Movie Date: March 16, 1982
Cab fare, Richard? No, I've got to pay some bills. You could at least leave me enough for breakfast. Toddy, one would suspect you think I'm mercenary. Try "unscrupulous." You get your money's worth. I'd say we both get my money's worth. Look, Toddy, if you're not happy with the arrangement... As a matter of record, I'm not. But to quote the immortal bard: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind "And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind" Have a nice day, Toddy. I'll do my damnedest. As you can tell, Monsieur Labisse, I have a legitimate voice. Yes, I'm looking for something a little more illegitimate. -I'm sure that with a little practice l... -Lady. That's like a nun saying, with practice, she'd be a streetwalker. -lt has to come naturally. -Right. In some professions, practice is a minor consideration... ...so take my advice and stick to Carmen. I'm a coloratura, Monsieur Labisse, not a mezzo. Well, whatever you are, André Cassell should never have sent you over here. -He didn't. -You told me he was your agent. I lied. Thank you. In spite of what you think... ...there are some professions where practice does make perfect. -What in hell was that? -B flat. -Monsieur le directeur, she's back. -What? Hey! Miss Grant. You owe me two weeks. -Hold it, hold it. -What? You promised to pay me on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, then on Thursday. -What's that? -What? Spaghetti? Yes. With meatballs. I'll sleep with you for a meatball. -You'll what? -Missed your chance. Oh, no, you don't! It won't do you any good. I've been in the hotel business for years. I know all the angles. Come on, get up. Get up! I don't care if you got the bubonic plague. If you can't pay the rent... ...l'll confiscate your personal belongings and I'll evict you. What happened? You made me an offer I couldn't refuse and then you pretended to faint. Don't be ridiculous. I never pretend to faint. Yeah, sure. -What are you doing? -I am helping you to stand up. -I thought I was standing. -Maybe you'd like to lie down. You're confusing me. I'm sure we can do something about the rent. Whatever you may think, I'm not an ungenerous man. -What? What is it? -There! -Where? -There! -What? -A cockroach! What? I'm sorry! I can't stand cockroaches! -I see. Especially in a hotel room? -Anywhere! You won't tell the Department of Health if I forget your rent? I'll tell you once more, I'm getting my money. And just in case you thought of leaving us during the night... Please, don't leave me! Please! I know what it is. I'm dreaming. That's Toddy warbling again. Waiter! How boring. Thank you. You're most kind. In fact, you're every kind. I see we have a celebrity with us tonight. Miss Simone Kallisto, star of stage, screen and an occasional circus. -Take a bow, darling. -Up yours, chéri. Speaking of the circus... ...aren't you Richard Di Nardo the well-known trapeze artist? Careful, Toddy. You're not really funny, you know. So, why don't you just piss off? You ought to be ashamed of yourself, bringing your sweet, old mother... ...into a place like this. Ladies and gentlemen, you have a delightful surprise coming to you. No! No! Please! But nobody was seriously hurt. That's why I'm only closing you for a week. You know how much I will lose in one week? A quarter of what you'll lose in a month if there is any more trouble. You're fired. I can't afford it. You can't afford it? What about me? What about all this? More ice. -You could take it out of my salary. -Toddy, get out! -All right. -And don't come back! If you ever set foot in this place again, I will have you thrown out! Don't make it sound like such a threat. Being thrown out of here is better than being thrown out of a leper colony. Out! Something to drink? Could I see your wine list? We have a white, . We have a red, . Last week we had some rosé, but we're using it in the salad. -Which do you recommend? -The red is centimes cheaper. I'll have the white. I'll bet you're a Rockefeller. Something wrong? -I thought maybe you had a dog. -Dog? I've only been gone five minutes. I figured something helped you eat it. It was delicious. -You want a salad? -Later. Later. The chicken was so good, I thought I'd try the pork. -Good. -Does it take long? About half an hour. -What about the boeuf bourguignon? -That's ready. I'll have that, and I'll have the salad afterwards. You realize, of course, you're entitled to two salads. -Could you put them both on one plate? -That's possible. Terrific. Delicious wine. Maybe you'd like to choose your two desserts. Apple flan and Coupe Jacques might go well together. Just a small coffee. Good evening. I had the pleasure of hearing you sing this afternoon. You must be mistaken. I haven't sung in about two weeks. Your audition at Chez Lui. That wasn't singing, and I would hardly call it an audition. -I used to work there. -My condolences. I hope I haven't bothered you. I wanted to tell you that you have a lovely voice... ...and to say how sorry I am I can't buy you dinner. Thank you. -Pardon me, monsieur. -Thank you. Could I have a knife and fork, please? Excuse me. Why are you sorry that you can't buy me dinner? -Cassé. -Broke? I'm also Carroll Todd. Toddy, to nearly