One Good Turn script
One Good Turn (1931)
Synopsis: One Good Turn is a 1931 American Pre-Code short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy. Stan and Ollie are suffering during the Great Depression and begging for food. A friendly old lady provides them with some sandwiches. Enjoying their meal they hear that the old lady will be thrown out of her house because she is robbed and cannot pay her mortgage. They don't know that the old lady is rehearsing a play. Stan and Ollie decide to repay the old lady by selling their car. During the auction a drunken man (Billy Gilbert) puts a wallet in Stan's pocket. Ollie accuses Stan of having robbed the old lady but when they return to the old lady's place they hear the truth. Stan takes revenge on Ollie.

FADE IN:

INT. VAUDEVILLE THEATER - NIGHT

A black signboard at the edge of the stage reads ETON AND FARRELL

in white Art Deco type. A piano plays. The voice of RUTH ETON

begins warbling the verse of "If I Could Be With You (One Hour

To-Night)" a pop tune by Henry Creamer and Jimmy Johnson.

We PAN from the signboard, across the stage, past Ruth's studly

accompanist EDDIE FARRELL, and HOLD ON Ruth, a sad-eyed jazz

singer in a sexy black dress who stands in front of the grand

piano, a scarf in her hand.

RUTH:

(sings)

I'm so blue I don't know what to do

All day through I'm pining just for you

I did wrong when I let you go away

And now I grieve about you night and day

I'm unhappy and dissatisfied

But I'd be happy if I had you by my side...

As Ruth begins the refrain, an unseen orchestra joins in.

RUTH:

(sings)

If I could be with you I'd love you strong

If I could be with you I'd love you long

I want you to know that I wouldn't go

Until I told you, honey, that I loved you so

Eddie sings the second half of the refrain, not nearly as well as

Ruth.

EDDIE:

(sings)

If I was free to do the things with you

If I could do the things I know I'd do

I'm telling you true

I'd be anything but blue

If I could be with you

Ruth takes the second refrain in a faster, rhythmically complex

tempo.

RUTH:

(sings)

If I could be with you I'd love you strong

If I could be with you I'd love you long

I want you to know that I wouldn't go

Until I told you, honey, that I loved you so

If I could be with you one hour tonight

If I was free to do the things I might

I'm telling you

I'd be anything but blue

If I could be with you

For just one hour ...

If I could be with you

Ruth bows to the audience as they APPLAUD. She gestures to Eddie

who rises and bows.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. RUTH'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT

Ruth's agents enter the room looking for her: Tall Anglo-Saxon JIM

and heavily-accented Jewish cigar-smoker SAUL. Ruth is out of view,

changing clothes behind a screen.

JIM:

Oh, Ruth! Ruth!

RUTH'S VOICE

Hello?

SAUL:

Hey, Ruth!

RUTH'S VOICE

Hello! Sit down, make yourselves at home.

I'll be out in a second.

Saul strikes a match on the wall and lights his cigar while Jim

takes a seat.

JIM:

You certainly wowed 'em tonight, Ruthie!

SAUL:

You certainly did! Five curtain calls and

they could've rung up again.

(sits)

But I don't blame you, honey. Leave 'em

hungry.

Ruth emerges in a plain white dress. The agents rise to greet her.

JIM:

Hello, Ruth.

RUTH:

Hello, boys!

SAUL:

Hello, Ruth!

RUTH:

To what do I owe the honor of this visit?

Unwrap the bad news.

JIM:

You worrying about bad news after...?

SAUL:

You worrying! Mm-mm! Such a performer! It

is to laughing, ain't it, Jim? Heh! The

office wants to give you a new roof. Such

a roof! Mm-mm! Starting with the Palace,

headline billing. Even the Colonel'll tell

you to sign.

RUTH:

All right, all right. Let's have the

"but--" ...

SAUL:

(laughs)

Cute, ain't it? It's no "but," Ruthie --

it's a "because"!

RUTH:

Well, because what -- ?

JIM:

(hesitant)

Well, be-- Because of your partner. They

don't want Farrell -- and you don't need

him. Oh, why should we beat around the

bush?

RUTH:

They don't want Eddie?

SAUL:

They don't want Eddie -- that's the truth,

straight from the suspenders.

RUTH:

Well, what's the matter with him? Why

don't they want him?

SAUL:

(holds up two fingers)

I can tell you in just two words what's

the matter with him:

(counts off)

Im - possible.

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H. M. Walker

Harley M. "Beanie" Walker (June 27, 1878 – June 23, 1937) was a member of the Hal Roach movie production company from 1916 until his resignation in 1932. The title cards he wrote for Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase, Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy comedies "have entered legend, both for silent films, and as opening remarks for the earlier talkies." He was also an officer of the Roach Studio corporation. more…

All H. M. Walker scripts | H. M. Walker Books

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"One Good Turn" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 12 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/one_good_turn_914>.

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