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Sunset Blvd. (1950) screenplay

by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman Jr.

 
               SEQUENCE "A"  


A-l-4   START the picture with the actual street sign:
SUNSET BOULEVARD, stencilled on a curbstope.
In the gutter lie dead leaves, scraps of paper,
burnt matches and cigarette butts.  It is early
morning.

Now the CAMERA leaves the sign and MOVES EAST, the
grey asphalt of the street filling the screen.  As
speed accelerates to around 40 m.p.h., traffic de-
marcations, white arrows, speed-limit warnings, man-
hole covers, etc., flash by.  SUPERIMPOSED on all
this are the CREDIT TITLES, in the stencilled style
of the street sign.

Over the scene we now hear         MAN'S VOICE
sirens.  Police squad cars    Yes, this is Sunset
hurtle toward the camera,     Boulevard, Los Angeles,
turn off the road into a      California.  It's about
driveway with squealing       five o'clock in the
brakes.  Dismounted motor-    morning.  That's the
cycle cops stand directing    Homicide Squad, com-
the cars in.                  plete with detectives
                              and newspaper men.
A-5     PATIO AND POOL OF             A murder has been re-
MANSION                       ported from one of those
                              great big houses in the
The policemen and news-       ten thousand block.
paper reporters and           You'll read all about
photographers have            it in the late editions,
jumped out of the cars        I'm sure.  You'll get
and are running up to         it over your radio,
the pool, in which a          and see it on tele-
body is seen floating.        vision -- because an
Photographers' bulbs          old-time star is in-
flash in rapid suc-           volved.  one of the big-
cession.                      gest.  But before you
                              hear it all distorted
                              and blown out of
                              proportion, before those
                              Hollywood columnists
                              get their hands on it,
                              maybe you'd like to
                              hear the facts, the
                              whole truth...

A-6     FLASH OF THE BODY
                                MAN'S VOICE
Angle up through the       If so, you've come to the
water from the bottom      right party...  You see,
of the pool, as the        the body of a young man
body floats face down-     was found floating in the
ward.  It is a well-       pool of her mansion, with
dressed young man.         two shots in his back and
                           one in his stomach.  No-
                           body important, really.
                           Just a movie writer with
                           a couple of "B" pictures
                           to his credit.  The poor
                           dope.  He always wanted a
                           pool Well, in the end
                           he got himself a pool --
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:          only the price turned out
                           to be a little high...
                           Let's go back about six
A-7     HOLLYWOOD, SEEN FROM       months and find the day
THE HILLTOP AT IVAR        when it all started.
& FRANKLIN STREETS

It is a crisp sunny        I was living in an
day.  The voice con-       apartment house above
tinues speaking as         Franklin and Ivar.
CAMERA PANS toward         Things were tough
the ALTO NIDO APART-       at the moment.  I hadn't
MENT HOUSE, an ugly        worked in a studio for
Moorish structure ofsat    a long time.  So I
stucco, about four         there grinding
stories high.  CAMERA      out original stories,
MOVES TOWARD AN OPEN       two a week.  Only I
WINDOW on the third        seemed to have lost
floor, where we look       my touch.  Maybe they
in on JOE GILLIS' APART-   weren't original
MENT.  Joe Gillis, bare-   enough.  Maybe they
footed and wearing no-     were too original.
thing but an old bath-     All I know is they
robe.  is sitting on       didn't sell.
the bed.  In front of
him.  on a straight
chair, is a portable
typewriter.  Beside
him, on the bed, is a
dirty ashtray and a
scattering of type
written and pencil-
marked pages.  Gillis
is typing.  with a
pencil clenched bet-
ween his teeth.



A-8     JOE GILLIS' APARTMENT

It is a one-room affair with an unmade Murphy bed
pulled out of the wall at which Gillis sits typing.
There are a couple of worn-out plush chairs and a
Spanish-style, wrought-iron standing lamp.  Also a
small desk littered with books and letters, and a
chest of drawers with a portable phonograph and some
records on top.  On the walls are a couple of repro-
ductions of characterless paintings, with laundry
bills and snapshots stuck in the frames.  Through an
archway can he seen a tiny kitchenette, complete with
unwashed coffee pot and cup, empty tin cans, orange
peels, etc.  The effect is dingy and cheerless --
just another furnished apartment.  The buzzer SOUNDS.

                  GILLIS
       Yeah.

The buzzer SOUNDS again.  Gillis gets up and opens
the door.  Two men wearing hats stand outside one of
them carrying a briefcase.

                  NO. 1
       Joseph C. Gillis?

                  GILLIS
       That's right.

The men ease into the room.  No. 1 hands Gillis a
business card.

                  NO. 1
       We've come for the car.

                  GILLIS
       What car?

                  NO. 2
            (Consulting a paper)
       1946 Plymouth convertible.  Calif-
       ornia license 97 N 567.

                  NO. 1
       Where are the keys?

                  GILLIS
       Why should I give you the keys?


                  NO. 1
       Because the company's played ball
       with you long enough.  Because
       you're three payments behind.  And
       because we've got a Court order.
       Come on -- the keys.

                  NO. 2
       Or do you want us to jack it up
       and haul it away?

                  GILLIS
       Relax, fans.  The car isn't here.

                  NO. 1
       Is that So?

                  GILLIS
       I lent it to a friend of mine.
       He took it up to Palm Springs.

                  NO. 1
       Had to get away for his health,
       I suppose.

                  GILLIS
       You don't believe me?  Look in
       the garage.

                  NO. 1
       Sure we believe you, only now we
       want you to believe us.  That car
       better be back here by noon tomorrow,
       or there's going to be fireworks.

                  GILLIS
       You say the cutest things.

The men leave.  Gillis                 GILLIS' VOICE
stands pondering beside    Well, I needed about two
the door for a moment.     hundred and ninety dollars
Then he walks to the       and I needed it real
center of the room and,    quick, or I'd lose my car.
with his back to the       It wasn't in Palm Springs
CAMERA, slips into a       and it wasn't in the
pair of gray slacks.       garage.  I was way ahead
There is a metallic        of the finance company.
noise as some loose
change and keys drop
from the trouser pockets.
As Gillis bends over to
pick them up, we see that
he has dropped the car
keys, identifiable be-
cause of a rabbit's
foot and a miniature
license plate attached
to the key-ring.  Gillis
pockets the keys and as
he starts to put on a
shirt

DISSOLVE TO:

A-9     EXTERIOR OF RUDY'S                   GILLIS' VOICE
SHOESHINE PARLOR (DAY)                
                              I knew they'd be coming
A small shack-like build-     around and I wasn't tak-
ing, it stands in the         ing any chances, so I
corner of a public park-      kept it a couple of
ing lot.  Rudy, a             blocks away in a parking
colored boy, is giving        lot behind Rudy's Shoe-
a customer a shine.           shine Parlor.  Rudy
                              never asked any quest-
                              ions.  He'd just look at
                              your heels and know the
                              score.

PAN BEHIND the shack to GILLIS' CAR, a yellow 1946
Plymouth convertible with the top down.  Gillis enters
the SHOT.  He is wearing a tweed sport jacket, a tan
polo shirt, and moooasins.  He steps into the car and
drives it off.  Rudy winks after him.


A-10    THE ALLEY NEXT TO SIDNEY'S
MEN'S SHOP ON BRONSON AVE.            GILLIS' VOICE
                              I had an original story
Gillis drives into the        kicking around Paranount.
alley and parks his car       My agent told me it was
right behind a delivery       dead as a doornail.  but
truck.  PAN AND FOLLOW        I knew a big shot over
HIM as he gets out, walks     there who'd always liked
around the corner into        me, and the time had
Bronson and then toward       come to take a little
the towering main gate of     advantage of it.  His
Paramount.  A few loafers,    name was Sheldrake.  He
studio cops and extras are    was a smart producer,
lounging there.               with a set of ulcers to
                              prove it.

DISSOLVE TO:

A-11    SHELDRAKE'S OFFICE

It is in the style of a Paramount executive's office --
mahogany, leather, and a little chintz.  On the
walls are some large framed photographs of Paramount
stars, with dedications to Mr. Sheldrake.  Also a
couple of framed critics' awards certificates, and an
Oscar on a bookshelf.  A shooting schedule chart is
thumb-tacked into a large bulletin board.  There are
piles or scripts, a few pipes and, somewhere in the
background, some set models.

Start on Sheldrake.  He is about 45.  Behind his wor-
ried face there hides a coated tongue.  He is en-
gaged in changing the stained rilter cigarette in
his Zeus holder.

                  SHELDRAKE
       All right, Gillis.  You've got
       five minutes.  What's your story
       about?

                  GILLIS
       It's about a ball player, a rookie
       shortstop that's batting 347.  The
       poor kid was once mixed up in a hold-
       up.  But he's trying to go straight --
       except there's a bunch of gamblers
       who won't let him.

                  SHELDRAKE
       So they tell the kid to throw the
       World Series, or else, huh?

                  GILLIS
       More or less.  Only for the end
       I've got a gimmick that's real good.

A secretary enters, carrying a glass or milk.
She opens a drawer and takes out a bottle of pills for
Sheldrake.

                  SHELDRAKE
       Got a title?

                  GILLIS
       Bases Loaded.  There's a 4O-page
       outline.

                  SHELDRAKE
            (To the secretary)
       Get the Readers' Department and
       see what they have on Bases Loaded.

The secretary exits.  Sheldrake takes a pill and
washes it down with some milk.

                  GILLIS
       They're pretty hot about it
       over at Twentieth, but I
       think Zanuck's all wet.  Can
       you see Ty Power as a

                  GILLIS (cont'd)
       shortstop?  You've got the best
       man for it right here on this lot.
       Alan Ladd.  Good change of pace for
       Alan Ladd.  There's another thing:
       it's pretty simple to shoot.  Lot
       of outdoor stuff.  Bet you could
       make the whole thing for under a
       million.  And there's a great little
       part for Bill Demarest.  One of the
       trainers, an oldtime player who
       got beaned and goes out of his head
       sometimes.

The door opens and Betty Schaefer enters -- a clean-
cut, nice looking girl of 21, with a bright, alert
manner.  Dressed in tweed skirt, Brooks sweater and
pearls, and carrying a folder of papers.  She puts
them on Sheldrake's desk, not noticing Gillis, who
stands near the door.

                  BETTY
       Hello, Mr. Sheldrake.  On that Bases
       Loaded.  I covered it with a 2-page
       synopsis.
            (She holds it out)
       But I wouldn't bother.

                  SHELDRAKE
       What's wrong with it?

                  BETTY
       It's from hunger.

                  SHELDRAKE
       Nothing for Ladd?

                  BETTY
       Just a rehash of something that
       wasn't very good to begin with.

                  SHELDRAKE
       I'm sure you'll be glad to meet
       Mr. Gillis.  He wrote it.

Betty turns towards Gillis, embarrassed.

                  SHELDRAKE
       This is Miss Kramer.

                  BETTY
       Schaefer.  Betty Schaefer.  And
       right now I wish I could crawl
       into a hole and pull it in after
       me.

                  GILLIS
       If I could be of any help...

                  BETTY
       I'm sorry, Mr. Gillis, but I
       just don't think it's any good.
       I found it flat and banal.

                  GILLIS
       Exactly what kind of material do
       you recommend?  James Joyce?
       Dostoosvsky?

                  SHELDRAKE
       Name dropper.

                  BETTY
       I just think pictures should say
       a little something.

                  GILLIS
       Oh, you're one of the message
       kids.  Just a story won't do.
       You'd have turned down Gone With the
       Wind.

                  SHELDRAKE
       No, that was me.  I said, Who
       wants to see a Civil War picture?

                  BETTY
       Perhaps the reason I hated Bases
       Loaded is that I knew your name.
       I'd always heard you had some
       talent.

                  GILLIS
       That was last year.  This year
       I'm trying to earn a living.

                  BETTY
       So you take Plot 27-A, make it
       glossy, make it slick --

                  SHELDRAKE
       Carefull Those are dirty words!
       You sound like a bunch of New
       York critics.  Thank you, Miss
       Schaefer.

                  BETTY
       Goodbye, Mr. Gillis.

                  GILLIS
       Goodbye.  Next time I'll write
       The Naked and the Dead.


Betty leaves.

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

                  GILLIS
       Mr. Sheldrake, I don't want you
       to think I thought this was going
       to win any Academy Award.

                  SHELDRAKE
            (His mind free-wheeling)
       Of course, we're always looking
       for a Betty Hutton.  Do you see
       it as a Betty Hutton?

                  GILLIS
       Frankly, no.

                  SHELDRAKE
            (Amusing himself)
       Now wait a minute.  If we made
       it a girls' softball team, put
       in a few numbers.  Might make a
       cute musical: It Happened in
       the Bull Pen -- the story of a
       Woman.

                  GILLIS
       You trying to be funny?  -- because
       I'm all out of laughs.  I'm over a
       barrel and I need a job.

                  SHELDRAKE
       Sure, Gillis.  If something should
       come along -

                  GILLIS
       Along is no good.  I need it now.

                  SHELDRAKE
       Haven't got a thing.

                  GILLIS
       Any kind of assignment.  Additional
       Dialogue.

                  SHELDRAKE
       There's nothing, Gillis.  Not
       even if you were a relative.

                   GILLIS
             (Hating it)
       Look, Mr. Sheldrake, could you
       let me have three hundred bucks
       yourself, as a personal loan?

                   SHELDRAKE
       Could I?  Gillis, last year some-
       body talked me into buying a ranch
       in the valley.  So I borrowed money
       from the bank so I could pay for
       the ranch.  This year I had to
       mortgage the ranch so I could keep
       up my life insurance so I could
       borrow on the insurance so I could
       pay my income tax.  Now if Dewey
       had been elected -

                   GILLIS
       Goodbye, Mr. Sheldrake.

DISSOLVE TO:


A-12    EXT. SCHWAB'S DRUG STORE
(EARLY AFTERNOON ACTIVITY)         GILLIS' VOICE
                            After that I drove down
MOVE IN toward drug store   to headquarters.  That's
and                         the way a lot of us think
                            about Schwab's Drug Store.
DISSOLVE TO:                Actors and stock girls and
                            waiters.  Kind of a
                            combination office,Kaffee-
A-13    INT. SCHWAB'S DRUG STORE    Klatsch and waiting room.
                            Waiting, waiting for the
The usual Schwabadero       gravy train.
crowd sits at the fount-
ain, gossips at the
cigar-stand, loiters by
the magazine display.
MOVE IN towards the TWO
TELEPHONE BOOTHS.  In       I got myself ten nickels
one of them sits Gillis,    and started sending out
a stack of nickels in       a general S.O.S.  Couldn't
front of him.  He's         get hold of my agent,
doing a lot of talking      naturally.  So then I
into the telephone,         called a pal of mine,name
hanging up, dropping        of Artie Green -- an awful
another nickel, dialing,    nice guy, an assistant
talking again.              director.  He cquld let me
                            have twenty, but twenty
                            wouldn't do.

                                 GILLIS' VOICE (Cont.)
                      Then I talked to a couple of
                      yes men at Twentieth.  To me
                      they said no.  Finally I
                      located that agent of mine, the
                      big faker.  Was he out digging
                      up a job for poor Joe Gillis?
                      Hmph! He was hard at work in
                      Bel Air, making with the golf
                      clubs.

Gillis hangs up with a curse, opens the door of the
booth, emerges, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
He walks toward the exit.  He is stopped by the
voice of

                  SKOLSKY
       Hello, Gillis.

Gillis looks around.  At the fountain sits Skolsky,
drinking a cup of coffee.

                  GILLIS
       Hello, Mr. Skolsky.

                  SKOLSKY
       Got anything for the column?

                  GILLIS
       Sure.  Just sold an original for
       a hundred grand.  The Life of the
       Warner Brothers.  Starring the Ritz
       Brothers.  Playing opposite the
       Andrew Sisters.

                  SKOLSKY
            (With a sour smile)
       But don't get me wrong -- I love
       Hollywood.

Gillis walks out.

DISSOLVE TO:


A-14    THE BEL AIR GOLF LINKS

On a sun-dappled green edged with tall sycamores,
stands Morino, the agent, a caddy and a nondescript
opponent in the background.  Gillis has evidently
stated his problem already.


                  MORINO
       So you need three hundred dollars?
       Of course, I could give you three
       hundred dollars.  Only I'm not
       going to.

                  GILLIS
       No?

                  MORINO
       Gillis, get this through your
       head.  I'm not just your agent.
       It's not the ten per cent.  I'm
       your friend.

He sinks his putt and walks toward the next tee,
Gillis following him.

                  GILLIS
       How's that about your being my
       friend?

                  MORINO
       Don't you know the finest things
       in the world have been written on
       an empty stomach?  Once a talent
       like yours gets into that Mocambo-
       Romanoff rut, you're through.

                  GILLIS
       Forget Romanoff's.  It's the car
       I'm talking about.  If I lose my
       car it's like having my legs out off.

                  MORINO
       Greatest thing that could happen
       to you.  Now you'll have to sit
       behind that typewriter.  Now
       you'll have to write.

                  GILLIS
       What do you think I've been doing?
       I need three hundred dollars.

                  MORINO
            (Icily)
       Maybe what you need is another agent.

He bends down to tee up his ball.  Gillis turns away.

DISSOLVE TO:


A-15    GILLIS IN HIS OPEN CAR
                                     GILLIS' VOICE
driving down Sunset      As I drove back towards town
towards Hollywood.  He   I took inventory of my pros-
drives slowly.  His      pects.  They now added up to
mind is working.          exactly zero.  Apparently I
                         just didn't have what it takes,
                         and the time had come to wrap
                         up the whole Hollywood deal
                         and go home.  Maybe if I hocked
                         all my junk there'd be enough
                         for a bus ticket back to Ohio,
                         back to that thirty-five-
                         dollar-a-week job behind the
                         copy desk of the Dayton Evening
                         Post, if it was still open.
                         Back to the smirking delight
                         of the whole office.  All
Gillis stops his car at  right you wise guys.  why don't
a red light by the main  you go out and take a crack at
entrance to Bel Air.     Hollywood?  Maybe you think
Suddenly his eyes fall   you could -- Oh-oh!
on:


A-16    ANOTHER CAR

It is a dark-green Dodge business coupe, also waiting
for the light to change.  but headed in the opposite
direction.  In it are the two finance company men.
They spot Gillis in his car and exchange looks.  From
across the intersection Gillis recognizes them and
pulls down the leather sunshade to screen his face.
As the light changes.  Gillis gives his car the gun
and shoots away.  The men narrowly avoid hitting
another car as they make a U-turn into oncoming
traffic and start after him.