everybody who knows me. Victoria Grant. -I hope we meet again when I'm flush. -Won't you sit down? Please? Have dinner with me. Thank you. You know, it's very strange. At the club I thought you were at the end of your rope. I was. I am. This is the first decent meal I've had in almost four days. And you can't pay for it. Cassée. And you want me to have dinner with you. I want you to have the best damned dinner you ever had. Have two. I started off with the roast chicken and I went to the boeuf bourguignon. -Who knows what I could end up with. -I'd guess about days. If all goes well, I expect to leave here poor but sated. I have a bug in my purse. At the appropriate moment, it goes in my salad. -lt'll never work. -A bug in my salad? In a place like this it'd be an event if there wasn't a bug in your salad. -What about a cockroach? -A cockroach? Bigger than your thumb. -Oh, God. -Waiter? Try the chicken. I really recommend it. The bourguignon is just a little tough. Maybe the way you're eating, your jaws are getting tired. Speaking of overworked jaws, treat yours to a sabbatical... ...and fetch me a wine list. -This is all they have. -This? Last time I saw a specimen like this they had to shoot the horse. How lucky can you get? In one evening a Rockefeller and a Groucho Marx. They didn't shoot a real horse. Just a costume with two waiters in it. I shall think of a sharp retort while I am getting your roast chicken. It's a wise man who knows when to throw in the towel. And it is a moron who gives advice to a horse's ass. I made the dressing myself with the last of the rosé. -I bet it's delicious. -I wouldn't bet. Go on, try it. I think I'll wait till the bourguignon settles a bit. -You don't have to eat it. -I want to. You will be the first to know. -You'd better go now. -I want to lend my support. That's lovely, but it's my cockroach in my purse... ...and I have to get it into my salad. I'm willing to take over your salad. You can slip me the purse under the table. You hate cockroaches as much as I do. What if I manage and you faint? -Then it's possible I'll wake up in prison. -I can't talk you out of it? You don't have time. Now, be careful it doesn't crawl out. -Anybody looking? -No. -I don't see it. -How's the salad? -Have you tried it yet? -No. -No, I was just about to. -We would like another bottle of wine. We'd like to try the red. A cockroach! -Cockroach? -ln my salad! -I can't believe it! -I don't believe it. -Are you impugning the lady's integrity? -She's impugning my salad. No. I'm sure it wasn't your fault that your salad had a cockroach in it. -lt didn't and it wasn't. -I demand to see the manager. Yes, sir. -This lady found a cockroach in her salad. -So I gather. -What are you going to do about it? -I'm going to apologize. Madame, I regret that you found a cockroach in your salad. I can assure you that in the five years I've been running this place... ...there've only been two other occasions when customers complained of... -...finding insects in their food. -See? It's happened before. On both occasions it turned out that the customers had actually... ...put the insects in their food, hoping to blackmail the restaurant... ...and thus avoid having to pay their checks. Surely you're not suggesting that... That madame's trying to avoid paying her check? Of course not. As the manager of this restaurant... ...I hope madame accepts my apology for any inconvenience she was caused. Thank you. Madame does. Now, that is what I have done about it. -What are you going to do about it? -I? -There is still the matter of your check. -My check? There was no cockroach in your salad. No, I invited this man to have dinner with me. Oh, I see. Am I to gather, madame, that since this gentleman is your guest... ...you don't feel that you should pay for his dinner either? Well, under the circumstances, that's the only logical conclusion available. Yes. I will tell you what I consider to be the only conclusion available: Either you or madame will pay the... This way! What? I was the leading soprano of the Bath Touring Light Opera Company. -You're very athletic for a soprano. -Because I have three brothers. I know what you mean. I grew up with two older sisters. -Bless you. -Thank you. I think I'm catching a cold. -Do you have any bicarbonate? -Top shelf. I have the worst heartburn. -Can I ask you a question? -You want to know if I'm a homosexual. No. I want to know if you're a hypochondriac. Not necessarily. Well, my husband was. The day we got married he got the shingles. The day we got divorced his ulcer perforated. -How long have you been homosexual? -How long have you been a soprano? Since I was . I was a late bloomer. What happened to the Bath Touring Light Opera Company? I guess you could say Lou Cassava took French leave with the bankroll. Lou Cassava? -Our stage manager. Sam put him up to it. -Sam? My ex-husband. Oh, God. You know... ...you should stay in bed and force liquids. That's good advice for a camel. -Have anybody to take care of you? -lt's only a cold. A cold tonight could be pneumonia by the morning. Are you sure your husband was a hypochondriac before he married you? -I know you think I'm an alarmist. -Only because you sound like one. I've had enough personal experience to