Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lux Radio Theater
Show: All About Eve
Date: Oct 01 1951

JOHN KENNEDY:

Lux presents... Hollywood!

MUSIC in.

JOHN KENNEDY:

Lever Brothers Company, the makers of Lux Flakes, bring you the Lux Radio Theatre starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, and Gary Merrill in All About Eve. Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. William Keighley.

APPLAUSE and MUSIC out.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. While I was directing plays on the New York stage, I had a first-hand opportunity to watch the frantic struggle of young actresses to attain stardom in the theatre. But, (chuckling) uh, none that I knew at least, used the tactics of a young woman in our play tonight, All About Eve. I first read of Eve's unorthodox behavior, in a magazine story by Mary Orr entitled, "The Wisdom Of Eve", and I was delighted to see 20th Century Fox turn it into the Academy Award-winning picture of 1950. A portion of this honor may be attributed to the unforgettable performances of Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, and Gary Merrill. We're very gratified to present them tonight in their original roles. I'm sure if we really knew all about Eve, we'd discover Lux Flakes in her household. You know Lux Flakes are a must for all discriminating women who demand gentle, safer washing care. Now All About Eve, starring Bette Davis as Margo, Anne Baxter as Eve, George Sanders as Addison deWitt and Gary Merrill as Bill.

MUSIC in.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

To those of the New York theatre, no other tribute, critical acclaim or glorification can approach the heights of recognition represented in the Sarah Siddons Award for distinguished achievement. A moment ago, this most cherished honor came to a young actress named Eve Harrington. Among the many imminent personalities present is the noted critic, Addison deWitt?

MUSIC out.

SOUNDS OF APPLAUSE/BRAVOS

ADDISON:

Yes, this is Eve's hour. Beautiful, radiant, poised; she's about to make her speech of acceptance. The Hall rings with applause and bravos. Everyone is looking at Eve. All except Karen Richards. Karen's made a little pile of crumbs on the tabletop. She's patting it with a spoon, staring at it absently. I wonder what Karen Richards is thinking about?

KAREN:

Eve. Eve Harrington. It seems a lifetime ago, that rainy night in October. I hurried down the alley to the stage door. But where was she? Strange?I had become so accustomed to seeing here night after night- I found myself looking for a girl I'd never spoken to, wondering where she-

EVE:

Mrs. Richards?

KAREN:

Oh, there you are. Well, it seemed odd, suddenly, your not being here. After all, six nights a week, watching Margo Channing enter and leave a theatre-

EVE:

I hope you don't mind my not speaking to you. It-it took every bit of courage I could raise-

KAREN:

To speak to a playwright's wife? I'm the lowest form of celebrity?

EVE:

You're Margo Channing's best friend. You and your husband are always with her.

KAREN:

Tell me, what do you do in between the time Margo goes to the theatre and comes out? Just huddle and wait?

EVE:

Oh, no. I see the play.

KAREN:

See the play? You mean you've seen every performance?

EVE:

Yes.

KAREN:

Well, apart from everything else- don't you find it expensive?

EVE:

Standing room doesn't cost much. I manage.

KAREN:

Well, you're coming with me young lady. I'm going to take you to Margo.

EVE:

Oh no?

KAREN:

Oh-ho yes, she's got to meet you.

EVE:

No, I'd be imposing on her. I'd be just another tongue-tied, gushing fan.

KAREN:

There isn't another like you, there couldn't be. Oh, by the way, what's your name?

EVE:

Eve. Eve Harrington.

KAREN (back to narrating):

Margo was in her dressing room. Lloyd, my husband, was with her and, of course, Birdie, Margo's maid.

LLOYD:

Morning Karen. Margo's just been interviewed by a lady reporter from the South.

BIRDIE:

And the minute it gets printed, their gonna fire on Gettysburg all over again?

MARGO:

It was Fort Sumter they fired on. Where's my cold cream? Lloyd, honey, be a playwright with guts. Write me a nice, normal woman who just shoots her husband.

KAREN:

I find these wisecracks increasingly less funny, Margo! Aged In Wood happens to be a fine and distinguished play-

LLOYD:

-that's my loyal little woman.

MARGO:

Relax, kid, it's just me and my big mouth.

KAREN:

Well, it's just that you get me so mad sometimes? of all the women in the world with nothing to complain about-

MARGO (dryly):

Ain't it the truth?

KAREN:

Yes it is! You're talented, famous, wealthy-people waiting around for you night after night just to see you, even in the rain?

MARGO:

Autograph fiends-little beasts!

KAREN:

They're your fans, your audience-

MARGO:

They're nobody's audience! The never see a play or a movie, even- they're never indoors long enough!

KAREN:

Well... there's one indoors right now. I've brought her back to see you.

MARGO:

You've what?

KAREN:

She's just outside the door.

MARGO:

Birdie?

BIRDIE:

Yeah?

MARGO:

The heave-ho.

KAREN:

You can't put her out, Margo. She worships you. You must have spotted her by now; she's always there.

MARGO:

Oh I know, the mousy one with the trench coat and the funny hat?

KAREN:

Yes. Come in Eve. Margo, this is Eve Harrington.

MARGO (grandly):

How do you do my dear?

BIRDIE:

Oh, brother.

EVE:

Hello, Miss Channing.

KAREN:

My husband?

LLOYD:

Hello, Miss Harrington.

EVE:

How do you do Mr. Richards?

MARGO (grandly again):

And this is my dear friend and companion, Miss Birdie Coonan.

BIRDIE:

Oh, brother.

LLOYD:

Oh brother what?

BIRDIE:

When she gets like this, all of a sudden she's playin' Hamlet's Mother.

MARGO:

I'm sure you must have things to do in the bathroom, Birdie dear.

BIRDIE:

If I haven't, I'll find something till you get normal.

MARGO:

Dear Birdie?

KAREN:

I was just telling Margo and Lloyd about how often you've seen the play.

EVE:

Yes. Every performance.

LLOYD:

Well, then am I safe in assuming you like it?

EVE:

I'd like anything Miss Channing played in?

MARGO:

Would you really? How sweet-

EVE:

Your new play is for Miss Channing too, isn't it?

LLOYD:

Well, how did you hear about it?

EVE:

There was an item in Addison deWitt's column. I like the title. Footsteps On The Ceiling.

LLOYD:

Let's get back to this one?every performance, hmm? Why?

MARGO:

Yes, there are other plays-

EVE:

Not with you in them. Not by Mr. Richards.

LLOYD:

But you must have friends, a home, family?

EVE:

No.

KAREN:

Tell us about it, Eve.

EVE:

If-if I only knew how-

KAREN:

Try?

EVE:

Well? it started with the play before this one-

MARGO:

Remembrance? Did you see it here in New York?

EVE:

San Francisco. The most important night of my life-until now. I found myself going the next night- and the next, and the next. And when the show went East- I went East.

MARGO:

Eve, why don't you start at the beginning?

EVE:

It couldn't possibly interest you.

MARGO:

Please.

EVE:

Well, I guess it started back home. Wisconsin. It was just mum, and dad- and me. Farmers were poor in those days. So I quit school and became a secretary in a brewery. It wasn't much fun, but it helped at home. And there was a little theatre group there?like a drop of rain on the desert. That's where I met Eddie. We played Liliom three times. Oh, I was awful. When the war came, we got married. Eddie was in the Air Force and they sent him to the South Pacific. Then a letter arrived- Eddie had a leave coming up and I went to San Francisco to meet him. But Eddie wasn't there. Just a telegram saying Eddie wasn't coming at all. That Eddie was dead. I found a job and his insurance helped-and there were theaters in San Francisco. And then one night Margo Channing came to play in Remembrance. And, well, here I am?

