fighting army was the fighting 
        Hundred and Fourth Infantry Division, 
        General Terry Allen commanding!
    This brings the jumbled conversation to a halt. Walter 
    surveys the other four, looking for possible challenges, 
    then sits heavily down.
        Well, now that we got that settled....
        I'm with you, Walter.
        We believe you, Walter.
        I'd like to make a little speech to 
        our guest of honor and mutual friend, 
        Arnold Craig. Arnold, a bunch of us 
        down the office, the girls too, all 
        chipped in, and we got you a couple 
        of small gifts....
    Eddie crosses to extra chair, picks up wrapped gifts, crosses 
    back to his place.
            (whispering to Kenneth) 
        These are the gag gifts. 
        Let's see, what's this one? Oh, yeah. 
        Arnold, we figured Louise might be 
        very sleepy on your wedding night, 
        so we thought you might want 
        something to keep you warm.
    Walter leans forward to see what the tissue-wrapped parcel 
    Arnold is now unwrapping is.
        What is it? What is it?
    Arnold holds a hot-water bottle aloft. Walter is seized with 
    a paroxysm of laughter at this immensely Rabelaisian gift.
        It's a hot-water bottle!
        Okay, Walter, okay.
        Hey, did you see that? Hey, he bought 
        him a hot-water bottle for his 
        wedding night. Hey, that's funny ...
        Hey, Eddie, you should have bought 
        him an ice pack for after tonight.
            (holding a 
            second parcel)
        Walter, take it easy.... Now, this 
        one, Arnold, this one is something 
        to keep you busy on cold winter 
            (crosses to Arnold; 
            to the others) 
        This ought to be good.
        Look at Walter.
    Walter has come around behind Arnold's chair and can hardly 
    wait to see what the next joke is.

        Hey, these are funny. Who bought 
        these? You buy these, Eddie? These 
        are funny. You got a good sense of 
    Arnold unwraps the parcel, holds out a miniature baby bottle. 
    This is too much for Walter; how funny can you get? He 
    clutches his sides.
        Hey, did you guys see that? Hey, did 
        you guys see that?
        Come on, Walter, sit down.
    Charlie and Kenneth are smiling appreciatively. Walter 
    crosses with bottle, sits, starts pouring whisky into baby 
        Eddie got a good sense of humor, you 
            (to Charlie) 
        Boy, old Walter is crocked.
            (smiling, rising 
            halfway in his chair) 
        Listen, I want to thank you. Really. 
        I really want to thank you fellows.
        We haven't got to the serious 
        presents yet, Arnold. 

    A hush falls over the assembled guests. Arnold composes his 
    face into a solemn expression and looks down at the 
    cluttered table.
        Well, in all seriousness, Arnold, 
        seriously, I don't know why you 
        picked me to be your best man, but I 
        am deeply honored. I guess it's 
        because we're both Dodger fans, and 
        I'm going to miss you at next 
        Tuesday's night game when the 
        Pittsburgh Pirates invade Ebbets 
        Field. We always had a lot of fun 
        together, and, seriously, Arnold, 
        in all seriousness, good luck on 
        your wedding, but see if you can't 
        get out of the house occasionally, 
        see a night game or even a Sunday 
        doubleheader with your old buddy, 
    This touching address has brought a note of sadness to the 
    gathering. Indeed, there are tears in Walter's and Arnold's 
            (handing Arnold 
            two neatly wrapped 
        Well, anyway, in all seriousness, 
        here are a couple of presents from 
        all of us in the office and good 

    Arnold takes the presents, stands, head bowed. Eddie sits 
    and all faces turn to Arnold.
        Well, I just want to thank you 
        fellows. I don't know what to say. 
        I just want to thank you.
        Open the presents, Arnold.
        I will. I just want to say, Eddie, 
        that when the Pirates invade Ebbets 
        Field next Tuesday night, I'm going 
        to be sitting right there in Section 
        37 there right with you.
        You'll be on your honeymoon next 
        Tuesday, Arnold. 

    This interesting information gives Arnold pause.
        Gee, that's right. 

        Arnold, you're getting married 
        Sunday, did you forget?
        Look at him blush.
            (frowning fuzzily) 
        No, I didn't forget. It's just that 
        ... Gee, that's right. Sunday. 
        What's today, Thursday? 

                KENNETH and EDDIE 
        All day!
        Boy, it's here, isn't it? I guess 
        I've been running around so much the 
        last couple of weeks, I guess the 
        wedding snuck up on me.
        I think Arnold's having a little 
        buck fever. Does anyone know what 
        our waiter looks like?
            (to Kenneth) 
        You know who didn't want to chip in 
        for Arnold's presents? ... 

        Arnold'll be all right. Have a drink, 
        I had my basic training in Camp Croft, 
        South Carolina, near Spartanburg.
        I was at Maxwell Field, what a 
        Walter, what ever happened when you 
        and that tech sergeant from the
        motor pool got loaded on vanilla 
        What tech sergeant?
        Walter, you're crocked. 
            (to Arnold) 
        Open up the presents -- see what you 
        Hey, are you our waiter? Bring us 
        some ice. I got him -- I got our 
        It was sure nice of you fellows.
    The voices have risen again into the jumbled high spirits 
    that opened the scene.
        Hey, man, we're having a ball!
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    We look down on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village. It is 
    eight thirty at night. It is a fairly active and well-lit 
    street, bright with neons and movie marquees and lit-up 
    shops. Our five carousers are marching down the sidewalk, 
    that is four of them are on the sidewalk. Walter can't quite 
    decide whether he wants to walk on the sidewalk or in the 
    street. He keeps hopping in and out between the parked cars, 
    running to catch up when he falls behind. They are all 
    feeling pretty good. Arnold is singing in a wavering 
        De-Witt C-l-i-n-t-o-n
        Oh, Cli-inton! 
        Ever to theeeee!
    CLOSER SHOT of the five carousers.

        Fairest of high schools ...
        How did he ever get on this alma 
        mater kick?
        ... Give her three times three 
        Oh, fellows ...
        Rah! Rah! Rah!
    ANOTHER SHOT of the five carousers, Walter whistling at two 
    passing girls.
        Long may we cherish thee 
        Faithful we'll be. 
        Clinton, oh, Clinton 
        For you and me ... 
        Da-da-da-da-da ...
        Crash through that line of blue 
        And send the backs around the end.
        There he goes with those fullbacks 
        Rah! Rah! Rah!
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    GROUP SHOT of our five carousers paused on the curb, waiting 
    for the lights to change in their favor. Greenwich Avenue 
    traffic is pretty heavy, going in both directions. The five 
    men are kind of strung out along the curb with Charlie being 
    the last in line. Standing beside him, also waiting for the 
    light to change, is a good-looking, well-dressed, chic young 
    woman of twenty-four or five.
        Where we going? Eddie's place to 
        see movies?
        What movies?
        Boy, just wait till you see these 
        movies! Hey, Charlie, hey Charlie ...
            (indicating the 
            young woman) 
        Who's your beautiful friend, Charlie?
    Charlie turns and regards the pretty young woman.
            (to the girl) 
        Excuse me. My friend down there 
        wants to know who you are.
    The young woman, who for our own mysterious purposes we shall 
    refer to as The Existentialist, regards the five reasonably 
    tight young men all staring at her. Kenneth has already begun 
    to giggle.
            (with a Mona Lisa smile) 
        Where are you all from, out-of-town?
            (turning to 
            the others) 
        Isn't that right, fellers? We're 
        from Indiana, right?
        Indiana! Indiana, man!

    Kenneth and Arnold, to whom this incident is already 
    unbearably funny, have turned away and are clutching their 
    sides, trying to suppress a fit of giggles.
            (to The Existentialist) 
        We're from the Hoosier State, ma'am...
        Terre Haute! We're from Terre Haute!
            (to The Existentialist) 
        We're from Terre Haute, and we've 
        come to the big city looking for a 
        good time, and we just don't know 
        what to do with ourselves, ma'am.
            (to Walter) 
        Look at that Charlie operate.
        Must be a convention in town.
        We've just come off the ranch there, 
        honey, and we're just raring. Is 
        that right, men? Are we raring?
        We're raring, boy, we're raring!
            (beside himself 
            with laughter) 
        Hey, Charlie, cut it out, will you?
    The lights change and The Existentialist starts off across 
    Greenwich Avenue to the west side of the street. The five 
    carousers follow right along after her.  That is, Charlie 
    dogs along behind The Existentialist as they cross the 
    street. Walter and Eddie are close behind him, listening to 
    Charlie's pitch. Kenneth and Arnold, embarrassed and 
    giggling, stagger along behind. 
            (chugging along behind 
            The Existentialist) 
        We're down here in Greenwich Village 
        looking for some wild bohemians. Do 
        you happen to know any wild 
        All right, fellows, enough's enough, 
    She steps up to the sidewalk on the west side of Greenwich 
    Avenue and hurries along down Tenth Street to a little house 
    about four doors down, the five carousers on her heels like 
    a pack of puppies.
            (hurrying along after 
            The Existentialist) 
        I'm something of a poet myself, 
        ma'am. Many's the long night in the
        bunkhouse where I sat by myself and 
        wrote by the flickering light of a 
        kerosene lamp. Could I read you some 
        of my poems, ma'am? I know they 
        ain't much, but they're from the 
        heart, ma'am. 

    The Existentialist pauses in her hurried walk down Tenth 
    Street to examine Charlie with some interest.
        You have a sense of humor, don't you?
            (to Charlie) 
        You're going great, man, don't stop 

    The Existentialist goes up the two little steps to the front 
    door of the house and rings the bell.
            (to The Existentialist) 
        Where are you going, honey? 

    The Existentialist waits composed and patient for someone to 
    answer her ring. Charlie has wandered back to Arnold and 
    Kenneth, and the three of them are now suffused with 
    laughter. Kenneth has been laughing so much, tears are 
    coming out of his eyes. He walks around in little circles 
    clutching his sides. Several passersby hurry by, noting the 
    strange little group on the sidewalk.
            (to The Existentialist) 
        What's going on in there, honey?
            (patiently bored)
        There's a party going on. I'm not sure 
        I'm invited myself, so I can't really 
        invite you.
        Sure you can.
    The door opens and a woman in a tea gown stands there 
    looking at The Existentialist and then at the five men on 
    the sidewalk. Behind her, there is evidence of a party going 
             THE HOSTESS
        How nice to see you, darling. Who 
        are your friends?
        I haven't the vaguest idea. I was 
        ambushed crossing Greenwich Avenue 
        by a tribe of the Terre Haute 
             THE HOSTESS
            (she waves a vague 
            hand in a sort of 
            shooing motion at 
            the five men on 
            the sidewalk) 
        Go away, you men. Go back to the 
        Biltmore Hotel and put on your red 
        I always thought you city people 
        were more hospitable to us poor 
        farm boys.
    The other four carousers are laughing too much to even talk. 
    Charlie has ambled up to The Existentialist, who is peering 
    over her hostess into the room behind her. 
            (to The Existentialist,
            smiling amiably) 
        I'm sorry, miss. A friend of ours is 
        getting married here, and we're just 
        horsing around.
    The Existentialist looks into the young man's smiling, 
    rather winning face.
        Why don't you come back after you 
        get rid of your friends.
        He'll be back!
    She turns abruptly and disappears past the hostess into the 
            (to Charlie) 
        Man, she likes you, man!
             THE HOSTESS
        Now, you boys go away.
    She backs into her house and closes the door. Eddie starts 
    up the steps to the door. The other four just roar with 
    laughter, clutch their sides, and giggle and snort.
        Well, what do you say, men, are we 
        going to this party, or aren't we?
        Come on, Eddie. I thought you had 
        some movies you want to show us.
        What do you want to see movies for? 
        You got the real thing right here.

        Eddie, we're married men here.
        Come on, let's crash this party. 
        I've been to these Greenwich Village 
        parties. Man, they're wild.
        Come on, Eddie, let's go up to your 
        place, see these movies.

            (coming reluctantly 
            back to the others, 
            says to Charlie) 
        Man, you were going strong with that 
        girl. You could have scored. She's 
        just waiting for you. Go in after 
        Come on, Eddie. Let's go see the 
            (to the others) 
        All right, I live about three blocks 
        down. You guys want to see movies, 
        all right, let's go see movies.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    Eddie is scowling over a home-style movie projector, 
    muttering over the intricacies of fitting a reel into the 
    ratchets. Arnold has suddenly become voluble and is gabbing 
    away at him. CAMERA DOLLIES AROUND THEM during the scene so 
    that we can see into the living room of the apartment, 
    appointed in simple but neat masculine taste, where the 
    other three men move in and out of view. Right now, we are 
    concerned only with Arnold and Eddie.
        ... we're moving in with her mother 
        and father. I don't know if that's 
        such a good idea. What do you think? 
        We haven't got an apartment yet, and 
        we figure we'll live a year with her 
        folks, save on the rent, see? 

