[Stage of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(the body of a woman is just being covered up)
CHRISTINE: The company was on their lunch break. No one saw her come off the catwalk.
MARY BETH: (reading from a piece of paper) 'Life has burned too brightly in my breast and I can no longer endure'. Suicide. (she hands Chris the piece of paper) Excuse me. (she walks off the stage)
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth! (to an officer handing him the piece of paper) Can you take this to the lab, please.
(Mary Beth puts her head on her hand, overcome. Chris finds her at the side of the stage)
CHRISTINE: What's wrong with you?
MARY BETH: (in a broken voice) Nothing. I got something in me eye.
CHRISTINE: You're crying!
MARY BETH: No I'm not! I've got some dust or something in my eye. It's very dusty here!
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, talk to me. What is...
MARY BETH: Do me a favour, Chris. Don't argue!
CHRISTINE: You're right! It's very dusty in here.
[Outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel]
MARY BETH: I can't believe it. I can't believe that Noreen Dixon would commit suicide.
CHRISTINE: There was nobody else in the theatre, Mary Beth. There was a suicide note found in her pocket. There is nothing...
MARY BETH: I know. I know. I don't mean that, Christine. I mean that she was Noreen ...Dixon.
CHRISTINE: Listen to me. She was an actress. Actresses are a little weird. You know that.
MARY BETH: That's a very insensitive thing to say, Christine.
CHRISTINE: What?!! I'm sorry. Actresses are artists! Everybody knows that artists have a couple of screws loose.
MARY BETH: And none of us regular, ordinary people do?
CHRISTINE: I wouldn't say that.
MARY BETH: Well! I wouldn't say that either!
(Mary Beth walks off up Broadway)
CHRISTINE: (shouting after her) Mary Beth, wait up!
HARVEY: (coming in) Hello!
MARY BETH: Hey!
HARVEY: Hey, hey! How are you, babe?
MARY BETH: (kissing him) Hi ya.
HARVEY: You missed me?
MARY BETH: Yeah. (as they embrace) A lot.
HARVEY: We're in great shape, Mary Beth. If the weather holds at Saratoga we can start laying the foundations at the end of the month.
MARY BETH: Oh, that's wonderful, sweetheart. That's wonderful.
HARVEY: (as they kiss again) You seem a little down. Anything wrong?
MARY BETH: Noreen Dixon died today, Harve.
HARVEY: Ohhh! The movie star.
MARY BETH: Yeah.
HARVEY: I thought she was already dead.
MARY BETH: Harve!
HARVEY: Oh, I'm sorry, Mary Beth. How did it happen?
MARY BETH: Suicide, it looks like.
MARY BETH: I know it's silly. I feel like I lost an old friend. Remember her in "Grand Destiny"?
MARY BETH: We saw that one on our first date.
HARVEY: Yeah. A real tearjerker.
MARY BETH: At the end of that movie I found out why I liked you.
HARVEY: Yeah. You were crying your eyes out and I was kicking myself for not having a handkerchief!
MARY BETH: Yeah. I had to give you mine because you were crying too.
HARVEY: Oh, baby, baby, they don't make 'em like they used to. Oh, man! "From Here to Eternity", that was my favourite. Yeah. I'll never forget the first time I saw it. (laughs) That movie got Angela and me so worked up, we took off for Maryland.
MARY BETH: Maryland!! What, you wanted seafood?
HARVEY: No. Er. ...Well, we were (pausing to choose his words) underage.
MARY BETH: Underage for what?! Who was Angela?
(a long pause for thought and a deep breath)
HARVEY: Mary Beth, I was sixteen years old. I mean, I thought I was in love. I er, you know how kids are? Er, Ma... An... Angela, she told her parents she was er, she was gonna spend the night with a girlfriend. And so we drove down to Maryland and er, got...
MARY BETH: You got what?
(a long pause)
MARY BETH: Married?!!
(she starts to laugh)
HARVEY: I mean, spend the night together. (Mary Beth continues to laugh) We couldn't afford a motel room. So we drove back. We were gonna try and borrow my brother's apartment (Mary Beth laughs even louder) but Angela's father waylaid us on the Jersey Turnpike, and he took her straight home! And he got the marriage annulled the next day!! You see, babe, it was nothing.
MARY BETH: Angela!!! The first Mrs. Harvey Lacey!
HARVEY: Ah, Mary Beth!
MARY BETH: (breaking off laughing) You better get ready for dinner, Harve.
HARVEY: You're not mad are ya?
MARY BETH: Dinner's gonna be ready soon, Harvey, and if you're not, it gets cold.
HARVEY: Wow! Yeah. Hm. Sure smells good, babe. What is it?
MARY BETH: We have your secrets, Harvey. ...So do I.
(Harvey goes off to wash his hands. Mary Beth gets the trash can and puts the meat and vegetables in it)
[Detectives' Squad room]
MARY BETH: (rushing in) Good Morning, Chris.
CHRISTINE: Oh, how nice of you to come in.
MARY BETH: I'm sorry. The subway was so dense, I had to wait for three trains before I could get on. (she picks up message from her desk and goes to sign in) Who is Gordon Lazaroff?
CHRISTINE: Oh, he's a graphologist. He does handwriting analysis for the Document Examiner's Office. They sent him Noreen Dixon's suicide note. Claims he's discovered something very important.
MARY BETH: What?
CHRISTINE: I don't know. He says he has to come over and tell us in person. I doubt if he can tell us anything.
MARY BETH: Well, maybe he really has something.
CHRISTINE: Maybe the next Pope will be Jewish!