A-17    THE CHASE
to
A-21    Very short, very sharp, told in FLASHES.  (Use
locations on Sunset between Bel Air and Holmby Hills).
The men lose Gillis around a bend, catch sight of him
and then -- while they are trapped behind a slow-
moving truck.  he disappears again.


A-22    GILLIS

He is driving as fast as he dares, keeping an eye out
for pursuit in his rear-view mirror.  Suddenly his
right front tire blows out.  Gillis clutches desperately
at the steering wheel and manages to turn the careening
car into

A-23    A DRIVEWAY

It is overgrown with weeds and screened from the street
by bushes and trees.  Gillis stops his car about thirty
feet from the street and looks back.

                                     GILLIS' VOICE
                           Was I far enough ahead?

A-24    THE OTHER CAR

shoots past the driveway, still looking for Gillis.

A-25    GILLIS
He watches his pursuers               GILLIS' VOICE
shoot past and out of      Yeah...
sight.  He opens the
door and looks down at     I had landed myself in the
the flat tire.  Then he    driveway of some big mansion
looks around to see        that looked run-down and
where he is.               deserted.  At the end of the
                           drive was a lovely sight
A-26    DRIVEWAY WITH GARAGE       indeed -- a great big empty
                           garage, just standing there
An enormous, five-car      going to waste.  If ever there
affair.  neglected and     was a place to stash away a
empty-looking.             limping car with a hot license
                           number...
A-27    GILLIS

He gets back into his      There was another occupant in
car and carefully pilots   that garage: an enormous
the limping vehicle into   foreign-built automobile.  It
one of the stalls.  In     must have burned up ten gallons
the adjoining one is a     to a mile.  It had a 1932
large, dust-covered        license.  I figured that's
Isotta-Fraschini propped   when the owners moved out...
up on blocks.  He closes   I also figured I couldn't go
the garage door and walks  back to my apartment now that
up the driveway.  In idle  those bloodhounds were on to
curiosity he mounts a      me.  The idea was to get Artie
stone staircase which      Green's and stay there till I
leads to the garden.       could make that bus for Ohio.
CAMERA IN BACK OF HIM.     Once back in Dayton I'd drop
At the top of the steps    the credit boys a picturepost-
he sees the somber pile    card telling them where to
of                         pick up the jallopy.


NORMA DESMOND'S HOUSE             GILLIS' VOICE
It is a grandiose --   It was a great big white
Italianate structure,  elephant of a place.  The kind
mottled by the years,  crazy movie people built in the
gloomy, forsaken,      crazy Twenties.  A neglected
little formal garden   house gets an unhappy look.
completely gone to     This one had it in spades.  It
seed.                  was like that old woman in
                       Great Expectations -- that Miss
From somewhere above   Haversham in her rotting wed-
comes                  ding dress and her torn veil,
                       taking it out on the world be-
                       cause she'd been given the go-
                       by.

                  A WOMAN'S VOICE
       You there!

Gillls turns and looks.

A-28    UPSTAIRS LOGGIA

Behind a bamboo blind there is a movement of
a dark figure.

                  WOMAN'S VOICE
       Wlly are you so late?  Why have
       you kept me waitlng so long?

A-29    GILLIS

He stands flabbergasted.  A new noise attracts his
attention -- the creak of a heavy metal-and-glass
door being opened.  He turns and sees

A-3O    THE ENTRANCE DOOR OF THE HOUSE

Max von Mayerling stands there.  He is sixty, and
all in black, except for immaculate white cotton
gloves, shirt, high, stiff collar and a white bow
tie.  His coat is shiny black alpaca, his trousers
ledger-atriped.  He is semi-paralyzed.  The left
side of his mouth is pulled down, and he leans on a
rubber-ferruled stick.

                  MAX
       In here!

Gillis enters the shot.


                  GILLIS
       I just put my car in the garage.
       I had a blow-out.  I thought --

                  MAX
       Go on in.

There is authority in the gesture of his white-
gloved hand as he motions Gillis inside.

                  GILLIS
       Look, maybe I'd better take my
       car --

                  MAX
       Wipe your feet!

Automatically, Gillis wipes his feet on an enormous
shabby cocoanut mat.

                  MAX
       You are not dressed properly.

                  GILLIS
       Dressed for what?

                  THE WOMAN'S VOICE
       Max!  Have him come up, Max!

                  MAX
            (Gesturing)
       Up the stairs!

                  GILLIS
       Suppose you listen just for a
       minute -

                  MAX
       Madame is waiting.

                  GILLIS
       For me?  Okay.

Gillis enters.


A-31    INT. NORMA DESMOND'S ENTRANCE HALL

It is grandiose and grim.  The whole place is one of
those abortions of silent-picture days, with bowling
alleys in the cellar and a built-in pipe organ, and
beams imported from Italy, with California termites
at work on them.  Portieres are drawn before all the
windows, and only thin slits or sunlight find their
way in to fight the few electric bulbs which are always
burning.



Gillis starts up the curve of the black marble
staircase.  It has a wrought-iron rail and a worn
velvet rope along the wall.

                  MAX
            (From below)
       If you need help with the
       coffin call me.

The oddity of the situation has caught Gillis'
imagination.  He climbs the stairs with a kind of
morbid fascination.  At the top he stops, undecided,
then turns to the right and is stopped by

                  WOMAN'S VOICE
       This way!

Gillis swings around.

Norma Desmond stands down the corridor next to a
doorway from which emerges a flickering light.  She
is a little woman.  There is a curious style, a
great sense of high voltage about her.  She is dress-
ed in black house pyjamas and black high-heeled
pumps.  Around her throat there is a leopard-pat-
terned scarf, and wound around her head a turban of
the same material.  Her skin is very pale, and she
is wearing dark glasses.

                  NORMA
       In here.  I put him on my massage
       table in front of the fire.  He
       always liked fires and poking at
       them with a stick.

Gillis enters the SHOT and she leads him into


A-32    NORMA DESMOND'S BEDROOM

It is a huge, gloomy room hung in white brocade which
has beconle dirty over the years and even slightly
torn in a few places.  There's a great, unmade gilded
bed in the shape of a swan, from which the gold had
begun to peel.  There is a disorder of clothes and
negligees and faded photographs of old-time stars
about.

In an imitation baroque fireplace some logs are burn-
ing.  On the massage table before it lies a small
form shrouded under a Spanish shawl.  At each end on
a baroque pedestal stands a three-branched cande-
labrum, the candles lighted.

                  NORMA
       I've made up my mind we'll bury him in
       the garden.  Any city laws against that?


                  GILLIS
       I wouldn't know.

                  NORMA
       I don't care anyway.  I want the
       coffin to be white.  And I want
       it specially lined with satin.
       White, or deep pink.

She picks up the shawl to make up her mind about the
color.  From under the shawl flops down a dead arm.
Gillis stares and recoils a little.  It is like a
child's arm, only black and hairy.

                  NORMA
       Maybe red.  bright flaming red.
       Gay.  Let's make it gay.

Gillis edges closer and glances down.  Under the
shawl he sees the sad, bearded face of a dead
chimpanzee.  Norma drops back the shawl.

                  NORMA
       How much will it be?  I warn you -
       don't give me a fancy price just
       because I'm rich.

                  GILLIS
       Lady.  you've got the wrong man.

For the first time.  Norma really looks at him
through her dark glasses.

                  GILLIS
       I had some trouble with my car.
       Flat tire.  I pulled into your
       garage till I could get a spare.
       I thought this was an empty house.

                  NORMA
       It is not.  Get out.

                  GILLIS
       I'm sorry, and I'm sorry you lost
       your friend, and I don't think red
       is the right color.

                  NORMA
       Get out.

                  GILLIS
       Sure.  Wait a minute -- haven't
       I seen you -- ?


                  NORMA
       Or shall I call my servant?

                  GILLIS
       I know your face.  You're Norma
       Desmond.  You used to be in
       pictures.  You used to be big.

                  NORMA
       I am big.  It's the pictures
       that got small.

                  GILLIS
       I knew there was something
       wrong with them.

                  NORMA
       They're dead.  They're finished.
       There was a time when this busi-
       ness had the eyes of the whole
       wide world.  But that wasn't good
       enough.  Oh, nol They wanted the
       ears of the world, too.  So they
       opened their big mouths, and out
       came talk, talk, talk...

                  GILLIS
       That's where the popcorn business
       comes in.  You buy yourself a bag
       and plug up your ears.

                  NORMA
       Look at them in the front offices --
       the master minds! They took the
       idols and smashed them.  The
       Fairbankses and the Chaplins and
       the Gilberts and the Valentinos.
       And who have they got now?  Some
       nobodies -- a lot of pale little
       frogs croaking pish-poshl

                  GILLIS
       Don't get sore at me.  I'm not
       an executive.  I'm just a writer.

                  NORMA
       You are! Writing words, words!
       You've made a rope of words and
       strangled this businessl But there
       is a microphone right there to catch
       the last gurgles, and Technicolor
       to photograph the red, swollen tongue!



                  GILLIS
       Ssh! You'll wake up that monkey.

                  NORMA
       Get out!

Gillis starts down the stairs.

                  GILLIS
       Next time I'll bring my autograph
       album along, or maybe a hunk of
       cement and ask for your footprints.

He is halfway down the staircase when he is
stopped by

                  NORMA
       Just a minute, you!

                  GILLIS
       Yeah?

                  NORMA
       You're a writer, you said.

                  GILLIS
       Why?

Norma starts down the stairs.

                  NORMA
       Are you or aren't you?

                  GILLIS
       I think that's what it says on my
       driver's license.

                  NORMA
       And you have written pictures,
       haven't you?

                  GILLIS
       Sure have.  The last one I
       wrote was about cattle rustlers.
       Before they were through with it,
       the whole thing played on a
       torpedo boat.

Norma has reached him at the bottom of the staircase.

                  NORMA
       I want to ask you something.
       Come in here.

She leads him into


A-33    THE HUGE LIVING ROOM

It is dark and damp and filled with black oak and
red velvet furniture which looks like crappy props
from the Mark of Zorro set.  Along the main wall,
a gigantic fireplace has been freezing for years.
On the gold piano is a galaxy of photographs of
Norma Desmond in her various roles.  On one wall
is a painting -- a California Gold Rush scene,
Carthay Circle school.  (We will learn later that
it hides a motion picture screen.)

One corner is filled with a large pipe organ, and
as Norma and Gillis enter, there is a grizzly
moaning sound.  Gillis looks around.

                  NORMA
       The wind gets in that blasted
       pipe organ.  I ought to have
       it taken out.

                  GILLIS
       Or teach it a better tune.

Norma has led him to the card tables which stand
side by side near a window.  They are piled high
with papers scrawled in a large, uncertain hand.

                  NORMA
       How long is a movie script these
       days?  I mean, how many pages?

                  GILLIS
       Depends on what it is -- a Donald
       Duck or Joan or Arc.

                  NORMA
       This is to be a very important
       picture.  I have written it
       myself.  Took me years.

                  GILLIS
            (Looking at the piles
             of script)
       Looks like enough for six impor-
       tant pictures.

                  NORMA
       It's the story or Salome.  I
       think I'll have DeMille direct it.

                  GILLIS
       Uh-huh.


                  NORMA
       We've made a lot of pictures
       together.

                  GILLIS
       And you'll play Salome?

                  NORMA
       Who else ?

                  GILLIS
       Only asking.  I did't know
       you were planning a comeback.

                  NORMA
       I hate that word.  It is a return.
       A return to the millions of people
       who have never forgiven me for
       deserting the screen.

                  GILLIS
       Fair enough.

                  NORMA
       Salome -- what a woman! What a
       part! The Princess in love with
       a Holy man.  She dances the Dance
       of the Seven Veils.  He rejects
       her, so she demands his head on a
       golden tray, kissing his cold, dead
       lips.

                  GILLIS
       They'll love it in Pomona.

                  NORMA
            (Taking it straight)
       They will love it every place.
            (She reaches for a
             batch of pages from
             the heap)
       Read it.  Read the scene just
       before she has him killed!

                  GILLIS
       Right now?  Never let another
       writer read your stuff.  He
       may steal it.

                  NORMA
       I am not afraid.  Read it!

                  NORMA (Cont'd)
            (Calling)
       Max!  Max!
            (To Gillis)
       Sit down.  Is there enough light?

                  GILLIS
       I've got twenty-twenty vision.

Max has entered.

                  NORMA
       Bring something to drink.

                  MAX
       Yes.  Madame.

He leaves.  Norma turns to Gillis again.

                  NORMA
       I said sit down.

There is compulsion in her voice.

Gillis looks at her                   GILLIS' VOICE
and starts slowly          Well.  I had no pressing
reading.                   engagement, and she'd men-
                           tioned something to drink..
Max comes in, wheeling     Sometimes it's interesting
a wicker tea wagon on      to see just how bad bad
which are two bottles o    writing can be.  This prom-
f champagne and two        ised to go the limit.  I
red Venetian glasses,      wondered what a handwriting
a box of zwieback and      expert would make of that
a jar of caviar.  Norma    childish scrawl of hers.
sits on her feet.  deep    Max wheeled in some champagne
in a chair, a gold ring    and some caviar.  Later, I
on her forefinger with     found out that Max was the
a clip which holds a       only other person in that
cigarette.  She gets up    grim Sunset castle, and I
and forces on Gillis       found out a few other things
another batch of script,   about him... As for her, she
goes back to her chair.    sat coiled up like a watch
                           spring, her cigarette
                           clamped in a curious holder...
                           I could sense her eyes on me
                           from behind those dark
                           glasses, defying me not to
                           like what I read, or maybe
                           begging me in her own proud
                           way to like it.  It meant
                           so much to her...



A-34    SHOT OF THE                       GILLIS' VOICE
CEILING                It sure was a cozy set-up.
                       That bundle of raw nerves,and
PAN DOWN to the moan-  Max, and a dead monkey upstair
ing organ.  PAN OVER   and the wind wheezing through
TO THE ENTRANCE DOOR.  that organ once in a while.
Max opens it, and a    Later on, just for comedy
solemn-faced man in    relief, the real guy arrived
undertaker's clothes   with a baby coffin.  It was
brings in a small      all done with great dignity.
white coffin.  (Thru   He must have been a very
these shots the room   important chimp.  The great
has been growing       grandson of King Kong, maybe.
duskier.)

DISSOLVE TO:


A-35    GILLIS                 It got to be eleven.  I was
                       feeling a little sick at my
reading.  The lamp     stomach, what with that sweet
beside him is now      champagne and that tripe I'd
really paying its      been reading -- that silly
way in the dark room.  hodgepodge of melodramatic
A lot of the manu-     plots.  However, by then I'd
script pages are       started concocting a little
piled on the floor     plot of my own...
around his feet.  A
half-empty champagne
glass stands on the
arm of his chair.

THE CAMERA SLOWLY DRAWS BACK to include Norma
Desmond sitting in the dusk, just as she was before.
Gillis puts down a batch of script.  There is a
little pause.

                 NORMA
           (Impatiently)
       Well?

                 GILLIS
       This is fascinating.

                 NORMA
       Of course it is.

                 GILLIS
       Maybe it's a little long and
       maybe there are some repetitions...
       but you're not a professional
       writer.

                  NORMA
       I wrote that with my heart.

                  GILLIS
       Sure you did.  That's what makes
       it great.  What it needs is a
       little more dialogue.

                  NORMA
       What for?  I can say anything I
       want with my eyes.

                  GILLIS
       It certainly could use a pair of
       shears and a blue pencil.

                  NORMA
       I will not have it butchered.

                  GILLIS
       Of course not.  But it ought to
       be organized.  Just an editing
       job.  You can find somebody.

                  NORMA
       Who?  I'd have to have somebody
       I can trust.  When were you born --
       I mean, what sign of the zodiac?

                  GILLIS
       I don't know.

                  NORMA
       What month?

                  GILLIS
       December twenty-first.

                  NORMA
       Sagittarius.  I like Sagittarians.
       You can trust them.

                  GILLIS
       Thank you.

                  NORMA
       I want you to do this work.

                  GILLIS
       Me?  I'm busy.  Just finished
       one script.  I'm due on another
       assignment.

                  NORMA
       I don't care.


                  GILLIS
       You know, I'm pretty expensive.
       I get five hundred a week.

                  NORMA
       I wouldn't worry about money.
       I'll make it worth your while.

                  GILLIS
       Maybe I'd better take the rest
       of the script home and read it -

                  NORMA
       Oh no.  I couldn't let it out
       of my house.  You'll have to
       finish it here.

                  GILLIS
       It's getting kind of late --

                  NORMA
       Are you married, Mr.  -- ?

                  GILLIS
       The name is Gillis.  I'm single.

                  NORMA
       Where do you live?

                  GILLIS
       Hollywood.  The Alto Nido Apart-
       ments.

                  NORMA
       There's something wrong with
       your car, you said.

                  GILLIS
       There sure is.

                  NORMA
       You can stay here.

                  GILLIS
       I'll come early tomorrow.

Norma takes off her glasses.

                  NORMA
       Nonsense.  There's room over the
       garage.  Max will take you there...Max!

THE CAMERA MOVES                  GILLIS' VOICE
TOWARD NORMA'S FACE,   She sure could say a lot of
right up to her        things with those pale eyes of
eyes.                  hers.  They'd been her trade
                       mark.  They'd made her the Num-
                       ber One Vamp of another era.  I
                       remember a rather florid des-
                       cription in an old fan magazine
                       which said: "Her eyes are like
                       two moonlit waterholes, where
                       strange animals come to drink."

DISSOLVE TO:



A-36    SMALL STAIRCASE, LEAD-          GILLIS'VOICE
ING TO ROOM OVER GARAGE  I felt kind of pleased with
                         the way I'd handled the sit-
Max, an electric light   uation.  I'd dropped the hook,
bulb in his hand, is     and she'd snapped at it.  Now
leading Gillis up.       my car would be safe down
Gillis carries a batch   below, while I did a patch-
of the manuscript.       up job on the script.  And
                         there should be plenty of
                         money in it...