    Kenneth comes back from the kitchen with three open bottles 
    of beer.
        Anybody want a bottle of beer?
            (to Eddie) 
        She's a widow, and that bothers me a 
        little. I don't know why. She's two 
        years older than me. I don't know if 
        you know that. Her husband got killed 
        in Korea. She's a cousin of mine, you 
            (moving into 
            the living room) 
        Who wants a bottle of beer?
        I'll take a bottle.
        Yeah, give me one.
        A third cousin, something like that. 
        It's not good for cousins to marry, 
        is it? What do you think of her? I 
        know she's not terribly pretty, but 
        I mean ...
            (muttering imprecations 
            at the projector) 
        Arnold, leave me alone a minute, 
        will you?
            (turns to the others in 
            living room, plants a 
            huge smile on his face) 
        Well, I'm getting married Sunday. 
        Having fun, Walter?
        Fun. A bunch of grown men sitting 
        around waiting to look at college 
        boy pictures.
        I swear, I never thought two months 
        ago I was ever going to get married. 
        I still don't know how it happened....
        Hey, somebody turn off the lights. 

    Walter is promptly up to turn off the lights.
        Hey, you know, you've got a nice 
        place here. 

    The room is abruptly flooded in darkness. A beam of light 
    shoots out from the projector. It seems pointed at the 
    window. Arnold stands up directly in the shaft of light.
        I was just taking her out. I didn't 
        know it was so serious.

        Arnold, get out of the way, will 
        Oh, sure.
    Arnold moves a step, still in the shaft of light, his shadow 
    huge on the wall. Eddie, muttering, jockeys the projector 
    around trying to focus it on the screen. The square of light 
    and some flickering images wander up and down a wall.
        ... We're sitting in the car, so she 
        says: "Well, Arnold, we've been 
        going together six months now. I 
        think it's time we decided whether 
        we were being serious." 

        Hey, Eddie, you got it on the window.
        I didn't know it was so serious. I 
        didn't even know we were going 
        together. I just took her out every 
        now and then.
        Arnold, you're funny.
        Turn on the lights again, will you, 
        What's the matter?
        I forgot to loop it over this loop 
    Walter crosses to light switch. The room is flooded in light 

        Oh, for crying out loud.
            (small panic) 
        I can't even remember what she looks 
        like! I just saw her this afternoon!
        Arnold, have a bottle of beer. It's 
        not so terrible.
        Boy, I tell you. It's for the rest 
        of your life when you get married. 
        This is a big decision to make.
        Does anybody seriously want to see 
        these movies? 

    Eddie is furiously winding and unwinding spools. CAMERA HAS 
    DOLLIED AROUND so that we are looking back up the living 
    room toward the projector and the men.
        I could be making a serious mistake.
        Arnold, you're in the way again. 
        Come on now. All right, put off the 
    The room is flooded in darkness again. Walter hurries to a 
    chair. The square of light is reasonably focused, just an 
    edge trailing off onto the drapes of the window. Numbers 
    flicker quickly on on the screen. The rest of the scene we 
    see looking into the whitened faces of the five men at their 
    various posts. Arnold crosses, stands back of Walter.
        Here we go.
        Hey, Arnold, if this is the one I 
        think it is, there's one part here I 
        want you to see.
            (a picture of determined 
            boredom, but putting on 
            his glasses) 
        This is for kids.
        Says he -- putting on his glasses.
        "The Baseball Game." That's a nice 
        title, don't you think?
        This is the one, Arnold. There's a 
        guy in here who looks just like 
        Hey, she's not bad. Usually, the 
        girls in these things look like 
            (his eyes glued 
            to the screen) 
        A bunch of grown men ...
    He breaks off as apparently some interesting action has 
    started on screen. An involuntary grunt of acknowledgment 
    escapes him.
        I got these pictures off my dentist. 
        I don't know where be got them. 
        There you are, Arnold, that's you.
        Yeah, it does look like Arnold.

        Doesn't that look like Arnold?
        Who's looking at the guy?
        Arnold, you've got a great career 
        ahead of you.
        That girl looks like the girl 
        Charlie picked up just before.
        Probably is.
        That fellow there is not a bad actor.
        Actor. You could play that part 
        pretty easy yourself.
        I think the Daily News gave this one 
        four stars.

        I'd like to see this in Three-D.
    The side comments drift off for a moment, and a sort of 
    frozen attention settles on the white faces. Each face is 
    sort of set in a mold of determined disinterest, but the 
    eyes are all watching.
        Well, I'll just watch one of them. 
        Then, I think I'll just go home.
    He wets his lips, lifts the bottle of beer to his mouth and 
    takes a swallow. His eyes never leave the screen.
                     DISSOLVE TO:

    Helen standing in front of the laundry part of the sink, 
    doing her private laundry. She has on a house smock and her 
    sleeves are rolled up. The doorbell rings. Helen takes a 
    towel off the doorknob behind her and, wiping her hands, 
    comes down across the dining area to the front door. She 
    opens the door to admit a young woman, about eight years 
    older than Helen.
        Hiya, Julie. I was beginning to 
        think you weren't coming.
            (coming in) 
        I was at my mother's house. Did they 
        call you? They said they were going 
        to call you.
        Yeah, your mother was very sweet.
        You should have seen my father. I 
        said, "Pa, you have another 
        grandchild coming." So he said, 
        "Who?" So I said, "Charlie." So he 
        said, "That little Helen?" So I said, 
        "If it isn't that little Helen, 
        Charlie better leave town." So out 
        came the beer. Well, they've been 
        after Charlie to have a baby for a 
        long time now. I said, "Pa, leave 
        him alone. Let him get established 
        before he saddles himself with a 
        baby." Anyway, I want you to know 
        joy reigns supreme in your in-laws' 
            (she moves into 
            the kitchen) 
        How's Charlie taking it?
            (following her 
            into the kitchen) 
        Listen, let me make you a cup of 
        tea or something.
        No, no, I've been drinking beer for 
        the last two hours, celebrating your 
        Soda, anything like that?
        No, honey, you go on with your wash. 
        Is that what you're doing? 
            (she sits) 
        When I had my first baby, Mike was 
        ashamed to be seen on the streets 
        with me. Well, listen, he was 
        interning at the time. We needed a 
        baby like a hole in the head. That's 
        why he's a general practitioner now, 
        because of that baby. He was 
        studying to be a surgeon. He 
        absolutely refused to admit I was 
        pregnant. Even in my ninth month, 
        and I was as big as a house. He 
        used to walk ten paces in front of 
        me in the street like he didn't 
        know who that woman with the belly 
        was. Where is Charlie anyway?
        I told you he--
        Oh, yeah. I wouldn't let my Mike go 
        on a bachelor party.
            (turning back 
            to her wash) 
        What are they going to do, get a 
        little drunk?
        Are you kidding? What do you think 
        these bachelor parties are for, 
        bachelors? This is for the married 
        men. It's a good excuse to get 
        drunk and find some girls. 

        Can you picture Charlie getting 
        drunk and picking up a girl? 
        Charlie's old sobersides. You 
        should have seen what I went through 
        to get him to make a pass at me. 
        He's so sweet. Nobody knows how 
        really sweet he is, he's so quiet 
        all the time. My brother died in 
        September, he used to stay up with 
        me till three, four o'clock every 
        night. I used to cry all night, and 
        he used to sit on the bed and talk 
        with me. I used to look at him 
        talking there, and I used to think: 
        "What would I do without this sweet 
        man here? I'd go crazy." You know, 
        you like to be a little cynical 
        sometimes, Julie.
        Wait'll you've been married eleven 
        You like to talk about all the 
        affairs everybody's husband is 
        having. Do you know actually one 
        woman whose husband is actually 
        playing around?
    An abrupt, sad expression, tinged with pain, has come over 
    Julie's face. She looks down at the table.
        Wait'll you've been married eleven 
    Helen, aware that she has perhaps touched on a sensitive 
    subject, frowns and turns back to her washing. A quick, 
    thick silence dips into the room. 
            (looking down) 
        Wait'll Charlie gets to be forty-two. 
        My Mike's having an affair right now 
        with one of his patients right now. 
        We don't talk about it -- don't you, 
        either, not even to Charlie. But 
        Mike knows I know about it. I even 
        know the patient. A married woman 
        with a hyperthyroid problem. My 
        Mike's a good doctor with a pretty 
        good practice. The kids are crazy 
        about him. But every now and then 
        he has to go out and get involved 
        with a woman. 

    She looks down at her hands in her lap.
        Listen, I will take a cup of tea if 
        you've got one. 

    She stands, opens the pantry, looks around among the cans 
    and packages for a box of tea bags.
            (quite shocked) 
        You're kidding, aren't you?
            (finds the box 
            of tea bags) 
        Would I kid about something like 
    She puts the box of tea bags an the workshelf, unhooks a 
    saucepan hanging over the stove, turns to the sink and fills 
    it with water. Helen regards her, not quite knowing what to 
    say. Julie sets the saucepan going on the stove, stares at 
        I don't know why I told you. Don't 
        tell anybody, not even Charlie. I 
        don't want the family to know. But 
        this woman isn't the first one. I 
        know that much. About three years 
        ago, the doorbell rings. I open the 
        door. There's a man there. He says: 
        "Tell your husband to stay away from 
        my sister." How would you like to 
        open the door and have somebody say 
        that to you? I cried for two weeks. 
        I don't know what to do about it, 
        Helen. Should I bring it out in the 
        open with Mike or should I just keep 
        my mouth shut like the other time? 
        Because he's not going to leave me. 
        Even if he doesn't care about me, 
        he has his kids to think about. We 
        married too young. That was our big 
        mistake. We married too young. 

    Her face, her whole body suddenly tightens to forestall any 
    possibility of breaking into tears, and she sits down 
    abruptly on the kitchen stool, her eyes clenched tight and 
    her face rigidly impassive. Helen remains nervously silent.
            (her voice rising just 
            a little from the 
            suppressed emotion 
            within her) 
        We should have waited till he 
        finished his internship. What kind 
        of married life is that? Twenty-two 
        dollars a month he was earning. 
        Every other day, he had to sleep in 
        the hospital. The first two years of 
        our marriage, we didn't even see 
        each other. And then I'm pregnant. 
        He had to quit, what do you think? 
        He wanted to be a surgeon, he wound 
        up being a G.P. From that day he 
        hated me. I had two other children 
        by him, but he hated me. He told me 
        in just so many words. Why do you 
        think I kept telling you, Helen, why 
        do you think I kept telling you: 
        "Don't have a baby till Charlie finds 
            (suddenly cries out) 
        It hurts! Even after eleven years, 
        it hurts!
    She stands abruptly and moves quickly past Helen out the 
    kitchen doorway into the dark living room, leaving Helen 
    standing troubled, concerned, in the kitchen. After a moment, 
    Helen moves to the kitchen doorway and a step out into the 
    dining area. She looks through the dark living room to the 
    gray silhouette of Julie standing by the living room window, 
    her form lightly outlined by a tracing of moonlight.
        Are you all right, Julie?
        I'm all right. I'm all right.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    We are looking back up the living room as we were at the 
    close of the last scene in this apartment. The room is 
    absolutely dark now, but a light pours in from the foyer. In 
    this shaft of light, we can see Eddie moving from behind the 
    projector to the wall switch and turning on the lights. The 
    room is abruptly bright with light, and our five men squint 
    against the sudden glare. They have all changed their 
    positions and taken off their jackets and loosened their 
    ties. They are lolling about. CAMERA LOOKS DOWN TO THE FLOOR 
    to take particular note of eight empty beer bottles, an 
    opened fifth of bourbon, ash trays, crumpled packs of 
    cigarettes, a cup and saucer, somebody's shoes, somebody's 
    jacket that has fallen off the back of a chair. Over this 
    we hear Walter's voice:

        Is that the last one?
    A thick silence fills the room. There is a kind of sodden 
    feeling to this scene. After a long moment, Walter's voice 
        Ah, you've seen one, you've seen 
        them all. 
        Yeah, they're all alike.
        I don't know -- I think the first 
        one was all right.
        Yeah, I was so bored by the rest of 
        them. I nearly fell asleep during 
        the last one.
        You in the habit of sleeping with 
        your eyes open? 

    We look down on the room now, at all five of the men, Eddie 
    rewinding the last reel, the little motor of the projector 
    humming. The others loll about, their legs dangling over the 
    armrests of the soft chairs and sofas. There is a heavy, 
    dense mood that no one seems willing to break.
        What time's it about, anybody know?
            (glancing at his watch) 
        I got a quarter to nine.
        No, it's later than that, about a 
        quarter after. 

