Movie Date: October 14, 1954
Stop here, Sergeant. What's this all about, Captain? A little entertainment, sir. Tonight's Christmas Eve. These men are moving up tonight! - They should be lined up for inspection. - You're absolutely right. There's no Christmas in the army, Captain. There are always slip-ups during a change in command. The men get a little loose. - I know I'm leaving them in good hands. - Thank you, General. Take me to headquarters immediately. You'll have those men turned out on the double. Sergeant, take the short cut. That's not the way back to headquarters. You know and I know that, but the General doesn't. At least he won't for about an hour and a half. That sergeant will be a private in the morning. Yes. Isn't he lucky! Well, that just about wraps it up fellas. Certainly too bad General Waverly couldn't have been here this Yuletide. We really had a slam bang finish cooked up for him. I guess you know he's being replaced by a new general fresh out of the Pentagon. Not a very nice Christmas present for a division like us that's moving up. The old mars moving towards the rear. That's a direction he's never taken in his entire life. - We owe a lot to General Waverly... - Attention! Captain Wallace, who's responsible for holding a show in this advanced area? - Well, sir, as a matter of fact... - It was me, sir. It was my idea. When you have an entertainer of the calibre of Captain Wallace... It's Christmas Eve, sir. Well, sir... If you were in New York, you'd have to pay to see a great singer like Captain Wallace. I'm well aware of Captain Wallace's capabilities - Who are you? - Philip Davis. Private first class. - At ease, Davis. - Yes, sir. At ease! This division is now under the command of General Harold G. Carlton. I don't want you to forget it - not that he'll let you. He's tough, just what this sloppy outfit needs. He'll have inspections night and day. You may even learn how to march. If you don't give him everything you've got, I may come back and fight for the enemy. Merry Christmas. I guess, all I can say is... ...how much I... What a fine outfit... How am I going... Don't just stand there, how do I get off? Just happen to have a slam bang finish, sir. Look out! - You all right, Davis? - Yes, sir. It's just my arm. It's nothing but a scratch. - Hey, Davis, how you doing? - Brilliant, Captain. I just wanted to thank you for saving my life. - It was a life won'th saving, sir. - I appreciate it. Any time I can do anything for you, any time, any place... just phone. - Thank you, sir. - So long, Davis. Oh, I'm sorry. I'll see you. Captain, you could do one little favour for me... - What's that? - I've written a little song. I thought when we get back to the States, if you put this song in your act, it might be a hit for you. - Sure. Just pick up the phone. - I happen to have it with me right here. It's for two, it's a duet. Yeah. Two people, two dynamite entertainers. But I work alone. Who do you figure on for the other hunk of dynamite? I happen to know a fella... He's pretty funny... has a fair voice... How about me? I do it single, you see. That's all right. I wouldn't want you to feel any special obligation in any way. OK, Dynamite, we'll give it whirl. - OK, Captain. - Good luck! Phil, can I see you for a minute? You know Doris? On stage, girls! Albert, did you get the notice drawn up? Yes, show lays off tonight. Cast and crew get ten days off with pay. - It's the nicest Christmas present. - They deserve it. - Got the tickets for New York? - A lot of holiday traffic, but I got you on the one o'clock train. - Tickets are on the way. - Put that on the bulletin board. Sign this. If you want us in New York, we'll be at Radio City. We'll be rehearsing for the "Ed Harrison Show". Too bad you couldn't get a little rest. I couldn't turn this down. It's a great plug for the show. Bring me the tickets when they come. Light of my life! - You know Doris, friend of Rita's. - Another one? - How do you do? - Mutual, I'm sure. I thought before the train, we could eat and have a few laughs or something. I can't make it, and you can't either. We have some business to take care of. We got to go look at an act. Some other time, I hope. Well, I like that! Without so much as a "kiss my foot" or "have an apple"! That's the last time I dig up a date for him. - From now on do your dirty work yourself. - Excuse me, kids. - I think it's time we had a talk. - Good idea. If you do mind I'll start. - Wait a minute. - You wait a minute. For three months, you've been trying to entangle me with some female. - All I'm trying to do... - Fat ones, tall ones, thin ones. As long as they're wearing skirts, a little mascara... It's for your own good. You're a lonely, miserable man. And you're unappy too, and when you're unappy, I'm unappy. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to you, ever since the day I... Not again with the life saving? Well, if you'd rather forget it... How can I? You won't let me. Since you saved my life, you've decided you have the right to run it. Every step of the way, you hammered, drove, pushed, shoved... And now you look at me with those great big cow eyes, point at that phoney arm, and I melt and go along! - I don't expect any gratitude. - Well you're gonna get it. Thank you Phil Davis, from the bottom of my heart. Now will you leave me alone? No. Because you're a miserable, lonely, unappy, man. - I'm a very happy man. - You're happy for the wrong reasons. That's the same as being lonely and miserable, except worse. You're off your nut. I've got everything in life I want. Sure, you've got everything except the most important thing. A girl. I'll get around to that one day. When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten what's left to be gotten won't be won'th getting whatever you've got left. When I've figured what that means, I'll come up with a crushing reply. - What's behind all this, anyway? - Only your happiness. When you get an idea that's for my ultimate happiness, there's always a little angle for you. - What is it? - Do you really want to know? All right, I'll really tell you. Ever since we became producers