The Continuation of Gone with the Wind
an audio/visual/theatrical event by
Hugh W reisner
The full script, plus other interesting details
of the 1981 Christmas show, December 13, 1981.
© Copyright 1980-81 by Hugh Wreisner All Rights Reserved
PREFACE TO THE PUBLISHED VERSION
THE CONTINUATION, like Gone with the Wind itself, never had a complete, final script. The first version was re-worked as a "radio" production, which was not produced. As December 13 approached and the show was gradually brought into its final form, changes were made constantly , . . some so last-minute that they existed only as jotted notes on the actors' scripts; or even as verbal instructions during performance." When you see the words Mr Butler on the screen, you enter!" I'll point at you. Then just start ad-libbing."
What we have here is the full text of the play/screenplay as it was performed, plus certain hindsight notions and performance fortutities which have been incorporated here to provide not only a record of that happy night, but also an idea of what the "perfect production" would have been if we had had time to rehearse it properly.
Items which did not actually appear the night of the performance
(such as credits for people whose assistance was crucial but who came into the production too late to prepare credit titles for them) are marked with asterisks.
NOTE: The production alternates between:
1. Audio/Visual portions, presented on slides with music and dialogue recorded on tape...
2. Live-action portions, which are performed by live actors in a tiny " set" immediately in front of the projection screen.
The alternations are indicated in the script.
THE CONTINUATION OF GONE WITH THE WIND
As the guests enter the apartment they find the * roji (foyer) resembles in so far as possible, the lobby of a lavish old movie palace. Huge blow-ups of the stars of the show, with their names glittering. (This is a premiere!) Signs proclaiming " SMOKING IN THE OUTER LOBBY ONLY" . ..."LOUNGES" etc. etc. Perhaps some red velvet, some gold fringes, some 'marble' pillars, a crystal chandelier! Hell, we could have had an ornamental fountain ... I've got the pump. The Bar could have had a little concessions counter with popcorn, milk duds and jujubes.... but I get carried away.
The title of the production is nowhere mentioned since this is to be a surprise. Some guests have undoubtedly heard snippets of talk about " Gone with the Wind" and the "Titanic" but I'm sure no one had any real idea of what was about to happen.
When show time arrives the guests are all seated in the living room facing the screen. The tree, as always, stand to the left of the screen, unlighted. Under the screen is a slat bench ("upholstered") and in front of it a round, red rug, four feet in diameter. This is "the set", the entire playing area. From it, narrow pathways cut through the guests to the roji and the kitchen, allowing the actors entrances and exits. The actors are seated randomly among the other guests. They are not in costume or makeup but their clothes and hairstyles etc. will not clash with the characters they are about to portray. Houselights are up! Hugo enters with ill-disguised triumphant emotions, greets the audience and in an ad-lib speech explains that:
1. The show this year is "Christmassy" only in the sense that he considers it his Christmas gift to all of them. On the other hand , it's going to be quite a gift: the world's first home-made, living-room EPIC!
2. It is very long ("3 hours and 40 minutes", if anyone asks specifically) " So be sure you have a comfortable spot, plenty of booze and food, and have gone to the john."
3. There will be one intermission.
So! Here we go!!
DIALOGUE VISUALS/MUSIC SOUND EFFECTS The houselights go out andwe hear the 20th Century Fox fanfare, which leads into the Selznick fanfare, and we see: 1. The familiar " theatre curtain", but glorified this year: a huge, movie-palace proscenium, its curtain red-gold velvet! 2. The MGM logo. 3. The Selznick logo 4. the HW logo (The fanfare builds to a great climax and at last breaks into the actual title music for GWTW) 5."THE CONTINUATION OF...." 6."GONE WITH THE WIND" 7."Mercita de Muynck as Scarlett O'Hara" 8."Paul Barnes as Rhett Butler" 9."Ron Henry as Beau Wilkes" 10."Dick Clausen as Will Benteen" 11."Marie Henry in the dual roles of Suellen O'Hara and Belle Watling 12. Screenplay from an idea by R. F. SHAW based upon the characters created by MARGARET MITCHELL in her celebrated novel. 13. Story Development by Mary Seibel Scott Urban Dorothy Wreisner 14."Miniatures by Tom Doyle, T.H.S. 15."Music by Max Steiner" * 16."Performance Sound by Benjamin Russell" *17."Performance Lighting by Scott Urban" 18."1936: The book was published Won a Pulitzer Prize And has never gone out of print." 19."1939: The movie was released Won 10 Academy Awards And has been shown regularly ever since." 20."For more than 40 years . . ." 21."The whole world has been captivated by the story of Scarlett and Rhett." 22."And has wondered all these years..." 23."Did she get him back?" 24."Well, this is what happened." Title music fades out, scene music fades in: a low sombre cello. A closeup of Olivia de Haviland as Melanie comes on blurred ((a still from the movie)) and clears up as the music continues. NARRATOR: As Melanie lay dying The four people she loved most gathered to keep vigil. 1. A still from the movie: All four of the characters mentioned. Rhett, who thought her the only great lady he had ever known. Beau, her only child, who would now grow up without her. Ashley, whose entire world was carried on her frail shoulders. Scarlett, who had despised her all her life, and now suddenly realized how much she loved her ... and needed her. And there on her deathbed, Melanie provided for them all. 2. Deathbed: Mealanie and Scarlett "Take care of little Beau. Promise." 3. Melanie: closeup And Scarlett promised. 4. Scarlett: closeup "Look after Ashley. And his lumber business. Ashley isn't . . . practical. Promise!" 5. Melanie: closer And Scarlett promised. 6. Scarlett: closer "And Captain Butler. Be kind to Captain Butler. He loves you so. Pro/// ((cut off)) 7. Melanie: extremely close now. As her voice gives out the sound is cut with the great crashing Rozsa chords and we see the next shot: Rhett. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" 8. Rhett 9. Scarlett, staring after him as he goes off in the mist. More crashing chords. These subside into silence and we hold on Scarlett. * In this one night, everything she loved, everything she needed, had been ripped away from her. And her dreams that night were one long nightmare! 10. Rozsa Nightmare Music cuts in, startling the audience.It is terrifying music, accompanied by fast-flashing slides of the roiling ocean and Scarlett's tormented face. ((The idea is that Scarlett dreams she is alone in the middle of the ocean in a terrible storm with absolutely nothing to hang on to. No hope at all. I'm not sure this came through clearly enough.)) Then suddenly the angry music stops, the screen goes black, we hear water splashing gently. The sky fills with stars, reflected in a mirror-calm sea. There is a strange little tingle from a harp. * NARRATOR (quoting Scarlett) A bright dab of light on the horizon. The TARA music begins again. "Safe . . ."
The light becomes a beautiful clipper ship, its sails billowing in some noiseless wind. It heads directly for us, getting closer and closer, brighter and brighter, as the Tara theme swells mightily. The screen goes blank white and the houselights come up again.This confuses the audience, which figures something has gone wrong. But Hugo rushes into re-assure them, though not without some difficulty. ((The following section is more or less ad-libbed, although the essential information must be conveyed.))
I dropped all the scripts.
