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(indistinct chatter)

MAN: How do we know he's not in Los Angeles?

TV NEWSMAN 1: We were promised,

as you know, the call would come to us at 4:00.

It's now 10 minutes after 4:00.

(indistinct chatter)

TV NEWSMAN 1: We're waiting here, in Los Angeles, for a phone call

from legendary billionaire, Howard Hughes,

which could debunk...

(clearing throat)

We're waiting here, in Los Angeles, for a phone call

from legendary billionaire, Howard Hughes,

which could debunk a writer's claim that he's written

an authorized autobiography of Hughes,

and that Hughes is in a permanent state of dementia.

TV NEWSMAN 2: The location of Howard Hughes,

still a complete mystery to us.

And if he's unable to call,

as promised by the Hughes organization,

and prove that he is of sound mind,

well, the organization's defense contracts,

its medical foundation,

even its casino licenses could be in jeopardy.

TV NEWSMAN 1: If he doesn't call as promised,

it's gonna be hard for him to defend himself

against the charges in Miskin's book.

TV NEWSMAN 2: Yes, wherever he's hiding.

Yes, I'm told now that we can only wait

for Mr. Hughes' phone call until 4:30.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Very few private citizens

can be said to have developed

such an astounding amount of influence,

celebrity and achievement.

TV NEWSMAN 2: Always with an eye out for new talent,

Hughes developed a reputation

for employing dozens of young, aspiring actresses,

and keeping them under contract

-(Telephone ringing) -...for years at RKO,

regardless of whether or not

-they ever appear in one of his pictures. -Hello?

TV NEWSMAN 1: Howard Hughes was once the American ideal.

A moviemaker, an aviator, an inventor...

Howard?

TV NEWSMAN 1: ...and an industrialist, who, at the age of 18,

inherited a fortune which gave him a monopoly

on the best device in the world

with which to drill for oil.

TV NEWSMAN 2: This is a man with relationships

with presidents, military leaders and people who are...

Howard, you've got 18 minutes left to place the call.

TV NEWSMAN 1: In 1930, he produced the most expensive movie ever made.

TV NEWSMAN 2: Well, Miskin's book says

that Howard Hughes cannot remember anything,

that he's completely unable to communicate.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Well, despite his countless plane crashes,

all of which he survived...

Howard, can you hear me?

TV NEWSMAN 1: His design set new speed records in his own racing aircraft,

and he essentially became an American hero.

TV NEWSMAN 2: Of course, he's an American hero.

But it's not as if

he's incapable of making a mistake.

He could be in the middle of making

a big mistake right now.

COLONEL WILLIS: I think you're mistaken, Mr. Hughes.

I think you're mistaken.

HOWARD (over radio): I don't make mistakes, Colonel.

COLONEL WILLIS: Okay, he doesn't make mistakes.

The Department of Defense has scheduled your flight...

The Department of Defense didn't invent this plane, Colonel.

I did. I paid for it,

and I'll land it when I'm goddamn ready to land it!

You are picking up the Apple Blossom Queen.

Her name is Marla Mabrey.

Go down there, get her,

and drive her straight to her house.

Remember, any driver who tries any hanky-panky

with a contract actress is gone.

He's fired.

Thank you.

Miss Mabrey, I'm Frank. Nice to meet you.

Congratulations on being the Apple Blossom Queen.

The car's just over there. I'll get the, uh...

I'm Lucey, Frank. I'm Marla's mother.

Oh.

(chuckles)

-Uh... -This is Marla.

-Hi, I'm Frank. -Hi.

This way, please.

FRANK: Oh...

(all chuckling)

-Sorry, sorry. -Okay. All right.

MARLA: Thank you.

Let me get that for you.

-Thank you. -Of course.

LUCEY: Marla's so excited that she's actually

gonna finally meet Howard Hughes.

Will that be happening today?

That's hard for me to say, ma'am.

I'm new on the job.

I just, I got here from Fresno two weeks ago.

Oh, my goodness.

Two weeks in Los Angeles

and you're working for Howard Hughes?

(clears throat) No harm having high hopes, ma'am.

And what church do you go to, Frank,

if you don't mind my asking?

Well, it's First Methodist. It's in Fresno.

Oh. All right, you're a Methodist.

-Right. -I forgive you.

-Oh. She's kidding. -We're Baptists.

(exclaiming) Blessed savior!

Oh, my goodness! What a view!

This is very, very nice. This is...

-(orchestral music playing) -(gasps)

Where in the world is that coming from?

That's the Hollywood Bowl down there.

I think they're rehearsing.

Really?

$400 a week on top of this?

And your father never saw $400 a week

even as a full professor.

(piano playing)

Um, the bags are all upstairs. The kitchen's stocked.

I'll be right in the...

Outside in the car, if you need me.

Do you know where the nearest Baptist church would be?

I'll check on that right away, ma'am.

So it just doesn't seem likely

that we'll meet Mr. Hughes this afternoon?

We assumed we'd meet him as soon as we arrived.

And where is the script for Stella Starlight?

Oh, I'm sorry, I don't...

Any idea when I do the screen test?

I'm sorry, I really...

-(furniture clattering) -(gasps)

Excuse me, sorry.

I'll be right outside in the car

until your next driver comes on.

His name is Levar.

Oh, my stars!

(giggling)

LUCEY: Why are these chairs so far back?

I'm gonna move them up.

MALE ANNOUNCER (on radio): President Eisenhower

went on to say that the government

has what he termed,

"all sorts of useful projects on the shelf,"

to be put into action against the recession if and when they're needed.

EISENHOWER: The economy of this country

is a lot stronger than

the spirit of those people that I see...

"Bless us, oh, Lord, for these, Thy gifts

that we are about to receive from thy bounty,

through Christ, Our Lord. Amen."

Amen.

Well, from all I've read about Howard Hughes

I hope he doesn't expect to meet you in some hotel room.

Hi.

Thank you.

Venus if you will

Please send a little girl for me to thrill

A girl who wants my kisses and my arms

A girl with all the charms of you

Venus, make her fair

A lovely girl with sunlight in her hair

So, did you get caviar?

(sighs) Yes, I got caviar but I still haven't met him.

Do you have any idea how many houses

he has for actresses under contract?

I think something like 14.

More like 22.

More like 26.

BOTH: 26?

(indistinct chattering)

This is how we get paid?

Lord in heaven!

Nadine, am I meeting Mr. Hughes today?

(chuckles) Sit.

HOWARD: This is an engineering problem.

You do know what these are?

MAN: Are these hulls of an aircraft?

HOWARD: What?

MAN: I don't know. Twin pontoons?

We do movies, Howard.

We don't know pontoons, propellers...

HOWARD: Gentlemen,

the way that the dress fits around the breasts

makes it look like they're padded.

If the brassiere incorporated some kind of point

at the nipple it would solve that.

And try not to let Miss Russell

hear you call them pontoons.

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

(softly) Both girls are going away for the weekend,

so go now.

Oh, Frank, there you are.

Listen, you're doing swell,

and I want you to be prepared to drive the boss any minute.

Well, my mom passed away.

Actually, I was raised mostly by my grandma.

(clears throat)

And your dad?

Uh...

Well, he, kind of, took off before she passed away, so...

I think every few weeks,

I'll probably be able to go back

and see my grandma and my girl.

I grew up across the street from,

actually, my fiancée.

Right now she takes care of her father's dog kennel.

Do you think I'll ever get to meet Mr. Hughes?

So, who was it that said...

"They also serve who only stand and wait"?

John Milton on his blindness.

(laughs)

Good for you, smart cookie.

You know, they say in Hollywood,

a girl can get in trouble

for having a case of the smarts.

Not just in Hollywood, honey.

(laughter)

Ha-ha.

LEVAR: But if you or me make a move

on one of these chicks we are dead in the water.

We're history. We're fired.

And the Iron Maiden has emerged.

-The what? -Iron Maiden.

The virgin Marla.

ACTRESS 1: You did? That's horrible.

ACTRESS 2: Stop, you.

What's going on? I called you three times.

Please, I'm late for my 4:00.

What's the matter?

You afraid the old man will hear

you were talking to a normal guy?

Oh, please, no.

Just don't, don't do this.

I'm not doing anything and neither are you.

You're not allowed to do...

I'm doing just fine. Thank you.

You know what? Forget it.

-(chuckling) -What was that about?

Some guys never stop looking to hide the salami.

-(laughter) -What?

-What? -Hide the salami.

Do the deed.

Dip the wick.

Varnish the cane.

Butter the muffin.

I get it.

Bye, girls.

He rocks in the tree tops all day long

Hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singing his song

All the little birds on Jaybird Street

Love to hear the robin go tweet, tweet, tweet

Rockin' robin

Tweet, tweet, tweet

Rockin' robin

Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee

Go rockin' robin

♪ 'Cause we're really gonna rock tonight

MARLA: Mamie told me that six months ago

one of the drivers got fired

because he ate dinner with her.

But Sally says all the drivers

have to be hired through their churches.

Fine, that doesn't make them angels.

And when is Frank Forbes' fiancée coming to town, anyway?

I don't want a ricochet romance

I don't want a ricochet love

If you're careless with your kisses

Find another turtle dove

I don't want a ricochet romance

No, no, not me

If you're gonna ricochet, baby

I'm gonna set you free

Reverend Forbes, do not charge the battery,

if you're not going to use the lights.

Unless, of course, you'd like to be fired.