know... ...that when it comes to your health it doesn't pay to take chances. Then, you can stop worrying. With the exception of sax ophone lessons and the metro... ...I never pay to take anything. -You know what I'm going to do? -What? I'm going to see if my clothes are dry, and then try to sneak back into my hotel. And what if I wake up with pneumonia? Well, I'll just have to come around early in the morning and check on you. I could have a relapse in the middle of the night. -No, you couldn't. -Why couldn't I? Because the middle of the night was about two hours ago. Oh, my God! What? It was guaranteed not to shrink. My best dress. -Look. -Let's see. There's nothing to let down. -I can't go out like this. -Well, what about the coat? What am I going to do? Sell matches. Poor baby. I'm sorry. This hasn't been my day. God, there have been times I'd have given my soul to cry like that. No. I hate it. You wouldn't if you couldn't do it anymore. Well... ...tomorrow I'll go over and pick up your clothes. -They won't let you. -They will if I pay your bill. You can't do that. Why not? This is that rainy day I've saved up a few francs for. Here. -You know what they say. -What? "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." -"A loan oft loses both itself and friend." -Exactly. You were willing to compromise your virtue for a meatball. I was out of my mind at the time. At least it was something for something. Right. We'll make this strictly a business proposition. I'll charge you a weekly interest... ...equivalent to the going rate of one meatball. Oh, damn. -Toddy, you're sweet and generous. -Exhausted. How would I ever pay you back? Well, we'll solve that tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm giving the orders. You're going to get into those pajamas and come to bed. -There? -You're welcome to the sofa. You have my word, this is much more comfortable, and infinitely safer. God! There's nothing more inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold. I won't be long. I resent being treated like a helpless invalid. Will you keep your mouth shut? Now, I'll cash the check, pay my hotel bill... -...and be back in time to fix lunch. -I can bloody well fix my own lunch. Not with a fever you can't. What makes you so sure I've got a fever? -Because you're burning up, that's why. -I'm naturally warm-blooded. To be that naturally warm-blooded you'd have to be a Saint Bernard. You look better in Richard's clothes than he does. Of course, he looks better out of them. Well? You're right. You don't have a fever. You don't even have a temperature. Now, leave it there. -Does Richard have a hat? -ln the closet. -Toddy? -Richard. Good morning, Richard. You look like a raccoon. I came to pick up my things. I thought it was to pay me the money you owed me. I don't owe you a thing, you pathetic, old queer. You bastard! Get up! You, get back in bed! -Who was that? -Now... ...next time, pick on someone your own size. -And don't come back! -Good. Oh, my God! What happened? There was a man wearing my clothes. I think he broke my nose. Toddy! You're delirious. -Lower your voice. -Toddy! -Lower. -Toddy. -Caruso, not Chaliapin. -lf you don't get back... When you're angry it drops naturally. Think angry. -What an inspiration! -I'll get a doctor. -Victoria, it'll work! -lt won't. If you listen to me and do as I say, in six weeks you'll be... ...the toast of Paris and we will both be very rich. -Oh, yes. -Very, very rich! -But, my God! -Think. No more Bath Light Opera Company. No more Mikado and seedy tenors. -Yes, but... -Caviar instead of meatballs! -Where're you going? -To get some scissors! People believe what they see. This afternoon André Cassell will meet Europe's greatest female impersonator. André Cassell is the biggest agent in Paris. If I'm great, why hasn't he heard of me? You're the greatest, but you're unknown, except in Poland. -Poland? -You're Count Grazinski, Polish aristocrat. You speak very little English. Your family disowned you when they found out you're gay. Wait! We met in Warsaw, fell in love, I brought you to Paris. -Hold it! -What's wrong? "What's wrong?" What's right? A woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman? -Ridiculous. -lt's preposterous. It's so preposterous, no one would believe it. -You expect them to believe Count... -Grazinski. Grazinski, a gay, Polish female impersonator. Darling, all anybody has to believe is that you're a man. To convince an audience that an illusion is real... ...the magician creates a plausible diversion. -Count Grazinski is our plausible diversion. -Toddy, no audience is that gullible. -They'll know he's a phony. -Right. -Well? -They'll know he's a phony. Toddy, I don't know how to act like a man. Contrary to the popular conception of how a man acts... ...there are different men who act in different ways. I mean, as opposed to the way women act. I am personally acquainted with at least a dozen men who act exactly like women... ...and vice versa. But there are some things that are naturally masculine. Name one. Peeing standing up. There's absolutely no rule that says a man can't sit down. -Men have Adam's apples. -So do some women. -Name one. -Nana Lanoux. -What? -Taxi! -Nana Lanoux? Who's she? -The last