Max pushes open a door at the top of the stairs.

                  MAX
            (Opening the door)
       I made your bed this afternoon.

                  GILLIS
       Thanks.
            (On second thought)
       How did you know I was going to
       stay, this afternoon?

Max doesn't answer.  He walks across to the bed,
screws a bulb in the open socket above it.  The
light goes on, revealing:

A-37    A GABLED BEDROOM

There are dirty windows on two sides, and dingy wall-
paper on the cracked plaster walls.  For furniture
there is a neatly made bed, a table and a few chairs
which might have been discarded from the main house.

                  MAX
       This room has not been used for
       a long time.

                  GILLIS
       It will never make house Beautiful.
       I guess it's O.K. for one night.

Max gives him an enigmatic look.

                  MAX
            (Pointing)
       There is the bathroom.  I put in
       soap and a toothbrush.

                  GILLIS
       Thanks.
            (He starts taking off
             his coat)
       Say, she's quite a character,
       that Norma Desmond.

                  MAX
       She was the greatest.  You wouldn't
       know.  You are too young.  In one
       week she got seventeen thousand fan
       letters.  Men would bribe her mani-
       curist to get clippings from her
       fingernails.  There was a Maharajah
       who came all the way from Hyderabad
       to get one of her stockings.  Later,
       he strangled himself with it.

                  GILLIS
       I sure turned into an interesting
       driveway.

                  MAX
       You did, sir.
                                    GILLIS' VOICE
He goes out.  Gillis     I pegged him as slightly
looks after him, hangs   cuckoo, too.  A stroke maybe.
his coat over a chair,   Come to think of it, the
walks over to the win-   whole place seemed to have
dow, pulls down the      been stricken with a kind of
rickety Venetian blind.  creeping paralysis, out of
As he does so, he looks  beat with the rest of the
down at:                 world, crumbling apart in
                         slow motion ...

A-38    THE TENNIS COURT OF                 GILLIS' VOICE
THE DESMOND HOUSE        There was a tennis court, or
(MOONLIGHT)              rather the ghost of a tennis
                         court, with faded markings
The cement surface is    and sagging net ...
cracked in many places,
and weeds are growing
high.


A-39    GILLIS - IN THE WINDOW

He looks away from the court to:


A-40    THE DESMOND SWIMMING
POOL
                                    GILLIS' VOICE
There is no water in     And of course she had a pool.
it, and hunks of         Who didn't then?  Mabel Norm-
mosaic which lines its   and and John Gilbert must
enormous basin are       have swum in it ten thousand
broken away.             midnights ago, and Vilma Banky
                         and Rod La Roque.  It was
                         empty now....or was it?



A-41    GILLIS - IN THE WINDOW

He stares down, his stomach slowly turning.


A-42    THE SWIMMING POOL

At the bottom of the basin a great rat is eating a
decaying or,ange.  From the inlet pipe crawl two
other rats, who join battle with the first rat over
the orange.


A-43    GILLIS -IN THE WINDOW

He starts away, but some-           GILLIS' VOICE
thing attracts his atten-      There was something
tion.  He turns back and       else going on below:
looks down again.              the last rites for
                               that hairy old chimp,
                               performed with the
A-44    THE LAWN BELOW                 utmost seriousness --
                               as if she were laying
Norma Desmond and Max are      to rest an only child.
carrying the white coffin      Was her life really
towards a small grave as       as empty as that?
which has been dug in the
dead turf.  Norma carries
one of the candelabra, all
of its candles flickering
in the wind.  They reach
the grave and lower the
coffin into it.  Then,
Norma lighting his task
with the candelabrum, Max
takes a spade from the
loose earth and starts
filling in the grave.

A-45    GILLIS - IN THE WINDOW

He watches the scene be-            GILLIS' VOICE
low, then turns into the       It was all very queer,
room, goes to the door         but queerer things
to lock it.  There is no       were yet to come.
key, and only a hole
where the lock has been
gouged out.  Gillis moves
a heavy overstuffed chair
in front of the door, then
walks towards the bed,
throws himself on it,
picking up some of the
manuscript pages to read.

DISSOLVE

        END OF SEQUENCE "A"

               SEQUENCE "B"

 DISSOLVE IN ON:

B-1    LONG SHOT THE DESMOND
HOUSE - (MORNING)

The day is overcast.  The     SOUND: (Distant organ
house is shrouded in low      music - improvisations
fog.                          on an odd, mournful
                              theme - not too loud,
                              continuing throughout
B-2    THE TENNIS COURT, blurred     the scene.)
over with fog.


B-3    THE EMPTY SWIMMING POOL
Its dark outline even more
melancholy under the misty
blanket.


B-4    THE ROOM OVER THE GARAGE

Muted daylight seeps               GILLIS' VOICE
through the blinds.  Gillis   That night I'd had a
lies on the bed, under a      mixed-up dream.  In it
shabby quilt.  The manu-      was an organ grinder.
script is beside him, some    I couldn't see his
of the pages scattered on     face, but the organ
the floor.  He is just        was all draped in
opening his eyes. It takes    black, and a chimp was
him a moment to adjust him-   dancing for pennies.
self to the strange sur-      When I opened my eyes,
roundings.  His eyes, wander- the music was still
ing about the room. suddenly  there... Where was
stop, startled. He lifts      I?
himself on one elbow and
stares at -


B-5    THE DOOR

The heavy chair he had set    Oh yes, in that empty
against it the night before   room over her garage.
has been pushed back.  The    Only it wasn't empty
door is wide ajar.            any more.  Somebody
                              had brought in all my
                              belongings - my
B-6    GILLIS                        books, my typewriter,
                              my clothes...
He jumps out of bed.  He
wears, shirt, trousers
and socks.  Suddenly he
realizes that all his
possessions have                  GILLIS' VOICE
been brought in. In        What was going on?
the closet hang his
shirts.  His books and
typewriter are neatly
arranged on the table.
His phonograph-radio
combination is all
installed.  Gillis looks
around startled, then
sits down and starts
putting on his moccasins
hastily.

DISSOLVE TO:


B-7    A PAIR OF HANDS IN WHITE GLOVES, PLAYING THE ORGAN

PULL BACK: They belong to Max von Mayerling.  He
is sitting erect, his bull neck taut as a wrestler's
as he rights out somber chord after somber chord.
He sits in a shaft of gray light coming from an open
French window.

Through the far archway, Gillis storms into the big
room.

                  GILLIS
      Hey, you -- Max -- whatever -your-
      name-is -- what are my things doing
      here?

No answer.

                  GILLIS
      I'm talking to you.  My clothes
      and things are up in the room.

                  MAX
      Naturally.  I brought them myself.

                  GILLIS
            (Furiously)
      Is that so!

                  MAX
      Why are you so upset?  Is there
      anything missing?

                  GILLIS
      Who said you could?  Who asked you to?

Norma Desmond's shadow moves into the shaft of
light.

                   NORMA'S VOICE
        I did.

Gillis looks around.

On the couch by the fireplace reclines Norma Desmond,
dressed in a negligee.  She rises.

                   NORMA
        I don't know why you should be
        so upset.  Stop that playing,
        Max.
             (To Gillis again)
        It seemed like a good idea --
        if we are to work together.

                   GILLIS
        Look, I'm supposed to fix up
        your script.  There's nothing
        in the deal about my staying
        here.

                   NORMA
        You'll like it here.

                   GILLIS
        Thanks for the invitation, but
        I have my own apartment.

                   NORMA
        You can't work in an apartment
        where you owe three months' rent.

                   GILLIS
        I'll take care of that.

                   NORMA
        It's all taken care of.  It's
        all paid for.

                   GILLIS
        I'm used to paying my own bills.

                   NORMA
        You proud boy, why didn't you tell
        me you were having difficulties.

                   GILLIS
        Okay.  We'll deduct it from my
        salary.

                  NORMA
        Now, now, don't let's be small
        about such matters.  We won't
        keep books.
            (To Max)
        Go on, unpack Mr. Gillis' things.

                  GILLIS
        Unpack nothing.  I didn't say
        I was staying.

                  NORMA
            (Her glasses off again)
        Suppose you make up your mind.
        Do you want this job or don't you?

DISSOLVE TO:


B-8    BIG ROOM, NORMA DESMOND'S
HOUSE - (DAY)                       GILLIS' VOICE

Gillis sits at an impro-     So I let him unpack my
vised table, his typewriter  things. I wanted the
in front of him, working     dough, and I wanted to
hard at the manuscript.      get out of there as
Pencils, shears and a        quickly as possible.
paste-pot at hand.           I thought if I really
                             got going I could toss
Facing him at some dis-      it off in a couple or
tance sits Norma,dressed     weeks.  But it wasn't
in another version of her    so simple, getting some
favorite lounging pajamas,   coherence into that wild,
the cigaette contraption     scrambled melodrama
on her finger.  She is       she'd concocted.  What
autographing large photo-    made it tougher was that
graphs of herself and put-   she was around all the
ting them in envelopes.      time -- hovering over
                             me, afraid I'd do injury
                             to that precious brain-
                             child of hers.

Gillis takes two or three pages from Norma's hand-
written script, crosses them out and puts them to
one side.

Norma rises, crosses towards Gillis, looks over his
shoulder.

                  NORMA
        What's that?

                  GILLIS
        Just a scene I cut out.

                  NORMA
        What scene?

                  GILLIS
        The one where you go to the slave
        market.  You can cut right to the
        scene where John the Baptist -

                  NORMA
        Cut away from me?

                  GILLIS
        Honestly, it's a little old hat.
        They don't want that any more.

                  NORMA
        They don't?  Then why do they still
        write me fan letters every day.
        Why do they beg me for my photo-
        graphs?  Because they want to see
        me, me, me!  Norma Desmond.

                  GILLIS
            (Resigned)
        Okay.

He pulls the page from his typewriter. As he does
so he glances over towards Norma.
                                    GILLIS' VOICE
On the table in front        I didn't argue with her.
of her are the photo-        You don't yell at a
graphs which she is sign-    sleepwalker-- he may fall
ing. On the long table       and break his neck.That's
in the living room is a      it -- she was still
gallery of photographs       sleepwalking along the
in various frames -- all     giddy heights of a lost
Norma Desmond. On the        career --plain crazy
piano more photographs.      when it came to that one
Above the piano an oil       subject: her celluloid
portrait of her.  On the     self, the great Norma
highboy beside him still     Desmond.  How could She
more photographs.            breathe in that house,
                             so crowded with Norma
DISSOLVE TO:                 Desmonds? More Norma
                             Desmond and still more
                             Norma Desmond.
B-9    THE BIG ROOM - (NIGHT)
                                    GILLIS' VOICE
Shooting towards the big     It wasn't all work - of
Gold Rush painting. Max,     course.  Two or three
white gloves and all,        times a week Max would
steps into the shot, shoves  haul up that enormous oil
the painting up towards      painting that had been
the ceiling,revealing a      presented to her by some
motion picture screen.       Nevada Chamber of Com-
Max exits.                   merce, and we'd see a
                             movie,right in her
                             living room.

B-1O   NORMA AND GILLIS
                                     GILLIS' VOICE
They sit on a couch,facing    "So much nicer than going
the screen. On a table in     out," she'd say.  The
front of them are champagne,  plain fact was that she
cigarettes and coffee.        was afraid of that world
Above their heads are the     outside.  Afraid it
typical openings for a pro-   would remind her that
jector. The lights go off.    time had passed.
From the opening above
their heads shoots the wide
beam of light.


B-11   MAX, IN THE PROJECTION        They were silent movies,
BOOTH BEHIND THE ROOM         and Max would run the
                              projection machine, which
The light of the machine      was just as well -- it
flickering over his face,     kept him from giving us
which is frozen, a somber     an accompaniment on
enigma.                       that wheezing organ.

B-12   NORMA AND GILLIS
                              She'd sit very close to
watching the screen.          me, and she'd smell of
Gillis looks down and sees    tuberoses, which is not
that Norma's hand is clasp-   my favorite perfume, not
ing his ann tight. He         by a long shot. Sometines
doesn't like it much but      as we watched, she'd c
he can't do anything about    lutch my arm or my hand
it. However. when she for     forgetting she was my
a second lets go his arm      employer becoming just a
to pick up a glass of         fan, excited about that
champagne, he gently with-    actress up there on the
draws his arm, leans away     screen....I guess I don't
from her and crosses his      have to tell you who the
arms to discourage any        star was.  They were
resumption of her approach.   always her pictures --
Norma puts the glass down     that's all she wanted
doesn't find his arn, but     to see.
is not aware of any signifi-
cance in his maneuver. They
both watch the screen.


B-13   THE OTHER END OF THE BIG ROOM. WITH THE SCREEN

On it flickers a famous scene from one of Norma's old
silent pictures.  It is not to be a funny scene.  It
is old-fashioned, but shows her incredible beauty
and the screen presence which made her the great star
of her day.

B-14   NORMA AND GILLIS ON THE COUCH

                 NORMA
      Still wonderful, isn't it?  And
      no dialogue.  We didn't need
      dialogue.  We had faces.  There
      just aren't any faces like that
      any more.  Well, maybe one --
      Garbo.

In a sudden flareup she jumps to her feet and stands
in the flickering beam of light.

                 NORMA
      Those idiot producers!  Those
      imbeciles!  Haven't they got any
      eyes?  Have they forgotten what
      a star looks like?  I'll show them.
      I'll be up there again.  So help me!

DISSOLVE TO:


B-15   THE BIG ROOM - (NIGHT)

It is apparently empty.            GILLIS' VOICE
The elaborate lamps         Sometimes there'd be a
make pools of light.        little bridge game in the
                            house, at a twentieth-of-
THE CAMERA PULLS BACK       a cent a point.  I'd get
AND PANS to reveal a        half her winnings.  Once
card table around           they ran up to seventy
which sit Norma and         cents, which was about
three friends - three       the only cash money I
actors of her period.       ever got.  The others
They sit erect and play     around the table would
with grim seriousness.      be actor friends - dim
                            figures you may still
Beside Norma sits           remember from the silent
Gillis, kibitzing on a      days.  I used to think of
game which bores him        them as her Wax Works.
extremely.  An ashtray
on the card table is
full and Norma holds
it out for Gillis to
take away.  He crosses
the room to the fire-
place. but his eyes
fall on the entrance
door and he stops.


B-16   THE ENTRANCE HALL - (FROM GILLIS' POINT OF VIEW)

Max stands in the open door.  Outside are the two
men who came to the apartment for Gillis' car.

B-17   GILLIS

He steps back so that he cannot be seen from the
door.  A second later Max appears, looking for him.

                  MAX
            (Quietly)
       Some men are here.  They asked
       for you.

                  GILLIS
       I'm not here.

                  MAX
       That's what I told them.

                  GILLIS
       Good.

                  MAX
       They found your car in the
       garage.  They are going to tow
       it away.

Gillis doesn't know what to do.  From offstage
comes:

                  NORMA'S VOICE
       The ashtray, Joe dear!  Can we
       have the ashtray?

Gillis dumps the cigarette butts into the cold fire-
place, crosses to the bridge table, puts the
ashtray down, leans over and speaks into Norma's ear.

                  GILLIS
       I want to talk to you for a
       minute.

                  NORMA
       Not now, my dear.  I'm playing
       three no trump.

                  GILLIS
       They've come for my car.

                  NORMA
       Please.  Now I've forgotten how
       many spades are out.

                  GILLIS
       I need some money right now.

                  NORMA
       Can't you wait till I'm dummy?

3.22.49                  GILLIS
       No.

                  NORMA
            (Angry by now)
       Please!

Gillis stands frustrated, hideously embarrassed
by the stares of the waxworks. He turns away
and hurries to the door.


B-18   ENTRANCE DOOR TO THE HOUSE

It is half open. Gillis comes into the shot
and, taking cover, looks out.


B-19   COURTYARD (FROM GILLIS' ANGLE)

The men from the finance company are cranking up
the car.  Max stands watching silently.  When they
finish the cranking job, the men climb into the
front seat of the truck.


B-2O   GILLIS - AT THE DOOR

Over the shot the SOUND of the truck being started
and the cars moving away.  Gillis moves out into
the courtyard and stands staring after the car.
From the house comes Norma.

                  NORMA
       Now what is it?  Where's the
       fire?

                  GILLIS
       I've lost my car.

                  NORMA
       Oh...and I thought it was a
       matter of life and death.

                  GILLIS
       It is to me.  That's why I came
       to this house.  That's why I took
       this job -- ghost writing!

                  NORMA
       Now you're being silly.  We don't
       need two cars.  We have a car.  And
       not one of thuse cheap new things
       made of chromium and spit.  An
       Isotta-Fraschini.  Have you ever
       heard of Isotta-Fraschinis?  All
       hand-made.  Cost me twenty-eight
       thousand dollars.

THE CAMERA HAS PANNED over to the garage and FOCUSES
on the dirty Isotta-Fraschini on its blocks.

DISSOLVE TO:


B-21   NORMA'S ISOTTA-FRASCHINI
DRIVING IN THE HILLS
ABOVE SUNSET (DAY)

Max is at the wheel,               GILLIS' VOICE
dressed as usual except     So Max got that old bus
for a chauffeurfs cap.      down off its blocks and
                            polished it up.  She'd
                            take me for rides in the
B-22   INSIDE THE CAR              hills above Sunset.

Gillis sits beside Norma,   The whole thing was up-
who is wearing a smart      holstered in leopard
tailleur and her eternal    skin, and had one of
sun glasses. Gillis         those car phones, all
wears his sport jacket-     gold-plated.
flannel trousers-moccasin
combinatIon.

He sits uncomfortably. Norma is studying him.

                  NORMA
       That's a dreadful shirt you're
       wearing.

                  GILLIS
       What's wrong with It?

                  NORMA
       Nothing, if you work in a fill-
       ing station.  And I'm getting
       rather bored with that sport
       jacket, and those same baggy
       pants.
            (She picks up
             the car phone)
       Max, what's a good men's shop
       in town?  The very best...
       Well, go there !

