Hail, Caesar!

Synopsis: In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and filmmakers at Capitol Pictures. His latest assignments involve a disgruntled director, a singing cowboy, a beautiful swimmer and a handsome dancer. As if all this wasn't enough, Mannix faces his biggest challenge when Baird Whitlock gets kidnapped while in costume for the swords-and-sandals epic "Hail, Caesar!" If the studio doesn't pay $100,000, it's the end of the line for the movie star.
Genre: Comedy, Mystery
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 38 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.3
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
85%
PG-13
Year:
2016
106 min
$27,927,631
Website
2,086 Views


FADE IN SOUND:

INT. CONFESSIONAL - NIGHT

DISTANT, BEAUTIFUL VOICES

Male voices. A Gregorian chant.

We fade in on a crucifix in the apse of the church: a

suffering Christ.

We cut to a close shot of a small silver cross on a rosary.

The rosary is held in a man's lap next to a mouse-grey

fedora. The light is dim.

As we hear a panel sliding, more light wipes onto the rosary

beads.

Wider on the man waiting in the confessional: middle-aged,

tired.

VOICE:

Son, it is so late.

MAN:

Yeah, Father, work has just been...

VOICE:

You work too hard.

MAN:

Nah, I’m just... keepin the place

goin’. Anyhow, bless me, Father,

for I have sinned. It’s been uh,

twenty-four hours since my last

confession. I, uh...

VOICE:

Yes my son.

MAN:

I lied to Connie. Uh, to my wife.

VOICE:

This is very serious.

MAN:

I know! I promised her I'd quit

smoking. She thinks it's bad for

me. And I'm trying, but... well, I

snuck a couple of cigarettes...

Maybe three.

2.

VOICE:

Yes.

MAN:

It’s hard.

VOICE:

Yes, my son.

MAN:

——But I’m trying.

A clap of thunder.

EXT. SPANISH HOUSE - NIGHT

HOUSE AT NIGHT:

We are looking, through the rain-pelted windshield of a

parked car, at a small, Spanish-style bungalow. The rattle of

driving rain does not quite cover the sound of drunken female

laughter. There are occasional flashes of lightning outside,

and occasional flashes of strobe light in the windows of the

house.

Inside our surveilling car a wrist rolls over to show a watch

face, streaked with the shadows of dripping rain: 5:00

o’clock.

A voice-over begins, authoritatively omniscient——or maybe it

only sounds so because it is British-accented:

VOICE-OVER

It is 5:
00 A.M. The sun is soon to

rise. But for Eddie Mannix the day

has already begun.

Our car’s driver, Eddie Mannix——the man we saw

confessing——looks up from his watch to the house.

VOICE-OVER (CONT’D)

The movie studio for which he works

manufactures stories——each its own

daylit drama, or moonlit dream.

Flash of lightning, crash of thunder, another bout of

laughter from the house.

Eddie Mannix reaches for his door.

3.

OUTSIDE:

Eddie Mannix emerges from his car——a Packard marking the

period as circa 1950. Eddie pulls down his hat brim, turns up

his collar, and digs hands into coat pockets as he strides

through the rain.

The strobe light flashes inside the house. The laughter grows

louder as we approach.

Eddie Mannix hesitates only momentarily at the front door. He

tests the knob:
unlocked; turns it, enters.

VOICE-OVER (CONT’D)

But the work of Eddie Mannix cares

not for day or night... and cares

little for his rest.

INT. SPANISH HOUSE - NIGHT

On Eddie Mannix at the open door, rain dripping from his

fedora, thunder crashing behind him. His eyes narrow in

distaste.

In the living room a giggling blonde in a milkmaid’s dirndl

with overloaded bodice bends over a butter-churn.

A man with his back to us is peering through a box camera.

MAN:

That’s right, darlin’, a little

lower...

The giggling girl sees Eddie Mannix and stops churning.

GLORIA:

Oh, fer——ecce homo! You, here?!

