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> WHITE SMAS
tanith
post Feb 6 2011, 02:33 PM
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white christmas


this is december 24, 1944, in the first safe area directly behind the battle line, in the italian theatre. in the distance occasional artillery light flashes are seen and artillery rumbles are heard. the BATTERED terrain shows the effects of battle. in the foreground is a recreation area, covered with camouflage; entertainment is in progress on a raised
stage. men of the division are seated about on benches, boxes, and the ground. a camouflaged motor pool of jeeps and tanks is nearby. we can hear laughter and applause from the men as a jeep with two stars on the front indicating it is the general's car jounces along a road toward the side of the recreation area. a young sergeant is at the
wheel, an adjutant beside him, and in the rear are general waverly and general carlton.
as it jounces along. general waverly is weather-beaten and weary; his uniform, while neat, shows the effects of long wear. general carlton, on the other hand, is stiff, clean and fresh from the pentagon. he is staring off at the recreation area.

general carlton
what's this all about, colonel?

adjutant
a little entertainment for the men,
sir. tonight's christmas eve.

general carlton
these men are moving up tonight. they
should be lined up for full inspection!

the jeep has come to a halt.

general waverly
you're absolutely right.
there's no christmas in the army,
colonel.

adjutant
yes, sir.

waverly and the adjutant alight from the jeep.

general waverly
there's always a slip-up or two
during a change in command. the
men get a little loose. but i
know i'm leaving them in good hands.

general carlton
thank you.
sergeant, take me to headquarters
immediately! we'll have those men
turned out on the double!

the sergeant looks at general waverly.

general waverly
goodbye, sergeant. take the short cut.

sergeant
yes, sir!

the jeep pulls off and makes a half circle. the adjutant makes a gesture, as if to stop it. the
general stops him. the adjutant turns to him.

adjutant
that's not the way to headquarters!

general waverly
joe, you know that, and i know that,
but the new general doesn't know it.
or he won't for about an hour and a
half.

adjutant
that sergeant'll be a private tomorrow!

general waverly
yes...isn't he lucky?

he takes the adjutant by the arm and leads him toward the recreation area. captain bob wallace is wearing a makeshift beard and santa claus hat and private philip davis is in combat clothes. they are doing a number to entertain the soldiers, what does a soldier want for christmas? during introduction, we just starting to take seats, off to one side where hey are not noticed by the performers.


bob
thanks, fellows. i guess by now you
know the old man's being replaced by
a new commanding general fresh out of
the pentagon...this divisions's been
awfully lucky so far, but tonight
they're running a special on st.
christophers at the px... the old man's
heading back to the rear - he's never
moved in that direction in his life.
all i can say is, we owe so much to
general waverly and the way --

waverly's voice
attention!

automatically, bob stiffens. phil does the same. every man is at attention and every head has turned to where general waverly has taken up a position near the front of the platform.

general waverly
captain wallace, button your shirt.
you're out of uniform!
this division is now under the command
of general harold g. carton, and i
don't want anyone to forget it -- not
that he'll let you. he's tough --
just what this sloppy outfit needs.
you'll be standing inspection night and
day -- you may even learn how to march.
and if you don't give him everything
you got, i may come back and fight for
the enemy. merry christmas!

the boys respond with "merry christmas".

general waverly
well -- i guess that's about it -
uh - uh --

bob, covering his embarrassment:

bob
perhaps i can help you out, sir.

he turns to the musicians, gives the downbeat. they play the old man, which is sung by the entire outfit. the general stands at attention through the first chorus, visibly moved. during the second chorus he starts up the aisle, revealing for the first time that his left leg is bandaged to the knee. the adjutant puts out his arm to help. waverly refuses. toward the finish of the song, he turns, faces the men and salutes them. the men return the salute. there is a red cross ambulance standing by. a hand lighting a candle on a tiny makeshift christmas tree. we reveal a number or enlisted men huddled around the tree in a trench,including bob and phil. one of the men looks at his wristwatch. now another does.
the hand is approaching midnight. he is looking at his wristwatch. the second hand is pointing to the hour. this is the prearranged signal for bob to begin singing white christmas. phil accompanies him on a harmonica. toward the end of the song, an enemy barrage drowns out the music. a shell bursts in the vicinity.
phil pulls bob down in time to save him from the shrapnel burst. this has also pushed bob's face into the mud, which he thinks is unnecessary. phil, ignoring bob's hostile look, brightly continues with white christmas from where the song left off. bob finishes with him, but eyeing him. brilliant fireworks explosion lights up the screen


headline reads: v-e day!
bells are ringing for celebration of v-e day. Camera moves into mouth of one bell, blacking out the screen. featuring names and pictures of bob and phil. camera moves to a close shot of the picture, holds for a second, then suddenly the picture comes to life and we are on the stage of the theatre where bob and phil are doing the production number "bells".
perhaps twenty people, photographed at a slant. they'rewarm. one woman has a fan, some use programs. They are enjoying the show, however. there are some vacant seats apparent. this theatre is a modern travelling tent show, such as have been playing in florida in
recent years, and beyond the sides we see palm tree the curtain is down, the boys come off, the curtain goes up on the next number, which is dancing. phil and bob are met by cooke, the company manager. rita, a luscious latin type, and some of the remaining chorus girls and other players ad lib, "couldn't be cuter!" "great." "very funny!"

cooke
new york's on the telephone.

bob and phil, with cooke, go to the backstage telephone.

phil
hello.
oscar.


this is the business office of bob and phil. oscar is their representative and manager, not their employer. he is sixty and looks competent. he refers to a telegram in his hand. pictures of the boys adorn the desk, and wallace and davis sheets of previous shows are on the wall. it must be evident from their billing that the boys are important stars in new york.

oscar
listen, i just heard what you're doing --
giving the cast a week off with pay for
christmas. you don't know how touched
i am. i'm all choked up. between sobs,
i managed to book you on the ed harrison
show this week to take up the slack.
it'll be stealing money.


phil is holding the receiver up to bob. oscar's voice can be plainly heard.

phil
we'll have to go to new york --
four days and four nights of re-
hearsals -- that's stealing money?


as he speaks into the telephone

oscar
it is for me -- i get ten percent.
(he listens for a moment)
next time you guys make a charitable
gesture, find out if you got with
what to make it. see you wednesday.

he hangs up. bob hangs up the phone.

bob
well... while the cast takes it
easy we'll be slaving over a hot
kinnie.

cooke
what train do you want? there's
a one-thirty this morning but
you have to sit up all night.

phil
let's get out tonight.

bob
okay.

the boys walk to their dressing room. a group of the chorines come flying by, toward the dressing rooms,with squealing. they make quite a picture from the rear, bouncing and all.

phil
what are we going to do until
one-thirty?

bob
we'll eat dinner.

phil
eat, eat all you think of is
your stomach!

rita shows up in front of phil.

rita
you said you had something to
rehearse with me after the show.
what is it?

phil evidently was trying to hide this from bob and is self-conscious at being caught.

phil
it's a kind of new dance number.

rita
i'm ready.

bob
he isn't. some business has
come up. see you in a week.
come on, romeo, dinner!
lamb chops, lamb chops!

phil

i'm looking at them! we're going
in the wrong direction.
the boys are now finishing their dinner. bob is facing the orchestra, phil would have to turn to see it. The music plays, the boys eat. the table is close to the bar. on two stools sit judy and betty. betty is wearing her glasses and examining some railroad tickets that have just been handed her by the bartender. phil is not paying attention to his eating, he is entranced with
judy's pretty legs draped over the bar stool. Bob cannot see the girls and is not even interested enough to turn around. on her part, judy is not absorbed in the tickets, but is unobtrusively sizing up phil.

betty
we'll have to rush to get the
1:30 train.


bob notices phil's absorption.

bob
have you ever considered laying
off the female sex for awhile?

phil
what other kind is there?

'the stewart sisters.' sister act!

bob
down, rover, down. remember, we
have an agreement--you chase no new
tidbits during the season. you were
man enough to give me your hand on it.

phil
you were sneaky enough to take it.


betty looks from the tickets and sees that judy is covertly eyeing phil. she leans forward.

betty
ahem.

ahem! all right dear, relax.

judy
he's awful cute.

betty
so was the one in kansas city,
and the one in canton, ohio, and
the one in waco, texas.

judy
canton, ohio wasn't so much.

betty
one of these days you're going
to meet somebody extra cute and
the next performance i'll be
doing a single.

judy
nobody'll ever be cute enough
to break up this sister act.


phil is still fingering the card.

phil
i haven't much luck with sister
acts. they're all alike. shall
i tell you what these two are like?

bob
shoot.

phil
four feet two inches tall. pudgy.
round races. have big bows in
their hair. always smiling.

lots of teeth. sister acts have
more teeth than anybody else.
two, three hundred teeth at a
time. the american dental
association is investigating it.

there is a drum roll from the orchestra. betty takes off her glasses and puts them in their case, on the bar. the bandleader's voice announces:

bandleader
ladies and gentleman, the stewart
sisters!

the audience applauds politely while the girls start toward the platform, phil reacts in surprise to the new development. betty and judy do their number: "sisters". as they take their bows --
phil pretends to recognize judy.

phil
say, dolores! that's dolores!

bob
who?

phil
remember that girl i told you
about who got sick in st. paul?
that's her! the girl in the
oxygen tent!
i told you about her! the road
company of "student prince." the
whole company went to church and
prayed for her! it was the most
touching thing i've ever seen in
show business.
i'll bring her over.

