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CAST OF CHARACTERS
LOIS JOHNSON (jean Muir) :
Beautiful but unspoiled
nineteen year old daughter of
HELEN WALBRIDGE (Verree Teasdale) :
—on intimate terms with STUART (‘‘MAC’’) McALLISTER (George Brent) : Prom
inent young advertising executive.
(Virginia Hammond) :
RUSSELL GRAY (Charles Starrett): Her son, Lois’ youthful but irresolute admirer.
Regular Station Announcement
ANNOUNCER: By special arrangement with Mgr. Oheiwere sc. a ee Theatre, Stagione ita, She is enabled to present for your entertainment actual flashes of Warner Bros.’ thrilling new drama, “Desirable,” starring Jean Muir, George Brent and Verree Teasdale, with a large supporting cast which includes John Halliday and Charles Starrett, and which opens at the beatae geht Theatre next Mr. (Name of narrator) will give you a brief account of the events leading up to the opening scene.
NARRATOR: Thank you, Mr. cree ae ae Several nights previously, using the key she had given him for that purpose, Mac admitted himself to Helen’s apartment, there to await her return from the evening performance of “Lady Surrenders” in which she is starred. But when he got there, he was surprised to be met by a sweet young girl whom, he had never before seen. The pir explained that she was Lois, Helen’s own daughter, home from her boarding school because of a searlet fever quarantine. Mae was so taken by her natural charm and youthful beauty that he made a date with her for the following evening and then went home—without waiting for Helen. From this night on he has been seeing more of Lois than he has of Helen and a strong bond of friendship has developed. As the scene opens, Helen is backstage in her dressing room cold-creaming her face. Standing by her side, watching, is the likable Mae. Let’s hear what they’re saying.
HELEN: This is some of your vile stuff; Mac... anditis.. perfectly vile!
MAC: I’m sorry ... Then we can’t have your endorsement?
HELEN (coolly): Sit down... You’ve been seeing a lot of my baby.
MAC (after a second): I’ve been seeing Lois, Helen—not as often as I'd like.
HELEN (mockingly): And giving her a lot of advice, too, haven’t you?
MAC: Which she immediately repeats to you because she’s so thoroughly honest—and hasn’t an ounce of deception in her. How does my advice sound, Helen?
HELEN: All right for you, Mae MAC (cutting in): And for
her (significantly)! But not for Helen Walbridge! That’s why you wanted me to come here tonight, isn’t it? You want me to stop telling Lois not to allow herself to be kept a (contemptuously) a “shameful secret!” . . Good heavens, Helen, can’t you see that you can’t sacrifice Lois to your vanity? She’s too alive, too brimming over with everything that’s sweet and healthy. You can’t keep her hidden!
HELEN (quietly but intensely): I ean do anything I like with my daughter! And all I want of you.is to leave—her— alone = ...!
MAC: Listen, Helen, I can’t tell you how sorry I am that Lois is your daughter. I’m even sorry now that I came in that night and found her there. But she is
—I did—and there you are!
HELEN: I thought you might realize what Lois is far too stupid to understand —that a woman with a nineteen year old daughter simply can not walk in front of an audience and convince it that
MAC (bursting out): Audience! You stick Lois away for the rest of her young life in a girl’s school because an audience might laugh — (changing his tone) — Helen, you couldn’t have that against the girl . . . You can’t hate her just because she’s unfortunate enough to be nineteen and bubbling over—and too big to show around...
HELEN: Listen to me... I married when I was sixteen. My husband died and left me a frightened girl—with a baby on her hands and ten dollars in the world. I played in stock companies from Toronto to Louisville. I struggled for nineteen years to make something of myself —to get where I am—and
neither she nor you nor anyone —
is going to stand in my. way now! I know what Lois should be,and do——
MAC: No, Helen. Youw’re right —but so is she. You did what you wanted—now Lois has the right to live—and to suffer—and to win out—in her own way
HELEN (blazing but suppressed): Will you mind your business and leave my daughter to me!
NARRATOR: So that’s the way of it! Well, Mac had his way. Lois did not return to school —but stays on with her mother and is caught up in a glittering whirl of social activity. But she could not live without seeing Mac at frequent intervals—such as tonight, for example, when they’re sitting in his roadster, parked along the Palisades, facing New York.
MAC: Are you frozen?
LOIS (as if to perish the thought): No!
MAC: Well, how’s the dizzy whirl?
LOIS (very engagingly): The parties? They’re pretty awful.
MAC (surprised): Really?
LOIS: Oh, they’re lovely parties but I don’t know anybody (jokingly). When someone dances with me, we’re stuck for hours!