you've gone absolutely berserk with work. The strange thing is you like it, you like being Rodgers and Hammerstein. It was your idea. Sure, but I didn't think I was going to create a Frankenstein. - I've not had one minute to myself. - What do you want me to do? Get married and have nine children. If you only spent five minutes a day with each kid that's 45 minutes. I could go and get a massage or something. You don't expect me to get serious with the characters you and Rita throw at me? There've been some nice girls too. Like that nuclear scientist we just met. All right. They didn't go to college, they didn't go to Smith. Go to Smith? She couldn't even spell it. Oh, that's very funny. The crooner is now becoming the comic. Let me tell you. There's a lot of sense in what you say and I have to admit it. But the kind of girls we meet in this business are young and ambitious. They're full of their own careers. They're not interested in getting married or raising a family. That's funny. I never heard you open up like that before. Some day the right girl will come along, and if she'll have me we'll get married. We'll settle down and have those nine kids. If I need any more I'll tell you. Come in. Your railroad tickets, sir. Drawing room 'A', car 207. Thanks. Grab those will you. We'll go right to the station from Novello's after we audition this act. - What kind of act is it? - A sister act. We don't need any sister act. What are we wasting time for? Well I got a letter from Benny Haynes! Do you remember the Mess Sergeant? Freckle-face Haynes, the dog-faced boy? - He's got sisters? - Claims he's got 'em. - How can a guy that ugly, have sisters? - Very brave parenting! Will you do me one favour? Give me one good reason why we should spend our last two hours in Florida looking at the sisters of Freckle-Faced Haynes, the dog-face boy. Let's just say we're doing it for a pal in the army. It's not good, but it's a reason. - Hey, Novello. - Good evening Mr Wallace. Mr Davis. - Say, have the Haynes been on yet? - No, they'll be on in about 15 minutes. Tell them we're here, will you? Luigi, show these gentlemen to their table. We could have been out with Doris and Rita having some laughs. Phil, girls like that are a dime a dozen. Please don't quote me the price when I haven't got the time. - Who is it? - It's me, Novello. Bob Wallace and Phil Davis are out front to catch your act. They got a letter from your brother. He asked them to give you some advice. Come on now. You'd better hurry. - Isn't that fabulous? - Wallace and Davis here to see us. Who'd have thought that of Benny? What a brother! - What a sweet wonderful guy. - Amazing! I wonder whatever gave him the idea? He probably knew they were in town with the big show. He probably figured we were too shy to take advantage of an old army friend. Judy, did you read Mother's letter this morning? - No. Why? - Benny's got a job in Alaska. He's been away for three months. - Well... he could have written from Alaska. - But he didn't, did he? - He might have. - Judy, why did you write the letter? Because it's good business. You can't leave everything to fate. Just like honesty needs a little plus, fate needs a little push. Next time will you talk to me first before you push us out of show business? You needrt sound so patronising. You sound just like a mother hen looking after little chick. Well, little chick needs plenty of looking after. Till someone else comes along, Mother Hers gonna stick close to the coop. All right girls, five minutes. You look beautiful tonight. He'll be crazy about you. Which one? What does it matter? They're both famous. Ladies and gentlemen, the Haynes Sisters. Can you imagine Freckle-Face having sisters as cute as that? Incredible! - How about those big brown eyes? - No, they're blue! - Brown. - No, blue. Oh... yeah, deep blue. - Hello. Wort you sit down? - Thank you. Wort you sit there, and you sit right here. That's cosier isn't it? Boy, girl, boy, girl... I'm Betty. This is my sister, Judy. And you're Phil Davis and you're Mr Wallace. Guilty on both counts! Isn't this nice? Mr Wallace was saying it was remarkable that Benny Hayne's sisters have eyes... I mean, blue eyes... That is... That's quite an act you have. Benny never told us there's so much talent in the family. To be perfectly honest... Benny didn't want to take advantage of an old army friendship. You know how shy he is, so modest and retiring. It's a family characteristic. I have a recent snapshot. He always was a good-looking kid. Speaking of families... I read an article the other day about citrus fruit and it's effect on... childrers teeth! Are you interested in families or children, Miss Haynes? Yes, I suppose so. Isn't that amazing? Imagine a girl in show business today, wanting to settle down and raise a family. - So refreshing, isn't it? - Pushing, pushing! - Would you like a cigarette? - No, thank you. I would like a little free advice. Mr Wallace, do you have any suggestions for the act? No. Just keep plugging away. There must be something. Should we both be blondes? Maybe Betty's hair should go a shade darker? Or should she change the style? A little more off the face? - No. I wouldn't change a thing! - Would you care to dance? Don't you think we should discuss... - Lets say it with music. - All right. Promise you won't say anything important till I get back. - They look well together, don't they? - Yes. I was so surprised to get Benny's letter today. I didn't know... Mr Wallace, before you go any further, I must tell you. You were brought here tonight under false pretences. Benny didn't write the letter, my sister did. She figured you'd never come to see us if we asked, and you might if Benny did. How do you like that! - Even little Judy's got an angle going. - She didn't mean anything. Don't apologise. Everybody's got an angle. - That's pretty cynical. - Oh, come now Miss Haynes. Surely you knew everybody's got a little larceny operating in them? My sister and I don't play angles. If that letter wasrt an angle, what was it? I don't like your inference. I've got no squawks, no beefs. She played a percentage, it