woman I slept with. When was that? The night before the morning I decided to become a homosexual. -Very dashing. -I can't wear this all the time. Why not? You might set a fashion. -Did Miss Lanoux have a big Adam's apple? -Like a coconut. Good morning. Would you please tell Mr. Cassell that Carroll Todd is here? Why? Why? If you don't have an appointment with Mr. Cassell... ...why should I tell him you're here? Because Mr. Cassell and I are very close friends. And if you tell him I'm here, he'll want to see me. That's not very complicated, is it? Being a very close friend, I'm surprised you don't know that every Wednesday... ...at this time, Mr. Cassell has his hair cut, and he never sees anyone... ...including his very close friends. We'll wait. -You're wasting your time. -Oh, no. You are wasting it. Mr. Cassell? No, Miss Selma. -No, I mean, I wish to see Mr. Cassell. -No. I am Leclou, the world's greatest equilibrist. On Wednesdays Mr. Cassell only sees Giannini, the world's greatest barber. Very well then. If Mr. Cassell cannot see me then I shall perform... ...for you. What are you doing? Get off! Will you get off? Get off that desk! Will you get off? -Hello, André. -Toddy? What the devil... André, it's very important that you meet Count Victor Grazinski. -Who is Count Victor Grazinski? -Surely you're joking. He is Europe's greatest female impersonator. Never heard of him. In all modesty, if I haven't heard of him... ...he can't be Europe's greatest anything. -Count, would you demonstrate? -Certainly. What the hell? Count, with your voice and my connections... ...you're going to get rich and I'm going to get richer. To a long and profitable relationship. Now, when can you open? Where? -Here. -Here? Here? -Six weeks. -Excellent. Here. -Try it a tone lower. -Okay. Nope. Try a third. A third? All right. Perfect. It's just low enough to be a touch masculine. Now, when you're dancing, remember, make it broader, with tons of shoulder. Remember, you're a drag queen! -He's fantastic. -He's a phony. -What do you mean? -lf he's a Polish count, I'm Greta Garbo. Well, Greta, whatever he is, I think he's divine. -Oh, God! I'll never make it! -Listen to me. From the beginning we've had two major obstacles to overcome. My bosom. First, convincing everyone you're a man. -So far, we've done that. -lt's been damn uncomfortable. -What has? -Strapping down my bosom. All you've got to do is to get out and show what a great artist you are... ...and you'll be a star for the next years. If I have to strap down my bosom for the next years... ...they'll end up looking like two empty wallets. -Sit up. -Then what? -Stand up. -Sit up, stand up, throw up. Now, you are not going to be sick. Not if I faint first. We got a full house. I've sent invitations and everyone's turned up... -...except King Marchand. -Well, who's King Marchand? Among other things... ...he's the most successful nightclub owner in Chicago. And the other things? Nothing worth mentioning if you want to stay alive. Ladies and gentlemen! The nightclub is proud to present the one and only Victoria! She's a winner. Bravo! Bravo! Brava! Watch this. It's a guy. Excuse me. Pardon me. Come on, dear. I hope six, eight weeks, or something. -Hi. -Hello. I'm Norma Cassady. -You were just grand. -Thank you. And this is King Marchand. -How do you do? -How do you do? I got to admit for a while there I was really cheesed off. King's tongue was hanging out a foot. When you took that wig off, I just couldn't believe it. -King still doesn't. -Well, I'm flattered. I'm delighted you could make it, Mr. Marchand. -Thank you. -May I introduce Mr. Todd? -How're you? -lt's a pleasure. This is Miss Cassady. -Mademoiselle. -Enchanted. Me, too. -Well, what do you think of our new star? -He thinks he's a phony. -She's very talented. -What? -He doesn't think you're a man. -I'll tell her what I think. -"Her." You see? -Norma. -What? -Mingle. Sure. You care to mingle with me, Mr. Todd? Miss Cassady, excluding Victor's performance... ...mingling with you may turn out to be the highlight of the evening. -I just love Frenchmen. -So do I. -I'll get you a drink. -Well, thank you. You were saying, Mr. Marchand? Well, I just find it hard to believe that you're a man. Because you found me attractive as a woman? Yes, as a matter of fact. -lt happens frequently. -Not to me. It proves the old adage, "There's a first time for everything." I don't think so. -But you're not percent sure. -Practically. But to a man like you, someone who believes he could never... ...under any circumstances, find another man attractive... ...the margin between "practically" and "for sure" must be... ...as wide as the Grand Canyon. If you were a man, I'd knock your block off. -And prove that you're a man. -That's a woman's argument. Your problem, Mr. Marchand, is that you're preoccupied with stereotypes. I think it's as simple as, you're one kind of man... -...l'm another. -And what kind are you? One that doesn't have to prove it, to myself or anyone. Excuse me. Cheers. You're kidding! You really are queer? We prefer "gay." But you're so attractive. Well, I just think it's a terrible waste. -You know what I think? -What? I think that the right woman could reform you. You know, I think the right