Anyway, the virgin Marla's a Baptist.

You do know why Baptists think fucking is bad, don't you?

Because it might lead to dancing.

-Knock it off, Levar. -(music playing)

Ma, he's making eyes at me... ♪

And here's this.

Oh, thank you.

Careful, Granny.

"For food and all thy gifts of love,

we give Thee thanks and praise.

Look down, oh, Jesus, from above

and bless us all our days."

-Amen. -Amen.

-Amen. -Amen.

Glad you're feeling better now, Mr. Bransford.

MR. BRANSFORD: Your fiancée's been doing

a whale of a job with the kennel, Frank.

But the puppies all tell me they miss you around here.

Will the house you find us have at least a tiny yard?

Absolutely.

MR. BRANSFORD: And you still feel

Howard Hughes is going to be interested

in developing a housing project

with a kid your age?

When you finally meet him.

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

The Bible says that we're all sinners.

And the word "sin" actually means

that we've come short of God's standards.

-Jesus said... -(floorboard creaking)

(dog growling)

...that we should love the Lord God

with all our heart, mind, and soul

and our neighbors ourselves. And I think if...

You think he knows?

Knows what?

You know, that you and I have...

...gone all the way.

Don't be silly.

MARLA: Frank, why do all you drivers slow down

and speed up again like that?

These are from the Hughes organization.

Read card 4, please.

Read 4.

"When transporting female contract players,

drivers will slow to two miles per hour

at any dip, swale, undulation or impediment

that may jostle unsupported body parts."

What does that mean, body parts?

You're kidding!

I haven't even met him and he's protecting my body parts?

-What does it mean? -Mom, he means my...

Oh, my God. That's outrageous!

I know. How does he know they're unsupported?

-It's not amusing, Marla! -That's what I wanna know.

It's funny.

It's not in the slightest bit amusing.

To treat these women like he owns their bodies.

-He doesn't own their bodies. -To have these young girls go to class

in their tiny little dance outfits.

Uniforms, they're called uniforms.

Have them grabbing for their paychecks

like it was bait on a hook.

-Which it is. -Mom, please.

It's just so insulting and disrespectful.

And you just watch all this

without saying one word,

-Frank, not a single word. -What's he going to say?

Mrs. Mabrey, I've signed a contract

agreeing not to talk about Mr. Hughes.

Oh, have you? I can only imagine

what it is you won't talk about.

Do you realize my daughter's never met Mr. Hughes?

I do, ma'am.

Never heard one word from him about this screen test?

You know, you've saved your money.

You're a smart girl.

You can buy a lot of caviar back in Front Royal, Virginia, my dear.

MARLA: They don't have caviar

back in Front Royal, Virginia, my dear.

Don't you be snippy with me, young lady.

Nobody's getting any younger.

Mrs. Mabrey, I'd appreciate your keeping this between us.

I've never met Mr. Hughes either.

-Amen. -Amen.

-(phone ringing) -I'll get it.

Hello?

-NADINE: Mabrey? -Yes, Nadine.

Everything in the house is fine?

Yes, everything is fine.

Thank you. We would like to know,

when is the screen test for Stella Starlight?

And where, for heaven's sake, is Mr. Howard Hughes

who's never been gracious enough

to speak one word to my daughter since she's been here?

We are not a couple of Virginia bumpkins.

We've waited long enough.

I have nothing further to say. Good night.

Marla,

you turned down a scholarship to Mary Washington.

You haven't written a song since you've been here,

and you haven't even met this man

who's supposedly making your screen test.

His money is not enough to buy your time.

Mom, he's the king of Hollywood,

he's one of the most respected men in America.

He's some kind of a genius.

Everybody wants him, he's a busy man.

And you are a gifted young woman with a wonderful future.

God forbid, in a town like this.

This game Howard Hughes plays with young women,

it doesn't fool me one bit.

Nobody's getting any younger.

We are going home.

We?

I love you, Mom.

I'll help you pack.

METHODIST MINISTER: The Bible tells us,

that whosoever looketh on a woman

to lust after her,

hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

BAPTIST PREACHER: Someone who tells us the Bible

doesn't deal with sex before marriage

is simply trying to avoid feeling guilty.

There is a time to reap and a time to sow.

There is a time to embrace,

and a time to refrain from embracing.

(choir singing inside)

-Hi. -Hi.

How was church?

(inhales)

Miss your mom, huh?

Let's just go. I like driving.

I didn't think you knew how.

Ugh! I mean, I like going for a drive.

I know how to drive, or I did. Let's go.

What do you mean "You did"?

My dad, God rest his soul,

thought women drivers were dangerous,

so I quit, then I forgot how. Okay?

-What are you doing? -You'll remember.

You've got a driver's license, don't you?

Let's go. I want to show you a place off Mulholland Drive.

( Cheerful music playing)

FRANK: Wait.

(clears throat) It's nice back here.

-(tires screeching) -(horn honking)

MALE DRIVER: Hey!

Ooh.

Oh. (chuckling)

What do wanna show me?

It's just some acreage I wanna develop.

Slow down a little bit around here.

It's for affordable housing.

Affordable housing?

Yeah. You know, people who aren't rich.

They wanna get out of the cities,

and into the suburbs.

Just take a right, right here. Take a right, right here?

Never mind.

The land I'm gonna show you, the Teamsters own it.

They tried making it a golf course,

but nobody came.

Okay, you can slow down a little bit more, right?

It's 117 acres.

(stammering) I feel, you know, if you make a good deal

on the land and then you subdivide...

I don't mean big houses,

I mean, modest houses for middle class families.

Okay, there's... (stammers)

(clears throat)

Cash is king right now.

With Howard Hughes as a backer,

I mean, I know I can make him a profit.

I wanna call it Mulholland Canyon.

You got a light.

FRANK: They told me again, "Be ready to drive the boss."

MARLA: Wow! You might even meet the guy.

I should become a driver.

(chuckles)

Well, I'm driving.

I think you're right about this place.

MARLA: They told me earlier,

class was canceled. They didn't call you?

I never quite know what's going on. (chuckles)

I had such a strange day.

I was outside at Schwab's,

and this guy started talking to me.

It was nice, I mean he wasn't...

He wasn't making a pass at me or anything,

but we talked, and he said

he'd like to have dinner, and I'm...

(stammers)

I'm just looking at him,

and then I realize who I'm talking to.

Bobby Darin.

I said, "I can't believe it.

"You're Bobby Darin."

I mean, okay, he didn't know I was an actress or anything.

But I didn't even know he was Bobby Darin.

It just...

I...

I feel...

Old.

Old?

I mean, wouldn't you say in Hollywood as a rule,

when you've been here as long as I have

that you should have already more or less

shown what you can do?

Let's be honest, maybe I'm not the right girl for this,

I mean aren't you supposed to have big bosoms

and be sexy and casual about everything?

I'm a square.

I can't really act. I can't dance.

I can write songs, but I can't really sing.

A movie actress should sing songs, not write them.

Wouldn't you say that's true?

I mean, as a rule.

I mean, in this town, aren't those the rules?

What?

Come on, Frank, you know the rules.

(sighs)

You're an exception.

The rules don't apply to you.

(telephone ringing)

Hold on.

(dial tone ringing)

MARLA: Hello?

Marla, hi.

I just wanted you to know...

You're meeting with Mr. Hughes tonight.

I'll send someone to pick you up right away.

Thank you.

Guess what.

This is the Beverly Hills Hotel?

We take the private entrance to the Polo Lounge.

(both chuckling)

Hi!

Oh, thank you.

Oh.

Would you like a cocktail?

Oh...

I don't drink.

(chatter)

(music playing at a distance)

-Okay, I'll be in the car. -Oh, okay.

Would you follow me, Ms. Mabrey?

MAN: What are you talking about?

-MARLA: It's dark in here. -LEVAR: Have a seat.

MARLA: Does he always keep it this dark?

(Marla exhales)

Does he stay in this bungalow?

(sighs) Sorry, I can't say.

Did I hear he has five bungalows?

Hmm.

What's in those bottles?

LEVAR: That's water.

From Maine.

(Marla scoffs)

Water.

From Maine.

Is Frank still here?

He's, uh...

He's in the car.

-You like crossword puzzles? -(sighs)

-Yeah. -(phone ringing)

Yes?

Right away.

Ah! Mr. Hughes. I recognize you from your pictures.

I'd like to thank you.

Thank you for my acting classes,

thank you for my ballet classes,

thank you for the house

thank you for the paycheck,

and thank you for the chance to become a star.

Your name is, is...

-Marla. -Marla.

-Marla Mabrey. -Marla Mabrey. Yes.

Some champagne, Marla?

Oh, no. No, thank you, I don't drink.

You don't like to have a drink? (chuckles)

No, actually I've never had one.

You've never had a drink?

No.

Huh.

You've never had a drink in your life?

No.

Good for you, good for you.

(stammering) You do eat, yes?

(chuckling) I do.

Yes, I do eat.

Ah, gee.

This is neat. Steak, mashed potatoes,

little peas.

Just about every single one of my favorites.

Should I take mime, Mr. Hughes?

They say it's the visual that counts.

A picture's worth a thousand words.

And stardom's all in how you carry your body.

Is it true Lana Turner took mime?

I guess I'm just all confused.

(chuckles)

What material will I do

when you do my screen test for Stella Starlight?

-(whispering indistinctly) -(saxophone playing)

Nice.