The photographer turns to face Eddie: a tall weedy-looking

man with a thin mustache. A sheen of sweat on his brow and

upper lip.

EDDIE:

The studio has a right to Gloria’s

likeness, Falco. Gimme the

negatives and things’ll go easier.

FALCO:

You got it all wrong, Eddie! This

is f’private use!

Eddie Mannix strides to the camera, pops its back, and pulls

out a length of film.

4.

FALCO (CONT’D)

Hey!

We hear approaching sirens. Falco reacts, bolting for the

back door.

GLORIA:

Can’t a girl take a few pitchas,

have a few laughs? Cheez, Eddie,

what a old stick-in-the-mud!

She giggles.

Whap! He slaps her.

She looks at him, stunned, then starts weeping.

He slaps her again.

Outside the sirens wind down and we hear car doors open.

EDDIE:

Now you listen to me. You were at a

party, you had too much to drink,

somebody brought you here, you

don’t remember who. You’re going

home now and your name is Mary Jo

Scheinbrotte.

She blubbers:

GLORIA:

Okay, Eddie.

The front door opens and two uniformed cops enter.

COP ONE:

Hello, Mannix, saw your heap

outside.

COP TWO:

Got a call. Loud, disorderly...

He looks around, sniffs.

... Possible French postcard

situation.

EDDIE:

Someone was pulling your leg. Mary

Jo here was just at a costume

party. It’s not really her dirndl.

5.

He fishes a wad from his pocket and peels off some bills.

... She wants to contribute

something to your pension fund.

Sorry to drag you out in the rain.

COP ONE:

Well, say, no trouble at all.

Cop Two is looking hard at the girl.

COP TWO:

Aren’t you Gloria DeLamour?

GLORIA:

No no, I'm Mary Jo... somethin'.

EDDIE:

Scheinbrotte. Look, Brian...

Eddie hesitates, looking at one of the cops who is smoking.

We hear, distantly but growing louder, a deep thumping sound.

EDDIE (CONT’D)

Can I, uh... bum a cigarette?

The thumping sound has grown closer: the tramp of many

marching feet. A fanfare on ancient horns as we cut to:

EXT. THE OLD APPIAN WAY - DAY

Down the road a Roman legion marches in brilliant

Technicolor, the sound of its stamping feet bridging the cut.

Cypress trees, regularly planted, stretch along either side

of the road to the horizon. The title of the movie fades into

superimposition:

HAIL, C.SAR!

A Tale Of The Christ

The same voice that started the movie now intones:

VOICE-OVER

Ancient Rome! Twelve years into the

rule of Tiberius, Rome’s legions

are masters of the world, the stomp

of its sandals heard from the

Iberian peninsula in the west

through the halls of the great

library of Alexandria in the east!

(MORE)

6.

VOICE-OVER (CONT'D)

As oppressed people everywhere

writhe under the Roman lash...

The regularly formed legions in the van now give way to the

slaves being whipped along in the rear:

... master and slave, freeman and

vassal, are united in one

compulsory worship: the emperor,

C.sar, is Godhead——lord of every

man’s body and spirit! For those

who will not submit, the galleys,

the arenas, even crucifixion await!

But there is a new wind, blowing

from the east, from the dusty

streets of Bethlehem, that will

soon challenge the vast house of

C.sar——that edifice wrought of

brick and blood which now seems so

secure!

A chariot rolls into the foreground. Its driver is a muscular

campaign-hardened man with Roman bangs. Beneath his copper

breastplate he glistens with manly sweat. He wears a helmet

topped by a bright red mohawk bristle, something like an

upside-down floorwaxer. He is Autolochus Antoninus. He gazes

off and smiles.

Another man gallops up on horseback and reins in next to him.

This is Gracchus Gregorius, and he too wears the floorwaxing

headwear of the Roman tribune.

AUTOLOCHUS:

There she is, Gracchus. And ah,

what a beauty!

GRACCHUS:

Aye, Autolochus! Rome! Suckled by a

she-wolf and nurturing us her sons

in turn.

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