((Enters with an armload of scripts, trying to sort them out.))
One of 'em is all mixed up.
I hope it's not mine!
I think it is. Yeah, it IS.
((He seems really at a loss for a moment.))
Well, Paul, just try to sort it out while I do this.
((Paul begins putting his script back together.))
I didn't think it was long at all. But I didn't understand the end.
That's not the end! It's the beginning!!
But, as you see, since this is the world's first home-made, living room epic, I'm going to need a little help here.
We're the help.
HUGO: (very grandly, bestowing a script)
Miss Mercita de Muynck plays Scarlett O'Hara.
((Checks on Paul but decides to wait until his script is in shape))
Mr Ron Henry plays Beau Wilkes. He's the son of Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard:.."Miss Melanie done had her baby." Beau was the baby. And now he's nine years old. That's the good news.
Now here's the bad news. Ron's not here. He's doing "Don Juan in Hell" tonight and we couldn't have the party any other night, so I'm going to play Beau.
((Audience claps or murmurs comfortingly or something.))
Well NO, it's really a shame. Because you're going to see him grow up here on the screen and now when he walks out live it's just going to be me. It would have been a wonderful effect. So just pretend I'm Ron.
HUGO (moving right along)
And Mr. Dick Clausen plays Will Benteen. ((bestows a script))
Hugo, I wish you'd explain who Will Benteen is, because I know I didn't remember.
Yah, I will. Nobody remembers Will Benteen because they left him out of the movie. But he's a very important character in the book and we're putting him back in for The Continuation.
You're a Georgia cracker who wantered into Tara one day after the war with a wooden leg and pneumonia and almost died. When you got well, you just stayed on. You're simple, uneducated, but true blue and sharp as a tack. Scarlett trusts you. In fact you're probably the only person in the world Scarlett ever sat down and talked to.
And Miss Marie Henry plays Belle Watling, Rhett's old mistress, the local madam.
Come up and see me sometime.
HUGO: (handing her the script)
And you also play Suellen O'Hara.
I think you should explain her, too.
Oh? Well, okay. Suellen is Scarlett's younger sister, Evelyn Keyes in the movie. You remember! She was engaged to Frank Kennedy and Scarlett stole him away from her.
MARIE: (southern accent)
"She's gone and married my Mr. Kennedy. She's had two husbands already and I'm going to die an old maid!"
That's Suellen. And now she's married to Will Benteen...and the two of them are running Tara and raising their family there.
So! Let's begin at last: THE CONTINUATION OF GONE WITH THE WIND!!!!
Wait a minute!
Who plays Rhett Butler?
Oh my God! Paul!
Frankly, Hugo, I don't give a damn.
Rhett Butler is played by Mr. Paul Barnes! Whom many of you will remember as Captain Midnight on radio.
((Audience murmurs appreciatively))
Oh yeah! This is some classy show we've got here. So. We begin.
MERCITA: (getting up to start, script in hand)
Okay. Scarlett is going back to Tara, right?
Right. But first she has to take care of Melanie's funeral and ... Oh Wait! I can't be both Beau and Ashley. ((instant decision:)) Well, Dick, could you read Ashley?
((Agrees, and takes his place)
Okay. You're Ashley...and you're Scarlett .... and I'm Beau.
And you're nine years old.
Yah. I'll scrunch down.
Okay!! The morning of Melanie's funeral. Everybody is waiting for Scarlett. Waiting for her to take charge. She walks in.... and the first one she sees is, of course ......
((On this word, the houselights go down, the stage lights come up, the actors become the characters, and the play has begun.))
ASHLEY (turning to her, glazed)
She's gone, isn't she?
She was the only dream I ever had that didn't die in the face of reality.
And now everything is dead.
Oh Ashley stop it!
ASHLEY (vaguely ....)
((Scarlett is angry and disgusted but alarmed too. He seems to have gone quite mad. She takes hold of him as a nurse might a patient.))
Ashley, to try to bear up.
After the funeral, and when we get everything settled,
We can go to Tara for awhile.
We'll take Beau, and we can be there for Christmas.
You'll get your strength back
ASHLEY:(stares into her face in total non-comprehension)
What's to become of us now?
What, indeed! Oh!! ((She stares after him with disgust and fear. Then turns to the practical matters at hand. There is much to be done and, as usual, she sets about doing it no matter what.))
BEAU: (nine years old, tugging at her skirt)
Oh, Beau, darling, don't pester me now. Theres so much to do.
Aunt Scarlett, PLEASE, Listen!
What is it?
When they throw the dirt on the coffin....
SCARLETT: (realizing his predicament now)
Oh darling! It'll be alright. It's nothing to be afraid of.
BEAU (You haven't got my point, Aunt Scarlett)
Aunt Scarlett PLEASE, Listen!
SCARLETT: (fondling his head a little)
Yes, darling. What?
When they throw the dirt on the coffin. Let me do that.
SCARLETT (looking at him, a bit shocked)
Oh Beau... that's for your father. That's for your father to do.
BEAU: (glancing off in great fear at the direction in which Ashley disappeared)
But Aunt Scarlett!
... Papa ...CAN'T!
((They look directly into each other's eyes for a long moment, a deep understanding forming between them))
SCARLETT: (reverently, almost inaudible . . . a prayer, actually.)
BEAU: (soft but urgent)
Please let me do it.
SCARLETT: (with amazement and new respect)
Yes . ..indeed .((STAGElights go down slowly as she walks directly into the projector, which comes on now, throwing her shadow on the screen. When her shadow disappears the screen is filled with a blurred image. Thus we have a sort of "dissolve" effect.))
DIALOGUE MUSIC / VISUALS / SOUND EFFECTS The screen comes into focus and we read the title: "Christmas at Tara '!. We hear rain, a horse and carriage passing, and then a bit of the Tara theme which quickly segues into something darker but equally romantic. Our view is obscured by trees, branches and darkness. The trees are bare except for the live oaks and evergreens. Gradually we realize we are driving down the long driveway of Tara. Little by little we glimpse the house, and then at last there it is: Tara at night after a rainfall. The stars glittering in the sky behind it. There is a *candle in every window, a large wreath on the front door; a * Christmas tree is glimpsed through one of the windows on the first floor. CLOSEUP of the Christmas tree. This is a close view of' * Hugo's own tree, decorated this year with strings of popcorn, cranberries etc. We hear "O Tannenbaum" played gently on a music box. As the slide fades the performance lightscome up again; the audience grasps the connection between Hugo's tree and the tree in the story, and we are in Tara's parlor.
LIVE ACTION((WILL BENTEEN limps to the window (between the tree and the screen) and peeks out as thought through a window curtain at Tara.))
WILL: (calling softly)
Suellen .... Here she comes.
(a little louder) Suellen?((SUELLEN clearly does not want to come out and is just making excuses.))
Will, I can't come just now. I'm changing little Gerald.((Will does not shout or bluster or move from the window but there is a firm, gentle authority in this voice that obtains instant compliance.))
Will, I'm busy!
You ain't that busy. Come here please, miss.((He turns and waits for her to appear. When she finally does, it is clear that she is very angry and frightened. She is quivering with emotion.))
