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Comments on Motive
Comments on Motive
Aug 14, 2003
Posted Oct 06, 2003 - 2:29 PM:
NO. 61 – “MOTIVE”
WOR-MBS Mon. Aug. 30, 1948 – 9:30 – 9:55 PM EDST
REH Mon. Aug. 30 – 2:00 – 5:00 PM EDST Studio 16
8:00 – 9:30 PM EDST Studio 15
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(SEVEN SECONDS SILENCE)
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(MUSIC … THEME … FADE FOR)
ANNCR: The Mutual Broadcasting System presents “Quiet, Please!” which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and which features Ernest Chappell.
“Quiet, Please!” for tonight is called “Motive”.
(MUSIC … THEME … END)
SOUND: (A CHILD IS CRYING SOMEWHERE IN THE DISTANCE: THE NOISE ISMUFFLED, BUT IF WE WERE CLOSE TO IT, THE YELLS WOULD BE EAR-SPLITTING. AFTER AWHILE--)
AL: Wonder how hot it IS…
SOUND: (HE DIAS WE 6-1212)
VOICE: (ON PHONE) –ates weather bureau forecast for New York City and vicinity: 8 PM temperature 91 degrees; humidity 87 per cent; barometer 29 point 83, falling. Tonight continued hot and humid; highest temperature in the mid-eighties. Tomorrow continued sunny and warm with high humidity; highest temperature in low nineties. Scattered thundershowers-
SOUND: (HE HANGS UP THE PHONE)
AL: Ffffff! I sure picked a fine night for it.
Maybe we can go out to some air-conditioned place when she gets here.
Wish she would get here.
SOUND: (THE BABY CONTINUES TO CRY, AFTER A LITTLE WHILE-)
AL: I wish that kid’d shut up. (A PAUSE) Poor little brat, though. Guess the heat’s got IT, too.
SOUND: (THE PHONE RINGS)
AL: (EAGERLY) Hello? Oh. Hello, Herb. Yeh, I just came back in for a day or so. Huh? No, I’d like to, but I can’t. I’m tied up. No. Marge is coming up. That’s right. I don’t know: we’re just going to talk it over. Yeh, I hope so, too. I’ll see you. Thanks for calling. ‘By.
SOUND: (HE HANGS UP) (THE CHILD IS STILL CRYING)
AL: Hurry up, Marge. (A PAUSE)
I’ll be awful glad to see you, honey.
I didn’t realize – kid, PLEASE shut up!
SOUND: (CHILD STOPS CRYING)
AL: Huh! How’m I doing?
I didn’t realize how tough it was going to be without you, Marge. I got to TELL you that, Marge. I got to make you understand it somehow. Gee, baby, I’ll sure try…..I’ll hand up my coat when I come home. I’ll hang up the towels in the bathroom. I’ll put my shaving brush away. And I’ll take you out to dinner twice – no, three times a week. Oh, Marge, let’s make a go of it this time!
(MUSIC…IN FOR BG)
AL: Gee, it was so wonderful once….
And we got so screwed up….
And it was all my fault, Marge!
(HE SIGHS DEEPLY)
‘Member when we first came here….
Riding on the Staten Island ferry that first night…
I remember what you said, Marge. You were so happy…
MARGE: (FADING IN) I’m so happy I could bust!
AL: I remember…don’t you bust here, I said.
MARGE: What’d you think if I did bust?
AL: I’d bust too. Just as simple as that. I wouldn’t be worth a nickel without you, Marge.
MARGE: Honest, Al? You mean that, honey?
AL: Cross my heart, I mean it. Listen, I’m scared already of this town.
MARGE: What you scared of?
AL: Well, baby, it’s awful big, and it’s awful fast.
MARGE: Not too big for you, hon.
AL: I’m not so sure.
MARGE: Not too fast for you,either.
AL: Marge, it won’t be if you…
MARGE: (AFTER A PAUSE) If I what?