he goes, bob watching, disgusted. novello, the owner of the waterfront inn, comes up.
novello evidently knows bob.

novello
didn't you get your dessert yet,
mr. wallace?

bob
i'm not having any, but i think my
partner's lining up some pastries now.

novello
sure wish i could afford to book
you boys here.

bob
call our agent - we've got half
an hour between trains.

phil enters the shot with judy and betty.

phil
hello, mister novello.

novello
good evening, mister davis.


novello pulls out the table to permit the girls to be seated.

phil
miss stewart, mister wallace.
miss stewart, mister wallace.

judy and betty
how do you do.

bob
how do you do.

phil gets betty next to bob, he sits next to judy.

novello
see you later, folks.

phil
'bye.

judy
we saw your show at the matinee,
and we liked it very much.

bob
thank you, ma'am.

the orchestra has gone into white christmas.

phil
where are you going to be for
christmas?

judy
we're booked in vermont.

phil
vermont? what's there?

betty
snow. we spent last christmas in
south carolina, the year before in
hawaii. they didn't seem like
christmases. there ought to be
snow. this one's going to be real
white.

bob
well, it's the way you've been
raised. if you saw a lot of snow
when you were a kid you miss it
more around christmas. there's
a lot of snow around st. paul.

judy
is that where you come from -
st. paul?

it dawns on him, slowly. he shows no emotion.

bob
no. you come from st. paul.

judy
i come from canton, ohio.

bob

i'd like to ask you something.
were you ever in an oxygen tent?

judy
oxygen tent? oh no!

bob
were you ever in a road company
of "student prince?"

betty
no. why?

bob looks at phil. the rules are clear between them. bob puts his hand out. phil takes it. they shake.

bob
very good.

phil
thank you.

bob
what i admire are the details,
the invention, the little lies
all around the big one. it takes
talent.

phil
oh, it's nothing.

bob
don't say that. don't belittle
yourself. credit where credit
is due. you did it fine.

betty
private conversation?

bob
little game we play.

phil

may i have this dance?

judy
i'd love to.

phil

i'm not going to keep calling
you miss stewart.

judy
the name is judy.

phil

what a pretty name!

bob

nicer than dolores!

betty
i'm betty.

bob
i'm low man. bob.

follow that couple.

betty
why?

they move toward the dance floor.

bob
want to make sure they keep dancing.

betty
stop worrying. he won't get any
place with her.

bob
you sure?

betty
i'm positive. i trained her
myself.

bob
she's in the ring with the champ,
though. you've heard of alcoholics
anonymous?

women anonymous. their biggest case.
keeps falling off the wagon.

betty
well, you keep an eye on him, and
i'll keep an eye on her.

bob
fine. we can make out the probation
report together.

the orchestra blends into a vocal chorus of the song.the vocal is shared by bob, betty, judy and phil, individually. toward the end of the vocal phil dances judy out to the terrace over looking the water. this blends into their dance. The staging of the number should reunite the four principals by the end of the number. the audience applauds and they all go back to their booth. they are a half dozen steps ahead of the boys.

judy
they're both very cute, aren't
they?

betty
both?

judy
uh huh.

betty
which one do you like best?

judy
i like them both.

betty
you can't have both. there's
a law.

judy
oh, we'll never meet them again,
what does it matter?

the men are now up to them and help them into the booth. bob does not sit.

bob
judy, you made even him look
good.

judy
you're very flattering, but
he was doing all the leading.

betty
you dance very well together.
if i say it.

phil
lightest girl i ever saw. floats
like a bubble. one big bubble.

bob
all right, bubble lover, stand up!

phil
what for? i just sat down.

bob
la train. at one-thirty, and
we have to pack.

phil
train?

bob
you know, choo choo. goes on
tracks.
(train whistle noise)
wo woo.

phil
oh no!

bob
oh yes!

phil
can't we go tomorrow?

bob
the train goes tonight.

say goodbye to the lady bubble,
because we're going to have to
run for it now.

phil
lady bubble, i have an idea we're
going to meet up again sometime.

judy
we might, we're on the same train.

phil
no.

judy
yes.

bob

no.

as they start off, novello enters to the girls, agitated.

novello
the sheriff is here! he's in my
office!

judy
the sheriff!

novello
he's got a warrant to arrest you!

bob has stopped. he looks at phil, suspiciously.

bob
i thought we watched you every
minute.

phil holds up his hand in "scout's honor."

phil
never stopped dancing.

bob turns back to the table.

bob

can we help?

judy

i've never been arrested!

phil
there's nothing to it!

bob
don't get panicky!

novello
yes, don't get excited, you still
have to give your show!

he's not going to arrest them until
after the show!

bob
that's considerate! how'd you
arrange that?

novello
i'm a taxpayer here! you better
go in and change, girls! you
haven't much time!

the girls start off, confused. novello, bob and
phil follow.

bob
may i enquire what you are being
arrested for?

betty
the owner of the hotel we were
at says we dropped a cigarette
on his rug and burned it.

judy
we couldn't have dropped a
cigarette because we don't smoke.

betty
he wants two hundred dollars,
but it's just plain stealing.

judy
we left the money for our bill in
an envelope on the bed.

betty
then we dropped the bags out the window
and checked them at the depot.

judy
what are we going to do now?

novello
you have to give another show.

he leaves them, as bob and phil look unpleasantly
after him. they have reached the wings.


a stagehand is setting up a record on a record-
playing mechanism backstage, as the group passes by
heading for the dressing rooms.

phil
the old burned rug routine.

bob
kind of old fashioned, isn't it?
i thought that went out with the
cherry sisters. we'll have to do
something.

phil

got a flash?

bob
a glimmer. have to stir it around
a little.

the girls have opened the door to their dressing room.

judy
we wouldn't want you boys to
get into any trouble.

as they all enter.

phil
why not? maybe we'll all wind
up in the same cell.

as they close the door,
novello is with the sheriff and the landlord. the
sheriff is a husky fellow. at the moment he's eating
an eclair and coffee, from novello's desk. the
landlord glares at him.

landlord
that's the second dessert you've
had, sheriff!

sheriff
real good, too.

landlord
i haven't got all night to wait here
while you eat free food! you've got
your warrant, arrest those girls!

sheriff
now, we agreed to let them finish
their show first.

landlord
i didn't agree!
that was his idea!

novello
i've got some rights, too. you
don't get those girls until after
they've done their number!

landlord
well, how long is it going to take?

novello puts his hand up, listening.

novello
wait a minute! that's their
music!

he gets up, opens the office door, and we hear
their entrance music, as before, and the orchestra
leader's voice, "the stewart sisters."
bob and phil stand with their backs to the audience.
they turn, face front, and we realize they are mouth-
ing to a record.
we identify that the music is coming from this spin-
ning record player we have previously establishe
bob and phil do the number.
they applaud at end of number.
we faintly hear the applause.

landlord
they're clapping! it's over!
arrest them!

the sheriff gets up.
the boys bow themselves off, and run toward their
dressing room.
they hurry down the corridor, passing the office door.

bob
get out of these clothes! toot
sweet!

phil
ma, unhook my bra!

the office door opens behind them, which they do not
see. the sheriff steps out, followed by the landlord
and novello.

sheriff
just a second, folks! i'll handle
this!


there is a plaque attached to the key in the lock.
the sheriff smilingly turns the key in the lock.
he puts the key in his pocket.

sheriff
you stay here. let them try to
go through the window.

the landlord is delighted.

landlord
if they make a break for it,
shoot 'em!


the sheriff walks around the corner of the cafe, and
a police car awaits, with cop at the wheel.

sheriff
just a minute, hank, couple of
customers coming up.

hank
okay, boss.

the sheriff continues to the window of our dressing
room.
it opens. the sheriff watches it. out comes phil's
legs, meaning to get out backwards. the sheriff
applies both hands and pushes back.

sheriff
back you go, boys!

he pushes phil in. nimbly, he raises himself in.
the sheriff is in the room. he looks coolly at the
boys, who are now in their own clothes. he stares
at them. they stare at him. recognition comes all
at once.

phil
pete!

sheriff
phil! bob!

bob
pete!

they all throw their arms around each other, pounding
violently. 'no! wow! you dirty skunk! you grave
robber!'

phil
are you the sheriff here?

sheriff
you bet i am!

bob
how'd you get in this line of work?

sheriff
after i got out of the army i sat
down and figured it out! who never
got in trouble in the army? the m.p.'s!
they were the ones who arrested you!
so i came back here and ran for
sheriff!

bob
a civilian m.p.! if the fellows ever
saw you now! they'd skin you alive!

phil
you ever see any of them?

sheriff
whitey harris and jack ross have
a filling station near here!

bob
jack ross! will you ever forget
the party he threw in naples?

phil
in a captured brewery. very
sensible, giving a party in a
brewery. cuts out the middleman.

bob
do you remember when danny beasly
climbed up -

- the tower of the city hall and
rang the bell by swinging on the
clapper? he couldn't hear anything
for two days.

sheriff
danny beasly! too bad he didn't
make it.

bob
not everybody was lucky.

phil
we were lucky in one thing -
the old man.

sheriff
you can say that again. say i'm
supposed to arrest a couple of
dames! a fellow swore out a
warrant!

phil
he's a crook! burned a hole in a
rug and is trying to hold up two
kids.

sheriff
you don't say!

bob
we got to get our bags and be at
the station in ten minutes! we'll
never make it!

