Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rien ne va plus

Because Yvonne? I love you.

I'm flirting with Gene Tierney and Madeleine LeBeau at Rick's Americain, while LeBeau is filming her Casablanca scenes with Sasha the bartender and Tierney is looking gorgeously haughty and unapproachable. Madeleine and I have been dancing around each other for the entire film, but neither one of us has actually done anything, because I'm twice her age and she's married to Marcel Dalio, who got her out of France in '38 two steps ahead of the Nazis and is now the croupier at Rick's when he isn't the croupier at Mother Gin Sling's. But I'm used to the age thing and the marriage thing; as I tell her over martinis, "It's not going to stop me from feeling what I feel; it's just going to stop me from doing anything about it."

GENE TIERNEY: Why can't I ever meet a man who's not going to do anything about it?
ME: That bad, huh?
GENE TIERNEY: It's driving me crazy. [Downs martini in one gulp.]

So Sasha is saying "Because Yvonne? I love you," over and over again until Michael Curtiz is satisfied, and in the middle of the tenth take, this process server walks on-set and into the shot, handing Madeleine an official-looking document which turns out to be divorce papers. "It's from Marcel," she says. "I'm being divorced on grounds of desertion."

GENE TIERNEY: They all desert you in the end. [Downs martini in one gulp.]

Madeleine looks up from the papers and gives me This Look that says, "Well, there goes one obstacle." Then she smiles very prettily and leans in to whisper in my ear:

MADELEINE LEBEAU: Have I told you about my father fixation?

And I wake up approximately 90 minutes after my head hit the pillow, thinking to myself, "Why is it, the only time a woman ever says that to me is just before I wake up from a dream?"

THE VOICE OF GENE TIERNEY: Because even your dreams desert you in the end. [Downs 5 tranquilizers in one gulp.]


Horvendile said...

And that bit about getting served divorce papers during the filming of Casablanca? True story.

Jane said...

If I could ever remember my dreams then I have no doubt that this would happen to me all the time. Except it wouldn't be with Madeleine. I can't believe that the process server coming on set with the divorce papers was a true story! The things that you never knew.