Written On The Wind

Synopsis: Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Douglas Sirk
Production: Universal International Pictur
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

Hello. - What happened to Mrs. Black? - My predecessor? She was paroled. So you're the new executive secretary, huh? Don't let that title deceive you. I do everything but wipe windshields. - I'm Mitch Wayne. - Yes, I recognized you. - I'm Lucy Moore. - Recognized me? From where? Oh, come now. Surely you realize... how often your photograph has graced our tabloids? But the captions usually read, "Kyle Hadley, Prince Charming of the oil empire, and friend." The dashing Kyle Hadley. I saw him dash through the office recently. Seems he misplaced his money belt. - Again? - A hat was passed, and I contributed $16.47. Well, for that, you ought to get an oil well named after you. - Your boss in? - No, Mr. Ryan's out of town. - I guess you'll have to pinch-hit for him. - What can I do for you? Kyle Hadley's at 21, in the mood for a conference. - Business, of course. - Look, I'm only Mr. Ryan's secretary. - I don't think it'd be proper to-- - Would you rather wipe windshields? All right. Kyle and I flew in from Texas this afternoon. - Sounds urgent. - Very. - Kyle said he felt like a steak sandwich. - Steak sandwich? And who serves the best steak sandwich in the world? - 21? - Simple, isn't it? Or should I say simpleminded? - Then you were fooling me about a business conference. - No, that was my idea, you know, in case Mr. Jasper Hadley should ask why we came to town. Oh, the big boss. Well-- Cheer up. You might get your picture in the paper. Is that all you live for? - Guess again, Miss Moore. - I'm sorry. I just wanted you to understand how I feel about such things. - Know something? - What? Maybe we're two of a kind. Harry, put it on my tab. - Of course, Mr. Hadley. - Who's this friend we're waiting for? Mitch Wayne, my sidekick. Mmm, where do his millions come from? He's eccentric-- he's poor. - I'll bet. - Honey, you would lose. Mitch is just a country boy. The kind of assets he's got you can't buy with money. Sorry, kids. I'll have to make this some other time. - He's not eccentric. - No, he's as rich as Rockefeller. - Hello, I'm Kyle Hadley. - I'm Lucy Moore. Lucy Moore. Your taste is improving. Miss Moore is Bill Ryan's new executive secretary. A member of the happy, happy Hadley Industrial family. This is sure cozy. There are rare moments when only champagne will do. This is one of them. Like the lyrics say, "Are you from Dixie or where?" Indiana. Small town you probably never heard of. Anytime you ask me, I'll put it on the map. What shows in your crystal ball? Oh, I'll probably walk down an aisle and wind up in a suburb... - with a husband, mortgage and children. - That's not for you. - Why not? - Got too much beauty and brains to fall into a trap like that. Just what sort of trap do you suggest? How would you like to join the Kyle Hadley Society for the Prevention of Boredom? What would my duties be? - Not duties. Pleasures, such as Kyle Hadley's guided tour through the gossip columns, around the world in 80 headlines. - I'm afraid that'd bore me. - What wouldn't bore you? My career--advertising. Bravo-- as they say in Texas. - Where did you learn the advertising game? - With the Sheraton Agency. - Top drawer? - One of Madison Avenue's finest. Good enough. I'll buy you the agency. What if I took you up on that? A phone, please. Yes, Mr. Hadley. - You're really serious, aren't you? - Sure I am. - What's the number? - The agency or my apartment? - Seriously-- - Very seriously, forget it. I'm only following the advice of a Texas philosopher who said, "Give the little girl a big--" I think it's time we heard from another county. What do you do for the Hadley Oil Company? We're troubleshooters. Wherever they want trouble, they send for us. I, uh, have a sheepskin that says I'm a geologist. - That adds up. - I was kicked out of the same school. They found rocks in my head. Shouldn't you be going back to the office? Apparently, I never should have left. - We haven't finished our champagne. - Remarkable, isn't it? I think we need cigarettes. Get a carton. We'll get a cab, meanwhile. Thank you, Mr. Hadley. Carton of Mullhall, please. Thank you. Don't look now, but you've dropped your friend. You advertising people-- so clever with words. Guess I've fallen from your grace. Does it really matter? Change your course. Teterborough Airport. Look, if you don't mind, I'd like to get off the merry-go-round. I can't quit now. I want you to meet another fellow-- a real one. - Some other time, perhaps. - Some times, like now, I can get you in the terminal. I want us to be friends when we say good-bye. Well, then let me give you a tip. - Drop me at the office. - And if I do, I lose you. Look, Lucy, once we're up in the blue, I'm a different fellow-- a lot different from this