(beat)

 

BIRDIE:

What a story. Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end?

MARGO:

There are some human experiences, Birdie that even an ex-fifth-rate vaudevillian should understand and respect! I want to apologize for Birdie.

BIRDIE:

Sorry, it's just my way of talkin'.

EVE:

You didn't hurt my feelings, Miss Coonan.

BIRDIE:

Call me Birdie. Oh, hiya Mr. Sampson!

BILL:

Hi Birdie! For your information Margo, my plane takes off in forty-seven minutes and how do I find you? Not ready yet and looking like a junkyard-

MARGO:

Thank you so much.

KAREN:

Bill, thi-

BILL:

The airlines have clocks, even if you haven't! I start shooting a week from Monday-

KAREN:

Bill-

MARGO:

I'm a junkyard.

KAREN:

Bill, this is Eve Harrington.

BILL (not paying attention):

Hi. (to Margo) My wonderful junkyard! The mystery and dreams you find in a junkyard- (as if noticing Eve for the first time) Oh hello, what's your name?

EVE:

Eve. Eve Harrington.

KAREN:

You've already met.

BILL:

Huh-Where?

KAREN:

Right here. A minute ag- Eve! You're not going, are you?

EVE:

I think I'd better. It's been- well, I can hardly find the words to say how it's been?thank you.

MARGO:

No, stick around. Tell you what, we'll put Stanislavsky on his plane, you and I, then go somewhere and talk.

EVE:

Well- if I'm not in the way?

MARGO:

I'll shower and dress. I won't be a minute.

KAREN (narrating):

Yes, Bill was going to Hollywood to direct a picture. I can't remember why Lloyd and I couldn't go to the airport with them; but I do remember that as we left, Eve started talking to Bill?

EVE:

So you're going to Hollywood, Mr. Sampson.

BILL:

Just for one picture. Why?

EVE:

I just wondered.

BILL:

Just wondered what?

EVE:

Why you'd want to go out? there? I mean, when a man's the best and most successful young director in the Theatre-

BILL (derisively):

The Theatuh, The Theatuh- What book of rules says the theatre exists only in New York? Listen, junior and learn.

EVE (eagerly):

Yes?

BILL:

You want to know what the theatre is? A flea circus. Also opera, rodeos, carnivals, ballets, Indian tribal dances, Punch and Judy, a one-man band- Wherever there's magic and make believe and an audience- there's Theatre. From Donald Duck to Eleanora Duse- all Theatre! You don't understand them all, you don't like them all, why should you? The Theatre's for everybody- you included, but not exclusively. So don't approve or disapprove. It may not be your Theatre, but it's Theatre for somebody, somewhere.

EVE:

I just asked a simple question.

BILL (a little embarrassed):

And I shot my mouth off. Nothing personal, junior. (calling) Margo? I'm leaving here in exactly three seconds!

MARGO:

So am I, when I find my coat.

BIRDIE:

It's right where you left it.

MARGO:

Oh.


BILL:

Any messages for Tyrone Power, Birdie?

BIRDIE:

Just give him my phone number. I'll tell him myself.

MARGO:

You got the key, Birdie?

BIRDIE:

I ain't forgot it yet.

MARGO:

We'll see you at home in an hour. Eve, where are you going?

EVE:

You don't really want me tagging along?

MARGO:

Now don't be silly. This way. It's quicker if we cut across the stage?

MUSIC in and out.

MARGO:

Where is she, Bill? What happened to Eve?

BILL:

She's at the desk, picking up my tickets. She said we had so little time to be together?

MARGO:

She's quite a girl. I'd forgotten they grew that way anymore.

BILL:

Yes, that lack of pretense, that strange sort of understanding-

MARGO:

Isn't it silly? Suddenly, I've developed a protective feeling for her- a lamb loose in our big stone jungle.

(beat)

 

Bill, take care of yourself out there.

BILL:

I understand they've got the Indians pretty well in hand.

MARGO:

Don't get stuck on some glamour puss-

BILL:

I'll try.

MARGO:

-you're a setup for some gorgeous wide-eyed young babe.

BILL:

How childish are you going to get before you quit it?

MARGO:

I don't want to be childish. I'd settle for just a few years-

BILL:-and cut that out right now.

MARGO:

Am I going to lose you Bill? Am I?

BILL:

As of this moment you're six years old?

EVE:

Everything's ready, Mr. Sampson.

BILL:

Hmm? Oh, thanks Eve.

EVE:

Here's your ticket. They'd like you to get right on the plane.

BILL:

You've been very helpful. Good luck.

EVE:

Goodbye, Mr. Sampson.

BILL:

Knit me a muffler, Margo?

MARGO:

Kiss me Bill.

(beat)

 

Call me when you get in.

BILL:

On the hour. (as he's walking away) Hey junior! Keep your eye on her! She's a loose lamb in a jungle!

MUSIC in and out.

MARGO (narration):

That same night we sent for Eve's things. Her few pitiful possessions. She moved into the little guest room. Eve became my sister, lawyer, mother, friend, psychiatrist and cop. Her quiet efficiency, her constant anticipation of my wishes, drove Birdie mad. I loved it. Yes, the honeymoon was on. Early one morning, the telephone rang. I was half-groggy with sleep. The operator made no sense to me at all.

OPERATOR:

We are ready with your call to Beverly Hills, California?

MARGO:

Where? What call?

OPERATOR:

We are ready with the call you placed for 12 midnight, California time to Mr. William Sampson in Beverly Hills. Go ahead please?

BILL:

Margo! What a wonderful surprise! What a thoughtful, ever-lovin' thing to do!

MARGO:

Bill? Have I gone crazy Bill?

BILL:

You're my girl, aren't you?

MARGO:

That I am?

BILL:

Then you're crazy.

MARGO:

When are you coming back?

BILL:

In a week. Well? I'm waiting! When are you going to say it?

MARGO:

Awww, Bill you know how much I do but over a phone! Now really, that's kid's stuff?

BILL:

Kid's stuff or not, it doesn't happen everyday. If you won't say it, then you can sing it?

MARGO (convinced she's gone mad): Sing it?

BILL:

Sure! Like the Western Union boys used to do?

MARGO (realizing):

Bill! It's your birthday!

BILL:

And who remembered it? Who was there on the dot, at twelve midnight?

MARGO (knowing who actually remembered): Happy birthday, darling!

BILL:

The reading could've been better, but you said it- Hey, I get a party, don't I?

MARGO:

Of course, birthday and welcome home?who'll I ask?

BILL:

It's no secret; I know all about the party. Eve wrote me?

MARGO:

Eve? She did??

BILL:

Sure, she did, she hasn't missed a week since I left! But you know all about that, you probably tell her what to write. Tell me, how is Eve? Okay?

MARGO:

Okay.

BILL:

I love you?

MARGO (muttering):

I'll check with Eve?

BILL:

Hm?

MARGO:

I love you too. Goodnight darling!

MUSIC in and out.

MARGO (narrating):

I thought a lot about that phone call. In the morning when Birdie came in with my breakfast?

BIRDIE:

That's a silly question to ask me.

MARGO:

All I said was, you don't like Eve, do you?

BIRDIE:

Do you want an argument or an answer?

MARGO:

I'd like an answer.

BIRDIE:

No.

MARGO:

Why not?

BIRDIE:

Now you want an argument.

MARGO:

Well, she's loyal and efficient-

BIRDIE:

-like an agent with only one client.

MARGO:

She thinks only of me?doesn't she?

BIRDIE:

Well she thinks only about you, anyway?

MARGO:

How do you mean that?