worked, we're here. Let's not make a whole big mish-mosh out of it. - They're getting along just fine. - So quickly too. Isn't that nice? All I'm saying is, when you've been in show business for as long as I have, you get used to people working angles, that's all. As the chance of us meeting again is extremely remote, I don't think it's important to go on arguing. - Well, I'll drink to that! - Be my guest! If this keeps up, we'll practically be in-laws before the dance is over... - Well, I don't mind if you don't. - Too bad, we're leaving town tonight. That's a shame, but we're leaving tomorrow anyway. - Where are you going? - Vermont. - We're booked for the holidays. - Vermont? Vermont should be beautiful, this time of year, with all that snow. - You know something? - What? Vermont should be beautiful this time of year. - All that snow. - That's what I just said. We seem to be getting a little mixed up. Maybe it's the music. Maybe it isn't only the music. What's this, the best two out of three? - I guess I got carried away. - Yeah, she carried me right with her. - We'd better change for the last number. - See you after the show. The Sheriff's here with a warrant to arrest both of you. What's the trouble? The landlord claims we burnt a hole in the rug and he's trying hold us up for $200. Not that old rug routine. And we sneaked our bags out of our room. - Where are they? - In our dressing room. You go and pack. We'll take care of this. We don't want to cause trouble. - It's no trouble. - Mr Wallace already thinks... Stop worrying about Mr Wallace. We like to take care of our friends. - We're practically strangers. - We'd like to take care of that too. You might get in an awful jam. What's in it for you? Hurry girls. - Go back and stall the Sheriff. - But how will I? Make up a story. Tell him the girls have to finish the show or something. Bob, the girls are in jam, we'll have to help them. - What? - They're in big trouble. What's the picture? Why don't we pay the fella the $200? Are you kidding, a chiselling rat like that? Will you send a cab out back? Why do I listen to you? Give me one good reason? Let's just say we're doing it for an old pal in the army. - Not good, but it's a reason. - Will you go on? You kids hop on a train. We can't. Our tickets aren't good until tomorrow. But you've got to get out tonight. Tickets... Wait a minute. Here, take these. We can't take your tickets. What will Mr Wallace think? It was his idea. He'll think it's some kind of an angle. I told you it was his idea. Now come on. We'll pay you back. Where can we reach you? - Don't worry. We'll be in touch. - Our trunks, our photos, the recordings... We'll get them to you. - Don't stop for anything. - Bye, Phil. - Goodbye. - Goodbye. I can't stall him much longer. What happened to paying the $200? We've got to give the girls a five or ten minutes' start. If you could stall him just a few minutes. I'll try but he's eating me out of business already. I think this will work. I've got a feeling I'm not going to like it. What am I doing it for? Let's just say we're doing it for a pal in the army. Listen, Sheriff, I haven't got all night to wait here, while you eat free food. You got your warrant, now arrest those girls. We agreed to let them finish their show first. I didn't. It was his idea. I got some rights too. You don't get them till after they've done their number. How long is it going to take? Wait a minute... that's their music. How's your coffee? Ladies and gentlemen. An impromptu surprise for you. The Haynes Sisters. We were a smash, let's take a bow. Are you crazy? We'll be taking a bow at the jailhouse. - Hey, you! - The Sheriff! - We've done it again. - It was your fault. Taxi! - Boy, girl, boy, girl. - Let's go. Here we go. You gentlemen made it just in time. Is this the right car? - You say you have space on this train? - Show him the tickets, buster. Oh, tickets. Hold this a minute. - What's the matter with you? - I'm looking for the tickets. - The tickets... - Yeah. I don't seem to have them. Maybe you've got them. Me? You put 'em in your pocket. They're gone. I must have left them in my girdle. Gentlemen, either you have tickets or you haven't. We've got a drawing room. Every available space on this train is occupied. However, if you purchase tickets, you can sit up all night in the club car. Fine. How much are two fares to New York? Let me see... $97 and 24 cents. - How much more is it to Vermont? - We're going to New York. It must be beautiful this time of year. All that snow. - Two tickets to New York. - How much to Vermont? - Who's going to Vermont? - We are. I mean we should. It'll do us good, all that snow, fir trees and clean fresh air. - Change of pace, just what we need. - Two tickets to New York. It's still $97 and 24 cents. OK, buster, get it out. I don't seem to have any cash. What did you do with that, leave it in your snood? - $97 and 24 cents. - OK. - Where are you going? - Breakfast. Breakfast! Get some peanuts. Club car's straight ahead. I don't get this... We had space in our names. They're not allowed to give it away. Well, with the holiday rush there could have been a slip up. The club car's in there. This is just great. We've paid for our tickets twice, and now we've got to sit up all night. If we took a plane we'd be sitting up all night! We're not taking a plane, we're taking a train, on which we had tickets... ...for a drawing room with two nice soft comfortable beds, where, at this very moment, two blondes... Oh, no, you wouldn't do this to me? - What? - After you dressed me up like a dame! You get me involved with a sheriff, I almost lose my life trying to catch a train... I just know on top of all that, you wouldn't take away my nice, warm bed, and let me spend the night out here in a draughty old club car. You wouldn't do this to old Bob, would you? Whatever are you talking about? I'm going down to drawing room 'A' and open up that door. And if I find those two Haynes sisters, I'll take them by the hair and with these two hands... Oh, Mr Wallace, how can we thank you? It was so sweet and generous of you. Mr Davis told us you insisted on giving