woman could reform you, too. Me, give up men? Forget it! You took the words right out of my mouth. Norma? I still think it's a terrible waste. Well, if it's any consolation, I assure you it is not wasted. Norma? Au revoir. Me, too. Come on, get out of my way. Go on, go on. See you in church. -Don't ever leave me alone like that again. -What did you think of King Marchand? King Marchand is an arrogant, opinionated, chauvinistic pain in the ass. -I think I could fall in love with him. -I think I could, too. I'm telling you, he's gay. I know all about it. We had a long talk. They met in Poland or something, and he brought him to Paris. And he's making him a big star. They're lovers. And I know why you don't want to believe it. Can I take you to your hotel? -That's kind of you, André, but... -We'd be delighted. -Hotel? -Why not? I heard you, Norma, I heard you. I just don't know what you're so burned up about. Thank you. I mean, it was a perfectly natural mistake. -Knock it off, Norma. -But Squash thought he was a woman. If you think about it, it's really very funny. He isn't bad looking... ...but I knew he was a man right away. It's the padding. I don't care how clever those costumes are. I mean, there are just some things you cannot fake. I mean, even with all those hormone shots... ...and everything, a real woman can always tell. Can you imagine what Sal Andratti would say... ...if he knew his partner fell for a female impersonator? -Check under the beds? -Yes. Now, I know he's supposed to protect you... ...but does he have to stay in the same suite with us? I mean, I just keep expecting him to break in while... ...we're making love. He'd only do that if he heard something unusual... ...like if I got excited. Why, you take a... Listen to me, you creep! You mind your goddamn business! -Good evening, sir. -Good evening. Thank you, André. -'Bye, Toddy. -Victor, get some sleep. Toddy, this is the Monceau. Where're you going? Up. Entrez. -That's far enough. -Toddy, what are you up to? Toddy? Holy merde! -Toddy, when did we move? -During dress rehearsal. But what if I'd flopped? Then, we would have ordered a sumptuous meal, charged it to room service... ...drunk the champagne, compliments of the management... And jumped out the window. Which is why I chose a three-star hotel, and specifically requested... ...accommodations above the third floor. -Toddy. -Monsieur. -The bathroom is a religious experience. -I can hardly wait. When can we afford another bedroom? After we're sure you're not just a flash in the pan. My God! Besides, one bedroom, one bed, promotes the illusion that we're lovers. Well, if for some reason we decide we'd rather sleep apart... ...there's more than enough room in the bathtub. Yes. And if we have an overnight guest he can always stretch out in the bidet. Right. -I love you. -I love you, too, sir. Aren't you coming to bed? King. I'm horny. Okay. All right. -Obviously a music lover. -I dare you to hit high C. Well, I will if you will. If I could, I would be the star and you would still be trying... ...to swap your virtue for a meatball. Speaking of virtue... ...were you serious about King Marchand? Were you? -I asked you first. -That's an infantile evasion. Okay. I find him extremely attractive. Check. In fact, I wouldn't mind having an affair with him. I'll buy that. You know, pretending to be a man... ...has its disadvantages. My dear count... ...you just said a cotton-picking mouthful. Pooky. It's no big deal. It happens to everyone. Men, I mean. We're lucky. Women, I mean. We can fake it if we have to. Don't get me wrong. I never have with you. Faked it, I mean. With you it's like... ...pow, pow, pow... ...like the Fourth of July! Every time. Just tonight, because you couldn't get it. Up till now it's been grand, really, really grand. And if there's one thing I know for sure... ...you can't let it get you, you should excuse the expression, down. You can't think about it. You just got to put it out of your mind. I mean, the more you think about it, the more you worry. The more you worry, the more you think. Think, worry. Good stuff. Worry, think. It just gets like a vicious circle. And then, before you know it, you are impudent. What's with the soap? -Look out. -You son of a bitch! Now, Norma. Nobody puts soap in my mouth! Not even my mother! He's very childish. I'm going to kill him! I'm going to kill you, too! -You big muscle-brain! -You have to learn to control yourself. -Oh, God! -Oh, shit! This is it. Hurry! You and your ideas! "Why not take her to Paris with you?" I just thought she'd help you relax. -She'd never help me relax. -Well, then, send her home. Why don't you ever come up with a really good idea? -For instance? -You send her home! Thinks he can just push me around. Thinks I'm going to hop on the next boat for the States and that'll be that. Well, you've got another thing coming... ...Mr. Big Shot Fairy Marchand. Because Mrs. Cassady's little girl Norma... ...ain't going to take this one lying down. And don't kid yourself! You ain't seen the last of me yet. Are you okay? -Can you believe this weather? -I thought we left Chicago. Can you see that Count Grazinski gets this, please? Yes, sir. -Count Grazinski. -Yes, sir, . Right. Hi, Norma. -That's