sheriff
just a moment!
hank !

hank looks up enquiringly.

hank
yes, sir.

sheriff
take my friends where they
want to go!

hank
yes, sir.

sheriff
hurry up!

bob
thanks, pete.

hank has thrown the door open.

phil
do you think we can make it?

hank
this thing goes over a hundred
an hour! hold on!
he starts with his red lights going, his siren screaming,
and tires grinding.
the sheriff watches them go, pleased. a pounding on
the door recalls the landlord, and he frowns. he
strides to the door, takes out his key and opens it.
the landlord and novello are looking out the window
at the departing police car, the noise having dis-
tracted them from the door pounding. the siren is
still heard, retreating. the sheriff snaps his
cigarette at their feet. they turn to him, faces
alight.

sheriff
they escaped! we're pursuing 'em!

landlord
escaped!

sheriff
what do you mean smoking on
theatrical premises!

landlord
that's not mine! i wasn't
smoking!

sheriff
what's that burning? a lollypop?

come on!

he protests, 'what - !' 'but!' novello is openmouthed.
the train is already moving as the police car arrives.
the girls are on the observation platform. the police
car screams to a stop. the boys fly out, with bags,
and just make the train, the girls pulling them aboard.

judy

you didn't steal the police car?

phil
no, no. friend of ours.

they go toward the lounge car.


they all take seats in the lounge car, happy to have
accomplished their escape.

bob
well, we'll be together as far
as new york.

betty
maybe it'll snow in new york for
christmas. if it doesn't, we'll
mail you a snowball from vermont.

judy
i haven't been on ice skates in
years.

phil
ice? you mean the stuff in a
scotch and soda?
bob, how about snow for christmas?

bob
you'll only thaw it out.

phil
come on, bob, we could have a
great week up in vermont.

bob looks from him to judy, whose expression is
almost pleading.

bob
i see what you mean. but wednesday
we've got to be back in new york.

phil
all right-- so it's just for a
couple of days. don't you want
me to enjoy the winter sports?

bob
you enjoy them all year round.
we won't get in your way, will we?

betty
as long as your friend doesn't try
to take my sister for a sleigh ride.

bob
if he tries it, i'll smash his flexible
flyer.
it's all set.

phil
the thing i like about you, bob,
is you're not only kind and
generous, you're handsome.

bob
we're going to have to sit up all
night. let's get some shut eye.

the rhythm of the wheels and the engine funnel, under-
scored musically.
all but phil are half dozing. one or two other people
are seen in the background, asleep. there is an air
of peace and quiet in the car, as the music under-
scoring continues. their faces are occasionally
streaked with light flashes emanating from the
surrounding countryside. phil turns to the side of
the car and sees a bill poster showing a copy of a
winter scene from the grandma moses collection,
advertising vermont. camera pulls up
to scene, the music swells and we dissolve to a
similar landscape in stylized concept. this is
the winter fantasy production number. at the end
of the fantasy we hear the conductor's voice,
"pine tree. pine tree, vermont."
they are bundling themselves up, coat collars tight,
expecting to enter the snow country.
pine tree station, all green, no snow. four hotel
busses await, one marked 'columbia inn bus.'
our foursome is just getting off the train. they
are the only ones. they are looking about,
puzzled.

phil
are you sure this is the right
vermont?

bob
this isn't a southern vermont?

judy
i don't understand it.

betty
there has to be snow! this place
is advertised as america's snow
playground!

bob
well, if you say so.

driver, your sleigh and reindeer.
the other three bus drivers are disappointed.
the bus goes by an incongruous skating rink, with
water instead of ice. signs indicate the direction
of the sun scorched toboggan slide
the bus winds around another turn in the beautiful
green surroundings and we pass a ski lift and a
ski jumping platform.
still another turn of the bus, and in the distance
we see a long shot of the columbia inn.
martha, a sixty year old spinsterish woman, good of
heart, forbidding exterior, is occupied at the desk.
the door opens and a pretty fifteen year old, susan,
carrying the mail, walks toward her.

susan
mail, martha.

she puts the mail on the desk.

martha

what's the weather forecast down at
the post office?

susan
awful. fair and warmer.

martha
if we don't get snow soon we can turn
this hotel into a haunted house. we
haven't had a guest for three weeks.

susan

what are you looking for?

martha

your grandfather's written washington
asking if he can get back in active
service. i think he wants to fly jets.

susan
i think he could do it.

martha
he says older men have been called,
and besides, he misses the food. i
tell you, susan, he tried to make
it a casual letter, with little
jokes, but it came out just begging.

through the huge window behind susan and martha we
see the figure of a man in overalls, bending over an
incinerator, shovelling the ashes into a wheelbarrow.
his back is to camera.

susan
oh, martha! what are we going to do?

martha
i don't know. don't let on we know
he's written. he'll start in i'm
only his housekeeper and that i found
out through some chicanery or some-
thing.

susan
how did you find out?

martha
like any housekeeper -- i read the
carbon paper.

bring him the mail.

susan starts out as camera moves up to window. after
a moment, susan appears and crosses to the man in
overalls. he straightens up, dusts off his hands,
and as he turns to take the letters, we see for the
first time that he is general waverly. he looks
through them, eagerly, then, downcast, shoves them
in his overalls and goes back to his work.
the bus comes to a stop and our principals get out,
phil staying with the driver for the luggage. the
others enter the inn.
martha at the desk, and her eyes widen in surprise.

martha
welcome to columbia inn. how do
you do?

all
how do you do?

martha
what kind of accommodations would
you like? we can give you a
fairly wide choice--any room in
the inn, including mine.

betty
we're not here as guests. we're
the stewart sisters.

martha
oh.

bob
my friend and i are guests. we've
come down for the snow. where
are you keeping it?

martha
we take it in during the day!

bob
what are your rates here?

martha
make us an offer.
i'm afraid we won't be able to use
you. we'll pay you the half salary
for cancelling.

judy
oh, no! are things that bad?

martha
we're using the ski-tow to hang the
wash on.
you're not going to stay either,
are you?

bob
i'm afraid not, ma'am.

through the door comes waverly, carrying a load of
wood in one arm, and a bucket of coke in the other
hand. susan follows carrying an armful of kindling.
bob turns away.

bob
i'll tell phil to leave the luggage -

general waverly! sir!

waverly
at ease! how are you, captain.

bob
i'm fine, sir.


waverly
we just try to keep the general
part quiet.

bob
why?
begging your pardon, sir.

waverly
well, to put it in one sentence,
people don't expect major generals
to carry firewood.

through the door comes phil, fast, talking:

phil
bob, i was thinking we ought to -

phil has his arm out indicating the direction of the
door, when he sees waverly. he freezes. he brings
his hand up to a salute, from that position.

waverly
at ease!

phil
oh, sir!
a janitor!

waverly
never thought i'd make it, eh?
....matter of fact, it's worse than
that. i own this hotel.

martha
he got it in a shrewd business move.

betty
was everybody in your outfit? we seem
to run into them all over the country.

bob
the draft board didn't know when to
stop.

waverly
if i start the introductions, can i
get to meet these young ladies?
my housekeeper, miss martha allen,
my granddaughter, susan waverly.

bob
i'm bob wallace-- this is phil davis --

betty
we're the stewart sisters.

judy
your floor show.

martha
don't worry-- i've already told them
we'd have to cancel.

waverly
why? we have a floor, haven't we?

martha
last time i looked. but who are they
going to sing to?

waverly
even if it's only to you and me, it
will be well worth it. besides, there
will be six inches of snow tonight and
we'll be full up tomorrow.

betty
is that the weather forecast?

waverly
no. but if there was one thing i
learned in the army it was to be
positive -- especially when you don't
know what you're talking about.
you'll excuse me, gentlemen, i'm on
k. p.

phil and bob stiffen automatically.

phil and bob
yes, sir!

waverly
and you two charming ladies, i want
you to know i'm looking forward to
your show this evening. whatever
your audience lacks in numbers, it
will make up for in enthusiasm --
(he glares at martha)
or i'll know the reason why!

he smiles at the girls, and exits, dignified.

judy
gee...no wonder we won the war!


they are doing the number, sisters, on the floor. the
camera pulls back to reveal the scene. there is a
scant audience distributed at several tables, totalling
not more than fourteen in number. not far from the
kitchen entrance bob and phil are sitting at one table.
martha is seen doing general overseeing, principally
acting as hostess. susan doubles between the cashier's
desk and helping out at table.
they are admiring the performance. phil indicates
for bob to look in this direction. bob does.
the general is seating a table
bob shakes his head, unhappy at this condition. they
look at each other.

bob
i think well stay a little
longer than we planned.


they finish the number and are applauded enthusiastical-
ly, but the few people in the audience don't make for
much clatter. one set of hands seems to be applauding
loudest and clearest.
he is the one doing the enthusiastic applauding. he
walks toward the boys, still applauding. they applaud
too. the girls enter the scene, to sit with the boys.
martha is only applauding politely, until waverly
glares at her. then her enthusiasm is boundless.

waverly
excellent. i enjoyed it very much.

judy
thank you.

martha
it was nice, if you like music.

a waitress brings food, which martha helps distribute.

betty

mister waverly, we'd like to make
you a proposition.

waverly

well, for heaven's sake!

betty
you've been very nice not cancelling,
we'd like to make a gesture. until
it snows, and you have guests, we'll
take half salary.

martha
that's really nice of you.

now let's get that in writing.

waverly

never heard of anything so ridiculous.