MAC (solicitously): Then why do you keep going to the parties?
LOIS (laughingly): It’s hard to stop hoping. I always think, “This time it will be better.” But—I know it won’t be.
MAC (half bitterly): get into the swing of it.
LOIS (confidentially): Mac...
LOIS: I want to ask you somePhim weer:
MAC: Fire away.
LOIS (after a pause): What shall I do about—kissingand— that business? It’s getting to be a problem ... Mother says it’s natural to like it when a man kisses you—even if you don’t really love him... That Russel —you know. And he’s not the only one . Up at school it wasn’t like that at all.....:
MAC: I don’t know, Lois. You’ll have to decide that for yourself.
LOIS: You sound sort of cross.:
MAC: Not at all. What business is it of mine except that I like you enormously? I’d hate to see you make yourself cheap, of course
LOIS (softly, innocently): You —you’ve never—oh, please, Mace, I’m so fond of you, won’t you please just this once
MAC (lightly): You little devil, you! (sound of kiss) There! Right on the cheek! And now it’s high time for me to be getting you home! You
(They laugh together goodnaturedly as we hear the sound of their motor starting and fading into silence as they drive away.)
NARRATOR: Time passes — and Lois becomes engaged to Russel Gray—although ghe’s not quite sure that she loves him. Russel’s family is very wealthy and — well, let’s drop in on them, while Lois is there—
MRS. GRAY (with affected sweetness): Everything is going along very nicely about your election to the town club, my dear.
HOS (simply): I’m . 22. .m so glad, Mrs. Gray! MRS. GRAY (with coy re
proof): Lois! ...
LOIS (confusedly): I mean— Mother Emily.
MRS. GRAY: That’s “might; dear .., And now we must have a little talk about your family. You surely must have had ancestors in the Revolution, didn’t you?
LOIS: Why, I’m afraid I don’t know, Mrs. Gray. RUSSEL (sighing): all that necessary ?
MRS. GRAY (sharply): Russel —now don’t you be like that... Lois, dear, you see we’re all members of the Patriotic Daughters of the Republic! Now, I came in on Jonathan Edwards
RUSSEL: You see, Lois, you use some old, old stiff as a springboard to land you in the select circles. They don’t care what you are But if great-grandpa Doakes took a pot-shot at the British, you’re in.
MRS. GRAY (sternly): Russel!
RUSSEL: Oh, Tm = sorry, mother, but it bores the life out of me.
MRS. GRAY: And Cousin Constance, Lois dear, is a direct desecendant of Benjamin Franklin!
LOIS: That’s funny.
RUSSEL: What’s funny, Lois?
LOIS: Why, that! Was Benjamin Franklin married?
(Mrs. Gray emits strange little noises in her embarrassment. )
RUSSEL (after a good laugh): That’s priceless, Lois! Ill take you walking on that one! (Sound of Russell laughing fades away as they leave the room.)
NARRATOR: But it soon becomes no laughing matter. Lois’ visit with them becomes so strained and awkward that she finally calls Mae to come and take her for a ride. They get caught in a thunder storm and have to seek shelter in a little eabin. Russell finds her there with Mac, with her dress removed and drying before the hearth. He takes it all broad-mindedly, knowing she did it merely because it seemed the sensible thing to do. But when the three of them get home to the Grays, things start to happen.
RUSSEL: But don’t understand
MRS. GRAY (indignantly): Do you understand?~I should think it would be difficult for you to understand your fiancee’s sending for a young man to come to see her and then
MAC: Mrs. Gray, it was entire
ly my fault. Lois LOIS: No, Mac, it wasn’t your fault. Mrs. Gray, I know I was
alone with Mae in that cabin and I did have my dress off. I took it off beéause it was wet. Anyone who knows Mae would realize it was all right. Russ saw us—he didn’t think—anything—anything wrong, did you, Russ?
RUSSEL (half-apologetically) : Well, I realized—it’s just that Lois is very unconventional, mother. She’ll learn when she’s a little older, how badly some things look.
LOIS (with youthful straightforwardness): No I won’t. I won’t ever learn to worry about how things look. JTll always do what seems right to me, and not care about gossip . You’ve been hoping I’d change, haven’t you, Russell? All this time when I thought you loved me, you’ve said to yourself, “Well, this is wrong and that’s dreadful, but she’ll change!”
RUSSEL: Youw’re very wrong, dear. You’re too unsophisticated to realize
LOIS (fighting back her tears): What mean, ugly thoughts people
have! I don’t want to realize! I don’t care! MRS. GRAY: Child! Child!
Youw’re hysterical. You’re saying things you don’t mean.