Yes.

That's rayon, you know,

the American Viscose Corporation

started making rayon before the war.

Good stuff.

-Hello? -MAN: Yes?

Look, I want you to tell Arnold

that the wing flaps are not 35.4.

They're 36.9.

I have told him that not once, but twice!

So take care of it!

Mr. Hughes,

I don't know if I have the talent

to be successful in the movies,

but I think I do.

And I'm not insulted by your failure to meet me sooner

because I know you have your own way of doing things.

And I may be a bumpkin from Virginia,

but I'm a good Christian.

And I'm smart enough to know

that if the rumors I've heard about you

with women were true, you wouldn't have had time

to fly a plane, let alone invent one

whether the wing flaps were 35.4 or 36.9.

So I only hope I can earn your respect for my work

because you've certainly earned my respect for yours.

-(laughs) -What is so funny?

Hey, I'm gonna get busy on the screen test.

Nadine.

Blessed Savior!

Will you say hello to Nadine for me?

She's a treasure.

Nadine, I wanna get busy right away

on the Stella Starlight screen test

for Marla Mabrey, okay?

Good. Also, make sure

Harvey retouched the picture of me in my sweater.

NADINE: Okay.

Thanks, Marla.

(door closes)

Thank you!

So what's he really like?

My mom could not have been more wrong.

A total gentleman! Amazing!

I mean, yes, he's not young.

But the man's an incredibly romantic figure.

I mean, let's face it, he's old

but everybody's got a crush on him anyway.

I don't know if it's the money

or the power or the mystery or what.

This is silly.

What am I,

Mamie Eisenhower in a limousine?

(chuckling) I think maybe it's gonna happen now, Frank.

I just met Howard Hughes.

MAN: Frank, that's 3:15 a.m. Do you read me?

Roger. 3:15 a.m.

What's 3:15 a.m.?

I'm meeting him.

I pick him up here, 3:15 a.m.

(laughs) It is a big day!

My mom could not have been more wrong!

LEVAR: That's water.

From Maine.

(Marla scoffs)

MARLA: Water.

From Maine.

How many bathrooms did the house you grew up in have?

One.

Mine, too.

Keep dreaming about that house.

I keep knocking walls out

and making it bigger and bigger.

No, no, no. I need to know if that son of a bitch, Levar,

is behaving appropriately with these girls.

And by the way,

I'm not sure about Wilbur either.

So tonight, I'm checking out this kid, Frank Forbes.

(orchestral music playing)

FRANK: Did you ever think you'd be sittin' in

your front yard listening to the Los Angeles Philharmonic?

Let's just hope nobody saw me driving you in the front seat.

Frank, I really wanna let you know

that when you told me the rules don't apply to me

it was really helpful.

Good.

You know, they don't apply to you either.

Right.

Right.

Right.

(door unlocking)

I guess we better say good night.

Yes.

Good night.

Hey! You've got a date at 3:15.

(sighs)

Bobby Darin's not coming by later?

(panting)

Mr. Hughes, I'm Frank.

FRANK: It's really an honor

to have the opportunity to drive you, Mr. Hughes.

I didn't... I wasn't...

I didn't know I'd be...

It would happen that I'd be driving you, but I...

...or that I'd be...

...meeting you, I mean.

It's a nice night.

Hey, do you think Levar

and Wilbur are the kind of guys

who might wanna chippy on their wives?

-Chippy, sir? -Cheat.

Oh! I think they're both honest men, sir.

-Not old and jaded, you know? -No.

Yeah, because that's one thing I simply cannot abide

is a married man who chippies on his wife.

I have to fire him, you know?

And if anybody working for me

wants to strike up a relationship

with one of our contract actresses

-I have to fire him. -Right.

-I just have to do that... -Yeah.

They told me you're engaged to be married to your...

-...seventh grade sweetheart? -Yes.

-Is that good? Yeah. -Yes, thank you.

I admire that.

Tell me something.

What is your thinking on Sally?

Or, uh... Or Mamie, for instance?

Do you think they're straight arrows?

-Straight arrows? -Yeah.

Or the Apple Blossom Queen. Does she play around?

Marla Mabrey, you mean?

Marla Mabrey, yeah. Is she fast?

-Fast? -Fast. Promiscuous. Yeah.

Oh, well, everybody who knows her says

she's the most devout Christian they've ever met.

Really? And does she drink?

I'm told she's never had a drink in her life, sir.

-Really? -Yes.

-She go to church? -Not far from my own.

You...

You go to church every Sunday?

-Yes, Sir. Since I was 13. -Really?

You know, all these girls want their own cars.

But I'm telling you, if you don't drive them,

you can't keep an eye on them.

And it's just a, it's just a...

You gotta have

-their gate keys. -Yes.

The keys to their gate, because I'm telling you...

Venereal disease in Los Angeles County's

-up something like 85%. -Really?

Are you familiar with available land off Mulholland Drive, sir?

We're very impressed by a guy named Colton at Searle.

And he seems to have come up with something for the ladies

called a birth control pill.

-Birth control? -Birth control pill.

It's a contraceptive. It's Enovid.

If you're smart, you'll buy yourself some Searle stock.

Mmm. Thank you for that tip, sir.

You know, Hoffmann-La Roche

just got a new drug through the FDA.

It's an antidepressant. They're calling it Librium.

The company's Swiss,

but they've got an American division

with a CEO by the name of Bob Clark. He's part Irish.

So instead of Smith Kline,

or Merck, or Upjohn, or Pfizer, or even Searle,

you might wanna take a look at Hoffmann-La Roche.

Might be a heck of a stock.

Uh-huh.

A-ha!

Oh, that's nice.

Yeah.

(clears throat)

"For food and all Thy gifts of love,

we give Thee thanks and praise.

Look down, Oh Jesus, from up above

and bless us all our days. Amen."

Okay, now, what did you wanna

-Oh! -sell me on Mulholland Drive?

It looks to me, sir,

that this might be, excuse me

the right time to buy a very unique piece of land.

It's 117 acres. It's got everything.

It's located right above Mulholland...

Do you like to fly?

-Fly? -Fly.

Um, no, sir.

-No? -No.

Why?

I never have. (chuckles)

You never have what?

Flown in a plane.

You've never flown in a plane?

No.

Oh.

No, no, no, sir.

Sir, this one's on Frank Forbes.

Who's Frank Forbes?

(laughing)

I got you! I got you on that one!

You got me with that one, sir. Yes.

No, I know you, Frank.

I know all about you. You know that?

-I know all about you. -Really?

-This thing, you know... -Mm-hmm.

About two and a half months, maybe three months

gonna be ready to test.

But tomorrow we're testing a little plane.

Oh, really?

And I want you there with me.

-Okay? -Yes, sir.

-You understand? -Yes, sir.

-You get it? -Yes, sir.

Okay. Good.

You know, sometimes I just like to come out here

and just sit, have a burger, and just talk to my plane.

(laughter)

Hi, plane.

Say hello to my plane, will you?

Hi, plane.

Plane, this is Frank.

And tomorrow, we got the little plane.

( upbeat music playing)

COLONEL MAXWELL: Mr. Hughes, you continue this flight

at the risk of endangering a plane that has been paid for

by the government of the United States.

HOWARD: I am trying to land the goddamn thing!

COLONEL MAXWELL: Mr. Hughes, get on your safety frequency.

(static)

Come in, please.

-No safety frequency. -(engine sputtering)

(metal rattling)

Do I... (gasps)

HOWARD: A little surprise, huh?

It works. Yeah.

I feel this.

Do you like it?

MALE ORDERLY 2: Yes, sir.

Don't touch that codeine.

(metal clanging)

(scoffs)

(sighs)

(scoffs)

-If you can get pushing... -Don't tell me what to push!

I invented the goddamn thing!

Time for your enema, sir.

Give the goddamn enema bag to Mr. Forbes, please.

Yes...

Mr. Forbes. The enema bag.

You're the only person I trust with that thing now, Frank.

I tell you, this dope stops you up.

It stops you up.

Buying you some of that birth control stock.

It's gonna go through the goddamn roof.

Frank, you know how old I was

when I inherited the Hughes Tool Company from my daddy?

Younger than you.

Mr. Hughes, I don't know

that I'm really qualified to...

Oh, that's gonna be a bad scar.

What do I...

What do I do with that?

WOMAN: I'll check on it, Mr. Forbes.

Lana Turner's roses are better than mine.

But look at these!

Daisies.

So unexpected.

Jean Peters is smart.

Mr. Forbes, Nadine is on the phone.

Where I come from, daisies are cheap.

-Yeah? -NADINE: Frank, it's about...

Yes, hello, Nadine.

I've been on duty at the hospital

a hundred percent of my time.

It's a little difficult for me to count

how many gallons of gas that I used

before Mr. Hughes had his accident.

Thank you.

(slams headpiece)

You've moved up.

NURSE: Mr. Forbes.

It's been a while.

NURSE: They need you.

Okay.

Bobby Darin's not sending you daisies?

MARLA: Okay, fine. I get it.

I have to still sit in the back seat.

But if we're going to lunch,

do we eat at the same table, or...

No. I'm eating in the kitchen, of course.

-(giggling) -I think, you know what?

Why don't you just drive? I should sit in the back seat.

I don't know why I'm, you know...

I guess nobody can say we don't follow the rules.

FRANK: "For food and all Thy gifts of love,

we give Thee thanks and praise.