your next performance is tomorrow
night, after dinner. be here, or i'll
sue!

he dignifiedly walks in the direction of some depart-
ing guests, and proceeds to show them to the door.

martha

light-horse harry. advance, advance,
never retreat! he's advancing right
into bankruptcy.

phil
that's just the way he was in the army.
always thinking of the other fellow.

bob
we ate and then he ate. we slept, and
then he slept.

phil
then he woke up, and nobody slept
for the next forty-eight hours.

martha
i happen to know he's sunk his
life's savings into this place.
i read the carbon paper.

judy
gee, i wish there were something
we could do to help.

bob
maybe there is.

phil
you got a flash?

bob
a glimmer. have to stir it around
a bit.

phil
shhh!

ticking away madly. wheels within
wheels. this is the brain that, in
darkest italy, devised a formula to
make food out of k-ration! shhhhhh!
as he regards bob with something akin to awe, we
the last of the supper audience is leaving. we see
into a room which adjoins the reservation desk and
bob is on the phone.
phil is sitting on the desk while bob talks.

bob
relax...i didn't ask you how
much it'll cost us...

easy, easy, remember your blood
pressure...i don't care how much
it'll cost us... that's better...
have everybody on the train first
thing in the morning. the whole
troupe, and the scenery, and the
costumes... you'll have to cancel
us off the ed harrison show...
oscar, remember your blood pressure.
incidentally, how much will this cost?


good night, oscar.
there you are.

phil
incidentally, how much will this
cost?

bob
we are coming out - even.

phil
you mean flat?

bob
that's the same as even.

phil
wheels within wheels. it's nice
how you take care of the money for
both of us because you're older and
so level headed. i wonder where i'd
be now if hadn't saved your life?

bob
do you want me to cancel the
troupe coming?

phil
no, no. let's go through the
gesture. if you had been on the
titanic when it went down, you
wouldn't've been satisfied just
to sink into the ocean.
you'd have done a swan dive
into it. with me on your
back!


the scene is a melee of the excitement accompanying
preparations for the show. the little stage has been
enlarged - the draperies pulled back right and left
and a side wall pushed back a little farther. there
is hammering and painting going on in various parts
of the room. trunks have been unpacked and wardrobe
hung up in odd places, as more trunks arrive. girls
in abbreviated rehearsal clothes walk around, do
cartwheels; two people sing at the piano; six girls
kick in unison; altogether, it is quite a contrast
to the bareness of the previous scene.
the camera trucks through all the activity, taking
in our group at the doorway, which features bob and
phil, the girls standing nearby. martha and susan
are amazed at the activity.

martha
i can't believe it! you mean you
brought the whole show up here?

bob
when you hired the stewart sisters
you also hired a new york show. it
was in the small print.

phil
and you can't get out of it. we've
got lawyers.

susan
i can't thank you enough, but i
wonder if gramp'll let you do it?

phil
why not?

martha
his pride. when he decides he's
going into bankruptcy he likes to go.

bob
now just a second. we're not
doing this for him!

phil
oh no! we're bringing the show
down here to rehearse!

bob
the company's been getting a
little ragged. we'd appreciate
the use of the hall.

phil
of course we don't expect it free!

bob
we'll pay a little, but not much.
you see, the audience will be
guinea-pigs -- and for us, that's
quite an improvement.

this has not fooled susan. she throws her arms around
bob and then phil.

susan
i don't know what to say!

she cannot refrain from tears of gratitude and turns
and runs out. there is a moment of silence.

bob
i hope this is not an indication
of advancing age, getting kissed
out of gratitude.

phil
you didn't expect a girl that
pretty to kiss you because she
wanted to?

bob
a body keeps hoping.

betty steps up to him and gives him the biggest smack.
bob is quite surprised.

betty

that was the nicest thing i ever
saw anybody do.

bob
it was still gratitude.

phil

i'm his partner. i'm entitled to
half the credit.

she's not as grateful as her sister.
they look off through the exit and see a moving van
unloading scenery, as the general arrives in his buggy.
he steps down and looks with amazement at the scenery
passing by.
waverly is looking interestedly at the goings on, but
is puzzled. the boys exchange a glance.

waverly
i'm not clear about some of it.
explain it again.

phil
well, sir. we have this show, and
we laid off for the holidays. you
see, business was bad.

waverly
i know about business being bad.
go on,

phil
yes sir. well, so we figured as
long as we had the opportunity we'd
do a little rehearsing. right here.

waverly
why here?

phil looks to bob for help as they move toward the lobby.
the troupe is busy transporting the costumes, etc.,
from the moving van to the dining room auditorium as
the above scene is played.

bob
well, sir, this nice empty room.
the minute we looked at it we said
it was ideal. didn't we?

phil
that's what we said. ideal.

bob
and then we'll have an audience to
play to. you see, sir, you need an
audience on which to try out your
new material.

waverly
where are you going to get the
audience?

phil
oh, what guests there are in the
other hotels. they're pretty bored
here without snow, and a new york
show's kind of a novelty in vermont.

waverly
i would think so.
how will they know you're here?

bob
oh, word gets around.

phil
yes sir, and we also took the girls
twice around the town for a little
run. they were stiff from the train.
in their practice clothes.

bob
makes the blood circulate,

waverly

hmm. whose blood?

bob and phil
yes sir.

waverly
apparently there must be a lot about
show business i don't understand.

phil
it'll come to you, sir.

bob
it just takes time.

phil
we wouldn't be any good as generals.

waverly
you weren't any good as privates!

phil
he was an officer, sir.

waverly
only to confuse the enemy.

he turns away and goes to his quarters.
the company is rehearsing as bob and phil enter.

bob
that's all for today, kids.

people break off what they were doing and begin to
drift out. bob and phil have gone toward betty and
judy.

bob
get a little rest before
tonight's performance.

phil
i'll walk you over.

bob
phil!

look this over, i want to try
something.

phil
see you later.

the girls go. phil goes toward the piano, bob goes
toward martha, who is on the phone, accepting reser-
vations.
bob takes martha by the arm and seats her in the middle
of the room as an audience of one. phil looks up from
the piano, puzzled. the sunset is visible through the
window and there is a mood of quiet.

martha
guinea pig?

bob
that's the idea. want you to hear
a song i just wrote.

martha
if it's a love song, don't get
too close.

bob
it isn't. just tell me how you think
the old man would feel about this one.

he leaves her and goes to the piano and they do
what can you do with a general, solely for martha.
toward the end of the song --
unseen by the others he is standing by the door
listening to the song.
the boys finish the number. martha applauds and bob bows.

martha
i think it's just wonderful --


she is standing there, drying her eyes with her apron.

susan
i think so, too.

waverly
i'm afraid i disagree. the song
is funny, but there is one thing
wrong with it.

phil's voice
what's that, sir?

waverly
it's true. i'd rather you didn't.

bob and phil exchange a quick glance.

bob and phil
yes, sir.

the general turns and exits toward the lobby, the
camera pans with him, a lonely figure walking through
the lobby, the camera stopping on a poster advertising
tonight's performance.
it is fairly-well filled. bob, phil, betty, judy and
the ensemble are performing a number which is a
minstrel show routine done to lyrics and music. bob
and phil are end men, betty is interlocutor, and judy
is later introduced as mandy. this takes judy and
phil into a dance to the song mandy. this entire
number is done in white-face with stylized costumes
and set. during the applause and bows, we cut to:
waverly, flanked by susan and martha, is at a large
table. the other occupants are local hotel owners
and their wives.

first owner
great show, waverly.

waverly
thank you.

second owner
we needed something like this.
i had six checkouts, and when they
heard about this they decided to
stay.

first owner
same here.
much obliged.

waverly
glad to help.

martha and susan beam; all is well.
it is empty and most of the lights are out. at a
considerable distance from camera martha extinguishes
the last light, except for a small work light which
is servicing bob, who is fingering the piano keys and
writing music notes, hard at work.
in the background we see the boys' bungalow.
betty and judy are in twin beds, the light is coming
in from the moon. the girls are seen in profile.

judy
the moon! i can't get over the
moon up here. the size of it!

betty
same one they have all over.

judy
they'll never prove it to me.
and everything smells so beautiful.
what is it - pine or fir?

betty
we're near the bakery.

judy
you know your trouble, betty?
you're not romantic.

betty turns and looks toward her. since judy does
not see her, betty's expression is a true reflection
of how she feels.

judy
everything's so wonderful here, so
pretty, so exciting, i can't under-
stand how you stay frozen up. let
yourself go, go, like me!

betty
which one is it?

judy
what do you mean?

betty
bob or phil?

judy
neither.

betty
you mean both.

judy
it's the same. no one is going
to break up our act.

betty
isn't there one you prefer over
the other?

judy
the way phil dances, and he's funny.
it's easy to see yourself married to him.

betty
and bob?

judy
he's different, deeper, and he's
funny, too. it'd be nice to be
married to both of them.

betty
good thing they're not a quartette.

judy
if i was catherine the great, that's
what i'd do. phil in the daytime,
bob at night. or should it be the
other way around?


shooting past betty. is it possible our betty has
a suspicion of a tear?

judy
phil'd be more fun in a night club,
but eventually a girl wants a pipe
and slipper fellow. that's bob,
smoking a pipe and petting a cocker
spaniel. still, phil could learn to
smoke a pipe. breaking a fellow in
to suit you is something every girl
should go through. i hear it's half
the fun. which one do you like better?
betty?
betty?
are you asleep?