character. All right. Maybe I should meet him. No stunts now, like buzzing the Empire State Building. The only stunts I do are in nightclubs. May I ask why? I wouldn't admit this to anyone but you, but I drink too much. - Here's your change. - Can't shake you, can I? Goes both ways. Am I safe in this crate? I guess so. The tanks are loaded, and the pilot isn't, for a change. Lucy. You know, I've seen you before... at the office. - A fleeting glance, wasn't it? - How much did you contribute? Enough. How long have you known Mitch? My dad introduced us when we started the first grade. - That must have been before your father struck oil. - Dad was worth 100 million then. He had no use for private schools, and he wanted me to grow up with Mitch. Why Mitch in particular? Mitch's old man is my dad's boyhood pal-- his idol, I guess. A small rancher-- kind of a legend in our county. Great hunter, sort of a throwback to Daniel Boone. I used to wish he was my father. Is your father aware of this? Dad's a big man-- so big that he and I know I can't fit his shoes, or even come close. - Can anybody? - Yes. Mitch. When I was kicked out of college, Dad gave up hoping... Mitch's qualities might rub off on me. It's easy to talk like this when you're 6,000 feet above the big poker table. - Poker table? - Sure. The big one-- from Maine to California. Down there, I'm a guy with too many chips. I throw 'em up in the air, and a few land on my shoulders. They'd be disappointed if I didn't behave like a playboy-- didn't end up like my uncle. - How did he end up? - Joe Hadley? Lived hard and he died hard. He survived a few duels over some European duchesses and countesses, only to be done in by a jealous Turk who hired assassins to cut out his heart. - He was only 30. - Black sheep? - One of three. - Well, I take it you include yourself, but who's the third? My kid sister Marylee. She's got enough devil in her to put Uncle Joe and me in the shade. What's the matter? Your ears burning? Just came to tell you we're off the Carolina coast. - North Carolina? - Uh-huh. Are we turning back? Can't. Automatic pilot's set for Miami. - And then what? - I feel like a swim. How does Miami Beach sound? Better ask your guest. Just say the word, and I'll make a 180-degree turn. Reluctantly? Uh-huh. Something is happening to me. I find myself talking to you like I never talked to anyone before-- not even Mitch. Please, Lucy. I think we're past the point of no return. Flight 498... now arriving from Havana at Cubana concourse. Kyle's probably arranging to buy you the hotel, a stretch of the beach and a slice of the Gulf strip. Why are you so sarcastic? Do you resent our being here, or are you just disappointed that I didn't ask Kyle to turn back? The first surprise came at Teterborough. I underestimated Kyle's charm. Perhaps you've always underestimated Kyle. Or maybe you're overestimating me. - Could be. - Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It's an adventure. It's exciting. Are you looking for laughs? Or are you soul searching? The latter, I guess. I think I'm beginning to know Kyle... and to like him. Well, in that case, I'm glad. I really am. Tell me something. This hooky-playing-- when does it end? I don't know. For me, it never seems to end. Okay, kids. Let's beat it to Miami Beach. Found us a boarding house with built-in black-eyed peas and grits. This way, please. I'm certain, Mr. Hadley, you'll find everything to your satisfaction. - Everything? - Yes, sir. Nice little boarding house you have here. This is Miss Moore's suite. - And we're right across the hall? - Yes, sir. How do you like it? What's not to like, huh? Come on. I'll show you around. Anything missing? Open the closet. Look over here. Great invention, the telephone, hmm? See you in an hour, okay? Sure floored her, didn't it? - Me too. - Sounds like a crack. No, just a dent in my armor. - What does that mean? - Nothing much. Except I had Lucy figured wrong. What did you expect? I figured she'd be different than all the rest. - She is. - No, she's not. If she were, she'd have spit right in your eye. Lucy? Lucy, you decent? Lucy, are you dec-- Guess she was. - Yes, Mr. Hadley? - Did you see Miss Moore leave? Yes, sir, I did-- about, uh, 30 minutes ago. Yes, sir. - Remember the girl who arrived with me an hour ago? - Yes, she left alone. Took a cab to the airport. The airport. Please step on it. Last call. National Airlines, flight 46 to New York, gate number five. - All aboard. - Hello, Lucy. Hello. Please let me talk to you. I left, didn't I? Didn't that say enough? Yes, more than you know. Please give me an hour-- just till the next plane leaves. All right. Pan American World Airways Clipper, flight 701... for Buenos Aires and intermediate cities... now boarding at Pan American concourse. - Cream? - Never use it. Shows how little I know you. Why'd you run out? I took a sudden dislike to the suite. Did I... overdo