    Again the silence falls upon the five men. Only the humming 
    little motor interrupts the thick silence. Nobody moves.
            (after a moment) 
        Ah, you see one, you've seen them 
    Again the silence. Charlie stretches over for his bottle of 
    beer on the floor beside his chair. He pours what's left of 
    the bottle into the glass standing beside it. Otherwise 
    nobody moves.

            (after a moment) 
        So that's the last one you've got to 
        show us, Eddie?
        Yeah. You want to run them backwards?
        I wonder where they get the girls to 
        make these movies?
        Might as well go home, I guess.
    The idea doesn't seem to propel anybody to any decisive 
    movement. Walter shifts his position on the sofa, stretches 
    out his legs, regards his shoes with a sudden sadness.
            (after a moment) 
        Life is short.
    This gives everybody something to think about for a moment.
            (hunched over 
            the projector, 
            dismantling it) 
        You guys feel like going down to 
        have a drink for Arnold?
    This brings a reaction. Walter stands.
        Yeah! What do you say? One last 
        drink for Arnold!
        Okay with me.
    Suddenly life is back in the room, the men ad-lib: "Where's 
    my coat?" "Let's get out of here," etc. 
            (unwinding himself 
            from his slouched 
            position on a chair) 
        You can say what you want to about 
        these pictures -- they're really 
        pretty bad -- but they get you.
        Don't you think we ought to clean up 
        the place?
        No, I got a woman comes in.
            (grabbing up 
            his jacket) 
        I almost fell asleep during the 
        last one. 
            (he looks at 
            the others) 
        Well, what do you say, huh? Let's 
        go! One last drink! 

    Ad libs on exit.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    Helen and Julie. A corner lamp in the living room is lit, 
    lending a soft but not too effective light to the room. The 
    two young women are on the couch. Helen sits curled at one 
    end, head down listening to Julie, who has been talking and 
    probably crying a little since we last saw them forty-five 
    minutes ago. Julie is seated with her legs stretched out in 
    front of her, her head resting back on the back of the couch. 
    She is talking more freely and easily now, the first hard 
    outburst over with.
        ... He's a boy, my Mike. Till the 
        day he dies, he'll never be more 
        than fifteen. Perpetual adolescence, 
        that's the curse of the professional 
        man. He spends his whole youth trying 
        to be a doctor, a lawyer, an 
        accountant. Then he spends the rest 
        of his life looking for the fun he 
        should have had when he was a boy.
        Oh, I know. Charlie and I hardly 
        even see each other.
        It's very hard on the wife, Helen. 
        These are the years when you should 
        be building your marriage. Instead, 
        you grow away from each other. I've 
        seen it happen with my friends. In 
        the end, they have nice homes in New 
        Rochelle, and a maid, and their 
        maids are happier than they are. But 
        sometimes it does work. It can be 
        done, Helen. Encourage Charlie to 
        stay with his school because...
        Oh, I will, Julie ...
        ... he's an ambitious boy ...
        ... oh, it's not just he's 
        ambitious ...
        ... and if he doesn't fulfill 
        himself, he'll resent you and your 
        baby the rest of his life.
        Oh, I don't want him to quit. He 
        loves accounting, Julie. I see him 
        sometimes, sitting over his homework. 
        He's got his ledgers out, and he's 
        adding up columns of figures as long 
        as his arm. And he's chuckling. 
        You'd think he was reading the 
        comics. He has a book there, 
        Business Law. How he can read it I 
        don't know. But I'll be watching 
        television or something, and he'll 
        come over, and he'll start telling 
        me about some fine legal point. I 
        don't know what he's talking about, 
        but it's enough for me to see how 
        excited it makes him. He loves it,
        Julie. You can't take something like 
        that away from him. It's just -- 
        it's just I feel we're not really 
        close any more. I mean, he comes 
        home from school, lots of times I'm 
        asleep already. And, when I do see 
        him, he seems all involved with 
        himself. He looks at me sometimes as 
        if I were a stranger to him, and I 
        feel sometimes I am. I'm afraid of 
        that, Julie.
        Then get rid of the baby.
    It is said simply, inevitably, even innocently. It brings 
    only a frown to Helen's face and a short silence.
        If I had it to do again, believe me, 
        that's what I would do.
            (slowly becoming aware 
            of the depth of what 
            they are talking about) 
        You don't mean that, Julie.
        Yes, I do. My children are the only 
        things in my life now, but I would 
        rather have a husband.
        I wouldn't even think about it.
        That's what I said, too.
        Let's not even think about it. If I 
        even mentioned it, he'd -- he'd hit 
        me, I think.
        All right.
    Now, the thick, tense silence falls between them. They both 
    occupy themselves with their own troubled thoughts. 
        I want this baby, Julie. I've wanted 
        this baby for a long time. It's the 
        only thing I've ever asked of 
        Charlie. If I mentioned that to him 
        -- I don't know what he'd do. 

    Again, they sink into silence. Then in the thick silence, 
    the telephone rings. The two young women are so deep within 
    their thoughts that neither of them moves. It rings again, 
    and Helen slides off the couch and goes to the phone. It 
    rings again. She picks it up.
            (on phone) 
        Hello.... Hello, Charlie, where are 
        you calling from? ... You sound like 
        you're having a nice time.... Oh, 
        you're having a ball, huh? ... Well, 
        what time do you think you'll be 
        coming home?
    Charlie in the phone booth, smiling broadly. He seems in 
    wonderful spirits. Through the glass of the phone booth we 
    can see part of the bar and some of the barflies.
            (on phone) 
        Well, that's what I wanted to call 
        you about, honey. I think a couple 
        of the guys are cutting out now. I 
        think Kennie's going home. But I was 
        wondering if you wanted me home for 
        any special reason.
            (on phone) 
        Just a minute, Charlie....
    She rises, goes to kitchen door, still holding the phone. 
            (to Julie) 
        Excuse me a minute, Julie. It's 

    She goes into the kitchen. A little embarrassed, she closes 
    the kitchen door.
            (on phone) 
        Charlie? ... 
        Charlie, come on home now.... No, I 
        feel all right. I just miss you. 
        Julie's here, and we were talking 
        about you, and I just miss you.... 
        Ah, come on.... 
            (frowns a little) 
        Well, no, if you're having such a 
        good time, stay out and enjoy 
        yourself.... No, Charlie, I don't 
        want you to come home if you're 
        having a good time.... I'm not 
        lonely. Julie's here. We're talking. 
        I was washing some things.... I 
        know, that's what I told you this 
        morning. You've finally got a night 
        off for yourself. I don't want you 
        to feel guilty about it.... 
        Charlie, do you love me? ... You 
        sound angry.... No, come home any 
        time you want....
            (she wets her 
            lips nervously) 
        Charlie ...
            (she lets her head 
            sink down onto the 
            palm of her free hand) 
        Charlie, there's no girls at this 
        party, are there? ... I'm not 
        checking up on you, Charlie. I just 
        miss you, that's all.... All right, 
        Charlie, please, I don't want to 
        argue with you. Julie's in the 
        living room. ... All right, have a 
        good time, stay out as long as you 
        want.... All right, Charlie, good-
    She slowly hangs up the receiver, sits slumped and abject.

    Charlie in booth. The broad grin has disappeared from his 
    face. As seen through the closed glass doors of the booth, 
    he is a very sullen and despondent young man. He stands now, 
    pushes the doors open, and comes out. CAMERA PULLS BACK so 
    that we can see the whole area of the bar near the phone 
    booths. Next to the phone booth are two doors marked GUYS 
    and DOLLS. Kenneth is coming in from the deeper recesses of 
    the bar where the other members of the bachelor party are 
    grouped in a booth. He is headed for the door marked GUYS. 
    Charlie regards Kenneth bleakly as he approaches.
        The party breaking up?
            (pushing into 
            the men's room) 
        I don't know. I'm going home. You 
        going home?
        Yeah, I think so.
    He pushes into the men's room after Kenneth.
    A small, white-tiled, yet somehow not too clean, men's room, 
    two-urinal size. There is one washbowl with a small mirror 
    over it, and two water closets with doors, separated from 
    each other by a steel partition. Charlie perches on the edge 
    of the washbowl; he apparently came in just to talk. Kenneth 
    moves off camera for more practical use of the room. CAMERA 
    stays on Charlie who seems depressed, pensive, sad. Stay on 
    him for a long moment. Then ...
        You love your wife, Kennie?
             KENNETH'S VOICE 
        Well, I've been married six years. 
        I've got two kids that keep me awake 
        all night long. Every Sunday, we go 
        out driving in Long Island looking 
        for a house that's going to take 
        one, probably two mortgages. I better 
        love my wife.
    Kenneth appears now, edges Charlie away from the wash basin, 
    so he can wash his hands.
        I don't feel like going home. Are 
        you going? Hang around, Kennie. It's 
        only about nine thirty, ten.
        It's after ten. It's about ten after 
    Kenneth rips off a paper towel. The only noise for a moment 
    is the soft crumpling of paper as Kenneth dries his hands.
        The party's getting a little wild in 
        there anyway. Eddie and Walter got 
        poor Arnold nailed in there, they're 
        trying to talk him into getting a 
        girl. This party's going to wind up 
        in a joint, let me tell you. This is 
        a good time to blow.
        Yeah.... I should have gone to class 
        tonight. I'm paying twenty bucks a 
        credit. The least I can do is go to 
    He breaks off abruptly, turning away with a sudden frown.
        I take one night off, I can't even 
        enjoy myself. Did you know Eddie 
        went back to Europe? 
        No, I didn't know that.
        He was telling me he lived in Paris 
        for three months. I'd like to do 

    He ambles around the men's room, studying himself with 
    unseeing eyes in the little mirror, poking the trash can 
    into which Kenneth is now dropping his wadded paper towel. 
    He suddenly turns to Kenneth, stares at him. Kenneth looks 
    at him in mirror.
        What's the matter?
        I'm going to quit. What am I 
        killing myself for?
        Quit what?
        Quit night school. Tonight was the 
        first laughs I've had in years. I 
        can't remember the last time I had 
        so much fun. Look what I'm missing. 
        I'm making a pretty good living. I 
        can support a wife and baby on what 
        I make. I'm going to quit! I mean 
        it. I'm going to quit. Boy, what a 
        time to have a baby.
        You don't have to quit school 
        because you're having a baby, 
        Charlie. There are lots of guys go 
        to night school with two, three 
        You ought to meet some of these guys. 
        They're just grinding their lives 
        away. It's an obsession with some of 
        these guys. I mean, what's the point? 
        So I'll go five more years to night 
        school. So I'll get my degree. So 
        I'll get a job as a junior accountant 
        for three years at seventy-five bucks 
        a week. I'm making better than that 
        now. And then it just starts. The 
        CPA exams. By the time I'm fifty, I 
        can start living. At this point, I 
        get a heart attack and an ulcer, and 
        they bury me in the ground, and they 
        say: "That was Charlie Samson, the 
        man who didn't see a movie in fifty 
        years." Why go through all that? 
        I'll quit. I feel so mad right now, 
        you better keep an eye on me, Kennie, 
        because I'm going to wind up punching 

    The door opens. Man enters to clean a spot off his tie.
        Come on, let's go home.
        What do I want to go home for?
        You're in a lousy mood.
    The man, finished with his tie, exits.
            (after a moment) 
        Charlie, go home. I can see you're 
        going to get fried tonight and wind 
        up picking up a tramp and you're 
        going to wake up in the morning 
        feeling like two-bits.
        It'd be a profit.
        Charlie, about five years ago, I 
        went without a job for seven months. 
        Alice was carrying our first baby. 
        We were living on money I borrowed 
        from my brother. I don't know if you 
        remember me in those days, but it 
        was rough. I used to go out every 
        night, put a load on, and make a 
        pass at any girl who looked at me. 
        And I mean any. Big, tall, short, 
        fat, anything. Well, one night I 
        picked up some tomato somewheres, 
        and we were sitting in a bar or 
        somewheres, and I kept calling her 
        Alice all night. So she says to me: 
        "My name ain't Alice. Who's Alice?" 
        So I said: "Alice is my wife," and 
        I got up and I went home.
    Charlie waits a moment for Kenneth to continue, but 
    apparently this is all Kenneth has to offer at the moment.
        What does that mean?
        I don't know. I had a point when I 
        started telling that story.
        I'm not looking for another woman.
        Yes, you are, Charlie. You may not 
        know it, but you are. So go on home, 
        Charlie, before you get any drunker 
        than you are. Charlie, you start 
        messing with other women, something 
        goes. It'll kill your marriage. 
        It'll kill your wife. It'll just 
        kill her. What my wife went through 
        -- well, I don't even want to 
        remember it. It's never the same 
        with your wife again, Charlie.
        I'm not looking for any woman.
        I think what I was trying to say 
        was you stick with your night school. 
        Some guys have to make peace with 
        themselves that they're never going 
        to amount to too much. A guy like me. 
        Once I made that peace with myself, 
        I found out it doesn't really matter 
        what you amount to. I got a nice 
        wife and two children I complain 
        about all the time, but if anything 
        ever happened to either one of them, 
        I think I'd die. But you don't have 
        to make that kind of peace, and 
        you'd be crazy to settle for less 
        than what you want. You want 
        something, Charlie. I think that's 
            (Charlie's eyes go 
            toward Kenneth) 
        You're a little drunk now, and 
        you're fed up to the teeth. 
        Everybody gets fed up, Charlie. You 
        stick with it. You're going to be all 
        You're a nice guy, Kennie.
        Sure. You're a nice guy too.
    The door to the men's room opens, and a Young Man comes in, 
    looks around quickly at Kenneth and Charlie -- bumps into 
             YOUNG MAN
        Watch it -- will you, Mac?
    Charlie regards this statement a moment. Then advances to 
    the Young Man.
        Wait a minute.... What are you, a 
        wise guy? 

