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The Magnificent Ambersons

The Campbell Playhouse

The Magnificent Ambersons

Oct 29 1939



CAST:

ANNOUNCER, Ernest Chappell

HOST, Orson Welles


NARRATOR

GEORGE AMBERSON MINAFER, whiny and nasal; a snob

EUGENE MORGAN, who loves Isabel; Lucy's father (WALTER HUSTON)

ISABEL AMBERSON, who loves Eugene; George's mother (NAN SUNDERLAND)

FRED AMBERSON

LUCY MORGAN

1ST CITIZEN

2ND CITIZEN

MR. FOSTER

MRS. FOSTER

WOMAN (2 lines)

YOUNG GEORGE, age twelve

ARCHIE MALLOCH SMITH, age thirteen

THE REV. MALLOCH SMITH

GIRL (1 line)

and a party CROWD



MUSIC: FANFARE ... THEN THEME (FROM TCHAIKOVSKY'S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1), IN BG


ANNOUNCER: The makers of Campbell's Soups present the Campbell Playhouse; Orson Welles, producer.


MUSIC: THEME FILLS PAUSE ... THEN OUT


HOST: Good evening. This is Orson Welles. Tonight again our scene is America -- America at the turn of the century in the days that saw the rise, the reign, and the decline of the magnificent Ambersons. The book was a bestseller, but "The Magnificent Ambersons" is something better than that; better than a bestseller. It still sells. It lives on as the truest, cruelest picture of the growth of the Middle West and the liveliest portrait left to us of the people who made it grow. It's better than a good book. It's Booth Tarkington's best, and we'll do our best by it on the radio tonight. And, luckily, we have with us a great American actor to help -- an actor who, in the living theater and in motion pictures, has created a notable gallery of American portraits ranging from Ring Lardner's Elmer the Great to Sinclair Lewis' Dodsworth -- a gallery which includes the simplest of American mortals and even two presidents: the legendary chief executive of "Gabriel Over the White House" and Mr. Abraham Lincoln himself. You've guessed his name. It's Walter Huston.


MUSIC: A LOVELY WALTZ ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: But before Booth Tarkington's "Magnificent Ambersons," here's Ernest Chappell with a message of interest from our sponsors.


ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Orson Welles. You know, if through some circumstance or other people could have only one soup, and if the choice of that one soup were put to popular vote, the chances are most people would cast their ballots in favor of Campbell's Tomato Soup. You see, Campbell's Tomato is the soup people buy and enjoy more than any other. Now, why is this so? Well, there are many reasons, of course, why people turn to Campbell's Tomato Soup time and time again; why it appeals alike to young and old; why people never seem to tire of it. But the main reason can be summed up in one word: flavor. Just about everybody has a keen liking for its rich tomato flavor. The tang and liveliness of that flavor never fails to coax our appetites. We continue to enjoy it as we eat spoonful after spoonful, and we have a pleasant feeling of deep well-being as we finish the last full-flavored drop. Now, wouldn't bright glowing fragrant platefuls of this favorite soup add special enjoyment to your dinner tomorrow night? And don't you want to put on your grocery list tomorrow "Campbell's Tomato Soup"? And now "The Magnificent Ambersons," with Walter Huston and Orson Welles.


MUSIC: WARM AND FRIENDLY ... THEN BEHIND EUGENE, OUT BY [X]--


EUGENE: (WRITES LETTER) Dear Miss Amberson: When I called upon you this afternoon to express my regret for last night's misfortune, I was informed by your butler that you did not desire to see me. You seem to care a great deal for bass viols, Miss Amberson. If I promise never to break another one, may I not hope that you will relent and consent to receive in person the apology of your very contrite and devoted admirer, Eugene Morgan. [X] (ADDRESSES ENVELOPE) To Miss Amberson, Amberson Mansion, Amberson Boulevard, Amberson Addition. 


NARRATOR: You heard that word "Amberson" a lot in those days, in that town. Everybody knew the Ambersons and it was quite unnecessary for the young man to address his letter so carefully.


MUSIC: NOSTALGIC ... IN BG


NARRATOR: The magnificence of the Ambersons began in Eighteen Seventy-Three. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their Midland town spread and darken into a city. Around Eighteen Hundred, Major Amberson had bought two hundred acres of land at the end of National Avenue. Through this tract he built broad streets and cross-streets, paved them with cedar block, and curbed them with stone. He set up fountains here and there, and at symmetrical intervals placed cast-iron statues, painted white. And all this Art showed a profit from the start. The lots had sold well and there was a rush to build in the new Addition. Its main thoroughfare was called Amberson Boulevard, and here now stood the new Amberson Mansion, which was the pride of the town.


1ST CITIZEN: Yes, sir! Sixty thousand dollars for the woodwork alone! 


2ND CITIZEN: And hot and cold water upstairs and down!


MR. FOSTER: Why, they got a ballroom there; takes up the whole third story.


1ST CITIZEN: And a glass dome. Clean glass it is. Way up in the air. And arches and turrets. And one of them new stone porches; they call it a porte-cochere.


2ND CITIZEN: Well, sir, I guess the President of the United States would be tickled to swap the White House for the new Amberson Mansion, if the Major'd give him the chance.


1ST CITIZEN: Yes, sir! 


2ND CITIZEN: By the Almighty Dollar, you bet your sweet life the Major wouldn't!


MUSIC: BRISK WALTZ ... THEN IN BG


NARRATOR: Now, these Ambersons, at the time this story begins, there were three: the old Major and his two children Fred and Isabel. Of Fred, it was generally understood that one day he would go into politics.


FRED: Kind of a good thing to have an Amberson in Congress. Makes it pleasant when the family goes traveling.


NARRATOR: Meanwhile, he was to be seen every afternoon on National Avenue perched high on the seat of the newest and fanciest rig in town, driving a pair of dashing bays with great gesturing and waving of his skin-tight lemon gloves. Of Isabel, it was known that she'd been to a young ladies' school in the East and later to a finishing school in Paris.


MUSIC: OUT


ISABEL: But now I'm back. Back for good this time, I guess. And it's nice to be home.


NARRATOR: Home being the Amberson Mansion on Amberson Boulevard, of which Isabel Amberson was now the hostess.


MUSIC: LILTING AND LIGHT ... THEN IN BG


NARRATOR: Well, during those days, people had time for things. Time to gossip; time for a lot of things. They even had time to dance square dances, quadrilles, and lancers; the racquette, and schottisches and polkas, and such whims as the "Portland Fancy." It's all gone now. Gone, like the all-day picnics in the woods, and like that prettiest of all vanished customs, the serenade. Of a summer night, young men would bring an orchestra under a pretty girl's window -- and flute, harp, fiddle, cello, cornet, and bass viol would presently release their melodies to the dulcet stars. Indeed, it was at one of these serenades that an event occurred which was to have a profound influence on the fate of the Ambersons.


MRS. FOSTER: Eugene Morgan; it's too bad! Likeliest boy in town, he was, and not really given to drink. Just celebrating.


MR. FOSTER: Stepped right through the bass viol, he did. Made matchwood of it.


MRS. FOSTER: Too bad it had to be right under Miss Isabel's window -- and right at this time, too.