it? Oh, it was beautiful at first glance. Then I thought how ugly it would be... in the morning. You mean, the idea of... having fun? Wasn't that your intention? Guilty as charged. I was tempted. Was it easy to overcome? Yes. You made it easy. How, by throwing my money at you? - No. No, it wasn't that. - What, then? It was the ride. "Up in the blue," as you call it. Talked too much, didn't I? No. It was good talk. Only... something happened to me-- something unexpected as the things you told me. I tried to tell myself it was, I don't know, sympathy, compassion. But it was more. Let's... let's get out of here. Cigarette? We'll put you on the next plane to New York. Thank you. I'm sorry, Lucy-- sorrier than I've even been in my whole sorry life. I hope you believe me. - Is it important that I do? - Very, because I... I want to start all over again... with you. How? Suppose-- Just suppose I came to New York again. Not to play, but to work, to behave like-- like Tom, Dick and Harry. I-I'd ask you for dates, take you to lunches, to the movies. I'd be... happy with a good night kiss. I'd think seriously about all the things I used to laugh at, like having a wife and a home... and kids. Right now there's one thing you don't have to suppose. I'm in love with you. So much so that... I want to marry you. - Mitch Wayne? - Yeah. Jack Williams, Miami Press. - Uh, care to say a few words about the wedding? - What wedding? We know that Judge Ross issued a marriage license this morning to Kyle Hadley... and, uh, Lucy Moore. - So what? - Who is Lucy Moore? - That's a good question. - You don't know her? - Not very well. - What is she? A showgirl, model, what? Just a girl-- a lady. - A beautiful lady. - I got news for you, Mr. Wayne. Your torch is burnin'. - Wedding took place two hours ago. - Yeah? Where? - Right under my nose. St. Mark's Church. - Oh. St. Mark's Church. Uh, Mr. Wayne. Hey, now wait up, Mr. Wayne. - Pull up a chair. - Thank you, sir. - How does it look to you? - Promising. How much would you gamble on it? I think we ought to go What do you hear from Kyle? The gossip columns say they're in Acapulco. When do you think I'm going to get a chance to kiss the bride? Six months from now? A year? - It's only been five weeks. - Is that all? It's about time you got hitched, isn't it? No, I-- I have trouble enough finding oil. I sure wish you felt different about Marylee. We grew up together, like brother and sister. I just can't see it any other way. Yeah. It's a shame, though, in a way. It's a real shame. - All right. 5,000 feet. No more. - Okay. - Hi. - Hi! Mitch. Mr. Hadley, meet Mrs. Hadley. Welcome to Hadley-- the town and the family. Thank you. Well, son, I-- I just couldn't be happier. - Did all right, didn't I? - You sure did. Now you vamoose for a few minutes. I want to talk to my daughter-in-law alone. Sure, Dad. I'll be in Mitch's office. - Would you like a soft drink? - No, thanks. Just had one in the drugstore. - Have you been out to the house? - Yes, it's beautiful! And it's home. - Did you meet Marylee? - No, she was out. Oh, that's too bad. I-I know she's gonna like you just as much as I do. I was afraid you might be wary of me-- that, perhaps, you'd regard me as a gold digger. Now, look. I'm gonna be honest with you. That's just what I figured, until I talked to Mitch. Mitch? Interesting. Yeah. I wasn't easy to convince, but Mitch sold me. In other words, you trust Mitch's judgment more than Kyle's. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. - May I ask you a favor? - Anything at all. Please give Kyle a chance. You may have to change your opinion of him. How much liquor has he been puttin' away? I haven't seen him drunk yet. Does he still-- Well, I better not ask about that. You mean, about the pistol he keeps under his pillow. - You know. - Yes. I know all about his anxieties and fears. You can forget about the pistol. Kyle threw it in the ocean. - I tell you, I'm still up on cloud seven. - And sober too. Yep, even in Mexico. Remember how I used to go on those Tequila jags? How could I forget? - Yeah? - A Mr. Willis calling. He says it's urgent. Okay, put him on. Dan Willis. - Mitch. - What is it, Dan? The Hadley gal's here with Roy Carter. Thanks, Dan. I'll be right over. - You got a gun here? - Stay here. I'll handle it. Dan said the Hadley gal. I'm the Hadley boy, remember? That's a hot one, ain't it? Not very. I've heard better. What's the matter, honey? Are you insulted? Not yet. Just bored. The afternoon's wasting away. I'll be right back. How's the chances of some privacy? Are you crazy, Roy? If old man Hadley ever found out, he'd have you sent so far away, it'd take ten years for a telegram to reach you. - Give me the key. - Forget it. You're stepping out of your class. You wouldn't like to have this joint of yours catch fire some night, would you? Give me a couple of minutes to clean up. Don't overdo it. If I ever catch