SUELLEN: (entering/ exploding)
I won't have her here!
I won't have her setting foot on this place!!((The audience is quite startled by this first full-out scene. It is not what they expected.))
WILL: (always calm)
Simmer down now. She's comin.((i. e." and that's that.))
Tara's her place too.
SUELLEN: (protesting, not whining)
It is NOT! It's .. .
Suellen! If it weren't for Scarlett and all her gumption, there wouldn't be no Tara.
Not fer us. Maybe for Emmy Slattery and Jonas Wilkerson.((Offstage, we hear Scarlett entering and greeting all the servants and whoever else is in the house. They all sound very happy and in a fine holiday mood. Through the dialogue we her her approach through the house, laughing and chattering. Scarlett at her most beguiling.))
((SUELLEN sputters inarticulately and increasingly reacts to Scarlett's approach.))
I don't know what she doing here away!
WILL: (very simply)
She's comin home for Christmas.
She's had a hard time of it lately.
And she's comin home.
Tara's not her home. Not anymore. She's got her own home.
She'll come in here takin whatever she fancies .... grabbing whatever she wants ((meaning Will himself)).
I will not stand here and watcher take ((you)) ANYTHING away from ((me)) . . . us.
WILL: (warm and sincere, mildly amused)
Suellen honey. You got no cause to fear Mz. Scarlett. Fer all her takin ways.
SCARLET': (off, very festive)
Sue? .................((SUELLEN retreats stage left so that the bench beneath the screen is now between her and Will.))
SCARLET: (entering exuberantly!)
Merry Christmas!!!((She may be trying just a little too hard. At any rate, her exuberance drowns out the difficulties for the moment. She puts the presents under the tree, bubbling.))
Oh! It was like heaven coming up the drive.
A candle in every window. Like Mother always had them.
And the wreathes.
And the magnolia leaves in the fireplace.
And the tree!
Everything's so pretty!!((She sweeps off her hat and ensconces herself on the bench beneath the screen . . ." kickin off her shoes and relaxin!"))
OH! It's good to be home!
WILL: (simply, warmly)
Merry Christmas, Scarlett.
SUELLEN (trying to be civil but the words are sullen and half-swallowed)
Merry Christmas, Scarlett.
SCARLET: (all the old fire, instantly)
What's the matter with you?((There is a brief, tense pause as Suellen considers getting it all off her chest. But her nerve fails. She begins to cry.))
SUELLEN: (to Will)
You see? It's just like I said!
((Scarlett looks back and forth between them, surprised and puzzled.))
SUELLEN: (near hysteria)
You should be standing up for me!((She runs into Will's arms. As always, Will's reaction seems to be totally passive. He says nothing. But there is absolutely no doubt of his strength and sureness.))
God's nightgown! What is going on?
Suellen's just a mite upset. She ...
SUELLEN: (whirling fiercely in Will's arms)
You come sweepin in here like some kind of harpie! Like you owned the place!
SCARLETT: (slowly surveying the room with an imperial smile)
Do I indeed? ((Like Joan Murphy would do it))((Suellen is completely confounded. She looks for support from Will. Doesn't find it. Buries her head in his chest, sobbing uncontrollably.))
SUELLEN: (into Will's shoulder)
You never cared about anybody but yourself. Selfish.... SELFISH!! (the sobbing takes over)
Hon.. . Let's see to the babies. Simmer down now.
OH!!!! (she runs out of the room, sobbing.)
SCARLETT: ("Fuck you")...
Merry Christmas, Suellen!
Well! What was that all about. She's certainly full of the Christmas spirit.
What a ninny!
WILL: (of firm & gentle)
Hold on, Scarlett. Suellen ain't as bad as you think. I won't have you lightin into her.
She just gits kind of skittish when you come around.
Great balls of fire, Will! Tara's my home! She acts like I was some Yankee riding in to loot the place.!
WILL: (a tiny smile)
I reckon she figures it / somethin like that.
What do you mean?
WILL: (pauses, but decides he'd better explain)
Scarlett, maybe you'll think I'm gettin above myself.
I ain't fergettin was you kept a roof over us, and food on the table.
And there ain't nobody more grateful for all of that than me ... and Suellen, too, in her own way. The thing is ... Suellen never has got over you marryin Frank Kennedy.
SCARLETT: ("Oh is that all!")
Oh fiddle de dee, Will. That was years ago... And anyway, could I help it if he preferred me to her?
WILL: (not joking)
I figure, Yeh, You coulda helped it.
SCARLETT: (the flirt)
Now Will, don't be mean. If Suellen had married Frank, do you think she'd ever have spent a penny on Tara, . . , or any of us?
No'm . I don't think we'd ever seen nothin of of Frank's money.
Well, there you are.
WILL:(looking straight at here, driving in the point)
All the same, it was a scurvy trick to play on your own sister.
And Suellen, she ain't never fergot it.
So when you show up at Tara it's trouble right off the bat, sure as gun's iron.
SCARLETT: (seeing some truth to this, but . . .)
But.. I'm the Head of the Family now.
WILL: (scratching his head thoughtfully)
Well, I guess you are the Head of the Family.. . But she's the Lady of the House. And she sets great store by that.
((SCARLETT begins to react))
That's just the way it's turned out.
Things ain't so cut and dried like they used to be.
It's got all mixed up...((SCARLETT begins to react))
And if you cain't see that, it's just gonna get more mixed up.
SCARLETT: (she's got the point and is not angry, but it's a grim realization)
... Are you telling me I can't come home? To my own home?
WILL: (Yes. But it's a hard thing to say.)
Well.... No, you can't. Not really. Not anymore. Maybe once in awhile...((As always, Scarlett grasps the truth very quickly and does not attempt to delude herself. She feels not anger but a tremendous sense of loss and abandonm ent.))
SCARLETT: (silent tears beginning)
Well, if that's true.. . then I have nothing at all now.
Just... Nothing!((She stares up on horror at Will, really awed by the truth of what she has just said.))
WILL: (soft and comforting)
You have cap'n Butler.((This breaks the camel's back and she collapses into deep sobs, having difficulty speaking.))
SCARLETT: (sobbing uncontrollably))
Oh Will!!!((You'd think Will would take her in his arms and comfort her but he refrains from this very easily. Though he is very concerned, he is basically a 'formal' sort of person. No hugger he.))
He's gone! Rhett's gone!((Will is flabbergasted! But he reacts only with slight facial expressions and a question in his eyes ... which Scarlett answers.))
He's left me! OH! Don't tell a soul! Everybody thinks he's just "away" on one of his trips. You know how he comes and goes. But he's gone.
WILL: (loaning his handkerchief)
When'd this happen?
The night Melanie died. And.. . oh Will! ... right after she died I realized, I knew, that all these years I really loved Rhett.
And I ran all the way home to tell him I loved him...
And I DID tell him ... but .... ((SOBS))....((Will waits patiently.))
SCARLETT: (gradually regaining control)
He said he didn't love me anymore at all. He said his love wore out.((She looks up in ice-cold fear and horror))
And it seems like it did!
He was so cold.
Like he was dead almost.(Will is trying to figure this out.))