NARRATOR: When Eugene Morgan called the next day to apologize, Isabel refused to see him and it was then that he wrote her that letter, and three weeks later Major Amberson announced the marriage of his daughter to one of the town's leading young men of business, Wilbur Minafer -- no breaker of bass viols or of hearts. No serenader at all.


WOMAN: Wilbur Minafer.


MRS. FOSTER: Well, she'll be a good wife to Wilbur, and they'll have the worst spoiled lot of children this town will ever see.


MR. FOSTER: How on earth do you make that out?


MRS. FOSTER: She couldn't love Wilbur, could she? Well, it'll all go to her children, and she'll ruin them!


MUSIC: OUT


NARRATOR: The prophetess proved to be mistaken in a single detail only: Wilbur and Isabel did not have children; they had only one child. At the age of nine -- it pains me more than any man to admit -- George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror, with his long brown curls and a silk sash and lace collar in which his mother dressed him, he was dreaded not only in Amberson Addition but in other quarters through which he galloped daily on his white pony.


ARCHIE: Aw, look at the girly curls! Say, bub, where'd you steal your mother's ole sash?!


YOUNG GEORGE: Your sister stole it for me! She stole it off our clo'es-line an' gave it to me.


ARCHIE: Yah! You go get your hair cut! I haven't got a sister!


YOUNG GEORGE: I know you haven't at home! I mean the one that's in jail!


ARCHIE: I dare you to get down off that pony!


YOUNG GEORGE: Sure, I'll get down off the pony! (TO HORSE) Whoa, boy.


ARCHIE: (TAKEN ABACK) Well, I dare you to come inside that gate!


YOUNG GEORGE: (FEARLESS) I'm comin'!


ARCHIE: (NERVOUS) Yeah? Well, I - I dare you half way here! I dare ya-- 


SOUND: SCUFFLE AS YOUNG GEORGE BEATS UP ARCHIE, THEN IN BG


ARCHIE: (TERRIFIED) Hey! Pa! Pa! He's killin' me!


REV. SMITH: (APPROACHES) Here now! What's going on here? Stop it! 


SOUND: SCUFFLE ENDS


REV. SMITH: And get out of this yard, young man! I said--


YOUNG GEORGE: You stop that! You take your hands off me! I guess you don't know who I am!


REV. SMITH: Yes, I do know! I know who you are, and you're a disgrace to your mother! Your mother ought to be ashamed of herself to allow--


YOUNG GEORGE: Shut up about my mother!


REV. SMITH: She ought to be ashamed. A woman that lets a bad boy like you--


YOUNG GEORGE: You pull down your vest, you ole Billygoat, you! Pull down your vest, lay on your chin, an' go to--


MUSIC: INTERRUPTS THE SENTENCE TO DELETE THE EXPLETIVE AND TO CUTELY TRANSITION TO THE NEXT SCENE ... OUT GENTLY DURING FOLLOWING--


ISABEL: George?


YOUNG GEORGE: Yes, mamma?


ISABEL: Is this letter from the Reverend Malloch Smith the truth?


YOUNG GEORGE: He's an ole liar.


ISABEL: George, you mustn't say "liar." He says you insulted and brutally assaulted his son. Is that true?


YOUNG GEORGE: (CAGEY) Well, how old am I?


ISABEL: You're twelve.


YOUNG GEORGE: An' he says in that letter I'm older and stronger than his son -- and he's thirteen.


ISABEL: What about the other thing, Georgie? Did you tell the Reverend Smith to, er-- to-- (EMBARRASSED, HUSHED) Did you say, "Go to--"?


YOUNG GEORGE: (INTERRUPTS) Listen here, mamma; grandpa wouldn't even wipe his shoe on that ole story-teller, would he?


ISABEL: George, you mustn't--


YOUNG GEORGE: I mean, none of the Ambersons wouldn't have anythin' to do with him, would they? He doesn't even know you, does he, mamma?


ISABEL: George, that isn't what we're talking about.


YOUNG GEORGE: I bet-- I bet if he wanted to see any of the Amberson family, he'd haf to go around to the side door!


ISABEL: No, dear. No, he--


YOUNG GEORGE: Yes, he would, mamma! So what does it matter if I did say somep'm' to him he didn't like? That kind o' people, I don't see why you can't say anythin' you want to 'em! They're just riffraff. That's what they are, mamma! Just riffraff!


NARRATOR: And that's what they were to him -- riffraff. Everybody in town, except the Ambersons.


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND--


NARRATOR: His arrogance, I'm sorry to say, grew with the years. There were people -- grown people, too -- who said they did hope to see the day when that boy would get his comeuppance! That's the word they used: comeuppance. But when George Amberson Minafer came home from college for the holidays at Christmas-tide in his sophomore year, nothing about him encouraged any hope that he, George Amberson Minafer, had received his comeuppance. Cards were out for a ball in his honor, and this pageant of the tenantry was held in the ballroom of the Amberson Mansion the night after his arrival. George, white-gloved, with a gardenia in his buttonhole, stood with his mother and his Uncle Fred in the big red and gold drawing room downstairs to receive the guests. He was doing his duty, greeting two pretty girls with whom he had grown up.


ISABEL: How do you do?


GEORGE: (INSINCERE, QUICK) How do you do? 'Member you very well; of course I do; very well indeed.


GIRL: (OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Hello, Mr. Minafer. Oh, yes, yes-- (BABBLES INDECIPHERABLY AS SHE MOVES OFF)


GEORGE: Mother?


ISABEL: Yes, George?


GEORGE: Mother, who's that queer-looking duck?


ISABEL: Why, George dear, whomever do you mean?


GEORGE: Over there; he's coming towards us.


ISABEL: (SURPRISED) Why--


GEORGE: It's nobody we know, is it, mother?


ISABEL: (LOW) George, he'll hear you. (BEAT, UP) Hello, Eugene.


EUGENE: Good evening, Isabel.


ISABEL:  How nice of you to come, Eugene.


EUGENE: (LIGHTLY) I'm only here for one thing. To have a dance with you.


ISABEL: (PLEASED) Why, of course. (BEAT, INTRODUCTIONS) Eugene, this is my son. George, Mr. Eugene Morgan.


EUGENE: Hello, George.


GEORGE: How do you do?


EUGENE: Well, if he wasn't so big, Isabel, I - I wouldn't know it had been so long.


ISABEL: Yes, Eugene, it - it has been long.


EUGENE: Well, how about that dance?


ISABEL: Certainly, Eugene. A little later. I'd love it.


EUGENE: A little later then, Isabel. I'll come for you. Goodbye, George. Nice to meet you. I wondered what you'd be like. You're almost as good-looking as you ought to be with that mother of yours. And that's better than any boy ought to look.


ISABEL: (LAUGHS)


EUGENE: (MOVING OFF) Goodbye, Isabel. I'll come back for that dance.


GEORGE: (UNIMPRESSED, LOW, TO ISABEL) Mm hm, still a pretty queer-looking duck.


ISABEL: (ADMONISHES) George.


GEORGE: (RELUCTANTLY OBEDIENT) Yes, mother.


ISABEL: Oh, uh, George--?


GEORGE: (BORED) Yes, mother?


ISABEL: George, this is Miss Lucy Morgan.


GEORGE: (MECHANICAL) Oh, how do you do? I remember you very well indeed.