BIRDIE:

I'll tell you how. Like-let's see-like she was studyin' you, like you were a play or a book or a set of blueprints. How you walk, talk, eat, sleep-

MARGO (interrupting):

I'm sure that's very flattering, Birdie, and I'm also sure th-

EVE:

Good morning.

MARGO:

Good morning, Eve.

EVE:

I'm going downtown now Miss Channing, is there anything else you've thought of?

MARGO:

Well there's that script to take back to the Guild-

EVE:

I've got it.

MARGO:

-and those checks for the income tax man.

EVE:

Right in this envelope.

MARGO:

It seems I can't think of a thing you haven't thought of.

EVE:

It's my job Miss Channing.

MARGO:

Eve, by any chance, did you place for me to Bill Sampson for midnight California time?

EVE (gasps):

Golly, I forgot to tell you.

MARGO:

Yes, dear. You forgot all about it.

EVE:

Well, I was sure you'd want to, of course, being his birthday, and you've been so busy-

MARGO:

It was very thoughtful of you, Eve.

EVE:

It was Mr. Sampson's birthday. I couldn't forget that. You'd never forgive me. (as she's walking away) As a matter of fact, I sent him a telegram myself?

SOUND OF DOOR CLOSING

MARGO:

Did you say something, Birdie?

BIRDIE:

Who said something?

MARGO:

Don't.

MUSIC in and out. APPLAUSE.

JOHN KENNEDY:

Before we return with Act Two of All About Eve, here's our producer William Keighley with his movie news of the week!

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

And it's good news, indeed! Theodore Dreiser's much-discussed novel of the twenties, "An American Tragedy" has been made into a distinguished motion picture, brought up to date in time and settings, by Paramount under the title "A Place In The Sun". The superb cast? Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters. And the critics seem to agree that all three give the best performances of their careers. The story, told with mounting suspense concerns a poor boy, played by Montgomery Clift, who finds comfort in a lonely factory girl, Shelley Winters. But as he progresses to wealth and success, he falls in love with Elizabeth Taylor and aspires to the social set of which she's apart. His unwillingness to marry Shelley when she needs him, involves him in a famous boating accident, which leads to his downfall. "A Place In The Sun" definitely deserves a place on your list of films to see.

JOHN KENNEDY:

The cast alone, Bill, is a triple threat.

LIBBY COLLINS:

And Elizabeth Taylor as a wealthy society girl, wears such gorgeous clothes! For instance, Edith Head, Paramount's well-known designer, created a stunning Lux-able costume for the important scene at the lake. It's white organdy, with layers of organdy petticoats to give it that "dial-wasted" look that's so smart this season. It was Lux again and again, staying just as lovely as new.

JOHN KENNEDY:

That's right Libby Collins, Hollywood reporter. And say, Shelley Winters' wardrobe looks extra-drab by comparison.

LIBBY COLLINS:

Well, she plans to make up for it on her trip to Paris. She's counting on a shopping spree collecting exquisite hand-made slips, nighties and negligees. And if I know Shelley, she took several boxes of Lux in her luggage, to make sure her things get the safest possible care.

JOHN KENNEDY:

Scores of famous Hollywood screen stars say, "There's nothing like new Lux with color freshener!" It's perfect for all kinds of lanjeree; silks, rayons, nylons, and fine cotton. Whites stay dazzling white-as-new. Delicate colors more brilliant than before.

LIBBY COLLINS:

It's no wonder makers of lanjeree prefer Lux, thirty-three to one.

JOHN KENNEDY:

Why don't you get a big box of Lux, tomorrow? Give your nice things, that nice-as-new Lux look! Now here's your producer, Mr. William Keighley.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Now Act Two of All About Eve. Starring Bette Davis as Margo, Anne Baxter as Eve, George Sanders as Addison deWitt, and Gary Merrill as Bill.

MUSIC in.

MARGO (narrating):

Bill's welcome home/birthday party? a night that would go down in history. Like the Chicago Fire or the Massacre of The Huguenots. Even before it started, I could smell disaster in the air. When I went down the stairs, I surprised to find that Bill had already arrived?

MUSIC out.

BILL:

Well, looks like we're going to have a very fancy party.

MARGO:

I thought you were going to be late. How long have you been here?

BILL:

Just a few minutes. I ran into Eve; she seemed so interested in Hollywood-

MARGO (interrupting):

She's a girl of so many interests.

BILL:

It's a pretty rare quality these days-

MARGO:

She's a girl of so many rare qualities.

BILL:

So she seems-

MARGO:

So you've pointed out, so often. So many qualities, so often. And so young. So young and so fair-

BILL:

I can't believe you're making this up- it's like something out of an old Clyde Fitch play?

MARGO:

Clyde Fitch, though you may not think so, was well before my time!

BILL (laughing):

I've always denied the legend that you were in Our American Cousin the night Lincoln was shot?

MARGO:

I don't think that's funny!

BILL:

Of course it's funny; whipping yourself up into a jealous froth because I spent ten minutes with a stage-struck kid-

MARGO:

Stage-struck kid?!? She's a young lady?of qualities. And I'll have you know I'm fed up with both the young lady and her qualities! Studying me as if--- as if I were a play or a blueprint! How I walk, talk, act, think, eat, sleep! It so happens there are particular aspects of my life to which I would like to maintain sole and exclusive rights and privileges!

BILL:

For instance what?

MARGO:

For instance you!

BILL:

Darling, this is my cue to take you in my arms and reassure you- but I'm not going to. I'm too mad-

MARGO:

guilty

BILL:

mad! Darling, there are certain characteristics for which you are famous on stage and off. I love you for some of them- and in spite of others. They're part of your equipment for getting along in what is laughingly called our environment- you've got to keep your teeth sharp. All right. But you will not sharpen them on me- or on Eve?

MARGO:

What about her teeth? What about her fangs?

BILL:

She hasn't cut them yet, and you know it! Eve Harrington has never indicated anything to me but her adoration for you and her happiness at our being in love! And to intimate anything else spells a paranoiac insecurity that you should be ashamed of!

MARGO:

Cut! Print it! What happens in the next reel? Do I get dragged off screaming to the snake pit?

EVE:

Excuse me, Miss Channing?

MARGO:

Oh. Yes Eve?

EVE:

The hors d'oeurves are here. Is there anything else I can do?

MARGO:

Yes, thank you. I'd like a martini?very dry. And very double.

LLOYD:

Hello everyone! We let ourselves in, like common thieves-

MARGO:

You and Karen can come in and take whatever you want? except the gin, of course!

BILL:

Hi Lloyd, Karen.

EVE:

May I have your coat?

KAREN:

Don't bother. I can put it away myself?

EVE:

Please.

KAREN:

Thank you, Eve.

DOOR OPENS/CLOSES

LLOYD:

I like that girl. That quality of quiet graciousness-

MARGO:

-among so many quiet qualities.

KAREN:

Margo, nothing you've ever done has made me as happy as your taking Eve in-

MARGO:

I'm so happy you're happy.

(BEAT)

 

LLOYD:

The general atmosphere is very Macbeth-ish. What has or is about to happen?

MARGO:

What is he talking about?

BILL:

Macbeth.

KAREN:

We know you; we've seen you before like this. Is it over- or just beginning?

(BEAT)

 

MARGO:

Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night.

MUSIC UP AND OUT

KAREN:

And it was. As the night plowed on, Margo managed to carve up Bill's cake, several producers, the piano player, and an innocent fern that just happened to be in her line of un-friendly fire. Finally, I had had enough and told Lloyd it was time to go? and he told Margo?

QUIET PARTY CROWD NOISE/PIANO PLAYING SOFTLY IN THE BACKGROUND

LLOYD:

Well, I've been looking for you Margo. Karen and I have to run along. It's been a swell party?