you with my sister again, I'll-- - Where do you want her to play, in a sandbox? - Honeymoon over? Are you forgetting where you are and who you're with? Oh, be polite. Answer the lady. Tell us all about-- Marylee, come on. We're getting out of here. Wait outside, Marylee. - Step aside, Wayne, before I cut you. - I would like to see that. Hold it, Roy. You bigmouth beer slinger. You phoned Wayne, didn't you? This gun's got a hair trigger. Okay. So I'm persuaded. - Some other time, huh? - You've had it. - You take Kyle and get out of here. - Thank you, Sir Galahad. You do care about me, don't you? - Let me have the gun, Dan. - Forget it. Forget it. I'll kill him. A whiskey bottle's about all you'd ever kill. Sorry, Dan. Mitch, let's go down to the river, to our old haunt. We used to be happy there. Our own private world-- mine and yours... and Kyle's. Then you grew up and left me-- you and Kyle-- the rover boys. I guess that's why I hate him so-- for taking you away... from me. I love you, Mitch. I'm desperate for you. So desperate, I run to the likes of Roy Carter. All right, blame me. I'm not talking about blame. About love. Do you love me, Mitch? Like a brother. I don't want you as a brother. Can't be any other way, Marylee. Don't-- Please don't waste your life waiting for me. I'll wait, and I'll have you, marriage... or no marriage. I'm Marylee. Welcome to Hadley, Sister-In-Law. Thank you. Nice of you to come in and greet me. Oh, please. I'm allergic to politeness. By the way, your darling husband should be taught to mind his own business. Should I apologize for him? You should have seen him-- on the wrong end of every punch. And on the wrong end of town. It isn't 21, but... it can be exciting. What do you think of Mitch? You changed the subject. Oh, there's a man for you-- or for me, rather. Kyle starts something, Mitch finishes it for him. Kyle falls on his face, Mitch picks him up. Kyle steals, Mitch takes the blame. And there you have the secret story of Kyle Hadley... and his electric personality. I've heard it from Kyle himself. Anyway, about your marriage, you have my condolences. Pardon me if, uh, I seem to be brushing you out of my hair. Darling, I'll send you some of my towels. I believe you're still wet behind the ears. What was the matter with you today, son? You were supposed to be huntin', not broodin'. I'm sorry, Dad. Sit. Sit! Anything we can talk about? - Did you ever hear of Iran? - Africa? Asia? Asia, I guess. - What about it? - I'm thinking of going there. - For Hadley? - No. Trans American Oil. - Got a bellyful of the Hadleys? - I guess so. I sometimes wonder if I did right by you-- puttin' you with Jasper and his kids. Meant it all for the best-- wanted you to have the chance I had and didn't take. I better level with you, Dad, about why I'm leavin'. I'm in love with a woman that happens to be Kyle's wife. - Is she in love with you? - No. Strictly one-sided. Bet you can't throw that far, Mitch. Mitch can do everything better than you, Kyle. Shut up, Marylee. - Throw it, Mitch. You did it, Mitch! Last one across is a rotten egg. Hey, what's that purple stuff on your lips? Mulberry juice. Looks like lipstick, doesn't it? Yeah, sure does. Mitch, am I beautiful? - Uh-huh. - Do you love me? Sure. You're my girl. When we grow up, you'll marry me, won't you, Mitch? I love you so much. It's gonna be a great football game. Could put us in the Cotton Bowl. Putting me in Dallas is what I like about it. I never know who's got the ball. A drink... for your thoughts. Congratulate me. I've just been voted the life of the party. Your old room. All those wonderful afternoons we used to spend here. And it rained. Well, it was too cold for us to go down to the river haunt. Yes, those wonderful lost afternoons. That's a nice dress-- real flattering. I've changed since we last swam in the raw, haven't I? A long, long time ago. I was an idiot boy then. Yes, you were. The other idiot boy's downstairs having himself a big party. It's a happy occasion, isn't it? Unbelievable. Married a whole year and still sober... and still faithful. It can't last much longer. Don't sell Lucy short. There's only so much a woman can do, and no more. I speak from... personal experience... with you. You know, you're remarkable. You've got your axe buried in Kyle's head, and you're grinding it at the same time. - I can think of much better things than making small talk. - Oh. All right. Let's dance. Still the idiot boy. Oh, thank you, Dad! Oh, it's beautiful. Thank you, Lucy. What about the poor struggling husband? Don't I get anything? - Well, what more do you want, son? - Another big party. Only next time, we'll invite the stork. - Beats prescription liquor, doesn't it, Doc? - It sure does. Just a second, Doc, please. - Do me a favor. - Just name it. Ask Lucy to pay you a visit. - She's been visiting me regularly. - She has? Look, why don't we have a powwow in my office