music has underscored this scene. betty is wide awake.
she is looking toward the window. as the curtains
billow outward we see a diffused figure of bob, sitting
on a fence, putting out his pipe. this is followed by
an equally diffused figure of betty, leaving her bed,
crossing the furniture, and joining bob. bob takes her
in his arms. at this point we are brought back to
reality by the wind slamming a shutter. this causes
the diffusion to vanish, and betty gets out of bed and
puts on her robe.
we pan betty to the refrigerator door, which she opens.

bob's voice
tuna fish, on the lower shelf.

betty whirls around.
we see bob is having a snack of his own.

betty
oh!

bob
what are you doing? sleep-walking?

betty
i couldn't sleep.

bob
little young for that, aren't you?

he gets up and goes to the refrigerator. his preoccu-
pation with the food will permit betty's expression to
be more obvious than her lines, which are spoken to
tell the audience of her regard for bob, since their
significance must escape him.

bob
what shall i make you?

betty
anything'll do.

bob
if you tell me what you want to
dream about i'll know what to
make you.

betty
how's that?

bob
different foods make for different
dreams. i've got a whole theory
about it. it's called "the wallace
way of wishful wooing." you'll find
it in the american medical journal
under 'w'. ham and swiss cheese, for
instance, you get a cool, thin, blonde
girl. turkey sandwich, you get a dark
sort of stumpy girl, sexy though. now
a liverwurst sandwich -
you get both girls at once. bad night.

betty
what do you dream on tuna?

bob
darndest thing, i dream about me.

betty
then i'll have a tuna sandwich.

bob doesn't get the significance of what she has said,

bob
now that's very flattering. tuna
coming up.

let me make you some warm milk.
that'll help the insomnia,

betty
no it won't.
warm milk won't do it.

bob
whatever you've got on your mind
isn't worth staying awake for.

betty
i think it is.

he smiles at her, oblivious to the meaning behind her
lines.

bob
would you like to know how i handle
a situation like that....?

betty
tell me, doctor..

bob begins to sing count your blessings, as he prepares
the warm milk and hands it to her. she drinks it
down. as he reaches the second chorus, he starts to
dim the lamp on the table, betty, pretending to be
sleepy, leans her head toward bob. he takes a pillow
from a nearby chair and puts it between her head and
her chair. she waits, eyes closed, expectantly. but
bob gets to his feet, and carefully tiptoes to the
door and exits, closing it softly behind him. after
a moment, betty snaps on the light, throws the pillow
on the floor, and rests her chin in her hand, dis-
appointed and wide awake.
various members of the company are in rehearsal clothes
and sitting around the room. the orchestra is playing
the introduction to phil's number, which will employ
a line of six girls who are just coming on the floor.
bob is on stage supervising the rehearsal. judy is
standing across from the piano. betty is seated on
the sidelines with her legs stretched over two chairs.
she is knitting a loud colored argyle sock. phil,
standing close by, has just finished rolling up a ball
of yarn. he looks at betty's knitting, then at his
feet.

phil
don't make them too tight. i
wear size 12.

bob
all right kids! places! let's
get going! phil, you're on!

phil reacts.

bob crosses to his stage manager station, which is
a desk and high chair, where albert is seated, not
far from his wife, sylvia, who is sipping a glass
of water. albert holds a stop watch and evidently
helps in the administration.

bob
how long are we so far?

albert
an hour and ten minutes.

bob
something has to come out.

from his position, phil, in a series of leaps and
turns, reaches center floor and begins his solo.
she continues knitting while watching phil dancing.
as phil comes to a portion where he speeds up his
steps she unconsciously speeds up her knitting,
bob has seen her, and he looks from her knitting
and her look of admiration, which he mistakes for
affection, and then looks from the socks to phil's
feet. at the end of the number, which is applauded
by the witnesses, judy runs to phil and hugs and
kisses him, the camera staying at this distance.
bob, looking at betty, mistakenly sees her disappoint-
ment.

bob
all right, places for the next
number!

you're next, sylvia.

what's the trouble?

albert
mr. wallace -


bob
come on, out with it.

albert
i don't think sylvia ought to
go on, unless you cut out the
high kicks and let her do some
easy waltzes. very easy waltzes.

bob looks from one to the other and their smiling shy-
ness indicates pregnancy.

bob
you're kidding!

sylvia
we don't want anyone else to know.

albert
please don't mention it.

for heaven's sake!

sylvia
how did they know?

the girls start crowding around.

girls
you wouldn't tell us, would
you? we had to find out
ourselves, etc.


martha
there will be a celebration
of the forthcoming event to-
night after the show!


phil puts his arm around albert.

phil
obviously you're going to
call the boy after me!

bob
after you? i hired sylvia!
the baby'll be named after me!

phil
i've been dancing with her!
that's more important! the
baby'll be named after me!

bob
the hiring was more important!
after me!

phil
the dancing was more important!
after me!

albert
i'm her husband.
the baby'll be named after me.

bob
well, we're going to need
another dancer!

phil
how about judy, she knows all
the routines, she could pick
it up in no time.

they walk to the table where the coffee is, and the
group now includes betty.

bob
on the other hand, it's all right
if we lose a number, we're running
too long now. we have to cut
somewhere.

betty
wouldn't it be better if you cut
my solo number? i've never
felt right in it anyway.
the show needs every bit of his
dancing.

bob
well -

betty
there you are - painless.

she turns away rather abruptly, since she is becoming
emotional. bob shakes his head, impressed with what
he thinks is her devotion.
bob dunks a doughnut into his coffee as he looks after
betty. he looks at phil and shakes his head.

bob
greater love hath no woman than
to give up a solo number. old
chinese saying.

phil
what are you talking about?

bob
drink your coffee.

this is the party later that evening. some people are
dancing. others are grouped about, and there is a
general home party atmosphere. the general, martha
and susan are seen helping everyone to feel at home.
the camera starts on a long shot and dollies through
the group, passing sylvia, where ad lib comments about
the impending baby are sketchily heard. the camera
continues toward the piano, where bob and betty are
examining the music sheet of a man chases a girl.
betty looks up and the camera follows her look to phil,
who is dancing with rita. rita nestles up close to
phil. this is seen by bob and betty. bob smiles.
on closer view, we can see that rita is the aggressor.

phil
don't you want me to breathe?

rita
not especially.

phil
what's gotten into you?

rita
you were chasing me in florida.

phil
and you were running. what made
you stop?

rita
you're interested in judy, aren't
you?

phil
that's it, eh? unless it belongs
to someone else, a girl doesn't -
ouch!

betty is walking over to the dancing couple and de-
liberately cuts in on rita, who is displeased, but
can do nothing but yield. bob's reaction still
implies that this is understandable since betty
loves phil. he turns back toward the piano, and
other couples are between him and betty and phil.
still at the same camera distance, we see betty
turning phil over to judy.
judy is a little cool.

phil
what's the matter?

judy
nothing is the matter.

phil
this isn't the way you dance.

judy
some people dance closer than others.

phil is delighted that she is jealous.

phil
yes, that's true. i'm one of the
close ones. that's my type.

he holds her closely, by force, dancing, smiling and
pleased with himself.
the dance music stops. the people disperse.
harry, the piano player, is playing the last half of
a man chases a girl. bob and betty are leaning over
the piano, bob humming the melody. betty pantomimes
to the others to quiet down. bob starts to sing the
lyric. in the second chorus, he is joined in the
singing by betty. during this chorus we cut to show
various reactions of the group, and end on phil,
sitting close to judy, holding her hand.
we hear bob and betty, off scene, continuing to the
end of the second chorus, on which phil, sotto voce,
sings the last four bars.

phil
and once you've caught him
don't ever let him go.

applause follows the song. phil gets up.

phil
ladies and gentlemen, i would
like to make an announcement.

everyone quiets, waiting to hear the announcement.

phil
it is my pleasure to identify
the man who has been doing the
chasing. i am him! - or he! -
or it! anyway, judy has caught
me. what i'm trying to say is,
we're engaged.

he looks fondly at judy, taking it for granted she
is overwhelmed at this method of announcing to her
that he is going to marry her. he hugs her amidst a
general reaction of congratulations.
he is flabbergasted.
phil and judy are separated by the congratulators.
betty, hiding her emotion, grips phil's arm.

betty
i hope you realize that you're
getting he most wonderful girl
in the world.

bob sees her emotion through the speech. betty
notices judy upset, shaking off the people around
her and running through the doorway to the kitchen.
betty makes her way through the crowd to follow her,
as the orchestra goes into her comes the bride.
judy is crying into her hands as betty enters.

betty
darling, don't cry.

judy
i didn't know he was going to
make that announcement, i swear
i didn't.

betty puts one arm around her.

betty
i know you didn't.

judy
he had no right to do that.

betty
you do love him, don't you?

judy
that doesn't matter.

betty
nothing else matters.

judy
we're not going to break up our act.

phil enters the kitchen.

phil
i've been looking for you, judy.

betty
excuse me.

she goes through the corridor toward the living room.
in the background we see the general in the butler's
pantry getting some drinks for the guests. he is not
seen by betty who stops at the mirror in the corridor
to wipe away a few tears. bob comes into view in the
mirror, entering the corridor from the living room.

bob
don't take this too much to
heart. phil is a great kid
but constancy isn't his long
suit.