MARGO:

Where's Karen, Lloyd? Upstairs?

LLOYD:

Yes, getting her coat, I think.

MARGO:

How's the new play coming along?

LLOYD:

Footsteps On The Ceiling? Alright, I guess.

MARGO:

And the girl character, "Cora"? Is she still twenty?

LLOYD:

Twenty-ish. It's not important.

MARGO:

Don't you think it's about time it became important?

LLOYD:

Margo, you haven't got any age.

MARGO:

Margo Channing is ageless. Spoken like a press agent. Lloyd, I'm not twenty-ish. I am not thirty-ish. Three months ago, I was forty years old. Forty. Four-oh. That slipped out. I hadn't quite made up my mind to admit it.

LLOYD:

You've had another fight with Bill, am I right?

MARGO:

Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago and he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men. (beat) Don't worry Lloyd, I'll play your play. I'll wear rompers and come in rolling a hoop if you like?now get out of here, go find your wife?

MUSIC UP AND OUT/CROWD NOISE DIES OUT

KAREN:

So nice of you to come upstairs with me, Eve.

EVE:

I just wanted to be sure you'd find your coat, Mrs. Richards.

KAREN:

Tell me Eve, how are things going? Are you happy?

EVE:

There should be a new word for happiness. Being here with Miss Channing- she's been so wonderful, done so much for me?

KAREN:

You've done your share too, Eve? so, goodnight-

EVE:

Mrs. Richards?

KAREN:

Karen.

EVE:

Karen? isn't it awful? I'm about to ask you for another favor- after all you've done already.

KAREN:

Oh, that's nonsense.

EVE:

It's just that, well, Miss Channing's affairs are in such good shape and now her understudy is going to have a baby, and they'd have to replace her?

KAREN:

?you want to be Margo's new understudy.

EVE:

I don't let myself think about it even? but I do know the part so well and every bit of the staging? but suppose I had to go on one night? To an audience that came to see Margo Channing. No, I couldn't possibly?

KAREN:

Well, I wouldn't worry about that. Margo just doesn't miss performances. If she can walk, crawl or roll- she plays.

EVE:

The show must go on-

KAREN:

No, dear. Margo must go on. As a matter of fact, I see no reason why you shouldn't be her understudy?

EVE:

Do you think Miss Channing would approve?

KAREN:

I think she'd cheer.

EVE:

But Mr. Richards and Mr. Sampson-

KAREN:

Stop worrying. They'll do as they're told.

EVE:

I seem to be forever thanking for something, don't I? Goodnight, Karen.

KAREN:

Goodnight, dear.

MUSIC up

KAREN (narrating):

So Eve became Margo's understudy. Naturally I assumed that Margo approved. One afternoon, Margo went to the theatre. Someone else was leaving the cast and Margo consented to help with an audition. A friend of Addison deWitt's, a Miss Caswell, was trying out for the part?

MUSIC out

ADDISON:

Margo! How nice to see you!

MARGO:

Why aren't you in the theatre, Addison, at the side of your prot?g?, lending her moral support?

ADDISON:

Oh, but I did. The audition, however, is over.

MARGO:

Over? It can't be. I've come here to read with Miss Caswell-

ADDISON:

Well, the audition was called for 2:30. It is now nearly four.

MARGO:

Is it really? Who read with Miss Caswell? Bill? Lloyd? Well, who then?

ADDISON:

Naturally enough, your understudy.

MARGO:

I consider it highly unnatural to allow a girl in an advance state of pregnancy to-

ADDISON:

I refer to your new and unpregnant understudy, Miss Eve Harrington.

MARGO:

Eve! My understudy?

ADDISON:

Well, didn't you know?

MARGO (quickly):

Of course I knew.

ADDISON:

It just slipped your mind.

(beat)

 

MARGO:

How was Miss Caswell?

ADDISON:

Frankly, I don't remember.

MARGO:

Just slipped your mind.

ADDISON:

Completely. Nor could anyone else tell you how Miss Caswell read or whether Miss Caswell read or rode a pogo stick.

MARGO:

Was she that bad?

ADDISON:

Margo, as you know, I have lived in the Theatre as a Trappist monk lives in his faith. And once in a great while I experience that moment of Revelation for which all true believers wait and pray. You were one. Eve Harrington is another.

MARGO (flatly):

I take it she read well.

ADDISON:

It wasn't a reading; it was something made of fire and music. Brilliant. Vivid. Unforgettable.

MARGO:

How nice.

ADDISON:

In time she'll be what you are.

MARGO:

A mass of fire and music. That's me. An old kazoo and some sparklers. Tell me- was Bill swept away, too, or were you too full of Revelation to notice?

ADDISON:

Bill didn't say- but Lloyd was beside himself. He listened to his play as if someone else had written it, he said, it sounded so fresh, so new ,so full of meaning?

MARGO:

How nice for Lloyd. And how nice for Eve. How nice for everybody.

ADDISON:

Eve was incredibly modest. She insisted that Lloyd felt as he did, only because she read the lines exactly as he had written them.

MARGO:

The implication being that I have not been reading them as written?

ADDISON:

To the best of my recollection, neither your name nor your performance entered the conversation. May I give you a lift somewhere?

MARGO:

No. No thank you Addison. I'll just run on in, so they'll know I did come after all. I must start wearing a watch?

MAX:

Margo! How are you, darling?

MARGO:

Terribly sorry I'm late Max. Lunch went long and I couldn't find a cab- Well? Shall we start? Where's Miss Caswell? Hello Bill! Hello Lloyd, hello Eve?

EVE:

Hello Miss Channing?

BILL:

It's all over, Margo.

MARGO:

What's all over?

BILL:

The audition. Eve read with Miss Caswell.

MARGO (pleasantly surprised):

Eve? How enchanting! Wherever did you get the idea of letting Eve read?

LLOYD:

Well, she's your understudy.

MARGO:

Eve? My understudy? Why I had no idea?

LLOYD:

I thought you knew. She was put on over a week ago-

EVE:

Miss Channing, I can't tell you how glad I am that you arrived so late.

MARGO:

Really, Eve. Why?

EVE:

If you'd been here to begin with, I never would've dared to read at all-I-I couldn't have-

MARGO:

What a pity, all that fire and music going to waste?

BILL:

What fire and music?

MARGO:

You wouldn't understand-

EVE:

I was dreadful, Miss Channing, believe me-

MARGO:

Oh, I'm sure you underestimate yourself, Eve. You always do.

LLOYD:

You'd have been proud of her, Margo. Eve was a revelation.

MARGO:

To you too, Lloyd?

LLOYD:

What do you mean by that?

MARGO:

I mean that, among other things, it must have been a revelation to have your twenty-four year old character played a by a twenty-four year old actress. Also, it must have sounded so new and fresh to you- so exciting to have your lines read to you, just as you wrote them!

BILL:

Addison-! You've been talking to Addison-

MARGO:

So full of meaning, fire and music!

LLOYD:

You've been talking to that venomous fishwife, Addison deWitt-

MARGO:-in this case, apparently as trustworthy as the World Almanac!

LLOYD:

You knew when you came in that the audition was over, that Eve was your understudy! Playing that childish game of cat and mouse-

MARGO:

No mouse, never mouse! If anything- rat!

LLOYD:

You have a genius for making a barroom brawl out of a perfectly innocent misunderstanding at most!

MARGO:

Perfectly innocent! Men have been hanged for less! I'm lied to, attacked behind my back, accused of reading your silly dialogue inaccurately- as if it were the Holy Gospel!

LLOYD:

I never said it was!

