NORMA
Now go.

JOE
Next time I'll bring my autograph album.

NORMA
Just a minute, you.
Did you say you were a writer?

JOE
That's what it says on my guild card.

NORMA
And you're written pictures?

JOE
Sure have. Would you like to see my credits?

NORMA
Come over here. I want to ask you something.
Just what sort of length is a movie script these days?

JOE
Depends.

NORMA
I wrote this. It's a very important picture.

JOE
Look like six very important pictures.

NORMA
It's for DeMille to direct.

JOE
Oh, yeah? And will you be in it?

NORMA
Of course. What do you think?

JOE
Just asking. I didn't know you were planning a comeback.

NORMA
I hate that word. It's a return.

JOE
Well...fair enough.

NORMA
I want you to read it.

JOE
You shouldn't let another writer read your stuff. He may steal it.

NORMA
I'm not afraid. Sit down. Max!
Bring something to drink.

MAX
Yes, Madame.

NORMA
I said sit down!
It's about Salome.
Salome: the story of a woman. The woman who was all women.

Salome, what a woman, what a part!
Innocent body and a sinful heart
Inflaming Herod's lust
But secretly loving a holy man
No one could play her like I can

JOE
Well, I had nothing urgent coming up
I thought I might as well skim it
It's fun to see how bad bad writing can be
This promised to go to the limit

NORMA
There's so many great scenes, I can't wait
A boiling cauldron of love and hate
She toys with Herod
'Til he's putty in her hands
He reels tormented through the desert sands

JOE
It sure was a real cheery set-up
The wind wheezing through that organ
Max shuffling around and a dead ape dumped on a shelf
And her staring like a gorgon

NORMA
They drag the Baptist up from the jails
She dances the dance of the seven veils
Herod says: I'll give you anything

JOE
Now it was time for some comedy relief
The guy with the baby casket
Must have seen a thing or two, that chimp
Shame it was too late to ask it

NORMA
Have you got to the scene where asks for his head?
If she can't have him living
She'll take him dead
They bring in his head on a silver tray
She kisses his mouth. It's a great screenplay!

JOE
It got to be eleven, I was feeling ill
What the hell was I doing?
Melodrama and sweet champagne
And a garbled plot from a scrambled brain
But I had my own plot brewing

Just how old is Salome?

NORMA
Sixteen.

JOE
I see.

NORMA
Well?

JOE
It's fascinating.

NORMA
Of course it is.

JOE
Could be it's a little long
Maybe the opening's wrong
But it's extremely good for a beginner

NORMA
No, it's a perfect start
I wrote that with my heart
The river-bank, the baptist and the sinner

JOE
Shouldn't there be some dialogue?

NORMA
I can say anything I want with my eyes

JOE
It could use a few cuts

NORMA
I will not have it butchered!

JOE
I'm not talking limb from limb
I just mean a little trim
All you need is someone who can edit

NORMA
I want someone with a knack
Not just any studio hack
And don't think for a moment I'd share credit!

When were you born?

JOE
December 21st, why?

NORMA
I like Sagittarians. You can trust them.

JOE
Thanks.

NORMA
I want you to do this work.

JOE
Me? Gee, I don't know, I'm busy. I just finished one script and I'm about to start a new assignment.

NORMA
I don't care.

JOE
I'm pretty expensive. I get five hundred a week.

NORMA
Don't you worry about money. I'll make it worth your while.

JOE
Well, it's getting kind of late.

NORMA
Are you married, Mr...?

JOE
The name is Gillis. Single.

NORMA
Where do you live?

JOE
Hollywood. Alto Nido Apartments.

NORMA
You'll stay here.

JOE
I'll come back early tomorrow.

NORMA
Nonsense, there's a room over the garage. Max will take you there. Max!

MAX
Yes, Madame.

NORMA
Take Mr. Gillis to the guest room.
We'll begin a nine sharp.

JOE
Now this is more like it.

MAX
I made up the bed this afternoon.

JOE
Thanks.
How did you know I was going to stay?

MAX
There's soap and a toothbrush in the bathroom.

JOE
She's quite a character, isn't she, that Norma Desmond?
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Sunset Boulevard - Salome Lyrics

Musicals – Sunset Boulevard - Salome Lyrics