about 10:00 in the morning? It won't keep. Tell me, is, is Lucy all right? Well, what I mean is... can she have children? - Tomorrow we'll sit down and-- - Now, Doc. Please. There's nothing wrong with Lucy. Well, your wife's a wonderful dancer. Kyle, what's the matter? - Come on. Dance with me. - Can't. Somebody just stole my... magic dancing slippers. Anyone for lunch? Don't tell me where. I'll find my way. Glory be. Maybe you finally see the light in my eyes. Oh, there's nothing like a picnic, and I've brought everything but rain and ants. Oh, correction. Everything but rain. Anything happen at the house after I left the party? Didn't miss a thing, except the sight of me sleeping in your old room. Did Kyle have a spat with Lucy? That's why you gave in and came here with me-- to play 20 questions. Well, did he or didn't he? I don't know. All I know is he bit my head off this morning. Why? What'd you say to him? That he looked sick. All I said was, "I trust it's nothing trivial." - Do you-- - Oh, please. No more questions. Let's eat, drink and be merry. We'll eat, drink and run. If Lucy were here with you, I bet you wouldn't say that. I once washed your mouth out with soap. I can do it again. I know you, Mitch. No one will ever know you as I know you. Good morning, Doctor. - What's the story? - I believe we'll have to make some further tests-- What is it? Yes or no? Kyle, it's not that simple. No apologies. Facts. - What'll you have, Doctor? - Oh, just a limeade, Sherry. No ice. Yes, Doctor. The tests we took show a-- Well, let's call it a weakness. Believe me, you're not sterile. And there is hope, real hope, that, in time, we'll be able to correct that weakness. - Hello? - Marylee, it's Mitch. Oh, yes. Brother Mitch. Kyle just phoned me. He wants us, you and me, to join him and Lucy at the country club for dinner. Look, I'll pick you up at 6:00, okay? Don't bother, Mitch, not unless you have an exciting evening in mind. And you know exactly what I mean by an exciting evening. - Good evenin'. Fill her up? - Yes. You're Biff Miley, aren't you? Nice of you to recognize me without my shoulder pads. Your number's in my program. I recognized you too, Miss Hadley. You do? What do we do now? Break into a chorus of "Hail, Alma Mater"? I close up in half an hour. You mean, usually. All right. Just keep the motor running. - Good evening, Jack. Is Mr. Hadley here yet? - Oh, yes, ma'am. Hello, Lucy. What's up? I was hoping you could tell me. I haven't seen Kyle since he left the house this morning. He phoned me about an hour ago and said we were having dinner at the club. Well, he phoned me too. Kyle. Howdy. Good evening, Mrs. Hadley, Mr. Wayne. Good evening. - Set 'em up, Ben. - Yes, sir. - Where's little sister? - Couldn't locate her. She'll never, never be missed. - Will she, honey? - Will she what? Be missed. Haven't you learned to hate Marylee as much as I do? A toast to-- to beauty... and the truth, which is anything but beautiful. Come on. Let's have some dinner. Honey, this is an occasion. We must proceed with, with quiet dignity. What, um-- what are we celebrating? The end of a drought-- a yearlong drought. We drank a toast to truth. - So? - You ought to let us in on what you're really celebrating... or mourning. - Ben, quick. The potions. - Yes, sir. So you'd like to know my secret. The secret is... not to pour the vermouth, just to pretend you're pouring it. Those lousy cops again. I'm sorry, Ralph. I didn't mean to blow up like that, but I'm getting a little sick and tired of your efficiency experts. They ought to get off their chairs and out in the field for a change. All right, Ralph. I'll see you in New York Thursday morning. Bye. I thought I'd seen the last of this. I wish I could, but I can't explain it. - Where have you been? - The country club. - Did you have a spat? - No. Nothing as simple as that. We let him drink, hoping he'd talk and tell us what was on his mind. But we learned nothing, except that he's terribly tormented. What are you going to do now? Go to him and try to help him. Kid. Kid stuff, Mitch. I want to buy a new car, the first flashy car. To hell with college. I wanna have fun... with some girls. Nice over in Dallas. To hell with college. Wanna make some money, Mitch? Over at the bottling plant. Old man Daley's place. No, I haven't got any bottles. Old man Daley has. Don't touch me. Touch me, I'll tell my father. That's what I'll do. My father. We weren't stealing, were we, Mitch? We were just stacking some bottles up for you. That's all we were doing, wasn't it, Mitch? Mitch? Mitch. Wait for me. Wait for me! I remember I stopped the surgeon just before he went in to operate. I said, "Doctor, I'll write a check for a million dollars, but just don't let my wife die." But I failed. I failed them all-- my wife and my brother Joe. Both my children. I think you're being too hard on yourself. Where did you first meet my daughter? I