Keeper of the Flame

Synopsis: American military leader and war hero Robert Forrester, universally beloved and respected within the country and thus touted as Presidential material, has just died in a freak car accident on his sprawling estate, where, during an unexpected rainstorm, the car he was driving plunged over a ravine as he didn't notice the washed-out bridge. While the nation mourns, the national reporters descend on his small hometown to write the story of the incident. One reporter who won't is renowned Steven O'Malley, who wants instead to write an in-depth piece on the man to preserve his status within the public consciousness. Although happy to use official documents and records, O'Malley wants most specifically to speak to his wife, Christine Forrester, which may be a difficult task as she has refused to grant any interviews as a very private person. O'Malley is able to meet with Christine in person, and although she is reluctant to oblige his request at first, she is convinced by Robert's aide, Cliv
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Director(s): George Cukor
Production: MGM
100 min

I bet a bright boy like you

could get me through this old gate...

...if you wanted to. Hmm?


Jeb, what are you doing?

Mr. Rickards,

I forgot to give you this yesterday.

I told you newspaper fellows yesterday.

Nobody gets inside.

That's Mrs. Forrest's orders.


Left face!

Eyes left!

Heads front!

I'm sorry, gentlemen, no rooms.

No rooms, no baths.

No rooms, no...

- Stick close by, will you?

- Oh, yes, sir.

Still raining out, Bob?

- A slight drizzle.

- Oh, dear.

- Hello, Jane.

- Hello.

Steve. What in the wor...?

Steven O'Malley.

Oh, gee, let me...

Come over here

and let me take a look at you.

Oh, I can't believe it, Stevie.

Oh, imagine eating your heart

out for a guy for two years.

You see him, you don't even recognize him.

- Careful, I might take you seriously.

- Oh.

- Want coffee?

- No, thanks.

Get me a cup of coffee.

Plenty of cream and sugar.

Where I've been, you don't get cream

and sugar, you don't get coffee.

It's your eyes, that's what it is.

You've seen an awful lot over there,

haven't you, Stevie?

Is it that bad?

Were you in a concentration camp

or with the Berlin Press Bureau?

I'm still wondering, Jane.

Oh. Well, did it hurt much?

Jane, Jane, Jane. Did what hurt?

- When Hitler kicked you out?

- Oh, ha, ha. Hit...

Ha, ha.

- Thanks, good.

- Good old Janie, my, it's nice to see you.

- Oh, Stevie.

- How am I gonna get a room in this joint?

- Didn't you wire?

Tsk. Oh, Steven, honestly.

Come on, follow Grandma.

Uh, Mr. Arbuthnot,

guess what's happened?

The hot water doesn't run.

No, no, even worse than that.

My husband just arrived.

Uh, change the register to read

Mr. And Mrs. O'Malley, please.

Ha, ha. Come, darling.

Oh. Freddie, isn't it wonderful

to have Steve back?

Well, it's wonderful to have you back,

but not this wonderful.

- You're kidding about that Mrs. O'Malley?

- Of course, dear.

- Did you know he was coming?

- Mm-mm.

Nobody knows I'm back but the boss.

Got it.

I'll take your room, you move in with Steve.

Oh, fine. The five other men in my room

will welcome you.

Oh, great. Of course, Steven

we could get married...

...or use the room in shifts.

My best hours are from 3 to 10.

- Those are mine too.

- Oh.

- We better push along.

- Yeah, let's go.

Now, guard those with your life, sonny.

- Ah, O'Malley. How are you?

- Fine, Mr. Ambassador.

I thought they'd have chopped

your head off by now. I'm glad they didn't.

Oh, just a considerate guy.

He knows

when two people wanna be alone.

Oh, don't be silly.

He doesn't even know I'm alive.

Better come down from there, son.

You'll slip.

Come on, son. Come on down.

Come on.

Steady there. Now, you mustn't let it

get you like that.

If it hadn't been for me,

he'd be alive today.


No news.

I've got it.

Thanks. Thanks very much.

Oh, boy, I'll say it was.

O'Malley. When did you get back?

Hello, stranger.

- Hello, Pat. You get a good one?

- Oh, not so hot, Steve.

No, never mind. I'll sit this one out.

Sit this one out?

What are you? A trained seal?

- I haven't got any whiskers.

Ha, ha.

I haven't got a deadline either.

- Oh, he's a journalist, not a newspaperman.

- I'm a prima donna.

- I'm sorry we got separated, Jane.

- Mm. How do you spell Frisbee? With a Y?

Oh. Thanks.

What's the matter, Stevie?

No more worlds to conquer?

- No more hot water to scramble out of.

- Oh.

Well, you might fall in love.

No. No, I think I'll dodge that.

I've had luck so far.

Oh. Tough guy, aren't you?

"The accident happened at 8:00

or thereabouts.

The coroner placed the washout

between 6:
30 and 7."

Heh. Don't mind Freddie.

Ever since he helped the police,

he's taken to crime.

Doesn't believe

in honestly broken necks.

The bridge had been weakened

by the storm.

- Maybe.

You're not on the level, Freddie.

Could be anything.

Even suicide.

What's the difference?

He's gone, that's the real tragedy, isn't it?

In Europe, I watched

most of the decent things of life change.

But I could look across the Atlantic and see

Forrest standing here, firm as a rock...

...standing for things

that were decent and honest.

That's why I'm here,

to write the story of his life... that we'd always have it to lean on

in the dark days ahead.

Thought it was gonna be easy

until I saw what he meant to these people.

I'm not so sure now.

It's tough on his wife.

She's got something to live up to.

- That's why I wanna see her.


Get within 10 miles of

Mrs. Forrest, I'll give you the Pulitzer prize.

I'll do even more than that for you,

I'll marry Freddie.

Oh, no kidding, Steven.

That woman thought Robert Forrest

was to be locked up... a safety-deposit vault.

The queen of Jericho.

Say, she's built the highest, thickest walls

of Jericho around that place.

- And you're no Joshua.

- Yeah, ha, ha.

Huh. A visitor.

Anything I can do for you?


Mind your own business

as far as Mrs. Forrest is concerned.

I heard what you said.

Take a tip from me and keep off her track.

Try to have respect

for what she's going through.

Or it'll be my privilege

to knock your head off.

He's a big man.

I don't wanna have any trouble with him.


Gentlemen, excuse me. Pardon me.

Gentlemen, I have a few words

I'd like to say to the press.


- Lf you'll go into the parlor...

About time we're getting news.

- You've been very kind, very patient.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Donald Ogden Stewart

Donald Ogden Stewart (November 30, 1894 - August 2, 1980) was an American author and screenwriter, best known for his sophisticated golden era comedies and melodramas, such as The Philadelphia Story (based on the play by Philip Barry), Tarnished Lady and Love Affair. Stewart worked with a number of the great directors of his time, including George Cukor (a frequent collaborator), Michael Curtiz and Ernst Lubitsch. Stewart was also a member of the Algonquin Round Table, and the model for Bill Gorton in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. His 1922 parody on etiquette, Perfect Behavior, published by George H Doran and Co, was a favourite book of P. G. Wodehouse. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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