ISABEL: (AMUSED) But you don't, George. Miss Morgan's from out of town and this is the first time you've ever seen her.


GEORGE: Oh, I'm sorry. How do you do?


ISABEL: You might take her up to the dancing, George. I think you've pretty well done your duty here.


GEORGE: Be delighted. Delighted.


MUSIC: UP BRIEFLY, FOR DANCING ... THEN IN BG


GEORGE: What'd you say your name was?


LUCY: Morgan.


GEORGE: Huh. It's a funny name.


LUCY: Everybody else's name always is.


GEORGE: What's the rest of it?


LUCY: Lucy. (BEAT, PLAYFUL) Is "Lucy" a funny name, too?


GEORGE: No, Lucy's very much all right!


LUCY: (AMUSED) Thanks about letting my name be Lucy.


NARRATOR: As George conducted his partner to the ballroom their progress was slow and to George's mind it did not lack stateliness. How could it? Musicians, hired especially for him, were sitting in a grove of palms in the hall and now tenderly playing for his pleasuring. Dozens and scores of flowers had been brought to life and tended to this hour that they might sweeten the air for him while they died. It is to be doubted if anybody ever felt more illustrious, or more negligently grand, than George Amberson Minafer felt at this party.


MUSIC: DANCE TUNE UP BRIEFLY, THEN ENDS


LUCY: Mr. Minafer?


GEORGE: Yes?


LUCY: What are you studying at college?


GEORGE: A lot o' useless guff.


LUCY: Well, then why don't you study some useful guff?


GEORGE: What do you mean "useful"?


LUCY: Oh, something you'd use later, in your business or profession?


GEORGE: I don't expect to go into any "business or profession."


LUCY: Well, what are you going to be? What do you want to be?


GEORGE: A yachtsman!


MUSIC: GAILY BRISK ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


NARRATOR: At that same moment, in a small room set apart for the smokers on the second floor of the Amberson Mansion, two old friends were engaged in conversation. One was the Honorable Fred Amberson; the other was the gentleman whom George Amberson Minafer had classified some minutes earlier as a queer-looking duck.


FRED: Gene Morgan, you haven't changed at all.


EUGENE: What'd you expect, Fred?


FRED: Twenty years since you left. Makes some difference in faces, twenty years, but not in behavior, I guess. 


EUGENE: If you remember, Fred, my own behavior began to be different about that long ago -- quite suddenly.


FRED: Yeah. Been stepping in any bass viols lately, Gene?


EUGENE: (CHUCKLES)


FRED: Isabel know you're here?


EUGENE: Yes, I just saw her. Where's Wilbur? I - I didn't see him.


FRED: Isabel's husband never was one for parties, you know, and he hasn't been so well lately. He's probably gone home already. (BEAT) Gene, life's an odd thing if we look back, isn't it?


EUGENE: Yes, it's probably going to be odder still -- if we could look forward.


FRED: Probably.


EUGENE: However, I still dance like an Indian. Don't you?


FRED: No. I leave that to my nephew George. He does the dancing for the family.


EUGENE: (CHUCKLES) Ah, tell me, what do people in this town think about young George -- generally?


FRED: (AWKWARD) Well, uh-- Well, there're a lot of people that are glad to express their opinions about him. Uh, quite strongly, too.


EUGENE: Yes? What's the matter with him, Fred?


FRED: Well, too much Amberson, I suppose, for one thing. And for another, Isabel just fell down and worshipped him from the day he was born. I don't see how she doesn't see the truth about that boy o' hers. She thinks he's a little tin god on wheels. I tell ya, Gene, she actually sits and worships him! You can hear it in her voice when she speaks to him. You can see it in her eyes when she looks at him. By Heavens, I often wonder what does she see when she looks at him.


EUGENE: Yes. Well, she sees something that we don't see.


FRED: What?


EUGENE: An angel.


FRED: (AMUSED) Er, tell me, Gene, when you met George tonight, er, did you see an angel?


EUGENE: No. No, all I saw was a remarkably good-looking fool-boy with the pride of Satan and a set of nice new drawing-room manners.


FRED: (LAUGHS)


EUGENE: No, Fred. Mothers see the angel in us because the angel is there. And mothers are always right.


FRED: Yes, I know what you mean, Gene. You mean that George's mother's always right. 


EUGENE: (SADLY NOSTALGIC) I'm afraid she's always been.


FRED: (QUIETLY SUPPORTIVE) She was wrong once, old fellow. At least, so it seemed to me.


EUGENE: No. (BEAT) No, she, er-- (TRAILS OFF)


MUSIC: SUDDENLY PERKY, IN BG


EUGENE: (ABRUPTLY CHIPPER AND DECISIVE) Well, goodbye, Fred! I - I'm going to dance!


FRED: Well, who with?


EUGENE: Isabel! Does that surprise you?


FRED: Well, it, uh, startles me a little, your jumping up like that to go and dance with Isabel. Twenty years seems to have passed, but have they? By Heavens, old times starting all over again.


EUGENE: Old times? Not a bit! (LAUGHS) There aren't any old times. When times are gone they're not old, they're dead! 


FRED: (CHUCKLES)


EUGENE: There aren't any times but new times.


FRED: (CHUCKLES)


MUSIC: UP, FOR BRIEF TRANSITION TO DANCING ... THEN IN BG


GEORGE: (HIGHLY AMUSED) Oh! How's that for a bit of freshness? My gosh!


LUCY: What was?


GEORGE: Oh, that queer-looking duck dancing with my mother. See him waving his hand at me like that? I don't know him from Adam.


LUCY: (AMUSED) You don't need to. He wasn't waving his hand to you; he meant me. I'm going to dance with him pretty soon.


GEORGE: Say, who is he?


LUCY: The queer-looking duck?


GEORGE: Yeah. (LAUGHS) I suppose he's some old widower.


LUCY: Yes, he's a widower. I should have told you before; he's my father.


GEORGE: Oh, if I'd known he was your father, I wouldn't have made fun of him. I'm sorry.


LUCY: (LAUGHS, GOOD-NATURED) You know, I don't mind your being such a lofty person at all. I think it's ever so interesting. But papa's a great man.


GEORGE: Is he? Well, let's hope so, I'm sure.


LUCY: (AMUSED) I'm just beginning to understand.


GEORGE: Understand what?


LUCY: What it means to be a real Amberson in this town. Papa told me something about it before we came, but I see he didn't say half enough.


GEORGE: Did your father say he knew the family before he left here?


LUCY: I don't think he meant to boast of it. He spoke of it quite calmly. 


MUSIC: OUT ... THE DANCE ENDS


SOUND: PARTY GUESTS MURMUR IN BACKGROUND


LUCY: If you'll excuse me, I - I really must be going now.


GEORGE: Hey, wait a minute! Wait. What are you gonna do after two o'clock tomorrow afternoon?


LUCY: (PLAYING HARD-TO-GET) A whole lot of things. Every minute filled up.


GEORGE: All right. The snow is fine for sleighing; I'll come for you in a cutter at ten minutes after two.


LUCY: I can't possibly go.


GEORGE: If you don't, I'm gonna sit in the cutter in front of your gate all afternoon. If you try to go out with anybody else he's got to whip me before he gets you. If you think I'm not in earnest you're at liberty to make quite a big experiment.


