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EXT. STUDIO PARKING LOT -NIGHT
As Stewart and Hitch walk out to their cars on the back lot, they pass facades from the outside sets of other movies.
The PROJECTIONIST runs after them, waving a film canister.
PROJECTIONIST: Mr. Hitchcock, you forgot to take the happy ending with you.
Hitchcock takes the canister from him, flashing a wane smile.
HITCHCOCK: The story of my life.
The projectionist disappears into the back lot, as Hitch and Stewart continue the walk to their cars.
STEWART: I always wondered what happens to all those scenes you shoot that nobody sees. What the heck do you do with them? Wallpaper the swimming pool?
HITCHCOCK: Something like that.
Pregnant pause. Then Stewart CHUCKLES.
STEWART: A man of mystery, huh? Go ahead. Keep your little secrets. Just give me a call when you start working on your next flick.
HITCHCOCK: I already am.
He points to his temple with his forefinger.
HITCHCOCK (cont.): Up here. By the time I call you actors in, I've had my fun. It's already been made.
Stewart looks back surprised.
STEWART: Really? I'll have to bring that up at the next Actor's Guild meeting. How about Kim and me for an encore? I thought she was great.
Hitch grimaces slightly.
HITCHCOCK: Not for my tastes. She doesn't hold in enough.
STEWART: You always were one for the quiet cool type.
HITCHCOCK: Miss Novak projects everything way out, rather like her sweater.
Stewart grins widely.
STEWART: I sort of like that in a woman.
HITCHCOCK: She'll never be another Ingrid Bergman.
Hitch sighs, as he arrives at his limo.
HITCHCOCK(cont.): You know Ingrid was madly in love with me.
Stewart smirks, disbelieving and amused.
HITCHCOCK(cont.): She threw herself at me, constantly.
Stewart puts a hand over his mouth, fighting back a laugh.
STEWART: Now that's going back a few years. I could've sworn you had someone more recent on your mind.
A beat. Hitch looks up at him pointedly, with a trace of vulnerability.
HITCHCOCK: I gave her everything, Jimmy, and that's how she showed her gratitude.
Stewart gives him a serious look, as he puts his hand on Hitch's shoulder.
STEWART: You're not being fair, Hitch. After all, you're a married man. And with this movie, you came back stronger than ever.
Hitch lightens up slightly, and smiles just a bit.
STEWART: Only burn that crazy ending, will ya?
Stewart points to the canister in his hand. Hitch looks over to him ironically.
HITCHCOCK: Relax, Jimmy. It'll never see the light of day.
The CHAUFFEUR opens the door for Hitch.
STEWART: And try to come up with a new angle for Kim and me on another picture. I think I'm getting sweet on her.
Hitch gets in and the chauffeur closes the door. He rolls down the window and leans out.
HITCHCOCK: Jimmy, I'll let you in on a little secret. Had I been more pleased with Kim, I might have spared her.
Hitch flashes him another ironic glance as the limo drives off.
INT. LIMO INTERIOR
As Hitchcock sits in the darkened back seat, he writes "Fall of the Holy Roman Empire" on the white tape label on the edge of the canister, then pats it with his fingertips.
Below the canister, a folder containing 8x10 glossy photos falls to the floor of the car. He stoops to pick the photos up, then holds up a STUDIO PORTRAIT of INGRID BERGMAN. He studies her features fondly.
He looks out and catches his own reflection against the dark cityscape zooming outside the window.
HITCHCOCK(to himself): Why didn't I?
The chauffeur turns his head.
CHAUFFEUR: Pardon, sir?
HITCHCOCK: Oh, nothing.
INT. MOVIE SET -- DAY
INGRID BERGMAN stands next to CLAUDE RAINS against the lavish marble lobby set of his South American home.
RAINS: I've felt myself grow old these years.
INGRID: You look even younger than when I last saw you.
RAINS: Only because of you. You've worked on me like a tonic. I'll dedicate my life to making you happy.
INGRID: I'm happy already.
She's obviously not.
RAINS: I can't tell whether you love me or are just being kind.
She smiles into his eyes evasively.
INGRID: You've wanted me to marry you all these years, why should it be so strange when I finally accept?
He pulls her close, kissing her long and deeply. She fakes it. They break apart, then smile
awkwardly at each other out of character.
HITCHCOCK: Perfect. Print it.