MARGO:

Then you listened as if someone else had written your play- whom did you have in mind? Arthur Miller? Sherwood? Beaumont and Fletcher?

LLOYD:

What makes you think either Arthur Miller or Robert Sherwood would stand for the nonsense I take from you- you'd better stick to Beaumont and Fletcher! They've been dead for three hundred years!

MARGO (yelling after him; as if he were walking out): All playwrights should be dead for three hundred years!

LLOYD (yelling back from a distance): That would solve none of their problems- because actresses never die! The stars never die and never change!

MARGO:

You can change this star anytime you want! For a new, fresh, exciting one fully equipped with fire and music! Anytime you want- starting with tonight's performance!

LLOYD:

I shall never understand the weird process by which a body and voice suddenly fancies itself a mind! Just when exactly does an actress decide they're her words she's saying and her thoughts she's expressing?

MARGO:

Usually at the point when she has to rewrite and re-think them to keep the audience from leaving the theatre!

LLOYD:

It's about time the piano realized that it has not written the concerto!

SOUND OF DOOR SLAM

(beat)

 

MARGO:

And you, Bill? You, I take it, are the Paderewski who plays his concerto on me, the piano? Where is Princess Fire-And-Music?

BILL:

Who?

MARGO:

The kid. Junior.

BILL:

Gone.

MARGO:

I must have frightened her away.

BILL:

I wouldn't be surprised. Sometimes you frighten me.

MARGO:

I'm nothing but a body and a voice. No mind.

BILL:

What a body. What a voice. Now calm down. The gong rang. The fight's over.

MARGO:

I will not calm down!

BILL:

Don't calm down-

MARGO: And I will not be plotted against!

BILL:

Here we go-

MARGO:

Such nonsense, what do you all take me for- little Nell from the country? Been my understudy for over a week without my knowing, shows up for an audition when everyone knew I'd be here, and gives a performance! Out of nowhere- gives a performance!

BILL:

You've been all through that with Lloyd-

MARGO:- full of fire and music and what-not, carefully rehearsed I have no doubt, full of those Bill Sampson touches!

BILL:

I am sick and tired of these paranoiac outbursts! I didn't even know Eve Harrington was your understudy until half past two this afternoon!

MARGO:

Tell that to Dr. Freud, along with the rest of it!

BILL:

No, I'll tell it to you! For the last time, I'll tell it to you! I love you. You're a beautiful and intelligent woman-

MARGO:

-A body with a voice!

BILL:

And a great actress. You have every reason for happiness-

MARGO:

Except happiness

BILL:

every reason, but due to some strange, uncontrollable, unconscious drive you permit the slightest action of a kid

MARGO:

Kid

BILL:

-kid like Eve to turn you into a hysterical screaming harpy! Now once and for all, stop it!

(a beat. BILL has gotten through.)

 

MARGO:

It's obvious you're not a woman.

BILL(dryly):

I've been aware of that for some time.

MARGO:

Well, I am.

BILL:

I'll say. Now come on Margo, let's get out of here. I'll buy you a drink.

MARGO:

I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I am still not to be had for the price of a cocktail- like a salted peanut.

BILL:

Margo, let's make peace.

MARGO:

The terms are too high. Unconditional surrender.

BILL:

Just being happy? Just stopping all this nonsense about Eve? About Eve and me?

MARGO:

It's not nonsense. I wish it were.

BILL:

I told you before this was going to be my last try and I meant it. I can't think of anything else to do. I wish I could. Goodbye Margo.

MARGO:

Bill where are you going? To find Eve?

BILL:

That suddenly makes the whole thing believable.

DOOR CLOSES / MUSIC UP

MARGO (crying):

Bill? Oh Bill?

MUSIC OUT

KAREN:

Frankly, Lloyd, I don't understand a word you're saying.

LLOYD:

Not only was Margo two hours late, but that childish heavy-handed routine about not knowing Eve was her understudy-

KAREN:

It's just possible she didn't know-

LLOYD:

-Of course she knew! Addison told her! Now somebody's got to stop Margo! Who's going to do it? Who's going to give her that boot in the rear she needs and deserves?

KAREN:

It's going to be a very cozy weekend.

LLOYD:

What is?

KAREN:

We're driving out to the country tomorrow night. Margo, you and I.

LLOYD:

Well. We've spent weekends before with nobody talking. Just be sure to lock up all the blunt instruments and throwable objects?

MUSIC UP AND OUT

KAREN (narrating):

Lloyd was right of course, about Margo. That boot coming to her? Heaven knows she had one coming. But how- how to do it? And then it came to me- My Big Idea. After all, it was no more than a perfectly harmless joke which Margo, herself, would be the first to enjoy. No reason why she shouldn't be told about it- in time? My Big Idea required a telephone call?

SOUND OF PHONE BEING DIALED

KAREN(to operator):

Hello? Will you call Miss Eve Harrington to the phone, please?

MUSIC up, APPLAUSE, MUSIC out.

JOHN KENNEDY:

We'll be back in a few minutes with Act Three of All About Eve.

ACT TWO BREAK

JOHN KENNEDY:

Back now to our producer, William Keighley.

MUSIC in. MUSIC out.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

The curtain rises on Act Three of All About Eve, starring Bette Davis as Margo, Anne Baxter as Eve, George Sanders as Addison deWitt, and Gary Merrill as Bill.

MUSIC UP AND OUT.

KAREN (narrating):

It was a cold weekend we spent in the country. Somehow, we staggered through it. Late Monday afternoon my Big Idea went into action. It's purpose was to make Margo miss her performance, so that Eve would have to take her place. All I did was drain the gas tank of her car. My timing was perfect. Margo missed her train and we sat there on the highway, the two of us, while Lloyd, cursing softly, went down the road in search of gasoline.

MARGO:

Cigarette, Karen?

KAREN:

Oh, uh no. No thanks, dear.

MARGO:

I haven't been very pleasant this weekend.

KAREN:

Well, we've all seemed a little tense lately?

MARGO:

More than any two people I know, I don't want you and Lloyd to be angry with me.

KAREN:

How could we? You're? Margo. Just? Margo.

MARGO:

And what is that? Besides something spelled out in lightbulbs, I mean. Besides something called a temperament, which consists mostly of swooping about on a broomstick screaming at the top of my voice- infants behave the way I do, you know. They'd get drunk if they knew how; when they can't have what they want. When they feel unwanted or insecure- or unloved.

(beat)

 

KAREN:

What about Bill? He's in love with you.

MARGO:

More than anything in this world, I love Bill. I want him to love me. But me. Not Margo Channing. And if I can't tell them apart- how can he? And Karen, about Eve? I've acted pretty disgracefully toward her, too.

KAREN:

Well-

MARGO:

At best, let's say I've been oversensitive to?well, to the fact that she's so young- so feminine and helpless. To so many things I want to be for Bill-

KAREN:

Margo. (beat) I want you to know how sorry I am about this?

MARGO:

About what?

KAREN:

Getting stuck like this? I can't tell you how sorry I am!

MARGO:

Don't give it another thought, one of destiny's merry pranks! After all, you didn't personally drain the gasoline out of the tank!

KAREN:

Wha-

MARGO:

I said, you didn't personally drain the gasoline out of the tank!

KAREN CHUCKLES WEAKLY. MUSIC UP. MUSIC OUT.

ADDISON:

This Addison deWitt. It is now my turn to tell you all about Eve. That night, with Margo marooned in the country, Eve Harrington took her place on the stage. Her performance was magnificent. But one thing puzzled me- why was I invited to that particular performance? A performance about which, the management knew nothing until they were forced to ring up the curtain at nine o'clock, when Margo failed to appear. Coincidence. Also, every indication of intrigue, skullduggery, and fraud. Afterwards, I went backstage. Her dressing room was closed, but I overheard a rather interesting conversation between Eve and Bill Sampson?