LUCY: (DRY) I don't think I've often had so large a compliment as that -- especially on such short notice. And yet, I don't think I'll go with you.


GEORGE: You be ready at ten minutes after two.


LUCY: No, I won't.


GEORGE: (QUIETLY AMOROUS) Yes, you will.


LUCY: (BEAT, QUIETLY PLEASED) Yes. I will.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... FOR A PLEASURE TRIP


SOUND: VINTAGE AUTO CLATTERS AND SQUEAKS TO A STOP AND BACKFIRES TWICE ... VINTAGE AUTO HORN HONKS


EUGENE: (CALLS) Isabel?! Isabel?! Wilbur?!


FRED: (OFF) Ah, here he is!


ISABEL: (OFF) I'm coming!


FRED: (OFF) All ready for the great adventure!


EUGENE: Well, where's Wilbur?


ISABEL: (OFF) Wilbur had a headache, Gene. He said he hoped you'd excuse him.


FRED: (OFF) I don't think automobiling is quite your husband's speed anyway, Isabel. Well, let's get started.


EUGENE: You're sure you're not scared?


ISABEL: (OFF) Of course not.


FRED: (OFF) We'll probably have to walk home, but the exercise'll be good for us.


ISABEL: (OFF, CHUCKLES)

 

EUGENE: Don't you believe him!


FRED: (OFF) Up you go, Isabel. Heh!


SOUND: ISABEL CLAMBERS ABOARD ... THEN FRED ... MUCH CREAKING AND SQUEAKING


ISABEL: I don't care what you say, I still think it's thrilling.


SOUND: ENGINE CRANKS UP AND RUMBLES ... CONTINUES IN BG


EUGENE: Ready? Here we go!


FRED: You know what? Gene tells me this chafing-dish here travels ten miles an hour!


EUGENE: Next year, we expect to do eighteen!


FRED: By then, there'll be a law forbidding the sale of automobiles, the way there is with concealed weapons!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... BRISK, FOR A RIDE IN A VINTAGE AUTO (QUOTES "THE MAN WHO BROKE THE BANK AT MONTE CARLO") ... THEN MUCH SLOWER, FOR A HORSE-DRAWN SLEIGH RIDE (QUOTES "JINGLE BELLS")


SOUND: HORSE-AND-SLEIGH (COMPLETE WITH JANGLING HARNESS BELLS) TROT ALONG, IN BG


GEORGE: (TO HORSE) Gid-up, Pendennis! Gid-up! (TO LUCY) Gee, Lucy, I'm sorry you're cold.


LUCY: I'm not any more, with the wind behind us. And I do hate to go back. It's so pretty out here in the country.


GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah, it is nice. 


LUCY: Is this all yours? The Ambersons', I mean -- all this land? It's beautiful.


GEORGE: Yeah, it used to be. It's getting all too much built up now. The way it used to be, it was like a gentlemen's country estate; the way we ought to keep it. We let these people take too many liberties.


LUCY: (LAUGHS) 


GEORGE: What are you laughing at now?


LUCY: Oh, nothing. (SEES SOMETHING) Well, for heaven's sake!


GEORGE: What?


LUCY: Well, look over there, down the road; it's papa! He's having trouble with the machine!


GEORGE: (LAUGHS VOCIFEROUSLY) What'd I tell you about those old sewing machines?!


LUCY: (ANNOYED) They're not old sewing machines! I wish you wouldn't say things like that.


GEORGE: (OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE, TO HORSE) Git up! Get up!


SOUND: CRACK! OF WHIP AS HORSE-AND-SLEIGH PICK UP SPEED IN BACKGROUND ... MORE WHIP CRACKING, IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


LUCY: (SHOCKED) Well, you're not going to pass them and just leave them stranded there?


GEORGE: (GLEEFULLY VICIOUS) We'll come back and pick 'em up,; just show 'em it's horses that belong on the road, not sewing machines. (TO HORSE) Git up, Pendennis!


LUCY: Oh, George! Be careful! Please!


GEORGE: (TO HORSE) Git up! (CALLS TO EUGENE, SNIDELY) Why don't you get a horse?! Get a horse! Ha! Git a horrrrrrrse!


ISABEL: (SURPRISED, OFF) George!


LUCY: Oh, George! Be careful! Look where you're driving! There's a ditch on that side! George! (BLOODCURDLING SCREAM)


SOUND: HORSE BREAKS LOOSE WHILE SLEIGH CRASHES INTO DITCH


[ ... ]


EUGENE: Are you hurt, Lucy?


LUCY: Oh, no, father.


EUGENE: Are you all right?

 

LUCY: Yes.


SOUND: THE ABOVE EUGENE-LUCY EXCHANGE OVERLAPS BRIEFLY WITH THE NEXT FEW LINES:


FRED: Here he is.


ISABEL: (WORRIED) Oh, George? George?


FRED: (REASSURINGLY INSISTS) This snowbank's a feather bed. There's nothing the matter with him at all.


ISABEL: George, are you hurt?


GEORGE: (COUGHS) Don't make a fuss, mother! Nothing's the matter. Only that darned silly horse broke away.


ISABEL: Well, you'll catch cold, George. Here, let me brush the snow off you.


GEORGE: (SULLEN) Oh, let me alone, mother. You'll ruin your gloves. You're getting the snow all over yourself.


EUGENE: (GOOD-NATURED) Yeah, now, why not try riding in my machine, George? Come on, climb in, everybody!


SOUND: CREAKING AND SQUEAKING AS EVERYONE CLIMBS INTO AUTO, IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


EUGENE: Come on, Isabel! All aboard, Lucy! George?


ISABEL: (DISMAYED) Oh, look at your feet, George. 


GEORGE: Oh, now, mother--


ISABEL: You must clean them off or you'll catch cold.


GEORGE: Oh, mother!


ISABEL: We can't have you catching cold now, dear. Let me brush them for you.


GEORGE: Stop that, mamma.


ISABEL: But you mustn't ride with wet feet.


GEORGE: Well, they're not! For heaven's sake, get in! You're standing in the snow yourself, mother!


EUGENE: He's all right, Isabel. Come on. Up here with me. Ready?


FRED: We're ready, but how about this wreck of yours?


EUGENE: Well, we'll see.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE CRANKS UP AND RUMBLES ... CONTINUES IN BG


EUGENE: She breathes! She stirs! She seems to feel a thrill of life along her keel!


FRED: (SINGS) "As I walked along the Bois de Boulogne--" 

(SPEAKS, TO OTHERS) Hey, come on here, you two -- sing! It'll keep you warm! 

(RESUMES SINGING, IN BG)

"As I walked along the Bois de Boulogne with my independent air, 

You can hear the girls declare,

'He must be a millionaire!'

You can hear them sigh, and wish to die

You can see them wink the other eye

At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo."


SOUND: SONG OVERLAPS WITH THE FOLLOWING LUCY-GEORGE EXCHANGE:


LUCY: George? I want to thank you.


GEORGE: Oh, for what?


LUCY: You tried to swing underneath me and break the fall for me when we went over. I knew you were doing that. It was nice of you.


GEORGE: There wasn't any fall to speak of. Couldn't have hurt either one of us.


LUCY: Still it was friendly of you -- and awfully quick, too. I'll not forget.