MARY BETH: Maybe Mr. Lazaroff will be single and good-looking.
CHRISTINE: Maybe the next Pope'll be a woman.
GORDON LAZAROFF: Sergeant Cagney?
(Lazaroff is bald, with glasses and middle-aged)
GORDON LAZAROFF: I'm Gordon Lazaroff.
CHRISTINE: (having given Mary Beth a glance) Yes, Mr. Lazaroff. Please, won't you sit down?
GORDON LAZAROFF: Oh, thanks. (shaking Chris's hand) Yes. I'll try not to take too much of your time.
MARY BETH: Oh, we'd appreciate anything you can tell us, sir.
GORDON LAZAROFF: You're very kind. Most of the Department isn't. They think what I do is ...strange. Some people, even in my own office, hum the theme from "The Twilight Zone" when I walk by.
CHRISTINE: Hard to believe.
MARY BETH: Will you tell us, please, exactly what you found in the suicide note, Mr. Lazaroff?
GORDON LAZAROFF: Yes. You see it very clearly ...right in this part here. 'Life has burnt too brightly in my breast and I can no longer endure'. Now (taking out a small magnifying glass) look at the energy in the 'b' loop. Burnt, brightly, breast. The way the 'o's are crossed. Too, no. Look at he strength in those 'l's. Life, longer.
MARY BETH: This is not Noreen Dixon's handwriting.
GORDON LAZAROFF: Oh, no, no, no, it's hers alright. There is no doubt that Noreen Dixon wrote this note.
CHRISTINE: So, what is your point?
GORDON LAZAROFF: When she wrote it, Noreen Dixon was not the least ...bit suicidal.
(he gives the note to Chris. Mary Beth snatches it from her)
SAMUELS: How does this guy think that you can write a suicide note without being suicidal?
MARY BETH: Well, sir, apparently this science of handwriting, graphology that is, has come a long way, sir. And they can tell things about the way a person is feeling from the energy of the loops, and whether or not it was written on the line, or under the line...
CHRISTINE: Personally I think it is a ...lot of bull.
(Mary Beth looks aghast)
MARY BETH: But you don't?
MARY BETH: Well, sir, I had a kind of feeling that maybe this wasn't a suicide. And she doesn't seem to be a very likely type for suicide to me. (looking at Chris who has been looking at her) And I thought so even before this handwriting business. Noreen Dixon was at the top of her profession. Noreen Dixon has millions of fans all over the world! Now, why would she wanna kill herself?
(Samuels gestures to each of them. Chris shrugs her shoulders)
SAMUELS: Evidence? When do we get the ME's report?
MARY BETH: Any minute now, sir.
SAMUELS: All right. Let me know when it comes in.
MARY BETH: Yes sir.
(Mary Beth takes the note and leaves)
SAMUELS: Cagney, you got a minute?
CHRISTINE: Yeah. Sure.
SAMUELS: Maybe you better sit down.
CHRISTINE: Do you want me to close the door?
SAMUELS: Yes. Please. (as Chris sits down) Cagney, you know a lot of classy ladies. Well, I need one of those for this thing I've gotta go to.
CHRISTINE: You want me to ...find you a date?
SAMUELS: It's black tie and it's Friday night.
CHRISTINE: This Friday?!!!
SAMUELS: Yes. It's short notice, I know that. I'm sorry, but er, the woman I was gonna take, it turns out that she's er, got other plans that night.
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant, I'm not even sure that I'd know your type. You know maybe...
SAMUELS: Well, she should be good looking. But not a Miss Universe.
CHRISTINE: Beautiful, but not a stunner.
SAMUELS: And she should be intelligent! But er, you know, not too smart that er, I don't know what she's talking about.
(he moves to sit beside Chris)
CHRISTINE: No rocket scientist, huh?
SAMUELS: And she should have good sense of humour. A nice laugh. But she doesn't have to be a stand-up comic.
CHRISTINE: So forget Joan Rivers?
SAMUELS: And if she's a little younger, well, I can handle that. But no teenyboppers. OK?
CHRISTINE: Well, Lieutenant, most of the women I know are a little more sophisticated than that.
SAMUELS: Oh. Yeah. Sure. What was I thinking of? If she's a friend of yours, the chances are that she' no Spring chicken!!
(Chris looks mildly offended)
[Detectives' Squad room]
(as Chris comes out of the office, Mary Beth gets up and hands her a file)
MARY BETH: The ME's report.
MARY BETH: Finding of the autopsy. This is not what you would call, a simple suicide. And I think I can tell you who done it too.
[Stage of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(the duo comes on to the stage. Members of the company are sitting on the set)
MARY BETH: We apologise for bothering you again, ladies and gentlemen. We know that you have already given your statements, but we have to check some facts here and make sure that we have them all right. OK. You. You're Iris McIntyre. You're like, Miss. Dixon's understudy. Am I correct, ma'am?
GERILEE THACKERAY: I am the producer! Gerilee Thackeray. I was, ...when we still had a play.
ERIC WEBBER: And those rumours about her being the Beast of Broadway are simply untrue.
GERILEE THACKERAY: He stoops
ERIC WEBBER: (to Eric Webber) He stoops to conquer.
MARY BETH: (to Eric Webber) You must be the playwright. Mr. Eric...?
ERIC WEBBER/ MARY BETH: ...Webber.
ERIC WEBBER: Right. I was also the director.
CHRISTINE: Isn't that a little unusual, Mr. Webber? For a playwright to direct his own play.
ERIC WEBBER: Noreen insisted.
GERILEE THACKERAY: That way she thought she could really direct the play herself.