    He is all set to bust the Young Man one in the nose, but 
    Kenneth takes him by the arm.
        Come on, Charlie, let's go home. 

    Charlie allows himself to be led to the door.
        I'm just about drunk enough right 
        now to bust somebody right in the 
    Kenneth reaches for the knob of the door, opens it, and the 
    two men go out. They find themselves in the crowded, noisy 
    bar. A jagged kind of intensity to the atmosphere as if some 
    of the men at the bar might be gangsters. Booths filled with 
    men and women and some mixed-up types. Kenneth and Charlie 
    make their way through the bodies down to one of the booths 
    where Eddie and Arnold are sitting and Walter is standing, 
    heavily drunk. Eddie is expostulating to Walter:
            (to Walter) 
        ... Come on, will you? Look Walter, 
        it's just the shank of the evening! 
        What's so special in your home? You 
        got a floor show every night? Who 
        are you married to, Jayne Mansfield? 
        Come on, it's not even half past 
    Walter sits heavily down.
            (smiling amiably) 
        We got to get up tomorrow, go to 
        work, Eddie.
        We're just starting! We got to get 
        Arnold a girl yet!
        Eddie, please ...
        That's the whole point to a bachelor 
        party! You got to get the guy a girl!
        Look, fellows, it's been a nice 
        clean party ...
        Well, Arnold, since I'm not going to 
        see you again before the wedding, 
        congratulations and best wishes in 
        the coming future to both you and 
        the bride.
        Thanks a lot, Kennie....
    Eddie turns to Charlie, who is still glowering.
        You're not going, are you, Charlie? 
        We're just starting! We got to get 
        Arnold a girl yet! 

            (to Kenneth) 
        I want to thank you for the 
        presents, Kennie....
        ...No, I'll stick around another 
        hour or so....
        ... That's my boy....
            (to Kenneth, who is 
            looking at Charlie) 
        ... Honestly, I never expected any 
            (to Charlie) 
        ... Aren't you coming home? ...
        ... What for? Sit around talking to 
        my sister Julie? ...
        ... I want to thank all you 
        fellows ...
        All right, stop thanking them, 
        Arnold. They just gave you a party, 
        they didn't elect you President.
        ... This has been one of the nicest 
        nights of my life....
        Let's go someplace ... let's go to 
        a nightclub.
        That's great with me.
        Come on, Ken.
        Thanks a lot.
        ... Well, listen, fellows, I'm 
        cutting out.... Good night, Walter, 
            (to Charlie) 
        ... You coming, Charlie? ...
        ... No, I'll kill another hour.... 
        Come on, Kennie....
        No, you go ahead. I'll see you in 
        the morning, Charlie.
        Okay, I'll see you.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    The little stretch of strip-joints on Third Street. Bright 
    little cluster of honky-tonks.
    Our bachelor party, now down to four carousers, ambles along 
    the rather filled sidewalk, looking at the cardboard cutouts 
    of the strippers in the windows of the night clubs.
    The four men pause before one of the strip-joints, examining 
    the cardboard cutout and billboard which promises first-rate 
    entertainment inside.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    We look down on the whole night club, showing the dark, 
    dingy, crowded, smallness of it. There is a strip going on. 
    It doesn't look very interesting. 

    Our four men are huddled over a very small table in one of 
    those Third Street clip-joints. It is a dark little hovel, 
    but a blue stage light drifts across the table, vaguely 
    illuminating our four celebrators. Behind them, a strip 
    tease is in progress. Every now and then, an almost stout 
    woman in her forties, garish in the blue spotlight, dressed 
    in a white satin ill-fitting gown, moves in and out of our 
    view. Half the tables and wall booths are occupied. There is 
    a horseshoe bar off in the recesses of the club. A three-
    piece band is playing spiritlessly.
    Walter is gone, deep in some painful, drunken world of his 
    own. Charlie rubs his eyes as if to keep his senses awake. 
    Arnold, who is soggy, is leaning toward Eddie, who alone of 
    the four men is giving any attention to the show.
        So what do you think of my girl, 
        Eddie? You met her. Be honest with 
        me. Tell me the truth. I had the 
        feeling you didn't like her.
        Come on, come on, Arnold. What do 
        you want from me. 

    Arnold turns to Charlie.
        Listen, Charlie, I'd like to ask you 
        a little advice. I mean, you're a 
        married man. This girl, I'm supposed 
        to marry, she's all right, but I'm 
        not really attracted to her, you 
        know what I mean? That's important,
        isn't it? I kissed her a couple of 
        times, but I ... I don't know why 
        I'm getting married, Charlie.
        What did you say, Arnold?
        I said, I don't know why I'm getting 
        married. I did pretty good for 
        thirty-two years without getting 
        married. I get along fine at home. 
        My mother's a good cook. I have a 
        nice life. What do I want to break 
        it all up for?
        Well, Arnold, everybody feels that 
        way before they get married.
        Yeah? Did I ever show you a picture 
        of my girl?
        No, you didn't, Arnold.
        Do you want to see a picture?
    Arnold clumsily hauls out his wallet and extracts a picture. 
    He gives it to Charlie who twists at an angle in order to 
    get some light on it.
        I want you to give me your honest 
        impression, Charlie. She isn't much, 
        is she?
        I can't see much in this light, but 
        she looks like a nice pretty girl.
        Well, I wouldn't say that. We were 
        matched up, you know. The families 
        kind of agreed on it. I was brought 
        over to her by my mother and father. 
        That's how I met her. She's some 
        kind of tenth cousin. She's all 
        right. She's quiet. I kissed her a 
        couple of times. She just sat there 
        and I kissed her. I think she 
        expected more. She even asked me 
        that. She said to me: "Are you 
        afraid of me?" I really don't go out 
        with women much. You know. Don't 
        tell nobody this, Charlie, but you 
        aren't going to believe this, but I 
        never ... I mean, you wouldn't 
        believe that a guy of my age, I 
        never ... Don't tell anybody I ever 
        told you this, but I never-- I mean, 
        Charlie, she's a widow. She's been 
        married already -- she's going to 
        expect a lot -- and I never ---- 
        What do you think I ought to do?
        What do you mean, Arnold?
        I mean, you think I ought to marry 
        Well, Arnold, even if I knew the 
        girl, I wouldn't answer that 
        question. I may not like her, but 
        she may be fine for you.
        Because I'm thinking of calling the 
        whole thing off.
        It's kind of late for that, isn't 
        I'm scared stiff, Charlie.
        What are you scared about?
        I'm not much of a talker, and she's 
        one of those quiet ones. What are 
        you supposed to do with your wife? 
        I mean, most of the time.
            (has to think) 
        Most of the time, Arnold, you don't 
        even see her. You're away working. 
        You come home, she fixes you supper. 
        Then one of you washes the dishes. 
        Then if you're not tired, you can go 
        to the movies or visit somebody. Or 
        you watch teevee.
        I do that now with my mother. 

    This gives Charlie pause.
        I don't know what there is to 
        marriage. I suppose it's to have 
        So what do you think I ought to do? 
        You think I ought to go through with 
        this marriage?
        Arnold, I can't answer that! 

    He stands abruptly.

                     DISSOLVE TO:

    Our four amble along Washington Square North, headed west. 
    In the background, the high apartment houses. It is about 
    midnight now, and there are a number of people around, and 
    there are lots of lights in the windows. There is still the 
    feeling of life. However, some of the wind has gone out of 
    our bachelor party since we last saw them carousing on 
    Lexington Avenue. Now, of course, there are only four of 
    them, and there is somewhat a feeling of straggling about 
    The four men straggle along Tenth Street east of Seventh 
    Avenue. This is a dark little street. Off at the 
    intersection, you can see Seventh Avenue and an occasional 
    car moving downtown, but West Tenth Street right now seems 
    an empty, sleeping street of dark and old little apartment 
    houses. The houses sometimes have little stoops. On one of 
    the stoops, there is a woman sitting. She is in her thirties, 
    not attractive nor unattractive. She wears a light summer 
    frock, and she has one shoe off, and she is toying with the 
    idea of pushing the other one off too. As the four men 
    approach her, she looks up, half quizzically, half 
    questioningly. The four men note her in passing and seem to 
    continue on, but then come to a dragging halt about ten 
    paces down.
        I think we've got one for you, 
        One what?
    Eddie looks back to the woman on the stoop. They all turn to 
    look. Actually, Charlie has ambled a few paces even further 
    down and doesn't know quite why they've stopped. They look 
    at the woman; the woman looks at them a little warily. Rest 
    of the scene from her point of view.
        Ah, come on, Eddie.
        She ain't bad.
            (calling from a 
            few paces down) 
        What's the matter?
        We've got a live one.
            (starting to walk) 
        Come on, let's go.

        Arnold, for Pete's sake.
        Ah, leave him alone! He doesn't want 
        Come on. We've been walking around 
        all night here -- are you a man, or 
        ain't you? 

    Arnold frowns.
        All right, all right.
    With a scowl, he assumes the responsibility of being a man. 
    The four men, Charlie bringing up the rear, move down toward 
    The Woman, who now looks down at her feet and begins wiggling 
    her bare foot back into the unused shoe.
             THE WOMAN
            (not looking up) 
        I don't know who you fellows think 
        I am, but you fellows have the 
        wrong idea about me.
        Yeah, I know. Arnold, see that bar 
        down the corner. That's where we'll 
             THE WOMAN 
        I'm afraid you fellows have the 
        wrong idea about me.

        She says we have the wrong idea.
        Ah, leave him alone.

             THE WOMAN 
        You fellows are working under a 

    Eddie and Walter have already started down the street to 
    the bar.
        We'll be in the bar, Arnold.
        You all right, Arnold?
        Yeah, I'm all right, it's just ...
             THE WOMAN 
        Look, I'm just sitting here, fellows. 
        Did I say anything? I was just 
        sitting here.
        You want to come with me, Charlie?
        No, Arnold.
    Charlie scowls at the suggestion, but there is something 
    pleading in Arnold's face.
        You want me to? All right. I'll go 
        up with you.
            (from halfway down 
            the street) 
        Where you going, Charlie?
        I'll go up with him. Moral support.
        What the---- we'll all go with you. 

    Charlie waves him away.