WILL: (very carefully)
Was he mad about somethin?
SCARLETT: (pretty much back in control again)
Well if he was I don't know what it was.
He just said he didn't love me anymore.
Excuse me askin it, but with Miz Wilkes gone, was you plannin a little somethin with Ashley?
SCARLETT: (explodes with genuine revulsion)
I wouldn't have him on a silver platter!((Offstage, a horse has gallopped up to the house. . . and whoever it is makes quite a commotion, which is audible but not intelligible.))
WILL: (absolutely astonished)
Well, miss, your sure brought in a barrel-full of surprises tonight!
You should see him!
Mooning around the house all day long talking about his vanished dreams... or not talking at all. . . or eating.... Not doing anything.
I wanted to bring him and Beau here to Tara for Christmas.
He won't leave the house!((rather bitterly))
And I've got him around my neck for the rest of my life.
I have to look after him
And run his lumber business.
And see he doesn't starve, and people don't hurt his feelings, and....
I don't expect you gotta take on all of that.
SCARLETT: (with her exquisite, little-girl sincerity)
Oh but I do. I promised Melly.
I promised I'd look after Ashley
And the lumber business
And take care of Beau.
And ... (a shrug and a pathetic giggle).." be kind to Captain Butler".((Things are so bad they're kind of funny))
Oh Will!! It's such a weary load. And it's always somebody else's load!
Why can't.. . . just once .... why can't
SUELLEN: (off, screaming hysterically)
Will!((She rushes in breathing heavily .))
Scarlett! OH!((Suellen's world has ended once again. She collapses in Will's arms. He is as silent as usual.))
SCARLETT: (alarmed, sisterly concern surfacing)
Suellen, what's the matter?
Ashley!.... The Fontaine boys just rode over. They ...
What about Ashley?
SUELLEN:(looking at Scarlett in horror)
Ashley's dead((Will and Scarlett exchange looks over Sue's shoulder. Scarlett doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.))
SUELLEN: (turning and approaching for a sympathetic, apologetic sisterly embrace)
Oh Scarlett. I'm so sorry...
SCARLETT (ignoring the offered embrace)
It's alright, Suellen.
It's not... unexpected.
((Dully)) Ashley's been dying ever since Melanie died.
SUELLEN: (she thinks of this just now)
What will become of little Beau!
SCARLETT: (rising and squaring her shoulders, taking on her 'weary load')
I'll take care of Beau.
I promised Melanie. I'll buy him a pony.((She searches for her hat and is preparing to leave.))
What about Capn Butler?((Will and Scarlett look at each other for just a moment. There is a lot to say, but neither one is going to say it. She smiles wanly and shrugs...))
I promised Melly: Be kind to Captain Butler. Well, I'll do that too!
If I can find him!! ((EXIT))((The performance lights go down as the screen lights up again and her departing shadow again makes the dissolve effect.))
DIALOGUE MUSIC/VISUALS/ SOUND EFFECTS l. Sad, resigned music comes on as the first slide comes into focus: Bare trees in the rain against the winter sky; a few tattered leaves. NARRATOR: And so, in the chill, wet winds of December, Scarlett returned to Atlanta to take up her "weary load", the multiple burdens that Melanie had bequeathed to her "Take care of little Beau," she had promised Melanie. Well, she'd give him everything money could buy! Music lessons, a pony, Harvard, Europe, the Grand Tour.She'd give him the best of everything! 2. Beau, nine years old. New gentle music ("Beau's Theme"). Without realizing it, she would also give him love. Love that had nowhere else to go. 3. A closeup of Beau, same age, looking just slightly apprehensive. " Look after Ashley". Well that had turned out to be simple enough. She dutifully buried him, with little pangs of hypocritical guilt... because she felt nothing but relief in his passing. 4. Music changes and we see a graveyard in winter, the trees and gravestones silhouetted against the sky.
5. Closeup of Ashley's grave.
Then... even the memory of him vanished from her life with scarcely a trace. 6. Long shot of the graveyard. NARRATOR (cont.)
The lumber business!
That she plunged into with gusto! It filled up the emptiness very nicely.After all, she had started this company.She could build it into something very big.
And she loved making money.
7. A loud, grating sound assaults our ears: an electric saw cutting lumber. And we see the front window of the
"Wilkes Lumber Co.great stacks of lumber visible through the glass.
But what to do about Rhett?
How to find him? How to get him back!
Where the devil was he?
8. New music, romantic but agitated. We see an extreme closeup of just the word, "Rhett" on an addressed envelope: Perhaps a charming letter would reach him in Charleston and .... 9. Entire address now appears on the envelope:
"Mr. Rhett K. Butler
Charleston, South Carolina"
No. 10. Envelope torn in half. No, he had to come to her. She'd wait, "Like a big black spider" as Mammy used to say. One day now he'd walk into her web. And she would be kind to Captain Butler. But Rhett did NOT return. 11. Envelope in many pieces. New music, hurried and busy. We see a totally blurred slide, mostly red. Finally! After excercising unusual patience for a very long time , she settled on a desperate solution! Music rises to a huge comic/melodramatic climax and the screen comes into sharp focus. It is Belle Watling! (a still from the movie) in full color, in all her gaudy finery. PORK: (yelping)
Miz Scarlett, I cain't drive this here carriage up to no ((whorehouse)) Belle Watlin's!!
SCARLETT (grasping for dignity)
Well I'm not going to walk all that way.
Besides, I don't even know where it is.
PORK: (deeply ashamed)
Belle Watlin's .
SCARLETT: (relenting and bargaining)
She is ashamed, too, but that is not going to stop her.)
The slide of Belle blurs out during this dialogue so as not to distract . Well, you drive me up as close as your conscience will take you and I'll go the rest of the way myself. PORK: (pleading pathetically)
Miz Scarlett, yo' mama turn over in her grave she know you go to ((whorehouse))... place like Belle Watlin's.
Well that can't be helped. I have to do what I have to do.
Gawdamighty! Belle Watlin's!!!!
Another blurred slide comes on. As the dialogue progresses it comes into focus and we see that it is Belle's lush, Victorian parlor. BELLE: (strong)
Well, you tell her I ain't in.!
GIRL: (young negress)
I did tell her.
She say she gonna wait til whenever you gits back.. Miss Belle! She ain't gonna move! She settin there in the parlor like a rock!
In the parlor! .. . It ain't fittin! I never liked that woman. Hard as a hickory nut. But still and all, HER, sittin in My Parlor.... It ain't fittin!
No ma'am! It ain't!! But that's where she be. And she look to me like she gonna set there til Gabriel blow his horn if she have to.
Hard as a hickory nut.
Well ... tell her I'll be down.
But you keep them parlor doors shut tight! Nobody comes in. You understand?
And you breathe one word, to anybody,
'bout her comin here to this house, I'll take a whip to ya. And worse!
The Parlor slide blurs and then goes off as the performance lights come up and we discover Scarlett (Live) sitting on the bench: i. e. awaiting Belle in the parlor. SCARLETT (rising graciously)
Mrs. Watling!((A silent confrontation. A very awkward pause.))
BELLE: (the simple truth)
I don't know what you're doin here.
