Happy Birthday, Wanda June

Synopsis: A family reacts to the return of the patriarch who abandoned them seven years prior.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Mark Robson
Production: Columbia Pictures
 
IMDB:
6.1
R
Year:
1971
105 min
387 Views

ACT ONE:

SCENE ONE:

SILENCE. Pitch blackness. Animal eyes begin to glow in the

darkness. Sounds of the jungle climax in animals fighting.

A SINGER is heard singing the first bars of "All God's

Chillun Got Shoes." HAROLD, LOOSELEAF, PENELOPE, and WOODLY

stand in a row in the darkness, facing the audience. They

are motionless. A city skyline in the early evening

materializes outside the windows.

The lights come up on the living room of a rich man's

apartment, which is densely furnished with trophies of hunts

and wars. There is a front door, a door to the master

bedroom suite, and a corridor leading to other bedrooms, the

kitchen and so on.

PENELOPE:

How do you do. My name is Penelope

Ryan. This is a simple-minded play

about men who enjoy killing--and

those who don't.

HAROLD:

I am Harold Ryan, her husband. I

have killed perhaps two hundred men

in wars of various sorts--as a

professional soldier. I have

killed thousands of other animals

as well--for sport.

WOODLY:

I am Dr. Norbert Woodly--a

physician, a healer. I find it

disgusting and frightening that a

killer should be a respected member

of society. Gentleness must

replace violence everywhere, or we

are doomed.

PENELOPE:

(to LOOSELEAF)

Would you like to say something

about killing, Colonel?

LOOSELEAF:

(embarrassed)

Jesus--I dunno. You know. What

the heck. Who knows?

PENELOPE:

Colonel Harper, retired now,

dropped an atom bomb on Nagasaki

during the Second World War,

killing seventy-four thousand

people in a flash.

LOOSELEAF:

I dunno, boy.

PENELOPE:

You don't know?

LOOSELEAF:

It was a bitch.

PENELOPE:

Thank you.

(to all)

You can leave now. We'll begin.

WOODLY:

(to the audience,

making a peace sign)

Peace!

All but PENELOPE exit.

PENELOPE:

(to the audience)

This is a tragedy. When it's done,

my face will be as white as the

snows of Kilimanjaro.

(hyena laughs)

My husband, who kills so much, has

been missing for eight years. He

disappeared in a light plane over

the Amazon Rain Forest, where he

hoped to find diamonds as big as

cantaloupes. His pilot was Colonel

Looseleaf Harper, who dropped the

bomb on Nagasaki.

(hyena laughs)

I should explain the doorbells in

this apartment. They were built by

Abercrombie and Fitch. They are

actual recordings of animal cries.

The back doorbell is a hyena, which

you've just heard. The front

doorbell is a lion's roar.

(to the wings)

Would you let them hear it please?

(lion roars)

Thank you.

PAUL, her twelve-year-old son, enters from corridor, a

sensitive, neatly dressed little rich boys.

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Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American author. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. more…

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Submitted by aviv on November 03, 2016

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"Happy Birthday, Wanda June" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 13 Oct. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/happy_birthday%2C_wanda_june_473>.

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