Look down, Oh Jesus,

from above and bless us all our days. Amen."

MARLA: Amen. I can't believe it.

He's finally out of the hospital,

and right away you fly to Washington?

You're gonna miss my screen test.

I heard Eisenhower sent him a telegram.

If Eisenhower was really smart,

he'd have Howard Hughes just bomb Moscow,

and have communism over and done with.

I think Howard Hughes should be president.

There's nobody like him. He's on another level.

Seriously, the poor man,

he's gotta deal with these TWA stockholders

who are crabbing about moving from propellers to jets.

At the same time,

he now has to convince the United States Senate

that the Hercules can fly.

So you're gonna fly to Washington?

I will not be flying. Thank you for asking. I will be taking

the train early in the morning.

When does Sarah move to LA?

Um, well, I... (stammering)

Don't know if Sarah and I are...

She still believes that once you've been intimate

or gone all the way with a person,

that in the eyes of God

you're committed to that person

for the rest of your life.

So she believes since you and she have...

...gone all the way, that you're already married?

I agree with Sarah.

That's why I've never done it.

That's why I'm waiting, because I have to be sure.

Well that's, I mean, that's a little...

I'm not legally married. (chuckles)

(train chugging)

HOWARD: Senator, I have come here to testify

of my own free will.

Senator, I have come here to testify of my own free will.

Wait. (stammering) Senator,

I have come here to testify of my own free will.

Senator, I have come here to testify of my own free will.

(exhales)

(Howard sighs)

Any word on the possibility of me...

...getting a ticker tape parade?

They don't have ticker tape parades in Washington, Howard.

There are no skyscrapers here.

Do you think I don't know what you're planning?

What I'm planning?

What you're planning. You think I'm nuts, right?

You think I'm nuts.

Howard, all I said was,

I think you should see someone.

HOWARD: "See someone?"

I really think you need help, kid.

See someone?

What are you talking about?

Do you realize that I'm trying to move

an entire airline from propellers to jets?

And the stockholders could hear

that I am sitting in a loony bin

locked up with some psychiatrist

who can declare me to be incompetent

and then I have to give the whole goddamn business

over to some goddamn conservator?

You do realize that?

-I'll be in my room, Howard. -(breathes deeply)

(door closes)

What are you looking at?

You got any ideas? Speak up.

I think you represent to the majority of this committee,

what is great about capitalism as opposed to communism.

I think these people are scared of you,

and I think they wanna be you.

(scoffs) I don't think you have to practice

what you're gonna say like this.

I think you can go in there,

and try not even knowing

what you're gonna say until you say it.

And you're not, in my opinion, gonna say the wrong thing.

(sighs)

(laughs)

You know...

You know how old I was when I took over my daddy's company?

I was younger than you.

Did I tell you that?

MALE DIRECTOR: Roll film.

Okay. Darling, relax.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay. I'm from Front Royal, Virginia.

I've always been interested in speech and dramatics.

-I write songs. -Turn to your left.

Can you raise your chin up a little?

Great. Keep talking.

I was going to go to Mary Washington College,

where I intended to major in English.

Okay, can you turn to your right?

But keep talking, and chin up. Major in English, go on.

Um...

But I decided when I won a talent contest

that maybe I'd give it a go in Hollywood.

Okay, can you turn to your right?

Great, great, great. Okay.

Do you sing?

Well, sort of.

Should I keep talking?

Okay, turn to your left.

Do you swim?

Sure!

Wardrobe, do we have any bathing suits?

LEVAR: If you ever wanted to slip out for a bite or something,

I think we could do that under the radar.

SENATOR FERGUSON: Mr. Hughes,

the American people wanna know if someone

is making a profit on a plane that can't fly!

Senator...

I have come here to testify of my own free will.

Nobody's making any profit.

This plane will be used for testing and research

and advancing the art of aviation in this country.

In a few more days, it'll fly.

I have stated that if it were to be a failure,

I would leave this country and never come back.

And I mean it!

-(applause) -It'll fly, Senator.

It'll fly.

MALE NARRATOR: Howard Hughes's giant plane has flown.

And at the controls, the successful designer, builder, owner,

airspeed record holder, multimillionaire himself,

Howard Hughes.

-MAN: Bravo! -(all cheering)

Billionaire, goddamn it, not millionaire.

And what the hell happened to the close-up of me

in the cockpit? You know,

the plane flew for one mile,

and nobody knows if it'll ever fly again.

And they know what it cost. That does me no good

at TWA. All right, thank you, gentlemen.

Thank you very much. Greg?

GREG: Yes, Howard?

Howard?

GREG: Howard?

-(door closes) -I gotta know what legal steps I gotta take

to keep these people from sticking me with a psychiatrist,

and then committing me to an insane asylum...

Then declaring me to be incompetent,

and then turning over my entire business to a conservator.

You gotta tell me what I have to do...

To legally keep them from doing that, okay?

Call me back.

(phone ringing)

Hello?

-(doorbell ringing) -Hello, ma'am.

I was informed that

your television antenna was defective.

I brought over the newest model.

And I was wondering if you would...

I just saw your screen test. You were great.

It was great!

Really?

Well... I thought it was pretty awful!

You were great.

They just wanted to see me in a bathing suit!

I didn't do it.

(stammers)

But they didn't say anything when it was over.

You've got something these guys

don't even know about yet.

I mean, wait till Howard Hughes sees it.

I have two more of these in the car, just in case.

Daisies.

And not from Jean Peters?

Well, they could be. They could be from anybody.

They just, according to the rules, can't be from me.

Part of my job. Part of my job.

One day I told my friend

I was terribly blue

Was it far too late to do

What I dreamed I would do? ♪

He thought for a moment, then he answered

He said the rules don't apply to you

He said it very simply and quietly too

But as if there wasn't any doubt at all

That he knew

He gave me a gift

That I would treasure

He said the rules don't apply

To you

In the movies we see

In the shows on TV

And in anthems passionately sung

There's a message that you've got

To keep believing in yourself

But they generally mean if you're young

Is it written in the air As it seems to be

That we haven't long at all To find our destiny

I'll always remember to be grateful

That the rules don't apply

To me

(indistinct chatter on radio)

-(Marla grunts) -(glass shattering)

(groaning)

(both panting)

(door bell ringing)

Who is that?

It's Levar.

-What? -He's driving me to class.

(continues panting)

This is my fault.

This is all my fault. This is my fault.

(softly) No, no. This is not your fault.

This is all my fault. This is my fault.

And it's fine. Let's face it, it's fine.

I sang you the song.

-This is my fault. -(doorbell ringing)

This is all my fault.

There's a broom and a dustpan in there, okay?

Wait, tell Levar I brought the antenna. Okay.

Hi, come on in.

Hi.

(dryer whirring)

Oh, Frank and I were trying to make space

-for the TV and... -Wow.

-Let me help you with that. -Thanks!

Sure.

Wait. What, what time is it? We're gonna be late for class.

Oh, no, you're not going to class.

Mr. Hughes wants to see you.

Now?

Yeah, yeah, I thought they called you.

I'm supposed to take you over there.

Hey, Levar.

Hi, Frank.

They sent me over with the new antenna.

It didn't work though.

We were trying to move the TV.

-I'll do that. I'll do it. -No, no, no.

I'll do that, I'll do that. Yeah, be careful of your feet.

I'll get the other antennas from the car.

No! I'll do that! Because I know that you're late. So I'll get them.

Boy.

I'm, uh...

I'm gonna get some towels.

I just don't know how this stands with the church.

I'm sorry. I'm gonna go to Fresno.

-I'm gonna talk to Sarah. -You're married!

You're a married man!

-I'm gonna be honest with her. -I know that!

-I have been with her since... -You're right.

...we were in the seventh grade together.

What's been happening with us is not your fault.

But I've behaved like a cheap floozy.

You're not hearing what I'm saying.

I'm not some disgusting tease of a virgin...

-You've done nothing wrong! -...trying to steal

another woman's husband. Are you listening to me?

You're not listening to what I'm saying.

I am not trying to steal another woman's husband.

-You've done nothing wrong. -You're not an adulterer.

You're married, Frank.

-You're not... -You're...

Need help?

No, thanks, Levar. I'm just gonna change my clothes. Thanks, Frank.

See you later.

HOWARD: I hired you as my double because you look exactly like me.

The shoes are all wrong. Now, get out of here.

They'll be more exacting next time, sir.

Okay. That, that you cannot legally

commit a person to an insane asylum

if they are married and their spouse refuses to commit to it?

-GREG: Yes, sir. -Uh-huh.

Well, what if there is no spouse?

Howard--

Greg, I got 30,000 people working for me

on weapons the Pentagon would trust nobody else to do,

and you're telling me go out

and get a wife to stay out of the loony bin?

After your meeting, what would you think about

sneaking out some place totally private?

Yes, ring Mr. Brian Forester, please.

(buzzer ringing)

Brian Forester.

HOWARD: This is Howard Hughes.

Hello, Mr. Hughes.

We've traveled a long way, sir, to discuss TWA. We were just hoping

we could skip over and say a quick hello.

We're in the same hotel, after all.

You could just be a few feet away!

I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Forester.

I will talk to you later.

(exhales)

Hi. Want some ice cream?

No, thank you.

(sobbing)

HOWARD: Bit on top. Yes, yes. That's good.

-The young lady is here, Mr. Hughes. -Oh.