And I'll tell you straight out: I don't like you're beinh here.
You got no business bein here.
SCARLETT: (maintaining the pretense)
Well, I didn't expect to be welcomed with open arms. But I did expect you'd hear me out.((She sits down, taking charge, spreading her skirts comfortably, prepared for a long wait, if necessary.))
I do indeed have business here.((There is a strange look between them.))
SCARLETT: (with great comic dignity, pretending this is all perfectly normal)
I am inquiring after my husband.((Belle doesn't know what to do. But she's not vanquished. Then, in a way, she levels with Scarlett.))
Rhett don't tell me his plans.
SCARLETT: (winces inside at hearing his name on her lips.)
I'm not asking about his plans.
Just his whereabouts.
Where is he? You must know.
He.... comes and goes. You know that.((Scarlett's anger flashes and she speaks sharply, as though to a servant.))
Where is he now? I have to know.
BELLE: (evenly, she has the upper hand now)
I don't think where Rhett is, is any of your business.
He is my husband.
BELLE: (with a sneer and a low, contemptuous laugh)
Is that right?((Scarlett jumps up, exploding with violent anger. She is about to deliver a threat, or an ultimatum, or a sock on the jaw.))
Ha ha ha; ha ha ha etc......((A real belly laugh. He is really enjoying this. He enters the scene still laughing. Both woman are startled and confused. Scarlett of course is truly surprised.))
SCARLETT: (angry and insulted but mostly delighted)
RHETT: (in mock horror)
My dear, you never cease to amaze me!
Sir, you should have made your presence known.
BELLE: (angry and deeply hurt)
Get outta here!
I confess to eavesdropping. Just a bit. I was waiting to see who'd win! But then I realized: You two are too evenly matched. You'd slug each other to death. Also I noticed that youarrived on foot. . . ((i. e. naughty naughty)). . . in this part of town? I felt I should be of some assistance.((Actually, he is quite eager to get her out of here.))
My carriage awaits! May I escort you to your home, Mrs. Butler?
It's about time you started acting like a gentleman.((She starts for the exit, assuming that he is following. But he ignores her and turns to Belle.))
Belle, my thanks for your gracious hospitality... to both of us!((Scarlett snorts and departs, terminating her visit as if is had been a pleasant social call.))
SCARLETT: (catty and triumphant)
Good day, Mrs. Watling.
So much.((RHETT and BELLE speak in low, private voices.))
RHETT: (he bends down and kisses her tenderly)
She's still in your blood, aint she. Like a poison.
RHETT: (brushing it off lightly and convincingly)
On the contrary ..
But the lady does need a ride home.!((He puts his hat on and exits, front, jauntily, a la Clark Gable . Belle stares after him with sad, angry tears and then exits to the " kitchen" as the performance lights go out and the screen lights up again.))
DIALOGUE MUSIC /VISUALS/SOUND EFFECTS The screen lights up.Title: "The Ride Home"Music: a short, very happy little scherzo.Sound: Rhett's horses clip-copping on the street. We are riding in Rhett's carriage through the posh residential section of Atlanta and (from the carriage) we see some of the beautiful mansions and the trees arching above us. It is a lovely sunny afternoon. Music and slides slow and fade out and Rhett and Scarlett take their places on the Bench,which is now the front seat of Rhett's carriage. Rhett sits stage left. His hands and eyes arebusy with driving the horses. This fixes and "isolates" him, which is important for the scene.
LIVE ACTION((The dialogue begins as the last few bars of romantic music fade out.)) Scarlett is very happy and is trying hard not too act too triumphant. She does not intend to blow it this time.))
SCARLETT: (admitting this, which she would never have done before.)
I'm .... I'm glad to see you Rhett.
Are you indeed?((He seems oddly chilly and in some strange way " ill at ease". Actually, he is examining her and holding all emotion for later.))
I was .... I was looking for you.
That seems clear.
Well I was!
And I didn't know where else to look.
But .... Well I was right, wasn't I?
RHETT: (not to happy about it)
Well, I'm glad it all happened. ((She is ready to give him a big hug.))
SCARLETT: (waiting it out, making small talk, playing the flirt in a worn out way)
Tell me what you've been doing....
And where you've been ....
.... and everything.
RHETT: (a hidden challenge)
I've been making a lot of money.
I didn't mean that.
Oh yes you did.
SCARLETT: (much too interested. She has hardened.)
A lot of money doing what?
RHETT: (darkening almost imperceptibly)
SCARLETT: (very impressed)
I knew you'd be impressed.
Well, I am! Railroads are making more money than lumber even.
Well it's Morgan, Vanderbilt, James J. Hill and me.
SCARLETT: (real admiration)
Oh Rhett! How wonderful.
I hear you've become quite the lady tycoon yourself.
SCARLETT (proud and happy)
I have, Rhett. I really have.
We're the biggest thing in Atalanta.
And as far as I'm concerned we're just getting started.
We're making piles of money.
RHETT: (smiles, but without humor)
Always an eye for the dollar sign.
SCARLETT: (happily... a plan already forming in her mind)
Well there's nothing wrong with that!
((Here comes the plan))
Think what the two of us can do! Railroads and Lumber!
The whole wild west is opening up.
They have to get there....
And when they do, they'll all need houses ....
We can rule the roost!
((He darkens but she doesn't notice))
Oh! Everything's so exciting now!
You know, when the war came, and then after, it seemed like the end of the world.
But it's like a new world now.
"A new heaven and a new earth."
SCARLETT: ('How well you put it.')
Yes! Exactly! And it's better.
I must say it's gratifying to find someone so pleased with present arrangements.
SCARLETT: (with infectious enthusiasm)
Well it's wonderful!
All the new machines ..... ((to mention only one of 1000 possible examples))
Pretty soon everybody'll have it easy.
((Laughs at her naivte))
Horseless carriages! Even the horses won't have to work.
Heaven on earth, eh?
Well it's like that ..... it's coming . You can see it coming!((She leans back happily and with complete innocence, sincerity and mind-boggling complacency says:))They'll never have a war again. ((Explains:)) There's no need for it.((She has worked herself into a state of euphoria with this vision of the.' perfect world that lies just around the corner. Her control breaks and she suddenly, impulsively snuggles up to Rhett.))
Oh Rhett! I'm so glad you're back .
RHETT: (recoils violently: tense, chilly, uncomfortable)
I'm not "back" .
SCARLETT: (snuggling comfortably)
Yes you are. Of course you are.
RHETT: (Sharply! Very displeased.)
Scarlett! Please!!((She realizes she has made a grave error and draws back in confusion. They exchange a look.))
RHETT: (somewhat haltingly)
Alright. I'll be honest with you. I did "come back"... After I heard about Ashley. For a long time now. I wanted to see if you were free of Ashley's ghost.
SCARLETT: (the complete truth)
But I told you all about Ashley. I explained .... a long time ago. He was always just a ghost. Of course I'm free. He's not haunting me.!((Rhett fixes her with a long, searching, penetrating gaze. The man is watching his dream escape him forever.))
I see that.
. . .
But now I see something else.