Rains steps down from the box he's been standing on. He's now considerably shorter than Ingrid. The actors go their separate ways as Ingrid walks over to the seated, younger Hitchcock.
He gets up and takes her hand. Now, the grand plantation is just a movie set.
INGRID: Did you really like it, Hitch? I could shade it a little more if you do another take.
Hitch walks her past the bustling FILM CREW on the way to her dressing room, patting her hand comfortingly as she towers over him.
HITCHCOCK: Such a worrywart, Ingrid. Leave that to me.
She enters the door, then leans out invitingly, CLINKING two empty martini glasses as if they were a dinner bell.
INGRID: Martini time...
He smiles to the invitation, then enters.
INT. DRESSING ROOM
Ingrid prepares a big martini pitcher and hands Hitch his glass as she raises hers in a toast.
INGRID: For making me Notorious.
HITCHCOCK: To the only actress who could ever keep up with me.
He smiles to her as their glasses CLINK. They sip face-to-face.
INGRID: You don't fool me for a second, Hitch. I've finally figured out your little secret.
INGRID: Yes, my good boy. I know this silly movie of yours is really a double self-portrait.
Hitch shoots her a wary glance through his infatuated smile.
HITCHCOCK: What on earth are you talking about?
She comes closer and plays a finger over his chest.
INGRID(seductively): I'm flattered. More than that. You wrote both Cary's and Claude's roles as what you feel for me.
He trembles nervously, as her arms go round his neck.
HITCHCOCK: Was it so obvious?
INGRID: No, you were very clever. You made only one little mistake. You assumed I'd find the Claude part repugnant.
Her finger now traces his ear. He arches his eyebrows.
HITCHCOCK: You don't?
INGRID: You're my Svengali. I've grown very attracted to you. You see, I can be beautiful for both of us.
She kisses him fully on the mouth. As their lips separate, he pulls away trembling. He slowly backs away from her, as if she was a murderer. Ingrid stands bewildered, as the mirror behind her reflects them both.
HITCHCOCK: Ingrid, I never imagined...
He stands like a deer caught in headlights. She again approaches him seductively, as her twin in the mirror walks away toward her Hitch.
INGRID: After all, you paid a million dollars for me. Don't tell me you only wanted to make movies.
Hitch gulps down the martini and rapidly pours another with trembling hands. Ingrid steadies his hand with her own.
HITCHCOCK: Why is it that I suddenly feel I'm in the middle of a poker game? My bluff finally called?
She stares back uncomprehending and disappointed, then smiles bravely.
INGRID: Chicken, huh? It's okay. I just wanted to lay my cards on the table.
She gulps down her drink and looks away dejected. She's still sulking as Hitch slowly approaches, looking concerned.
HITCHCOCK: Ingrid, if it wasn't for Alma...
Ingrid bravely glances up, forcing a CHUCKLE.
INGRID: Sure, Hitch, blame the poor little wife.
INT. LIMO INTERIOR
Hitch stares down on the 8x10 glossy of Ingrid, and he sees himself reflected in the dark shadows of her face, guilty and lost.
INT. ENTRANCE HALLWAY - LATER
Hitch enters the front door as his small DOG runs up, BARKING excitedly to greet him. Hitch puts his finger to his mouth to calm the dog, as he sneaks to a locked door in the hallway.
As he inserts the key into the lock, his wife ALMA appears. He looks back startled to see her. She points over to the canister.
ALMA: Home already? What's that in your hands?
Hitch fumbles, as he tries to hide it behind his back.
HITCHCOCK: Oh, hi Alma. Just another travelogue. The Fall of Rome. See?
He nervously holds up the label for her to read.
ALMA: Hmmm. You know how I hate them.
HITCHCOCK: Yes dear. I was just putting it away in the projection room.
ALMA: Dinner's almost ready.
INT. HOME SCREENING ROOM
Hitch files the canister on a shelf with many other similarly labeled canisters. As he leaves the room, he cranes his neck to see if Alma is still there, then locks it shut.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Hitch sits across the dinner table from Alma. A large platter of roast and vegetables sits between them. Alma gets up and walks through the swinging door to get the wine from the kitchen.
ALMA (o.s.): So how did the alternative ending go?
He greedily studies the big platter and steals a small potato off it, popping it into his mouth.
HITCHCOCK (chewing): What was that, Alma?
ALMA (o.s.): Don't pick! The ending, the other ending. How did it go?