never met her before, not till she picked me up tonight. - She picked you up? - Sure. - That's how she operates. - What do you mean, "operates"? I never heard of anybody pickin' her up. That's all. It's always the other way around. How would you know? Why don't you just walk up and down Main Street and ask somebody? I'm asking you! Look, I don't like to shoot my mouth off. I also don't like being on the carpet. I didn't take her to the motel. She took me. Your daughter's a tramp, mister. If that ain't plain enough, I could put-- - Get him out of here. - Should we hold him? No. Let him go. Keep it quiet, if you can. Thanks. Thanks a lot. - Kyle? - Hmm? When is it going to end? You never know. Things have a way of happening so suddenly, unexpectedly. - What's wrong? - What isn't? Me and my darling sister-- we pushed Dad down the stairs. You started drinking before your father died. Yeah, I was 14 years old. - Kyle. - Hmm? Do you love me? Love you? I don't even love myself. Kyle, what is it? Is it something I've said... or something I've done or should have done? I can't tell you. I'm afraid. It's like I was deep in a mountain pass, snowcaps hanging over my head. If I make a sound, snow might all come tumbling down. Bury me... alive. - Good morning. - Good morning, Lucy. - Would you like some coffee? - Yes, thanks. You look ill. It's been a long week. Yeah. About time for me to clear out. Bored? Disgusted. Mostly with myself. But I-- I need you here. That's the only reason I stayed-- to help you. Not Kyle? I made a resolution last week. It goes like this: To hell with the Hadleys. I'm a Hadley. Not to me, you're not. - I respect my marriage. - Haven't I? Where are you going? Going to see my dad. Why? Would you drop me off in town? What's the matter with your car? Nothing. All right. That was no lady. That was your wife. Where are they going? I don't know. Where would you take your best friend's wife? You're a real sweet kid. Now be nice to me, brother. One morning we'll wake up, and we'll be all alone together. Go on, sister. Tell me another pretty story. - Once upon a time, there was a poor little rich boy. - Kyle Hadley, by name. - Who pickled his tiny brain with gin and bourbon. - Not so. Scotch. Till he got so stinking blind, he couldn't see what was going on right under his big red nose. But his charming, righteous little sister did. Yes. She saw the end of a marriage... and the beginning of a love affair. You're a filthy liar. I'm filthy... period. But you don't have to take my word for anything. Just try keeping your head clear and your eyes open. Why should you care? You've never cared about me. - Or your wife. - Why are you putting your two cents in? Only because of Mitch. Because I've never had him, and your wife has. Will you pick me up at the drugstore in about an hour, please? Better take a taxi. Am I that much trouble to you? You don't know how much. I'll be waiting for you. When you figurin' on leavin'? Monday morning. Flying all the way to Iran? No, I'm gonna take a tanker out of Baltimore. Places don't seem so far away if you take a plane. Used to feel that way about motor cars. What'd Kyle have to say? Nothin'. Haven't told him yet. I'm waiting for him to sober up. How's Kyle's wife? Goin' through hell. Did she ever find out just how you feel about her? Yeah. I about told her this morning. How strong does she feel about you? I don't know. In about another hour or so, I'm gonna find out. The car's over here. Stopped at the gun shop. Picked out a rifle for my dad... for Christmas. What's the matter? Well, I'll tell you what's the matter with me. I'm leaving for Iran next week. Trans American Oil. I can't keep holding back how I feel about you, Lucy-- how I've felt ever since the first day we met. I'm in love with you. No. I-I have to tell you something. - I've found out why Kyle's been drinking so heavily. - Forget Kyle. - I'm talking about you and me. - Mitch, you've got to listen to me, please. You know how much Kyle's always talked about having children-- how badly he's wanted them. Dr. Cochrane told him he might never have any. Poor guy. Mitch, it was a medical opinion, not a fact. I'm going to have a baby. That was for good-bye. Well, it's a beautiful day... for something or other, isn't it? - What's Kyle doing? - You mean, right this minute? - Yes. - Well, right this minute, Kyle's out. Did he say where he was going? All I know is he hopped into his car and he flew. - And I mean flew. - Was he drunk? If he wasn't, he was well on his way. You ought to take it with you. Well, with you chasing me-- Can I level with you, Kyle? Mr. Hadley to you. Well, it seems to me, Mr. Hadley, if I were one of the richest men in the world, I wouldn't be sitting in a place like this drinking raw corn. - What would you be doing? - I'd be at the country club, drinking bonded bourbon. - Nothin' but. - I like bootlegged corn better. It's full of memories. Each