SCARLETT: (embracing him)
Rhett I want you.! I DO!
RHETT: (too quietly)
I want you too.
But walls have grown up between us. Thick, protective shells.
We can't break through.((Scarlett is stunned, doesn't understand what he's talking about. But she's trying.))
RHETT: (angrily, asif shaking her violently)
Do you understand me?
I don't want money. I've got more money than I can ever spend.
I don't want success. I don't want progress.
I don't want a business partner!! I want a wife! And a lover!
But I am your wife.
And I want to be your lover.
We'll be very very rich and tell everyone to go to the devil. W e can have it all!
I don't want it all!!! I know what I want.
((He stares at her fiercely))
And now I know I can never have it. When Melanie died and I walked out on you, I made a very hard, important decision. It was the right decision. I should never have gone back on it.((Sardonically)). . .My mistake.
It's not a mistake. Why can't we break down the walls. Everything's getting better and better all the time. Why should we throw it all away? Why shouldn't we be part of it all?
Well, my dear, enjoy your rose-colored dreams while you may.
It's not a dream. It's all really happening. Don't you see?
I see the same blind arrogance that's destroyed the world before. And will destroy it again.
SCARLETT: (giving up on him)
Well, there you go. Pouring cold water on everything.
This world could use a little cold water.((SLIDE of Scarlett's house appears on the screen. He reins in the horses.))And here we are ....
It was good to see you again. And find you so happy.
SCARLETT: (caught off guard)
I'll ask you again: Would it make it easier if I gave you a divorce?
SCARLETT: (in a flash: full realization of the situation)
I don't care what you do!
But I don't ever want to see you again. (Threatening murder!)
Don't ever come back!((She struggles with her wedding ring))And take this with you.
I don't want anything around that reminds me of you!((She smacks the ring into his hand. His fist closes protectively on it though it seems to be sizzling in his palm.))
RHETT: (regaining his old mocking manner)
Going about town without a wedding ring? What will people say?
SCARLETT: (Slowly, evenly, withanger, hatred and Great Big Quotes)
Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!((She gets out of the carriage, a bit clumsy in her anger, and starts into the house. Rhett stands up in the carriage and calls after her softly, a bit wistful and crestfallen in spite of himself.))
Scarlett .... if you should need anything ...
SCARLETT: (a tower of white-hot rage and hatred)
I need nothing!
Don t worry about me!
I'm going to take care of Beau.
I'm going to see to it that he gets the world by the tail!
And enjoyes it!!
It's a wonderful world!!!((We see a slide of the iron gate in front of Scarlett's house and hear it clang shut. Rhett is silhouetted against this slide. He gazes after her as the music surges up in an intensely sad, romantic motif. He exits slowly.))
The word, INTERMISSION, appears on the screen.
END OF ACT I
Intermission lasts just long enough for everyone to refresh their drinks, stretch a little, and, especially, go to the bathroom. The night of the performance this all took about 20 minutes.
When the audience settles down for Act II they are a bit out of the mood but we start off with something completely different and hook them again.
The houselights dim, the Red Curtain appears on the screen.
DIALOGUE MUSIC /VISUALS/SOUND EFFECTS The RED CURTAIN appears on the screen accompanied by cheerful, rollicking , vaguely turn of the century music. NARRATOR: It was indeed a wonderful world.
A world that 'seemed to float, enchanted, in a kind of endless summer.
We see a kind of collage of slides which serve to illustrate the mood of the world around the turn of the century. I will describe only a few of them here... those which are of major importance to the story. Charming...
Every morning the world woke up tosome new wonder....
Some new miracle of invention. Something bigger
Powerful trains roared and thundered across whole continents. One of the great trains. Enormous steamships criss-crossed the vast oceans with speed, safety and unheard of luxury. The Titanic, unidentified.
It was the age of Confidence!
Immigrants arrived by the millions.
Each of them fully expecting streets paved with gold.
Not everyone was rich
Not everyone was happy.
But even the poorest, the most downtrodden, KNEW their troubles couldn't last for long now....
Prosperity for everyone lay just ahead there.
Scarlett led a restless, busy life, perfectly in tune with the times....
She was shrewd, ambitious, and enormously successful.
Wilkes Lumber expanded rapidly and continusously.
SLIDE: Advertisement for "Wilkes, Inc.""Fine woods and wood products from around the globe."We see that the company now has offices in Atlanta, Seattle, New York and London." She never remarried
And she never actually divorced Rhett.
Scarlett in silhouette, gazing out at the sea. But as far as anyone knew, she never mentioned his name again.And their paths never crossed. The man in her life was Beau (We start again with Beau as we first saw him and watch him grow into maturity and middle age.) She kept her promise with a vengeance and lavished on him everything money could buy. Besides the pony there was indeed everything else she could think of: the university of Georgia, Harvard, Europe, and most of the rest of the world. Beau with his pony (at last!) And in the heat of Scarlett's passionate affection, he grew up to be a charming, intelligent, altogether accomplished man. Beau at about 27 In 1887, when he was 25, he joined the Wilkes Company. And as we might expect, started a rapid rise to the top. Partof a business letter from Beau which he has signed as " Vice-President". In 1891 when he was 27, he married Miss Sarah Kathleen Milledge Portrait of Sarah Milledge
Wedding pictures. . . . .
They had two children:
John Hamilton Wilkes, born 1893 and Melissa Alexandra, whom* they all called "Missy". And so... in this wonderful world of progress and prosperity, peace and pride....
the Wilkes Lumber Co.
and the whole country
Grew and prospered.
We see a map of the U.S. as it was in 1872 . Then, as the years pass, we see each new State being added until in 1912 Arizona comes in and the map looks as it does today. Following this we see sort of "tourist snapshots"from all over the world, suggesting that Beau and Scarlett did a good deal of traveling. This montage ends at last in London, "March, 1912" and we see a beautiful new building with a huge sign on the top of it: " Wilkes International Ltd." A shot of Beau admiring the new building
And finally, we see his office door, very imposing indeed:
Mr. B. Wilkes
The slide fades, the performance lights come up and we find Beau at his desk with an imaginary 1912 telephone in his hands.
LIVE ACTION((Beau is on the Bench with the 1912 phone in his hands, making some sort of business call. Though we must only imagine all this, he is sitting at a huge, mahogany desk in a new, very large office . He is 48, with touches of gray in his hair.
While he ad-libs his business conversation (something about a venture in Johannesburg, with preliminary meetings in Paris) an office buzzer announces a visitor. He calls out " Come in! "but is deep in his work and so does not notice when.. . .
Scarlett enters, magnificent at 67. She is gorgeously dressed, white-haired, uses a cane and walks with very slight, almost unnoticeable difficulty. She walks to the desk and waits patiently until he has finished his call.... gazing on him with enormous love and affection.
When he finishes his call and hangs up, he turns and discovers her... to his great surprise and delight!
BEAU: (rising and goin to her)
Darling!((Kiss, hug, ad lib etc.))
What a surprise! I didn't even know you were in London!
Well, you know: "Oh to be in England now that ..." well it's almost April!((They both laugh affectionately))
What's this. You're using a cane now?