us the tickets. It's wonderful of you. Wasrt there something you wanted to say to the girls? Yeah. Wort you have a drink or sandwich or something? Let's sit down. Can we have some club sandwiches? I'd like lemonade please. This is cosy - boy, girl, girl, boy. Where are you kids staying in New York? We're not staying in New York. We're booked for the holidays. The Columbia Inn, Pine Tree, Vermont. That sounds very Vermonty. Should be beautiful this time of year, all that snow. - Yeah, beautiful. - The fir trees, the clean pine air. Just what we need. Wonderful, could you come up for a couple of days? - Well, I don't know... - It would be awfully nice. If you're ever under a falling building, and somebody offers to pick you up and carry you to safety don't hesitate a moment, just spit in his eye. - What did that mean? - It means we're going to Vermont. Oh, boy! Might not be bad at that, you know. Snow-covered slopes, skiing, Christianas, and the stemming and the blatzing and the schussing. Hot, buttered rum, light on the butter... snow. Pine Tree. Coming in to Pine Tree. - Hi. - Good morning. How did you sleep? - Like a baby. I love sleeping on trains. - You remember "Nanook Of The North". You wound up on the shelf? Must've lost the toss. Let me help you down. Let's go visit the firemen. Your strategy's a little obvious. You don't mind, do you? I got a flash for you. She's a real slow mover. - She's in there with the champ. - Looks like our work's cut out for us. Leave it to me. I've got a whole plan worked out. Hey! Bob, Betty, Judy, come here. I think we took the wrong train. It's all green out here. We're still in Carolina. They must have grass-covered igloos up here. - This is warmer than Florida. - Where's the beach? We should have brought our bathing suits. Is this Vermont, New England's winter playground? - Are you sure this is the right Vermont? - This must be southern Vermont. - I don't understand it. - Ask Cisco here. Where's the snow? This is supposed to be America's snow playground. We haven't had snow since Thanksgiving. - Car for Columbia Inn this way. - That's us. Let's go. Must be wonderful in Vermont this time of year. All that underwear! I hope I can take the electric blanket back. - Where's that? - Under the underwear. You'll get a nice tan. - Arert you glad you came now? - Very Vermonty. You'll be able to do all the schussing and the blatzing... Welcome to Columbia Inn. What sort of accommodation would you like? There's a fairly wide choice. Any room in the inn including mine. We're not here as guests. We're the Haynes Sisters. My friend and I are guests. We came for the snow. - Where are you keeping it? - We take it in during the day. Terribly sorry, but we won't be able to use you. We'll pay half salary for cancelling. Are things really that bad? We're using the ski tow to hang the wash on. You aren't going to stay either are you? Well, if the girls are leaving... I'll just get the luggage. General Waverly! - Sir. - At ease. - How are you, Captain? - I'm fine, General, but... - We just keep the General part quiet. - Why? Begging your pardon, sir. Well, to put it in one sentence... people don't expect a major general to carry firewood. Bob, I was just thinking... - Private Davis, sir. - At ease, Davis. General Waverly! A janitor! Never thought I'd make it? Oh, yes, sir. You could do anything you put your mind to. But... a janitor! As a matter of fact it's worse than that. I own this hotel. - A landlord. - He got it in a shrewd business move. If I start the introductions, can I get to meet these young ladies? My housekeeper, Miss Emma Allen. My granddaughter, Susan Waverly. - We're the Haynes Sisters. - Your floorshow. Don't worry, I've already told them, we'd have to cancel. Why? We have a floor haven't we? Last time I looked, but who are they going to sing to? Even if it's only to you and me, it'll be won'th it. Besides, there'll be six inches of snow tonight. We'll be full tomorrow. Is that the weather forecast? No, but one thing I learned in the army was to be positive, especially when you don't know what you're talking about. We want you to know that you needrt feel obligated. Nonsense. We've made a contract. Your first performance is tonight at eight o'clock. Be there or I'll sue! Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, I'm on KP. We ate, then he ate. We slept, then he slept. Then he woke up and nobody slept for 48 hours. You know what? I think we can give you some pointers on that "Sister" number. - I don't like the wardrobe. - But it's so perty. Isn't this awful? It's like taking money under false pretences. Emma, couldn't you talk him into letting us work for half salary? Not Harry. Advance, never retreat. He's advancing right into bankruptcy. How deep's he in? He's invested his pension, his life savings, everything! It used to be a mill and a barn. Now it's a Tyrolean haunted house. Eat hearty! There must be something we could do. - There is. We're going to New York. - New York? - But you just got here! - We got some connections there. - We could dig him up a spot somewhere. - Yeah but the problem is here, now. We've got to stay and dream up a way of getting people in this place. - What do you suggest? - I don't know. Something unusual, some kind of a novelty. Tell me, Brainstorm, what do you think of the novelty up here in Vermont? - Maybe we can dig up a Democrat? - They'd stone him! If you ask me, what this place needs is a dynamite act. Now you're talking. If we could get something really big... - Like Wallace and Davis! - You couldn't get them, they're too big. Wait a minute. How about that, Bob? Do our old nightclub act... fit the girls in here and there. What do you say? It's a great idea. It's half a great idea anyhow. - Get me the New York operator. - OK, Mr Wallace. This way. I don't know what he's up to, but he's got that Rodgers and Hammerstein look. - Is that bad? - Not bad, but always expensive. I know it sounds crazy, Al, but you're working for crazy people. Get this straight. I want the whole show up here in three days. Set, costumes, and all the cast you can get. What's this gonna cost? Everybody