My First Script In Almost Twenty Years
(Scene: Manhattan 1968. An uptown diner. GUY WOODHOUSE sits with MINNIE CASTAVET at a table. GUY is a handsome man in his mid-thirties, just starting to get crow’s feet and wrinkles. MINNIE is a woman in her sixties, clothing a little chintzy and make-up a little overdone. GUY is anxious and agitated. MINNIE is stern; her patience is being tested but she wants to soothe the younger man’s nerves.)
Guy: Minnie? Mrs. Castavet, I don’t know if I can go through with this. I don’t want Rosemary to be hurt.
Minnie: Oh, we give you some sedative to put into her custard and we will do the rest. We take care of her health and she’ll become the wife of Guy Woodhouse: the most acclaimed actor of our times. She’ll have the best of everything.
Guy: Yeah. But what’ll happen to the world?
Minnie: Guy, we’ve been over this. To hell with the world. Rosemary’s perfect for us. Perfect for him.
Guy: No. You are insane.
(Rises to leave. Larry enters.)
Larry : Guy! How’s your blushing bride Rosemary?
Guy: Larry? Minnie…this is Larry, my agent. Um, Larry, this is Minnie Castavet.
Minnie: Pleased to meet you, dear.
Larry: Guy, I heard you on the payphone outside my office. You said you were having a meeting to get help on your career. I thought I’d sit in and share thoughts. This is the meeting, right?
(Guy is uneasy. Minnie is puzzled. Larry sits.)
Larry : We’re all ears. You would help Guy’s career, and in exchange?
Minnie (to Guy): All we want is to have your wife bear a child for…my client.
(Guy sits shamed. Larry pats his arm.)
Larry : You should have seen the deals I had to make with Zeigfeld. And in exchange, you help with his career?
Minnie: Yes. He guarantees the success of Guy’s acting career.
Larry (to Guy): So you didn’t tell me this, why? (to Minnie) Does your client have a name?
Minnie: He has lots of names.
Larry : Okay. I get it. As long as the corporations are properly licensed. How do we know he can deliver?
(Minnie glares at Guy)
Guy: Now that he’s asking, I was wondering that too, see…
Minnie: Three simple words, dear. ”Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
Guy (scandalized): Really?
Larry : Okay, then! Let’s talk! Guy, what does Rosemary say about this?
Guy: She’s…always wanted a baby.
Larry : Okay! So Minnie! What happens in case of non-performance?
Minnie: What do you mean?
Larry : Say your client is provided Rosemary and…he can’t seal the deal.
Minnie: He will seal the deal.
Larry : So you say. But things happen. Or they don’t. I mean, I’m thinking he’s an old guy and it’s been a while for him, right?
Guy: Um…Larry ?
Minnie: Oh he’ll seal the deal. He practically invented “sealing the deal.”
Larry : All we want is assurance. You have penalties in case Guy doesn’t fulfill, I’m sure.
Guy: Larry !
Larry : She doesn’t scare me. I deal with Joe Papp.
Minnie: Fine! In case of…nonperformance…Mr. Guy Woodhouse is assured lesser compensation.
Larry : A guest appearance on “Gunsmoke.”
Guy: Larry !
Larry : You’re saying he’s got all these connections! And another on “Bonanza!”
Guy: Larry ! I’m not sure I want to go through with this.
Larry : Why the cold feet?
Minnie: I was wondering the same thing.
Guy: To be honest…Rosemary’s not one-hundred percent board with this.
Larry : What? An opportunity like this?
Guy: She’s stubborn.
Larry : Okay. We do everything on the up-and-up. These are the 1960’s. If it comes to it, we just declare Rosemary incompetent.
Minnie: Incompetent? You can declare the woman incompetent if she doesn’t comply?
Larry : A wife would be crazy to hurt her husband’s career. Judges all over the world would agree with that.
Minnie: Yes. And isn’t it a wonderful world?
Larry : How’s that?
Minnie: Guy and I were agreeing that the world is going to hell.
Larry : You said it. Forty-Second Street? What a pit!
Guy: It isn’t so bad a world, Larry .
Larry : You kidding? War, drugs, poor people starving. Worst thing? Frankie Avalon just got a three-picture deal.
Guy: He WHAT?
Larry : Frankie Avalon got a movie deal. Going to Hollywood. That no-talent gigalo gets on screen again while a craftsman like my boy Guy Woodward suffers. A nobody. A nothing. Getting older every day –
Guy: All right. I’ll do it. Christ.
Larry : You know, Minnie, I had a thought. If we incorporate Rosemary, all the cribs and the diaper service and doctor’s visits become tax write-offs.
Larry : Anyone who is vested in the “Rosemary’s Baby” corporation can write off any expense as operating costs. We could even keep that going for the next five tax years.
Minnie: What a delightful idea, Larry ! Say, we are using my residence to raise the baby. Can we write off a portion of our property tax…
Larry : …as a home office? Sure!
Guy: But we don’t want to be greedy here, right?
(All laugh for their own reasons.)
Larry : We are going to need Rosemary’s signature.
Larry : I need to review the terms and have Rosemary sign the agreement.
Minnie: Do you?
Larry : Why not? You’ve spoken with her and she’s on board with this. She’ll make out like a bandit in this deal.
Guy: Couldn’t I just sign?
Larry : No, no. I want to drop by and say ‘Hi’, and congratulate her.
Guy: She’s resting right now. Maybe this evening?
Minnie (writing on a napkin): I think we are all finished here.
(Both rise to leave)
Larry : Oh, sorry to see you go! You should come back and try the pastrami. It’s to die for!
Minnie: You have no idea how true that is.
Guy: Larry …good-bye.
(Larry picks up the napkin. A magic symbol is written on it.)
(Both leave. Larry starts choking on the sandwich.)