LOIS (in a flood of emotion): I do. Vl always mean them. Mace, will you take me home now beeause I don’t belong here. No one here really likes me—not even Russel! ... No one but you, Mac (she breaks into a sob).
MRS. GRAY: But, my dear, you couldn’t say those things if you loved Russell
LOIS: That’s it, (Mrs. Gray, I
Pdon’t; I know now that I-dor't.
Vm awfully sorry to have been such a nuisance.
MRS. GRAY: I’m sorry, too. I don’t blame you one bit. After all, your mother does lead a dif
ferent sort of life. She’s ambitious. Her ideas LOIS (thoroughly aroused):
Leave mother out of it! If you knew how sweet and adorable she’s been to me—all my life—you couldn’t think such things! If you knew how she’s worked and slaved to keep me in school give me everything I wanted... She had nothing when father died. Nothing! And she had to sacrifice her whole life—to keep me alive!—and I won’t have anyone say anything against her! I won’t!—I won’t!—I won’t!
NARRATOR: In other words, that’s the end of Lois’ engagement to Russell. But Lois still has her mother to face and she insists that Mac come with her. Helen has just asked Mae if he will leave that she may talk to Lois alone, Mac replies—
MAC: If you don’t mind, I think Pll stay. You’ll understand why when Lois tells you—
HELEN (hard): I hope I will. I’m confused about a great many things just now.
MAC: Me? I think Lois can even make clear why I’m with her.
HELEN: Can she?
LOIS: Yes, you see
HELEN (cuts her short): Will you try to tell me coherently for what ridiculous reason you rushed home from the Grays?
LOIS: It’s not a ridiculous reason, mother!
HELEN: Of course it is! Some childish spat between you and Russell.
LOIS: No. No, it
HELEN: You humiliated Russell — and yourself — and me. Where is your sense of proportion.
LOIS: I’m trying to tell you. It’s just what you said—a sense of proportion. I was all mixed up. I liked having my pictures taken—all the new clothes—being made a fuss over. But all that doesn’t mean anything.
HELEN: Giving your promise means something!
LOIS: But I’m not in love with Russell. I couldn’t marry him!
HELEN: Mac, I must talk to Lois alone. Please, please leave us!
MAC (after a pause): Right. It’s all right, Lois. There’s a hockey game tonight that we ought to see. I’ll be back for you
. Good-bye, Helen. You will listen to Lois, won’t you—and try to understand? Good-bye. (Sound of door closing.)
LOIS: Mother, you must understand the way I feel about Mae. That’s the way I should feel about my husband.
HELEN (in astonishment): Mace!
LOIS: Yes I love Mae.
HELEN: Has Mac made love to you? Has he
LOIS: Oh, never, never! But he does love me.
HELEN: That’s nonsense! You don’t know what you’re talking about.
LOIS: Mac has just been waiting—till ’'d met some people— seen something of life — away from school!
HELEN (with deadly calm): You think Mac has loved you since the first time he saw you?
LOIS: Yes, I do.
HELEN: Think back first time.
LOIS: Oh, I remember—I remember— how he looked — and every word he said.
HELEN (with growing anger): Let me remind you of some things you don’t remember. Some things you were too naive to guess. ES
LOIS (puzzled): What?
HELEN: You didn’t let him in thateniehtos ee
LOIS: No, I was reading. I looked up and there he was.
HELEN: He opened the door with a latchkey.
HELEN: How did he explain that?
LOIS: Why he said the elevator man had given him a key.
HELEN: Oh, he did. Elevator men don’t give keys to people. I gave him that key!
LOIS (with growing horror): Helen!
HELEN (now losing all control over herself): You threw Russell over
LOIS: Mother! Mother!
HELEN: Russell — who loves you
HELEN: For a man who
LOIS: Don’t, mother! Don’t! Yowre killing me! (she sobs)
HELEN (softening): Dearest, dearest—don’t cry like that. I’ve tried to do what’s best for you. I didn’t think Mae was the right man. But you can have anything you want
LOIS: (through her sobs): Leave me alone, that’s all I want now.
HELEN: You can have Mace, darling, if you want him!
LOIS (hysterically): No! No! T don’t want him! Vll never let him touch me again! Never! Never! . I must have some air! ’m going out—out into the clean night air! (Sound of footsteps and door closing behind her.)
NARRATOR: What does she do? Does she go back to Russel? Does she keep her word about Mac? Does she try to But then, you wouldn’t want me to tell you how the picture ends. You will be stirred to your very inmost depths when you see Jean Muir, George Brent and Verree Teasdale and other well-known favorites in Warner Bros. thrilling new drama, “Desirable”. So till we mectatcthe. oo ar. Theatre bye and good luck!