Just ignore it. It's an 'affectation'.The fact is, when you're 67 you "hobble" a bit now and then. And I think if you have to hobble you should do it in style.
You all right?
Of course I'm all right!
I could dance the legs off you.
And I did not come here to discuss my health.. This is an official visit!((Beau smiles and responds with mock solemnity))The Chairman of the Board has come in inspect the magnificent new offices of the President of the Company.
Hmmmm. .. .((She looks around, appraising the obviously magnificent suite.))Hmm. They seem... satisfactory.
Do you like it?
BEAU: (a broad, warm smile)
You knew I would.
Aunt Scarlett, sit down!
Just a minute now.
The desk ((she knocks on it))... solid mahogany, right?
BEAU: (mock solemn)
Oh yes. What else?
SCARLETT: (just checkin things out)
And the telephone. Good.
And all these new-fangled things. They work properly?
They work perfectly.
Good((She moves to the window and gazes out contemplatively. For the first time we notice that perhaps there is a deep, sad weariness in-side her. She's seen it all, done it all, had it all but perhaps all that was not enough.))
And your view is perfectly fine! .... The Thames....... I love London. More than Paris somehow. .... They say it's a man's town.((Turning from the window she surveys the enormous room with a laugh)) And you've got plenty of space. ((a gross understatement))BEAU: (laughing)
I would say so. I could move Sarah and Missy and John-Hamilton in here and we'd still have room for house guests .((They both laugh. Scarlett sits down. They exchange warm smiles))
Aunt Scarlett, it's beautiful. It's perfect. And I thank you.((She takes his hand and gets a little moist, loving him))
We've gained the whole world.
Well, you deserve it. Beau, I'm proud of you. Your mother and father would be proud of you. You're doing a wonderful job with the business. Better than I ever did.. And I was good You..((He seizes the opportunity to stem the flattery and sentiment))
Speaking of business. Do you mind speaking of business?
SCARLETT: (consulting an imaginary lapel watch)
No. Not if we don't speak too long.
Well it's lucky you came by. I'll be sailing to New York this week.We have a change at an enormous project coming up and I wanted to ask you about it.
They're going to build a new transcontinental railroad in the States.
I guess we need as many as we can build, the way the country's growing. They're all set to go on this and if we .... Well, in a nutshell: if Wilkes can supply the lumber for even the railroad ties. Well you can imagine... a double track, coast to coast. It's a marvelous opportunity.
Well, grab it!
Well there's a little hitch to it.((He watches in amusement as she gets the point even before he's had a chance to say it.))This particular railroad is owned... operated. . . and carefully watched over by . . .
((Reacts in alarm/annoyance/excitement))
BEAU (nodding and laughing)
Rhett Butler((She is immediately plunged into a flood of memories which she diaguises with a gay, bantering manner.))
Is he still alive?
Oh, very much so. He's very old. Must be in his early 80's. But he's still in charge. Shrewd as ever.
((A little admiration has crept into her voice))
Rhett. . .((The name's nagging her.))
It's been a very very long time.
((She drifts off a little. Beau watches her closely. Then: back to business.))
Well, what's the problem?
Well, no real "problem". I just thought... I'll be talking with him in New York and.... well, our company ... and his company and... well...You and Rhett.((She doesn't like this.))I thought you might have some objection.
I have no objection! "Me and Rhett". Beau, all of that was a long time ago.You do whatever you think is best. Just don't bring me into it.((Beau wonders, though))
I should warn you. We didn't part friends. I may be quite a liability!
BEAU: (smiles warm and loving/ kisses her lightly)
Well, I hope not!((EXITS))
SCARLETT: (looking straight ahead)
((Performance lights out.))
DIALOGUE MUSIC/ VISUALS/ SOUND EFFECTS We hear an authentic 1912 orchestration of "Alexander's Ragtime Band", which was all therage that year. And we see a brief montage of 1912 New York, the streets choked with horseless carriages, the men in black suits, stiff collars and bowler hats. This is very short and soon ends with a slide of Rhett's office door, which reads simply:
The slide blurs out, the performance lights come up and we now find Rhett on the bench, which of course now is his big desk. Beau sits attentively stage right.
LIVE ACTION((Rhett is now 84 but acts about 60. Think of a combination of Clark Gable, Melvyn Douglas and Ronald Reagan, Old but vigorous. He reeks of experience and professionalism.
Beau regards Rhett with the respect due an elder, but there is nothing groveling about him. He is mature, relaxed, confident... marvelously at ease.
As the scene begins we find Rhett looking over a printed, bound prospectus which Beau has presented to explain their proposed deal Rhett does this very quickly, obviously knowing what he can skip and what points should be checked.))
RHETT: (looking through the book)
Uh hmmm. (flips to a back page for a second)
UmHmm.(closes book and puts it aside.)
Well, Mr Wilkes, this if just fine. I'm very impressed.
The point about delivery dates if of course subject to whatever....
RHETT: (with great finality)
But perhaps I should explain several points you may want to. . .
RHETT: (firm and pleasant)
You have the contract.
BEAU: (this is quite unexpected)
I say; All of this if just fine with me. Wilkes International Limited has the contract,
BEAU(it was so quick!)
Just like that! (he laughs)
RHETT: (buzzes to unseen secretary)
Martha? Get ahold of Hennessey and ask him to get over here at his earliest possible convenience. Thank you dear.
My people and your people can work out the minutiae here, and then we'll sign it and.. we're in business.
You don't waste any time.
I don't have any time to waste.
One thing though. What would you say to supplying lumber not just for the ties but the bridgework, trestles and so forth.? We're going to need a lot of lumber.
BEAU (pleased and relaxed)
Well, we're ready, willing and able. But why not let somebody else have a whack at that. We don't have to have the whole cheese,
RHETT: (a bit taken aback)
You don't want the additional business?
Well, I wouldn't say we don't want it .... but.... we've., made a very handsome arrangement here . . and I think we have enough. Give everyone a chance at a fair share. You know?
I DO know. And I must say, Mr. Wilkes , I'm amazed, astounded and quite struck with admiration . ((He chuckles)) Here you are, the head of a global conglomerate. With one word here you could have it all. And you don't want it all, do you?
We want to do our very best. But I guess you could say we make a distinction between good old ambition and plain old greed..
RHETT: (almost under his breath)
By God she's done it!((This reference registers on Beau but he simply smiles. He has every intention of excluding Scarlett from this conversation.))
Would you like a cigar?
No thanks, I don't smoke.
Ahh, yes. That would hit the spot. And fit the occasion.((Rhett pours jiggers of cognac from an imaginary decanter. They lift them in a silent toast.
It is clear that Rhett finds Beau a complete surprise. He keeps staring at him in fascination. He seems to be "musing". . . distracted.
Do you remember your parents?
Yes. But I was quite young when they died, you know.
Yes, I know.
Did you know that I was practically present at your birth?
No, I didn't know that. How was that?
RHETT: (gazing intently at Beau)
Let me tell you something. I knew both your parents. Your father I never liked at all. Thought he was a damn fool. A pompous dreamer.((Beau accepts this little outbreak with perfect equanimity))But he was on to something. I see that now. He knew there was more to life than "making money,""succeeding" and piling up all sorts of things you don't have any use for.