ERIC WEBBER: Cute.
MARY BETH: (turning to another woman) So, you must be Iris Redfern, Miss. Dixon's secretary?
JEAN McINTYRE: No, I was her understudy. Jean McIntyre.
MARY BETH: Oh, gee, I got you all mixed up. (walking over to a third woman) So, you must be Iris Redfern?
IRIS REDFERN: Yes.
MARY BETH: Miss. Dixon's secretary?
IRIS REDFERN: That's right.
MARY BETH: (turning to a second man) Well, at least we all know who you are, sir! Who am I not to recognise ...Mr. Chet Gardner. Miss. Dixon's co-star in so many of her movies.
CHET GARDNER: And here too, I'm afraid. And second billing once again.
CHRISTINE: (leaning across and talking quietly) It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Gardner, I've watched all your movies.
CHET GARDNER: (getting up) What a lovely compliment. (taking Chris's hand) Especially from such a charming young lady.
(he kisses her hand)
CHRISTINE: Thank you. I mean you...
MARY BETH: You were married to Miss. Dixon for a time, sir. Am I right? Her death must have been a terrible shock.
CHET GARDNER: Yeah. About as terrible as our marriage! I thank my lucky stars that Noreen divorced me.
MARY BETH: OK. ...Well, I think I got you all straight. (looking out into the auditorium) Oh, gee, this is great! I love the theatre!! We never could go much when I was a kid. It was a big treat! (shaking Gerilee Thackeray's hand) Big treat. (to Eric Webber having seen the script on his lap) "How Do I Love Thee" The name of the play, huh?
ERIC WEBBER: It's about Robert and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.
MARY BETH: Oh, I love her poetry. (quoting) 'How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can...' (noticing a make up dressing table as she is moving around the stage) Oh, what is that? Make up?
ERIC WEBBER: Noreen and Chet came out during the intermission and did a make up transformation into the characters' later years.
CHET GARDNER: Yes. I did it downstage left and she sat over there.
MARY BETH: Right here in front of the audience! isn't that something? (picking up something from the table) What is this?
JEAN McINTYRE: It's for the neck. Noreen was very proud that she had to wear it. She had very few wrinkles for a woman her age.
MARY BETH: I saw about this once on TV, how they do this. You stick it on with this ...here. Spirit gum they call it. That's got a kind of a strong smell, huh? You take this ...and put it on the rubber thing, (Jean McIntyre looks very disturbed as Mary Beth puts the gum on) and then put the rubber thing on your neck.
JEAN McINTYRE: Detective, I wouldn't put that on!
MARY BETH: I'll be very careful.
JEAN McINTYRE: You may have an allergy to spirit gum. A lot of people do.
MARY BETH: (going to put it on) Thanks. I can't afford allergies.
JEAN McINTYRE: (getting up) Detective, please don't!
MARY BETH: Why not?!! Miss, McIntyre.
JEAN McINTYRE: Because..
MARY BETH: Because you know it's dangerous. Because this spirit gum on one's neck...
CHRISTINE: Because spirit gum has traces of synthetic arsenic in it. It brings on nausea which killed Noreen Dixon.
CHET GARDNER: What?!!!
(Jean McIntyre sighs and sits back down)
CHRISTINE: Miss. McIntyre, I'm afraid we're gonna have to take you downtown for questioning.
JEAN McINTYRE: I told you, I didn't want to kill her.
CHRISTINE: The Medical Examiner confirmed there was not enough arsenic to kill her.
MARY BETH: It's attempted murder, Miss. McIntyre.
JEAN McINTYRE: I only wanted her to miss a few performances. The last few previews and opening night.
CHRISTINE: So you did it so you could get reviewed by the critics.
JEAN McINTYRE: I am fifty-five years old. My career was never secure ...like Noreen's. I still have to worry about my next job.
MARY BETH: Well, wouldn't people think it was funny? Miss. Dixon missing her opening night like that.
JEAN McINTYRE: Noreen was famous for what she called her sinking spells. She'd pulled them before on opening nights.
CHRISTINE: Let me get this straight. You said you have no hard feelings for Miss. Dixon. You just wanted to help your career ...by poisoning her.
JEAN McINTYRE: Ah! All right. ...You'll find out ...sooner or later, ...I didn't kill her. But I hated Noreen Dixon more than I've ever hated anyone in my life. We met when we were both ingeneus back in Summer stock. In one play I had the lead. She was my sister. We had a big emotional scene where she had to slap me. And bless her soul ...she accidentally forgot to take off her ring and cut my face all the way to the eye. I went to the hospital. Noreen went on in my place.
MARY BETH: You don't she did that on purpose?
JEAN McINTYRE: (mock laughing) Oh, oh, oh! Absolutely. ...Oh, I know what you're thinking. Millions of people loved Noreen Dixon. But they never knew what she really was.
[Auditorium of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(the duo are watching the stage crew dismantling the set)
MARY BETH: OK, so the understudy has an airtight for the time of death. This producer could have pushed Noreen Dixon off that catwalk.
CHRISTINE: Forensics didn't find anything to prove that she was poisoned.
MARY BETH: They didn't find anything to prove that she wasn't.
CHRISTINE: The producer does make a fortune due to Miss. Dixon's death. Do you think Miss. Thackeray killed her for money?
GERILEE THACKERAY: (rushing down the aisle towards the stage) Vito! No, Vito, be careful with that backdrop! It cost a mint and I wanna use it again. (turning) Oh, hello ladies. I can give you exactly five minutes of my time. Oh! Off with the coat.