swig takes me back, far back. You know, good ol' days, when a fellow knew nothing and cared less. Hello. It's Mitch. No, sir. He ain't here. I haven't seen him since that last time. You remember. Yeah. Well, buzz me at home if he drops in, will you? Yeah, Mitch. Sure will. Bye. Excuse me, sir. Dinner is served. Thank you, Sam. It's rather pleasant here without Kyle, isn't it? Well, if it isn't Smiling Jack himself. Hark, I-I think I hear the master's kiddie car. I hope the drawbridge is down. My, you're a dandy group. Bring me a cocktail I can drink. Yes, sir. - I don't mean tomato juice. - Yes, sir. I suppose you're wondering why I brought you all here tonight. Now if his lights would only go out. Kyle, would you please come upstairs? - You wish to confess? - Please, Kyle. - Don't leave the country. - Please. Amusing, isn't he? Very. Let's throw a party. Call up everybody we know. No party, huh? What do you say to a plane ride? We'll go to Acapulco. What do you say to Palm Beach? - We'll decide about it in the morning. - It'll be fun, like turning back the clock. Palm Beach. I like that. It's got meaning. It's got signif-- It's got meaning. Are you sure your husband's out of town? Sit down, Kyle. You said, "Sit down, Kyle." That means bad news, doesn't it? No, it doesn't. The news couldn't be better. You know how you look now? Like you did that night at the Miami Airport, when I took you off the plane. Kyle, I went to see Dr. Cochrane this morning. He told you about me, didn't he? I said the news was good. What's good about it? We're... we're going to have a baby. You mean, adopt one. No. No, our baby-- yours and mine. No. No. No. Kyle, it's true. You shouldn't have done that to me. You shouldn't have. What are you talking about? Mitch. You and Mitch. Don't say that, Kyle. Don't even think it. What did you think? You think I was just a drunken idiot? That I'd believe you? That I'd let you use my name? Take my money? You all can rot in hell! - You, Mitch and your little-- - Kyle, I've had nothing to do with Mitch. You dirty tramp! Mitch. Get out. Get out before I kill you! He hit me. Dr. Cochrane, please. It's very urgent. She's asleep now. Give her one of these when she wakes up. - How bad is she? - She's weak, too weak to move to the hospital till morning. She's had a miscarriage. - Good night, Marylee. - Good night, Doctor. - Your coat, Doctor. - Thank you. Mind if I ask you an impertinent question? Kyle had no cause. - Thanks. Where is he now? - I don't know. He'd better not come back here tonight. I'll tell you that. Call me if you need me. - You been in an accident? - Get me a bottle of corn. - Maybe you ought to go see a doctor. - I said a bottle! You know who that is? Kyle Hadley. The oil family. Well, what do ya know? I thought he was a bum. That's five bucks. - I said five. - I'm buying something else. - Like what? - That gun you keep. Put it in another sack. No sale. What's with you? - Somebody tried to kill me. - Who? My best friend. - What are you doing? - The liquor's on the house. I'll give you 100 for the gun. I got business to attend to. Take your courage and leave me be. Oh, don't go! - I'm just gonna get you some water. - Oh, not yet, please. I don't wanna go to sleep yet. I just want to talk to you. Take me away, Mitch. Take me out of this house. - I will, in the morning. - No! No, now. I'm afraid. I won't leave you. Where is he? I don't know, but wherever he is, he'd better stay there... because if he comes back here, I'll settle with him. Oh, no, Mitch. Please. Shut up, woman! There's gonna be a killin'! - I heard talk! I heard him! - You heard nothin'. You lousy white trash. You no-account, two-faced dog. I'm gonna watch you cringe. - Then I'm gonna put a bullet in your belly. - For what, Kyle? My best friend, my lifelong pal. What a laugh! You crawlin' snake. You crept in here, sponged off us Hadleys, stole everything I ever wanted, everything I ever had. Like what? You made me small in my father's eyes. You made my sister spit at me. Then... you stole my wife. - I didn't take anything from you. - Lousy white trash, say a prayer. You know who you sound like? Old man Daley. Remember old man Daley and the bottles? It was your idea to steal them. I couldn't talk you out of it, so I went along. But when he caught us, he didn't blame you, he blamed me. And he grabbed me and he kicked the tar out of me. I remember him saying, "This is what Hadley gets... for letting his boy play with trash like you." He had you pegged right. You are trash! I took the blame for stealing those bottles, just like I've always taken the blame, but I'm not gonna take it for this. Kyle, we've never lied to each other. And I'm telling you now, I never touched Lucy, only because she's your wife. Get this straight. The child would have been yours. Not mine. Yours. - Lousy white trash! - Kyle! Kyle! Mitch? Yeah? What are we doing here, Mitch? What are we