betty
i'm not the least bit worried.
frankly, this couldn't come at
a better time. they want me to
come back to the carousel
again - i used to sing there
before judy and i teamed up -
and i had to turn it down
because they can only use a
single.
so - this couldn't be more
convenient. you stay with the
show and i'll go back to the
carousel.

judy
when did you get this offer?

betty
just today, as a matter of fact.
i got a telegram.

judy
why didn't you mention it before?

betty
i didn't want to hurt your feelings.

judy
where is the telegram?

betty
i threw it away. what is this, a
third degree? you don't think i
made it up?

judy
yes, i do.

there is a pause, and waverly, who has been watching
each one, speaks.

waverly
well now, i wouldn't bet any large
sum of money on that, since i took
the message over the telephone, and
i had to deliver the telegram.
and she didn't tip me, either.

betty looks at him gratefully.

judy
oh, betty!
i'm sorry! i misunderstood!

betty
now, baby! it's all right!

phil
well, everything's fine now!

happy, he beams at judy.


something bothers bob about this story. he looks
searchingly at betty, puzzled. he does not notice
waverly, who watches him watching betty.
train about to leave. the general is in the foreground
sitting in the buggy. betty is saying goodbye to him.
bob and the porter are taking care of her luggage.

general
where are you going to be?

betty
the carousel.

the general looks at her, questioningly.

betty
i sent them a telegram this morning.

the general smiles; betty waves a farewell to him and
crosses to the train, starting up the steps. the
notion behind this scene is to be able to hear only
intermittent dialogue due to the whistle, bells, and
escaping steam. the manner of playing, though,
indicates the sentiment. to emphasize it: bob is
fonder of betty than he realizes, and betty fully
realizes how fond she is of him but that he does not
return, consciously, her affection. we hear betty:

betty
take care of my little sister.

bob
she can take care of herself.
worry about the menfolk. now
don't forget to write.

betty
i'll send you picture postcards.

not all of this is heard, since the sound effects
pick their spots, but the attention is on the
general, who is watching the scene with a whimsical
look. he, as does the audience, realizes bob's true
feelings. as the train starts to leave, betty and
bob shake hands. she holds his handshake a little
longer than necessary, and bob is forced to move
along with the train. finally she releases him,
and bob looks after the train, puzzled.
the camera is now on the train platform, bob out of
sight. betty wipes away a tear. in the background
we see the general in the buggy noticing this.
bob is in the foreground, the general in the back-
ground. bob joins the general at the buggy. from
waverly's expression we can see that he has decided
on a plan of action.

waverly
must be interesting to be a woman.

bob
the idea's never occurred to me,
sir.

waverly
well, think about it.
well?

bob
not interested!

waverly
a man like you must be an
expert on women.

bob
it's a little immodest to say so,
but i consider myself an authority
on the fair sex, i've made a study
of the subject. they're simple
creatures.

waverly
they couldn't fool you?

bob
i'm single.

waverly
'pride goeth before a fall.'

bob
'who knows his own strength is
twice armed.'

waverly
it's always a pleasure to meet
an expert in any field. tell me,
why do you think betty went to
new york?

bob
she has a job in the carousel.

waverly
expert, you're wrong! she went
to new york because she's so in
love with someone here she just
couldn't stand it.

bob
phil.
i'm darned if i can figure out
why.

waverly
i thought you were an expert on
women.
come on, delilah!

the camera pans down from the ceiling and we see
that the inn is being decorated for christmas eve.
everybody is so engaged, except those actively
helping phil and judy rehearse. the attitude is
slightly cool on judy's part, but it is lover's
coolness.

phil
good, judy.
now the same as the middle part.

they make a nice couple, with his arm around her
waist, dancing as one.
he enters the room, and watches. he looks intently
at phil. phil and judy dance closer to bob. they
see him. they continue dancing, talking as they do.

phil
betty get off all right?

bob
certainly.

judy
betty left something for you.
she said to give it to you after
she left. it's on the piano.

bob hears, nods, but keeps staring at phil. phil
becomes conscious of the staring.

phil
what's the matter?

bob
i don't get it.

phil
don't get what?

bob
i just don't see it. you' re
skinny, you got a big nose, and
you squint.

phil
who? me?

bob
yes, you! nothing personal though.

phil
no, of course not.

bob
i'm just trying to figure out
what anyone sees in you.

phil
well, stop worrying about it.
when i ask you for a date just
turn me down. come on, judy.

they dance away. bob crosses to the piano and picks
up the package betty left for him. he opens it up
and it is a single knitted sock, the one she knitted
on previously. he looks through the box for its mate.
there is none. the camera moves closer to bob, puzzled.
painted at the top is the legend:
weather forecast
at the moment a hand is completing, in chalk:
no snow
after a moment, the hand returns and draws two lines
through the "s" so that it now reads,
no snow
camera pulls back to reveal we are on:
bob comes out of the post office and mounts a bicycle.
he cycles down the street, whistling a man chases
a girl.
there is a group of elderly men, among them the hotel
owners, pitching horseshoes. waverly is sitting on a
bench, ruefully looking at the sign.

first hotel owner
how about it, waverly, want to play?

waverly
i'm too young for that sort of thing.

first owner laughs goodnaturedly and continues playing.
bob rides into the scene and dismounts.
bob sits into the shot.

waverly
kind of warm for that kind of
exercise, isn't it?

bob
it isn't very warm.
i think the weatherman's wrong
about his forecast. those look
like snow clouds to me.

waverly
they're cumulus clouds, at an
elevation of seven thousand feet.

bob
yes, sir.
still, weather's a funny thing.
it could snow - overnight.

waverly
i'll tell you something i haven't
told my family. i'm going back
in the army.

bob
really, sir? that's great news!

waverly
yes. i miss the army.

bob
where are you going to be sent,
sir?

waverly
well, i'm not sure yet. i've
always been a combat officer,
but i got an idea they're going
to try and palm off one of the
training commands on me. they'd
better not. they just better not.
i'm not ready for pitching horse-
shoes yet.
now nothing to the women folk
about this!

bob
no, sir.

waverly
let's mosey over to the post office,
i'm expecting a letter any day.

bob
oh, i beg your pardon, sir.
that's what i came over to give
you, it slipped my mind.

the general takes the letter, he looks at it front
and back.

waverly
this is the one.
my glasses are in my room. i'd
like to read it by myself, but
i'm a little anxious.
read it, son. slowly.

bob
dear tom:
why, you dirty, old -

waverly
skip that word.

bob
yes, sir.

it certainly was a surprise hearing
from you. your amusing letter was
appreciated more than you imagine.
of course you've got plenty of time
to be amusing, sitting on that porch,
rocking away, while we put in a full
day's work. you always were a lucky
stiff, and i envy you. a few years
more, i was saying to emmy the other
evening, and i'm going to be able to
take it easy like old tom.

waverly
old tom.

bob
oh, well, some people have all the
luck. everyone in the family is fine
here. carol had the mumps, which is
no joke at eleven years of age -

waverly
the rest of the letter is about the
family.

he's telling me they have nothing for
me, we're not fooling each other.

thank you.

say, it couldn't be hard to learn
to pitch horseshoes. now could it?

bob
no sir.
begging your pardon, sir, there's a
lot to be said for leisure. you're
not used to it, you've always been
active, but in time -

he stops, seeing waverly's expression. waverly winks
at him.

waverly
never kid a kidder. go on back
to the hotel.

bob
yes sir.

waverly gets up to join the horseshoe players after
all. bob watches this reflectively as we
bob is packing his valise, phil helping him.

phil
judy thinks my eyes are soulful.
do you think my eyes are soulful?

bob
one of them is.

phil
you have no poetry in you. it's
about time you went in for girls,
too. after all, you haven't many
years left for that sort of thing.

bob, his back turned to phil, comes across the sock
betty knitted for him; he hastily shoves it into the
bottom of has bag.

bob
i'm the quiet type. little do you
know what's aged me.

phil
wheels within wheels, eh? well,
live it up, pops. eat, drink and
be merry -- is that why you're
leaving for new york?

bob
i told you what i'm seein' ed harrison
about. that's all.

phil
business, business. glad to be rid
of you. you're not in the girly mood.

bob
what do you know about girls? you
wouldn't know what to do with a girl
if she fell on you!

phil
well, i'd know enough not to get up.

there is a knock at the door and martha sticks her
head in.

martha
mr. wallace -- gonna miss your
train!

phil
for her i'd get up.

as bob slams his suitcase shut,
a poster outside advertises the appearance of betty
stewart. music is heard emanating from the club.
a rehearsal is in progress in the deserted club. the
chairs are up on the tables, musicians in their shirt
sleeves, as betty sings a chorus of love, you didn't
do right by me. as she finishes, the orchestra leader
turns to her.

leader
betty - you really live that number.

betty
the story of my life.

leader
shall we try it over again?

betty
i wish i could.

it is alive with customers; couples are dancing on the
floor, as a number ends. bob enters, and is conducted
to a ringside table by a maitre d'.

bob
i'm expecting ed harrison.

maitre d'
very well, mr. wallace.


betty is standing at the microphone ready to sing.
she sees bob. the leader raises his baton.

betty
let's not do the new number.

leader
what?

betty
play "blue skies" -- anything.

leader
relax. just do it the way you
sang it this afternoon --
you'll be great.

he gives the downbeat, and betty has no choice but to
sing love, you didn't do right by me. she is assisted
in the second chorus by a vocal group.
as bob watches her. when she finishes the number,
betty steps down from the platform and joins bob.

betty
well, surprise. what brought
you to the big city? and don't
say 'a train.'