MARY BETH: This is a homicide investigation, Miss. Thackeray.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Well, you arrested Jean McIntyre. I thought it was over.
CHRISTINE: She was charged this morning with intended assault and released on bail. There wasn't enough evidence to keep her in.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Oh, I see. So I'm a suspect again.
MARY BETH: We found out something quite interesting, Miss. Thackeray. You had trouble insuring this production.
CHRISTINE: Every company in town know about Noreen Dixon's reputation. Apparently you had to settle for a policy with a special clause in it. You weren't covered if she got sick. The only way you could cash in on your play if it failed to open, ...was if she died.
GERILEE THACKERAY: In case you've forgotten, I accounted for my whereabouts at the time of Noreen's death.
MARY BETH: Yes. In your original statement you said you went to Sardis to have lunch with your accountant.
GERILEE THACKERAY: And he confirmed this!
MARY BETH: The waiter says you were gone from the table ...when the salad was served. And the stage doorman remembered your coming back here.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Well I forgot my appointment book. That's why I came back!
MARY BETH: Ah ha.
CHRISTINE: Did you see Noreen Dixon when you came back?
GERILEE THACKERAY: No! But ...well, I er, could hear her going over her lines in the orchestra pit. I knew better than to bother her.
CHRISTINE: Why is that?
GERILEE THACKERAY: Well, Noreen has a tendency to ...scream at people.
MARY BETH: You didn't like her very much, did you?
GERILEE THACKERAY: (laughing loudly) Our relationship was a legend in show business! Everybody knew we loathed each other. ...Years ago, Noreen broke up my marriage. Well, that particular husband ...I happened to love ...very much. A month after the divorce Noreen ...dropped him. I think she did it deliberately.
MARY BETH: Why?
GERILEE THACKERAY: Well Noreen loves making people miserable.
CHRISTINE: Er, Miss. Thackeray, we'll probably want to be talking to you again later. So you'll certainly let us know if you have leave town?
GERILEE THACKERAY: Certainly. Certainly! ...Oh, I wasn't the only one who could have cheerfully killed Noreen. Almost everyone I know had something against her. Ciao!
[Outside Noreen Dixon's apartment block]
CHRISTINE: (as they stop under the entrance canopy) Not exactly Miss. Congeniality, our Noreen.
MARY BETH: Sometimes, Christine, when people are on top, other people get jealous.
CHRISTINE: Jealous?! We've heard things about Noreen Dixon that make Lady Macbeth look like Mary Poppins!
MARY BETH: Maybe you shouldn't believe everything you hear, Christine.
[Noreen Dixon's apartment]
(the duo looks at photos and other show business memorabilia)
CHRISTINE: (pointing to a life-size poster of Noreen Dixon as St. Joan) I played this part in college.
MARY BETH: A saint.
MARY BETH: Interesting character.
CHRISTINE: I was very good. The director was a kind of a jerk. But I played all of ten performances. ...It was my last play.
MARY BETH: I feel kind of funny going through her belongings, Christine.
CHRISTINE: She'll forgive you, Mary Beth. Especially if you find out which one of her friends bumped her off.
(Mary Beth picks up a leather folder and turns it over. It is embossed in gold)
MARY BETH: Come here! Look at this. ...Look at this! 'My Life Upon the Wicked Stage by Noreen Dixon'.
CHRISTINE: (going to open it) Her memoirs?
MARY BETH: (going to stop her) Oh!
MARY BETH: Let me.
(she opens the folder. It is empty)
CHRISTINE: Where are they?
(Mary Beth is cradling the folder in an evidence bag)
CHRISTINE: (into payphone) ...Leave a message for her to ring me. (ringing off) Miss. Dixon's secretary didn't answer so I left a message on the writer's machine.
(they walk off)
MARY BETH: Well, they should all be at the memorial service tomorrow. But if the writer and the secretary don't know about the missing memoirs, somebody else will.
CHRISTINE: Do you know any single friends, Mary Beth? (Mary Beth stops dead) It's not for me!!! It's for a friend. A male friend. I have to get a date for this guy I know.
MARY BETH: Can you tell me anything about this man?
(they walk on)
MARY BETH: Christine?!!
CHRISTINE: I think that my friend would prefer that I remain discreet.
MARY BETH: You're asking me to blindly set up a fella on a blind date.
CHRISTINE: (stopping and waving her arms around as they stop again) So if you don't wanna help me, don't help me!!!
MARY BETH: I would like to help you, Christine. You're not giving much to go on here.
CHRISTINE: (as they walk on) I've called everybody I know. Laura Carter's getting engaged, Nicky Maheeda's moving back in with her ex-husband and Julia Barker's looking for men to lynch. I'll tell you, women friends are a dying breed.
MARY BETH: One of us knows somebody who spends their time only with men.
(Harvey, in his pyjamas waiting outside the bathroom door, knocks)
HARVEY: You missed a great musical, babe.
(the door opens. Mary Beth comes out with a face pack on)
MARY BETH: I was not in the mood for Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald.
HARVEY: You're not gonna wear that stuff to bed?
MARY BETH: This is deep cleansing, Harvey. I can't get deep cleansing in five minutes! The directions said 'overnight'. About as long as your first marriage.
HARVEY: Mary Beth. I don't know what you want from...
MARY BETH: The truth would have been nice.
HARVEY: I told you the truth!
MARY BETH: By accident, after seventeen years. You think you know a person.
HARVEY: Babe, it never occurred to me to tell you!
MARY BETH: Sure! I'm only the second one.
HARVEY: Damn it, Mary Beth, it didn't mean anything! We were married only less than a total of twenty-four hours!!