doing? Let's go down to the river... where we belong. Operator, rush an ambulance to the Hadley estate. I'll be down at the river, waiting. Waiting. I was just thinking. You know, you threatened to kill Kyle. The servants heard you. Also Dr. Cochrane... and Yours Truly. So what? I could tell the police... that I saw you kill my dear brother. You could. On the other hand, a wife wouldn't... and couldn't testify against her own husband. You know, for a beautiful girl, you can look real ugly sometimes. Ask yourself this: Would I ever be enough for you? I can talk you right into the state penitentiary. You're sick, Marylee. Your sickness won't be cured by marrying me. Before it's too late, you'd better face up to yourself. Look how far we've come from the river. Raise your right hand, please. Do you swear the testimony you're about to give in this inquest... is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do. Dr. Cochrane, would you tell this inquest about the threat, please? When I asked Mr. Wayne where Kyle Hadley was, he said, "I don't know, but he'd better not come back here tonight." Thank you, Doctor. Next witness. My wife. She said to me, "There's gonna be a killin'. I heard talk. Mr. Mitch said he's gonna kill Mr. Kyle." Thank you. Next witness. That's what I heard-- Mr. Mitch yellin' and sayin' to Mr. Kyle, "Get out of here! Get out be-before I kill you!" Thank you. Thank you very much. Next witness. Well, Kyle looked all beat up. I said, "What's with you?" He said, "Somebody tried to kill me." I asked who, and he said, "My best friend." Did he mention a name? No, he didn't have to. Why not? Well, everybody knows that Kyle's best friend was... Mitch Wayne. Thank you, Mr. Willis. That'll be all. Next witness. Can you tell us if, at any time, you heard Mitch Wayne threaten to kill your husband? Mitch Wayne did not kill my husband. That wasn't my question. I asked you if, at any time, you heard Mitch Wayne threaten to kill your husband. - Yes, but-- - Thank you. That will be all. Will Miss Hadley step forward, please? State your name, please. - Marylee Hadley. Do you swear the testimony you're about to give... is the truth and nothing but the truth? - I do. - Be seated. You can refuse to answer any question you may regard as incriminating. What was your relation to the deceased? He was my brother. Exactly where were you at the time Kyle Hadley was shot? I repeat, Miss Hadley, exactly where were you at the time Kyle Hadley was shot? You refuse to answer the question? Can you tell us anything about the shooting? Yes. My brother, he was killed. By whom, Miss Hadley? By whom was your brother killed? Mitch Wayne. Stop those men! No one will leave this chamber till after this inquest is closed. Miss Hadley, you named Mitch Wayne. Are you here and now testifying... that Mitch Wayne shot and killed Kyle Hadley? Mitch Wayne was there... in the study with my brother. Kyle had a gun in his hand. He was raving mad-- raving about things that weren't so. Mitch tried to talk to him, to make him understand how wrong he was, to stop him from using the gun. Afraid he might even use it on himself. I made a grab for the gun. Kyle and I struggled. The gun went off. Miss Hadley, five persons under oath... have testified that Mitch Wayne threatened to kill Kyle Hadley. They don't know Mitch Wayne as I know him. Whatever he may have said... means nothing. Except he was worried about Kyle... as a brother for a brother. Why would Kyle Hadley want to kill himself? He was depressed... by Father's sudden death, and he'd been drinking. Heavily? Yes. My brother always drank too much. He was sad-- the saddest of us all. He needed so much... and had so little.

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George Zuckerman

George Zuckerman (August 10, 1916 – September 30, 1996) was an American screenwriter and novelist. Zuckerman began his career writing short stories for Cosmopolitan, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire in the 1940s. He wrote the stories for the 1947 films The Fortress and Whispering City before completing his first screenplay, Trapped, in 1949. Additional credits include Border Incident (1949), B-movies like Spy Hunt (1950), Under the Gun (1951), Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), and The Square Jungle, and his best known works, Written on the Wind (1956) and The Tarnished Angels (1958), both collaborations with director Douglas Sirk. Zuckerman's published novels include The Last Flapper (1969), loosely based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Potato Peelers (1974). Zuckerman died in Santa Monica, California one month after his 80th birthday. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Written On The Wind" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 24 May 2022. <https://www.scripts.com/script/written_on_the_wind_23686>.

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