Also, Mr. Forester, the Merrill Lynch man,

-called again. -Uh-huh.

They're in bungalow 8-A.

-They wanna know which bungalow you're in. -Uh-huh.

They wanna see you.

There's no need for anyone to know what bungalow I'm in.

(sniffles)

Yeah, just give me... Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Good, good, good. Okay. And, you can take...

Be careful.

Yeah, because...

You, uh...

Uh-huh.

Yeah, yeah. That's good.

("Take Five" playing)

(exhales)

And a little bit more over. That's good.

Hey. Hey.

Argh! Get that person outta here!

(stammering)

Let's find your mommy and daddy.

RUDOLF: So are we finished with this haircut or not?

How should I know? He's very exacting.

Exacting's not even the word for that.

I don't look like him!

(sighs)

So now you're telling me

to just go get married to somebody

who's nice enough to keep people

from putting me into an insane asylum?

Also, I'm running outta codeine.

FRANK: Sarah, we should take a little bit of time.

We need to take time to think.

(exhales)

(sniffles)

(blows)

(faint thud)

Well, hello.

What did you say?

I said hello!

Mm-hmm.

It's been a while, Mr. Hughes.

Huh?

It's been a while since we met.

I have a telephone message from Mr. Forester.

Read it.

"We came at your request to lend you

-$400 million for TWA." -Mm-hmm.

"Shouldn't we at least be allowed to meet you,

as the person who controls TWA,

face-to-face?"

HOWARD: What was his tone?

-Nervous. -Service?

Nervous!

Ah, yeah. Well, okay, thank you.

Yeah, it has been

a while since we were able to see one another, Marla.

I do see your name on my check every week.

That's sort of like seeing you.

Would you excuse me?

Shut the door.

What the hell is she doin' here?

You said you wanted the girl with the two M's.

That's not her. That's Marla Mabrey.

She's a Baptist nun, for Christ's sake.

That's the only one on the payroll with two M's.

Did it occur to you that maybe the one

that I wanted with the two M's was not on the payroll?

Ah! You meant Marilyn Monroe?

Who?

Marilyn Monroe? Her?

Yes! Marilyn Monroe!

I'll get rid of her at once. I apologize, sir.

-Marilyn. I'll get Marilyn. -No. Hey, wait, wait...

I'll get rid of her. You go on home.

(exhales)

How's your mother?

She's very well.

-(phone buzzing) -Uh-huh.

(groans)

Bankers.

Big boys from New York.

(phone buzzing)

From what I read,

bankers work in extremely conventional ways.

I don't pretend to understand the airline business,

but I'm told you say propellers

are a thing of the past.

Well, I think your mother probably thought I was okay

as long as she was sure that

we had nothin' to do with each other.

-(phone buzzing) -I think she thought that if I had been

just one of those girls

you wouldn't have real respect for my integrity.

-Ah. -(phone buzzing)

I mean, I guess a girl's always

got a reputation to think about.

Well, I guess a man always

has a reputation to think about.

-(chuckling) -(phone buzzing)

-Uh... -FORESTER: Hello?

Mr. Forester?

Mr. Hughes?

Listen, I don't think there's any real

necessity for us to meet.

I mean, there's no reason why we can't do this

on the telephone.

Well, let me be plain, sir.

I am not authorized to approve our venture to lend you

$400 million unless we meet.

(belches)

FORESTER: Mr. Hughes?

Mr. Hughes?

If there's a Stella Starlight script,

you could have fooled me.

Did you look at my screen test?

FORESTER: Mr. Hughes, please just

tell us what bungalow you're in.

It would be so very easy.

We're, we're 14 feet away. Five feet away? Twenty feet away?

Which one is your bungalow? We'll come to you!

Uh, Mr. Forester...

I'm sorry, I don't think there's any

need for us to actually meet.

(stammers)

There's no reason why we shouldn't

be able to do this on the telephone.

Mr. Hughes?

Mr. Hughes?

These guys wanna have a face-to-face meeting with me,

-and then be able to say I'm crazy. -(phone ringing)

And then I'll have to give up control

of TWA to them. It's just...

Well, maybe you'd teach them a lesson

if you just gave it to them.

Then they could sue me for a whole lot of money,

and then they may come after my daddy's company,

and so I really can't afford to let them

make me some kind of a psychiatric case.

I would leave this country and never come back.

I'd leave this country, and never come back.

I'd leave this country, and never come back.

You know?

I'd leave this country, and never come back.

I'd leave this country, and never come back.

What, I'm not gonna do it.

They just have a face-to-face meeting with me,

and then call me a nut?

Well, that's ridiculous!

And you have all your own people around you

who you know you can trust.

May I give you some advice?

Yes.

Never trust anybody.

Not me, not anybody.

They're not your mommy or your daddy.

The only person you can trust is you.

Do you have children?

Me? (laughs)

-No? -No.

I'm afraid that I'm still more of a son than a father.

But I'll tell you somethi'' very important,

that a couple of limeys came up with

three or four years ago.

Little thing called DNA,

and we're workin' with it over at my foundation.

In a sense, you are your father,

because his DNA is still inside of you.

It keeps goin' on,

and your father had nothing to say about it.

That's what makes him still alive.

DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid.

It's got all the genetic instructions

that cause all of the function and development of all

known living organisms. It's the basic,

hereditary material in human beings,

and it's gonna replicate, and replicate, and replicate,

whether we want it to or not.

(stammers) You have no choice. It's just gonna keep going.

It's gonna keep you alive.

What if Stella Starlight sang?

You know, make the movie a musical.

I can sing!

Well, but nobody should have children

if they don't want to. That's for sure.

Yeah. Well, anyway,

if I lost my daddy's company, it'd be like losing my daddy.

Those finance people are jackals.

Jackals?

Jackals.

Why should you meet with them?

And so what if you repeat yourself a lot?

It adds emphasis.

Emphasis?

Have you heard from people that I'm crazy?

Well, if what you are is crazy, then,

then give me more crazy!

You're not crazy. You're just...

Smart.

You are not like other people.

You're an exception.

(telephone ringing)

Hello?

-Mr. Hughes? -Um...

I am not going to be able to talk to you until later.

(shouts) What is later?

Thank you. Thank you.

Mr. Hughes?

(phone breaks)

(panting)

Wanna hear a little song I wrote?

(playing piano)

One day I told my friend

I was terribly blue

Was it far too late to do

What I dreamed I would do

He thought for a moment then he answered

He said the rules don't apply to you

(laughs)

In the movies we see

In the shows on TV

And in anthems passionately sung

There's a message that you've got

To keep believing in yourself

But they generally mean if you're young

You say you're feeling broken

So terribly blue

♪ 'Cause it's far too late to do

What you dreamed you would do

But I'll tell you a secret

(sighs)

And I swear to God it's true

You make an old guy courageous, Marla.

Is that a compliment, Howard?

(chuckles)

You're not calling me Mr. Hughes.

Makes me feel so much younger.

(gasps) Good, Howard!

Now, how would you like to forget about

bringing the entire American aerospace industry

into the inevitable future

and drive to Palm Springs in a car?

They say it's like heaven.

If I had a car, I'd drive you there.

All you girls should have cars.

And we should tear up your term contract

and just make it a picture a year for three years.

$100,000 a picture, okay?

It doesn't seem real to me.

That's what's real.

You think it's crazy to trust your gut instinct?

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,

which taken at the flood lead on to fortune.

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

is bound in shallows and in miseries."

Yes.

"There is a time for everything.

A time to reap and a time to sow.

A time to abstain from embracing,

and there is a time to embrace."

(sighs)

We don't need a justice of the peace.

With this ring, I thee wed.

( upbeat rock music playing)

(both grunting)

MARLA: Wait.

Careful. (clears throat)

Yeah.

Yeah. That's it.

What do you mean we need time to think?

I just, I mean that...

-We've been thinking since the seventh grade. -(Frank sighs)

I only mean that we should take a little bit of time.

You know, we're not in the seventh grade anymore.

I'm just saying it's probably...

(sniffling)

You mean you need time to think.

(bangs table)

(whimpers)

Get me Greg.

GREG: Yes, Howard?

-Greg? -Yes?

I've changed my mind. Get the plane.

I'm going to Vegas in one hour.

Howard, no air...

FORESTER (shouts): Mr. Hughes, do you want my money?

Do you want my money?

Do you want my money or not?

The hell with TWA, you son of a bitch!

We're flying American Airlines back to New York!

(yawning)

(keys clink)

(sighs)

(engine starting)

-Hi. -Hi.

Wow!

This is great!

They're giving all the girls cars.

-They told me at headquarters. -(laughs)

But I can't make mine start.

-Really? -No.

Do you want me to...

Um...

-It's probably flooded. -Flooded?

(engine starting)

Yeah. It's flooded.

Um, you have to wait a little.

(engine starting)

(engine revving)

Did somebody give that to you?

(scoffs) Who gave that to you?

You're a married man, Frank.

-I-- -Who gave that to you?

I can't do this with you anymore.

I'm seeing someone.

It's private.

I'm not gonna discuss it with you.

-Hello? -NADINE: Hello?

-Nadine! -Yes?

Hi, it's Marla.

Marla, hi.

Would you please ask Mr. Hughes to call me back?

I'm sorry, Marla. All I can say is

he's gonna be out of town for a month.

Possibly five weeks.

Anything I can help with?

Well, could you tell him I've decided

against the agreement we discussed?

