The Black Orchid

Synopsis: After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her husband to a life of crime, and they blame her for his death. Widower Frank Valente is attracted to Rose, and must convince her that real love exists. He must also deal with his own daughter, who has her own reasons for opposing his marriage to Rose.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Martin Ritt
Production: Paramount Pictures
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

(suspenseful theme playing)

(car engine starts)


For in his mercy,

he gave Tony one last chance.

Thanks be to God,

Tony did not miss that chance.

He died repentant.

So we have helped Tony.

But we can help him even more

by praying for the two

he left to us,

his wife and his son.

Whatever Tony did,

whatever Tony was to cause

another man to murder him,

we cannot judge him.

I remember one day,

Tony stood right here

in front of me,

with Rose...

May God's blessings

go with you.


...the remission

of all his sins...

( wedding dance music plays )

( guests hum along with music )


...of thy divine justice

and punishments

in the world to come...

You're not sorry

you came over?

A dream comes true,

you don't feel sorry.

I'm in that dream?

You are the one who has

to make it come true...


Um, Tony, we won't live

in that one room too long, huh?

Pretty soon, we will have

a whole house.

Oh, I can't wait.

How I am going to furnish it,

top to bottom,

everything new and beautiful.

And it's got to have

lots of closets

and a private garage and--



Well, we may have to wait

a while for that.

Nobody made Tony become

the kind of man he became.

Every man chooses his own road.

The worst tragedy here is,

he took two innocents with him

when he went down that road.

For Rose Bianco

and her son

and for Tony,

let us pray.

O God,

the creator and redeemer

of all the faithful,

hear our supplications,

and through thy infinite love...

( upbeat piano music plays )

( children chatter

indistinctly )

Rose. You worked

overtime again, huh?

I took work home as well.

At least with overtime,

you make a little extra money.

God knows you could use it.

That insurance company

should have gave you the money.

You know, natural

or unnatural, dying is dying.

Those companies, they don't care

how you pay the policy,

but to collect,

you gotta die their way.

You gotta sit here and work

all night by yourself?

Rose, take this stuff.

Come over to my house.

We'll sit and talk, instead

of each of us being alone.

You got two grown daughters

and a son-in-law and a husband.

That's being alone?

Friday night, they play cards.

Frank Valente

comes over.

You know Frank Valente?

The widower?

Poor Frank.

He's got this one child, Mary.

She's going to get

married next month.

She's going to leave

Frank all alone.

Her husband-to-be has

a business in Atlantic City.

That's how come

she's moving there.

Poor Frank,

all alone.

Just like you.

You know what I think?

I think he likes you.


Frank, the widower.

Last week, he said,

"Don't nobody take out

that beautiful widow

lives next door?"

You forgot to tell him

I'm in mourning?

He knows. He sees you

all the time in black.

You know what

he said?

You remind him

of black orchids.


He's coming to play cards


Rose, come over.

Be there when he comes.

Stop making romance. Tell him,

"Go find somebody who ain't got

a murdered husband in the grave

and a son in a work farm."

Tell him, "Go find somebody

who's still got a piece

of heart left," huh?

He'll be there

from 8:
00 on.

Okay, Papa.

Five of hearts to you.

Here's my four.


( guests laugh )

Come on, Frank.

Stop joking and play.

Come on, Paul,

let's play serious.

Henry's getting mad.

You should have married

a poker face like your father.

Frank, please.

Three of diamonds.

Looks pretty safe.

I can get under that.

And to you, Papa,

the six of spades.

I give up. Any better?

Ace of spades.

Hey, look.

I'm sorry, Henry.

Queen of spades.

( hysterical laughing )

Come on.

Yeah, queen of spades.

The only card you got.

We're playing Hearts.

Only one card he gets.

Look, that's the only

spade I had.


Only spade you had.


Come on over.

This time I laugh,

my friend.

All right,

now we're even.

You see, Pa.

Laughing makes you lucky.

Especially when you got

the cards that this guy...

She'd rather work out there

in the dark than be with me.

Who, the widow?


You try to help somebody.

The whole neighborhood

tries to be nice to her.

She won't even

return a smile.

She acts like she murdered

her husband.


shut up.

Everybody saw how

she made her husband

get mixed up

with those...

Everybody feels sorry

for her anyway.

But, no.

She's gotta hide like...

Giulia, go sit

in the parlor there.

You know, I got a funny taste

in my mouth.

It must have been

the fish tonight.

I think I'll go out

in the yard

and get a piece of mint

to chew on.

Now, wait a minute.

I'll go...

No, that's all right.

I know where it is.

Right out in the yard.

I know, but...

What he wants out there,

he's got to get for himself.


don't think about it.

( soft accordion music plays )

You're going to kill your eyes

in that light.

Oh, I'm Frank.

I'm the Gallos' friend.

I'm eating some mint.

Do you want some?

I'm working.

In that light?

By now, I could do this in

the cellar with the light out.

You know, I'm glad you don't

mind company while you work.

When my cousin was in mourning

for her husband,

she wouldn't talk to nobody

for over a year.

I think she was afraid they'd

see the relief in her face.

That's what you see in my face?

What's the matter?

I don't hear insults inside.

Who's insulting?

I'm just getting some mint.

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Joseph Stefano

Joseph William Stefano was an American screenwriter, best known for adapting Robert Bloch's novel for Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho and for being the producer and co-writer of the original The Outer Limits TV series. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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