FRED: (STARTS TO SING ANOTHER STANZA) 

"As I walked along the Bois de Boulogne with my independent air, 

You can hear the girls declare--


MUSIC: TOPS HIM FOR A BRIDGE, PICKING UP THE MELODY OF "THE MAN WHO BROKE THE BANK AT MONTE CARLO" ... THEN OUT


LUCY: Papa? Papa, what makes George Minafer behave like he does?


EUGENE: What do you mean, Lucy?


LUCY: He can be so rude and disagreeable and arrogant. Yet this afternoon he tried to save my life. Wouldn't even let me thank him. I don't understand him at all, papa.


EUGENE: He's sensitive, Lucy.


LUCY: Rather! But why is he? He does anything he likes to, without any regard for what people think. Then why should he mind so furiously when the least little thing reflects upon him, or on anything or anybody connected with him?


EUGENE: Well, that's one of the greatest puzzles of human vanity, dear. I don't pretend to know the answer. In all my life, the most arrogant people I have known have been the most sensitive. But he's still a boy. There's plenty of fine stuff in him. Can't help but be: he's Isabel Amberson's son.


LUCY: You liked her pretty well once, didn't you, papa?


EUGENE: I - I do still, Lucy.


LUCY: Oh, she's lovely.


EUGENE: Yes. Yes, I know.


LUCY: I wonder sometimes-- I wonder why she happened to marry Mr. Minafer.


EUGENE: Oh, Wilbur Minafer's all right. He's a quiet sort of man, but he's a good man and kind. Those are things that count. No, Lucy, I wouldn't worry too much about George. You need only to remember three things to explain all that's good and bad about George.


LUCY: Three?


EUGENE: Yes. He's Isabel's child. He's an Amberson. And he's a boy.


LUCY: (LIGHTLY) Well, Mister Bones, of those three things which are the good ones and which are the bad ones?


EUGENE: All of them.


MUSIC: GENTLE CURTAIN ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to the Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Magnificent Ambersons," starring Walter Huston and Orson Welles. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


MUSIC: UP, TO FILL A PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION ... THEN GENTLY OUT 


ANNOUNCER: This is Ernest Chappell, ladies and gentlemen, welcoming you back to the Campbell Playhouse. In a moment, we shall resume our presentation of "The Magnificent Ambersons." But before we learn more about the ways and the ultimate destiny of this extraordinary Amberson family, I'd like to say just a word about a custom prevailing in some American families, perhaps in your family. No doubt many of the soups you serve and enjoy in your home are Campbell's Soups. But perhaps there are one or two kinds of soup you still make yourself. The reason may be, er-- Well, habit, for one thing. Or perhaps it's the understandable pride you take in your good home cooking. If this is true in your case, then believe me, we honor it and you sincerely. But because I'm sure you'll agree that making soup does lengthen your kitchen hours -- lengthen them, as most women feel, needlessly -- I'd like to invite you, if you haven't already done so, to try just once these soups as Campbell's make them. Try them and compare them with the product of your own kettle, soup for soup. And if you do that, I earnestly believe you'll appreciate their fine home-like flavor so much that you'll let Campbell's make all your soups. You see, we make these soups for many of your friends, so, naturally, we'd like to make them for you, too. (BEAT) Now we resume our Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Magnificent Ambersons," starring Orson Welles and Walter Huston.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


NARRATOR: Even after the turn of the century in that Midland town it seemed impossible to doubt that the Ambersons were entrenched in their nobility behind polished and glittering barriers which were as solid as they were brilliant, and would last forever. And to those fervent souls who continued to hope that the youngest of the Ambersons, George Amberson Minafer, would soon get his "comeuppance," the following year, I'm afraid, brought little comfort -- or the next. But in his last year at college, three things occurred to upset the even tenor of George Amberson Minafer's life.


MRS. FOSTER: (READS) "Wilbur Minafer, beloved husband of Isabel Amberson Minafer and father of George Amberson Minafer, died at his home last night after a brief illness."


WOMAN: Wilbur Minafer.


MR. FOSTER: Quiet man. Town will hardly know he's gone.


NARRATOR: That was the first thing, his father's death. Second: certain changes in the Midland town where he lived -- perplexing at first, then irritating. Every time you came home for the holidays, you saw new things. New faces at the dances. Riffraff; people whose names you never heard of. And the town itself was less and less familiar. Even in Amberson Addition there was drastic and tragic change. The first owners of the big houses sold them or rented them to boardinghouse keepers. Cheaper tenants took their places. Rents were lower and lower, the houses shabbier and shabbier. And not even the Ambersons themselves seemed able to stem the tide. And third-- Third, there was a certain subject upon which George and Lucy Morgan found it impossible to agree.


SOUND: HORSE SLOWS TO A STOP WITH--


GEORGE: Whoa, Pendennis! Whoa.


LUCY: Why are you stopping, George? Why don't you go on?


GEORGE: (BEAT, POINTED) Lucy? When are ya gonna marry me?


LUCY: Oh, not for years and years.


GEORGE: Why not?


LUCY: You're too young.


GEORGE: That the only reason?


LUCY: Oh, I don't know, George. Everything-- Everything--


GEORGE: What about "everything"?


LUCY: Well, everything's so -- unsettled.


GEORGE: If you aren't the queerest girl! What's unsettled?


LUCY: You know. For one thing, you haven't settled on anything to do. At least, if you have, you've never spoken of it. What are you going to do, George?


GEORGE: Well, I-- Why, I tell ya, I expect to lead an honorable life. Now that my father's dead, that sort of makes me the head of the family, after Uncle Fred, and I--


LUCY: You don't really mean to have any regular business or profession at all?


GEORGE: I certainly do not.


LUCY: (DISAPPOINTED) I was afraid so.


GEORGE: I suppose it's your father's influence that makes you think I ought to do something, is that it? 


LUCY: No. I've never once spoken to him about it. Never!


GEORGE: But you know without talking to him that it's the way he does feel about it?


LUCY: Well, yes.


GEORGE: Do you think I'd be much of a man if I let another man dictate to me my own way of life?


LUCY: (ASTONISHED) Well, George! Who's dictating your--?


GEORGE: (INTERRUPTS) I don't believe in the whole world washing dishes and selling potatoes and trying law cases. I dare say, I don't care any more for your father's ideals than he does for mine. So if your father'd just mind his own business--


LUCY: (INTERRUPTS) Take me home, George! (LOW) Please, take me home at once.


GEORGE: (ANNOYED) If that's the way you want it, all right!


LUCY: (QUIETLY) That's the way I want it.


GEORGE: (LOUDLY) Well, all right! That's the way you want it, that's the way you want it! (TO HORSE) Get up, Pendennis! Get up!


SOUND: WHIP CRACKS AND HORSE STARTS WALKING


MUSIC: MELANCHOLY BRIDGE


FRED: Have a little brandy, Eugene?


EUGENE: No, thanks.


FRED: How 'bout you, George?


GEORGE: (SULLEN) Thanks.


ISABEL: Oh, it's too bad that Lucy couldn't be here tonight. I do hope it's nothing serious, Eugene.


EUGENE: Just a headache. She asked me to excuse her, Isabel.


ISABEL: Maybe you'll take her out driving tomorrow, George. That'll do her good.