AL: If you – if you just stick with me. I mean if you – you know what I mean, Marge. I – this – everything I want to do I want to do it for you.
MARGE: Do you, darling?
AL: And I remember how we stood there in the dark that night, such a long time ago, looking back at the lights and the foam spreading out behind the boat as we sailed along, and you reached out your hand to me like you used to, and the way your eyes were shining, and you took a step toward me and I put out my arms to you.
CHILD: (AND THE CHILD SCREAMES WITH RAGE)
AL: (AL’s DREAM DISSOLVES AND HE
SOUND: (HE LEAPS TO HIS FEET)
AL: Oh, that brat!
CHILD: (THE CRYING CONTIUES)
AL: The way some people take care of their kids! Where the dickens is she! She’s never been on time in her life!
SOUND: (HE PICKS UP THE PHONE AND DIALS A NUMBER.)
CHILD: (CONTINUES TO CRY.)
SOUND: (WE HEAR THE RINGING SIGNAL)
AL: I wish –
VOICE: (ON PHONE) Craveny Hotel, good evening.
AL: Uh – 506, please.
VOICE: (ON PHONE) One moment, please.
AL: Letting me sit around in a hot apartment all night, with a kid yowling in my ears – hello, hello.
(A SILENCE WHILE THE CHILD CRIES)
VOICE: (ON PHONE) 506 does not answer.
AL: What? Where is she?
VOICE: (ON PHONE) 506 does not answer.
AL: Thank you!
SOUND: (HE HANGS UP)
AL: Now, where – my gosh!
SOUND: (HE GOES TO THE WINDOW)
AL: (WITH STRAINED POLITENESS) Hey. Would you mind doing something about that child, please?
WOMAN: (OFF) Would you mind your own business?
AL: Listen –
CHILD: (BUT THE SOUND OF THE CHILD’S CRYING DIMINISHES, AND
SOUND: (A DISTANT DOOR SLAMS, CUTTING OFF THE NOISE)
AL: Ffff! Well, that’s a relief. Darn it, I wonder where Marge is? Well, if she didn’t answer me she must be on the way, and it’s only ten, twelve minutes in a cab.
She ought to be right here. If she didn’t –
SOUND: (A DISTANT PIANO STARTS TO PLAY “MARGIE” NOT VERY WELL)
AL: Huh! Listen to that. (HE SINGS ALONG WITH IT)
Mar-gie, I’m always thinking of you, Mar-
SOUND: BUT THE PIANIST HITS A SOUR NOTE, AND STARTS OVER AGAIN.)
AL: You don’t play very well, bud.
SOUND: (THE PIANO GOES ON, HITS THE SAME WRONG NOTE, AND BEGINS AGAIN)
AL: It’s G natural, Mac. (HE LISTENS)
SOUND: (THE PIANO SLOWS DOWN, HITS THE WRONG NOTE, HESITATES AND HITS THE RIGHT ONE AND GOES ON)
AL: That’s better. (A PAUSE) Wow, it’s hot.
SOUND: (THE PIANO HITS ANOTHER WRONG NOTE, HESITATES AND STARTS OVER)
AL: Oh, my lord.
SOUND: (PIANO CONTINUES)
AL: I’ll get a drink of water)
SOUND: (PIANO CONTINUES AS HE GOES AWAY)
(FAUCET TURNS ON B.G.)
(SLAM OF REFRIGERATOR DOOR)
SOUND: (FAUCET TURNED OFF, AND HE COMES BACK)
AL: No ice! I don’t know how the dickens she can do a think like – no, by gosh, I did that myself! I remember when I left-
SOUND: (THE PIANO HITS A NEW WRONG NOTE)
AL: Will you stop that – that – piano playing!
SOUND: (PIANO GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: WILL you – oh, the – he can’t hear me! Well, maybe Marge’ll like it when she gets here. It’s a good gag. Keep it up, Mac.
SOUND: (MAC OBLIGINGLY KEEPS IT UP)
AL: I’ll go nuts before she gets here, though.