bob
i never heard you sing that
well. that's a good number
for you.

betty
some numbers suit you better
than others. what are you
doing here?

bob
business, business. meeting
a fellow here.

betty
judy all right?

bob
she's fine. couldn't be better.
playing footsie with phil.

betty
that's nice.

bob
i think they like each other.

betty
i do, too.

bob
they're kind of suited, in
a lot of ways.

betty
some people are.

bob
thanks for the knitted sock.

betty
don't mention it.

bob
i thought it was for phil.

betty
if the sock fits, wear it.

bob
it started out for phil.

betty
it just started out as a sock.

every line of the sock exchange should have the mean-
ing of the love implications.

bob
you're a very odd girl.

betty
you're a very odd fellow.

bob is close to declaring himself, if he was only
sure of his ground.

bob
two feet, one sock. i must be.

betty
i'll get around to the other
one, eventually.

bob
you mean to do any knitting in
the near future?

betty
the feeling comes and goes.

bob
think if the model hung around
for a while... the feeling might
be more permanent?

betty
maybe.

bob leans over and takes her hand.

bob
what's this maybe, shmaybe,
comes and goes? friends tell
me i don't have many years left
for this sort of thing...
i ought to know right now if --

he is interrupted by ed harrison, who has been brought
to the table by the maitre d'.

ed
bob! how are you?

bob
hiya, ed.

ed
betty.

she nods, as ed sits down.

ed
now what's this big deal you wanted
to discuss? i shouldn't even talk to
you after cancelling out on my show.

bob
ed, i saw the old man.

ed
waverly? where, in the pentagon?

bob
pentagon, nothing. he owns a little
hotel in a winter resort in vermont.

ed
our old man?

bob
nobody even knows who he is.

betty
he's too proud to let them know he's
general waverly.

ed looks at her, surprised.

ed
was she in our outfit, too?

bob
vermont branch.

ed
what are we going to do about it?
you got a flash?

bob
a glimmer.

ed
got to stir it around a little?

bob
all stirred. remember how old
flintbottom always used to find
a way to keep our morale up...
without telling us? it's about
time we returned the favor. let's
surprise him with a real big bang-up
reunion.

ed
now you're talking! how do we
spread the word?

bob takes a piece of paper out of his inside pocket
and hands it to ed.

bob
you're gonna read this little
speech on your television show.
people look at it, don't they?

ed
now's as good a time as any to find
out.

as he continues to read the piece of paper, we
phil is excited.

phil
bob, just leave it to me! he
won't get near a set if i have to
break a leg...goodbye, bob!

he opens the door of the booth and hurries across the
lobby toward susan, who is at the desk, and bangs on
the bell, which is on the counter. martha comes run-
ning from the kitchen.

phil
now everybody pay close attention.

ed is about to go on the air. bob is opposite him,
out of camera range, the technical crew are watching
the hand of the dial approaching 60.

ed
i hope phil has been able to keep
the old man away from a television
set.

bob
he has. in anything involving some-
thing crooked he's dependable.


seated around the television set are waverly, martha
and susan. martha and susan look at their watches
and each other, nervously. waverly also looks at his
watch.

waverly
ed harrison will be on in a half
minute. i like him. i never miss
him.

the women are becoming very nervous. suddenly we hear
off scene the most tremendous clatter dorm the stair-
way and phil's shouting.

phil
ow! ow! ow!

waverly
what's that?

he runs toward the stairs. martha and susan breathe
a sigh of relief and follow waverly.


waverly runs to the tangled phil.

phil
my leg is broken! ow, ow!

waverly
take it easy, boy.

phil
ow! ow! it's broken!

waverly
no it isn't! you may have a bad
sprain, but no bones are busted!

phil
it's broken, sir. i can feel it.

waverly
let me help you.

the technician indicates for ed harrison to start as
the second hand hits straight up.

ed
i would like to address all former
officers, enlisted men, wacs and
nurses who were under the command
of general tom waverly --

waverly and martha are helping phil through the door.

phil
ow! ow! it's broken in two or
three places!

waverly
that's just the impression you
have! i tell you it's only shock!


waverly
take it easy, boy!

phil
don't leave me! everything is
going round and round!

waverly
nobody's leaving you! martha,
get me a cold towel!

ed
the objective is pine tree,
vermont --- synchronize watches
for operation waverly...


phil has his eyes closed.

waverly
things still going around?

phil
now they're going sideways!

waverly takes the wet towel from martha.

phil
now they're going in and out!

waverly slaps the towel on his face.

waverly
this'll bring him out of it.

phil
where am i?

waverly
he's all right.

judy bursts into the room.

judy
phil, what's happened to you?

phil assumes a pain-stricken face again and judy
throws her arms around him. phil smiles over her
shoulder at waverly.
silhouette of busses, station in background, if
desirable.
two men, with m.p. armbands, slow up the busses. one
is revealed to be phil.

first m.p.
all quiet, folks! entering the
town!

phil
the old man's asleep! let's keep
him that way!

the busses move on.
bob and betty tiptoe through the entrance to the
inn. in the semidarkness of the lobby we hear a
"sst - ", and susan and martha are revealed having
been waiting for them.

martha
we've been waiting for you.

bob
how is everything going?

susan
just fine.

betty
they are bedded down in all
the hotels.

martha blows her nose.

martha
his old outfit... if i wasn't
such a mean old biddy, i'd
probably break right down and cry.

bob
there's nothing to cry about,
is there?

he looks to susan and she begins to bawl.

susan
thank you so much.

bob looks to betty for support.

bob
can't you do something?

betty
they're just affected by the gesture.

she can't hold it back either, and now the three
women are crying.

bob
that's fine.

betty
where are judy and phil?

bob
probably in their rooms, crying.

they start out.
as bob and betty turn around the corner, they see
phil and judy, locked in an embrace. bob has been
in front, but he steps back quickly, not wanting to
embarrass the lovers.

betty
who is it? general waverly?

bob
the lovers.

betty
we can't just stand here. we
have to get some sleep.

she walks into sight, bob following. phil and judy
break, embarrassed.

judy
we were rehearsing for the show
tomorrow night.

betty
is it going to be that kind of
a show? we'll be raided!

judy
what are you doing here? what
happened at the carousel?

betty
i'm helping out here tomorrow.

phil
hi, bob. everything's under
control.
i mean with the show. we've got
a lot of new material. you both
are going to have to do a lot of
rehearsing.
i mean the other kind of rehearsing -
i mean - rehearsing well, good
night, judy.

and he holds his hand out, and they shake hands,
still flustered.

judy
good night, phil. good night, bob.

betty
good night.

flustered, the boys open the door to the girls' bunga-
low, thinking it is their own.

phil
let's get out of here before the
gossip starts.

they all laugh. the girls enter their bungalow and
put on the light. the boys head toward their
bungalow. phil eaters in a gay mood. bob stops at
the door, turns around and looks toward the window
of the girls' bungalow.
judy is getting into bed. betty, in her dressing gown,
is looking out of the window toward the boys'
bungalow.

betty
bob is still pacing up and down on
the porch... i think i'll go out
and see what's bothering him.

judy
that's how i started in canton,
ohio.

betty
this is vermont. nothing can
happen here.

judy
keep your guard up... that ain't
coolidge out on that porch.

betty throws her a look, and exits.
bob stands on the porch, in robe and slippers, thought-
fully puffing at his pipe. betty comes into scene.

betty
what are you doing? sleep walking?

bob
couldn't sleep.

betty comes up on the porch.

betty
whatever you've got on your mind
isn't worth staying awake for.

bob
where have i heard that?

betty
tell you how i handle a situation
like this, doctor.

she starts to sing, count your blessings. at the
conclusion, she walks away, leaving him standing
there.
this sign announces the show opening. people are
streaming into the inn.
the general is in his dressing gown, furious. martha
and susan are playing a part.

waverly
how could you send all my suits
to the cleaners?

martha
you've only got two.

susan
why can't you wear your uniform?

waverly
i won't appear in uniform!

susan
please, gramp.

waverly
absolutely not!

martha
very well. i'll explain to bob
and phil that you didn't care to
come to the show tonight.

waverly
i'll have you court-martialed!

martha
you don't mind being ungrateful,
you just don't like being told
you are!

susan
if you think you don't owe them
anything, you're not obliged to go.

martha
they haven't done much for you.
hardly anything. you do what you
think is right!

waverly
martha, i'll make my own decisions!
i got along very well in the army
without you!

martha
it took 15,000 men to take my place!

she stalks out.
it is slowly filling up. one of the guiding officials
turns out to be the sheriff we have previously seen.

pete
right this way.

they are getting into their old uniforms, which are
slightly misfit.

bob
this thing's shrunk.

phil
pants always shrink in closets.

bob
i can't breathe in this. what
am i going to do?

phil
i know whati'm going to do.
i'm going to take one big deep
breath, and that's going to be
it for the next three hours.

bob takes a deep breath and gets the top button
buttoned.
general waverly comes down the stairs, cutting quite
a figure in his uniform and decorations. martha and
susan, waiting for him at the bottom, look him over,
admiringly.

waverly
well, i couldn't come down in
my bathrobe.

the spotlight prepared, pinpoints the general as he
enters the room, and the music starts. the audience
rises and applauds. he can't believe it. he reaches
his table, decorated with flowers, and recognizes he
is the guest of honor. from the lobby we hear the
outfit singing the opening strains of the old man. all
eyes turn to the lobby entrance, through which the old
outfit marches, and continues to the stage, and then
back to their respective tables as the song finishes.


