Savage Grace

Synopsis: The true story of the beautiful and charismatic but mentally unstable Barbara Daly, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only child is a failure in his father's eyes, and as he matures and becomes increasingly close to his alienated mother, the seeds for tragedy are sown.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Tom Kalin
Production: IFC First Take
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

I was eating a tomato

at teatime a few weeks ago,

And I suddenly realized

that Mummy is not dead at all...

Just very, very mysterious.

Papa spoke languages,

climbed mountains.

He was an adventurer.

But Mummy was

such a gifted person socially.

She was a master

of the understatement,

an adventuress.

And he was cold and dark,

and she was warm and light.

And I was "little Tony. "

Bye. Your mummy loves you.

I was the steam

when hot meets cold.

Midge? Well, hello.

The reason that I called, darling,

is that Aschwin,

Prince Aschwin Lippe -

his brother is Prince Bernhard -

well, Aschwin thought it would be lovely

to meet at the Stork Club tonight.

He so wants to know you and Joost,

and asked if I could...

Well, of course.

Shall we say... 10:30?

Is that too Continental?

Be as catty as you want, but Tony

can hear every word you're saying.

Can you imagine

the world he's growing up into?

Brooks and I will see you tonight.



I gather that

you're making commitments for me.

Sans permission,

sans consultation.

Prince Aschwin de Lippe, please.

You may say

Barbara Baekeland is calling.

Don't get difficult,

not tonight, darling.

Please forgive the intrusion

and the damnably short notice,

but we are having supper

with Midge and Joost van den Heuvel,

and they would so like

the pleasure of your company.

They'll be delighted.

As will I.

As will Brooks.

Thank you, darling.

People say now that I must have hated

them because of what... transpired...

We won't be back too late,

I promise.

...but everything that happened

happened because of love.

Do I...

Do I look like a monkey to you?

Then why on earth should I get dressed up

in a f***ing monkey suit just to eat?

You don't have to wear your tux.

And no need to be vulgar.

- In front of the b-o-y?

- Just wear your uniform.

- I will not.

- You look so handsome in your uniform.

The war is over.

Had you not heard?

You have a right.

You won the war.

I mean, you volunteered,

so you have a right to wear your uniform.

Your father looked so handsome,

so dashing.

So dashing.

Is the little paragon coming with,

or do you plan on leaving him here alone?

Nini will be here at nine.

In that case,

I'm glad that I shall be dining out.

Tone. Tony, Tony...

Mother, do you think

we should call him "Antony"?

"Antony" will be his full name,

his formal name, his name to the world.

And "Tony" will be his name as a child...

and among intimates.

When I refer to him,

when I am asked

if I have a photograph, do I say...

You say, "This is Tony. "

And they will say,

"What an angel!"

Oh, yes.

An angel.

What an angel.

What an angel you are.

- We may be out late.

- "Shall. "

Oh, yes... your mummy loves you.


Good night, Tony.

You are in good hands.

Enjoy the Stork Club.

And you may stay out

as late as you wish.


Mr. and Mrs. Baekeland.

Right this way, ma'am.

She's gorgeous.


Wonderful to see you.

How do you do?

- I'm Barbara.

- Simone.

How do you do?

Why, it was with Dieter that Brooks

went on his great adventure, in Peru,

in the Villa...

Darling, you know

I'm not at my best with geography.

Brooks, help me. Villa?

Darling, don't press. Maybe your husband

doesn't feel like in midst of dinner.

Brooks, please,

if you don't feel like performing...

- Vilcabamba.

- Ah.

Dieter and I,

we went to the Vilcabamba in Peru.

So tell us, man,

what was your "little adventure"?

It was nothing.

Well, I lie.

It was something.

I was intrigued by a 400-year-old mystery -

what became of Manco Inca.

I wanted to find the ruins

of the lost city.

This is actually true.

Give him a dirt road and he'll go up it.

That's very good.

- Would you, Simone?

- Oh, I don't know.

Your husband asked you a question.

This seems... unfair.

This seems...

... tedious.

- Hmm... but would you?

- Yes, would you?

Would I eat a pound of human flesh

for $10 million?

No, I would not.

I have eaten horse flesh, you know.

There is a difference between eating

the cheval and eating the chevalier.

Brooks, for $10 million,

would you sleep with Simone?

- For $10 million, would you...

- Don't, Barbara.

Please, don't be tedious.

Would you go home with the first person

you met going through a nightclub door?

Yes, I would.

So... shall we get on with our drinks?

Brooks, Barbara,

have you ever been to the Engadin?

Oh, I was practically born in Gstaad!

She practically loves

the ski instructors.

Thank you for coming this evening.



You said you'd go home

with the first person you met

- at a nightclub.

- No...

So I thought I might go home

with the first person...


Hello, I'm awfully thirsty.

Would you buy me a drink?

Aschwin, Simone.

- Barbara!

- Brooks.

Lovely to see you all.


- Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

- Quite all right.

- I must have...

- You fell asleep. Quite natural.

It's late.

It got late, you fell asleep.

- I trust your evening was...

- Oh, we had a fine time.

I can hold down the fort.

- Where's Barbara?

- She's returning separately.

- May I get your coat?

- I'll just go.

- And was the prince there?

- Excuse me?

The prince.

The prince of Amsterdam.

- Ah.

- Was he there?

I think you're thinking of Prince Bernhard,

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.

He was Count Lippe-Biesterfeld, of course,

before he married Juliana.

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Howard A. Rodman

Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, author and educator. He is the former President of the Writers Guild of America, West; professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs. He is the son of screenwriter Howard Rodman (1920–1985). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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