BILL:

You can be very proud of yourself, Eve. That was a wonderful job you did tonight. I'll admit, I had my doubts-

EVE:

You shouldn't have had any doubts.

BILL:

You're right. With work and patience, you'll be a good actress. If that's what you want to be.

EVE:

Is that what you want me to be?

BILL:

I'm talking about you. And what you want.

EVE:

So am I.

BILL:

What have I got to do with it?

EVE:

Everything?

BILL:

The names I've been called, but never Svengali. Good night.

EVE:

Don't run away, Bill.

BILL:

From what would I be running?

EVE:

You're always after the truth- on the stage. What about off?

BILL:

I'm for it.

EVE:

Then face it. I have. Ever since that first night- here- in this dressing room.

BILL:

When I told you what every young actress should know?

EVE:

When you told me that whatever I became, it would be because of you-

BILL:- your make up's a little heavy-

EVE:- and for you.

BILL (sizing her up):

You're quite a girl.

EVE:

You think?

BILL:

I'm in love with Margo. Hadn't you heard?

EVE:

You hear all kinds of things.

BILL:

I'm only human, rumors to the contrary. And I'm as curious as the next man?

EVE:

Find out.

BILL:

Only thing, what I go after, I want to go after. I don't want it to come after me. (beat) Don't cry. Just score it as an incomplete forward pass.

ADDISON:

I waited a reasonable amount of time for her tears to dry. And then, I too had a chat with Eve. I wanted to write a column about her and there were many questions to ask?

EVE (in the middle of talking to ADDISON): so kind of you to stop by Mr. DeWitt. I'm so glad you liked me tonight. But it's still Miss Channing's performance. I'm just a carbon copy you read, when you can't find the original

ADDISON:

I think the time has come to shed some of your modesty. It is just as false to not blow your horn at all, as it is to blow it too loudly.

EVE:

One pretty good performance by an understudy? It'll be forgotten tomorrow.

ADDISON:

It needn't be.

EVE:

Why not? I'm less than nobody.

ADDISON:

I am somebody.

(beat)

 

EVE:

You certainly are.

ADDISON:

After you change, we can have? supper?

EVE:

I'd love to. Or should I pretend I'm busy?

ADDISON:

Let's have a minimum of pretending. I shall want to do a column about you-

EVE:

I'm not enough for a paragraph-

ADDISON:

perhaps more than one. There's so much I want to know. I've heard your story in bits and pieces your home in Wisconsin, your tragic marriage, your fanatical attachment to Margo- it, uh, it started in San Francisco, didn't it?

EVE:

Y-Yes. That's right.

ADDISON:

Which theatre was it in San Francisco? Was it- the Shubert?

EVE:

Yes. The Shubert.

ADDISON:

A fine old theatre, the Shubert. Full of tradition, untouched by the earthquake- so sorry- fire? by the way what was your husband's name?

EVE:

Eddie.

ADDISON:

Eddie what?

EVE:

Really Mr. DeWitt, if I'm ever going to change- I'll only be a moment.

ADDISON:

Where would you like to go Eve? We must make this a special night?

EVE:

You take charge.

ADDISON:

I believe I will.

MUSIC UP AND OUT

MARGO:

Stop saying you can't believe it, Karen! It's right here in print, isn't it? By Addison deWitt? Listen to this- "Miss Harrington had much to tell about the lamentable practices in our Theatre of permitting mature actresses to continue playing roles requiring a youth and vigor of which they retain but a dim memory-"

KAREN:

I still can't believe that Eve would-

MARGO:

It gets better! "- about the understandable reluctance on the part of our entrenched First Ladies Of The Stage to encourage younger actresses; about Miss Harrington's own long, unsupported struggle for opportunity-"

KAREN:

Eve couldn't have said anything like that

MARGO:

what gets me is how all of those papers happened to catch that particular performance

KAREN:

Lloyd says it's a publicity release

MARGO:

the little witch must have had Indian runners out snatching critics from wherever they hole up well she won't get away with it! Nor will Addison deWitt and his poison pen! I will personally-

BILL:

I came as soon as I read that piece of filth! I ran all the way

KAREN:

-Bill, oh thank heavens you're here!

MARGO (begins to cry):

Oh Bill?

BILL:

Bill's here baby. Everything's all right now?

MARGO:

Oh darling?

KAREN:

I guess, at this point, I'm what the French would call de trop?

BILL:

Maybe just a little around the edges.

DINNER CLUB PIANO MUSIC UP W/ DINNER CLUB CROWD NOISE

ADDISON:

That night Eve and I were having supper in The Cub Room of The Stork Club, when in walked Margo, Bill, Lloyd and Karen. They seemed unusually happy and gay?

BILL (in the middle of conversation): simply this Margo and I are getting married.

MARGO:

Glory Hallelujah!

KAREN:

Margo, when? When are you going to do it?

BILL:

We meet at City Hall tomorrow morning at ten.

LLOYD:

City Hall? That's for prize fighters, and reporters-

BILL:

It's only for the license. There's a three-day wait for blood tests.

MARGO:

I'll marry you if it turns out you have no blood at all.

KAREN:

What are you going to wear?

MARGO:

Something simple. A fur coat over a nightgown?

BILL:

The point is we want you two beside us as our nearest and dearest friends.

WAITER:

Excuse me, Mrs. Richards?

KAREN:

Yes, waiter?

WAITER:

This note is for you. Miss Harrington sent it.

KAREN:

Miss Harrington? Here Margo, you read it?

MARGO:

Please for give me for butting in, but it's most important that I speak with you. Please" it's underlined "meet me in the Ladies' Room. Eve"

BILL:

I understand she's now the understudy in there-

LLOYD:

maybe Eve just wants to apologize

BILL:

But what could she say?

LLOYD:

Go on- find out?

MARGO:

Karen, in all the years of our friendship, I have never let you go to the Ladies' Room alone. But now I must. I am busting to know what goes in that feverish little brain waiting in there?

KAREN:

Well? all right.

STORK CLUB MUSIC/CROWD NOISE UP A LITTLE.

AFTER A COUPLE OF BEATS MUSIC/NOISE DIES DOWN A LITTLE

EVE:

I was wondering whether you'd come at all. Thank you. I wanted to talk to you about Mr. DeWitt's column.

KAREN:

Do you expect me to believe that you didn't say any of those things- that they were all Addison?

EVE:

All I know is, I found myself trying to answer his questions, trying to say what I mean, but somehow the words change- they become his words- and suddenly I wasn't saying what I mean, but what he means? I just wanted you to know the responsibility is mine. And the disgrace.

KAREN:

Let's not get over-dramatic.

EVE:

You really have a low opinion of me, don't you? You'll be glad to know I've been told off, in no uncertain terms, all over town?

KAREN (embarrassed for Eve):

Eve? don't cry. After all, you still have a powerful friend in Addison deWitt.

EVE:

He's not my friend. You were my friends. I'll never get over it?(beginning to cry)? never?

KAREN (won over):

Yes, you will. You're very young and very talented? and (sigh) believe it or not, if there's anything I can do-

EVE:

Yes. There is something.

KAREN (after a beat; stunned):

?I-I think I know.

EVE:

Something most important you can do.

KAREN (slowly):

You want to play the lead in Lloyd's new play. You want me to tell Lloyd, I think you should play it.

EVE:

If you told him so, he'd give me the part. He said he would.

KAREN:

After all you've said? don't you know that part was written for Margo-

EVE:

it could have been fifteen years ago. It's my part now. You've got to tell Lloyd it's for me-

KAREN:

-I don't think anything in the world could make me say that.