GEORGE: (UNENTHUSIASTIC) Maybe.


FRED: Er, you know, Gene, I heard the other day there's another automobile firm opened up here in town.


EUGENE: (UNWORRIED) Oh, I'm bound to have competition.


ISABEL: That's part of the game, isn't it, Eugene?


EUGENE: Of course. Shows business is good.


FRED: (LIGHTLY) Maybe they'll drive you out of business.


ISABEL: Or else the two of them will drive all the rest of us off the streets.


EUGENE: (CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) Not at all, Isabel. We'll just extend the streets!


ISABEL: (CHUCKLES) You see how simple it is, Fred?


EUGENE: (CHUCKLES) It isn't the distance from the center of the town; it's the time it takes to get there. Automobiles will change all that.


FRED: Do you really believe, Eugene, that automobiles are going to change the face of the land?


EUGENE: They're already doing it, and it can't be stopped. No, automobiles are--


GEORGE: (INTERRUPTS, LOUD AND DISTINCT) Automobiles are a useless nuisance!


EUGENE: (BEAT) What did you say, George?


GEORGE: I said all automobiles were a nuisance. They'll never amount to anything but a nuisance. They never had no business to be invented!


FRED: (BEAT, STERN) You forget, George, that Mr. Morgan makes them, and also did his share in inventing them. If you weren't so thoughtless he might think you rather offensive.


GEORGE: (SARCASTIC) That would be too bad. I don't think I could survive that.


ISABEL: (QUIETLY ADMONISHES) George!


EUGENE: (WOUNDED, BUT THOUGHTFUL AND GOOD-NATURED) Well, I'm not so sure that George is wrong about automobiles. With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization -- that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls. It may be that George is right, and that the spiritual alteration will be bad for us. Perhaps, in ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree with George that automobiles had "no business to be invented." (BEAT, PLEASANT) Well, Fred, I'm afraid it's getting late and I have an appointment with my foreman, so I'd better go along.


FRED: Oh, but, Gene--


ISABEL: Eugene--!


EUGENE: No, good night. Uh, don't bother to take me to the door. I'll find my way out.


ISABEL: Good night, Eugene.


FRED: Yes, er, good night, Gene. Good night.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES, OFF


ISABEL: George dear? What did you mean?


GEORGE: Just what I said.


ISABEL: You hurt him, George.


GEORGE: He didn't sound very hurt to me. Sounded pretty cheerful if you ask me. What made you think he was hurt?


ISABEL: I know him. He must think--


GEORGE: Well, I don't care much what Mr. Morgan thinks. (BEAT) I suppose he's trying to borrow money from you, Uncle Fred, for that automobile factory of his, hm?


FRED: No, George, I think Eugene Morgan's perfectly able to finance his own inventions these days.


ISABEL: George, what made you say that?


GEORGE: Well, he strikes me as that sort of a man, that's all. Anyway, I want to know what he's hanging around here for anyway.


ISABEL: George, Mr. Morgan's an old friend.


FRED: By Jove, George, you are a puzzle.


GEORGE: In what way, I'd like to know?


FRED: Well, it's a new style of courting a pretty girl for a fellow to go deliberately out of his way to try and make an enemy of her father. That's a new way to win a woman, that is.


MUSIC: MILDLY PLAINTIVE BRIDGE ... FOR A PROBABLY DOOMED ROMANCE


EUGENE: Is there anything wrong, Isabel? You've been so quiet all afternoon.


ISABEL: Nothing, Eugene. It's, uh, it's this weather; the end of summer.


EUGENE: It's been a very happy summer for me.


ISABEL: Few more weeks, you will be gone.


EUGENE: There'll be other summers, Isabel.


ISABEL: Time changes things, Eugene. And once they're changed, you can't bring them back. Things are like smoke. You know how a wreath of smoke goes up from a chimney? You see it getting thinner and thinner -- and then, in such a little while, it - it isn't there at all; nothing is left but the sky, and the sky keeps on being just the same forever.


EUGENE: Things won't change for you, Isabel. You'll always have me and George.


ISABEL: It's George that's troubling me, Eugene. Why doesn't he like you? He doesn't have any reason; he says so himself.


EUGENE: Well, boys can't help their likes and dislikes, Isabel. I think perhaps he sensed from the first that I care a great deal about you. Even when I was so careful not even to show you how immensely I did care. 


ISABEL: Gene, I can't believe that.


EUGENE: Well, someday he'll have to know how we feel about each other and I think it should-- It should be from you that he learns that.


ISABEL: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Oh, why, Eugene--


EUGENE: It's only fair to George. And much better that he should hear it from - from you than from someone else, through gossip maybe.


ISABEL: Oh, I know. I - I know you're right, Eugene. And I will tell him. I tried to tell him last night, only-- Oh, Eugene, it's so hard. Let me wait until just before he goes back to school.


EUGENE: (GENTLY) No, no. Sooner, Isabel. Sooner, for all our sakes; sooner.


ISABEL: But it's only such a few days till he leaves. Surely a few days can't make any difference.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


GEORGE: (EXCITED) Uncle Fred! Uncle Fred!


FRED: Good gracious, Georgie, what's up?


GEORGE: I've got to talk to you!


FRED: Say, what's happened to your face?


GEORGE: Oh, forget about that. I've just been in a fight. I've heard what people are saying.


FRED: Saying about what? For heaven's sake, if you're going to talk, be coherent.


GEORGE: The whole town's talking about my mother and that man Morgan! They say my mother is gonna marry him and that that proves she was too fond of him before my father died. Everybody in town knows about it but me!


FRED: Heavens, is that what you're so excited about? Why do you listen to stuff like that?


GEORGE: I'm glad I did listen; I have a right to know! Did you know it?! Didja?!


FRED: Georgie, you can be sure there's been more gossip in this place about the Amberson family than any other family. You see, the more prominent you are, the more gossip there is about you, and the more people would like to pull you down. But they can't do it as long as you refuse to listen. The minute you notice it, it's got ya!


GEORGE: Is that all you've got to say?


FRED: That's about all there is to say, Georgie. There's nothing to be done about it.


GEORGE: (OUTRAGED) Do you propose to sit there and let this - this riffraff bandy my mother's good name about?! Is that what you propose to do?! Didn't you understand me when I told you that people are saying my mother means to marry this man?!


FRED: I understood you.


GEORGE: And you think if such a-- such an unspeakable marriage took place it'd make people believe they'd been wrong in saying--?! Do you know what they'd say?!


FRED: I don't believe it would. There'd be more badness in the bad mouths and more silliness in the silly mouths. But it wouldn't hurt Isabel and Eugene, if they'd decided to marry--


GEORGE: (PRACTICALLY SHRIEKING) Good Heavens! You speak of it so calmly!


FRED: Why shouldn't they marry if they want to? It's their own affair.


GEORGE: (INCREDULOUS) Why shouldn't they--? Why shouldn't they--?


FRED: I don't see anything precisely monstrous about two people getting married when they're both free and care about each other. What's the matter with marrying?


GEORGE: It would be monstrous! Monstrous even if this horrible scandal hadn't happened, but now in the face of this-- Oh, that you can sit there and even speak of it. Your own sister.


FRED: For heaven's sake, don't be so theatrical.


SOUND: GEORGE MOVES TO DOOR


FRED: Come back here! 