really funny. Good night, Squash. -Good night, boss. Give me the housekeeper, please. -I thought you were going to bed. -I think I'm having an anxiety attack. You better get some sleep. I may want to get up in the morning and play some golf. Boss, it's snowing outside. We'll use red balls. Yes, this is Mr... King Marchand. Mr. Todd in Suite . Would you be kind enough to have a maid bring up some extra towels, please? -Oui, monsieur. -Thank you so much. Monsieur? Bonsoir. Bonsoir, Monsieur Todd. C'est pour le Comte. Merci. The concierge gave me this, but there's nothing on it. Mustn't forget. Important photography session in the morning. -What's funny? -Watch the birdie. -I haven't been so tired in my whole life. -You're still a young man. But not for long. -All I want is a nice hot bath. -I had one once. You'll love it. -Toddy! -Sorry! This is ridiculous. I don't think I can sleep, I'm so tired. -I'll get you a cognac. -That'll help me sleep? No, but it'll make staying awake a hell of a lot more fun. Here. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your cockles. That's my trouble. I don't have any cockles. -You hungry? -No, thanks, love. I'm too tired. What? Who is this? -I could sleep for a week. -What? I can't understand you. What? What room did you want? Who? No, I'm not Señor Gomez from Barcelona. And, unless he's hiding under my bed, you have the wrong room. What the hell? Why did you open the window? Oh, forget it. Go to sleep. -Freezing! -Small wonder. Oh, damn. I left the light on in the other room. You got the floor all wet. Bitch, bitch, bitch. -Do you have heat in your room? -Yes. Well, you're lucky! Hi, Sal. Thanks for coming by. Norma, what's on your mind? -lt's King. -Shacking up with another dame. No, another guy. It's so terrible. Run that by me again. Well, there's this Polish fairy, you see. Even when I was a second-rate soprano I had a proper dresser. Who could swear that you were a second-rate soprano... -...and not a first class imposter. -You trust my dressmaker. He trusts me not to reveal certain things... ...that would be embarrassing to his wife and six children. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Shame is an unhappy emotion invented by pietists... ...in order to exploit the human race. -Who said that? -I said that. -You don't believe in shame? -I believe in happiness. It's André. King Marchand has just offered me a fortune for you to appear at his club. Would you please be more specific with your nouns? -$ a week. -That's not a noun, that's a fortune. He wants to have dinner with you after the show. -You think you can make it? -I think so. I'll tell him. $ a week, weeks guarantee. We're on our way. I know what you're thinking. And you ought to be ashamed of yourself. To the Count's opening night in Chicago. To the closing night, may it never come. Do you mind if I ask you a personal question, Mr. Marchand? He will, whether you mind or not. I worry more about answers than questions. It's rather obvious that Mr. Bernstein is on hand to insure your... ...continued good health. That's not a question. Why is he sitting way over there? Strategic. Broader field of vision, clearer field of fire. -You must have been in the army. -Once or twice. Do you mind if I join him? He looks so lonely. -No, I don't mind. -I promise not to inhibit his field of fire. Incorrigible. How long have you known Mr. Todd? A long time. May I ask you a personal question? A clever man once said: "It's not the questions I'm worried about." What's the attraction? Would you believe me if I told you we were in love? No. Because homosexuality is unnatural and a sin? According to whom? Pious clergymen and terrified heterosexuals. Them. You're smiling, and I don't believe you. You're not smiling, and you should be. I think I better go wash my hands. Excuse me. Do you ever get the feeling sometimes that you're a sinking ship? -Constantly. -Now, there, you're smiling. You light up when you smile. That's a funny thing to say. -What do you mean? -I mean, one man to another. It seems Toddy and Mr. Bernstein have found something in common. Cassell was telling me that Mr. Todd was the headliner at Chez Lui. You know Chez Lui? No, but I was thinking that we might drop by later... ...and you could educate me. I have the feeling that educating you... ...would be about as redundant as teaching a lion to like red meat. Cigar? May I? Please. Thank you. -Regarde, c'est Victor. -Toddy! What a pleasure! -Come this way, please. -Regarde, c'est Victor. I have a table for you. The best of course. This is a delight. It's Victor! Please, a bottle of champagne. Thank you. Take this bottle over to that table. They're very special guests. My friends! My friends! Tonight, I am happy and honored to have with us... ...one of the great entertainers of our time. The toast of Paris, Victor! Perhaps Victor... ...will honor us with a song. Give us a G with your left hand, Sid. Something I wanted to do all my life. -Me harmony. -Okay. Walk this way. -Taught him everything he knows. -That's why he has so little left. I'll get you for that. Very difficult step. Such a fuss. -This way, please. -Sorry about that. -Well, that was fun. Now what do we do? -You got us into this, you get us out. -May