MARY BETH: And then ...it completely slipped you mind.
HARVEY: OK. Do you really wanna know what it was?! it was sex!!!
MARY BETH: Ah!!! Not in front of the baby, Harvey!!
HARVEY: That's what it was!! We wanted to do it but we would have felt guilty if we weren't married!!!
MARY BETH: Is this supposed to be making me feel better?!!!
HARVEY: Damn it, Mary Beth!! The father caught us before we did any more than kiss!!!
MARY BETH: (nodding) Poetic justice!
[Auditorium of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(there is a full audience. The curtain goes up. The duo is standing at the back. Chet Gardner is on stage. Chris joins the applause)
CHET GARDNER: Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for ...coming this afternoon.
CHRISTINE: (an aside to Mary Beth) Would you look at that man? Huh? Twenty years and he hasn't aged one day.
CHET GARDNER: ... our hearts are where dear Noreen is today. That wherever she is, she is touched and gladdened...
MARY BETH: If everybody hated Noreen so much, how come there isn't any empty seat.
CHRISTINE: If the people wanna send 'em off, Mary Beth, they'll show up for it.
CHET GARDNER: ...Nobody more than I know what the passing of our beloved Noreen really means. This sudden emptiness...
ERIC WEBBER: (coming in beside them) It makes you wanna throw up, doesn't it? I told Chet I'd write the eulogy but, no, he insisted on giving his own. Actors!
CHRISTINE: He could read the phone book!! He's one of the sexiest men in the world.
MARY BETH: Christine!!
ERIC WEBBER: So you said you wanted to know about Noreen's memoirs?
CHRISTINE: Have you seen them?!
ERIC WEBBER: Oh, no, no, no. Noreen wouldn't let anybody read them. She took them everywhere with her. It scared poor Chet to death.
CHET GARDNER: ...and her greatest qualities always came out in the littlest ways. For instance...
CHRISTINE: Scared Mr. Gardner?
ERIC WEBBER: For twenty years she doesn't tell his secret to the world. Every time Noreen wanted to get Chet, she'd just hold out those treasured memoirs that supposedly told all.
CHRISTINE: Told about what?
ERIC WEBBER: You're kidding! I thought everybody in New York knew about the wedding in Peoria. Noreen and Chet were married in name only. (going round behind Mary Beth and saying to Chris) He's just scared of being too nice.
(Eric Webber leaves)
CHET GARDNER: ...stepped out of that limousine and, with a wave of her hand, she stopped that traffic cold. And I thought this. ...this is a true lady.
[Chet Gardner's apartment]
CHET GARDNER: Sergeant, there were times I could have annihilated Noreen! But I am an actor and I don't do such things in real life anymore than you do.
MARY BETH: You and Miss. Dixon went back a long way, didn't you, Mr. Gardner? Your first picture together, "Broadway Baby". Nineteen-fifty. Am I right?
CHET GARDNER: Much as I hate to admit it, yes. Look, I'll tell you our whole sordid story over a pot of tea. Please make yourselves comfortable.
MARY BETH: Oh, thank you.
(he goes to the kitchen)
CHRISTINE: Another fantasy down the tubes. Still, he has nice eyes, don't you think?
(Chris spots a piece of burnt paper in the fireplace)
CHRISTINE: (picking it out) Hey, Mary Beth. Look at this.
MARY BETH: If this is another secret, I'm not sure I wanna know.
CHRISTINE: You know how we went through his garbage and didn't find Noreen's memoirs?
MARY BETH: Yes.
CHRISTINE: How's he gonna explain this?
MARY BETH: (reading) 'My Life Upon the Wicked Stage by Noreen Dixon'.
MARY BETH: That's kind of coincidental, isn't it, Christine? It's like something out of an Agatha Christie book.
(Harvey is checking something in the oven. He hears the chain on the front door)
HARVEY: (shouting out) Yeah!!! Sweetheart!! Be with you in a minute!
(he turns the light down and switches on "Stranger in Paradise" in the background. She bangs on the door)
HARVEY: Yes, honey! (opening the door) Hi.
MARY BETH: Thank you. (as he helps her off with her coat) Now what is all this? Where is everybody?
HARVEY: The boys are at my mother's. Alice is asleep. (he leads her to the table laid for two, with candles and a vase of flowers) For you, babe.
MARY BETH: Feeling pretty guilty, aren't you, Harvey?
MARY BETH: You went to a lot of trouble, here.
HARVEY: I'm trying to make up, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Is this what worked on your first wife?
HARVEY: For crying out loud! Would you leave it alone?!! You've been mad longer than I was married!!!
MARY BETH: (her voice breaking) It's not the marriage, Harve! It's the deceit!!
HARVEY: OK! OK, so I didn't tell ya!! But I could have kept a lot worse secrets from ya, Mary Beth!!! (he rushes back and forth between the work surface, table and oven putting out the meal he has prepared) I could have been a mass murderer!!! I could have been a slum lord!! But, no. No! I made a bigger mistake! I got married once! For one day!!! And now I am gonna have to be crucified for it for the rest of my life!!!
MARY BETH: Harvey...
HARVEY: Here!! You eat the dinner!!! I'm going out!!!
MARY BETH: Harvey, wait a minute!
HARVEY: It could have been a lot worse, Mary Beth!! I could have worked for the CIA!!!
(the door slams)
SAMUELS: (seeing Chris come in) Cagney!
CHRISTINE: Good morning, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: Will you tell me what's going on?
CHRISTINE: I beg your pardon.
SAMUELS: My date! Have you found her yet?!
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant, you know, if you'd just given me more notice...