                  GILLIS
       I don't need any clothes, and
       I certainly don't want you buy-
       ing them for --

                NORMA
         Why begrudge me a little fun?
         I just want you to look nice,
         my stray little boy.

By this time Max has made a U-turn.

QUICK DISSOLVE TO:


B-23   INT. MEN'S DEPARTMENT, AN ELEGANT WILSHIRE STORE

Gillis stands in front of a full-length triple mirror,
surrounded by a couple of salesmen and the tailor, who
is busily working out alterations.

Gillis wears a double-breasted gray flannel coat with
chalk stripes.  His trousers belong to another suit
of glen plaid.  Norma is running the show.

                      NORMA
         There's nothing like gray flannel
         with a chalk stripe.
            (she points at
             the trousers)
         This one single-breasted, of course.
             (to another salesman)
         Now we need a topcoat.  Let's see
         what you have in camel's hair.

The salesman leaves.

                      NORMA
         How about some evening clothes?

                      GILLIS
         I don't need a tuxedo.

                      NORMA
         Of course you do.  A tuxedo and
         tails.

                      GILLIS
         Tails.  That's ridiculous.

                      NORMA
         You'll need them for parties.
         You'll need them for New Year's
         Eve.
             (to a salesman)
         Where are your evening clothes?

                  SALESMAN
          This way, Madame.

He leads her off.  The other salesman arrives with a
selection of topcoats.

                  SALESMAN
          Here are some camel hairs, but
          I'd like you just to feel this
          one.  It's Vicuna.  Of course,
          it's a little more expensive.

                  GILLIS
          A camel's hair will do.

                  SALESMAN
               (With an insulting
                inflection)
          As long as the lady is paying
          for it, why not take the Vicuna?

DISSOLVE:




        END OF SEQUENCE "B"


               SEQUENCE "C"

DISSOLVE IN:

C-1     LONG SHOT DESMOND HOUSE

A day in December.  Rain.

QUICK DISSOLVE TO:


C-2     INT. ROOM OVER GARAGE

Water is drizzling from            GILLIS' VOICE
two or three spots in the   The last week in December
ceiling into pans and       the rains came -- a great
bowls set to catch it,      big package of rain.
one bowl right on the       Over-sized, like every-
bed.  The room is almost    thing else in California.
emptied of Gillis' be-
longings by now.  Max       It came right through
is carrying out a hand-     the old roof of my room
full of new suits on        above the garage.  She
hangers.  He has a          had Max move me to the
dressing gown over his      main house.  I didn't
shoulder.  Gillis holds     much like the idea -- the
a stack of shirts, his      only time I could have
typewriter, and some        to myself was in that
manuscript.  He surveys     room -- but it was better
the room for the last       than sleeping in a rain-
time, to see whether        coat and galoshes.
he's forgotten any-
thing.  He has.  He
puts down the typewriter
and picks up from under
the bed a pair of very
smart red leather bedroom
slippers.  He tucks them
under his arm, picks up
the typewriter and leaves.

QUICK DISSOLVE TO:


C-3     A BEDROOM IN TIiE MAIN HOUSE

It is obviously a man's room -- heavy Spanish
furniture -- one wall nothing but a closet with
shelves and drawers for shirts and shoes.  Max is
hanging up the suits.  Gillis throws the shirts on
a big chair, tosses the slippers at the foot of the
bed, places the typewriter and manuscript on a desk
at the window.

                  GILLIS
       Whose room was this?

                  MAX
       It was the room of the husband.
       Or of the husbands, I should say.
       Madame has been married three
       times.

Slightly embarrassed, Gillis picks up his toilet
kit with razor, toothbrushes, soap, etc., and starts
towards the bathroom, pausing en route at a rain-
splattered window.

                  GILLIS
       I guess this is the one you
       can see Catalina from.  Only
       this isn't the day.

       He proceeds towards the half-opened door leading
       to the bathroom.  Something strikes his attention
       and he stops.  As in the door to the room above
       the garage, this lock, too, has been gouged out.

                  GILLIS
       Hey, what's this with the
       door? There isn't any lock.

                  MAX
       There are no locks anywhere
       in this house.

He points to the entrance door of the room, and to
another door.

                  GILLIS
       How come?

                  MAX
       The doctor suggested it.

                  GILLIS
       What doctor?

                  MAX
       Madame's doctor.  She has moments
       of melancholy.  There have been
       some suicide attempts.

                  GILLIS
       Uh-huh?

                  MAX
       We have to be very careful.  No
       sleeping pills, no razor blades.
       We shut off the gas in her bed-
       room.

                  GILLIS
       Why?  Her career?  She got enough
       out of it.  She's not forgotten.
       She still gets those fan letters.

                  MAX
       I wouldn't look too closely at the
       postmarks.

                  GILLIS
       You send them.  Is that it, Max?

                  MAX
       I'd better press your evening
       clothes, sir.  You have not for-
       gotten Madame's New Year's party.

                  GILLIS
       No, I haven't.  I suppose all
       the waxworks are coming?

                  MAX
       I don't know, sir.  Madame made
       the arrangements.

Max leaves.  Gillis comes out of the bathroom, picks
up his shirts, goes over to a closet, opens it.  As
he does so one of the doors without a lock swings
slightly open.  Gillis looks through the half-open
door and sees.


C-4     NORMA DESMOND'S ROOM

It is empty.  The rainy            GILLIS' VOICE
day does nothing to        There it was again - that
help its gloom.            room of hers, all satin and
                           ruffles, and that bed like
                           a gilded rowboat.  The per-
                           fect setting for a silent
                           movie queen.  Poor devil,
                           still waving proudly to a
                           parade which had long since
                           passed her by.
He pushes the door shut
and walks back into the
room.

DISSOLVE TO:


C-5     STAIRCASE OF DESMOND
HOUSE (NIGHT)

Gillis is coming down the         GILLIS' VOICE
stairs in his tailcoat        It was at her New Year's
adjusting the handkerchief    party that I found out
in his pocket.  He obviously  how she felt about me.
feels a little uneasy in      Maybe I'd been an idiot
this outfit.  From below      not to have sensed it
comes a tango of the Twen-    was coming - that sad,
ties.  played by a small      embarrassing revelation.
orchestra.  Gillis stops
in the archway leading to
the big room and looks
around.

C-6     THE BIG ROOM has been deco-
rated for the occasion with
laurel garlands.  Dozens of
candles in all the sconces
and candelabra are ablaze.
Their flickering flames are
reflected in the waxed sur=
face of the tile floor.
There is a buffet, with
buckets of champagne and
caviar on ice.  In one corner
on a little platform banked
with palms.  a four-piece
orchestra is playing.

At the buffet are Max and Norma.  She is drinking
a glass of champagne.  She is wearing a diamonte
evening dress.  very high style.  with long black
gloves and a headdress of paradise feathers.  Her
eyes fall on Gillis.  She puts down the glass of
champagne.  picks up a gardenia boutonniere and
moves toward him.

                  NORMA
       Joe,  you look absolutely
       divine.  Turn around!

                  GILLIS
            (Embarrassed}
       Please.

                  NORMA
       Come on!

Gillis makes a slow 36O-degree turn.

                  NORMA
       Perfect.  Wonderful shoulders.
       And I love that line.


She indicates the V from his shoulders to his hips.

                  GILLIS
       All padding.  Don't let it fool
       you.

                  NORMA
       Come here!

She puts the gardenia on his lapel.

                  GILLIS
       You know, to me dressing up
       was always just putting on
       my dark blue suit.

                  NORMA
       I don't like those studs they've
       sent.  I want you to have pearls.
       Nice big pearls.

                  GILLIS
       Now, I'm not going to wear ear-
       rings, I can tell you that.

                  NORMA
       Cute.  Let's have some drinks.

She leads him over to the buffet.

                  GILLIS
       Shouldn't we wait for the others?

                  NORMA
            (Pointing at the floor)
       Careful, it's slippery.  I
       had it waxed.

They reach the buffet.  Max is ready with two
glasses of champagne.  Norma hands Gillis a glass.

                  NORMA
       Here's to us.

They drink.

                  NORMA
       You know, this floor used to
       be wood but I had it changed.
       Valentino said there is nothing
       like tiles for a tango.

She opens her arms.



                  GILLIS
       Not on the same floor with
       Valentino!

                  NORMA
       Just follow me.

They start to tango.  After a moment --

                  NORMA
       Don't bend back like that.

                  GILLIS
       It's those feathers.  They tickle.

Norma pulls the paradise feathers from her hair
and tosses them away.


C-7     THE ORCHESTRA

As they play the tango, the musicians eye the danc-
ing couple, take in the situation, exchange glances
and turn away with professional discretion.


C-8     NORMA AND GILLIS, TANGOING

Gillis glances at his wrist watch.

                  GILLIS
       It's a quarter past ten.  What
       time are they supposed to get
       here?

                  NORMA
       Who?

                  GILLIS
       The other guests?

                  NORMA
       There are no other guests.  We
       don't want to share this night
       with other people.  This is for
       you and me.

                  GILLIS
       I understand some rich guy bought
       up all the tickets for a perfor-
       mance at the Metropolitan and sat
       there listening to La Traviata,
       all by himself.  He was afraid of
       catching cold.


                  NORMA
       Hold me tighter.

                  GILLIS
       Come midnight, how about blind-
       folding the orchestra and smash-
       ing champagne glasses on Max's
       head?

                  NORMA
       You think this is all very funny.

                  GILLIS
       A little.

                  NORMA
       Is it funny that I'm in love
       with you?

                  GILLIS
       What's that?

                  NORMA
       I'm in love with you.  Don't you
       know that? I've been in love
       with you all along.

They dance on.  Gillis is acutely embarrassed.
THE CAMERA SLOWLY PULLS BACK, PANS past the faces
of the musicians, who play on with a rather overe-
mphasized lack of interest.  Finally it winds up
on Max, behind the buffet.  He stands watching Gillis,
a faint trace of pity in his eyes.

DISSOLVE TO:


C-9     NORMA'S FINGER, WITH THE
CIGARETTE GADGET, as she          GILLIS' VOICE
inserts a cigarette.        I'm sure a lot of you will
                            laugh about this.  Ridicu-
                            lous situation, wasn't it?
                            -- a woman almost twice my
                            age ...  It got to be about
                            a quarter of eleven.  I
                            felt caught, like a cig-
                            arette in the prongs of
                            that contraption on her
                            finger.
PULL BACK TO:

NORMA AND GILLIS sitting on a couch in front of the
cavernous fireplace.  Norma holds out her cigarette
to Gillis, who lights it.


                  NORMA.
       What a wonderful next year it's
       going to be.  What fun we're going
       to have.  I'II fill the pool for
       you.  Or I'll open my house in
       Malibu, and you can have the whole
       ocean.  Or I'll buy you a boat
       and we'll sail to Hawaii.

                  GILLIS
       Stop it.  You aren't going to buy
       me anything more.

                  NORMA
       Don't be silly.
            (She reaches under a
             pillow of the couch
             and brings out a
             leather box)
       Here.  I was going to give it to
       you at midniglht.

Gillis opens the box.  It contains a matched gold
cigarette case and lighter.

                  NORMA
       Read what's inside.

Gillis snaps open the case.  Engraved inside the
cover is: TO JOE FROM NORMA, and two bars of
music.

                  GILLIS
       What are the notes?

                  NORMA
       "Mad about the boy."

                  GILLIS
       Norma, I can't take it.  You've
       bought me enough.

                  NORMA
       Shut up.  I'm rich.  I'm richer
       than all this new Hollywood trash.
       I've got a million dollars.

                  GILLIS
       Keep it.

                  NORMA
       I own three blocks downtown.
       I have oil in Bakersfield --
       pumping, pumping, pumping.
       What's it for but to buy us
       anything we want.

                  GILLIS
       Cut out that us business.

He rises.

                  NORMA
       What's the matter with you?

                  GILLIS
       What right do you have to take
       me for granted?

                  NORMA
       What right? Do you want me to
       tell you?

                  GILLIS
       Has it ever occurred that I may
       have a life of my own? That there
       may be some girl I'm crazy about?

                  NORMA
       Who? Some car hop, or a dress
       extra?

                  GILLIS
       Why not? What I'm trying to say
       is that I'm all wrong for you.
       You want a Valentino -- somebody
       with polo ponies -- a big shot --

                  NORMA
            (Getting up slowly)
       What you're trying to say is
       that you don't want me to love
       you.  Is that it?

Gillis doesn't answer.  Norma slaps his face and
rushes from the room and upstairs.

Gillis stands paralyzed, the slap burning his cheek.


C-1O    THE TOP OF THE STAIRCASE AND CORRIDOR

Norma rushes up the last few steps, down the corridor
and into her bedroom, banging the door.  MOVE THE
CAMERA toward the closed door, centering on the
gouged-out lock.


C-11    GILLIS, IN THE BIG ROOM

He still stands motionless.  He glances around fur-
tively, to see if his humiliation has been observed.


C-12    THE ORCHESTRA

The musicians are playing away.  They have turned
their eyes away from Gillis rather too ostentatious-
ly for comfort.


C-13    GILLIS

His eyes move over toward


C-14    MAX

He is subtler than the musicians.  He appears very
busy at the buffet, putting empty bottles and used
glasses on a tray.  He walks across the room with
them.


C-15    GILLIS

He starts slowly out.  As he does so his long gold
key chain catches on a carved ornament of the sofa
and holds him for a second of additional embarrass-
ment.  He yanks it loose and walks with as much
nonchalance as he can muster to


C-16    THE HALL

Crossing towards the coat closet, Gillis throws a
look upstairs.  Then he pulls the Vicuna coat from
its hangar and slips into it as he crosses to the
entrance door.  He opens the door on the darkness
of the courtyard.


C-17    EXT. DESMOND HOUSE 
(NIGHT - RAIN)

Gillis shuts the door.           GILLIS'VOICE
He takes a few steps       I didn't know where I was
forward, then stands       going.  I just had to get
for a while breathing      out of there.  I had to be
deep.  The rain is         with people my own age.  I
balm to that cheek         had to hear somebody laugh
where the slap still a     again.  I thought of Artie
burns.  He walks for-      Green.  There was bound to
ward with a great          be a New Year's shindig
sense of relief.           going on in his apartment
                           down on Las Palmas -- the
                           hock shop set -- not a job
C-18    DRIVEWAY LEADING TO        in the room.  but lots of
	fun on the cuff.

Gillis walks to the
street, which is dark
and empty.  He starts
down Sunset in an
Easterly direction.
A car passes.  He
tries to thumb a
ride, without success.
However, the second

car, a florist's
delivery wagon, stops.
Gillis jumps in and the
car drives off.

DISSOLVE TO:

C-19    ARTIE GREEN'S APARTMENT

It is the most modest one-room affair, jam packed
with young people flowing over into the miniature
bathroom and the microscopic kitchenette.  The only
drink being served is punch from a pressed-glass
bowl -- but everybody is having a hell of a time.
Most of the men are in slacks and sweaters, and only
a few of the girls in something that vaguely suggests
party dress.

Abe Burroughs sits at a small, guest-festooned piano
and sings Tokio Rose.  By the door, a group of young
men and girls respond to the song by sing1ng Rinso
White or Dentyne Chewing Gum or something similar,
in the manner of a Bach choral.  Artie Green, a dark
haired, pleasant-looking guy in his late twenties,
is conducting with the ladle from the punch bowl.

The door behind some of the singers is pushed open,
jostling them out of their places.  In comes Gillis,
his hair and face wet, the collar of his Vicuna coat
turned up.  Artie stops conducting, but the commer-
cial goes right on.

                  ARTIE
       Well, what do you know ! Joe
       Gillis !

                  GILLIS
       Hi, Artie.

                  ARTIE
       Where have you been keeping that
       gorgeous face of yours?

                  GILLIS
       In a deep freeze.

                  ARTIE
       I almost reported you to the Bureau
       of Missing Persons.
            (To the company)
       Fans, you all know Joe Gillis, the
       well-known screen writer, opium
       smuggler and Black Dahlia suspect.

Gillis greets some of the kids by name as he and
Artie push their way into the room.

                  ARTIE
       Give me your coat.

                  GILLIS
       Let it ride for a while.

                  ARTIE
       You're going to stay, aren't you?

                  GILLIS
       That was the general idea.

                  ARTIE
       Come on.

Artie starts peeling the coat off Gillis.  Its
texture takes his breath away.

                  ARTIE
       What is this - mink?

He has taken the coat.  He looks at Gillis standing
there in tails.

                  ARTIE
       Judas E. Priest, who did you
       borrow that from? Adolphe
       Menjou?

                  GILLIS
       Close, but no cigar.

Gillis stands embarrassed While Artie rolls up the
Vicuna coat and tucks it above the books on a book-
shelf.

                  ARTIE
       Say, you're not really smuggling
       opium these days,  are you?

                  GILLIS
       Where's the bar?

The two make their way toward the punch bowl.  It's
a little like running the gauntlet for Gillis.  There
are whistles and 'stares of astonishlnent at his tails.
When they reach the punch bowl, Artie picks up a
half-filled glass and fills it.

                  GILLIS
       Good party.

                  ARTIE
       The greatest.  They call me the Elsa
       Maxwell of the assistant directors.
            (To some guests who are
             dipping their empty cups
             into the punch bowl)
       Hey, easy on the punch bowl.  Budget
       only calls for three drinks per extra.
       Fake the rest.

                  GILLIS
       Listen, Artie, can I stick around
       here for a while?


                  ARTIE
       Sure, this'll go on all night.

                  GILLIS
       I mean, could you put me up for
       a couple of weeks?

                  ARTIE
       It just so happens we have a
       vacancy on the couch.

                  GILLIS
       I'll take it.

                  ARTIE
       I'll have the bell-hop take care
       of your luggage.

He runs his finger across the decollete back of a
girl standing in a group next them.

                  ARTIE
       Just register here.

The girl turns around.  She is Betty Schaefer.

                  BETTY
       Hello, Mr.  Gillis.

                  ARTIE
       You know each other?

Gillis looks at her a little puzzled.

                  BETTY
       Let me help you.  Betty Schaeter,
       Sheldrake's office.

                  GILLIS
       Sure.  Bases Loaded.

                  ARTIE
       Wait a minute.  This is the woman
       I love.  What's going on? Who
       was loaded?