gets an extra week's pay and you get a bonus, Al. - We open Christmas Eve. - The tab! How much? Al, what's this going to set us back? - Wow! - How much is "wow"? Do the best you can. Good luck. - How much is "wow"? - We got a big job. We can fill in acts with the Haynes Sisters. - How much is "wow"? - Right between "ouch" and "boing". Wow! I'm right behind you. I won't tell the General, but I think bringing your show here is one of the nicest... How did you know? Like any self-respecting housekeeper, I listen in on the other phone. - He thought of it. - It was a lovely thought. - Wow! - Let's get a hold of yourself. Hurry up kids, check in the lobby for your room numbers. All right, find your rooms. Get your rehearsal costumes on. We start rehearsals right after breakfast. I still don't understand. You mean you brought your whole show up here? - Most of it. - It's still not clear to me. Why? We have to close down for the holidays, lay the cast off and business is bad. I know about business being bad. We figured, since we had a chance to rehearse, we might as well do it here. Why here? You've got this nice big empty ski lodge. - Phil and I decided it was ideal. - That's right, Bob. Ideal. That's the word: Ideal. We looked at this big ski lodge and said, "Isn't it ideal?" - Ideal. - We've established that the lodge is ideal. It gives us a chance to test new material. - On what? - The audience, like guinea pigs. Pigs we can get for you, I'm not so sure about people. With all due modesty, Wallace and Davis never had any trouble packing them in. People, not pigs. Go ahead. There's quite a bit about show business I don't understand. - It'll come to you. - Just takes time. We wouldn't be any good as generals! You werert any good as privates. Let's take it from the top again. That's right, that's it. Keep it lively. Keep it going. That's good. Keep it up. Move that lumber arm, fellas. Take it over the other side. - Wonderful! - This will bring the business in, Grandpa. Was everything all right? Oh, sensational! Judy, was the tempo a little slow for you here? You've got to keep if flowing. - Isn't that better? - Yes, I can see that's better. That's much better. Much, much better. - Anything wrong? - No, I'm just restless. - Anything on your mind? - Just restless. - Maybe you'd sleep if you ate something. - I'm not hungry. Emma said she left some sandwiches in the snack bar. - Judy, go to sleep. - And some buttermilk. Goodnight. They say, if you eat something right before you go to bed it helps to... No, it drains the blood from the head. In case you're thinking of anything or anybody. Fine, OK. I'll go and get something. Not because I want something to eat but because if I don't, you won't go to sleep. - Goodnight. - Goodnight. - Hi. - Well, hello. What's doing? - I couldn't sleep. - You're a little young for that, aren't you? I heard something about sandwiches and buttermilk. This is the place. We is loaded here. The New England blue plate or the Vermont smorgasbord. Not as flashy as Toot Schors' probably, but I think you'll find the price is right. Tell me what you want to dream about then I'll know what to give you. I have a whole theory about it. Different food makes different dreams. If I have ham and cheese on rye like that I dream about a tall cool blonde. Turkey, I dream about a brunette. A little on the scat-back side, but oh, sexy... What about liverwurst? I dream about liverwurst. It's a little chilly in here, isn't it? I got just the spot for you. Grab the cow. We'll gather round the fire. Nice open-hearth job here with some Vermont logs burning briskly. - Isn't this nice? - Wonderful. - It's better than a picnic. - Certainly. No sand or flies buzzing. I can't understand what's wrong. I usually don't have trouble sleeping. Well you've come to the right fella. Sit down. I have a theory about that too. Would you like to hear it? - Do you mind if I say something? - Of course not. What you're doing with the General is one of the most unselfish things I've ever heard of. - No angle? - No angle. I want to apologise for the way I sounded in Florida. I've always been a kind of silly schoolgirl. The lady fair and the knight on the white horse. It's dangerous to put those knights up on white horses. - They're likely to slip off. - I think mine's here to stay. That's sure good to know. Make's a fella feel a little shaky up there on one of those bleached chargers. - Are you worried? - Kind of! Excuse me, I'm sorry. I was just after a little something for a sweet tooth. I see you've beaten me to it. You'll find the Vermont smorgasbord very good. You'll sleep like a baby. You know something, you still haven't eaten anything. I know exactly what I'm going to dream about tonight. Hold your fire, men. I'm coming through. - Morning, Captain. - Morning, General. Looks like you're on active duty. Emma drafted me for a few chores. And I picked up the handbills for the new show. Pretty good, eh? That ought to bring in quite a few guinea pigs. You ever meet the fellas in the horseshoe game? No. I'm a little too young for that sort of thing. I'm gonna hold up on horse shoes till after the parade's passing by. That'll be some time. Look, Bob... I still don't know too much about show business and guinea pigs. But in case you and Phil are worried about the welfare of a certain Vermont innkeeper, you needrt be. - His inn keeping days are numbered. - I wouldn't say that. The percentage will catch up with the weatherman someday. Those clouds have snow in them. Those are cumulus clouds, elevation 7,000 feet. I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed overnight. I want to tell you something, I haven't even told the women folk. I'm going back in the army. I've applied for active duty. They may try to give me one of those desk jobs, but they'd better not. I'm holding out for a training commander, or something overseas. - When will you hear, sir? - I expect a letter any day. Holy smoke, I'm really on the boil! I got the mail here. There's a letter for you, General. Here it is, from Washington too. - Looks like the one. - War Department... My glasses are in my room. I would