SAMUELS: Yeah. I understand.
CHRISTINE: I tried.
SAMUELS: Oh, yeah, sure, no, I understand. Er, thanks. Maybe I should talk to Isbecki. The other day I overheard him raving about some female, musician friend of his. Er, Cherie Cary.
CHRISTINE: Cherie Cary?!!!
SAMUELS: You know her?
CHRISTINE: She's a stripper who plays the accordion, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: Wouldn't make the right impression.
CHRISTINE: What is this event that you're supposed to go to anyway?
SAMUELS: Well, it's sort of a celebration, you know. My son. My kid, David. He's managed to put together enough money to buy into a restaurant.
CHRISTINE: Why don't you take Thelma?
SAMUELS: Cagney, do you remember I told you about this woman that I wanted to take, but she had other plans? That was Thelma. She's going already. With ...an airline pilot that she's been dating. ...Thin ...and tall. ...With a lot of hair.
CHRISTINE: Certainly not my type!
SAMUELS: Didn't used to be Thelma's.
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant, I do know somebody who'd fit the bill.
SAMUELS: Oh yeah!
CHRISTINE: She's a workaholic.
SAMUELS: Hey, I could relate to that!
CHRISTINE: She's fun.
SAMUELS: I got nothing against fun-women as well!
CHRISTINE: Is it a problem if she works in the Department?
SAMUELS: Hell, no! No. What precinct is she in?
CHRISTINE: (smiling) Fourteenth.
SAMUELS: Are you serious?!
CHRISTINE: Every now and then.
SAMUELS: That's just great. (they smile at each other) Cocktails start at six o'clock. And then the buffet diner after that. ...I'll pick you up. ...OK?
SAMUELS: (as Chris goes to leave) Er, Cagney. You know, you don't have to do this.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, I know.
[Detectives' Squad room]
(Chris comes out of Samuels' office and hangs her coat up)
MARY BETH: (into phone) Yes sir, I have received the advance and everything was... ...Well, you never saw any of the actual manuscript ever. ...All right. ...Thank you very much. ...Bye bye.
CHRISTINE: What was that all about?
MARY BETH: Noreen Dixon's publisher. He says Noreen Dixon never turned in any of her memoirs.
CHRISTINE: Maybe she was holding until they were all finished.
MARY BETH: Or maybe she never started. (handing over a file) Lab findings. On the ashes from the fireplace. Negative for ink.
CHRISTINE: You mean the whole thing was blank!
MARY BETH: Except for the title page. Somebody only wanted us to think they were the missing memoirs.
[Stage of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(the set has been cleared)
ERIC WEBBER: I didn't kill her. I swear I didn't!!!
CHRISTINE: Either way we could take you in for obstruction.
MARY BETH: You burned those memoirs.
ERIC WEBBER: Fake memoirs. Fake!! She carried around blank pages and tantalised everyone with them for twenty years!
MARY BETH: So you burned the blank pages. And the title page. And you planted them in Chet Gardner's apartment.
ERIC WEBBER: Now, look, Chet has to be the killer. I was sure that once you were on to him, Chet'd confess.
CHRISTINE: Mr. Webber, if you had reason to believe that Chet Gardner was guilty, why didn't you come forward?
ERIC WEBBER: Because I didn't think you'd believe me. And I have written enough mysteries to know what it takes to convict someone and I don't have that kind of proof. But I know how he did it. Noreen was rehearsing in the pit. She wouldn't hear Gardner sneak up on her. (mimicking the actions by walking around the stage) He knocks her out and then he throws her over his shoulder just like he did in "Pirate's Cove". And then he climbs up the ladder and he walks across the catwalk and then he throws her off!!!
MARY BETH: Isn't Chet Gardner a little old for that Mr. ...
ERIC WEBBER/MARY BETH: ...Webber.
CHRISTINE: Chet Gardner's in very good shape!!
GERILEE THACKERAY: (coming down the auditorium and laughing) Oh, that's very funny! (to Eric Webber) I didn't know you did comedy.
ERIC WEBBER: Oh, I don't find murder very amusing.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Neither do I. But the idea of Gardner climbing into the fly loft. Ha, ha. You should look up from your typewriter more often.
ERIC WEBBER: What are you talking about?
GERILEE THACKERAY: Chet Gardner is afraid of heights.
ERIC WEBBER: What?!
CHRISTINE: That isn't true!!!
GERILEE THACKERAY: Trust me. Stunt men live off Chet Gardner. The man gets nosebleeds if he stands on a chair.
MARY BETH: So much for that theory.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Maybe you should ask Eric why he's go anxious to prove Chet Gardner killed Noreen. There's a very interesting reason. Isn't there, Eric? Or maybe you should ask Iris Redfern.
ERIC WEBBER: You play your little games with someone else Gerilee. I don't enjoy them.
(she waves him farewell as he leaves)
MARY BETH: Can you explain what you just said? Miss. Thackeray.
GERILEE THACKERAY: Moi?!
MARY BETH: You haven't been very straight with us, neither one of you.
IRIS REDFERN: I don't know what you mean.
CHRISTINE: Well, my partner loves old movies, Miss. Redfern. And she remembers that Noreen Dixon had played a character called Iris...
MARY BETH: ...Mayfield...
CHRISTINE: ...around the time that you were born.
MARY BETH: In "All My Tomorrows" with David Niven.
CHRISTINE: So we did some checking. And we found out that you, Iris Redfern, are Miss. Dixon's niece.
ERIC WEBBER: Since when is nepotism a crime?
MARY BETH: Nepotism is not, Mr. Webber, but fabrication of evidence is.