                  GILLIS
       Don't worry.  She's just a fan
       for my literary output.

                  BETTY
            (to Artie)
       Hurt feelings department.

                  GILLIS
       About that luggage.  Where's
       the phone?

                  ARTIE
       Over by the Rainbow Room.

Gillis squeezes his way through groups of people
to the telephone, which is next to an open door
leading to the bathroom.  The phone is busy.  A
girl sits listening to it, giggling wildly.  Another
girl beside her is laughing too.  They are apparently
sharing a conversation with some man on the other end
of the wire.  The telephone passes from hand to hand.
Gillis watches impatiently, then

                  GILLIS
       When youlre through with that
       thing, can I have it?

The girl just nods, going on with her chattering.
Gillis stands waiting, and Betty Schaefer comes up
with his glass.

                  BETTY
       You forgot this.

                  GILLIS
       Thanks.

                  BETTY
       I've been hoping to run into you.

                  GILLIS
       What for? To recover that knife
       you stuck in my back?

                  BETTY
       I felt a little guilty, so I got
       out some of your old stories.

                  GILLIS
       Why, you sweet kid.

                  BETTY
       There's one called....Window...
       something with a window.

                  GILLIS
       Dark Windows.  How did you
       like it?

                  BETTY
       I didn't.

                  GILLIS
       Thank you.

                  BETTY
       Except for about six pages.
       You've got a flashback there ...

There is too much racket for her.

                  BETTY
       Is there someplace we can talk?

                  GILLIS
       How about the Rainbow Room?

They squeeze their way towards the bathroom, past
Artie.

                  ARTIE
       I said you could have my couch.
       I didn't say you could have my
       girl.

                  BETTY
       This is shop talk.

She and Gillis go through the open door into


C-20    ARTIE'S BATHROOM

It's a little less noisy, although there are some
guests there, chatting and having fun.  Betty and
Gillis sit down on the edge of the tub.

                  GILLIS
       Now if I got you correctly, there
       was a short stretch of my fiction
       you found worthy of notice.

                  BETTY
       The flashback in the courtroom,
       when she tells about being a
       school teacher.

                  GILLIS
       I had a teacher like that once.

                  BETTY
       Maybe that's why it's good.
       It's true, it's moving.  Now
       why don't you use that character...

                  GILLIS
       Who wants true? Who wants moving?

                  BETTY
       Drop that attitude.  Here's some-
       thing really worth while.

                  GILLIS
       Want me to start right now?
       Maybe there's some paper around.

                  BETTY
       I'm serious.  I've got a few ideas.

                  GILLIS
       I've got some ideas myself.  One
       of them being this is New Year's
       Eve.  How about living it up a
       little?

                  BETTY
       As for instance?

                  GILLIS
       Well....

                  BETTY
       We could make some paper boats
       and have a regatta.  Or should
       we just turn on the shower?

                  GILLIS
       How about capturing the kitchen
       and barricading the door?

                  BETTY
       Are you hungry?

                  GILLIS
       Hungry? After twelve years in
       the Burmese jungle.  I am starving,
       Lady Agatha -- starving for a
       white shoulder --

                  BETTY
       Phillip, you're mad!

One of the girls who was on the phone comes to
the door.

                     GIRL
       You can have the phone now.

                     GILLIS
            (Paying no attention)
       Thirsting for the coolness of
       your lips -

                     BETTY
       No, Phillip, no.  We must be
       strong.  You're still wearing
       the uniform of the Coldstream
       Guards!  Furthermore, you can
       have the phone now.

                     GILLIS
       O.K.
            (He gets up, starts
             out, turns)
       I find I'm terribly afraid of
       losing you.

                     BETTY
       You won't.
            (She takes the glass
             out of his hand)
       I'll get us a refill of
       this awful stuff.

                     GILLIS
       You'll be waiting for me?

                     BETTY
       With a wildly beating heart.

                     GILLIS
       Life can be beautiful!

He leaves.


C-21    THE MAIN ROOM

Gillis squeezes himself through some guests to
the phone.  He has to stand in a cramped position,
holding the instrument close to him as he dials
a number.

                     GILLIS
       Max?  This is Mr. Gillis.
       I want you to do me a favor.

C-22    NORMA DESMOND HOUSE

Max is at the phone, in the lower hall.

                  MAX
       I am sorry, Mr.  Gillis.
       I cannot talk now.


C-23    GILLIS ON THE PHONE

                  GILLIS
       Yes you can.  I want you to get
       my old suitcase and I want you
       to throw in my old clothes --
       the ones I came with, and my
       typewriter.  I'll have somebody
       pick them up.


C-24    MAX AT THE PHONE

                  MAX
       I have no time to talk.  The
       doctor is here.


C-25    GILLIS ON THE PHONE

                  GILLIS
       What doctor? What's going on?


C-26    MAX AT THE PHONE

                  MAX
       She got the razor from your
       room.  She cut her wrists.

Max hangs up, moves toward the staircase.


C-27    GILLIS AT THE PHONE

                  GILLIS
       Max ! Max !

He hangs up the dead receiver, stands numb   with
shock.  Betty elbows her way up to him, carrying
the two punch glasses filled again.

                  BETTY
       I just got the recipe: take
       two packages of cough drops,
       dissolve in one gallon of
       lukewarm grape juice --

Gillis looks up at her.  Without a word he pushes
her aside so that she spills the drink.  He makes
his way through the guests to the Vicuna coat, pulls
it from the shelf, some books tumbling with it, and
rushes towards the door and out.  Betty stands look-
ing after him, completely bewildered.

DISSOLVE TO:


C-28    EXT. DESMOND HOUSE - (NIGHT, RAIN)

The doctor's car is parked in the driveway.  A taxi
pulls up.  Gillis, in his Vicuna coat now, jumps
out, throws a couple of dollars to the rdriver and
runs toward the house.


C-28a    DOORWAY, NORMA DESMOND HOUSE>

Max is opening the door to let out the doctor, a
professional looking man carrying a black bag.
Gillis runs into the SHOT.

                  GILLIS
       How is she?

                  MAX
       She is upstairs.

Gillis starts to push past Max.  Max grabs his arm.

                  MAX
       Be careful.  Do not race up the
       stairs.  The musicians must not
       know what has happened.

Gillis goes into the house.


C-29    ENRANCE HALL AND STAIRCASE

Gillis crosses the hall and starts up the stairs.


C-3O    INT. NORMA DESMOND'S ROOM

Only one alabaster lamp lights the big, cold room.
On the bed lies Norma in her evening dress.  She is
white as a sheet.  Her wrists are bandaged.  Her eyes
are wide open, staring at the ceiling.  One of her
shoes has halt slipped off her foot.  The other is
on.  Gillis opens the door and stands there tor a
second.  Then he slowly moves to the toot of the bed.
He takes the shoes from her feet and puts them on
the floor.

                  NORMA
       Go away.

                  GILLIS
       What kind of a silly thing was
       that to do?

                  NORMA
       To fall in love with you -- that
       was the idiotic thing.

                  GILLIS
       It sure would have made attractive
       headlines: Great Star Kills Her-
       self for Unknown Writer.

                  NORMA
       Great stars have great pride.

She puts one bandaged forearm over her eyes, sobbing.
Gillis walks slowly over to the mantelpiece, stands
there for awhile.

                  NORMA
       Go away.  Go to that girl of yours.

                  GILLIS
       Look, I was making that up because
       I thought the whole thing was a
       mistake.  I didn't want to hurt you.
       You've been good to me.  You're the
       only person in this stinking town
       that has been good to me.

                  NORMA
       Why don't you just say thank you
       and go, go, go --

                  GILLIS
       Not until you promise to act like
       a sensible human being.

                  NORMA
       I'll do it again, I'll do it again,
       I'll do it again!

Gillis stands looking at her helplessly.


C-31    LIVING ROOM, THE DESMOND HOUSE

The candles burned down, the orchestra playing to
the emptiness.  The orchestra leader looks at his
watch, rises, silences the orchestra, then starts
them in on Auld Lang Syne.

                                                             


C-32    INT. NORMA'S ROOM

Gillis still stands.  Norma lies on the bed, arms
over her eyes, sobbing.

                  GILLIS
       Happy New Year.

Norma continues to sob.  Gillis goes to the bed,
puts his arms on her shoulders and turns her around.

                  GILLIS
       Happy New Year.

Norma looks at him, tears in her eyes.  Slowly she
enfolds him in her bandaged arms.

                  NORMA
       Happy New Year.  darling.

She kisses him.

DISSOLVE





        END OF SEQUENCE "C"




               SEQUENCE "D"

DISSOLVE IN ON:

D-1     INT. HALLWAY, NORMA              GILLIS' VOICE
DESMOND'S HOUSE (DAY)       Around the middle of May
                            some incidents happened
The telephone is heard      which I think I should tell
ringing.  Max comes from    you about.
living room to the phone,
picks it up.

                  MAX
       Hello ... Yes?


D-1a    BETTY SCHAEFER, AT THE PHONE ON HER DESK IN THE
READERS' DEPARTMENT

                  BETTY
       Is this Crestview 5-1733? ... I'm
       sorry to bother you again, but I've
       confirmed the number.  I must speak
       to Mr. Gillis.

D-1b    MAX, AT THE PHONE

                  MAX
       He is not here.

D-1c    BETTY ON THE PHONE

                  BETTY
       Where can I reach him?  Maybe
       somebody else in the house could
       tell me.

D-1d    MAX ON THE PHONE

                  MAX
       Nobody here can give you any
       information.  You will please
       not call again.

He hangs up.  From off comes:

                  NORMA'S VOICE
       Who was it, Max?  What is it?


D-1e    PATIO, NORMA'S HOUSE

It is a sunny day.  The garden is in somewhat better
shape.  The old house looks less unkept.  The pool
is filled.  Norma sits on a wicker chaise longue, her
face shielded by an enormous straw hat, her eyes by
dark glasses.  Gillis, in bathing trunks, is on a
rubber mattress in the pool.  Max comes to the
entrance door.

                  MAX
       Nothing, Madame.  Somebody Inqu-
       iring about a stray dog.  We must
       have a number very similar to the
       pound.

He starts to turn back.

                  NORMA
       Wait a minute.  I want you to get
       out the car.  You're going to
       take the script over to Paramount
       and deliver it to Mr. De Mille in
       person.

                  MAX
       Yes, Madame.

He goes into the house.

                  GILLIS
            (climbing out
             of the water)
       You're really going to send it
       to De Mille?

                  NORMA
       This is the right day.

She indicates a typewritten letter she is holding.

                  NORMA (Cont'd)
       The chart from my astrologer.
       She read deMille's horoscope.
       She read mine.

                  GILLIS
       Did she read the script?

                  NORMA
       DeMille is Leo.  I'm Scorpio.
       Mars has been transmitting
       Jupiter for weeks.  Today is
       the day of greatest conjuction.
       Now turn around.  Let me dry
       you.

She puts the towel around his sholders and starts
drying him.

                  GILLIS
       I hope you realize, Norma,
       that scripts don't sell on
       astrologers' charts.

                  NORMA
       I'm not just selling the script.
       I'm selling me.  DeMille always
       said I was his greatest star.

                  GILLIS
        When did he say it, Norma?

                  NORMA
       So he said it quite a few years
       ago.  So what?  I never looked
       better in my life.  Do you know
       why?  Because I've never been as
       happy in my life.

She kisses him.

DISSOLVE TO:


D-2     INT. THE ISOTTA, DRIVING
DOWN SUNSET ABOUT 8:30
IN THE EVENING                    GILLIS' VOICE
                            A few evenings later we
Max is driving.  In the     were going to the house of
tonneau sit Norma, in a     one of the waxworks for
chinchilla wrap, and        some bridge.  She'd taught
Gillis in his tuxedo.       me how to play bridge by
Norma is rummaging          then, just as she'd taught
through her evening         me some fancy tango steps,
bag.  She finds a           and what wine to drink
cigarette case, opens       with what fish.
it.  It is empty.

                  NORMA
       That idiot.  He forgot to fill
       my cigarette case.

                  GILLIS
            (Proffering his case)
       Have one of mine.

                  NORMA
       They're awful.  They make me cough.

                  GILLIS
            (Pushing open the glass
             partition, to Max)
       Pull up at the drugstore, will
       you, Max.
            (To Norma)
       I'll get you some.

                  NORMA
       You're a darling.

She takes a dollar bill from her purse and gives it
to him.


D-3     EXT. SCHWAB'S DRUGSTORE
The car drives up and Gillis hurries into the store.


D-4     INT. SCHWAB'S DRUGSTORE
Business is still rather lively.  There are about a
dozen shoppers, and the soda counter is half filled.
Gillis enters and steps to the tobacco counter.

                  GILLIS
            (To the salesgirl)
       Give me a pack of those Turkish
       cigarettes -- Melachrinos.

The girl opens the glass showcase to locate the fancy
brand.  From OFF comes

                  ARTIE'S VOICE
       Stick 'em up, Gillis, or I'll
       let you have it!

Gillis turns.


D-5     AT THE SODA FOUNTAIN

Artie Green and Betty Schaefer sit having a sandwich
and a milk shake.  With his forefinger and a sound
effect, Artie riddles Gillis' body.  Gillis walks
INTO THE SHOT.

                  GILLIS
       Hello, Artie.  Good evening,
       Miss Schaefer.

                  BETTY
            (Excitedly)
       You don't know how glad I am
       to see youl

                  ARTIE
       Walking out on the mob.  What's
       the big idea?

                  GILLIS
       I'm sorry about New Year's. Would
       you believe me if I said I had
       to be with a sick friend?

                  ARTIE
       Someone in the formal set, no
       doubt, with a ten-carat kidney
       stone.

                  BETTY
       Stop it, Artie, will you?
            (To Gillis)
       Where have you been keeping your-
       self? I've got the most wonderful
       news for you.

                  GILLIS
       I haven't been keeping myself at
       all.  Not lately.

                  BETTY
       I called your agent.  I called the
       Screen Writers Guild.  Finally your
       old apartment gave me some Crestview
       number.  There was always somebody
       with an accent growling at me.  You
       were not there.  You were not to be
       spoken to.  They never heard of you.

                  GILLIS
       Is that so? What's the wonderful
       news?

                  BETTY
       Sheldrake likes that angle about
       the teacher.

                  GILLIS
       What teacher?

                  BETTY
       Dark Windows.  I got him all
       hopped up about it.

                  GILLIS
       You did?

                  BETTY
       He thinks it could be made into
       something.

                  GILLIS
       Into what? A lampshade?

                  BETTY
       Into something for Barbara Stan-
       wyck.  They have a commitment with
       Barbara Stanwyck.

                  ARTIE
       Unless you'd rather have Sarah
       Bernhardt.

                  BETTY
       This is on the level.  Sheldrake
       really went for it.

                  GILLIS
       O.K.  Where's the cash?

                  BETTY
       Where's the story? I bluffed it
       out with a few notions of my own.
       It's really just a springboard.
       It needs work.

                  GILLIS
       I was afraid of that.

                     BETTY
          I've got twenty pages of notes.
          I've got a pretty good character
          for the man.

                     ARTIE
          Could you write in plenty of back-
          ground action, so they'll need an
          extra assistant director?

                     BETTY
          Shut up, Artie.
               (To Gillis)
          Now if we could sit down for two
          weeks and get a story.

                     GILLIS
          Sorry, Miss Schaefer, but I've
          given up writing on spec.

                     BETTY
          I tell you this is half sold.

                     GILLIS
          As a matter of fact.  I've given
          up writing altogether.

Max has appeared in the door.

                    MAX
         Mr. Gillis, if you please.

                    GILLIS
         Right with you.

Max leaves.

                    ARTIE
         The accent! I've got it: this guy
         is in the pay of a foreign government.
         Get those studs.  Get those cuff-links.

                    GILLIS
         I've got to run along.  Thanks any-
         way for your interest in my career.

                    BETTY
         It's not your career -- it's mine.
         I kind of hoped to get in on this
         deal.  I don't want to be a reader
         all my life.  I want to write.

                    GILLIS
         Sorry if I crossed you up.

                    BETTY
         You sure have.

                    GILLIS
         So long.

He leaves.

                  ARTIE
            (Patting her hand)
       Babe, it's like that producer says:
       In life, you've got to take the
       bitter with the sour.


D-6     THE ISOTTA, PARKED OUTSIDE

Gillis comes from Schwab's, gets into the car.

Max takes off.

                  NORMA
       What on earth, darling? It took
       you hours.

                  GILLIS
       I ran into some people I knew.

                  NORMA
       Where are my cigarettes?

                  GILLIS
       Where are your...?

He realizes he's forgotten them, takes the dollar
and hands it back to her.

                  GILLIS
       Norma, you're smoking too much.

DISSOLVE TO:


D-7     LIVING ROOM, NORMA
DESMOND'S HOUSE 
(EARLY AFTERNOON)

Start on a tiny                       GILLIS' VOICE
parasol being             Whenever she suspected I
twirled...Norma           was getting bored, she
peeks out from one        would put on a live show
side of the parasol,      for me: the Norma Desmond
a bandanna tied           Follies.  Her first number
around her head with      was always the Mack Sennett
a rabbit's-ear bow.       Bathing Beauty.
She bats her eyes,
winks roguishly.

THE CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal that Norma's black
pyjama trousers are rolled up over her knees and her
black stockings rolled down below them.  The whole
effect approximates a Mack Sennett bathing costume
pretty effectively.  She points at a leather pour.

                  NORMA
       This is a rock.

She climbs on it, pantomimes timidity, an attempted
dive, then jumps off.

Gillis lolls on a couch, watching the performance,
very bored.

                  NORMA
       I can still see myself in the
       line: Bebe Daniels, Marie Prevost,
       Mabel Normand ... Mabel was always
       stepping on my feet ...What's the
       matter with you, darling?  Why are
       you so glum?

                  GILLIS
            (Lighting a cigarette
             with a match)
       Nothing is the matter.  I'm having
       a great time.  Show me some more.

                  NORMA
            (Taking the match)
       All right.  Give me this.  I need
       it for a moustache.  Now close
       your eyes.