SOUND: (HE DIALS ANOTHER NUMBER)
AL: Hello, give me the cocktail lounge. Probably stopped to have a fast nip first and – hello. This is Al Bessemer. Is my wife there? Isn’t, huh? She been in tonight? Okay, thanks.
SOUND: (HANGS UP)
AL: I wonder where the devil she can be. She said she’d be here at eight…it’s eight-fifteen – seventeen now. I wish she –
SOUND: (THE PIANO STOPS)
AL: Well, thanks, Mac. We get this thing straightened out, we’re going to move out of here.
SOUND: (SOMEBODY STARTS POUNDING ON WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A PIECE OF PIPE)
AL: Yeh. I’d just about forgotten about that. I wonder what that guy does. Sounds like pounding on pipe or something. You’d think you get in a half-way decent neighborhood you’d be entitled to peace and quiet once in a while, but it sounds like the Battle of the Bulge.
VOICE: (DISTANT) Hey, cut out that poundin’!
AL: That’s tellin’ ‘em, fat lady. Yes, sir, Marge, we’re going to get out of this place just as soon as – you wanted a place out in the country. I remember. You said the city was getting you down.
MARGE: (FADING IN) The city’s got me down, Al.
AL: I remember what I said. I said we’ll get a place out in the country one of these days, hon. Soon as I’m making a little more money we’ll go right out and get us a little cottage all covered with vines and mortgages, I said. And you didn’t think that was funny. You didn’t laugh.
MARGE: We can afford it, Al. My goodness, look at the Briggses and the Bergens, and all the rest. They’ve got a place in the country, and I bet neither one of them makes any more money than you do!
AL: Well, I don’t know; it’s quite an investment, Marge.
MARGE: We’d spend a lot less out there, honey.
AL: I suppose. But wait till I get my next raise.
MARGE: Al, do you have any regard for me?
AL: Huh? For you? Why, sure I have!
MARGE: Look, Al. You and I aren’t getting any younger. Look at me. I got crow’s feet. I got wrinkles on my forehead.
AL: Well, look at me.
MARGE: I am looking at you. You said the city wasn’t going to get you down, Al, and I said it wasn’t going to get me down, but look at us, both of us!
AL: Ah, let’s have a glass of beer and forget it.
MARGE: That’s what you always say.
AL: What’s the matter with beer?
MARGE: You never used to drink before we came here.
AL: Now, don’t start that.
MARGE: I hate you!
AL: And I hate you!
MARGE: (CRYING) I’m gonna leave!
AL: Go on and leave!
MARGE: I will!
AL: Go on!
MARGE: I will!
AL: And don’t come back!
MARGE: Oh, Al-
SOUND: (THE HAMMER HAS INCREASED IN INTENSITY)
AL: Cut it out!
SOUND: (BABY, AWAKENED, SCREAMS)
AL: Oh, Marge, Marge, what did I ever do that for? Marge, when you come home I’ll TELL you I love you – I’ll SHOW you I love you! I’ll never treat you that away again! I promise I’ll be good to her – I’ll never say a cross word to her – just let her come back, let us be happy again…
SOUND: (CHILD IS BAWLING VIGOROUSLY IN THE DISTANCE)
AL: Oh, it’s so HOT! I wish we had an electric fan here…that’s the first thing I’ll get for you, Marge, just as soon as we get started again…an electric fan, and then move to the country…..oh, that baby! No wonder Marge was irritable all the time. Pianos, and people pounding, and that kid! I never noticed the kid so much before, though…..But Marge, here all day by herself, with that going on. Hot weather, and humidity, and noise….And I’m sitting in a nice cool office, and the only noise there is the telephone once in awhile…No wonder she left! I wonder if anything happened to her…I’d better phone again. No, she’ll be here right away.. My gosh, it’s a wonder she didn’t go crazy-
SOUND: (TELEPHONE RINGS) (BABY STOPS FOR A MOMENT)
AL: Ah, there she is!