I? -I'd be delighted. -You're leading again. -I'm sorry. -Why do we have to come here? -This is the place. Joe, don't argue with me. This is it. -Shush, yourself! -Waiter! What do we have to do? Just stand there? -Didn't you reserve a table? -Of course, I reserved a table. -Let's sit down! -Please! It's Victor! -I don't care if it's Noel frigging Coward! -Quiet! This way. My God! You rotten bastard! You get away from me! No, no! Please! No. You! Everybody! This is a respectable place! Please! -I'm so sorry! -So am I! Stop, please! Cockroach! Halt! Halt! I don't care if you are a man. I am not a man. I still don't care. -Cockroach! Cockroach! -I've never seen you before in my life. Monsieur Labisse! Oh, my God! I'm sorry! I thought... I'm really sorry. Honestly, I'm sorry. Squash. Hey, Squash. Look, I know what you're thinking. No, you don't. In one fell swoop you've changed my whole life. It wasn't that kind of swoop. Listen, boss... ...if a guy like you has got the guts to admit he's gay... ...so can I. You've made me so happy. You know, I... -What's wrong? -Nothing, nothing. I'm finding this trip to Paris a little more... ...bizarre than usual. Thanks a lot. -Not you. No, not you. -Why not me? I mean, a woman pretending to be man pretending to be... -Well, you can stop pretending. -And do what? Be yourself. And what's that? What do you mean? You're a woman in love with a man. -Yes. -Are we communicating? You said, "A woman in love with a man," but you didn't finish. Okay. What's the finish? A woman in love with a man, pretending to be a man... I said, "You can stop pretending." But, you see, I don't think I want to. I'm a big star now. I'm a success. Oh, that. And something more. I find it all really fascinating. There are things available to me as a man... ...that I could never have as a woman. -I'm emancipated. -Emancipated? Well, I'm my own man, so to speak. You should be able to relate to that. To be honest with you, I'm having trouble relating to anything. If we'll have any kind of future together it's important that you understand. I want to understand. Would it be fair for me to ask you to give up your job? -lt'd be ridiculous. -But you expect me to give up mine. -There's a difference, for Christ's sake! -Right, but there shouldn't be. Well, look, I'm not the one pretending to be someone else. Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Let's say that you're a man, and I'm a woman pretending to be a man. I think it would depend a lot on why you were pretending. You said, it's important that I understand. -lt's important that you understand, too. -Sure. Love is a two-way street. -Why did I say that? -I don't know, but what's your point? You said, if we were going to have any kind of future... Well, what do you mean by future? -We'll live together? -Possibly. -Sleep together? -Hopefully. While you keep on working? -Yes. -Pretending to be a man. If I didn't, I wouldn't have a job. And while we're living and sleeping together, what's everybody going to think? I guess they'll think that you're living and sleeping with a man. -How do you feel about that? -They'll think the same about me! -But you're a woman. -They don't know. You do. And you know you're a man! I don't see the difference. We'll be living a damned lie. I don't think that's what's really bothering you. Well, if you think I'm worried about everybody thinking I'm a fag, you're right. So, we have a problem. I guess we have. Well, it's probably for the best. That's as bad as, "Love is a two-way street." What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in prophecy. Eventually, I'd ask you to stop being a gangster... ...because I was worried about everyone thinking I was your moll. I am not a gangster. Just a businessman with a bodyguard. A businessman who does business with gangsters... ...and doesn't have a bodyguard is soon out of business. A businessman who does business with gangsters... ...and pretends he's not a gangster sounds like the kind of act I do. I think we're both pretenders. And that's not a very good basis for a relationship. But it was fun while it lasted. -Have a nice evening? -Up to a point. -What happened to you? -Nothing much. We were all arrested. André called his lawyer, who bailed us out. You remember Mr. Bernstein. Count Grazinski. Mr. Bernstein. -Squash. -Yeah. -Can I ask you a personal question? -Go ahead. How long... Exactly when did you know about... When did I know I was gay? God, I can't remember when I wasn't. I've known you for years! Well, you know a lot of guys, boss. You'd be surprised. You were an all-American. I never saw a meaner, rougher, tougher, son-of-a-bitch football player in all my life. Listen, if you didn't want the guys to call you queer... ...you became a rough, tough, son-of-a-bitching football player. Why don't you watch where you're going? He says it was your fault, and suggests that you apologize. -He does? -Come on. No, no, no. Will you tell him, if he'd like an apology... ...he can just get him some gloves and I'll see him in the ring? Just give him minutes. He'll be delighted to oblige. Oh, he will? "He'd be delighted to oblige"! Who the hell does he think he is? Guy Langois, the French middleweight boxing champion. But don't worry. He's