            (walks back to fellows) 
        We'll be down at the bar.
    Charlie nods. Arnold looks briefly at The Woman and then 
    away again.
    She turns and goes up the steps into the building, her 
    leather heels clicking on the stone steps. Arnold, head 
    down, and Charlie, a little sheepishly, follow her.
    A dark, ill-lit hallway. A flight of stairs going up, wooden 
    railings, worn carpeting. The Woman starts up the stairs, 
    the two men following her.
             THE WOMAN 
            (as she goes) 
    Arnold, wetting his lips, nods. The Woman reaches the first 
    The Woman has come around to one of the three doors on the 
    landing and is inserting a key into a lock. Arnold and 
    Charlie appear now at the head of the stairway. The Woman 
    goes into her room, leaving the door open. A moment later, 
    a shaft of light streams out into the landing. For a moment, 
    nothing happens. Then Arnold and Charlie amble slowly down 
    the landing to the open doorway and shaft of light.
        Hey, Arnold, you don't have to go 
        through with this.
        I think I should.
        I'll wait out here for you, okay?
    Arnold nods and goes into the room. He closes the door. 
    Charlie takes out a cigarette and lights it and inhales 
    deeply. He feels a little sordid. There is the sound of 
    steps, muffled by the carpeting, coming down the stairs. A 
    man appears coming down from the floor above. He gives 
    Charlie a quick look and continues on down the landing to 
    the stairs and down again. Charlie scowls at the floor. He 
    smokes his cigarette.
    It is a furnished room for which the woman pays eleven 
    dollars a week. It is not particularly unkempt or tarty. 
    There is a print slipcover on the soft chair and flowers on 
    an end table. There is a studio couch with a neat spread and 
    throw pillows on it. The Woman stands expressionlessly in 
    front of the old chest of drawers. She has kicked off one 
    shoe and she is now kicking off the other. She starts to say 
             THE WOMAN
        Listen, I don't want you to think I 
        don't have a job. I got a job. I 
    She stops abruptly as Arnold, who is sitting, eyes averted, 
    on a straight-back wooden chair, suddenly stands up and 
    moves toward the door.
             THE WOMAN
        What's the matter?
    Arnold's lips open to form words, but nothing comes out, and 
    he clamps his mouth tight and just stands, miserable and 
    wretched. His hand makes a nervous, spasmodic, involuntary 
    gesture, and he quickly clenches his fist. Beads of sweat 
    are on his forehead. 
             THE WOMAN
        Are you afraid of me?
    Arnold's head has started to shake nervously, and he opens 
    the door and steps out into the landing. The Woman, 
    beginning to get angry, follows him.
    Charlie looks up at the opening of the door and Arnold's 
    entrance. The Woman stands in the doorway. Arnold moves 
    quickly past Charlie about halfway down the landing, white-
    faced and trembling.
             THE WOMAN
            (getting a 
            little shrill) 
        What's the matter? Hey. Hey, you. 
        Hey, you, what's the matter?
        Let's go.
            (to The Woman) 
        What's the trouble?
             THE WOMAN
        I don't know. Ask him. What's the 
        matter? Hey, you. You, what's the 
        Go back inside.... All right, all 
             THE WOMAN
        How about that, huh?
    She turns angrily, goes back into her room (ad libbing as 
    she crosses) and slams the door. Charlie moves down the 
    landing to Arnold, who looks at him wide-eyed, almost in 
        What happened, Arnold?
        I don't know. I'm just scared.
        Yeah, I don't blame you, I'd be 
        scared too like this. I don't know 
        why we dragged you up here in the 
        first place. It's a barbaric custom. 
        Come on.
    He has taken Arnold's arm and would lead him down the 
    stairs, but Arnold pauses again at the first step.
        Don't tell Eddie.
        No I won't, Arnold.
        Why don't we just sit here for ten
        minutes or so? 

    Charlie frowns, then shrugs.
        All right, Arnold.
    They both sit slowly on the steps. Arnold is still trembling 
    from the whole terrifying experience.
        Don't ever tell anybody.
        It's nothing to be ashamed of.
        Please, Charlie.
        I won't tell anybody.
    A man's voice suddenly calls down from an upper floor.
             MAN'S VOICE
        Anything wrong down there? 
            (calling back) 
        No. No. Nothing wrong.
    Charlie sits. CAMERA MOVES UP CLOSER to both men. The whole 
    experience has depressed Charlie, and it shows on his face.
    CAMERA PULLS SLOWLY BACK so that we get the small, sordid 
    feeling of the two men, somewhat tight, sitting on a dirty 
    ill-lit staircase outside a whore's bedroom.

    Neighborhood bar with about ten people in it. Eddie and 
    Walter are two of them. Eddie is playing on one of those 
    bowling machines. He seems surly, ill-tempered, restless.
        Hey Walter -- you know what we 
        ought to do, don't you? We ought to 
        go to that party. Remember that girl 
        Charlie picked up on Tenth Street?
    Walter, who is so drunk he is sober, looks up at Eddie with 
    blurred eyes.
        I'm going to die, do you know that?
        Not tonight, Walter. Tonight you're 
        going to live. Ah, these things are 
            (crosses to bar) 
        I'm down to my last buck. Got any 
        money on you? 

    He turns as the door to the bar opens and Charlie and Arnold 
    come in.
            (to Charlie) 
            (to Arnold) 
        How'd it go, lover?
            (Arnold smiles a 
            mysterious smile, 
            pregnant with 
            sensual meaning) 
        Hey, Charlie, let's go to this party. 
        It's only twelve o'clock. Oh, these 
        parties are mad, man. All the women 
        wear pajamas, and all the men wear 
        beards. Everybody sits on the floor. 
        Arnold, you got any money? I spent 
        my last buck on those drinks. How 
        about you, Charlie?
            (assessing his assets) 
        I got a little over a buck.
        What are we, all out? So let's go to 
        this party then. 
            (punches Charlie's arm) 
        Hey, Charlie, come on.
            (himself sullen and angry)
        Cut it out.
        You can have that girl you picked up 
        on Tenth Street. Come on.... All 
        right, you married men want to be so 
        married that's all right with me. 
        But I'd like to see some women 
            (punching Charlie's 
            arm with more hostility 
            than he knows) 
        Come on.
        Lay off.
        I'd like to see some women tonight, 
        you know. Do you mind?
        Cut it out, Eddie. You keep punching 
        me, I swear I'm going to belt you 
        What's the matter with you?
    Charlie is off his seat and ready to belt Eddie one right on 
    the spot. There is abruptly the imminent reality of a fist 
    fight. The two men are just sullen enough. Arnold hurriedly 
        All right, all right, fellows.
        Look, don't get so tough with me, 
        All right, all right, come on.
        I don't want to see any other women!
            (just as angry) 
        All right! Go on home! Who's holding 
        you?! You want to call it a night? 
        Because I'm tired of grousing from 
        one bar to another. You guys go home, 
        and I'll go about my merry way. All 
        right? And don't get so tough with 
        Well, don't poke me.
            (turning Charlie 
            back to his seat) 
        Come on, let's go ... gee ...
    For a moment, the sudden, thick hostility fills the silence 
    in the room. Nobody says anything. Walter is soddenly 
    preoccupied with his own thoughts. Arnold is shaken from his 
    recent experience with The Woman and from the flaring of 
    tempers. Charlie just sits bleakly examining a book of 
    matches he is toying with, trying to bring his temper down. 
    After a moment, he mutters:
        You mess around with other women, it 
        kills your wife and it kills your 
    Eddie suddenly, sulkily strides for the door of the bar.
        All right, you guys go home, and 
        I'll go on my merry way. 
            (gets to the door, 
            pauses, then turns, 
            his sudden hot temper 
            gone as quickly as 
            it had come) 
        Hey, you guys, you guys want to go 
        to a nutty night club, look at the 
        nuts? There's a nutty night club 
        over on Second Avenue. You know 
        what we can do? Charlie, you live in 
        Stuyvesant Town, don't you?
        You know what we can do? We'll take 
        the crosstown. We'll go over to 
        Charlie's house, he'll get some 
        money, and we'll go to this nutty 
        night club. It's right down on 
        Second Avenue. You got any money 
        home, Charlie?
        What do you say, Arnold? You want to 

    Arnold shrugs. Eddie has started for the door already. 
    Charlie wearily gets off his stool, starts to follow Eddie 
    out. Walter takes his arm.
        Charlie, get Walter.
        Come on, Walter....
    CLOSEUP of Walter
        I'm going to die, you know what I 

    The sad little party files wearily out of the bar, Arnold 
    pausing at the bar to pay for the drinks.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    LONG SHOT looking down through the length of one almost 
    empty car, through the open door at the end of the car, 
    down into the next almost empty car. Just a few people 
    riding the subway at this hour, half past eleven on a 
    week-day. But down in the second car, we can see our four 
    cavaliers. Eddie, Arnold, and Charlie are sitting. Our 
    attention is most caught by Walter, who is heavily drunk and 
    weaves and lurches up and down the central aisle of the car. 
    We cannot hear if he is saying anything.
    CLOSE SHOT Walter weaving up and down the aisle of the car. 
    He stumbles on the toes of a man in a windbreaker, sitting 
    in the car.
        Excuse me ... excuse me ...
            (turns his blurred 
            attention to Charlie, 
            who, alone of the 
            three, seems painfully 
            interested in what 
            Walter is talking 
        So what'll I do? I mean, he says, 
        I'm going to die. I mean, the man's 
        a specialist. He says: "Go to 
        Arizona, go to Colorado," he says. 
        "You got to get out of New York or 
        you're going to die." He tells my 
        wife, the stupid idiot. My wife 
        cried all night. I'm going to die, 
        you know that? You understand that? 
        I'm going to die? You know what an 
        asthma attack is like? Your heart 
        starts beating like a drum! I passed 
        out the last time!
            (deeply compassionate) 
        Walter, why don't you just quit the 
        job and pack your bags and get out 
        of here?
    Walter stands in front of Charlie, his lips moving, but no 
    words coming out for a moment. There are tears in his eyes, 
    and all the pain and anguish of the man's forty-eight years 
    are clear on his face.
            (getting the words out) 
        I can't quit. Don't you understand? 
        You don't understand. I can't quit! 
        I got a fourteen-year-old girl, I 
        don't know what time she comes in at 
        night any more. She's so wild, these 
        kids. I got a nineteen-year-old boy 
        in college; he's going to be a 
        doctor if I have to die. He's not 
        going to quit school. You hear me! 
        I worked hard to put that kid in 
        school! I don't care if I die! I 
        don't care! What am I going to do 
        in Arizona? Who wants me? Who's 
        going to give me a job? What kind 
        of a job am I going to get? I'm 
        forty-eight years old. They don't 
        want no forty-eight-year-old 
        bookkeeper. They got machines from 
        IBM. You ever been up on the ninth 
        floor? You ever see all those IBM 
        machines? What am I going to do out 
        in Arizona? You look in the Help 
        Wanted lately? You see any jobs 
        listed for Bookkeeper, Male? What 
        are you talking about? Do you know 
        what you're talking about?
    Charlie reaches up to steady Walter, who has worked himself 
    up into a lurching fury.
        Easy, Walter.
            (flinging Charlie's 
            hand aside) 
        Take your hand off me. You don't 
        know nothing! You're just a kid! 
        You don't know! I've seen death, 
        kid. I've seen it, boy. I know what 
        it looks like.
            (he staggers away a 
            few paces down the 
            aisle, stumbles over 
            the man's toe again) 
        Excuse me.... Forty-eight years old 
        and so what? What does it mean? What
        happened? What have I got? What did 
        I make? Who needs me? So this is it. 
        A man's life, nothing. Worry about 
        being sick, worry about making money, 
        worry about your wife, worry about 
        your kids, and you're on your way to 
        the grave from the day you're born. 
        The days drag on, and the years fly 
        by, and so what?
            (cries out to 
            the whole world) 
        What is it all about? Will you tell 

    The train is slowing up for a station now.
        Life is nothing! It's a gag! It's a 
        joke! It's a mortgage! It's a 
        bankrupt! It's a lot of noise over 
        nothing! Sound and fury! Isn't that 
        what the man said? What do you 
        think, I never read a book? I read a 
        book! Don't worry! I was a bright 
        kid! Everybody thought I was going 
        to be the first Catholic to be 
        President! Where did it all go?! 

    He turns to look at the station they are edging into, the 
    yellow lights, the dark shadows, the few blurred faces. His 
    face is wet with the tiny rivulets left by tears. 
        Where did it all go? 

    The train stops, the green doors slide open.
            (looking out, 
            in a low voice) 
        Where are we, Third Avenue?
            (low voice) 
        Where are we getting off? Next stop?
            (low voice)
    A few people come into the car. Walter stands, shoulders 
    hunched and sagging, in front of the open doors.
        I'm going home.
            (looking up) 
        What did you say, Walter?
        I'm going home.
    Walter steps out onto the platform. Just in time, because 
    the doors are beginning to slide closed again.
        Walter, where are you going? Come 
        here ... 

    On the platform, Walter has started to weave slowly up the 
    platform toward the stairway.
        What, did Walter get out?

            (calling through 
            the open window) 
        Walter, stay there, we'll come back 
        on the next train. Stay there.
    But Walter has already reached the stairway and, clinging to 
    the handrail, has started slowly climbing the steps. The 
    train starts slowly up. Arnold has stood now too. He is 
    pretty soggy himself.
        Poor Walter, huh?
            (bellowing through 
            the window) 
        Walter! ...
        He'll be all right, Charlie. God 
        protects drunks and fools.
    The train is sweeping by the stairway now. Charlie bellows 
        Walter! Grab a cab if you're going 

    The train has swept by, and in a moment they have been 
    plunged into the tunnel of the subway, the bleak dirty white 
    walls, and the small yellow lights flashing by. Charlie sits 
    down, somehow greatly shaken and disturbed.
        Poor Walter, I didn't know he was so 
        sick. I thought there was something 
        wrong with him, though. He's been 
        out so much.
            (sitting drunkenly down) 
        I didn't know he was so sick. 

    CLOSE IN on Charlie.