he is profoundly moved and walks to the stage. the
audience is seated. waverly looks at the assembled
crowd with great affection. the people begin to
shout, "speech! speech!" martha and susan sit.
the crowd quiets, waiting for the speech.

waverly
i am not satisfied with the conduct
of this division! some of you men
are under the impression that having
been at anzio entitles you not to
wear neckties! you are wrong! neck-
ties will be worn in this area! i
have also noticed a deterioration
in the quality of saluting! this is
to be improved! i have also had com-
plaints from the commanding officer
of the rest area in naples! he informs
me that the non-fraternization rule is
constantly being broken by men of this
division! in fact, this division is
outstanding in its violations of non-
fraternization! you all know the rules!
the non-fraternization ban expressly
declares you are not to talk to women!
don't talk to them! that is all!

they howl and cheer. he makes has way toward his
own table, greeting old friends on the way.
as they step to the front of the stage.

bob
doesn't that bring back memories?
remember those terrible, trying days
in italy...when we had to beat the
women off with chocolate bars?

phil
and wasn't it awful the way they
kept bothering us for american
cigarettes? why, i must have
taught fifty girls how to smoke...

bob
for a month's pay all we got was
950 million lira...

phil
nine hundred and fifty two...

bob
i was forced to hire a caddy for
my loose change.

phil
fore...!

bob
i'm glad i'm well out of it.

phil looks at him.

phil
who are we kidding?

this is the cue for the orchestra to start the produc-
tion number, i wish i was back in the army. at end
of number -
as they applaud and cheer. the old outfit is happy.
in the exultation, general waverly places two fingers
to his lips and blows a whistle of sheer pleasure and
approval. we underscore with music indicating another
number is taking place on stage, although we do not
see it.
ed harrison crosses to general waverly and whispers
to him.

ed harrison
long distance call for you, sir.

waverly looks surprised, but rises and starts out.
bob, visible in b.g., has been watching. he and
harrison exchange knowing glances.
the lobby is empty; in b.g. are the doors to the
dining room, where the show is in progress. the
telephone lies on the counter. waverly enters and
crosses to it. he is a little annoyed at being
forced to leave the entertainment.

waverly
hurry up, hurry up, i'm busy.
yes, this is general waverly,

he suddenly snaps to attention, the old soldier.

waverly
and a merry christmas to you, mr.
president... yes, practically the whole
outfit is here. a little paunchy, but
they're here. it certainly was a
surprise -- more like a frameup. as
usual, my intelligence was not functioning
efficiently...yes?
that's very nice of you, mr. president...
any time you want me, just say the word...
but may i add this? it isn't always
necessary to take a job...sometimes it's
enough just to know it's there.

through the window behind the general we have seen
it begin to snow. the general notices it for the
first time, and his face brightens.

waverly
if you ever take it into your mind
to grab a little rest from all that
work i wish you'd drop in on us here --
i can't promise you any golf but --
-- we can certainly give you plenty
of snow, mr, president... yes, mr.
president... what?
thanks, ike.

he hangs up the phone, and proudly, head erect, he
walks through the lobby, smiling, eyes wet. he lifts
the bell on the desk with a loud bang. martha
hurries in, startled.

martha
you frightened me to death! that
bell hasn't been used for three
months!

general
get this area policed up. no telling
who might be dropping in.

martha salutes.

martha
yes, sir!

she and the general gaze at the snow falling beyond
the lobby door which is blown open by the wind.
underneath all this we have been hearing the
introductory music to white christmas, which is
the number now in progress on the stage. waverly
now turns and walks into the dining room.
camera follows waverly on his entrance. as he passes
susan, we see she is reacting to something on the stage.
camera passes waverly and moves to:
center stage, there is a large cutout of a decorated
christmas tree. also, there is considerable christmas
holly, mistletoe, etc. bob and betty are seen
singing. throughout action of this number phil and
judy dance. in addition there is staged movement by
the ensemble. bob and betty are on each side of the
cutout christmas tree, but it is obvious that betty
is preoccupied with some stage business which she is
manipulating with one hand behind the cutout tree.
camera follows bob and betty as their movement takes
them behind the tree. it is now that we see very
clearly that the rear wall of the stage (two immense
barn doors) has opened; in b.g. we see the vermont
countryside being covered by the falling snow. also,
we see pine trees in the snow that are decorated.
betty steers bob to a point directly beneath a sprig
of mistletoe from which is also hanging the mate to
the sock she gave him in scene 110. bob looks up,
sees the mistletoe and the sock, and smiles at betty.
she lifts one of his trouser legs and we see that he
is wearing the other sock. they laugh and embrace.
the cutout tree onstage rises to the flies and now
the real trees and falling snow in b.g. are completely
visible. one by one, the trees are lighted.
martha and susan are standing happily beside the
general, each holding one of his arms.
a church bell is framed in the foreground, and, far in
the distance, we see the town and the inn and the
snow as we


songs
the old man
we'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go
long as he wants to go opposite to the foe

we'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay
long as he stays away from the battle's fray

because we love him, we love him
especially when he keeps us on the ball

and we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call
with the grandest son of a soldier of them all


sisters
sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters
never had to have a chaperone, "no sir"
i'm there to keep my eye on her

caring, sharing every little thing that we are wearing
when a certain gentleman arrived from rome
she wore the dress and i stayed home

all kinds of weather, we stick together, the same in the rain or sun
two different faces, but in tight places, we think and we act as one

those who've seen us know that not a thing could come between us
many men have tried to split us up, but no one can
lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister
and lord help the sister who comes between me and my man


count your blessings instead of sheep
when i'm worried and i can't sleep
i count my blessings instead of sheep
and i fall asleep
counting my blessings

when my bankroll is getting small
i think of when i had none at all
and i fall asleep
counting my blessings

i think about a nursery and i picture curly heads
and one by one i count them as they slumber in their beds

if you're worried and you can't sleep
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you'll fall asleep
counting your blessings


what can you do with a general?
when the war was over, why, there were jobs galore
for the g.i. josephs who were in the war
but for generals things were not so grand
and it's not so hard to understand

what can you do with a general
when he stops being a general?
oh, what can you do with a general who retires?

who's got a job for a general
when he stops being a general?
they all get a job but a general no one hires

they fill his chest with medals while he's across the foam
and they spread the crimson carpet when he comes marching home
the next day someone hollers when he comes into view
"here comes the general" and they all say "general who?"
they're delighted that he came
but they can't recall his name

nobody thinks of assigning him
when they stop wining and dining him
it seems this country never has enjoyed
so many one and two and three and four star generals
unemployed


love, you didn't do right by me
love, you didn't do right by me
you planned a romance that just hadn't a chance
and i'm through

love, you didn't do right by me
i'm back on the shelf and i'm blaming myself
but it's you

my one love affair didn't get anywhere from the start
to send me a joe who had winter and snow in his heart
wasn't smart

love, you didn't do right by me
as they say in the song
"you done me wrong!"


to send me a jane who had thunder and rain in her heart

gee, i wish i was back in the army
when i was mustered out
i thought without a doubt
that i was through with all my care and strife
i thought that i was then
the happiest of men
but after months of tough civilian life

gee, i wish i was back in the army
the army wasn't really bad at all

three meals a day
for which you didn't pay
uniforms for winter, spring and fall

there's a lot to be said for the army
the life without responsibility

a soldier out of luck
was really never stuck
there's always someone higher up where you can pass the buck
oh, gee, i wish i was back in the army

gee, i wish i was back in the army
the army was the place to find romance

soldiers and wacs
the wacs who dressed in slacks
dancing cheek to cheek and pants to pants

there's a lot to be said for the army
a gal was never lost for company

a million handsome guys
with longing in their eyes
and all you had to do was pick the age, the weight, the size
oh, gee, i wish i was back in the army

gee, i wish i was back in the army
the shows we got civilians couldn't see

how we would yell for dietrich and cornell
jolson, hope and benny all for free
[alternate line from sheet music:
crosby, hope and jolson all for free]

there's a lot to be said for the army
the best of doctors watched you carefully

a dentist and a clerk
for weeks and weeks they'd work
they'd make a thousand dollar job and give it to a jerk
oh, gee, i wish i was back in the army


a man chases a girl (until she catches him)
a man chases a girl until she catches him
he runs after a girl until he's caught

he fishes for a girl until she's landed him
it all comes out exactly the way she thought

uncertain, he tags along behind
uncertain, till she makes up his mind

a man chases a girl until she catches him
but don't run too fast while you are saying "no"
and once you've caught him, don't ever let him go


bells
very many years ago
mister edgar allan poe
wrote a little poem i know
called "bells"
when i read those clever rhymes
of the many different chimes
i could almost hear them ringing
ding dong dinging

phone bells, sleigh bells
and very merry christmas day bells

the brazen fire bells that ring with fear
and happy new year bells that ring out once a year

cow bells, door bells
for all i know there may be more bells

but the poet tells
that wedding bells
have the sweetest little ding dong of all


white christmas
the sun is shining, the grass is green
the orange and palm trees sway
i've never seen such a day
in beverly hills, l.a.
but it's december the twenty-fourth
and i am longing to be up north

i'm dreaming of a white christmas
just like the ones i used to know

where the treetops glisten and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the snow

i'm dreaming of white christmas
with every christmas card i write

may your days be merry and bright
and may all your christmases be white














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