She runs out of the                 GILLIS' VOICE
picture.  Gillis has      Something was the matter,
closed his eyes.          all right.  I was thinking
THE CAMERA MOVES to       about that girl of Artie's,
his face.                 that Miss Schaefer.  She
                          was so like all us writers
                          when we first hit Holly-
                          wood -- itching with am-
                          bition, panting to get
                          your names up there:
                          Screenplay by.  Original
                          Story by.  Hmph!  Audiences
                          don't know somebody sits
                          down and writes a picture.
                          They think the actors make
                          it up as they go along.

                  NORMA'S VOICE
       Open your eyes.

Gillis opens his eyes.

Norma has equipped herselr with a derby hat, a cane,
and blacked in a small moustache.  She goes into a
little Chaplin routine.  While she is doing it, the
telephone rings.  After a moment Max comes to the
living room door.

                  MAX
       Madame is wanted on the telephone.

                  NORMA
       You know better than to interrupt me.

                  MAX
       Paramount is calling.

                  NORMA
       Who?

                  MAX
       Paramount studios.

                  NORMA
            (To Gillis)
       Now, now do you belive me? I told
       you deMille would jump at it.

                  MAX
       It is not Mr. deMille in person.
       It is someone by the name or Gordon
       Cole.  He says it's very important.

                  NORMA
       Certainly it's important.  It's
       important enough for Mr. deMille
       to call me personally.  The idea
       of having an assistant call me!

                  MAX
       I myself was surprised at Mr. de
       Mille's manners.

                  NORMA
       Say that I'm busy, and hang up.

                  MAX
       Very good, Madam.

He bows and exits.

                  NORMA
       How do you like that? We've
       made twelve pictures together.
       His greatest successes.

                  GILLIS
       Maybe deMille is shooting.

                  NORMA
       I know that trick! He wants to
       belittle me.  He's trying to get
       my price down.  I've waited
       twenty years for this call.  Now
       Mr. deMille can wait till I'm
       good and ready.

DISSOLVE TO:


D-8     NORMA, IN THE TONNEAU
OF THE LIMOUSINE,
DRIVING DOWN MELROSE

She is in full makeup,             GILLIS' VOICE
with a veil, a daring     About three days later she
hat, a suit so stunning   was good and ready.  In-
only she would venture    credible as it may seem,
to wear it.  THE CAMERA   there had been some more
PULLS BACK.  Beside her   of those calls from
sits Gillis in the glen   Paramount.  So she put on
plaid suit.  Max is       about half a pound of
driving.                  makeup, fixed it up with
                          a veil, and set forth to
                          see deMille in person.

Norma is examining her face in the mirror of her
vanity.  Max, while driving, sees her in the rear
view mirror.

                  MAX
       If you will pardon me, Madame.
       The shadow over the left eye
       is not quite balanced.

                  NORMA
       Thank you, Max.

With a handkerchief, she corrects it.


D-9     MAIN GATE, EXT. PARAMOUNT STUDIO

The car drives down Bronson and stops smack in front
of the iron gate.  A young policeman is talking to
an extra; an old policeman sits reading a newspaper.
Max sounds the horn impatiently.

                  YOUNG POLICEMAN
       Hold that noise!

                  MAX
       To see Mr. de Mille.  Open the gate.

                  YOUNG POLICEMAN
        Mr. deMille is shooting.  You
        got an appointment?

                  MAX
        No appointment is necessary.  I
        am bringing Norma Desmond.

                  YOUNG POLICEMAN
        Norma Who?

Norma has rolled down the window on her side.  She
calls to the old policeman.

                  NORMA
        Jonesy! Come here, Jonesy!

                  OLD POLICEMAN
        Yeah?
             (He comes forward slowly)
        Why, if it isn't Miss Desmond!
        How have you been, Miss Desmond?

                  NORMA
        Fine, Jonesy.  Now open that gate.

                  OLD POLICEMAN
        Sure, Miss Desmond.
             (To the young policeman}
        Come on, Mac.

                  YOUNG POLICEMAN
        They can't drive on the lot
        without a pass.

                  OLD POLICEMAN
        Miss Desmond can.  Come on.

They fling open the gate.

                  OLD POLICEMAN
             (As the car drives through)
        Stage eighteen, Miss Desmond.

                  NORMA
        Thank you, Jonesy.  And teach
        your friend some manners.  Tell
        him without me he wouldn't have
        any job, because without me there
        wouldn't be any Paramount Studio.
             (To Max)
        Go on.

They drive through the gates.  The old policeman
goes to wall phone beside the gate, dials a number.

                  OLD POLICEMAN
            (Into phone)
       Norma Desmond coming in to
       see Mr. deMille.

D-10    STAGE 18

A scene from SAMPSON AND DELILAH is being rehearsed
in the background.  The usual turbulent activity
surrounds it: extras.  makeup men, grips,
assistants, etc., etc.  In the dim foreground a
stage hand is answering a stand telephone.  He
puts down the phone and moves (CAMERA WITH HIM)
to a second assistant.

                  STAGE HAND
       Norma Desmond is coming to see
       Mr. deMille.

The second assistant walks (CAMERA WITH HIM)
to the first assistant.

                  2nd ASSISTANT
       Norma Desmond coming in to
       see Mr. deMille.

The first assistant (CAMERA WITH HIM) hurries
to the set.  Sitting with his back toward us
is C.B. himself.  He is rehearsing a scene with
Hedy Lamarr.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       Norma Desmond is coming in to
       see you, Mr. deMille.

C. B. turns his head.

                  DEMILLE
       Norma Desmond?

                  lst ASSISTANT
       She must be a million years old.

                  DEMILLE
       I hate to think where that puts
       me.  I could be her father.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       I'm terribly sorry, Mr. de Mille.

By this time de Mille is on his feet.

                  DEMILLE
       It must be about that appalling
       script of hers.  What can I say
       to her? What can I say?

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       I can tell her you're all tied
       up in the projection room.  I
       can give her the brush ...

                  DEMILLE
       Listen, thirty million fans
       have given her the brush.
       Isn't that enough?

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       I didn't mean to --

                  DEMILLE
       Of course you didn't.  You didn't
       know Norma Desmond as a plucky
       little girl of seventeen, with
       more courage and wit and heart
       than ever came together in one
       youngster.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       I hear she was a terror to
       work with.

                  DEMILLE
       She got to be.  A dozen press
       agents working overtime can
       do terrible things to the human
       spirit.
            (to the set)
       Hold everything.

He leaves, accompanied by his entourage.

D-11    EXT. STAGE 18

Norma's limousine drives up.  Max dismounts
and opens the door.

                  NORMA
            (taking Gillis's hand)
       Don't you want to come along,
       darling?

                  GILLIS
       I don't think so.  It's your
       script.  It's your show.
       Good luck.

                  NORMA
       Thank you, darling.

She presses his hand against her cheek, descends
from the car and walks toward -

D-12    THE DOOR OF STAGE 18

The first assistant is holding it open.  In the door-
way stands Mr. deMille.  Seeing Norma, he stretches
out his arms.

                    DE MILLE
         Hello, young fellow.

                    NORMA
         Hello, Mr. deMille.

She has reached him.  They embrace.

                    NORMA
         Last time I saw you was someplace
         very gay.  I remember waving to you.
         I was dancing on a table.

                   DE MILLE
        Lots of people were.  Lindbergh had
        just landed in Paris.  Come on in.

He leads her into


D-13    STAGE 18

During the ensuing dialogue, Mr. deMille walks Norma
towards the set.

                    DE MILLE
         Norma, I want to apologize for
         not calling you.

                    NORMA
         You'd better.  I'm very angry.

                    DE MILLE
         I'm pretty busy, as you can see...

                    NORMA
         That's no excuse.  You read the
         script, didn't you?

                    DE MILLE
         Yes, I did.

                    NORMA
         Then you could have picked up the
         phone yourself instead of leaving
         it to one of your assistants.

                    DE MILLE
         What assistant?

                   NORMA
        Don't play innocent.  Somebody
        named Gordon Cole.

                   DE MILLE
        Gordon Cole?

                   NORMA
        And if you hadn't been pretty
        darned interested in that script,
        he wouldn't have tried to get
        me on the phone ten times.

                   DE MILLE
        Gordon Cole... Look, Norma,
        I'm in the middle of a rehearsal.
             (Indicating his
              own chair)
        Make yourself comfortable.

He walks onto the set, accompanied by his assistants.

                   DE MILLE
             (Sotto voce, to his
              first assistant)
        Get me Gordon Cole on the phone.

Meanwhile, Norma starts to sit, sees the name
MISS LAMARR on the chair and with a look of
distaste changes and sits on the one marked
C.B. DE MILLE.    From somewhere comes

                   A VOICE
        Hey, Miss Desmond! Miss Desmond!

She looks around her.

                 VOICE
      Up here!

Norma looks up at the scaffolding.

On the scaffold stands one of the electricians,
next to his light.

                 ELECTRICIAN
      It's met It's Hog-eyel

Norma waves at him.

                 NORMA
      Hello.

Hog-eye points his light at her.

                 HOG-EYE
      Let's get a look at you.

The beam of the lamp moves toward Norma.  It hits
her.  She sits bathed in light.  A couple of old
costume extras recognize her.

                 EXTRAS
      Say, it's Norma! Norma Desmond!

They rush over and start wringing her hand.  Into
the shot comes a middle-aged hairdresser.

                 HAIRDRESSER
      Hello, Miss Desmond.  It's Bessie.

Some elderly electricians and stagehands move in.


D-14    ANOTHER PART OF THE STAGE

The first assistant brings the portable phone to
deMille.  DeMille lifts the receiver.

                 DE MILLE
      Hello.


D-15    GORDON COLE'S OFFICE IN THE PROPERTY DEPARTMENT,
GORDON COLE ON THE PHONE.

                 COLE
      Prop Department.  Gordon Cole speaking.

D-16    DE MILLE ON THE PHONE

                  DE MILLE
       Cole, this is C. B. deMille.  Have
       you been calling Norma Desmond?...
       What's it about?


D-17    GORDON COLE, ON THE PHONE

                  COLE
       It's that car of hers -- an old
       Isotta-Fraschini.  Her chauffeur
       drove it on the lot the other day.
       It looks just right for the Crosby
       picture.  We want to rent it for a
       couple of weeks.


D-18    DE MILLE ON THE PHONE

                  DE MILLE
            (Troubled)
       Oh.  Well, thank you.

He hangs up, walks back towards Norma.  (CAMERA
WITH HIM).

Norma stills sits in the shaft of light, surrounded
by about a dozen people who have come up to pay court.
DeMille gestures up to Hog-eye and the light shifts
away.  The people about Norma disperse slowly with
various ad-libs.

                  DE MILLE
       Well, Norma ...
            (He sits down next to her)
       I got hold of Gordon Cole.

Norma hasn't heard a word.

                  NORMA
       Did you see them? Did you see
       how they came?

                  DE MILLE
       You know, crazy things happen in
       this business.  I hope you haven't
       lost your sense of humor ...

Suddenly he realizes that she is crying.  She takes
the handkerchief from his pocket and puts it over her
eyes.

                  DEMILLE
       What's the matter, Norma?

                  NORMA
       Nothing.  I just didn't realize
       what it would be like to come back
       to the old studio.  I had no idea
       how I'd missed it.

                  DEMILLE
       We've missed you too, dear.

                  NORMA
       We'll be working again, won't we, Chief?
       We'll make our greatest picture.

                  DEMILLE
       That's what I want to talk to you about.

                  NORMA
       It's a good script, isn't it?

                  DEMILLE
       It's got a lot of good things.  Of
       course, it would be an expensive picture...

                  NORMA
       I don't care about the money.
       I just want to work again.  You
       don't know what it means to know
       that you want me.

                  DEMILLE
       Nothing would thrill me more --
       if it were possible.

                  NORMA
       But remember, darling -- I don't
       work before ten in the morning,
       and never after 4:30 in the afternoon.

The first assistant comes up.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       We're ready with the shot, Mr. deMille.

                  DEMILLE
       You'll pardon me, Norma? Why
       don't you just sit and watch?
            (He steps onto the set)
       O.K.  Here we go.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       Roll 'em.

                  DEMILLE
       Action!
The scene starts.

D-19    THE ISOTTA, PARKED OUTSIDE STAGE 18

Max stands talking to Gillis, who is seated in the
car.

                  MAX
            (Pointing to the row
             of offices in the
             building opposite)
       You see those offices there, Mr.
       Gillis? They used to be her
       dressing room, The whole row.

                  GILLIS
       That didn't leave much for Wallace
       Reid.

                  MAX
       He had a great big bungalow on
       wheels.  I had the upstairs.  See
       where it says 'Readers' Department'?
       I remember my walls were covered
       with black patent leather...

The words "Readers' Department" have registered on
Gillis' mind.  He gets out of the car.

                  GILLIS
       I'll be with you in a minute.

He crosses the street towards the green staircase
leading to the second floor.

Meanwhile, two prop men walking down the street
come into the SHOT.

                  1ST PROP MAN
       Hey, that's the comic car Cole
       was talking about!
             (To Max)
       Do you mind if we look inside?

                  MAX
       Go away.  Go away.


D-2O    CUBICLE IN THE READERS' DEPARTMENT

Behind the desk sits Betty, typing the synopsis of
a novel, a half-eaten apple marking her place.  The
door behind her opens and Gillis enters.

                  GILLIS
       Just so you don't think I'm a
       complete swine -- if there's
       anything in Dark Windows you
       can use, take it.  It's all
       yours.

                  BETTY
       Well, for heaven's sake!

She moves the book and the apple aside and points at
the free space on the desk.

                  BETTY
       Have a chair.

Gillis sits on the desk.

                  GILLIS
       I mean it.  It's no good to me
       anyway.  Help yourself.

                  BETTY
       Why should you do that?

                  GILLIS
       If you get a hundred thousand for
       it, you buy me a box of chocolate
       creams.  If you get an Oscar, I
       get the left foot.

                  BETTY
       You know, I'd take you up on that
       in a minute.  I'm just not good
       enough to do it all by myself.

                  GILLIS
       What about all those ideas you had?

                  BETTY
       See if they make sense.  To begin
       with, I think you should throw out
       all that psychological stuff --
       exploring a killer's sick mind.

                  GILLIS
       Psychopaths sell like hotcakes.

                  BETTY
       This story is about teachers --
       their threadbare lives, their
       struggles.  Here are people doing
       the most important job in the
       world, and they have to wprry
       about getting enough money to
       re-sole their shoes.  To me it
       can be as exciting as any chase,
       any gunplay.

                  GILLIS
       Check.

                  BETTY
       Now I see her teaching day classes
       while he teaches night school.  The
       first time they meet ...

From below comes the SOUND of the Isotta's horn.

                  GILLIS
       Look, if you don't mind, I haven't
       got time to listen to the whole
       plot ...

                  BETTY
       I'll make it short.

                  GILLIS
       Sorry.  It's your baby now.

                  BETTY
       I'm not good enough to write it
       alone.  We'll have to do it together.

                  GILLIS
       I'm all tied up.  I can't.

                  BETTY
       Couldn't we work in the evenings?
       Six o'clock in the morning? This
       next month I'm completely at your
       disposal.  Artie is out of town.

                  GILLIS
       What has Artie to do with it.

                  BETTY
       We're engaged.

                  GILLIS
       Good for you.  You've got yourself
       the best guy in town.

                  BETTY
       I think so.  They're on location
       in Arizona, shooting a Western.
       I'm free every evening, every week-
       end.  If you want, we could work at
       your place.

                  GILLIS
       It's just impossible.

                  BETTY
       Nobody can be that busy.

There is another honk: from down below.

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

                  BETTY
       You're tough, all right.

                  GILLIS
       You're on your own.  Stop being
       chicken-hearted and write that story.

                  BETTY
       Honest to goodness, I hate you.

                  GILLIS
            (Turning 1n the open door)
       And don't make it too dreary.  How
       about this for a situation: she
       teaches daytimes.  He teaches at
       night.  Right?  They don't even know
       each other, but they share the same
       room.  It's cheaper that way.  As a
       matter of fact, they sleep in the
       same bed -- in shifts, of oourse.

                  BETTY
       Are you kidding? Because I think
       it's good.

                  GILLIS
       So do I.

                  BETTY
       Came  on back.  Let me show you
       where it fits in.

She reaches in a drawer for her notes on Dark
Windows.

                  GILLIS
             (At the door)
       So long.

Betty picks up the apple and is about to throw it
after him.

                  BETTY
       Oh, you --

                  GILLIS
       And here's a title: AN APPLE FOR
       THE TEACHER.

He ducks out quiokly, slamming the door behind him.
Betty looks after him, then angrlly hurls the
apple into the wastebasket.


D-21    STAIRCASE OUTSIDE READERS' DEPARTMENT

Max is rush1ng up the stairs toward the descending
Gillis.

                  GILLIS
       What's the matter, Max?

                  MAX
       I just found out why all those tele-
       phone calls.  It is not Miss Desmond
       they want.  It is the car they want
       to rent.

                  GILLIS
       What?

Max has seen something off.

                  MAX
       Ssh...

With his head he indicates


D-22    ENTRANCE TO STAGE 18

The first assistant has opened the door.  DeMille
is showing Norma out.

                  DE MILLE
       Goodbye, young fellow.  We'll see
       what we can do.

                  NORMA
            (embracing him)
       I'm not worried.  Everything will
       be fine.  The old team together.
       Nothing can stop us.

She turns and walks out of the shot.  De Mille
stands for a second watching her, then turns to
his assistant.

                  DE MILLE
       Get Gordon Cole.  Tell him to forget
       about her car.  He can find another
       old car.  I'll buy him five old cars,
       if necessary.

                  1ST ASSISTANT
       Yes, Mr. De Mille.

They turn back into Stage 18.

D-23    THE ISOTTA

Gillis seated in the rear.  Max is helping Norma
in and putting the robe over her.

                 GILLIS
            (Apprehensively)
      How did it go?

                 NORMA
      It couldn't have gone better.
      It's practically set.  Of course,
      he has to finish this picture
      first, but mine will be his next.

There is an exchange of looks between Max and Gillis.

                 GILLIS
      He must be quite a guy.

                 NORMA
      He'a a shrewd old fox.  He can
      smell box office.  Only I'm going
      to outfox him a litt1e.  This isn't
      going to be C. B. deMille's Salome.
      It's going to be Norma Desmond's
      Salome, a Norma Desmond Production,
      starring Norma Desmond...Home, Max.