I can't do it. I just can't do it.

I'll give him your message.

Okay. Thank you.

I used to have a life.

MAN: (on radio) Walter O'Malley,

the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers

has announced the team will be moving to Los Angeles.

Also, a bulletin just in about Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes just announced he's married.

And wouldn't you know, he married an actress.

The new Mrs. Hughes is

Hollywood actress, Jean Peters.

In other news, Premier Khrushchev told the United...

Oh, my God.

Jean Peters hit the jackpot!

Sally told me he was moving to Las Vegas

for a while, but not to get married.

And meanwhile, he's out of town,

and he's got poor Frank and Levar

cooped up in the studio all day and night.

I'm gonna go down to RKO tomorrow

and tell Levar why you can't believe

anything Howard Hughes ever says.

I've had it with Howard Hughes.

Mamie, I forgot something. I'll catch up with you later.

-WOMAN: Hey, Mamie. -(chatter, laughter)

( upbeat music on stereo)

(Howard burps loudly)

HOWARD: Hello, gentlemen.

I don't want anybody knowing I'm not in Las Vegas.

They cannot know I'm in Los Angeles.

We got some things to catch up on.

Just tell what's his name,

to walk over to the White House

and loan the vice president's brother $205,000.

Read me back the last page of my memo

on my wife's missing cat.

FRANK: Yes, Mr. Hughes.

"I have been in Las Vegas for 37 hours now.

I have been told there has not been

one iota of progress

in Los Angeles in the search for my wife's missing cat.

I want somebody who is an expert

in the ways of animals of this type.

Los Angeles is not the jungle.

It is not the Everglades. It is not New York City

with the dense population.

If a zoo had lost some valuable animal

in the Los Angeles area,

there would have been 25 or 30 men

scouring the countryside,

men skilled in the habits and ways of an animal of this kind

and would have found it by now."

"I feel that there is absolutely no reason why

a search should not have been instigated

for this animal, equal in any way

to what would have happened

if some damned train had broken down here

and some leopard or panther or whatnot had escaped.

There is absolutely no reason why a man of my resources

and having the resources and organization that I have got,

there is no goddamned reason in the world."

"There are many, many, many things

that could have been done

in the almost one and a half days

that I have been here in Las Vegas.

I hope you will read this seven times,

because I have never meant anything

more sincerely than I mean this.

Signed, Howard R. Hughes."

It's 26 pages long, Mr. Hughes.

We have four carbon copies.

(sighs)

NOAH: Hello?

Howard, I'm here.

-You wanted to see me. -I'm married now, Noah.

Do you still think I need to be seen

by these TWA people?

Well, you're going to have to let them

look at you eventually, Howard.

Admit it, Noah.

You can't legally commit me to an insane asylum,

because I have married a woman

that I have known and trusted for years,

and you know very well

that she would never give her consent to it.

I love you, Noah, but you're not my father.

You're fired.

-You've been replaced. -(line disconnects)

(Frank sighs)

He's lucky to have you, Frank.

(sighs)

Good luck, son.

Don't let him start to think you're trying to be his father.

FRANK: The vice president's brother is apparently

not in Washington, D.C., this week.

We think he's in Miami.

And he will supposedly...

His secretary said he'll be back

sometime in the middle

or end of next week.

So if we need to get in touch with him or send him anything,

we can do it sometime towards the middle...

-HOWARD: Frank, Frank, Frank. -Yes, Mr. Hughes?

Does he know I'm back in Los Angeles?

I don't wanna have to call him again.

(clatters)

I want banana nut ice cream.

Hey. Excuse me.

What are you doing?

What's going on?

-Stella Starlight! -What are you talking about?

Stella Starlight is a really, really stupid title

for a really stupid movie.

But not nearly as stupid as I am

-for thinking he'd ever make it. -What are you talking about?

First, he gives me a lot of junk about how great I am.

And now I can't get him on the phone.

He hasn't even bothered to look at my stupid screen test!

-Wait a minute. -Wait a minute for what?

-Wait a minute. -Howard Hughes?

Is that who you're waiting for?

I think you should take some time.

I think you should take some time.

And maybe don't try to advise me on my career.

How could I advise you on your career?

I have no idea what's going on in your life or where

you're getting your advice from. And I'm not asking.

I'm not asking about your ring.

I'm not asking...

(sighs)

Reverend Forbes, banana nut.

You know, I don't know if I still got a shot at her.

But if anybody does, trust me,

-it's the Reverend Frank Forbes of Fresno. -Stop.

(sniffles)

Mr. Hughes, I think maybe now is a good time

to deal with the acreage that I spoke to you about

the canyon off Mulholland Drive. I've got a plan.

The time for suburban development has come.

Its time has come... And, and...

Mulholland Canyon is gonna be gold.

And you know what Victor Hugo

once said? "There's nothing so powerful

as an idea whose time

-has come." -(phone buzzes)

I would like to just drive you

-out there tomorrow and show you. -BOB: Howard, it's Bob Maheu.

On my first day as your new CEO,

I must tell you that if you don't

let these people from TWA see you,

they can make you be seen by them in court.

Bob. Bob, Bob.

Nobody makes me be seen anywhere.

You got that?

However, I am...

I am making you be seen tonight

in Las Vegas, Nevada, with our entire staff.

We're all gonna be there, we're all flyin' in tonight.

We're moving to Nevada. You wanna know why?

Because I am selling TWA.

Selling TWA?

There's no state tax in Nevada, Frank.

Howard?

-And if you're still afraid of flyin'... -Howard?

...you know, you better get in the car soon,

because it's a three hour and 47 minute drive.

Howard?

Is that banana nut?

Uh...

Banana nut, sir. Yeah.

(music playing on stereo) ♪ Somewhere

Beyond the sea

Somewhere waiting for me

My lover stands on golden sands

HOWARD: (on speaker) Mr. President,

I know how well you understand

that there is no one who has done more than I have

to rid Hollywood of communists.

And please allow me to clarify, once more,

the extreme danger all Americans

will face in living anywhere near a nuclear test site.

Sincerely, Howard R. Hughes.

Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin.

I mean, what do you think a guy like Bobby Darin makes on something

like "Beyond The Sea"?

HOWARD: (on speaker) Frank, how's it going on

the banana nut ice cream front?

The company's definitely not making it anymore.

But the good news is we located

the last batch, 350 gallons.

And the company's being very cooperative.

Let's buy it.

The company's not for sale, sir.

The ice cream! Buy all of it.

-How does it get here? -By refrigerated truck.

Well, why don't we fly it in?

Ice cream does not travel well on airplanes.

Why don't we look into a...

-...refrigerated truck? -That's a great idea, sir.

-(phone ringing) -Mr. Hughes, I'm finding more and more tax advantages

for buying up real estate in Nevada.

With accelerated depreciation, you get just as much on hotels

-as you would on, on shopping centers. -It's the White House again.

Mr. Hughes, the White House is calling again...

I want banana nut ice cream!

I am in the middle of a desert!

Are you not in the desert with me?

Is it not hot enough for the desert?

Where do I put 350 gallons of ice cream, huh?

The same flavor!

All of it is banana nut!

All of it is banana nut! Carlos?

Frank, we've been waiting here for six weeks.

I am his chief executive officer.

I have to meet him.

I understand, Mr. Maheu.

DOCTOR: Of course, you're right. In California, abortion's...

...not legal.

You might wanna give the whole thing more thought.

-(music playing) -♪ Jingle bells

Jingle bells

Jingle all the way... ♪

Howard, I think we should meet.

Moe Dalitz says he needs you to change floors.

They own the hotel.

The mob is nothing to be fooled with.

Can we please meet?

Look, you ask that shitty little Mafia hoodlum

how much he wants for the hotel

and say "yes" on the condition he's out by Thursday.

There is no need for you or anyone else to see me.

Howard. I feel I must advise you

that you can still be made to be seen in court

in order to defend against charges

that you mismanaged TWA.

That's not true. That's not true.

I'm also finding it very difficult

to run your entire operation

when I've never, ever actually seen you.

I mean, in the flesh.

Do you realize that, Howard?

That I've never actually seen you?

Howard?

(crying)

Bob? If you were to actually see me

you could not represent me in the way that I need to be.

You are my chief executive officer,

you are not my father.

Okay, what's this?

It's Stouffer frozen turkey dinner, sir.

Okay, well, I want you to notify the Stouffer company

to remove the dark meat of the turkey

from the turkey frozen dinner.

-Banana nut? -Banana nut, sir.

Forget banana nut!

Okay. Levar!

No more banana nut ice cream. You got that?

No more banana nut ice cream. From now on...

I want French vanilla.

Goddamn it. I want French vanilla now.

I want you to bring me that schedule of Maheu's

because I wanna know exactly

-what that son of a bitch is doing. -(phone beeps)

LEVAR: Mr. Hughes, Marla Mabrey has just come in.

I put her in the speakerphone room.

Shall I tell her you're unavailable, sir?

Frank, handle this, will you?

Go talk to her.

Tell her I'm just not seeing people.

HOWARD: I want French vanilla from now on!

French vanilla immediately.

FRANK: Hi.

What can I do for you?

It's my career, not yours.

And you can help by accepting that.

It's really none of your business, Frank.

Okay.

But you can tell your boss

I feel it's only right that I meet with him

before taking any action.

(door closing)

I don't know. You never looked at her screen test.

She might have someone new who's advising her.