SOUND: (HE LIFTS THE RECEIVER)
AL: Hello – hel – who? Who? There’s no Miss Pride here! You’ve got the wrong number!
SOUND: (HE SLAMS THE RECEIVER DOWN)
AL: Where IS she?
SOUND: (THE BABY BEGINS AGAIN, BUT LAUGHING AND TALKING THIS TIME, CONTINUING BEHIND THE FOLLOWING - )
AL: Maybe she decided not to come. Maybe she IS done with me. Maybe – he, maybe my watch is slow. Let’s see.
SOUND: (HE LIFTS THE RECEIVER AND DIALS ME 7-1212. WE HEAR THE RINGING SIGNAL, AND THEN - )
VOICE: (ON PHONE) When you hear the signal, the time will be 8:21 and one quarter – BUZZ. (PAUSE) When you hear the signal, the time will be 8:21 and one half – BUZZ
SOUND: (HE HANGS UP THE RECEIVER. THE CHILD GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: Eight twenty-one. She said she’d be hear at eight.
What’ll I do if she doesn’t come?
Oh, she’s got to come. Marge, Marge, please come home?
If you don’t come, Marge, I’ll…
You’d feed awful funny if you cam in here a week from now and found me …
Oh, stop talking like a silly fool!
Stop talking to yourself!
SOUND: (THERE IS SILENCE FOR A LITTLE WHILE, BROKEN ONLY BY THE BABY)
AL: (AT LENGTH) No…
She acted all right on the phone. She wasn’t mad. She even laughed a little bit. She was – she sounded as if she was lonesome, too. She said she’d talk it over.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yes, I’d be willing to talk it over, I guess, Al.
AL: I miss you so much, honey.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Do you?
AL: I can’t tell you how much.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Did you send your blue suit out to be cleaned?
AL: I haven’t been to the apartment.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well, I just hoped you didn’t send it out again, because I stopped by last week and I sent it out.
AL: (JOYFULLY) Oh, Marge, did you?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) And I stopped the papers.
AL: I forgot about that
MARGE: (ON PHONE) There was a stack of morning papers two feet high in the hall.
AL: I’m sorry, Marge. I always forget things.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) I know.
AL: If you’ll just come back, honey, I promise you I’ll never forget anything again.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) I’ve heard that before. (SHE LAUGHS A LITTLE)
AL: I know, Marge, but – this time’s different. I –
MARGE: (ON PHONE) I’ve heard that, too.
AL: I mean it, Marge.
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yeah.
AL: I do, honest I do! Will you, Marge?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well … I’ll come and talk it over with you, anyway.
AL: Oh, Marge, I love you.
MARGE: (ON PHONE): You said that before.
AL: Do – do you love me, Marge? (NO ANSWER) Marge? (NO ANSWER) A little bit … please?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) I’ll tell you when I see you.
AL: When, then?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well…
SOUND: (THE VOICE OF THE CHILD PRATTLING AWAY HAS BENE GROWING LOUDER)
MARGE: (ON PHONE, CONT) Monday night, maybe.
AL: What time?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Eight o’clock.
AL: Oh, Marge, Marge, thank you! Thank you – Marge?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yes, Al?
AL: Marge, tell me you love me a little. (A PAUSE) Marge, please? Tell me you love me just a little?
MARGE: (ON PHONE) Al, I –
SOUND: (AND THE CHILD’S VOICE CUTS HER OFF WITH A LOUD SHRIEK)
Al: (YELLS) Will you cut that out!
I’ll go crazy if you don’t get here pretty soon, Marge!
Oh, Marge, please hurry!
SOUND: (THE CHILD GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: Kid, stop! Stop, stop stop!
(HE GOES TO THE WINDOW) Will you choke that brat or something. I’m going nuts up here!
VOICE: (OFF) Ah, shut up!
SOUND: (THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. TH EDHILD GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: Oh, thank –
SOUND: (GOES TO THE DOOR AND OPENS IT)
MAN: Hello, Mr. Bessemer. Here’s a suit that was sent out to be cleaned. It’s been downstairs for a week, I took good care of it for you.