EVE:

Addison wants me to play it-

KAREN:

- Over my dead body-

EVE:

That won't be necessary. Addison knows how Margo happened to miss that performance how I happened to know she'd miss it in time to call him and notify every paper in town. You'd better sit down. You look a bit wobbly. If I play "Cora", Addison will never tell what happened- in or out of print. A simple exchange of favors. And I'm so happy I could do something for you- at long last. Your friendship with Margo- your deep, close friendship- what would happen to it, do you think, if she knew the cheap trick you'd played on her- for my benefit? It would be so much easier on everyone concerned, if I were to play "Cora". And so much better theatre too?

(beat)

 

KAREN:

A part in a play. You'd all that- just for a part in a play.

EVE:

I'd do much more- for a part that good. (beat) Excuse me Karen. Addison's waiting for me.


STORK CLUB MUSIC/CROWD NOISE UP A LITTLE


AFTER A COUPLE OF BEATS MUSIC/NOISE DIES DOWN A LITTLE

ADDISON:

Only coffee, Eve? I'm not surprised, after all that humble pie?

EVE:

Nothing of the kind. Karen and I had a nice talk.

ADDISON:

Including a casual reference to the part of "Cora"- and your hopes of playing it?

EVE:

I discussed it very openly.

ADDISON:

She mentioned, of course, that Margo expects to play the part?

EVE:

Oddly enough, she didn't say a word about Margo.

ADDISON:

Do you know, Eve- sometimes, I think you keep things from me.

EVE:

I don't think that's funny-

ADDISON:

-it wasn't meant to be.

EVE:

I confide in you and rely on you more than anyone I've ever known. To say a thing like that now- without any reason- when I need you more than ever-

ADDISON:

-I hope you mean what you say, Eve. I intend to hold you to it. We have a great deal in common, it seems to me?

STORK CLUB MUSIC/CROWD NOISE UP A LITTLE


AFTER A COUPLE OF BEATS MUSIC/NOISE DIES DOWN A LITTLE

LLOYD:

Well? What happened?

KAREN:

Nothing much. She apologized.

MARGO:

With tears?

KAREN:

With tears.

MARGO:

Very classy stuff. Lots of technique. Groom?

BILL:

Huh?

MARGO:

May I have a wedding present?

BILL:

What would you like? Texas?

MARGO:

I want everybody to shut up about Eve. Just shut up about Eve, that's all I want. Never have I been so happy. Do you know why I'm so happy? Because I forgive Eve. I forgive Eve because she's left good behind- the four of us here together. It's Eve's fault- I forgive her. And Bill. Especially Bill. Eve did that, too.

LLOYD:

You know she probably means well, after all?

MARGO:

She's a louse.

BILL:

Never try to outguess Margo.

MARGO:

Correct. And Lloyd? I don't want to play "Cora".

KAREN:

What?

MARGO:

Now wait a minute Karen, you're always so touchy about his plays, it isn't the part- it's a great part. But not for me anymore- not a foursquare, upright, downright, forthright married lady-

LLOYD:

-what's your being married got to do with it?

MARGO:

It means I've finally got a life to live! I don't have to play parts I'm too old for- just because I've got nothing to do with my nights! I'll make it up to you, believe me. I'll tour a year with this one, anything- only you do understand- don't you Lloyd?

(KAREN bursts out laughing)

 

LLOYD:

What's so funny?

KAREN (through the laughing):

Nothing.

BILL:

Nothing?

KAREN (through the laughing):

Everything?everything's so funny?

MUSIC UP FULL, THEN UNDER.

ADDISON (narrating):

In due time they were wed, Margo and Bill. Also, in due time, rehearsals started for the new play, starring Eve Harrington. Finally, the play was ready for it's out-of-town opening in New Haven. That afternoon, I saw Eve at her hotel.

MUSIC OUT.

EVE:

Isn't it strange, Addison? I thought I'd be panic-stricken. Instead, I can't wait for tonight to come. To come and go.

ADDISON:

Are you that sure of tomorrow?

EVE:

Aren't you?

ADDISON:

Frankly, yes.

EVE:

It'll bring to me everything I've ever wanted. The end of an old road- and the beginning of a new one?

ADDISON:

All paved with diamonds and gold?

EVE:

You know me better than that.

ADDISON:

Paved with what then?

EVE:

Stars. (beat) What time is it?

ADDISON:

Almost four.

EVE:

Plenty of time for a nice long nap.

ADDISON:

You could sleep, too, couldn't you?

EVE:

Why not?

ADDISON:

The mark of a true killer. Sleep tight, rest easy- and come out fighting?

EVE:

Why'd you call me a killer?

ADDISON:

Did I say killer? I meant champion. I get my boxing terms mixed.

EVE:

Listen, Addison, there'll be a party here tonight, you'll come won't you? We're having everyone up after the performance-

ADDISON:

-We're?

EVE:

Lloyd and I.

ADDISON:

I find it odd that Karen isn't here for the opening, don't you? She's always been so fanatically devoted to Lloyd.

EVE:

Addison, just a few minutes ago, I said this would be a night to remember. I didn't mean just the Theatre.

ADDISON:

What else?

EVE:

Lloyd Richards. He's going to leave Karen. We're going to be married.

ADDISON:

So that's it. Lloyd. Still just the Theatre, after all?

EVE:

It's nothing of the kind! Lloyd loves me, I love him!

ADDISON:

I know nothing about Lloyd and his loves. I leave those to Louisa May Alcott. But I do know you.

EVE:

I'm in love with Lloyd! Addison, won't it be just perfect? Lloyd and I- there's no telling how far we can go? he'll write great plays for me, I'll make them great! You're the only one I've told. The only one who knows except Lloyd and me-

ADDISON:

-and Karen.

EVE:

She doesn't know.

ADDISON:

She knows enough not to be here.

EVE:

But not all of it- not that Lloyd and I are going to be married. (beat) Well? Say something. Anything. Congratulations, skol- good work, Eve!

ADDISON:

What do you take me for? Is it possible- even conceivable- that you've confused me for that gang of backward children you've been playing tricks on- that you have the same contempt for me that you have for them?

EVE:

I'm sure you mean something by that, Addison, but I don't know what?

ADDISON:

Look closely, Eve. It's time that you did. I am Addison deWitt. I am nobody's fool. Least of all- yours.

EVE:

I never intended you to be.

ADDISON:

Yes, you did. You still do.

EVE:

I still don't know what you're getting at-

ADDISON:

You know it as well as I do, that while Lloyd may leave Karen, he will not leave Karen for you.

EVE:

What you do you mean by that?

ADDISON:

More plainly and more distinctly? You will not Lloyd Richards or anyone else for that matter, because I will not permit it.

EVE:

"Will not permit it"? That sounds medieval- something out of an old melodrama-

ADDISON:

so does the history of the world for the past twenty years! Frankly I had hoped that you would, somehow, have known have taken it for granted that you and I-

EVE:

-"you and I"?

( EVE laughs. SOUND OF A SLAP)

 

ADDISON:

Remember as long as you live, never to laugh at me. At anything or anyone else- but never at me. To begin with your name is not Eve Harrington. It is Gertrude Slecynski.

EVE:

Get out.

ADDISON:

It's true you worked in a brewery. But life in the brewery was apparently not as dull as you pictured it. As a matter of fact, it got less and less dull- until your boss' wife had you followed by detectives.

EVE:

She never proved anything! Not a thing!

ADDISON:

But the $500 you got to get out of town brought you straight to New York- didn't it?

EVE (starting to cry):

She was a liar! A liar!