I don't think he know what to do about it.Suppose that's why he died. But he was no fool after all.
I should think not.
And your mother! The only Great Lady I've ever known.
My God! What strength she had! Oh not physically, but what does that matter?
And now after all these years..... How old are you?
I'm forty eight.
Forty eight! "Melanie's little Beau". All grown up and growing old like the rest of us.
BEAU:(smiling and gracious but . . .)
Captain Butler, I'll have to be running along now. My wife and I are...
RHETT: (commanding! by force of habit)
I want to SAY this:
You've turned out to be one hell of a man. The dreams and ideals of your father. The strength and practicality of your mother. ((A laugh)) I'm 84 years old and you have given me hope!
BEAU: (handles this beautifully)
Well if I have, I'm glad I have. (tiny, tense pause). But I think I should say I really can't take credit for it. I've had a wonderful upbringing. A really marvelous life.
RHETT: (all the memory and desire crush in on him)
. .. Yes. She gave me the best of everything. Education. Travel. Love. I've been all over the world. Had all sorts of marvelous opportunities. And she provided every one of them. ((Lightening it up.)) So .... I think the fact is, all the honors really belong to Aunt Scarlett.
RHETT: (staring at Beau in deep emotion)
So they do.
((a pregnant pause))
How is she?
BEAU: (still keeping it light)
Oh, very well. She's ... ((thinking)) .... sixty seven now. But active as ever, beautiful as ever, and .... mellowed ((with a little twinkle)) . . . quite a lot.((He stands up to leave))I'd best be going now. I'm most grateful for your generous arrangements on the contract. ((real emotion darts out)). . . But right now, I think I'm most grateful for this chance to make your acquaintance again. After all these years.
RHETT: (moved, and not bothering to mask it much)
I share the feeling.
((Then HE lightens it up.))
Well, Mr Wilkes. I'm sure our association will be pleasant . . . and profitable. Among other things, Scarlett is a crackerjack business woman.
BEAU: (a warm little laugh)
She is indeed.
Well, Captain Butler. Thank you again, very much. And... goodbye.((They shake hands.))RHETT: (lingering on it a little)
Goodbye.((Beau walks to the door. JUST as he is about to disappear, Rhett calls him sharply, betraying emotion....))RHETT:
RHETT: (pulls wedding ring out of his pocket and offers it to Beau.)
When you see her, give this to Scarlett.((Performance lights out immediately! Screen lights up.))
DIALOGUE MUSIC VISUALS AND SOUND EFFECTS Accompanied by gorgeous, heartbreaking music we see:
l. Rhett's hand with the ring.
2. The ring passing from Rhett to Beau
3. The ring passing from Beau to Scarlett
4. The ring, glittering in Scarlett's palm. in closeup,
But, Beau, what did he say?
This slide stays on through the following dialogue. BEAU:
He didn't say anything. Just : "Give this to Scarlett."
That's all. What does it mean?
SCARLETT: (slowly breaking into a warm smile)
It means: We need two tickets on the first ship back to New York!
((sudden high spirits!)) SLIDE: Scarlett's fist closed protectively on the ring. Eula May! Start packing the trunks! We're going home! THREE BLASTS FROM THE STEAMSHIP!!! We now see a quick series of rare period photographs of this huge opulent ship. It is the Titanic, but no great fuss is made over the point. Ragtime music is playing and the mood is one of great pleasure and excitement. A large realistic painting shows the ship sailing into the sunset.
A similar painting shows it racing through thestar-filled night, every porthole aglow.
Now we hear a lovely old waltz, played by the ship's fine orchestra . It is Saturday night, April 13, 1912, and the first-class passengers are dancing in the Grand Saloon, all of them in expensive, exquisite evening clothes. When the waltz ends, we hear the same little tingle of a harp that Scarlett heard in her nightmare and the screen fills with a marvelous starry sky reflected in the mirror-like sea.. Off stage, we hear Beau and Scarlett talking happily and excitedly... delightfully"high" on champagne.
The starry sky remains on the screen.
Oh Beau! Champagne and waltzes again! Isn't it elegant!
I'm afraid we're causing a sensation.
Oh, I'm sure we are! ((giggles))
I know! Bring your champagne.
Let's go up on deck and get some air.((They enter, carrying imaginary champagne glasses which they drink from.))
SCARLETT: (reacting to the slide)
Oh!! Look at the stars! And the sea so calm!
Ooooh! It's cold! It's too cold.
No! It's delicious. I love it.
I'll go down for our wraps.
SCARLETT: (grabbing his arm)
NO! It's wonderful!
The night is wonderful
The ship is wonderful
I'm wonderful!((They laugh together))
Aunt Scarlett, I haven't seen you happy like this for years.
It's been years!
I feel like a young girl again.
Sixteen on the porch at Tara with the Tarleton twins.
They were all hot and bothered about which one could take me to the Twelve Oaks barbecue.
And I was all hot and bothered about ....
...your Father. ((a serious note slows down her happy chattering))
I hadn't even heard of Rhett!
That old scoundrel.
BEAU: (putting his tuxedo jacket around her shoulders)
Aunt Scarlett . . .
SCARLETT: (looking straight ahead)
I know what you're going to say:
"Will it work?" ... or maybe, "It won't work."
No. But well, something like that.
I mean I know how much you love him. And how much he loves you.
But that's been true from the very beginning. You've always loved each other, but all these years and you've never ...
SCARLETT: (looking straight at him)
We've never really loved each other?
Well I just can't bear to see you hurt, or disappointed.
Not again. Not now.
I don't want it to be a mistake!
SCARLETT: (reacts very deeply , then turns front)
Oh you're right, Beau.
We made a lot of mistakes. Far too many.
And we hurt each other.
And we've grown old....
But when you're old, sometimes the old wounds heal.
And you can learn from your mistakes.
You don't have to make them all over again. Not the same ones anyhow.((Here she starts misting with emotion))And as God is my witness
I will not make mistakes this time.
Rhett and I won't have much time together
But the point is, we'll be together!
And in the time we have...
If there's any possibility at all
I mean to salvage and hoarde all the love and happiness we wasted and discarded all these years.((Her hand on his cheek.))
SCARLETT (cont.) The Tara theme begins softly for one last time. Don't worry about your Auntie Scarlett I'm a battered old boat
And I've been through many a storm
But I never went under!
Never!!((They laugh, loving each other.))
The Tara theme swells mightily and we see the 'real' Titanic (i, e, not a painting but an authentic model) racing across the ocean toward New York, blazing magnificently with electric lights. Let's get to bed, darling.
We want to be fresh for tomorrow."
Tomorrow is another day.((THEY EXIT))
In a second, similar shot, the ship and thesea seemed bathed in a golden, almost mystical light.
As the music finishes there is a final slide: the ship off on the horizon now, racing into the stars.Above it the words:
The cast takes curtain calls to a solemn orchestration of "Send in the Clowns" and the "Night Music" waltz. This eventually moves into a waltz version (very happy and sparkling) of "That's Entertainment" and the real tree is turned on to many tears and much applause.