GEORGE: What is it?


FRED: Don't you speak to your mother about this!


GEORGE: I don't intend to! But I am gonna do something about it, you can be sure of that! I'm gonna do something about it, you see if I don't!


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS SHUT


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS ... DOOR OPENS


EUGENE: (MILDLY SURPRISED) Oh, it's you, George. How do you do? (NO ANSWER) Er, your mother expects to go driving with me, I believe. If you'll be so kind as to send word to her that I'm here.


GEORGE: (TREMULOUS) No.


EUGENE: I beg your pardon. I said--


GEORGE: I heard you, Mr. Morgan. That you had an engagement with my mother. I told you no.


EUGENE: Well, just what is the difficulty?


GEORGE: My mother will have no interest in knowing that you came for her today, or any other day.


EUGENE: I'm afraid I don't understand.


GEORGE: I doubt if I can make it much plainer, but I'll try. You're not wanted in this house, Mr. Morgan, now or at any other time. Perhaps you'll understand -- this!


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS SHUT


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]


EUGENE: (WRITES LETTER) Fred will bring this to you, dear Isabel. He is waiting while I write. He and I have talked things over, and before he gives this to you he will tell you what has happened. I should have been better prepared for what took place today. I ought to have known it was coming. A week ago, I thought the time had come when I could ask you to marry me, and you were dear enough to tell me "sometime it might come to that." Well, you and I, left to ourselves, wouldn't pay much attention to things like slander and "talk." But now we're faced with -- not the slander and our own fear of it, because we haven't any, but someone else's fear of it -- your son's. And that frightens me. Let me explain a little: I don't think he'll change. At twenty-one or twenty-two, so many things appear solid, permanent, and terrible which forty sees are nothing but disappearing miasma. Forty can't tell twenty about this; that's the pity of it. [X] Twenty can only find out by getting to be forty. And so we come to this, dear: Will you live your life your own way, or George's way? Dear, it breaks my heart for you, but what you have to oppose now in your son is the history of your own selfless and perfect motherhood. Are you strong enough, Isabel? Can you make the fight? I promise you that if you will take heart for it, you will find so quickly that it has all amounted to nothing. You shall have happiness, and, in a little while, only happiness. I'm saying too much for wisdom, I fear. But, oh, my dear, won't you be strong? Such a little short strength it would need! Don't strike my life down twice, dear. This time, I've not deserved it. Eugene.


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


ISABEL: (GENTLY) Did you read it, dear?


GEORGE: (FURIOUS) Yes, mother, I did!


ISABEL: All of it?


GEORGE: Certainly! Simply the most offensive piece of writing that I've ever held in my hands!


ISABEL: But, George, I thought--


GEORGE: Don't you really think this was a pretty insulting letter for that man to be asking you to hand your son?


ISABEL: Oh, no. No, you can see how fair he means to be.


GEORGE: Fair?! Do you suppose it ever occurs to him that I'm doing my simple duty? That I'm doing what my father would do if he were alive? He's got my mother's name bandied up and down the streets of this town until I - I can't step in those streets without wondering what every soul I meet is thinking of me and my family, and now he wants you to marry him so that every gossip in town will say "There! What did I tell you? I guess that proves it's true!" 


ISABEL: But, George, it isn't true.


GEORGE: Is it fair for him to want you to throw away your good name just to please him? That's all he asks of you. And to - to quit being my mother. Do you think I can believe you really care for him? I don't. You're my mother and you're an Amberson. I - I believe you're too proud to care for a man who could write such a letter as that. (BEAT) Well? (BEAT) What are you going to do about it, mother?


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


ISABEL: (WRITES LETTER) George dear, I have been out to the mail-box, darling, with a letter I've written to Eugene, and he'll have it in the morning. I think it is a little better for me to write to you, like this, instead of waiting till you wake up and then telling you, because I'm foolish and might cry again -- and I took a vow once, long ago, that you should never see me cry. Not that I'll feel like crying when we talk things over tomorrow. Don't fear; by that time, I'll be "all right and fine" -- as you say so often. I think what makes me most ready to cry now is the thought of the terrible suffering in your poor face, and the unhappy knowledge that it is I, your mother, who put it there. It shall never come again. I love you better than anything and everything else on earth. And Eugene was right -- I know you couldn't change about this. So I've written him just about what I think you would like me to -- though I told him I would always be fond of him and always be his best friend, and I hoped his dearest friend. He'll understand about not seeing him. He'll understand that, though I didn't say it in so many words. You mustn't trouble about that. Eugene will understand. Good night, my darling, my belovèd. You mustn't be troubled. I think I shouldn't mind anything very much so long as I have you "all to myself" -- as people say -- to make up for your long years away from me at college. We'll talk of what's best to do in the morning, shan't we? And for all this pain you'll forgive your loving and devoted mother. Isabel.


MUSIC: SAD ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: (SOMBER) Three weeks later, George and his mother went abroad. Isabel never returned. Nearly two years later, a small item, tucked away in one of the back sheets of the morning paper, announced the death in Paris of a Mrs. Isabel Amberson Minafer. That's all there was. And there were only a few people left in the Midland town to whom either name, Minafer or Amberson, meant anything. Some weeks later, George returned only to learn from his Uncle Fred what couldn't be kept secret any longer. The Amberson Estate was gone. What with extravagances, taxes, and the new order of things, suddenly, there was nothing left.


FRED: Well, here we are, Nephew George -- all that's left of the Ambersons: two gentlemen of elegant appearance in a state of bustitude. Few years ago we wouldn't have thought it, eh? That's how it is. Life and money -- they're like loose quicksilver in a nest of cracks. And when they're gone we can't tell where -- or what the devil we did with 'em.


GEORGE: What are you going to do, Uncle Fred?


FRED: Oh, don't worry about me in this new world. I'll be contented with just surviving. I'll get a consulship somewhere. An ex-congressman can always be pretty sure of getting some such job. I'll live pleasantly enough with a pitcher of ice under a palm tree, and native folk to wait on me. (BEAT) What about you, George? What will you do?


MUSIC: SOMBER ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR, OUT AT [X]--


NARRATOR: The night George saw his uncle off, he walked homeward slowly through what appeared to be strange streets in a strange city -- for the town was growing and changing as it had never grown and changed before. It was heaving up in the middle incredibly, and as it heaved and spread, it befouled itself and darkened its sky. From day to day, from week to week, great new industries were springing up -- steel and oil and this new all-conquering thing, the automobile. Strange people swarmed about him, obliterating, destroying every trace of the magnificence that once was Amberson; destroying with it the last of the Ambersons, George Amberson Minafer. The city rolled over his heart and buried it, as the city had rolled over Ambersons and buried them to the last vestige. The thing had happened. The thing which, years ago, had been the

eagerest hope of many. The hope of many good citizens had finally come to pass. But not one of them was there to see it. George Amberson Minafer got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled and running over. Later, he walked down Amberson Boulevard, now known as Tenth Street and filled with second-rate shops and cheap boardinghouses, and climbed the stairs of the old house for the last time. [X] A terrible loneliness assailed him. He opened the door, softly, into Isabel's room. It was still as it had been. Tomorrow, everything would be gone. And soon after that the very space which tonight was still her room would be cut into new shapes by new walls and floors and ceilings. Yet Isabel's room would always live, for it couldn't die out of George's memory. And whatever remains of that old high-handed arrogance was still within him. He did penance for his deepest sin that night. And it may be, to this day, some impressionable, overworked woman in a "kitchenette," after turning out the light will seem to see a young man kneeling in the darkness, clutching at the covers of a shadowy bed. And it may seem to her that she hears the faint cry, over and over:


GEORGE: (LOW, FERVENT) Mother-- Mother, forgive me. Mother? Mother, forgive me.