like to read this by myself, but I'm a little anxious. Read it, son, slowly. I'm starting to play trombone a little too. Let's see if I can get focused in here. - "Dear Tom, why you dirty old..." - Skip that word. "Certainly was a surprise hearing from you. "Your amusing letter was appreciated. "Of course you've got plenty of time to be amusing, "sitting on that porch, rocking away, while we put in a full day's work. "You always were lucky and I envy you. "A few years more, I was just saying to Edie, "and I'll be taking it easy like old Tom." Old Tom! "Oh, well... Some people have all the luck! "Everything's fine here. Carol had the mumps..." The rest of the letter is about the family. He's telling me that they can't use me. No place for me. It wouldn't be too hard to learn this game of horseshoes. Begging your pardon, sir, but there's really a lot to be said for leisure. Of course, you've always been active... Never kid a kidder! See you later. That's a good one! Fine. All right, kids, take a rest. - Ready for the "Choreography" number. - I'll be with you in a minute. It's crazy! How are you going to get a whole division here by Christmas Eve? We don't. Just the guys in New England from his outfit. At least enough guys to show him he's not forgotten. Wort the show do it? If you'd seen the look in his eyes when he read that letter you'd know it wouldn't. It'll take five days to put the show on. How do we contact all the fellas? Television. Ed Harrison. I'm gonna put a call in now. If I can get on his show, I'll make a pitch to the guys myself. It's impossible, ridiculous and insane. - Anything else? - I wish I'd thought of it first! You rehearse the number. I'll call him. Johnny, get the kids for dress rehearsal. Can you put in a long distance call for me? I want to get Ed Harrison, New York City. - The television Ed Harrison? - Yeah. You'll catch him at Radio City. And let's keep it quiet, this is a personal thing. Oh, sure. Ed Harrison, television... All right, fellas. From the top. Ed, I know it's a long shot, but there's no other way to reach the men in a hurry. How does it sound? I love the idea of doing something for the old man! If it werert for him, I wouldn't know how to peel a potato! Why don't you go all out? Put the whole show on TV? I'll come up myself, bring the camera, crew, the works. Thanks Ed, but that's not the idea. It's a great idea. Put the show on the whole network. Play it up big. Real Christmas Eve show, all about how you play Santa Claus to the old man. Would be won'th over $100,000 of free advertising for you and Phil. We'll put the old boy on himself, "the forgotten man" angle. Tear their hearts out. Here's the laundry, Emma. Sorry, but that's out. We're not commercialising on the old mars hard luck. All I want to do is go on your show and make a little pitch, OK? Wonderful. See you Sunday night, then. Bye. Take it upstairs, Susan. - Was there a telegram for me? - What? Yeah! An offer from the "Carousel Club" in New York. What's your technique? Hold them up to the light? That's for amateurs. I use steam. You know, I'm thinking of turning in my uniform. Stick your nose in other people's business and you learn things you wish you hadrt. Anything specific? Did you know the boys are planning to put this whole show on television? I just heard Bob fix it with Ed Harrison. It's a big deal. - They're going to put the General on. - I can't believe it. It'll make him a pathetic figure from coast to coast. What's it going to do to his pride? It means $200,000 won'th of free publicity for Davis and Wallace. Emma, that's a terrible thing to say. Bob Wallace said it, I just heard him. No. Bob, wouldn't be involved in a thing like that. I'm sure you're wrong. If I am I'll resign as president of the New England chapter of busy-bodies anonymous. Have you seen Bob? Did he make that call to New York? I understand he did. I hear televisiors entered the picture. - Then he worked it out? - Beautifully. - Great little angle isn't it? - Brilliant. Listen, we don't want the General to know about it. I understand. Betty, Bob's waiting to rehearse in the dining room. Anything wrong? Tell him I'm on the way. - How about some lunch? - I'm not hungry. - But Betty... - I said I'm not hungry. - What's with her? - I'm not sure but I have an idea. - I want to think about it. - Let's think about it over a sandwich. I was just going over this "Blessings" number. Might be something we could do together. You want to try it from the release? - What's the matter, a bad key for you? - I don't think I'm right for this song. - Of course you are! Let's try it. - I really don't think I'm right for it. Don't be silly. What I'm trying to say is I don't feel like doing this song. In fact I'm not sure I want to do the show. What is this? You sleep well last night? I'd rather not discuss last night if you don't mind? Come now, I admit I was a little carried away. There's no use getting upset over a simple little kiss. Nobody signed a contract. There's nothing for you to feel guilty about. - Look who's talking about guilt. - What do you mean? You shouldn't mix fairytales with liverwurst and buttermilk. - What did you have for lunch today? - I didn't have lunch. Maybe you ought to eat something. Why is everybody so concerned about my eating habits? Whoa! Time, time, cut! Let's get off the merry-go-round. If you got something to say, say it otherwise let's get to work. Let's just skip all this. I wouldn't want to interfere with the business plans of Wallace and Davis. - That's quite a remark. - Sorry, it's the best I can do. I've got no time for games. Are you gonna sing this song or not? - I don't wanna sing the song. - Nobody's twisting your arm. - Is that all, Mr Wallace? - Yes, that's all Miss Haynes. - How do you figure that? - I'm not sure, but daylight's beginning to glimmer. Last night she couldn't sleep. Today she won't eat. - She's in love. - If that's love, somebody goofed. That's love all right, but she's deliberately putting up barriers. Because she feels that she's mother hen, and I'm her little chick. She'll never leave the roost until I'm taken care of. That's