        That's me in fifteen years.
    CLOSEUP of Charlie. Hold for a moment.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    We look down at the subway kiosk as our sad little party of 
    three comes up the stairs to the sidewalk. It is midnight, 
    and the street is occasionally patrolled by a taxicab. The 
    sidewalks are pretty empty, just a few people walking. 
    Perhaps a drugstore is still open, and its lonely lit store 
    front catches the eye.
    Our three men stand at the head of the stairs at the subway 
    kiosk, drained, tired, a little despondent. Charlie looks up 
    at the dim silhouettes of the endless apartment houses of 
    Stuyvesant Town.
        That's where I live.
        Which one?
        In the back there. You can't see it 
        from here. 

    LONG SHOT of Stuyvesant Town as seen from their point of 
    view. PAN SLOWLY ACROSS, capturing the silent monotony of 
    the dark buildings. Only a few of the windows are still lit.
        It looks like a state hospital.
        It looks like a prison.
        Yeah, it does look a little like a 

    The three men just stand, worn out, tired.
        I'm going home.
    He starts to walk to the buildings, across the little street 
    that separates the corner of Fourteenth Street and First 
    Avenue from the parallel corner of the housing project.
            (calling after him) 
        Hey, Charlie ... 

    Charlie turns.
        Hey, Charlie! What about the money? 
        Have you got ten bucks?
            (after a moment) 
        All right, if you want to walk me to 
        the house, I'll get you ten bucks.
    Eddie has to take a moment to consider this. Then he 
    shuffles across the little street toward Charlie. Charlie 
    doesn't quite wait for him to catch up when he turns and 
    leads the way between two cars and up the sidewalk toward 
    the promenade that leads to the heart of the project. 
    Arnold, after a moment, follows Eddie. The three men 
    disappear single-file into the darkness of Stuyvesant Town.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    We are looking at the twin elevator doors. The light of an 
    elevator climbs into the little square window of one of the 
    elevator doors. The door opens, and Charlie, Eddie, and 
    Arnold shuffle out into the landing. They are all a little 
        I'll be right out.
    He moves around the turn of the wall, fishes in his pocket 
    for the key to his apartment. He finds it, brings it out, 
    opens the door carefully, goes into his apartment.
    Charlie comes in. The dining area is lit, and there is the 
    lamp lit in the living room. As Charlie moves to the living 
    room, we can see that Helen is seated on the couch, 
    watching television. The gray-white light of the television 
    set drifts out into the room. Helen is in her pajamas and 
    she has washed for bed; her face is devoid of make-up. She 
    is half-watching television; the rest of her attention is 
    devoted to cutting her fingernails and other aspects of 
    manicure. She looks up as Charlie comes into the living 
    room, smiles.
        Hiya, have a nice time?
    Charlie shrugs. He is depressed and can't conceal it.
        I'm taking ten bucks. A couple of 
        the guys are waiting outside. I 
        promised them I'd loan them ten 
    He stands by the couch now, without interest, automatically 
    watching the television set.
            (looking at the set)
        Tomorrow's payday. I'll get it back 
        It's in the drawer.
    A kind of ennui has engulfed him. He stands, watching the 
    television set out of which is now pouring the end of an 
    animated cartoon commercial. Then the familiar tinkling 
    music sets in, the inscription, "The Late Show" appears on 
    the screen, and the announcer's voice informs us that we are 
    now going back to the late show, starring Rex Harrison in 
    "Strictly Dishonorable." The whole thing brings a wince of 
    pain to Charlie's face, and he turns and moves wearily 
    through the little foyer into the darkened bedroom. Enough 
    light flows in from the other rooms to show Charlie going to 
    the drawer in the chest of drawers and taking out a 
    ten-dollar bill. He returns the other bills, closes the 
    drawer and just stands there, suddenly so weak and exhausted 
    that he has to steady himself with one hand on the chest of 
    Back in the living room, Helen still sits, a slight frown 
    now indicating she is sensitive to the deeply depressed mood 
    her husband is in. She continues with her nails for a moment. 
    Then, wondering what is keeping her husband, she stands and 
    goes to the bedroom doorway and looks in.
    Charlie is seated on the bed, hunched, in deep depression. 
    He is holding the ten-dollar bill. His eyes are open, but 
    there is a feeling of hurt and pain on his face. Helen moves 
    quietly into the bedroom and sits down on the bed beside him.
        What's the matter, Charlie? 

    He shrugs, even smiles briefly. 
        I don't know.
    She puts out her hand as if to take his head and press it 
    against her, but he takes her in his arms almost desperately, 
    and they lie back on the bed, clutching each other, their 
    faces pressed against each other, seeking some kind of
    strength just from the sheer physical closeness of each 
        It's not so bad, Charlie.
        I know. I know.
    They lie quietly, even stiffly, holding each other.
            (eyes wide open 
            but unseeing) 
        I don't know what's the matter with 
        me, I keep getting so depressed. I'm 
        going to quit night school, Helen. 
        My nerves are shot.
    He releases himself from his wife's embrace and sits up.
        Those guys are waiting outside. I 
        better give them their money.
    He stands and starts out the bedroom.
        Charlie ... Maybe I shouldn't have 
        the baby?
        What do you mean? ...
    She doesn't answer. She doesn't have to. They both know what 
    she means.
        Isn't that dangerous? ... Well, I 
        don't know ... maybe ... Well, you 
        brought it up. 

            (shocked -- after 
            a moment) 
        You really don't want this baby....
    She turns away on the bed to hide the sudden flush of tears.
        You're my husband, Charlie. This is 
        your baby too. That doesn't mean 
        anything to you. For the first time 
        in our marriage I feel I can't 
        depend on you, Charlie -- I'm not 
        important to you.
            (she has to stop 
            because she can no 
            longer trust her 
            voice. After a 
            moment she continues) 
        I could make my life sound hard, too, 
        Charlie. I work all day, I rush home, 
        I make you dinner. I sit home alone 
        four nights a week, I'm even alone 
        when you're here because when do I 
        see you? But it was easy for me 
        because I loved you. Do you think I 
        care whether you're an accountant or 
        a ditch digger, or even out of work? 
        All I ever wanted was you. And this 
        baby because it's you, too.
    She closes her eyes again to hide the warm flow of tears in 
    her eyes and stops talking rather than cry. Charlie sits, 
    unmoved and wretched, his shoulders hunched, his head 
    slumped forward. After a moment, he turns and reaches 
    forward, quite frightened, to touch her arm.
        Leave me alone, Charlie.
    He stands and goes to the bedroom window and looks out. 
    Helen turns on her side so that her back is to him. At the 
    sound of her moving, Charlie turns his head, but sensing the 
    rejection in her back, he turns back and looks out the 
    window again. The silence is thick between them.
            (looking out 
            the window) 
        I decided I'd quit school and ...
        I don't care ...
        I decided I'd quit school and come 
        home in the evenings like everybody 
        else and live a normal life.
            (staring at the 
            wall ahead of her) 
        I don't care what you do, Charlie. 

    He stands another moment.
        I don't care what I do either.
    Helen neither moves nor makes a response. Charlie goes on 
    into the living room and shuffles to the front door, his 
    long body heavy with pain and guilt and dense, unknown 
    terrors. He opens the door and goes out onto the landing.
    Eddie and Arnold, looking up as the door opens and Charlie 
    comes out.
        What took you so long? What did you 
        do, blow open the safe?
            (giving Eddie the 
            ten-dollar bill) 
            (taking it)
        I'll give it to you tomorrow. I'll 
        see you in the morning, Charlie.

        I'll see you.
    Eddie takes Arnold's arm and guides him back around the turn 
    of the wall to the elevators. Charlie follows a few paces 
    behind. Eddie pushes both elevator buttons. Charlie nods, 
    looks down at the tiling at his feet, fairly sick within 
    himself, oppressed and guilty. The light in the elevator 
    window shows, and Eddie opens the door.
        Wait a minute. I'll go with you.
        Let's go to that party -- we'll 
        have a ball!
    Charlie shuffles the few paces forward and follows Eddie and 
    Arnold into the elevator. The door closes, and, a moment 
    later, the light of the elevator cage disappears downward.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    This is one of those duplex apartments on West Tenth Street 
    which consists of one huge living room that is two stories 
    high and you need a little rolling stepladder to reach the 
    books on the upper shelves of the built-in bookcases. There 
    is a little wrought-iron stairway that leads to the second 
    floor, which consists of two tiny little bedrooms. 

    Apartments like these, as is the case in this one, are 
    usually lived in by two girls, one of whom is a secretary in 
    an advertising agency and the other a model for a garment 
    manufacturing firm. Both girls are in their early thirties 
    and are milling about somewhere in the mass of people in the 
    living room, carrying drinks, laughing up a storm, pausing 
    at the little knots of discussion groups with an apt phrase. 
    They rather think of themselves as Madame de Staëls with 
    their own salon of bright young people, for most of the men 
    and women at the party are in some way connected with the 
    arts, probably in an avant garde way. It is a little 
    difficult to tell this by looking at them because avant 
    garde artists have become obsessed with dressing like 
    businessmen, but if you can hear the talk as we can, you get 
    the point fast enough. We pick up phrases like: "I really 
    find it difficult to think of Tennessee Williams as a 
    serious artist," or "My teacher thinks all tenors are frogs 
    except Gigli," or "I don't see how you can say that; his 
    designs fairly throb with sex." There are, as Eddie 
    predicted, a number of people sitting on the floor, mostly 
    girls, circled in the swirl of their Ann Fogarty dresses, 
    and there is one obvious ballerina, with her black hair 
    pulled tightly back into a severe pony tail, using the 
    wrought-iron railing that separates the dropped living room 
    from the small entrance foyer to demonstrate something about 
    positions at the dancing bar. There is someone at the piano 
    banging away, shouting his songs, but he is completely 
    inaudible five feet away. A few people lean over the piano, 
    apparently exhilarated by the songs. Thin blankets of smoke 
    wreathe their way up to the two-story-high ceiling. We catch 
    some more phrases: "I thought Truman Capote was supposed to 
    be here." -- "Truman's in Russia, I think." -- "Good 
    heavens, what can the Russians want with Truman Capote?" -- 
    "Oh, I never read anything published in this country." "Oh, 
    I mean, the paper-bound Paris edition." In short, this is a 
    real chi-chi wingding where all the furniture is too low, 
    and the hostess is very proud of the fact that her end table 
    is made out of an orange crate.

    Somewhere, through the jumble of the party, we can hear the 
    doorbell chime. A young woman, at one of the little knots of 
    people, perks her ears and says: 

        I'm sure that's the police again.
    She's very proud of this. She turns and weaves her way 
    through the crowded room, carrying her drink. She goes up 
    the step to the entrance foyer, turns to her left, picks her 
    way over two middle-aged men who are both throwing a pitch 
    at a fairly tight girl of eighteen, past the kitchen, which 
    is a bedlam of ice cubes and kitchen towels and which is 
    occupied at the moment by two intense women in their late 
    thirties wrapped in deep discussion, up past two young men 
    who have no immediate use for girls, to the front door of 
    the apartment. She opens the door.
    GROUP SHOT of Eddie, Arnold, and Charlie from the Hostess's 
    point of view. Not exactly a heartening sight to most 
    hostesses, three fairly loaded young men with their collars 
    unbuttoned and their ties limp and dangling.
        Are you coming to complain about the 
        Do we look like complainers?
        I don't know who you are, but come 
        in, come in. I don't know half the 
        people who are here tonight. 

    They enter a little warily and ill-at-ease, peering into the 
    jammed room.
        The police have been here twice. The 
        first fellow was just adorable. We 
        gave him a drink, and he's upstairs 
        in a bedroom now, for all I know.
        Is that right?

        If you want something to drink, 
        you'll just have to go into the 
        kitchen and get it yourself. The 
        place is just mad. Do you write, 
        paint or sing?
    Eddie spreads his arms in all-inclusive expansiveness.
    But the hostess has already bent to chat with two women, one 
    old, one young, sitting on the floor. Our three cavaliers 
    look at each other and then look out over the wild, jumbled 
        Boy, do you get invited to a party 
        like this or do you get committed?
    A passing young man who overhears this, pokes his head into 
    the group and says to Charlie with a flashing smile:
             YOUNG CHAP
        I heard that. It's awfully funny. 

    Charlie regards the smiling young chap.
        Beat it.
    The chap's smile flashes off and he scurries away. Eddie 
    rubs his palms and surveys the women in the crowded room 
    with a measuring eye.
        This is going to be like shooting 
        ducks. Pick out your duck, men.
    Wetting his lips, he starts out for some girl he has decided 
    on across the room.

    HIGH SHOT showing progress of party, still crowded, still 
    high. If we look sharp we can see Charlie seated on the 
    floor in the rear of the shot, his back against the wall.
    CLOSER SHOT of Charlie sitting morosely, back against the 
    wall, regarding his drink with sodden eyes. The chatter of 
    the party, an occasional shrill laugh.