Who? An agent? Lawyer? What?

Have you heard she might be involved with somebody?

I've heard nothing! I...

Never mind. You go ahead. I'll talk to her.

Yes, sir.

(sighs)

HOWARD: (on speakers) Marla? Are you, are you there, Marla?

Are you in the room?

I can't do this

on the telephone, Howard.

I'm not seeing people.

Something we didn't plan on has happened.

You better pick up the phone, Marla.

We should have been more careful.

From a single encounter, Marla? From one time?

Do you really expect me to believe that?

I'm surprised.

I didn't think you were that kind of a person.

How much money are you looking for?

Hey, is vanilla and French vanilla, is it the same thing?

-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -Yes, it's the same? I'm gonna go check on it.

(vase shatters)

You're acting crazy.

I know more about the business than you think I do.

Oh, all those big deals in your future, Frank?

You better get them in writing.

I don't need them in writing.

Well, that's right. 'Cause you trust him.

He won't even meet with his wife.

-Lucky woman. -He won't let anybody look at him.

-Oh, well, he's right! -There's no reason...

He's right. Because they might see exactly what he is,

a cold, sleazy, egomaniacal, old fake

not worth meeting with.

You wanna have meetings or make movies?

They got names for guys that are doing what you're doing, Frank.

Who do you think you're talking to?

I think I'm talking to somebody that sold out

and you can tell the guy that you sold out to

that I'm never going back to that stupid house!

And he can throw whatever's in it away.

And that you wanna go home to your fiancée

and get legally married!

Do you actually think that you're going somewhere with Howard Hughes?

You're even scared to get on his plane!

-Okay, just-- -Don't be physical with me, Frank!

Whoever the hell is advising you right now...

You know, it's none of your business who's advising me now!

You need someone who's advising you now!

To move on, Frank, move on! I have!

-Do you mind if I speak? -Get out of here!

No, because there's nothing left to say!

And if you call me, I won't talk to you.

So kindly treat my privacy with respect!

Respect?

Go back to your goddamn mystery man,

with your privacy and your rings

and don't worry about me ever calling you.

Believe me, I never will!

(sniffling)

HOWARD: (on phone) Nadine, who called that Maheu didn't tell me about?

NADINE: Today? The chairman of the FAA,

the Under Secretary of Defense,

the Treasury secretary,

someone from the air traffic controller's union,

and a man from the AFL-CIO.

HOWARD: All right, look, we're leaving that son of a bitch Maheu

alone in Vegas tonight.

Nobody tells him about it! He's finished. He's fired!

We're going to Nicaragua.

This isn't the only place in the world without taxes!

Get me my pilot's jacket.

All right, come on, come on. Let's go. Come on!

Going through the kitchen now.

BOB: It's all up to me. Nothing gets bought,

nothing gets sold without me.

For all practical purposes, I am Howard Hughes.

LEVAR: Come on, Frank. Get outta the car.

There's nothing to be afraid of.

Come on!

(engine starting)

Frank, you can do this. Come on. Flying can be fun.

HOWARD: I think I'm ready.

Okay, Cappy, it's about time I did this again.

Gentlemen, I am finally gonna do something

that I haven't done for far too long.

Far too long.

Cappy, this is Frank here's first plane ride.

I wanna make it memorable.

-Everything ready? -CAPPY: Yes, sir.

Here we go.

We got banana nut?

Have we...

-Uh... -A pint and a half, sir.

Pint and a half.

Finally! It's been far too long!

(laughing) Far too long.

Spoons.

LEVAR: President Somoza is coming aboard!

Mr. Hughes!

(chuckles) Welcome to Nicaragua.

You look incredible!

-You look wonderful. -Thank you. So do you.

-You have not aged. -Thank you.

I wanna know what you're doing in...

(speaking Spanish)

There's an important message for you.

(speaking Spanish)

"The United States Federal Court decided today...

(aide continues speaking Spanish)

SOMOZA: ...in the case of TWA...

(aide continues speaking Spanish)

SOMOZA: ...a judgment of $645 million

against Howard Hughes...

(aide continues speaking Spanish)

...who refused to appear."

This cannot be good.

HOWARD: They think I'll have to sell

the Hughes Tool Company to pay it?

I'll never sell my daddy's company.

My daddy would say it's time to call

Raymond Holliday down in Houston.

Get him to come down here.

(bell tolling)

So...

I just want you to know

I don't think you're doing the wrong thing.

And I am so relieved

that you're not going back to Hollywood.

Mom, I haven't told another living soul about this.

Doctor Diamond is a good man,

and he's coming in on a Sunday.

So, shall we go?

RAYMOND: Now, when you were 10 years old,

when you used to come down to your daddy's factory...

HOWARD: Raymond, my daddy always trusted me

to take care of things.

Now, trying to take care of the Hughes Tool Company

at a time like this.

That's like trying to take care of my daddy.

You're not your daddy's father, Howard.

Your daddy's dead.

No, he's not.

He's in my DNA.

Oh, Lord!

You know, you're gonna die, too.

Who you gonna leave it to? Whose DNA you gonna be in?

In my opinion, if you don't sign it now,

they're gonna do what they said.

They're gonna withdraw the offer to buy the damn company.

So, if I sign this thing, would they still keep

the Hughes name on the company?

You don't drill for oil with a name, Howard.

(chuckles)

You know, I'm planning on doing a little flyin'.

Do you wanna come?

-Do a little flyin'? -Hmm.

What?

I'm just not sure...

...you ought to be thinkin' about flyin' anymore, Howard.

Come on in, Frank.

(sighs)

Okay. Please give this to the gentleman, and

tell him that I have asked him

to please consider

keeping my father's name on the company.

This is signed.

Mr. Hughes has asked you to consider keeping

his father's name on the company.

(snickers)

( Spanish music on stereo)

I notice you don't say grace anymore.

I don't mean to be negative, but do we live

in Nicaragua now?

Although, I am kinda getting to like Managua.

(indistinct chatter)

Wave, Frank.

(coughs and laughs)

Whoo. Let's keep it going.

( Spanish music on stereo)

(rumbling)

(panting)

Don't worry, don't worry!

I know how to handle earthquakes!

We're going to London.

Check out the tax setup, Frank, and get me some codeine.

The University of Virginia's going coed.

They're finally letting women in

so I might even go for a doctorate

and do my dissertation on music.

Good for you.

Thanks for not throwing my things away, Nadine.

I had no idea where to send them.

Where do we call you in Virginia?

Maybe it's better if I call you.

(Frank mumbling)

FRANK: Therefore, the percentages noted

in the column were percentage of...

(mumbling)

HOWARD: (on speakers) Frank, we've been in London too long with no fun.

I want you at the Gatwick Airport in 45 minutes

in the DC-3.

(line disconnects)

Give the man some credit. He knows he can't fly.

Mr. Hughes!

So happy to finally meet you in person, sir. At last!

I'm sure you need no introduction to the DC-3. This one,

of course, is equipped with

the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines,

-which improve... -I know the DC-3 very well.

Um...

Certainly an improvement over the original Cyclone 9s which were wanting

-in the old oomph department. -Where to, gentlemen?

Where do we go?

I don't know, sir. If we are heading east,

then that would be northern France, possibly Belgium.

What do you think, wing commander? Belgian waffles?

How does it sound?

Uh, I don't know.

All right, never mind. You want a chicken sandwich?

-Not hungry. -Not hungry. Okay.

How about you? Do you want a chicken sandwich?

-No, thank you. -I got three.

-I'm fine. Just eaten. -No?

(laughing)

Did you know that you're 20% less likely to black out

during a dive when you're my age?

Because the arteries are less expansive.

No, I didn't know it, sir.

Remember that.

-Something to look forward to. -Yes!

Okay, let's go.

(wind whooshing)

I think we may have a door still open.

Relax! I like it like that! Just close the cockpit.

Gentlemen, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

You know that line Al Jolson used to use,

"You ain't heard nothin' yet"?

First time he ever sang it, I saw him

upstairs on the roof

at the Amsterdam Theatre. And it was

a big charity show.

Everybody's big stars, big stars, and Jolson says,

"I gotta close the show,

because I'm the world's greatest entertainer

and nobody, but nobody, follows Jolson."

Well, everybody said,

"Okay, Jolson, you're the greatest.

You close the show."

There was only one problem though.

Jolson didn't know who he was following.

(laughs) Caruso.

He's gotta get up and sing after Enrico Caruso,

the world's greatest voice! Ha!

So, Caruso comes out, he's singing in Italian.

The audience just goes crazy.

-They go crazy. -(plane clattering)

They're on their feet cheering.

They won't sit down, they're cheering!

Caruso goes off,

Jolson comes out.

But he can't get them to shut up,

because they want more Caruso.

And finally Jolson shuts them up.

He makes them sit down and that's when he says it.

He says, "You know, you ain't heard nothing yet!"

"You ain't heard nothing yet!"

(singing) ♪ Is it true what they say about Dixie

Does the sun really shine all the time?♪

Do the sweet magnolias blossom

Round everybody's door?♪

Do folks keep eating possum 'til they can't eat no more?♪

Is it true what they say about Swanee?♪

Is a dream by that stream

So sublime?♪

Do they laugh, do they love like they say in all the song?♪

If it's true, that's where I belong

Swanee

Take a look at this.

