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: You're not middle aged, Mr. Benson. In fact I think you're remarkably well preserved. Richard
: As chilling a compliment as I've ever received, Miss Simpson.
: [knock on door
] Yes? Gabrielle
: Mr. Benson? Richard
: You are, I assume, the young lady from the typing bureau? Gabrielle
: I am. Richard
: In that case, if we are to have a happy and harmonious relationship, I beg of you, never answer a question with a question. Is that clear? Gabrielle
: Did I? Richard
: There you go again, answering a question with a question. My original yes when you opened the door was a question, question mark implied of course. You do know the difference between implied and inferred? Gabrielle
: Isn't that a question? Richard
] Yes. Gabrielle
: Well, you just answered my question with a question. To imply is to indicate without saying openly or directly, to infer is to conclude from something known or assumed.
: [showing Gabrielle the apartment
] This is it. The office there, I live up here, and uh, the terrace is out there. That rather grotesque object looming so formidably on the horizon is the Eiffel Tower. I had it moved there to remind me what town I'm in. If it offends you, of course, I'll have it taken away again.
: It's quite all right, really. I once worked for an American novelist who could only write in the bathtub. I'm used to anything. Richard
: You can unpack -
: in the bathtub? Gabrielle
: Yes. On the second day, I gave him a packet of bubble bath and from then on we got along swimmingly. Richard
: I see.
[pointing to the name on the birdcage
: Uh, does that imply that the bird's name is Richelieu? Gabrielle
: Oh, it's inferred, I believe, rather than implied. Richard
] "Swimmingly." Interesting figure of speech.
: You call the canary Richelieu because you always wanted a cardinal. Gabrielle
] That's very funny! Richard
: No, it isn't. Just one of the hazards of being an international wit, which I am. You have to keep trying all the time.
: What's the story about? Richard
: It's an action/suspense, uh, romantic melodrama with lots of comedy, of course. And, uh, deep down underneath, a substrata of social comment.
: Take a note. For the textbook which I will someday write on the art of screenwriting: never play 13, 31, and the corners thereof for any serious length of time or any serious amount of money. It doesn't work.
: And this guy you've got a date with on Bastille Day, is he part of the growth process? Gabrielle
: Oh no, he's just a friend, a struggling young actor. Richard
] An actor!
: Eww. A tragic relation to begin with. I only hope he's not one of those method actors that who scratches and mumbles and pauses a lot, thereby destroying the impeccable rhythm of the author's prose.
: [about the screenplay's main character
] Now, I suppose we'll have to describe him. Gabrielle
: Yes, I suppose so. Richard
: He's American, of course. I can write him better that way. Now let's see, what else.
[looking in the mirror
: I see him as rather tall, rather suntanned, rather handsome athletic-looking with a rugged, but... curiously sensitive face.
: You really like it, don't you. Gabrielle
: What? Richard
: Life. Gabrielle
: Oh! Every morning when I wake up and I see there's a whole new other day, I just go absolutely ape!
: I've got an idea. I've got an idea! First good one I've had in four months. No, that's not true. A few weeks ago I had an idea to give up drinking, but it didn't photograph.
: Cut to the Eiffel Tower. The main title. The trumpets segue into the inevitable title song. Maybe we can get Sinatra to sing it.
[Frank Sinatra begins to sing
: Now then, the mysterious stranger. Who is he? What does he do? What suffering, what torment caused the deep sadness that lurks behind his eyes? And why, while we're asking questions, didn't I listen to my father and learn some sort of useful trade?
: I've got it! Of course, it means we'll have to start all over again, but that's not too serious. We've only got eight pages.
: He's not asking her to spend a weekend with him at a motel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, he's asking her to lunch!