ADDISON:

There was no Eddie- no pilot- and you've never been married! San Francisco has no Shubert Theatre; you've never been to San Francisco! That was a stupid lie, easy to expose, not worthy of you!

EVE:

I had to get in, to meet Margo! I had to say something, be somebody, make her like me!

ADDISON:

She did like you, she helped and trusted you! You paid her back by trying to take Bill away!

EVE:

That's not true!

ADDISON:

After you failed, you used my name and my column to black mail Karen into getting the part of "Cora"- and you lied to me about it!

EVE:

No-no-no.

ADDISON:

I had lunch with Karen not three hours ago. As always with women who want to find out things, she told more than she had learned. (beat) That I should want you at all suddenly strikes me as the height of improbability. But that, in itself, is probably the reason. You're an improbable person Eve, and so am I. We have that in common. Also a contempt for humanity, an inability to love and to be loved, insatiable ambition- and talent. We deserve each other. Are you listening to me?

EVE:

Yes Addison.

ADDISON:

And you realize- you agree how completely you belong to me?


EVE:

Yes Addison.

ADDISON:

Take your nap, now. And good luck for tonight.

EVE(tonelessly):

I won't go on tonight. I couldn't. Not possibly, I couldn't go on?

ADDISON:

Couldn't go on? You'll give the performance of your life?

MUSIC BEGINS AGAIN UNDER NARRATION.

ADDISON (narrating):

And she gave the performance of her life. It was a night to remember, that night. And that is why she's on the dais of the Sarah Siddons Awards this evening?

MUSIC OUT.

EVE:

Honored members of the Sarah Siddons Society, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen- What is there for me to say? Everything wise and witty has long since been said- by minds more mature and talents far greater than mine. For me to thank you as equals would be presumptuous- I am an apprentice in the Theatre and have much to learn from all of you. I can say only that I am proud and happy and that I regard this great honor not so much as an award for what I have achieved, but as a standard to hold against what I have yet to accomplish. (applause) And further, I regard it as bestowed upon me only in part. The larger share belongs to my friends in the Theatre- and to the Theatre itself, which has given me all I have. In good conscience, I must give credit where credit is due. To my first friend in the Theatre- whose kindness I shall never forget? Karen- Mrs. Lloyd Richards (applause) ?and it was Karen who first brought me to one whom I had always idolized- and who was to become my benefactor and champion. A great actress and a great woman- Margo Channing(applause). My director- who demanded always a little more than my talent could provide- but who taught me patiently and well? Bill Sampson(applause). And one without whose great play and faith in me, this night would never have been. How can I repay Lloyd Richards? (applause) How can I repay the many others? So many, that I couldn't possibly name them all? whose help, guidance and advice made this the happiest night of my life possible. Although I am going to Hollywood next week to make a film- do not think for a moment that I am leaving you. How could I? For my heart is here in the Theatre- and three thousand miles are too far to be away from one's heart. I'll be back to claim it- and soon. That is, if you want me back.

APPLAUSE, THEN CROWD NOISE AS EVENING HAS ENDED.

KAREN:

Congratulations Eve.

EVE:

Thank you, Karen.

MARGO:

Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.

MISS CASWELL:

Mr. DeWitt?

ADDISON:

Miss Caswell! Nice to see you again.

MISS CASWELL:

Isn't she wonderful, Mr. deWitt?

ADDISON:

There's no one like Eve, Miss Caswell. No one in the world. Tell me Miss Caswell, do you want someday to have an award like that of your own?

MISS CASWELL:

More than anything else in the whole world.

ADDISON:

Then you must ask Eve Harrington how to get one. Miss Harrington knows all about it?

MUSIC UP FULL. MUSIC OUT.

JOHN KENNEDY:

Here's Mr. Keighley at the microphone.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

And here they are! An outstanding cast to take a bow for outstanding performances- Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, and Gary Merrill!

APPLAUSE

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Anne, how very nice to have you back again!

ANNE BAXTER:

Bill, you know how I love appearing on the Lux Radio Theatre.

BETTE DAVIS:

That's one way to get some more Lux Flakes, Anne!

ANNE BAXTER:

Bette, when you have a new baby, you need all the Lux you can get!

BETTE DAVIS:

Watch this girl. Remember as Eve, she'll want all our Lux Flakes!

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY (chuckling):

Now girls, the play is over! And there's plenty Lux in the wings for all!

ANNE BAXTER:

Thank you, Bill. Lux Flakes really are a must in our house.

GEORGE SANDERS:

Girls with all this talk about Lux Flakes, it occurs to me that my new co-star Susan Hayward could use some in her role as a model-turned-dress-designer in my latest for Fox, entitled "I Can Get It For You Wholesale".

GARY MERRILL:

Say, that reminds me! I have a new picture at 20th Century Fox, "Decision Before Dawn", starring Richard Basehart.

BETTE DAVIS:

Do you play "Decision"? Or "Dawn"?

GARY MERRILL:

As a matter of fact, I play a Colonel in the army. But as it's all a bout spies and traitors, I refuse to reveal anymore.

BETTE DAVIS:

Well then perhaps Bill will reveal next Monday's show for us!

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Yes next week, we'll have an exciting story filled with mystery and intrigue. It's Universal-International's thrilling drama "Borderline". And starring will be Stephen McNally, Claire Trevor, and John Hodiak.

ANNE BAXTER:

That'll be good listening, Bill.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Good night.

EVERYBODY SAYS GOODNIGHT

APPLAUSE

JOHN KENNEDY:

Hurry, Hurry! And I mean YOU! Yes, if you've been dreaming of owning that wonderful first prize in the "Who Is The Lovely Lux Girl" contest, then HURRY your entry in now. Remember the first prize is five thousand dollars cash PLUS a Ford Victoria Sedan! Besides the top prize, Lux is giving away ten more Ford two-door Sedans, two hundred fourteen karat gold-diamond Bulova watches, and ten thousand dollars in additional cash prizes! Get your entry blank at your grocer. It has the star's picture to identify, the jingle to complete, the rules, and the address. To each entry, attach two Lux wrappers, either bath or regular size. But HURRY your entry in. The contest closes October fifteenth and good luck!

MUSIC UP AND UNDER THE FOLLOWING.

WILLIAM KEIGHLEY:

Lever Brothers Company, the makers of Lux Flakes, join me in inviting you to be with us again next Monday evening, when the Lux Radio Theatre presents "Borderline", starring Stephen McNally, Claire Trevor, and John Hodiak. This is William Keighley bidding you, "good night"!

MUSIC CRESCENDOS AND OUT. APPLAUSE.

JOHN KENNEDY:

This year the United Way campaign fund for the community chest must raise additional funds because of the defense emergency. So let's give the United Way! Anne Baxter appears through the courtesy of 20th Century Fox, who will soon release "The Desert Fox" starring James Mason. Heard in our cast tonight were Jeremy Kramer as William Keighley, Stephanie Courtney as Karen, Miss Caswell, Brendan Jones as Lloyd, Jane Edith Wilson as Birdie, Maria Bamford as Libby Collins- Hollywood Reporter and the Operator, Michelle McChesney as Eve Harrington and Anne Baxter, Jeff Johnson as Bill Sampson and Gary Merrill, Robin Jones as Addison deWitt/George Sanders and the Waiter, and Mary O'Brien as Margo Channing and Bette Davis. Our play was adapted by F. H Barnett and Robin Jones, as well as directed by Robin Jones. This your announcer John Milton Kennedy Ron Lynch, reminding you to join us next Monday night to hear "Borderline" starring Stephen McNally, Claire Trevor, and John Hodiak. This is the CBS Radio Network.

APPLAUSE. MUSIC OUT.