funny. Are you sure? She'll never get involved with anyone until I'm married, or engaged or something. Well, I guess that's the end of that. - Unless I get myself engaged real fast. - That's ridiculous. Even if it made any sense at all, there's nobody around here. Oh, I don't know. Be realistic, who could you find up here to get engaged to? - It ought to be someone that I know. - That always helps. - Of course, it's got to be a man. - An absolute must. I mean a mature man. One with talent and experience. Witty, gay, charming, attractive. Where are you going to find such a super man? - Don't be so modest. - Fellas like that don't... - Me? - You're not exactly Superman, but you're awfully available. Don't get any ideas, Judy. I'm not the marrying kind. - It's just an engagement. - I'm not the engaging kind either. I'm more the "I don't mind pushing my best friend into it, "but I'm scared stiff when I get close to it myself" kind. How terrible could it be for a few days? - You do like me, don't you? - Sure I do. I mean I'm not exactly repulsive. Of course not. You do find me gay, amusing, good company, fun to be with? Sure, but I feel the same way about my cocker spaniel. Well, let's just skip it. I was only thinking of Betty and Bob. Betty and Bob, yeah... Look, it would only be temporary, huh? Of course! You don't think I'm the kind of girl that throws herself at a man, do you? Nobody thinks that. Let me figure this out. It would only last two or three weeks at the worst... at the most I mean. Well of course. We wouldn't have to announce our engagement till it was absolutely necessary. Absolutely necessary! OK, it's a deal. Don't you think we ought to... kiss or something? Not until it's absolutely necessary. Isn't it a wonderful party? Would you like to dance? I'm game if you are. Hey, Betty. How about some exercise? Come on. Mr Herring, this is Miss Lennis. - How do you do? - Mutual, I'm sure! Looks like it's absolutely necessary. You mean I... Hold it fellas. Give me a little ching-a-ring. Folks, I have an announcement to make. And I want you all to be the first to know. I don't know whether the best things happen while you're dancing or whether they just happen in Vermont. But Judy has just agreed to... Well I mean that... She just asked me... That is she just said... What I'm trying to say is that Judy and I are engaged. - I sure wish it would happen to me! - Yeah, I do too! It's just wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I hoped you would be. Is everything all right? You realise you're getting the best girl in the world? - Oh... Yeah. - You take care of her. - This calls for champagne. - I'll help you, Emma. - Congratulations, kids! - Thanks, Bob. I don't know what you see in this long drink of water. But he's almost endurable! You're gonna settle down, huh? Pipes, slippers... All the best, boy. By the way, the water's fine. Why don't you take the plunge? It seemed a little icy today. - I've a feeling by tomorrow it'll be warm. - Well, you sold me. I'll go. Well, don't just stand there, aren't you going to kiss the bride? Oh, yes, sir. Yes, sir! Now, that didn't hurt too much, did it? In some ways, you're far superior to my cocker spaniel. At ease, General! - Champagne? - Yeah, I think I will. Let's drink to their happiness. To buttermilk, and liverwurst, and getting things back to how they were yesterday. I know we always said we'd never break up the act, but that wasrt really very realistic. We both knew that someday one or both of us would want to be free. Now that I'm taken care of, you don't have to feel responsible for me anymore. If there's anything special you want to do, you can feel free to go ahead and do it... Isn't that true? I say... Isn't that true? Betty, are you asleep? Goodnight. Thanks, General. When you get back, would you give this to Judy? It explains everything. I can't help feeling this is a tactical error. I kept watching you and Bob last night. What you two need is a good talking to. No, General, this is a private war. Don't do anything. I promise. Good luck! But on Christmas Eve we're gonna have a lot of special trains coming in. Can you handle it all OK? I'll call the traffic manager. - And remember, strictly off the record. - Yes, Mr Wallace. Hey, Betty! Where are you going? - To New York, I've got a job. - Where? Goodbye, good luck with the show. Betty, about yesterday, if I said anything, I didn't mean it. I was so busy with other things, I must have sounded like an idiot. Hey, Judy and John. Come up here. Let's run through your number. Watch the tempo in the last part. Keep it rocking, fellas. That was wonderful. Great, John. Listen, kids, come on up here. Excuse me, Judy. It's for you from Betty. She gave it to Grandpa at the station. At the station? Phil! Phil! It's from Betty. How could you try a stunt like this? Phoney engagements! Messing around with people's lives. You ought to be horse-whipped. First you, then you. - Gee, I only did it for your good. - Because I'm a lonely, unappy man. That's right, and when you're unappy, I'm unappy. After all, I... Oh, no. Not that life saving bit. - I don't expect any gratitude. - I'm not even sure you saved my life. Sometimes I wish the wall had fallen on me. And you, her own sister. How could you do such a thing? She's always been a kind of a mother hen. We wanted the mother hen to leave the roost. - I guess we laid an egg. - Egg? You laid a Vermont volleyball! I'm going to New York to try and square it with Betty. Consider yourself plenty lucky. You might have been stuck with this weirdsmobile for life! - Leave her. You've confused her enough. - You don't understand. - You've mix things up beautifully. - Will you listen...? No! You listen to me, I've got a little job for you to do. The General listens to the "Ed Harrison Show", right? I'm gonna be on about nine o'clock. You tell Emma, maybe she can help you. Don't let the General near that television set. Don't worry. I'll keep him away even if I have to break my arms. Break your arm or your neck, but don't break anything valuable. OK. You can depend on me. Good evening, Mr Wallace. I have a table already for