                 MAX
      Yes, Miss Desmond.

As he says the words, he and Gillis exchange a glance
in the rear view mirror.

SLOW DISSOLVE:

                 END OF SEQUENCE "D"



               SEQUENCE "E"

DISSOLVE IN ON:

E-1     CLOSEUP OF NORMA'S FACE
                                    GILLIS' VOICE
Absolutely no makeup.  A       After that, an army of
hand with a strong small       beauty experts invaded
flashlight comes into the      her house on Sunset
picture.  The beam of the      Boulevard.  She went
flashlight travels over the    through a merciless
face, exploring it merci-      series of treatments,
lessly.  While the light is    massages, sweat cabinets,
still on it, two pairs of      mud baths, ice compres-
creamed hands come into the    ses, electric devices.
shot and start to massage it.  She lived on vegetable
                               juices and went to bed
DISSOLVE TO:                   at nine.  She was deter-
                               mined to be ready --
                               ready for those cameras
E-2     A SHORT MONTAGE of various     that would never turn.
beauty treatments applied
to Norma.

DISSOLVE TO:

E-3     NORMA BEFORE THE MIRROR
IN HER BEDROOM

It is nine o'clock in the evening.  She is in night
gown and negligee and has put triangular patches on
the saddle of her nose and at the outer corner of
each eye.  She is rubbing lotion on her hands.

She gets up and crosses to the door of Gillis' room
and opens it a crack.

                   NORMA
         Joe darling, are you there?

E-4     GILLIS' ROOM

It is dark except for a lamp over the chaise longue.
Gillis lies on it, fully clothed, reading a book.

                   GILLIS
         Yes, Norma.

Through the slit in the door there is a suggestion
of Norma.

                   NORMA
        Don't turn around.  Keep your
        eyes on the book.

                   GILLIS
        Yes, Norma.

Norma pushes the door open and comes in.

                   NORMA
        I just came to say good night.
        I don't want you to see me --
        I'm not very attractive.

                   GILLIS
        Good night.

                   NORMA
        I've lost half a pound since
        Tuesday.

                   GILLIS
        Good.

                   NORMA
        I was a little worried about the
        line of my throat.  This woman
        has done wonders with it.

                   GILLIS
        Good.

                   NORMA
        You'd better get to bed yourself.

                   GILLIS
        I think I'll read a little.

                   NORMA
        You went out last night, didn't
        you, Joe?

                   GILLIS
        Why do you say that?

                   NORMA
        I just happen to know it.  I had
        a nightmare and I screamed for
        you.  You weren't here.  Where
        were you?

                   GILLIS
        I went for a walk.

                   NORMA
        No you didn't.  You took the
        car.

                   GILLIS
        All right, I drove to the beach.
        Norma, you don't want me to feel
        I'm locked up in this house?

                   NORMA
        Of course not, Joe.  It's just
        that I don't want to be left alone.
        Not now, while I'm under this
        terrible strain.  My nerves are
        being torn apart.  All I ask is
        for you to be a little patient and a
        little kind.

                   GILLIS
        I haven't done anything, Norma.

                   NORMA
        Of course you haven't.  I wouldn't
        let you.

She bends and kisses the top of his head.

                   NORMA
        Good night, my darling.

She goes into her room, shutting the door behind her.

Gillis puts his book down and looks at her door.


E-5     THE DOOR TO NORMA'S ROOM

The light can be seen through the gouged-out
keyhole.  It goes out.

DISSOLVE TO:

E-6     UPPER LANDING STAIRWAY
AND HALL BELOW (NIGHT)                GILLIS' VOICE

Gillis, with his coat on by    Yes, I was playing hooky
now, comes cautiously to
the upper railing and looks    every evening along in
down into the lighted hall
below.                         there.  It made me think I

Max is just extinguishing      of when I was twelve and
the lights.  Max exits in,
the direction of the liv-      used to sneak out on the
ing room.
                               folks to see a gangster
After a moment Gillis starts
silently down the stairs.      picture.  This time it

                               wasn't to see a picture,
E-7     LIVING ROOM
                               it was to try and write
(Lighted only by the last
flicker of a fire on the       one.  That story of mine
hearth).  Max is putting a
fire screen in front of        Betty Schaerer had dug
the fire.  He hears some
steps and the creak or the     up kept going through
main door being opened.
He looks out and sees          my head like a dozen

                               locomotives...
E-7a    THE MAIN DOOR

Gillis, in the moonlit porch,
is closing the main door
behind him.


E-8     LIVING ROOM

Max looks after Gillis, his
face enigmatic as ever.

DISSOLVE TO:


E-9     GARAGE AND DRIVEWAY
(MOONLIGHT)

Gillis comes into the shot,
gets into the Isotta, drives
it out or the garage and down
the driveway to Sunset, as
quietly as possible.

DISSOLVE TO:

E-10    READERS' OFFICE BUILDING
PARAMOUNT (NIGHT)

Start on a LONG SHOT.  THE             GILLIS' VOICE
BOOM MOVES FORWARD to the only     So we'd started
two lights.  They are the door     working on it, the
and window of Betty Schaefer's     two of us.  Nights,
cubicle.  Betty sits at the        when the studio was
desk, typing.  Gillis, his         deserted, up in her
coat off, his shirt-sleeves        little cubby-hole
rolled up, j.s pacing the floor,   of an office.
discussing the construction of
a sentence.  The discussion at
a stalemate, Betty suggests
some coffee.  Gillis agrees.
From the electric plate on the
shelf beside her, Betty takes
a glass coffee machine.  Gillis
seats himself in her chair
and starts typing.

Betty opens the door and comes out on the balcony to
fill the coffee machine from the water cooler stand-
ing beside the door.

                   BETTY
         I got the funniest letter from
         Artie.  It's rained every day
         since they got to Arizona.  They
         re-wrote the whole picture for
         rain and shot half of it.  Now
         the sun is out.  Nobody knows
         when they'll get back.

She moves back into the room.

                   GILLIS
         Good.

                   BETTY
         What's good about it?  I miss
         him something fierce.

                   GILLIS
         I mean this is good dialogue
         along in here.  It'll play.

                   BETTY
         It will?

                   GILLIS
         Sure.  Especially with lots
         of music underneath, drowning
         it out.

                   BETTY
         Don't you sometimes hate yourself?

                   GILLIS
         Constantly.  No, in all serious-
         ness, it's really good.  It's
         fun writing again.  I'm happy
         here, honest I am.

He resumes typing.  Betty puts the water on.  She
picks up a pack of cigarettes on the desk, finds it's
empty and throws it away, sees Gillis' open gold
cigarette case and lighter on the table by the couch.
Betty reaches for a cigarette.  The inscription en-
graved inside the case catches her eye.  It reads:

                  MAD ABOUT THE BOY --

                            Norma


                   BETTY
         Who's Norma?

                   GILLIS
         Who's who?

                   BETTY
         I'm sorry.  I don't usually
         read private cigarette cases.

                   GILLIS
         Oh, that.  It's from a friend
         of mine.  A middle-aged lady,
         very foolish and very generous.

                   BETTY
         I'll say.  This is solid gold.

                   GILLIS
         I gave her some advice on an
         idiotic script.

                   BETTY
         It's that old familiar story,
         you help a timid little soul
         across a crowded street.  She
         turns out to be a multimillionaire
         and leaves you all her money.

                   GILLIS
         That's the trouble with you
         readers.  You know all the plots.
         Now suppose you proof-read page
         ten while the water boils.

DISSILVE TO:

E-11    AN EMPTY STREET AT THE                GILLIS' VOICE
PARAMOUNT STUDIO (NIGHT)      Sometimes when we got
                              stuck we'd make a
Gillis and Betty are walking  litte tour of the
down it.  From a stage where  drowsing lot, not talk-
they are erecting a new set   ing much, just wandering
comes a great shaft of light. down alleys between the
They stop at an apple-vending sound stages, or through
machine in the foreground,buy the sets they were get-
themselves a couple of apples ting ready for the next
and walk on.                  day's shooting.  As a
                              matter of fact, it was
DISSOLVE TO:                  on one of those walks
                              when she first told me
                              about her nose ...

E-12    PARAMOUNT'S NEW YORK STREET (NIGHT)

Betty and Gillis are walking down it, THE CAMERA
AHEAD OF THEM.

                   BETTY
         Look at this street.  All card-
         board, all hollow, all phoney.
         All done with mirrors.  I like
         it better than any street in the
         world.  Maybe because I used to
         play here when I was a kid.

                   GILLIS
         What were you -- a child actress?

                   BETTY
         I was born just two blocks from
         this studio.  Right on Lemon Grove
         Avenue.  Father was head elec-
         trician here till he died.  Mother
         still works in Wardrobe.

                   GILLIS
         Second generation, huh?

                   BETTY
         Third.  Grandma did stunt work
         for Pearl White.  I come from a
         picture family.  Naturally they
         took it for granted I was to become
         a great star.  So I had ten years of
         dramatic lessons, diction, dancing.
         Then the studio made a test.  Well,
         they didn't like my nose -- it slanted
         this way a little.  I went to a doctor
         and had it fixed.  They made more
         tests, and they were crazy about my
         nose -- only they didn't like my acting.

                   GILLIS
            (Examining her nose
             by the flame of his
             lighter)
         Nice job.

                   BETTY
         Should be.  It cost three hundred
         dollars.

                   GILLIS
         Saddest thing I ever heard.

                   BETTY
         Not at all.  It taught me a little
         sense.  I got me a job in the mail
         room, worked up to the Stenographic.
         Now I'm a reader...

                   GILLIS
         Come clean, Betty.  At night you
         weep for those lost closeups, those
         gala openings...

                   BETTY
         Not once.  What's wrong with being
         on the other side of the cameras?
         It's really more fun.

                   GILLIS
         Three cheers for Betty Schaefer!
         I will now kiss that nose of yours.

                   BETTY
         If you please.

Gillis kisses her nose.  As he stands there, his
face close to hers -

                   GILLIS
         May I say you smell real special.

                   BETTY
         It must be my new shampoo.

                   GILLIS
         That's no shampoo.  It'smore like
         a pile of freehly laundred hand-
         kerchiefs, like a brand new auto-
         mobile.  How old are you anyway?

                   BETTY
         Twenty-two.

                  GILLIS
       That's it -- there's nothing like
       being twenty-two.  Now may I suggest
       that if we're ever to finish this
       story you keep at least two feet
       away from me ...  Now back to the
       typewriter.

They start walking in the direction of the office.

DISSOLVE TO:


E-13    THE GARAGE

Gillis gets out.  From the seat next him he takes a
batch of script, folds it and puts it in his pocket.
He suddenly becomes aware that he is watched, turns.
Max stands in the moonlight, evidently waiting for
him.

                  GILLIS
       What is it, Max? Want to wash
       the car, or are you doing a little
       spying in your off hours?

                  MAX
       You must be very careful as you
       cross the patio.  Madame may be
       watching.

                  GILLIS
       How about my going up the kitchen
       stairs and undressing in the dark.
       Will that do it?

                  MAX
       I'm not inquiring where Mr.
       Gillis goes every night...

                  GILLIS
       Why don't you? I'm writing a
       script and I'm dying to finish
       it, no matter what.

                  MAX
       It's just that I'm very worried
       about Madame.

                  GILLIS
       Sure you are.  And we're not help-
       ing her any, feeding her lies and
       more lies.  Getting herself ready
       for a pioture ...  What happens when
       she finds out?

                  MAX
       She never will.  That is my job.
       It has been for a long time.  You
       must understand I discovered her
       when she was eighteen.  I made her
       a star.  I cannot let her be destroyed.

                  GILLIS
       You made her a star?

                  MAX
       I directed all her early pictures.
       There were three young directors
       who showed promise in those days:
       D.W. Grirrith, C.B. deMille, and
       Max von Mayerling.

                  GILLIS
       And she's turned you into a
       servant.

                  MAX
       It was I who asked to come back,
       humiliating as it may seem.  I
       could have gone on witn my career,
       only I found everything unendur-
       able arter she divorced me.  You
       see, I was her rirst husband.

DISSOLVE TO:


E-14    NORMA DESMOND'S BEDROOM

One lamp lit.  Norma, in a white negligee, with the
patches on her face, is pacing up and down -- a
small, tormented, pitiable woman.  Finally she opens
the door to:


E-15    GILLIS' ROOM (MOONLIGHT)

Gillis lies in bed asleep, Norma in the doorway.

                  NORMA
       You're here, Joe ... When did
       you come home? Where were you?
       Is it a woman? I know it's a
       woman ... Who is she? Oh Joe,
       why can't I ask you? I must know,
       I must!

Her eyes fall on Gillis' coat, which hangs over a
chair.  In a pocket is part of the script.  Norma
takes it out, looks at it.  She can't see it in the
moonlight.  She hurries with it into:


E-16    NORMA'S BEDROOM

Carrying the script Norma goes to the lamp and looks
at it.  On the first page she sees something which
confirms all her suspicionso It reads:

             UNTITLED LOVE STORY
                    by
              Joseph C.  Gilliss
                    and
               Betty Schaefer

DISSOLVE:


E-17    BETTY'S CUBICLE (NIGHT)

Betty is typing.  Gillis sits on the couch, proof-
reading a scene.  Betty stops typing and Gillis
becomes aware of her eyes fixed on him.

                  GILLIS
       Hey, what's the matter...
       Betty, wake up!
           (He whistles and
            catches her attention)
       Why are you staring at me like that?

                  BETTY
       Was I?  I'm sorry.

                  GILLIS
       What's wrong with you tonight?
       What is it, Betty?

                  BETTY
       Something came up.  I don't want
       to talk about it.

                  GILLIS
       Why not?

                  BETTY
       I just don't.

                  GILLIS
       What is it you've heard.  Come
       on, let's have it.

Betty gets up.

                  GILLIS
       Is it about me?

Betty doesn't answer, walks out on


E-18    THE BALCONY

She leans against a post, crying.  Gillis comes out
after her.

                  GILLIS
       Betty, there's no use running
       out on it.  Let's face it, what-
       ever it is.

                  BETTY
       It's nothing.  I got a telegram
       from Artie.

                  GILLIS
       From Artie.  What's wrong?

                  BETTY
       He wants me to come on to Arizona.
       He says it only oosts two dollars
       to get married there.  It would
       kind of save us a honeymoon.

                  GILLIS
       Why don't you? We can finish the
       script by Thursday.

Betty stands crying silently.

                  GILLIS
       Stop crying.  You're getting
       married.  That's what you've
       always wanted.

                  BETTY
       I don't want it now.

                   GILLIS
         Why not? Don't you love Artie?

                   BETTY
         Of course I love him.  I always
         will.  I'm just not in love
         with him any more.

                   GILLIS
         What happened?

                   BETTY
         You did.

There is a moment's pause before he takes her in
his arms.  THE CAMERA MOVES AWAY.

DISSOLVE TO:


E-19    HALL AND STAIRCASE                  GILLIS' VOICE
DESMOND HOME- (NIGHT)        It wasn' t until I got
                             back to that peculiar
Gillis enters, closes        prison of mine that I
the door as quietly as       started facing the facts.
he can, and goes up          There it was -- Betty
the stairs.                  Schaefer's future right
                             in the palm of my hand.
E-20    GILLIS' ROOM                 Betty Schaefer engaged
                             to Artie Green, as nice
He enters and turns on the   a guy as ever lived.
light.  He sinks down on     And she was in love with
the chaise longue,thinking.  me.  Me ! She was a fool
His eyes wander to the       not to sense that there
door of Norma's room.        was something phony in
Through the gouged-out key-  my set-up.  And I was a
hole he sees the light.      heel not to have told
                             her.  But you just can't
                             say those things to
                             somebody you're crazy
                             about.  Maybe I'd never
                             have to.  Maybe I could
                             get away with it, get
                             away from Norma.  Maybe
                             I could wipe the whole
                             nasty mess right out of
                             my life...
From Norma's room comes the sound of a telephone
being dialled.  Gillis enters the shot and stands
listening.

                   NORMA'S VOICE
         Is this Gladstone 0858?

E-21    NORMA'S BEDROOM
Norma lies in bed, dialing a number.  She has the
beauty patches at the corners of her eyes and over
her nose.

                  NORMA
       Can I speak to Miss Betty
       Schaefer? She must be home by
       now.


E-22    A BEDROOM IN BETTY'S FLAT

Connie, a girl of Betty's age with whom she shares
the flat, is on the phone.  Betty, in a dressing-
gown, comes from the bathroom, toothbrush in hand.

                  CONNIE
            (Hand over mouthpiece)
       Betty, here's that weird-sounding
       woman again.

                  BETTY
       What is this anyway?
            (Taking the phone)
       This is Betty Schaefer.


E-23    NORMA AT IHE PHONE

                  NORMA
       Miss Schaefer, you must forgive
       me for calling you so late, but
       I really feel it's my duty.  It's
       about Mr. Gillis.  You do know Mr.
       Gillis? ...Exactly how much do you
       know about him? Do you know where
       he lives? Do you know how he lives?
       Do you know what he lives on?


E-24    BETTY AT THE PHONE

                  BETTY
       Who are you? What do you want?
       What business is it of yours
       anyway?


E-25    NORMA ON THE PHONE

                  NORMA
       Miss Schaefer, I'm trying to do
       you a favor.  I'm trying to spare
       you a great deal of misery.  Of
       course you may be too young to even
       suspect there are men of his sort...

                  NORMA (Cont'd)
       I don't know what he's told you, but
       he does not live with relatives, nor
       with friends, in the usual sense of
       the word.  Ask him ... Ask him again.

During the latter part of her call, the doors from
Gillis' room have been pushed open and Gillis has
walked towards her.  Suddenly Norma senses his pre-
sence and turns around.  The telephone freezes in her
hand.  She tries to hang it up.  Very calmly Gillis
takes the receiver from her hand.

                  GILLIS
            (Into phone)
       That's right, Betty, ask me again.
       This is Joe.


E-26    BETTY ON THE PHONE

                  BETTY
       Joe, where are you? What's this
       all about?


E-27    GILLIS ON THE PHONE

Norma beside him.