    FULL SHOT of Eddie coming out of the kitchen, carrying two 
    drinks. He picks his way through the people to the living 
    room with the general intention of getting to the 
    arrangement of divans around the coffee table, when he spots 
    Charlie and moves across to him.
        Hey, what's the matter, Charlie? 
            (squats down 
            beside Charlie)
            (without looking up) 
        Let's get out of here, Eddie.
        The last time I saw you, you was 
        with that girl you picked up. What 
        She's over there talking to that 
        old guy with the glasses. 

    Their point of view, The Existentialist on steps with 
        I didn't like her. She's one of 
        these real Greenwich Village phonies. 
        If I added up all the guys she told 
        me about, she must have had her 
        first boy friend when she was two 
        years old. Where are you going, 
        Eddie. Stick around a minute.
            (who has stood) 
        I'm with that one over there -- not 
        bad, huh? I think she's a Communist. 
        I think she's trying to talk me into 
        joining the Party.
        How are you making out?
        Not so hot. I may have to join.
        Hang around. Let's talk a bit.
        I better get back. She's liable to 
        recruit somebody else.
        Where's Arnold?
        He's in the kitchen. I think he's 
        out cold. I'll see you. 

    Charlie nods as Eddie moves off. He returns his morose 
    attention back to his glass of liquor. Then his eyes close, 
    and his face, though impassive, shows pain. After a moment, 
    he opens his eyes and slowly clambers to his feet and makes 
    his way, a little unsteadily, through the living room in the 
    direction of the kitchen. In the background we can hear the 
    piano and somebody singing indistinguishable lyrics. Charlie 
    gets to the kitchen door and looks in. Arnold is at the tiny 
    kitchen table, head on the table, out cold. The kitchen is 
    in a state of havoc.
        Hey Arnold-- You okay, Arnold? 

    Arnold makes no answer. Charlie regards his prostrated 
    friend expressionlessly for a moment. Then turns and 
    shuffles aimlessly back to the group around the piano in the 
    living room. He looks over to the stairway again. The 
    Existentialist is alone now, The Landlord having gone for 
    the moment. She is looking at Charlie, and he drops his eyes. 
    He turns away from the piano and moves out a few steps into 
    the middle of the living room. He moves to the stairway. 
    The Existentialist looks up at him as he approaches, Charlie 
    kind of nods to her, and, for a moment, she just sits and he 
    just stands. Then ...
        That old man I was talking to before? 
        That's my landlord. About ten thirty 
        last night, someone began pounding on 
        my door. So I got up and opened the 
        door, and there was this white-haired 
        man with  a pince-nez standing there. 
        I said: "What do you want?" So he 
        said: "I'm the landlord, and I want 
        the rent." Well, I just looked at him 
        because the landlord I knew was a 
        Hungarian man named Frank, who was 
        crazy about me, and the issue of rent 
        never came up, you see. Well, it 
        turned out that this man with the 
        pince-nez had just bought the 
        building the day before and he kept 
        grabbing my arm and saying he wanted 
        the rent. Well, then I got the point, 
        of course. Well, meanwhile, a boy 
        named Bob I knew had come over. He's 
        engaged to a Javanese girl with 
        wonderful planes in her face who 
        lives at the International House. 
        But he's crazy about me and he drops 
        in about twice a week. Well, 
        meanwhile, my new landlord was 
        grabbing my arm and kept quoting 
        poetry to me which he was trying to 
        pass off as his own. He was an 
        absolute fraud. He scotched the 
        whole thing from Baudelaire. "Tu 
        mettrais." You know that one. Well, 
        he kept screaming about the rent -- 
        I didn't like him, you know -- and I 
        called this boy named George who 
        used to live in Poughkeepsie when I 
        was going to Vassar, and he's crazy 
        about me. He lives in St. Luke's 
        place now, but he goes to 
        Poughkeepsie every Wednesday to see 
        his mother, he's got an Oedipus, so 
        that was out. Well, my new landlord 
        kept telling me how much he was in 
        love with me. I said: "How 
        existentialist can you get? You just 
        met me five minutes ago." He was 
        absolutely crazy about me.
    Charlie has been sort of half-listening to all this. His 
    attention, if any at all, has been vaguely given to the 
    girl's bare arms, the lines of her body. 

        You have an apartment around here 
            (looks up to 
            second floor) 
        What's up there? What kind of rooms 
        are up there?
        So, I finally got to sleep around 
        six thirty.... 

    Charlie bends down to her, takes her arm.
        Come on, let's go. 

            (wrenching her 
            arm away) 
        No! Oh, stop trying to be so 

    Charlie straightens with an irritated sigh.
        I find you very unpleasant. 

    He stands, she sits in sullen silence.
        There's nothing upstairs. 
            (suddenly rises, 
        Oh, I don't care.
    She starts up the stairs, Charlie following close behind her. 
    They pick their way past the other people sitting on the 
    stairs to the second-floor landing. They walk in hostile 
    silence down the landing to the bedroom door, which she 
    It is a tiny bedroom. The bed is covered with purses and 
    summer stoles and other guest things. An uncovered, 
    improvised closet, really a rack of hanging dresses and 
    things, gives the room an overburdened look. Charlie comes 
    into the room after her, closes the door, looks for the 
    latch. She pushes some of the things on the bed aside and 
    sits down and waits while Charlie latches the door, a matter 
    of turning a bent nail into locking position. She begins to 
    prattle again.
        So I finally got to sleep around six 
        thirty this morning. At nine thirty, 
        someone began pounding on my door 
        again. I got out of bed and opened 
        the door, and there was my landlord 
        with the pince-nez wearing a blue 
        silk kimono. "Oh, for heaven's 
        sakes," I said, "what do you want 
        now?" He said: "I'm the landlord, 
        and I want the rent." I said: 
        "You're an old man, go to sleep." 
        Then the phone rang. It was a boy 
        named Andrew I know who teaches 
        physics at Columbia University, and 
        he's insanely jealous. He's married 
        and has four children, but he keeps 
        badgering me to run away with him to 
        Nicaragua, throw up his professorship 
        and all that. Well, my landlord began 
        shouting some garbled Baudelaire at 
        the top of his lungs, and a little 
        Verlaine, and a little Huysmans. He 
        apparently has some kind of fetish 
        about French decadents. And 
        naturally, Andrew heard him, and he 
        got furious, and he said: "Who's that 
        I hear?" I said, "That's the 
        landlord." He said: "What does he 
        want?" I said: "He wants the rent." 
        Well, at this point, I felt like 
        chucking the whole business and 
        going back to Bessemer City and 
        going to work in my father's 
        hardware store.
    Charlie has stood a moment, listening to this bizarre story. 
    Then he has busied himself cleaning a place beside The 
    Existentialist on the bed. He brings an end to the rococo 
    narration by putting his arms around The Existentialist and 
    in a moment, she responds hungrily.
    CLOSEUP of Charlie and The Existentialist in a desperate 
        Just say you love me.
        Just say you love me. You don't have 
        to mean it. 

    He tries to kiss her again, himself charged high at the 
    moment, but she turns her face away from him. The dialogue 
    is intense, whispered, hungry.
        No, don't. ...
        What's the matter?
        Say you love me....
        Come on.
        Say you love me....
        Come on....
        No ...
        I love you! I love you!
        Look, maybe we ought to go someplace
        else? I'm having a very tricky thing 
        going with my landlord and I don't 
        want him to see us leaving together. 
        So you know what you do? There's a 
        bar down the street. You go out the 
        door and turn to your right. You 
        know the one I mean?  
        Yes, I know.
        Well, you go there and I'll be there 
        as fast as I can. Now, wait for me 
        now, because I can't stand being 
        alone at night. You'll like me. I'm 
        supposed to be very amusing. All 
    She turns abruptly and goes out the door. He stands for a 
    moment and then follows. He stands on the upper landing, 
    watching her pick her way down the stairs into the living 
    She looks quickly around the room, apparently finds whom she 
    is looking for, and moves quickly to a little group of men, 
    one of whom is about sixty years old with a thin elegance 
    and a cruel face, the landlord. He has several young men 
    around him, all rather frail, Ivy-Leagueish. She joins the 
    group, to the distaste of the young men, and is immediately 
    voluble and gesticulatory. After a moment, Charlie lets his 
    eyes wander over the room, apparently sees Eddie.
            (calling down) 
        Hey, Eddie ...
    Apparently, Eddie doesn't hear him. Charlie frowns and 
    begins making his own way down the stairs to the living room.
    Charlie moves down the stairs into the living room proper. 
    He makes his way to Eddie, who is still sitting in the back 
    of the room, throwing an intense pitch at his girl, talking 
    quickly, smiling, gesturing. 
        Eddie, I'm cutting out.
            (standing, low voice) 
        Wait a minute, I'll go with you.
        I don't want to take you away from 
        your girl, Eddie.
        Aah, this one lives out in Long 
        Island with her mother. What kind of 
        Communist is that? It'll take me a 
        half hour on the subway there and a 
        half hour back.
        Where's Arnold? Still in the kitchen?
        I guess so. 
            (to the girl) 
        I'll see you, next time I get to 
        Long Island. 

    He starts off after Charlie who is already wandering through 
    the living room in the general direction of the kitchen, 
    looking about for Arnold. They pass The Existentialist en 
    route. She is saying: "... this boy named Charlie, I never 
    saw him before in my life, has been clutching at me all 
    evening. He's absolutely insane about me." Charlie leans 
    into the kitchen where Arnold is awake now, seated at the 
    small kitchen table, staring gauntly, unseeingly at his 
    fingers on the white porcelain-topped table. There are two 
    men, one middle-aged, one young, having a whispered chat 
    over the sink.
            (over Charlie's 
        Hey, Arnold, come on.
    Arnold stands obediently, almost dumbly. He squeezes around 
    the table, his face soddenly expressionless, to join Eddie 
    and Charlie in the kitchen doorway. Eddie is saying to 
        Well, it wasn't a bad party. We 
        killed a couple of hours anyway.
    The three men push their way past three women in their 
    thirties, who are standing in the little hallway before the 
    front door, in earnest brow-furrowed conversation with each 
    other. Charlie opens the door, and the three morose 
    carousers go out into the dark street.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    The three carousers come out into the street. The door 
    closes behind them. The night air is hot and muggy. They 
    walk down the street toward the corner where only the light 
    of the corner bar gives any indication of life. There is a 
    newspaper on the sidewalk which Eddie bends down to pick up, 
    and the three men straggle to a halt. Eddie opens the paper 
    to the sports pages and starts to read by the light of the 
    street lamp. Arnold moves a step to the lamp and leans 
    against it. Charlie stands in the middle of the sidewalk, a 
    melancholy, pondering young man. The evening seems to have 
    come to a dead halt. After a moment, Eddie starts walking 
    again, reading the paper as he does. The others slowly 
    gather themselves and follow him.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    A wall clock reading twenty-five minutes to three. CAMERA 
    PANS DOWN the wall. We are in the bar on the corner of Tenth 
    and Sixth, almost entirely empty except for Charlie, Eddie, 
    Arnold, and the bartender. The three carousers are leaning 
    wearily on the bar over their beers; the only other person 
    in the bar is a worn, battered old veteran of the streets, a 
    woman in her forties, bespectacled, who is perched on a bar 
    stool at the far end of the bar, gloomily reading a 
    newspaper. CAMERA MOVES DOWN and IN on Charlie, Eddie, and 
        ... I mean, you can't compare the 
        two. This kid the Yankees have in 
        centerfield. Are you trying to tell
        me he's a natural .368 hitter? What's 
        he normally hit, .310, .315? Musial 
        led the National League in hitting 
        six times. He's only having a fair 
        year, this year -- and he's still 
        hitting .320. Musial is an all-time 
        Yeah. I guess so.
            (stiff with liquor) 
        Eddie -- Eddie. So what do you think, 
        Eddie? You think I ought to go 
        through with this marriage?
        I don't know about you, Arnold, but 
        if it was me, boy, I'd be in China 
        by now. 
            (back to Charlie) 
        Who have the Yankees got on first? 
        Skowron. Boy, how they touted 
        Skowron. All right, he's having a 
        lucky year.
        ... Well, I mean, is there any 
        argument? Hodges is the best first 
        baseman in both leagues.... 
        So, Eddie, what do you think? You 
        think I ought to marry her, go to 
        China, or what?
        Arnold, if it bothers you so much, 
        call her up and tell her to forget 
        the whole deal. 
            (back to Charlie) 
        All right Hodges is having a bad 
        year -- but how about last year? He 
        hit over .300. He only hit thirty-
        five homers and he drove in over a 
        hundred runs----
        So, Eddie...
        Arnold! Get rid of her! You're 
        driving me crazy! 