you, sir. Has Betty Haynes been on yet? Not yet. In a few minutes. I'm expecting Eddy Harrison too. Show him to the table. Let's not do the number we rehearsed this afternoon. Play "Blue Skies". Anything. But the number sounded great in rehearsal. It's a wonderful number. Come on. Let's do it. Surprise! What brings you here? - I had some business to take care of. - Oh, I see. Some of it concerns you. - Really? - Yeah. It boils down to this... You didn't have to break up the act or leave town. - Judy and Phil's engagement was phoney. - Phoney? Seems they were trying to get rid of any barriers between you and the altar. They thought you and I were serious about each other. - Shows you how foolish people can be. - Yeah. Why do people have to stick their noses in other people's business? - That's Phil for you. - Judy for you. The two of us were having fun and they thought we were in love with each other. - Ridiculous. - Sure. They're sorry about it now and Judy wants you to come back. In fact, I'd like to see you come back myself. I don't know... I know that knight of yours has slipped off his charger. Why I don't know, but I'd like to do all I can to get him back up there. Mr Wallace has been expecting you. Bob, come on. It's 8:30. - This is Ed Harrison. Miss Haynes. - Hi. Boy, what I went through for you, but I finally got it the way you wanted it. That's swell. - Come on, I got a cab waiting. - Just a second. - I've got to scoot. Can I see you later? - I'm sorry, I have date. - What about tomorrow? - No, I'll be busy all day. You'd better go, you're keeping Mr Harrison. - What will I tell Judy? - I don't know, I'll think about it. Goodbye. Will Phil be able to keep the old man away from the television? I'm confident in him. When it comes to conniving you can't beat him. - You have the right station? - Sure. Grandpa, the battery's dead on the jeep. I'll fix it later, I don't want to miss the "Ed Harrison Show". Should be a good show tonight. - General, come quickly. - What's this? It's terrible! Phil fell down the stairs, I tell you it's an awful thing. What is it? Did you fall down the stairs? I'm all right, sir. Probably just a small, compound fracture. - How does it feel? - Pretty good, sir. Put your weight on it. Susan, call a doctor. Please don't do that. It's probably just a small internal muscular haemorrhage. You'll feel better if we take you some place where you'll be comfortable. Let's just go back in here and you can watch the television. I'm going to call a doctor. Please, don't bother, if you'll just help me back to the bungalow. I'll be all right. Thank you, sir. I wouldn't want to faint in front of the women. - Don't put your weight on it. - No, sir. It's a great privilege to present my special guest, an old pal from army days. A great guy, and a great entertainer. Bob Wallace! Bob's got a special message tonight for all you guys who were part of the 151st Division. It's about someone who's very close to all of us. Like Eddy told you, that song is for the 151st Division. The officers and the men under the command of Major General Tom Waverly. I hope a lot of you guys were listening because I have something I want you to do for me. Don't you want to sit down? No, sir. If you'll just walk me round the barn a few times, I think it'll be fine. It's a little too fast. Slow down a bit, sir. I know it's murder asking you to leave your homes on Christmas Eve. Certainly, a trip like this is no bargain. Although it shouldn't be too tough for the fellas who live in the New England area. Nobody connected with the show is getting anything out of it. Except what we're offering you, a chance to give the nicest Christmas gift to the nicest guy we'll ever know. Remember, your objective is Pine Tree, Vermont. for Operation Waverly. Listen, when I give you the signal, I want you fall in single file on each side of the stage. I want you to fall to attention like you did that day at Montecatini. It's a big day for you, you've got a lot of that stuff hung on you. We'll have you face the General. When I give the command to march, I want you to step right out, just like you used to. - Captain, these have shrunk. - Well, your appetite hasn't shrunk! Who's there? They're sure gone. How could you send all my suits to the cleaners? - You've only got two. - I'd think you'd send one at a time. - Why can't you wear your uniform? - Yes! I won't appear in uniform. Absolutely not. Very well, I'll tell Bob and Phil you didn't care to come to the show tonight. - I'll have you court-marshalled. - You're not obliged to go. They haven't done much for you. I'll make my own decisions. I got along in the army without you. It took 15,000 men to take my place. - I hope he comes down. - It's Betty! Welcome home, Betty! - Hi, where's Judy? - She's coming. I'm so glad you came. You didn't say anything to Bob, did you? Hurry up now, you haven't got much time to get ready. I could break down and cry. Grandpa! You look wonderful. You didn't expect me to come down in my bathrobe! Attention! Troops are ready for inspection, sir! Just routine, sir. I am not satisfied with the conduct of this division. Some of you are under the impression that you are not to wear neck ties. Well you're wrong, neck ties will be worn here. And look at the rest of your appearance. You're a disgrace to the outfit. You're soft, soppy, unruly. You're undisciplined. And I never saw anything look so wonderful in my whole life. Thank you all. - Thanks, Phil. - General. I'm grateful, Captain. Attention! - Buster, look here! - Here it comes. Isn't this great? - We may get snowed in here. - Boy, this is great! Remember to hold those candles up good and high. And keep in a straight line on stage. How's your voice Bobby? I'm Bobby. How's your voice? Give me a nice clear tone. Oh, those were the days! Keep in a straight line and don't get too far apart. Keep the candles up high. OK. - Who's that? - Santa Claus. Welcome to the family. Relatives, already! Wallace and Davis are flat. We need loot. Let's take the show to Chicago. - I can't. I'm busy. - Wait a minute I'll join you. Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!