MUSIC: MELANCHOLY ... THEN  BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: You must have guessed by now who George Amberson Minafer was. Take my word for it, please, that the George Amberson Minafer who was - is no more.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


LUCY: Papa?


EUGENE: Why, Lucy! What brings you downtown this morning?


LUCY: I tried to get you at one of the factories, but no one could locate you. I wanted to talk to you, papa. Are you very busy?


EUGENE: I'm never too busy to talk to you, Lucy. Is something wrong?


LUCY: Yes, papa, there is something wrong. It's George.


EUGENE: (SURPRISED) George? You mean--?


LUCY: Yes, papa. George Minafer.


EUGENE: (BEAT) Well?


LUCY: He's been hurt. Badly hurt. He's in the City Hospital, both his legs broken.


EUGENE: That's too bad.


LUCY: He was run down by an automobile.


EUGENE: An automobile? (MUSES) George Amberson Minafer - run down by an automobile.


LUCY: Papa, do you know what he's been doing the past two years?


EUGENE: No. (CLEARS THROAT) No, and I couldn't honestly say, Lucy, that I'm very interested.


LUCY: He's been working with explosives at the Akers Chemical Company. A dangerous job -- the most dangerous job there is.


EUGENE: Well, I never thought he lacked nerve, Lucy.


LUCY: You don't understand, papa. No one else would take the job. He needed work so badly, he took it, and-- And, papa, he's made good. He's changed. He's not the old George at all. And now this has happened to him.


EUGENE: Well?


LUCY: I want you to go to see him.


EUGENE: No, Lucy. After all, you can't expect me to have any particular affection for that young man.


LUCY: I'm sure that Isabel--


EUGENE: Isabel? (BEAT, HEARTBROKEN) Isabel's been dead three years. Three years. Yes, if it hadn't been for him, she might-- She might--


LUCY: It's what she would want you to do, papa. You know that. She'd want you to be kind. She'd want you to come with me to the hospital. He's lonely, papa. His heart's broken. He needs us. We can help him. You could do so much for him and I-- I could-- (BEAT) Well, papa? What are you going to do?


MUSIC: GENTLE ... THEN BEHIND EUGENE, OUT AT [X]


EUGENE: (WRITES LETTER) Isabel my dear. Up there in that small bare hospital room this afternoon, you were by my side. You remember, Isabel, that last day we were together? You said things in our lives were like smoke, and time like the sky into which the smoke vanishes. And I told you that, for us, things would not change like that, and we would always be together. You were with me when I walked into that room where your son was lying with Lucy sitting beside him. He felt you, too. He lifted his hand in a queer gesture, half forbidding, half imploring. [X] "You've come," he said, "You must have thought my mother wanted you to come, so that I could ask you to forgive me." And as he held my hand in his-- If you could have seen Lucy's face at that moment, dear Isabel. She was radiant. But, for me, another radiance filled the room. For then I knew that I had been true to you at last -- my true love -- and that, through me, you had brought your boy under shelter again.


MUSIC: REDEMPTIVE CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: This concludes our Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Magnificent Ambersons," starring Walter Huston and Orson Welles. In just a moment, Mr. Welles will return to our microphone for a brief interview with Mr. Huston. Meanwhile, I'd like to use that moment, if I may, to point out how perfectly Campbell's Tomato Soup meets the question of what soup to serve, no matter what the occasion. Don't you agree? When you have guests for dinner, for instance, don't you most frequently turn to Campbell's Tomato Soup? No doubt you often add milk instead of water to make a delicious cream of tomato. Served that way, it has a richness and a luxurious smoothness that fit in delightfully with a gay party mood. It's especially enjoyable, too, when your household has gathered together for a quiet family meal. If yours is a small family and just you two sit down to supper, I'm sure the soup you often choose is Campbell's Tomato Soup. Yes, it's certainly the soup people enjoy again and again, and never seem to tire of. Why don't you and your family enjoy Campbell's Tomato Soup tomorrow? And now here is Orson Welles with Walter Huston.


MUSIC: BOUNCY AND CHEERFUL ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Great pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, to welcome back to the Campbell Playhouse, a very distinguished actor and [one of our] favorite guests, Mr. Walter Huston.


HUSTON: Thanks, Orson. You know, there's one thing that makes me particularly happy about tonight's broadcast and that is at the end of the story, you and I, Orson, did finally get together and shake hands. The last time we met, if you remember, you spent thirty years of your life savagely persecuting me. You went so far as to swim after me through the sewers in Paris.


HOST: I did indeed, and I caught you, didn't I?


HUSTON: (CHUCKLES)


HOST: Mr. Huston, ladies and gentlemen, is referring to our broadcast of "Les Miserables" of last spring. That same evening, Walter, as we were saying goodbye, I remember you announced your intention of spending a few quiet weeks in the north of Scotland shooting grouse.


HUSTON: Well, I'm afraid those grouse are still alive. The only shooting that I was able to do this summer was done right here in Hollywood making Kipling's "The Light That Failed." You know, Orson, there's another thing I like about tonight's broadcast. It gave me a chance to play with my favorite leading lady.


HOST: Will the lady who played Isabel Amberson please step to the microphone?


HUSTON: Here she is.


SUNDERLAND: Good evening, everybody.


HUSTON: Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to meet Miss Nan Sunderland. My, uh, uh, partiality for this lady is understandable.


HOST: It would be anyway. But I think our audience would like to hear your reason, Walter, if they don't happen to know it.


HUSTON: Well, I wooed Miss Sunderland throughout tonight's script, but lost her at the end. In fact, this is not so in life. You know, in life, I wooed Miss Sunderland and won her. Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Walter Huston.


HOST: Who is hereby invited to come again to the Campbell Playhouse whenever she can.


SUNDERLAND: Thanks, Orson. I'd certainly like to. It's been grand.


HOST: Which invitation, Nan, also extends to your husband. Good night, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Huston! We'll look for both of you soon.


MUSIC: BRISK, JOYOUS ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: In tonight's Campbell Playhouse production of "The Magnificent Ambersons," the role of Eugene Morgan was played by our guest of the evening, Mr. Walter Huston. Orson Welles was heard as George Amberson Minafer. Nan Sunderland played Isabel Amberson. Eric Burtis played the part of George Minafer as a young man. Ray Collins was Uncle Fred Amberson. The part of Lucy Morgan was played by Marion Burns. Archie Malloch Smith by Everett Sloane. The Reverend Malloch Smith by Richard Wilson. Bea Benaderet was Mrs. Foster. Music for the Campbell Playhouse, as always, was arranged and conducted by Bernard Herrmann. And now we wish to thank the makers of Maxwell House Coffee, sponsors of "Good News of 1940," for their courtesy in permitting Walter Huston to appear with us tonight. [...]


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