AL: All right, thanks.
MAN: I think your wife sent it out, huh? Gee, it sure is ho, ain’t it, Mr. Bessemer? Hottest day in twelve years it says in the papers.
AL: Yeah. Yeh. Yeh.
MAN: Awful lot of humidity, too.
AL: Yeh, here, Good night.
MAN: Good –
SOUND: (AND THE DOOR, CLOSING, SHUTS HIM OFF)
AL: (FLINGING THE SUIT ON THE FLOOR) Blue suit! What do I want with – oh. That’s the one Marge sent out. (HE STOOPS TO PICK IT UP) Oh, the nice suit ..(HE LAUGHS) Thank you Marge. Gee … we’ll put you in the closet.
SOUND: (HE OPENS A CLOSET DOOR)
AL: There you are, blue suit. Huh…Marge didn’t take all her clothes. Here’s her green dress. That’s the one I always liked.
SOUND (DISTANTLY, THE PIANO BEGINS “MARGIE” AGAIN)
AL: Gee, I’ll never forget the first time you wore that. That was the day we went to Riverview Park with the Hansens. Poor old Red Hansen. Gee, they were so happy together that day, and Hilda liked this dress so much…And we used to say nobody was as happy together as the Hansens … And what a witch that Hilda turned out to be. Running out on Red…Gosh, it sure is hot in here. Pretty green dress…
SOUND: (HE CLOSES THE CLOSET DOOR GENTLY. THE SOUND GROW A TRIFLE LOUDER)
AL: Poor old Red Hansen. She sure made a bum out of him. He ought to’ve shot her. Running out on him that way. I saw him on the street the other day…ugh. (A PAUSE) I wonder….Marge…she couldn’t be working a thing like that on me…..Nah.
SOUND: (THE PIANO STARTS OVER AGAIN)
AL: Still…what time is it? Eight twenty-eight. And she said eight o’clock. I wonder. (BURSTS OUT) Well, she won’t make a tramp out of me like Red Hansen! I’ll never go around putting the arm on MY friends for half a dollar! Chiseling drinks, can’t hold a job ten minutes! You’re not going to do that to ME! I’ll knock myself off first! ..I’ll fix her!..I’ve got that target pistol in there. Ah, sure, it’s only a twenty-two, but if I put the bullets in the right place it’ll be as good as a forty-five. How’d you like that, Marge? How’d you like to look at the papers tomorrow and see a headline – huh! Headline! It’d be on page twenty-seven, next to the want-ads. Al Bessemer, junior executive with an optical firm, was found dead in his apartment early today. Police said it was a suicide brought on by his wife running away from him and not coming back…How’d you like that, Marge? Well, you’ll find out, if you don’t get here pretty soon! I ought to shoot that kid first, though. And that piano player. How can people go on making the same mistakes over and over again and never doing anything about it?
Marge, Marge, Marge, come home!
Man, I wish I had a drink! Huh. If I had a drink and Marge did come home, that’d be the thing. I WOULD be out! She’d yell her head off. Like the time –
MARGE: (OFF) You’re nothing but an alcoholic, and I’m sorry I ever married you!
AL: Yeh. An alcoholic. And the time her old man kept feeding me home-made peach brandy.
MARGE: (OFF) Getting yourself drunk, and worse than that getting dad drunk with you!
AL: Oh, you’re not so hot, Marge, sometimes. You can be as bad as Hilda Hansen, but you’re not going to do that to me. But I love you, Marge. Marge, for the love of Mike, come home! Marge!
SOUND: (THE POUNDING BEGINS AGAIN)
AL: (YELLS) Cut that out!
SOUND: (THE POUNDING CONTINUES)
AL: (IN DESPEARTION: If this keeps up, all the noise and all the heat and – I’m going to –
SOUND: (HE GOES TO THE WINDOW)
AL: Hey you!