CHRISTINE: You went out of your way to set up Chet Gardner as Noreen Dixon's murderer. Why?
ERIC WEBBER: I thought I told...
CHRISTINE: I know what you told us. What you didn't tell us was that you and Miss. Redfern are rather involved. Miss. Thackeray said Noreen Dixon had forbidden the two of you to see each other. (to Iris Redfern) Miss. Thackeray also told us that you were rather bitter about that. Working night and day for a prima donna aunt who wouldn't let you have a private life of your own.
MARY BETH: Maybe bitter enough to kill for your freedom.
ERIC WEBBER: Oh, come on, that's ridiculous!! Iris couldn't murder anyone!
CHRISTINE: Why should we believe you Mr. Webber? You've already lied about Chet Gardner. Setting him up to protect your girlfriend here.
IRIS REDFERN: I did not kill my aunt. She was mean and vain and impossible to work for, but she was the only family I had left. I could never have hurt her. Eric lied to protect me because he knew I didn't have an alibi the afternoon she died. It was a mistake. That's all. ...Because he loves me. ...Haven't you ever been in love?
[Outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel]
MARY BETH: (coming out of the theatre) Well, I guess we can scratch them off.
CHRISTINE: What's that supposed to mean?
MARY BETH: Well, you saw them, Christine. They're lovers, not murderers.
CHRISTINE: Oh, You're breaking my heart, Mary Beth. They were lying to protect one another.
MARY BETH: Christine, do you really think that those two people murdered Noreen Dixon?
CHRISTINE: At this point I think that they all could have done! And probably wanted to.
MARY BETH: (chasing Chris across the road) Cynic! You're a cynic, Christine.
[Detectives' Squad room]
(the squad are all sitting round)
CORASSA: My money's on the producer.
ISBECKI: Oh, no way! It's gotta be Chet Gardner. He's the only one man enough to carry her up to the catwalk.
MARY BETH: He's afraid of heights, Isbecki.
CORASSA: He was OK when he was on a horse.
PETRIE: Well, maybe it was the playwright. The one that tried to frame him.
NEWMAN: He had a tasty thing going with the niece.
CORASSA: She'll probably inherit if Chet Gardner's charged with the homicide.
ISBECKI: Don't forget the understudy. She tried to poison the her.
CHRISTINE: Where is Miss. Marple when we need her?
NEWMAN: Wait a minute! Maybe it is like "Murder on the Orient Express". Maybe they all did it!
CORASSA: Colonel Mustard!
CHRISTINE: In the library!
MARY BETH: Cut it out! I would like to remind you people this a homicide here. Not some game. A great star lost her life!
CHRISTINE: We know that, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Good, 'cos I couldn't tell! This may be a lot of fun for all of you, but it wasn't too terrific for Noreen Dixon. You wanna play games, go ahead. Count me out.
ISBECKI: (after Mary Beth is out of earshot) What's eating her?
CHRISTINE: She's a fan.
CHRISTINE: Except there's no butler!
(more general laughter)
(Harvey is looking at the newspaper. Mary Beth is brushing her hair. Harvey throws down the paper)
HARVEY: Are we gonna work this out or what? ...How long are you gonna continue acting like a teenager, Mary Beth?
MARY BETH: Did you love Angela?
HARVEY: Yeah, as much as you could love somebody when you are sixteen years old.
MARY BETH: That's how old you were ...the first time. Was she the one?
HARVEY: Yeah, but that was much later. We were supposed not to see each other, so we sneaked off to my brother's place. ...Romeo and Juliet.
MARY BETH: You don't have to tell all the details, Harvey!
HARVEY: (moving closer to her) Oh, honey, that was such a long time ago. ...What Angela and I felt for each other, that was ...puppy love. It was a warm up ...for the real thing.
MARY BETH: It wasn't a marriage, Harvey. It was a secret. I felt like that I didn't know you. Like I've been with some stranger the whole time.
HARVEY: Honey, I swear I didn't mean to keep any secrets. I had almost forgotten!
MARY BETH: I want us to honest, Harvey. Not like the rest of the world.
HARVEY: I promise. I cross my heart.
MARY BETH: (they have a little kiss) So, this Angela. Was she pretty? We're being honest here, Harvey.
HARVEY: How honest?
MARY BETH: Never mind.
(they have a bigger kiss)
(Chris is sitting on the bed with a copy of the script of "How Do I Love Thee" and as she reads it she acts the part)
CHRISTINE: 'Death now who holds thee? Death! But there the silver answer rang. Not death ...but love. I love thee with a love I seem to love with my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life! And, ...if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death'. Ah!!! Great stuff.
(she flicks a page on and then back and on again and then looks at the next page and is mystified)
[Outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel]
(Chris is waiting at the theatre door and looking at her watch)
MARY BETH: Good morning, Christine. What's going on?
CHRISTINE: I read the play!
MARY BETH: Yeah, we both read the play. There was nothing in it.
CHRISTINE: I read Noreen Dixon's copy. It was very moving. Come with me.
[Auditorium of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
(the duo are walking towards the stage)
CHRISTINE: In the scripts we read there was no mention of suicide.
MARY BETH: Elizabeth Barrett-Browning didn't commit suicide.
CHRISTINE: I knew it, but Noreen Dixon thought she should have. In her version of the play she tore out the last scene and rewrote a whole new one! The only thing missing is the last speech!
MARY BETH: The suicide note!
CHRISTINE: Exactly! That wasn't a suicide note when she wrote it. That's what the character was supposed to say!...
[Stage of Marriott Marquis Theatre]
CHRISTINE: ...And I told you actors are weird.
