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Schwab's Drugstore Lyrics

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Schwab's Drugstore

 
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Schwab's Drugstore Schwab's is a Sunset Boulevard institution, a combination of soda-fountain, news-stand, tobacconist's and diner; it's crowded with movie people of one sort or another. It's closing time, and the patrons are on their last cup of coffee, preparing to drift away.

ALL
Every
movie's a circus
on the wire
without a net

JOANNA
Coffee?

MYRON
I'm up too early
shooting at seven
I gotta go

ALL
Movies

BOY
What's wrong?

MARY
Can't get a screen test.
Don't you hate it
when a yes-man says no?

ALL
Movies

GIRL
Good part?

BOY
I'm a policeman
"Hang up, punk"
That's all I say.

ACTOR
First time
you worked on the lot there

ACTRESS
I must say R.
K.O are O.K.

ALL
Movies.

BOY
Then what?

GIRL
He pressed a button.
Out of the wall
fell a four-poster bed.

ALL
Movies.

MYRON
Busy?

JOANNA
They shot my screenplay

MYRON
Isn't that great?

JOANNA
No, they shot the thing dead.

ALL
Every
movie's a circus
on the wire
without a net.

BOY
Lonely?

GIRL
That's how I like it.

BOY
Can't you be nice?

GIRL
Why? We're not on the set.

ALL
Movies.

(JOE slips into the drugstore. ARTIE, who's sitting at the bar by the telephone greets HIM.)

ARTIE
Hey, Joe
what are you, slumming?

JOE
Here for a meeting.

ARTIE
This time of night?

ALL
Movies.

JOE
Yeah, it's some
studio smartass
You know I'm famous
for being polite.

ALL
Movies.

ARTIE
Guess what?
I'm getting married.

JOE
Congratulations

ARTIE
She'll be right back.

ALL
Movies.

ARTIE
Fact is
we were just leaving
She's been stood up by
some uppity hack.

ALL
Movies.

JOE
Married
Who would have thought it?
Why don't you look happy?
Come on, be brave.

ALL
Movies.

ARTIE
It's this
movie I'm shooting.

JOE
You first assistant?

ARTIE
More like a slave.

ALL
Every
movie's a circus.

ARTIE
But this is a circus
movie as well.
Problems,
nothing but problems.
Animals, actors,
two kinds of hell.

ALL
Every
movie's a circus
on the wire
without a net.

(BETTY comes in.)

BETTY
Well, hello,
Mr. Gillis.

ARTIE
You two have met?

JOE
I'm the uppity hack.

ARTIE
And she's
the studio smartass.

BETTY
What's going on here?

(The phone rings. The BARMAN picks it up.)

BARMAN (To ARTIE)
Artie, they're calling you back.

(BETTY and JOE move over to a table; there's a moment of awkwardness between them, before BETTY decides to grasp the nettle. As THEY begin their number, isolated phrases from ARTIE's phone call puncture their tentative conversation.)

BETTY
I just
reread "Blind Windows"
It needs some real
re-working, of course.
If we
fixed up the opening

ARTIE
Call up the wrangler
pay off the horse.

JOE
Girl meets boy
That's a safe beginning

BETTY
It's nearly closing
I thought you weren't
going to show.

JOE
So did I.
I felt it might be kinder

BETTY
What are you saying?

JOE
Come on, Miss Schaefer,
you know.

BETTY
What?

JOE
Every time I see some young kid
dreaming they'll produce
a masterpiece
I just want to throw them
on the next train home.

BETTY
Never thought
you'd be so condescending.

JOE
Sorry, Miss Schaefer
I didn't come here to fight.

BETTY
Girl meets boy.
If that's how you want it.
She's a young teacher,
he's a reporter.
It's hate at first sight.

JOE
It won't sell,
these days they want glamour:
Fabulous heiress
meets handsome Hollywood heel.
The problem is,
she thinks he's a burglar.
Would you believe it?
A wedding in the last reel.

BETTY
It doesn't have to be so mindless.
You should write from your experience
Give us something really moving;
something true.

JOE
Who wants true?
Who the hell wants moving?
Moving means starving
and true means holes in your shoe.

BETTY
No, you're wrong.
They still make good pictures.
Stick to your story,
it's a good story.

JOE
O.K. Miss Schaefer;
I give it to you.

(HE's on his feet; BETTY is looking up at him, completely wrong-footed by his unexpected reaction.)

BETTY
What do you mean?

JOE
It's what I said. I've given up writing myself. So you write it.

BETTY
Oh, I'm not good enough to do it on my own. But I thought we could write it together.

JOE
I can't, I'm all tied up.

BETTY
Couldn't we work evenings? Six o'clock in the morning? I'd come to your place.

JOE
Look, Betty, it can't be done. It's out.

(HE relents a little at her obvious disappointment, smiles apologetically)

Let's keep in touch through Artie. That way if you get stuck, we can at least talk.

(HE smiles at HER, relaxed now.)

Write this down
I'll give you some ground rules.
Plenty of conflict
but nice guy don't break the law.
Girl meets boy
she give herself completely
and though she loves him

JOE/BETTY
She keeps one foot on the floor.

BETTY
No one dies except the best friend
No one ever mentions communists
No one takes a black friend to a restaurant.

JOE
Very good.
Nothing I can teach you
We could have had fun
fighting the studio.

BETTY
Yes, Mr. Gillis.
That's just what I want.

ARTIE
What a nightmare.
Good to see you.
Come to my new year party.

JOE
Last year it got out of hand.

ARTIE
Guaranteed bad behavior.

JOE
See you then.

BETTY
Don't give up, you're too good.

(SHE begins to move off with ARTIE.)

JOE
Thanks.



(THEY leave; and JOE is the last customer in the drugstore, staring ruefully into his cup of coffee.)
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