SOUND: (THE POUNDING STOPS, THEN BEGINS AGAIN)
AL: You hear me? You cut out that noise, or I’ll call the police!
SOUND: (ALL THE NOISE GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: (YELLS) Stop that noise!
VOICE: (OFF) Ah, shut up!
AL: Cut it out, cut it out!
SOUND: (AND THE NOISE GOES RIGHT ON)
AL: (COMING BACK) What am I going to DO?
Marge, Marge, please!
Where are you?
SOUND: (HE PICKS UP THE PHONE, DIALS A NUMBER)
VOICE: (ON PHONE) Good evening, Graveny Hotel.
VOICE: (AFTER A WAIT) 506 does not answer. Would you care to leave a message, sir?
SOUND: (HE FLINGS THE TELEPHONE TO THE FLOOR)
AL: Message! I’ll leave a message! I’ll leave you a message, my dear wife, that you’ll never forget! I’ll leave you a message! I’ll fix you! I’ll leave you a 22-calibre message right through the head that you’ll remember the longest day you live! You walk out on me, and then you promise me you’ll come back and –
MARGE: (DISTANT) I, Marjorie, take thee, Albert, to my lawful wedded husband
AL: Marge – Marge –
MARGE: (OFF)for better or for worse,
AL: Marge! Oh, Marge, come back! Come back, or I’ll –
MARGE: (OFF) for richer for poorer
AL: Yeah! Yeah, that’s what you said –
MARGE: (OFF) till death us do part
AL: I can do it. I will do it. It’s too late, Marge. You’ve done it once too often. I know where the gun is. I can do it all right, and you’ll be sorry you see, you;ll be sorry…
SOUND: (OPENING A DRAWER)
AL: Sure, it’s right here. Right where it always was.
This’ll fix her. Bullets. Yeh. O, Lord, it’s so hot! I don’t wan to do this, but I got to! I got to! Marge, I hate to – Marge –
I’ll count to ten and if you’re not here by the time I count ten I’m going to do it! I’ll give you ten, Marge!
Oh, will you shut up!
You’ll be sorry. I’ll make you sorry for everything you ever did to me – one!
The way you spoke to me
MARGE: (OFF) I don’t want you to drink so much because I love you
AL: Two. Always nagging at me, wanting me to move out to the country – three. And always wanting to have kids like that awful brat that yells all the time – four. Threatening to leave me all the time – five. And then running out on me and promising to come and talk – six. Promising saying you’d tell me whether you love me when you see me – seven. (HE LAUGHS) Love me! Eight. Well, I’ll tell you something, Marge. I hate you. I hope you never come! I hope you – nine. And if you did come, I’d just as soon –
SOUND: (THE DOOR IS OPENED)
MARGE: Al! Oh, Al, I’m sorry I’m so la –
SOUND: (A SHOT CUTS HERE OFF. SHE MOANS AND FALLS.
AL: Marge … Marge – Marge darling –
SOUND: (HE BURSTS INTO RACKING SOBS AS THE CHILD’S GAY LAUGH IS HEARD IN THE DISTANCE)
(MUSIC … THEME … FADE FOR)
ANNCR: The title of tonight’s “Quiet, Please” was “Motive.” It was written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and the man who spoke to you was Ernest Chappell.
CHAPPELL: And Mary Patton played Marge. Cecile Roy played the arduous part of the child; and the other voices were supplied by Peggy Stanley and Floyd Buckley.
The music for “Quiet Please” – including the piano - is of course by Albert Buhrmann..
Now for a word about next week, here is our writer-director Wyllis Cooper.
COOPER: None of the characters in tonight’s story were INTENDED to represent anybody, living or dead.
Next week “The Third Man’s story.”
CHAPPELL: And so until out next week at this time, I am quietly yours, Ernest Chappell.
(MUSIC … THEME FADE FOR)
ANNCR: “Quiet, Please” comes to you from New York, and is heard in Canada through the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
THIS IS THE MUTUAL BROADCASTING SYSTEM.
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