MARY BETH: Do you think the rest of them know about the note?
CHRISTINE: The theatre's a small world!
MARY BETH: So ...what now? We can't even prove it was murder, never mind who did it.
CHRISTINE: I wanna look at the catwalk up there. See if there's anything missing. Why don't you look around down here?
MARY BETH: Right.
(Chris climbs the ladder to the catwalk. Mary Beth looks at Noreen's copy by the side of the stage. Chris leans against a railing on the catwalk. It is a hinged gate which flies open and she falls off the catwalk)
CHRISTINE [OC]: Mary Beth!!! ...Help!!!
MARY BETH: (running on to the stage) Christine? (looking down into the pit where Chris's voice seems to be coming from) What are you doing down there?
CHRISTINE [OC}: Here, Mary Beth!!!
MARY BETH: Where?! I can't see ya. (Chris flies across the stage hanging onto a rope screaming. Mary Beth, seeing her) Christine!! What are you doing?!
CHRISTINE: Peter Pan.
MARY BETH: Your voice was coming from the orchestra pit!
CHRISTINE: I'll explain it later. OK? Just ...get me down from here.
MARY BETH: Sure, ...Chris. ...Just hang on. OK?
(later the suspects are gathered)
CHRISTINE: The theatre plays an acoustical trick. You all thought that Miss. Dixon did her rehearsing in the orchestra pit during your lunch hour. It just seemed as though her voice was coming from there. (pointing up) In reality she was on the catwalk every day!!! But it sounded as though her voice was coming from the pit.
MARY BETH: On the day she died, Noreen Dixon was up there ....as usual.
CHRISTINE: She was rehearsing a very emotional scene replacing the one Mr. Webber had put in his play!
MARY BETH: Which you were all aware of.
CHRISTINE: Unfortunately Miss. Dixon got a little carried away with what she was doing and she leaned her weight against the gate in the railing. The gate swung open. (Chris drops Noreen Dixon's copy of the script onto the stage floor) And she fell.
ERIC WEBBER: So it wasn't murder.
GERILEE THACKERAY: It was an accident.
CHET GARDNER: It was death by overacting.
[Detectives' Squad room]
CHRISTINE: (with her head resting on her typewriter) Sorry, I'm so tired.
MARY BETH: That was very crazy up there, Christine.
CHRISTINE: (sitting up and starting to type) Yep! you can't fly and expect there's nothing to it.
CHRISTINE: Go home and get some rest.
CHRISTINE: That's what I'm gonna do. A hot bath, a good drink ...and twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep. What are you gonna do?
MARY BETH: Oh, Harvey's trying to get me to go to the movies. I don't know if I ever want to go to the movies again. ...Good night, Chris.
(as Mary Beth leaves she sees Samuels standing outside his office in a full black tie outfit)
MARY BETH: Oh, Lieutenant! You look like a million dollars.
SAMUELS: Thank you.
MARY BETH: (adjusting his pocket handkerchief) Have a lovely time, sir.
SAMUELS: Thanks, Lacey.
MARY BETH: Good night.
SAMUELS: Good night. (he picks up his overcoat and goes over to Chris) Good evening, Cagney.
CHRISTINE: (looking up) Lieutenant! Hi. (seeing the outfit) You look great!!
SAMUELS: This is a rental. Nice, huh, to know there are other guys around exactly my size.
CHRISTINE: (getting up) Yeah! ...I was just on my way to go home and get dressed! All I need is thirty, forty-five minutes.
SAMUELS: Cagney! Please listen.
CHRISTINE: You said, well, cocktails aren't 'til six o'clock, right?
SAMUELS: Cagney, I hope you understand, but I changed my mind. I thought, you know, it would be better if I went and hacked this on my own.
CHRISTINE: You may think I look tired. You give me a couple of cups of coffee and I'll dance all night!
SAMUELS: I thought I told you though, that dragging somebody else to this doesn't make any sense. What, that I should impress Thelma? Thelma's gonna be impressed tonight by our son.
CHRISTINE: Are you sure?
SAMUELS: Yeah. ..So why don't you get out of here. Huh? Go on home. Get some sleep.
CHRISTINE: All right, I will. I was just gonna sign this DD5 that you were waiting for.
SAMUELS: Yeah. Sure.
CHRISTINE: (shouting after him) Have a good time!
SAMUELS: Oh, thanks. I intend to.
CHRISTINE: (sitting down and signing the DD5) Great.
(she takes the DD5 and puts it on Samuels' desk and notices a corsage on the side which she picks up and then looks after Samuels. She smiles)
(leaving the Pathe Paris which is showing Noreen Dixon in "Grand Destiny")
HARVEY: Did you mind seeing that again?
MARY BETH: No, I was fine. I don't know how many times I've seen that picture. Not including reruns on TV. And every time my heart breaks.
HARVEY: As long as you had a good time, babe.
MARY BETH: Why is that?
MARY BETH: You hear all these terrible things about Noreen Dixon, and I see her up on the screen, it doesn't matter. Everything else goes away.
HARVEY: They say all the great ones have died. That's why we keep coming back.
MARY BETH: Magic.
HARVEY: Yep. And romance. In fact, I've been thinking about that all day long.
DRIVER: (a horse drawn carriage driver shouts from across the street) Lacey! (he gestures to the rear seats) And Mrs. Lacey.
MARY BETH: (to Harvey) Oh, honey.
HARVEY: Madam. (to the driver as they get in) Perfect timing, Jimmy. (as the carriage drives off) Magic and romance! Once around the Park, Jimmy.