gay. -Mr. Bernstein. -Count. I think we should try living together. Your place or mine? -Monsieur Labisse? -Yes. You called. I am Charles Bovin, private investigator. Good. There is something I want you to find out for me. -At your service. -Be careful. Monsieur, I am always careful. That stool is broken. It is? Penny? Oh, nothing. There are a lot of things, I guess. I want to make a deal. No secrets, no grudge collecting. If something bothers us, we say so, okay? Okay. And we don't plan past tomorrow. Just take it a day at a time. Deal. He's got a good right-hand. He doesn't use it. There's the right! The right, I told you. I told you. He's got him. Hook him! Hook him! Yes! All right! All right! Is something wrong? We've had dinner in the hotel every night for a week now. When we go out after the show you're usually so tired... ...you spend the next day sleeping. This way we go to bed reasonably early... ...and get to spend a few afternoons together. -Do you know what I'd really love to do? -What? Skip a few afternoons and go dancing. Dancing? Let's go. Take her back to the hotel. See you later. -Boss. -Just do what I tell you, okay? I'll be all right. Go on. I just wanted to go dancing. If two guys wanted to go dancing together they'd be a little unorthodox at the Ritz. I guess the problem is we're not really two guys. I guess that is the problem. Stop. Driver, back up. Milk. Cow's milk, monsieur, or mother's milk? How about your sister's? Oh, shit! You're early. Seems like I'm a bachelor again. It's just as well. Mr. Bernstein was beginning to make a permanent dent in the mattress. Oh, Toddy. I am very much in love and I don't know what to do. Here. I can't stand to see a grown man cry. You got it. -You're real lucky, boss. -Lucky? You're lucky you didn't break anything. I couldn't feel any worse if I broke everything. Have you seen so many bruises? On a whole football team. I feel like I spent the night in a cement mixer. Hello, faggot. I knew things were going too good to last. Hold it. Now, head up. Just a touch. -Victor doesn't look very well. -lt's nothing serious. A few nights on his back under a specialist and he'll be like new. -Good. -Victor, darling... ...do you think you could possibly manage to look a little less funereal? René, darling. -Yes? -Why don't you go suck an egg? -I do wish you'd think about it. -I have thought about it, Toddy. For the past two weeks, I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. For the seven hours I couldn't sleep last night, I thought about it constantly. I've come to the conclusion that it's just not worth it. I am extremely unhappy and I don't have to be... ...because there is an alternative. Tonight will be Count Victor Grazinski's final performance. And tomorrow I'll announce to the world that I am really Victoria Grant... ...who may be lucky enough to celebrate her womanhood... ...as Mrs. King Marchand. Well? "Well," what? You've made up your mind. I want your blessing. Can I answer the door first? -There's a bit of a problem. -Welcome. What's wrong? King's partner, Sal Andratti, showed up with a couple of his torpedoes. Sal put up the money for the club, but the Mob doesn't consider... ...homosexuality an acceptable lifestyle. Kill him, but mustn't kiss him. -Let's go, Mr. Bernstein. -Let's go, Mr. Bernstein. -Your lawyer looked. Says it's okay. -That's reassuring. How is my lawyer? Picture of health. Lipstick and a nightgown? What, do you take turns being the girl? That is disgusting! I know. It's awful! Jesus, King, a guy like you? We grew up together. Yeah, it probably had something to do with it. Come on, Sal, you know my half is worth times that much. Sign the paper. Hello, darling. -Hi, Sal. -Who the hell are you? Just remember your blood pressure, Nummy. -This is the Count, and this is... -"Nummy"? This is Mr. Toddy. They were lovers before Pooky showed up. -That's disgusting! -They're perverted. "Pooky"? Could I have a word with you? -What do you need? -lt'll change your life. -Sal! Get this... -Freeze! What's... What are you doing? Oh, my God! What are you... Oh, God! What is happening here? Wait! Lock the door. What's going on in there? You know, you guys are in a lot of trouble. You two-timing son of a bitch! He's a woman! Labisse is on his way here with the police. He claims you are not a man. Stay there. -Yes? -I am Inspector Bernheim. -Yes? -Stand aside. I know all about your Count Grazinski. And when the Inspector has exposed the imposter... "lmposter"? Yes, imposter. You will all be arrested for perpetrating a public fraud! Please, Inspector. Well? -ldiot! -What? -That's a man. -lt can't be. When I walked in, the person in the room was naked from the waist down. And if that was a woman, she was wearing the greatest disguise I've seen. Wait. There's something wrong. It can't be. I hired a private detective and... Hurry. Ladies and gentlemen... ...once again, the nightclub is proud to present the one... ...the only Victoria! Monsieur Labisse, my bill. Oh, God! Where the hell am I? You beast! Some hit show. Is that it? You bitches. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! You were marvelous! And I never want to see any of you again. I might as well. They're the last roses I'll ever see. Vous.