How I love ya, how I love ya

My dear old Swanee

I'd give the world to be

Among the folks in D-I-X-I-E

Even though my mammy's waitin' for me, prayin' for me

Hey, Frank!

Flyin' really gives a guy a chance

to do some thinking, doesn't it?

You know what I'm thinking, Frank?

I am thinking that it's time for me to buy

Pan American Airlines!

You ain't heard nothin' yet!

(children laughing)

Hey, where you goin'? Come back here.

Well, tell hotel security to tell the mother...

Yes, there's three of them. They're all up here.

HOWARD: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

BOY: Go this way.

LEVAR: I have no idea how they got in.

Come on, kid. Please!

You gotta get out of here. Kid.

I know where you are, kid. Please come out.

Please. Your mother is waiting for you.

Mr. Hughes!

Mr. Hughes,

we have wonderful news!

The court of appeals has reversed the TWA judgment.

You get all the money back!

Levar! Are you actually so bird-brained

you think I didn't know that?

I get up earlier than you do.

Hey, look at you.

-What's your name? -Hi.

-Tommy. -Would you like some ice cream?

It'd be good for you! Come on, let's go!

LEVAR: Come on, kid. We gotta go.

HOWARD: But he might like some ice cream.

LEVAR: Well, his mother is very upset.

Why did you talk to his mother? He might have wanted ice cream.

Wait out in the hall or somethin'.

HOWARD: Why did you talk to his mother?

I didn't talk to the mother. I talked to security.

You always say to keep kids out.

Why did you talk to security?

(shouts) Because that's my job!

-That is your job? -Yes!

You're telling me what your job is?

Yes! That is my job!

Your job is to tell me what your job is!

-Are you deaf? -What?

You are deaf. You're deaf! And you're old.

You're very old, and you're very deaf!

HOWARD (shouts): You calling me old and deaf?

You're deaf, and you're old! And very deaf, and very old!

You do not know what your job is.

No, I know what my job is! You do not know what my job is!

You don't know what your job is!

I know my job! I know my job!

-You know what your job is? -I know what my job is!

You know, it's "was."

-Is. -Was.

-Is. Is. Is. -Was. Was.

-Was? -No, was.

-Was? -Was. That was your job.

Get out.

Sir, the mother's very upset.

Get out.

(sighs)

Take 14 days to make a decision on Mulholland Canyon.

Levar and I are gonna do it whether you do it or not.

I know it's hard for you to trust people,

but Levar is rooting for you no matter how nutty you get.

It would be a big advantage for us to be in business with you,

but it might be a big advantage for you to be in business with us.

If you decide not to,

I can only respectfully accept your decision and resign.

Do you realize

that your drug addiction not only makes you more constipated,

it makes you crazier?

But since no one who works for you, including me,

will put their job on the line

to try to keep you from killing yourself,

then maybe your wealth

isn't always the best thing for your health.

Frank, how come you never talk about your daddy?

What?

You never talk about your daddy. How come?

I could always tell my mother how much I loved her, but I...

I couldn't tell my daddy that well...

I don't know.

But I miss my daddy.

I wish I could just talk to him.

You know, I think I never had a kid

because I was afraid that would make me feel old.

(laughing)

(sighs)

Remember the night we went out to

sit and look at the plane, and had the burgers, you know?

It was a hell of a hamburger.

(sighs)

Do you still believe in

what the church tells you to believe,

like...

In heaven and...

I don't know, Mr. Hughes.

Yeah, me either.

I just...

I don't wanna do what a person has to do to find out. (laughs)

Um...

All right, look, I'll do Mulholland Canyon with you.

And I'll do it big. But I just got... Under one condition.

From now on,

will you call me Howard?

Yeah!

(laughs)

(indistinct chatter and laughter)

TV NEWSMAN 1: We are standing by

for a telephone call from legendary

billionaire Howard Hughes, which could debunk a writer's claim...

The writer that was mentioned earlier, Richard Miskin,

claims to have had access to Howard Hughes.

And during that time, he says

that Hughes could not remember anything,

was incoherent, and unable

to function.

And that Hughes is in a permanent state of dementia.

The location of Howard Hughes

is still a complete mystery to us.

TV NEWSMAN 1: It will be a major problem for Hughes...

-FRANK: Yeah. -...if he doesn't call us

as promised by the Hughes organization,

and defend himself against

the charges in Miskin's book.

TV NEWSMAN 2: One of the pioneers who helped in...

Howard.

...was Howard Hughes.

He's one of the most influential individuals

of the last quarter century.

LEVAR: Well, if she won't even tell you her name...

TV NEWSMAN 1: Hughes was romantically linked

to several young actresses over the years...

LEVAR: Yeah.

Okay.

TV NEWSMAN 2: ...manufactured a 25 million dollar flying boat.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Meanwhile, we're told that the writer,

Richard Miskin, may speak to us soon.

(indistinct chatter)

She's okay, guys. I got this.

These guys do their job.

LEVAR: Yeah, well...

They're new.

Why didn't you tell anybody who you were?

Well, the last conversation I had with Howard

wasn't very pleasant.

I have something to tell him before he talks to the press.

Matt?

Matt, this is Levar. Levar, this is Matt.

-Hi. -Hello, Matt.

Hi.

TV NEWSMAN 1: We have here the writer of the book, Richard Miskin.

Mr. Miskin, Hughes' people say your book is a fake.

That he has never met or even spoken with you.

RICHARD: I don't think you'll hear Mr. Hughes say that

or anything else much.

I don't think you're going to be hearing from him.

I doubt he even remembers the book.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Let me ask you again...

Sir, Howard Hughes is a disturbed creature.

And my heart goes out to him.

But if it is upon his flimsy recollection

that you're hinging your reportage,

then good luck to you.

That's all I have to say.

Good afternoon.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Thank you, Mr. Miskin.

And now back to you.

TV NEWSMAN 2: Do we know what qualified experts have to say

about the psychiatric implications of Mr. Hughes',

uh, reclusive behavior?

TV NEWSMAN 1: One could speculate...

Howard.

...possibly catatonic at this point.

No one seems to know.

TV NEWSMAN 2: That could have a bearing

on a lot of his business interests.

It could affect his defense contracts, for example.

TV NEWSMAN 3: A long list,

including the Hughes Medical Foundation, right?

TV NEWSMAN 2: The Hughes casino licenses in Las Vegas could be affected.

-TV NEWSMAN 3: And if this call does not come in soon... -FRANK: All right.

TV COMMENTATOR: Helicopter to the public and Air Force officers

at Culver City, California.

Powered by turbojet motors, the huge copter is designed

primarily to lift great weights. It is the largest aircraft

-of its kind known. -Hi.

And when perfected, it's expected

-to take off... -Long time.

TV: ...carry the load of a small freight car.

Yeah, long time.

TV: ...upwards of a hundred persons. The copter itself...

Hey, how about this guy, huh?

TV: ...pounds, and its rotating blades measure...

Frank, this is my son, Matt.

TV: ...from tip to tip. (wind roaring)

Hi, Matt.

Hi.

Matt, when I first went to Hollywood,

Frank picked up your grandmother

and me at the plane.

TV: ...future of flight in all its varied and promising phases.

What kind of ice cream have we got, Levar?

I heard some talk about rum raisin.

Here, Matt, I'll show you

where the rum raisin is.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...phone call from billionaire Howard Hughes.

LEVAR: Have a seat there, guys.

NADINE: Okay.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...a writer by the name of Richard Miskin,

that Hughes is unable to remember anything...

I talked to Mamie Murphy.

She knows Richard Miskin.

Howard may have some questions.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...historical footage featuring Howard Hughes's...

It's good to see you, Marla.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...in aviation. (marching band music)

For me, too.

TV: The 40-ton, 57-passenger liner that...

I'll let him know you're here.

TV: ...which has made a new trans-continental, non-stop speed record

Here's the start.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...what might be next for the Hughes organization,

if Mr. Hughes never steps forward to defend himself against the claims

in Mr. Miskin's book?

Howard, Marla Mabrey has come here.

She says she has something to tell you about Miskin.

I told her I'd let you know.

TV NEWSMAN 2: ...certainly going to be embarrassing

for Hughes and his entire empire.

How does one explain away the fact

that the man can't even make a simple telephone call?

HOWARD: Bring her in.

TV NEWSMAN 3: I suppose they could

still come out with some kind of alternative evidence.

TV: Struggling out of its swaddling clothes.

And one of the pioneers who helped was Howard Hughes,

still active in the industry today.

As a stunt, the point of aviation speed...

TV NEWSMAN 1: David, I'm looking at the clock

and if the call doesn't come by 4:30,

then it will be hard to defend

Howard Hughes against the charges in Richard Miskin's book.

Howard?

TV NEWSMAN 1: The clock is ticking, David.

HOWARD: Hello, Marla.

TV NEWSMAN 1: Any thoughts as to what may happen...

HOWARD: We've lost touch.

I'm sorry I was in

such a bad mood when you came to Las Vegas.

When was that?

Five years ago?

I was not at my best.

I know that, Howard.

Neither was I.

Mamie Murphy knows Richard Miskin very well.

She told me that she was very sure he never met you.

She'd testify if you wanted her to.

TV NEWSMAN 3: ...go a long way towards debunking a writer's claim

that he has written an...

I came with my son.

TV NEWSMAN 3: And has now gone into what could best be described as...

HOWARD: Excuse me?

MARLA: I came with my son.

He's in the living room.

TV NEWSMAN 1: And<