    Arnold lowers his head, and he rises, loses his precarious 
    balance and moves backward a few lurching steps.
        All right, who's on second? We got 
        Charlie Neal or Gilliam, for that 
        matter, and this isn't even counting 
        Jackie Robinson, head and shoulders, 
        even with a trick knee, the best 
        second baseman in both leagues if 
        they'd let him play there. We got 
        three guys, for Pete's sake, who can 
        outplay anybody the Yankees put on 

    Arnold weaves slowly up the bar to the two phone booths at 
    the far end of the counter. Then walks out of shot.
        Ever see Charlie Neal go to his 
        right? That Yankee guy, what's his 
        name -- he can't go to his right. 
        And don't forget Neal gets a lot of 
        bases on balls, and once he's on the 
        bases, man, it unnerves the pitcher ... 

    The bartender decides to take issue.
        What's Brooklyn going to do for 
        Never heard of Newcombe? Never heard 
        of Erskine?
        What have you got to compare with 
        Ford, Kucks, McDermott, Turley---
        McDermott -- McDermott hasn't 
        pitched a full game since last year.
        The best relief pitcher in both 
        What's the matter with Eddie Roebuck?
        How do you compare Eddie Roebuck 
        with McDermott? 

        What are you, a Yankee fan? 


        Well, drop dead.
            (turns angrily 
            back to Charlie) 
        A Yankee fan.
    There is a sudden bellow off.
             ARNOLD'S VOICE
    Eddie and Charlie slowly turn to look in Arnold's direction. 
    CAMERA PANS to see Arnold from their point of view, a 
    wavering, drunken young man standing in front of the phone 
        I did it.
        You did what?
    Arnold staggers a few paces into the center of the empty bar.
        I just woke her up! I called her! I 
        said: "I'm not going to marry you. 
        What do I want to marry you for? I'm 
        having a ball. What am I going to 
        marry you for?"
        What is he talking about?
    Then, suddenly, effortlessly, Arnold sinks down onto the 
    floor -- out cold. For a moment, Eddie and Charlie regard 
    the prostrate form.
        Boy, he's gone.
    Eddie and Charlie move to Arnold, lying curled stiffly on 
    the floor.
        I think he's just called his girl, 
        broke his engagement.
        Is that what he was yelling about?
            (trying to raise 
            Arnold's head) 
        Wake up, kid. Help me get him up, 
        You think he did it because I was 
        needling him there before? I was 
        just needling him.
    The two men contrive to lift Arnold and get him onto a stool.
        You better get him out of here 
        because I'm closing up now.

        We better get him home.
        Ah, let's not break it up yet. I 
        thought you were waiting for this 
        It's three o'clock in the morning, 
        for Pete's sake.
        Take him out in the air. He'll be 
        all right.
        What a bachelor party. We start out 
        celebrating the guy's wedding; we 
        wind up breaking his engagement. 
            (moves to bar) 
        What do we owe you here?
            (he puts some change 
            on the counter) 
        Eddie, pay it, will you? I gave you 
        the ten bucks.
            (following him 
            to the bar) 
        What do you want to go home for?
        It's going to take us an hour to get 
        him home. He lives in Queens 
        somewheres. By the time I get back 
        to Fourteenth Street, it'll be 
        daybreak. What are you going to do, 
        stay up all night? Don't you want to 
        go home sometimes?
        What am I going to do home? I read 
        all the papers.
            (crosses to Arnold)
        Well, go to sleep then.
        Ah, don't go home, Charlie. I feel 
        like doing something. 

    Charlie turns to him, a cold fury in him.
        What? Stand around this bar and 
        argue about the Yankees and the 
        Dodgers? Wind up with some miserable, 
        lonely girl who begs you to say, "I 
        love you"? Go home, Eddie. Go to bed. 
        You got to go home sometimes. I'll 
        take Arnold home. Come on, Arnold, 
        kid. I'm going to take you home.
    Arnold manages, with Charlie's arm, to get out of the booth 
    and stand. Charlie's firm arm holds him, and they start for 
    the exit. Eddie watches the two figures making their way 
    down the length of the bar to the door. They exit. The door 
    shuts behind them. For a moment, Eddie regards the closed 
    door. Then he shuffles to the bar, back to his schooner of 
    beer and looks at it without taking it up. He is profoundly 
    weary. His shoulders slump, his face sags. He runs his hand 
    down his face and shakes his head as if to clear it. He 
    turns and looks down to the other end of the bar where the 
    Bar Hag sits engrossed in her newspaper. He watches her for 
    a moment.
        Hey, honey, what are you, a Yankee 
        fan or a Dodger fan?
    The Bar Hag slowly turns to regard him over the rim of her 
             BAR HAG
    Bleakly, Eddie shuffles slowly down the long length of the 
    bar to where the battered old woman sits.
                     DISSOLVE TO: 


    HIGH ANGLE SHOT looking down on the sidewalk immediately 
    outside the bar Arnold and Charlie have just come out of. 
    There is a house with a small stoop, and Arnold is standing 
    slumped by the stoop, holding himself up by the iron railing. 
    He is being sick, quietly retching. Charlie is standing a few 
    paces away from him in the middle of the sidewalk, a deeply 
    unhappy figure in his own right. From our angle, we may or 
    may not be able to tell that Charlie is crying.
    CLOSE SHOT of Charlie standing in the middle of the sidewalk 
    of Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street, the whole dark world around 
    him, silent and empty. He is crying quietly, unashamedly, his 
    shoulders shaking ever so little.  Behind him, Arnold is bent 
    over the railing of the stoop, weak and spent.
    ANOTHER SHOT of the two men. Charlie stops crying, sighs, and 
    starts toward Arnold.
        Are you all right, Arnold?
    Arnold nods weakly. Charlie gets out a handkerchief and 
    gives it to Arnold who begins to weakly clean his chin and 
    spots on his suit.
        Would you like to go back in and 
        sit down? 

    Arnold shakes his head weakly "no."
        What subway do you take, Arnold, 
        the BMT? Can you make it?
    Arnold nods weakly. Charlie puts his arm supportively around 
    his friend's back, but Arnold makes no move yet, being 
    thoroughly drained.
        Come on, Arnold, I'll take you home.
    There is a clicking of high heels on concrete pavement, and 
    Charlie looks up. The Existentialist has just come out of 
    the party several houses down and has come up a few steps 
    and is standing watching them. She has her bag and her light 
    summer stole. She nods to Charlie, sort of smiles, moves a 
    few steps closer to them.
        Is he all right?
        Yeah, he's all right. Look, I've got 
        to take my friend home...
    The two men start slowly down the street to the corner. 
    Arnold leaning heavily on his friend. The Existentialist 
    stands, watching them a moment.
            (calling lightly) 
        Are you coming back? Where does he 
        live? How long will you be?
    REVERSE SHOT Charlie and Arnold just about getting to the 
    corner. Charlie hasn't heard her.
    FULL SHOT of The Existentialist watching them disappear 
    around the corner. Then she turns, and, wetting her lips, 
    she hurries back to the house where the party is.
    Half past three, and the car is absolutely empty except for 
    Charlie and Arnold. Arnold is sprawled across the straw seat, 
    one leg buckled beneath him, the other on the floor. He is 
    sleeping heavily. Charlie sits expressionlessly, obviously 
    involved in deep introspection. The car buckets along into 
    the night. 

                     DISSOLVE TO:
    Arnold and Charlie coming up to a landing. It is the third 
    floor; we can see enough of the corridor to see two 
    apartment doors, lettered "3D" and "3C." A small overhead 
    bulb provides a thin sketchy light. Charlie and Arnold 
    shuffle down the landing to apartment 3D. They pause outside 
    the door. The scene is played in low mutters and whispers.
        Well, thanks a lot, Charlie.
        You all right?
        Yeah, I'm all right. I'm a little 
        groggy, but I'm awake anyway. You 
        don't want to come in, do you?
        No, I don't think so.
        I think my father and mother are up. 
        I hear voices. My girl must have 
        called them because they wouldn't 
        be up at this hour.
        Well, you just go in and explain to 
        them that you were drunk, and you're 
        sorry, and you'll call your girl the 
        first thing in the morning because 
        she must really be upset about this.
            (who has been 
            listening at 
            his door) 
        I think she's here.

        My girl. I think I hear her voice in 
        Well, be nice to her, Arnold. 
        Remember, you woke her up in the 
        middle of the night and probably 
        scared her to death.
        What'll I say to her, Charlie?
        I don't know, Arnold. What do you 
        feel like saying to her? Do you 
        really love this girl? Do you want 
        to marry her? Are you marrying this 
        girl because your family wants you 
        to marry her, or why?
        I think I like her, Charlie. It's 
        just that I'm afraid I won't make a 
        good husband.
        Well, tell her what you told me, 
        Arnold. Tell her you're scared, and 
        that you don't think you'll make a 
        good husband. If she's a halfway 
        decent girl, she'll try to understand 
        how you feel, and, if she loves you, 
        she's going to make it her job to 
        make you happy. That's what love is, 
        Arnold, when you have somebody else 
        in the world you want to be happy. 
        My wife, Arnold, I don't know what 
        I'd do without her. Arnold, I've got 
        a tough grind ahead of me. Work all 
        day, I'll go to night school at night. 
        But my wife knows that I need this to 
        be happy, and she does everything she 
        knows to help me. And we've got a 
        baby coming. But if you love that 
        baby and you love your wife, then 
        it's easy. Everything seems so easy 
        to me now -- I don't know why I even 
        thought of quitting.
            (tears have welled 
            in his eyes, and he 
            hurriedly puts his 
            hand to his face 
            shading his reddening 
        Arnold, I want my wife so much right 
        now. I want her to be happy. I want
        to just go home and hold her and tell 
        her how much she means to me. I mean, 
        even Walter, he's going to die, but 
        don't you think he'll be in tomorrow 
        morning, same old Walter, jokes and 
        laughs? He's got somebody to live 
        for. He's even got somebody to die 
        for. I mean, how rich can a man be? 
        And poor Eddie -- I used to be so 
        jealous of him. I used to think he 
        was so free. Free from what? From 
        loving a woman, from really wanting
        a woman. Arnold, what I'm trying to 
        tell you is life is nothing if you 
        don't love somebody but life is 
        wonderful if you do love somebody. 
        Arnold, I want my wife so much right 
        now ...
    Arnold is a little embarrassed by his friend's display of 
    emotion and, frankly, hasn't understood a word Charlie was 
    talking about.
        I'm going to tell her about that 
        woman tonight and everything. I'll 
        tell her about that woman.
        Arnold, I want to get home so much 
        to my wife right now I'm going to 
        I'll see you, Charlie.
        Good-bye, Arnold, have a nice 
        honeymoon. I'll see you when you get 
        I'll see you, Charlie.
    But he is talking to an empty staircase. Charlie has plunged 
    down into the darkness of the floor below. Arnold turns and 
    sighs and shuffles back to the door of his apartment. He 
    rings the bell lightly, takes a deep breath. A moment, and 
    the door opens. A girl of about thirty-five, bespectacled, 
    rather plain, with a sensitive face, stands in the doorway. 
    Arnold stands, his head down in shame.
        Hello, Louise. I'm very sorry, 
        Sure, Arnold, I know.
    She looks anxiously over Arnold's shoulder to see if anyone 
    else is there. Arnold lumbers past her into the apartment. 
    Voices, both male and female, pop out at him. "What's the 
    matter with you, are you crazy?" "What's the matter with 
    you?" "For heaven's sakes, where have you been?" ... The 
    door closes.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    LONG SHOT looking down the wide courtyard of Stuyvesant Town, 
    its endless little pathways winding from the various 
    apartment house doors to the central pathway which leads to 
    a stairway to the street. It is half past five in the morning. 
    The sky is gray and desolate. The courtyard and any other 
    street we see is absolutely empty. THE CAMERA PANS OVER this 
    empty expanse to the stairway where Charlie appears now, 
    coming quickly up the steps. He moves down the central 
    sidewalk, a little faster than he would usually walk; you have 
    the feeling he is exerting an effort to keep from running. 
    CAMERA PANS with him as he hurries to one of the winding side 
    lanes leading to a particular apartment house.
                     DISSOLVE TO:
    MEDIUM SHOT looking from the foyer of the apartment across 
    the dining area to the front door. The apartment is dark. 
    The door opens and Charlie comes in. He closes the door 
    quietly after himself and moves a few steps into the 
    apartment. He stops when he sees Helen seated on the couch, 
    wearing a kimono over her pajamas. She stands; she has been
        I love you, Helen.
    She moves slowly to him and puts her head on his chest and 
    cries quietly. He holds her tightly.
            (crying softly) 
        I love you so much, Charlie. I love 
        you so much....
        I love you....
        I love you, Charlie, I love you, 
        Charlie. I love you, Charlie ...
    CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY UP AND AWAY from the young couple, 
    holding each other closely and tightly, murmuring to each 
    other in the dark living room of a two-and-a-half-room 
    apartment in a housing project. 

                     FADE OUT