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SHELDRAKE Lyrics

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SHELDRAKE

 
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SHELDRAKE SHELDRAKE
Joe! What the fuck bring you here?

JOE
You wanted to see me

SHELDRAKE
I did? What about?

JOE
"Based Loaded" It's an outline for a baseball picture.

SHELDRAKE
So, pitch.

JOE
It's about a rookie shortstop. He's batting .347. The kid was once mixed up in a hold-up. Now he's trying to go straight.

SHELDRAKE (Interrupting)
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I think I have read this.

(HE presses a buzzer on the intercom on his desk)

Somebody, bring in whatever we've got on....

(HE looks up at JOE, hoping for guidance)

JOE
"Bases Loaded"

SHELDRAKE
..."Bases Loaded."

JOE
They're pretty hot for it over at Twentieth

SHELDRAKE
Good!

JOE
But can you see Ty Power as a short-stop?

ENSEMBLE
Let's have lunch.

(There's a knock at the door and BETTY SCHAEFER steps into the room. SHE's a clean-cut, bright-looking girl, in her twenties. SHE advances on SHELDRAKE, dropping a folder on his desk, not noticing JOE.)

BETTY
Here's that "Bases Loaded" material, Mr. Sheldrake. I made a two-page synopsis for you, but I wouldn't bother to read it.

SHELDRAKE
Why not?

BETTY
It's just a rehash of something that wasn't very good to begin with.

SHELDRAKE
Meet Mr. Gillis. He wrote it.

ENSEMBLE
We should talk.

SHELDRAKE
This is Miss Kramer.

(BETTY turns to JOE, horribly embarrassed.)

BETTY
Schaefer, Betty Schaefer. And right now, I'd like to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.

JOE
If I could be of any help...

BETTY
I'm sorry, Mr. Gillis, I couldn't see the point of it.

JOE
What sort of material do you suggest? James Joyce? Dostoyevsky?

BETTY
I think pictures should at least try to say a little something.

JOE
I see you're one of the message kids. I expect you'll have turned down"Gone with the Wind."

SHELDRAKE
No, that was me.

ENSEMBLE
Gotta run.

BETTY
And I guess I was disappointed. I've read some of your other work and I thought you had some real talent.

JOE
Yeah, that was last year. This year I felt like eating.

BETTY
Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Gillis

SHELDRAKE
Thank you, Miss Kramer.

(BETTY leaves the room. SHELDRAKE looks up at JOE.)

Well, looks like Zanuck's got himself a baseball picture.

ENSEMBLE
We should talk
Gotta run,
Let's have lunch.

JOE
You've got to give me some work
I'll take whatever's on offer
there must be some shit that needs a rewrite
throw it my way.

SHELDRAKE
I only wish I could help
there's no spare shit at the moment
remember the greatest writers starved in garrets
didn't care about pay.

JOE
Are you trying to be funny?

SHELDRAKE
I believe in self-denial
gives a man some moral backbone.

JOE
Can you loan me three hundred bucks?

Sheldrake
I'm sorry, Gillis. Good-bye.

(JOE leaves.)

JOE
I just love Hollywood.

(The light hits JOE. Splintered lines overlap, creating a nightmarish cacophony of phoney greetings.)

MYRON
Morning, Joanna

CLIFF
___Where've you been hiding?

______SAMMY
______Hi there, Lisa

_________MYRON
_________How're you doing?

____________KATHERINE
____________I hate this weather

_______________CLIFF
_______________You look great

__________________LIZ
__________________RKO are O.K.!

MARY
What are you doing?

___JOANNA
___You look great

______GIRLS
______This is the biggest film ever made

_________CLIFF
_________I'm trying to make my mind up

____________MARY
____________Guess I was born to play her

_______________DAWN
_______________What is my motivation?

JOANNA
You look great

___SAMMY
___They're taling nominations

______LIZ
______You should go work for Warners'

_________MYRON
_________Is your new script with Sheldrake?

____________MORINO
____________I'm very close to Sheldrake

ARTIE
We shoot next month

SAMMY, SAND/ARTIE, MORINO, MYRON
Gotta run

JOHN
Let's drive to Vegas this weekend

KATHERINE/JOANNA
Let's have lunch

ANITA
You look great

___JOANNA
___I'm handling in my second draft

______MARY
______It's between me and Dietrich

_________KATHERINE
_________I've landed a big Broadway show

____________ADAM
____________I'm gonna work for Metro

_______________CLIFF
_______________Let's have lunch

__________________MARY
__________________Let's have lunch

GIRLS
Let's have lunch, this is the biggest film ever made

___MYRON
___I'd really love to read it

______CLIFF
______I'd know just how to light you

____________JOHN
____________Let's have lunch

_______________JOHN/LISA
_______________It won't work

__________________MORINO
__________________Let's pencil Thursday morning

GROUP 1
We should talk

GROUP 4
Gotta run

CHORUS
Let's have lunch

CHORUS (Not Joe)
Hi! Good morning, aren't we lucky?
going to work with Cukor
Paramount is paradise, movies from A to Zukor
We should talk, gotta run

GROUP 1
Let's have lunch

GROUP 2
We should talk

GROUP 1
Gotta run

GROUP 2
Gotta run

ALL
Let's have lunch!

(EVERYONE has dispersed, leaving JOE isolated, a prey to the waiting FINANCEMEN. HE's just addressing this situation when, to his surprise, BETTY materializes at his elbow.)

JOE
Come to get your knife back?
(Spoken)
It's still there, right between my shoulder blades.

BETTY
I read one of your stories,
wasn't it Scribner's, some magazine.
Title-
something with windows.

JOE
It was "Blind Windows"
if that's what you mean.

BETTY
That's right
I really liked it.

JOE
I'm all warm
and runny inside.

BETTY
Let me
Pitch it to Sheldrake.

JOE
I may be broke but
I still have my pride.

BETTY
Come on.
get off your high horse
writers with pride don't live in L.A.
silence
exile and cunning
those are the only cards you can play.

JOE
Sheldrake
won't buy this story
he likes trash with fairy lights.
Jesus,
think of the effort
trying to get him
to heighten his sights.

BETTY
Every
movie's a circus.
Can't we discuss this
Schwab's Thursday night?

JOE
What for?
Nothing will happen.
I gotta go now.
Fight the good fight.

BETTY
What's the rush?

(The FINANCEMEN appear in the doorway, looking around.)

JOE
See those Gorillas?

BETTY
Yes, what about them?

JOE
Do me a terrific favor
keep them amused while I escape.

BETTY
If you're at Schwab's on Thursday.

(JOE hesitates fractionally)

JOE
Done. Look, those guys are after my car. If I lose that in this town, it's like having my legs cut off.

BETTY
Let's duck into the soundstage.

1ST FIN.
Come on Gillis, give us the keys.

BETTY
Shhh! Please be quiet, Mr. De Mille is shooting right over there.

1ST FIN.
So what?

BETTY
He's working on "Samson and Delilah"; they're doing a red hot scene with Hedy Lamarr. You want to stay and watch?

1ST FIN.
No.

2ND FIN. (Interrupting)
Relax, we got five minutes.

(SHE leads them into a corner and JOE takes the opportunity to slip away. It's not long, however, before they realize that there is no scene being shot and furiously set off at a run, pursuing JOE)

BOTH FIN. MEN
Hey, hey, come back here...
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