He clears his throat.
HITCHCOCK: Oh, that.
Alma returns and pours the wine. She then serves the food.
HITCHCOCK: I was only thinking out loud. You know how fond I am of nuns.
A fork goes up to his mouth, followed by animated chewing.
ALMA: Of course you are, dear.
He talks while chewing, his fork now held like a trident.
HITCHCOCK: Besides, I've given up on antagonizing the studios with my editorials on the clergy.
ALMA: Good for you, dear.
He picks his teeth with his pinkie.
HITCHCOCK: Do you think I'm comical?
ALMA: In what sense?
ALMA: Oh, I can't be objective. I'm sure Einstein's wife thought he was a clown. I've even heard that Mr. Magoo was modeled on Picasso. If you ask me, you're all crazy.
ALMA: Men like you always have problems being taken seriously. And now that this film is over, I imagine you'll be sulking around the house all day.
HITCHCOCK: I need to catch up on my reading.
ALMA: I'll be glad when you let me see the final cut.
Hitch finishes eating, then clears his throat.
HITCHCOCK: Won't be long now, dearest. We're just waiting on Herrmann's score.
Alma starts removing the plates to the kitchen, then returns just as Hitch swigs down the rest of his wine.
ALMA: I miss being involved in the day to day work on your projects. It feels like you're just keeping me on the side.
He evades her stare. He then looks over casually.
HITCHCOCK: Any other wife would be happy to trade places with the mistress.
She flashes him a hard knowing look.
ALMA: I used to be your right hand. Now you just use your own.
Hitch flashes her a shocked expression. How does she know?
HITCHCOCK: You still are, dearest.
She looks up with more dirty dishes in her hands.
ALMA: How you can keep a straight face I don't know. How many personal assistants have you been through? Joan? Peggy? And now I'm locked out of my own home.
HITCHCOCK: What on earth are you talking about?
ALMA: That new projection room. The one I gave up my study for.
Hitch smiles faintly as he gets up from the table.
HITCHCOCK: I thought you liked it.
ALMA: I would, if I was ever allowed in.
He walks away from her, and the topic.
INT. LIVING ROOM
Hitch picks up a book, tapping a fat finger on it for emphasis. Alma stands in the doorway.
HITCHCOCK: Have you any idea how awful it is to have studio executives breathe down your back while watching the daily rushes? It's like urinating in public.
She winces. He plops down in an easy chair and reads.
ALMA: Still, you keep that room under lock and key.
HITCHCOCK: Studio regulations, dear.
She stares down at him suspiciously as he sits in his chair, reading under a circle of light, like a guilty man.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Alma, in her night robe, sneaks downstairs and tiptoes to the door of the screening room. She bends down, pulls out a hidden key from under an oriental rug, and opens the door.
INT. PROJECTION ROOM
She puts on a dim light and traces her finger along a row of film canisters with taped nametags. She reads titles like MINOAN RUINS, LOST BABYLON, and MOSQUES IN ISTANBUL. Her finger stops at FALL OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. She takes it off the shelf.
She puts the reel on the projector and as the flickering light fills the room, she goes to the open door and quietly closes the room off from the hallway.
The faint SOUND OF THE PROJECTOR can be heard from the closed door as moments pass. A shadow of the stairway next to the door suggests Hitch might come down at any second.
Then, after what seems to be an eternity, comes the muted sound of Alma LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY.
TO READ THE REST, ORDER YOUR COPY OF Hitch&Alma FROM HREF=book.htm">THIS SITE.
(About the music on this site: These sound clips are selections fromBernard Herrmann's great film music. This page plays the Blindness Theme from On Dangerous Ground.)
An interview with author of Hitch&Alma, Robert Schoen
Did Hitch have a secret collection of Outtakes? Some Photos and Posters:
Alma, the woman behind a very large man:
Hitchcock's Other Leading Ladies:
The Mother in Hitchcock's films:
Hitch & Herrmann, artists with the same obsessive vision:
Hitch at Work:
Fine Art and Hitchcock:
Readerís and Web Site Visitorís Comments:
Book description and how to order a copy of Hitch&Alma:
Links to other Great Hitchcock Web Sites:
Hitch&Alma, a speculative novel written in screenplay format, 210 pages, six photographs and illustration, detailed notes and filmography sections, available from Xlibris Publications (ph.888-7Xlibris) in two formats:
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