                  GILLIS
       Or maybe it would be a better
       idea if you came over and saw it
       for yourself.  The address is 10086
        .

He hangs up.  Norma looks up at him as he crosses to
the other end of the room and stands staring at her.
The silence becomes unbearable.

                  NORMA
       Don't hate me, Joe.  I did it because
       I need you.  I need you as I never
       needed you.  Look at me.  Look at my
       hands, look at my face, look under my
       eyes.  How can I go back to work if I'm
       wasting away under this torment? You
       don't know what I've been through these
       last weeks.  I got myself a revolver.
       You don't believe me, but I did, I did!
       I stood in front of that mirror, only
       I couldn't make myself.  It wouldn't be

                  NORMA (Cont'd)
       fair to all those people who are
       waiting to see me back on the
       screen.  I can't disappoint them.
       Only, if I'm to work, I need
       sleep, I need quiet, I need you!
       Don't just stand there hating
       me! Shout at me, strike me!
       But don't hate me, Joe.  Don't
       you hear me, Joe?

                  GILLIS
       Yes, I hear you.  And I wish you'd
       keep still so I can hear the doorbell
       when she rings it.


E-28    BETTY AND CONNIE, DRIVING IN A SMALL COUPE DOWN
  (NIGHT)


E-29    INT. COUPE

Connie is looking at the house numbers.

                  CONNIE
       Here's ten thousand seventy-nine,
       Betty.  It must be over there.

Betty turns the car into the driveway of Norma's
place, stops at the entrance steps.  Betty gets out.

                  CONNIE
       Betty, let me come along with
       you.  Please.

                  BETTY
       No, I'll be all right.

She shuts the door of the car and goes up the steps.


E-30    NORMA'S BEDROOM

Norma lies on the bed.  Gillis sits in a far corner
of the room, motionless.

                  NORMA
            (In a whimpering monotone)
       I love you, Joe.  I love you, Joe.
       I love you, Joe.  I love you, Joe.

There is the sound of footsteps below and the ringing
of a doorbell.  Gillis rises.

                  NORMA
       What are you going to do, Joe?

Without a word, he leaves the room.  Norma raises
herself on the bed, reaching for a black negligee
lying at the foot of it.  As she does so, she dis-
lodges her pillow a little, revealing a revolver
hidden beneath it.


E-31    DOWNSTAIRS HALL, THE DESMOND HOUSE (DARK)

Max crosses the hall, putting on his alpaca jacket.
He turns on the lights.  Outside stands Betty.
From the staircase comes -

                  GILLIS' VOICE
       It's all right, Max.  I'll take it.

                  MAX
       Yes, sir.

He stands back as Gillis opens the door.

                  GILLIS
       Hello, Betty.

                  BETTY
            (On the threshold)
       I don't know why I'm so scared,
       Joe.  Is it something awful?

                  GILLIS
       Come on in, Betty,

Betty enters.  As he leads her into the living room,
Gillis puts his arm around her shoulders.

                  GILLIS
       Ever been in one of these old
       Hollywood palazzos? That's from
       when they were making eighteen thou-
       sand a week, and no taxes.  Careful
       of these tiles, they're slippery.
       Valentino used to dance here.

                  BETTY
       This is where you live?

                  GILLIS
       You bet.

                  BETTY
       Whose house is it?

They have reached


E-32    THE LIVING ROOM

Gillis leads Betty in.

                  GILLIS
       Hers.

                  BETTY
       Whose?

                  GILLIS
       Just look around.  There's a lot
       of her spread about.  If you don't
       remember the face, you must have
       heard the name of Norma Desmond.

                  BETTY
       That was Norma Desmond on the phone?

                  GILLIS
       Want something to drink?  There's
       always champagne on ice, and plenty
       of caviar.

                  BETTY
       Why did she call me?

                  GILLIS
       Jealous.  Ever see so much junk?
       She had the ceiling brought from
       Portugal.  Look at this.

He pulls the rope, showing the projection screen
under the picture.

                  GILLIS
       Her own movie theatre.

                  BETTY
       I didn't come here to see a house.
       What about Norma Desmond?

                  GILLIS
       I'm trying to tell you.  This is
       an enormous place.  Eight master
       bedrooms.  A sunken tub in every
       bathroom.  There's a bowling alley
       in the cellar.  It's lonely here,
       so she got herself a companion.
       A very simple set-up: An older
       woman who is well-to-do.  A younger
       man who is not doing too well ...
       Can you figure it out yourself?

                  BETTY
       No.

                  GILLIS
       All right.  I'll give you a few
       more clues.

                  BETTY
       No, no! I haven't heard any of
       this.  I never got those telephone
       calls.  I've never been in this
       house ... Get your things together.
       Let's get out of here.

                  GILLIS
       All my things? All the eighteen
       suits, all the custom-made shoes and
       the eighteen dozen shirts, and the
       cuff-links and the platinum key-
       chains, and the cigarette cases?

                  BETTY
       Come on, Joe.

                  GILLIS
       Come on where? Back to a one-room
       apartment that I can't pay for?
       Back to a story that may sell and
       very possibly will not?

                  BETTY
       If you love me, Joe.

                  GILLIS
       Look, sweetie -- be practical.
       l've got a good thing here.
       A long-term contract with no options.
       I like it that way.  Maybe it's not
       very admirable.  Well, you and Artie
       can be admirable.

                  BETTY
       Joe, I can't look at you any more.

                  GILLIS
       Nobody asked you to.

Betty turns from him, to hide the fact that she is
crying.

                  GILLIS
       All right, baby.  This way out.

He leads her in the direction of the door.

E-33    UPPER LANDING, DESMOND HOUSE

Sitting crouched behind the balustrade is Norma,
peering down into


E-34    THE LOWER HALL

Betty and Gillis have reached the entrance door.
Gillis opens it.

                  GILLIS
       Good luck to you, Betty.  You can
       finish that story on the way to
       Arizona.  When you and Artie get
       back, if the two of you ever feel
       like a swim, here's the pool ...

He switches on the light.


E-35    THE PATIO

The lights go on in the pool, which shines brilliant-
ly in the dark garden.


E-36    BETTY

She doesn't even look.  Her eyes filled with tears,
she runs down the entrance porch toward her car.


E-37    THE ENTRANCE HALL

Gillis looks after her, closes the door.  From the
upper landing comes the sound of soft sobbing.  He
looks up.


E-38    NORMA, ON THE UPPER LANDING

Gillis ascends the stairs.

                  NORMA
       Thank you, Joe -- thank you, Joe.

She tries to take his hand to kiss it as he passes.
He doesn't stop.  Norma catches his coat.  Gillis
moves right on into his room.  Norma lies on the
floor looking after him.  She crawls toward a con-
sole, pulls herself up by it, starts towards Gillis'
door, passes a mirror, realizes how she looks, moves
back to the mirror and takes the patches off her
face and does a hasty job of removing the cream with
her handkerchief, readjusts her expression to a poor
travesty of a smile and goes to the door of Gillis'
room.

                  NORMA
       May I come in?  I've stopped cry-
       ing.  I'm all right again.  Joe,
       tell me you're not cross -- tell
       me everything is just as it was,
       Joe.

She opens the door.


E-39    GILLIS' ROOM

In the foreground, open on the bed, is a half-packed
suitcase, Gillis just putting some of his old shirts
in.  Norma stands staring, speechless, for a second.
Gillis moves out of the shot towards the closets.

                  NORMA
       What are you doing, Joe?  What
       are you doing?  You're not leaving
       me?

                  GILLIS
       Yes, I am, Norma.

                  NORMA
       No, you're not.
            (Calling)
       Max! Max!

                  GILLIS
       Max is a good idea.  He can help
       with my luggage.
            (He gestures in the
             direction of the closet)
       Thanks for letting me wear the
       handsome wardrobe.  And thanks
       for the use of all the trinkets.

He takes the cigarette case and throws it on the
chaise longue.  Then he throws the lighter, the
wrist watch, the platinum key-chain and the tie clip.

                  GILLIS
            (Indicating the bureau)
       The rest of the jewelry is in the
       top drawer.

                  NORMA
       It's yours, Joe.  I gave it to
       you.

                  GILLIS
       And I'd take it in a second, Norma --
       only it's a little too dressy for
       sitting behind the copy desk in
       Dayton, Ohio.

                  NORMA
       These are nothing.  You can have
       anything you want if you'll only
       stay.  What is it you want --
       money?

                  GILLIS
       Norma, you'd be throwing it away.
       I don't qualify for the job, not any
       more.

                  NORMA
       You can't do this!  Max!  Max!
       ... I can't face life without you,
       and I'm not afraid to die, you
       know.

                  GILLIS
       That's between you and yourself,
       Norma.

                  NORMA
       You think I made that up about
       the gun...

She rushes into her room.  Gillis closes the suitcase
calmly, notices that he is still wearing some cuff-
links Norma gave him, takes them off.

Norma reappears in the door, carrying the revolver.

                  NORMA
       See, you didn't believe me!..
       Now I suppose you don't think I
       have the courage!

                  GILLIS
       Oh.  sure -- if it would make a
       good scene.

                  NORMA
       You don't care.  do you?  But
       hundreds of thousands of people
       will carel

                  GILLIS
       Wake up, Norma.  You'd be killing
       yourself to an empty house.  The
       audience left twenty years ago.
       Now face it.

During the preceding.  Max has entered.  He stands
listening, paralyzed.

                   NORMA
        That's a lie!  They still want me!

                   GILLIS
        No, they don't.

                   NORMA
        What about the studio?
        What about De Mille?

                   GILLIS
        He was trying to spare your feelings.
        The studio wanted to rent your car.

                   NORMA
        Wanted what?

                   GILLIS
        De Mille didn't have the heart
        to tell you.  None of us has had
        the heart.

                   NORMA
        That's a lie!  They want me, they
        want me!  I get letters every day!

                   GILLIS
        You tell her, Max.  Come on, do
        her that favor.  Tell her there
        isn't going to be any picture --
        there aren't any fan letters,
        except the ones you write yourself.

                   NORMA
        That isn't true! Max?

                   MAX
        Madame is the greatest star of
        them all...  I will take Mr.
        Gillis' bags.

He leaves.

                   NORMA
        You heard him.  I'm a star!

                   GILLIS
        Norma, grow up.  You're a woman
        of fifty.  There's nothing tragic
        about being fifty - not unless
        you try to be twenty-five.

                   NORMA
         I'm the greatest star of them
         all.

                   GILLIS
         Goodbye.  Norma.

                   NORMA
         No one leaves a star.  That
         makes one a star.

Gillis picks up the typewriter and leaves.

                   NORMA
         You're not leaving me!


E-40    STAIRCASE

Gillis descending with the typewriter.

                   NORMA'S VOICE
         Joe! ...Joe!

There is the SOUND OF A SHOT.  The glass of the front
door is shattered.  Gillis at the door opens it and
walks out, without looking back.

Down the staircase rushes Norma.  a disordered wild-
ness in the way she moves.

                   NORMA
         You're not leaving me!

She hurries after Gillis.


E-41    PATIO (NIGHT)

Dark except for lights from the house and the
luminousness of the lit pool.

Gillis is crossing the patio towards the garage.  He
is carrying the typewriter.  He doesn't accelerate
his step, although he has heard the shot.  Behind
him Norma comes from the lighted house.

                   NORMA
         You're not leaving me!

She shoots twice in rapid succession.  Gillis drops
the typewriter.  The shots have swung him around.  He
is now facing Norma.  She shoots him.  This shot
hits him in the belly.  He doubles up, instinctively
backs away from her, plummets into the lit pool.

Up the stone steps from the garage rushes Max.
He sees the situation, hurries towards Norma, who
stands exultant in the strange light from the pool.

                   NORMA
         Stars are ageless, aren't they?

DISSOLVE TO:


E-42    THE PATIO

Dawn is breaking.  At the edge of the pool
stand policemen, detectives and police photographers.
Motorcycle policemen are holding off the mob which
is trying to storm the house.

A lietuenant from the Homicide Bureau leaves the
crowd around the pool and goes into


E-43    THE LOWER HALL, DESMOND HOUSE

It is filled with a pandemonium of police officers,
newspaper people, etc.  who are kept from the upper
floor by two policemen at the head of the stairs.
The lieutenant from the Homicide Bureau goes
through the crowd to the telephone at the foot of
the stairs, picks up the phone and dials.

                   LIEUTENANT
         Coroner's office? ... I want to
         speak to the Coroner ... Who's
         on this phone?


E-44    THE WHITE TELEPHONE IN NORMA'S BEDROOM

Standing talking into it is Hedda Hopper.

                   MISS HOPPER
         I am! Now get off, this is more
         important ... Times City Desk?
         Hedda Hopper speaking.  I'm talking
         from the bedroom of Norma Desmond.
         Don't bother with a rewrite man, take
         this direct.  Ready? -- As day breaks
         over the murder house, Norma Desmond,
         famed star of yesteryear, is in
         a state of complete mental shock ...

THE CAMERA PANS TO ANOTHER PART OF THE BEDROOM, where
Norma sits at a mirror, staring at herself blankly.
Firing questions at her are the Captain of the Holmby
Hills Division and the L.A.  Homicide Squad.  Max
stands by faithfully.

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
        You do not deny having killed
        this man, Miss Desmond?

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
        Did you intend to kill him?
        Just answer me that.

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
        Was it a sudden quarrel?  Had there
        been any trouble between you before?

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
        If it was a quarrel, how come you
        had the gun right there?

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
        This guy -- where did you meet him
        for the first time?  Where did he
        come from? Who is he?

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
        Did he have a wife?  Did he had a
        girl friend?  Did you know them?

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
        Had he been trying to blackmail you?

E-45    PATIO - (DAWN)                     GILLIS' VOICE

The body of Gillis   Well, this is where you came.
being fished from    Here's that pool again,the one
the pool, put on a   I always wanted.  They must have
stretcher, covered   photographed me a hundred times.
with an army blanket.Then they got a couple of prun-
Two men from the     ing hooks from the garden and
Coroner's office     fished me out ever so gently.
carry it towards     Funny how gentle people get with
the Coroner's        you once you're dead.  They
hearse, CAMERA       beached me, like a harpooned
PANNING with them.   baby whale, and started to check
                     the damage, just for the record
                     ... By this time the whole joint
                     was jumping -- cops,reporters,
                     neighbors, passersby -- as much
                     hoopdedoo as we get in Los
                     Angeles when they open a Super
                     Market.  Even the newsreel guys
                     came roaring in.  Here was an
                     item everybody could have some
                     fun with, the heartless so-and-
                     so's.  What would they do to her?
                     Even if she got away with it in
                     court- crime of passion - tempo-
                     rary insanity - those headlines
                     would kill her: Forgotten Star
                     a Slayer--Aging Actress--
                     Yesterday's Glamour Queen...

E-46    NORMA'S BEDROOM

The interrogators are still firing questions at Norma
who sits lifeless, staring at herself.  Max watches.

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
       Did the deceased ever threaten you?
       Were you in fear of bodily injury?

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
       Did you hate him?  Had you ever thought
       of doing something like this before?

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
       Was theft involved?  Did you catch
       him trying to steal something, or
       find he had stolen something?

A police lieutenant has entered, goes to the Head of
Homicide.

                  LIEUTENANT
       The newsreel guys have arrived with
       the cameras.

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
       Tell them to go fly a kite.  This
       is no time for cameras.

A word has pierced the mists that surround Norma.

                  NORMA
       Cameras? ...What is it, Max?

                  MAX
       The cameras have arrived, Madame.

                  NORMA
       They have?  Thank you, Max.  Tell
       Mr. DeMille I will be on the set
       at once.

Max flashes a look at the Head of Homicide.

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
       What is this?

                  MAX
       Please ...

                  HOLMBY HILLS CAPTAIN
            (sotto voce, to Head of Homicide)
       Well, it's one way to get her down stairs.

                  HEAD OF HOMICIDE
       Okay.  And let's have the car right
       outside.

7-1                       NORMA
       You will pardon me, gentlemen.
       I have to get ready for my scene.

She takes a comb and runs it through her hair, then
starts applying some wild makeup.


E-47    STAIRCASE AND LOWER HALL

Max makes his way down the stairs through the crowd
of newsmen to the newsreel cameras, which are being
set up in the hall below.

                  MAX
        Is everything set up, gentlemen?
        Are the lights ready?

From the stairway comes a murnur.  They look up.

Norma has emerged from the bedroom and comes to the
head of the stairs.  There are golden spangles in
her hair and in her hand she carries a golden scarf.

The police clear a path for her to descend.  Press
cameras flash at her every step.

Max stands at the cameras.

                  MAX
        Is everything set up, gentlemen?

                  CAMERAMAN
        Just about.

The portable lights flare up and illuminate the
staircase.

                  MAX
        Are the lights ready?

                  2ND CAMERA MAN
        All set.

                  MAX
        Quiet, everybody!  Lights!
        Are you ready, Norma?

                  NORMA
            (From the top of the
             stairs)
        What is the scene? Where am I?

                  MAX
        This is the staircase of the palace.

                   NORMA
       Oh, yes, yes.  They're below,
       waiting for the Princess ...
       I'm ready.

                   MAX
       All right.
            (To cameramen)
       Camera!
            (To Norma)
       Action!

Norma arranges the golden             GILLIS' VOICE
scarf ebout her and proudy    So they were grinding
starts to descend the stair-  after all, those cam-
case.  The cameras grind.     eras.  Life, which can
Everyone watches in awe.      be strangely merciful,
                              had taken pity on Norma
                              Desmond.  The dream she
                              had clung to so des-
                              perately had enfolded
                              her...

At the foot of the stairs Norma stops, moved.

                  NORMA
       I can't go on with the scene.
       I'm too happy.  Do you mind,
       Mr. DeMille, if I say a few words?
       Thank you.  I just want to tell
       you how happy I am to be back in
       the studio making a picture again.
       You don't know how much I've missed
       all of you.  And I promise you
       I'll never desert you again, because
       after "Salome" we'll make another
       picture, and another and another.
       You see, this is my life.  It always
       will be.  There's nothing else -
       just us and the cameras and those
       wonderful people out there in the
       dark...  All right, Mr. DeMille,
       I'm ready for my closeup.

FADE OUT.

               THE END

 
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