The Cut

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					                       An alteration of
               Geoffrey Garrison’s

    the cut

G   f ic t ion a l i z e d, e di t e d, a n d r e -e di t e d
                       by i a n brow n
this addition is composed in minion and printed
      and made in amsterdam by ian brown

               G                                                the cut

                                                  ge r r i t r i et v e l d pu bl ish e r s • a mst e r da m
   The ice in the glass of whiskey swirled around
hypnotically as clift slowly poured himself another.
Finding himself all alone on the set now, he tossed the
drink back, and set it on the table beside the divan,
next to the black and white publicity still, which he
picked up and meditated on it for a long while. He
leaned back slowly, closing his eyes, and lied back on
the divan.

                      calm                                                          An alteration of

                                                              the cut
                                                                             Geoffrey Garrison’s
Clift walked over to Liz and sat down beside her on
the divan.
   “Christ I’m tired!” Clift said with a sigh.
   “You’ve just been working too hard,” replied Liz as
she handed him a bourbon with ice.
   “The Misfits is on the late, late show. Wanna watch
it?”                                                                                    •
   “Absolutely not!” Replied clift after slamming back
his drink.
   “Suit yourself.” She said as she slid off the divan
and pranced off.

                                                                                          dr a f t 13½
                                                                                    o c t obe r 1 2 , 2 0 0 5
                                                         f ic t ion a l i z e d, e di t e d, a n d r e -e di t e d by i a n brow n

             cast                                  the bullstare
                                      Huston glared at clift. Clift glared back. Huston kicked
               Actor 1:               the paint bespattered stool, sending it tumbling across
Montgomery Clift & Jean-paul Sartre   the floor.
                                         “What… are you going to kill me?” asked Clift
               Actor 2                provokingly.
           John Huston                   “I’m seriously considering it,” snarled Huston.
                                         Both men stared intensely at each other. Clift
               Actor 3                shrugged as if to imply impatience with the ordeal,
   Producer, Priest, & fbi Agent      egging him on; it was Huston’s move, and Clift was
                                      simply waiting for it. Huston snarled, turned quickly
                                      and stormed off, vanishing into the mid-day california
              Actress 1
Elizabeth Taylor, & Marilyn Monroe    sun, through the same doors Liz had so elegantly
                                      strolled through a short time earlier.

   was delusional, drunk and in her own fluid world.
Clift had stood up now, and somwhat spontaniously
commenced in a stare-down with Huston. The
aggression was thick and tangible between the two;
like a magnetic force both pulling and pushing at
                                                                  “If our dreams were as continuous
                                                                      as our waking experiences,
                                                       we would not be able to tell the difference between the two.

                                                                          -sigmund Freud-

             the ultimatum
The man by the ladder, put his jacket back on and
proceeded to puff life back into what had now become
a soggy stump of a cigar. He confronted huston who
tossed the confiscated scripts in a waist bin.
   “I’m not releasing that film until some cuts are
made, capis?”
   “Cutting scenes doesn’t necessarily make a long
film any shorter,” Huston pleaded, “Without that
scene, it will break the chain of logic, the film will
just be more confusing, it will seem longer.”
   But his pleads seemed to fall on deaf ears. The man
dropped his cigar and watched it fall, hitting the cold,
grey concrete floor with a miniature explosion. He
stepped on it, twisted his foot forth and back, pivoted
and strolled off.
   “You can’t go back,” Whaled Marilyn dramatically,
“That’s why it would be nice to be really finished.
To say goodbye to fame and the whole stinking
   These bellows of discontentment came out of
nowhere; she was not reading from a script; she

 “Where’d you get these?… Here,” he said as he flung                             the misfits
a few pages of the new script between them, “this is
the scene we’re setting up to shoot now, so get to it,             “See this picture?” asked Montgomery Clift
will you?”                                                      showing Elizabeth Taylor a black and white publicity
   Clift laid down on the floor with his head in                still of himself, along with Clark Gable, Marilyn
Marilyn’s lap and looked at the script. Marilyn cleared         Monroe, Eli Wallach, John Huston, and Arthur
her throat and began to read:                                   Miller. They are posing outdoors in front of a wooden
                                                                shack. The center of the photograph is dominated by
      “Maybe all there really is, is just the next thing, the
                                                                a ladder. Clift, Gable and Huston are in western wear
      next thing that happens. Maybe you’re not sup-
      posed to remember anybody’s promises.”                    and cowboy hats, Marilyn Monroe sits surrounded
                                                                by these cowboys, wearing a white dress with a cherry
  Clift Replied in his pseudo German accent:                    polka-dot pattern on it. She has her chin up, her
                                                                shoulders oblique and her legs crossed.
      “You can count on mine. I trust you. I think I love          “You showed it to me before, Monty. ”
                                                                   “Things always come in threes, right? Clark died of
                                                                a heart attack just after we finished the film. And now
                                                                Marilyn; she’s dead, too.”

                                36                                                         1
                the film set                                           first attempts
The film set is based on Sigmund Freud’s office as        Marilyn walked over to the men, still in her loosely
portrayed in the film ‘Freud-the secret passion.’ There   sashed white bathrobe, carrying a pile of scripts. She
are two desks, a bureau, two round tables, chairs and     lugged them into Clift’s hands and without letting
a divan. Elizabeth Taylor had just a few moments          go, sunk slowly to the floor, bringing clift down with
earlier strolled through the 40´ high sliding doors of    her.
the airplane-hanger style building known as lot 7 on         “All my life,” she said softly as they floated to the
the vast Hollywood property of Paramount Pictures.        floor, “boys paid attention to me. They wanted me
She stepped over a few large coils of black lighting      around as part of the décor, like a painting brightens
cable and proceeded to the set where Montgomery           up a living room. I thought it was different this
Clift was standing next to the divan, holding the black   time.”
and white film still. She daintily sat down beside him       “Well, isn’t it?” asked Clift optimistically.
on the divan, crossed her legs and began to peel of her      “It was at first,” she replied, pouting “He paid
elbow-high black, silk gloves when Clift asked her if     attention to me like no one ever had before. Took me
she had ever seen the photo before.                       seriously. Everybody else saw me as a big joke. But
   “I wonder who’s next…” she said as she removed         now… We don’t even talk, all he does is work. And I
the other glove.                                          wanted a child so badly! Children are so wonderful.
   Clift had begun wearing thick glasses after his        They’re not jaded or bitter or nothing.”
automobile accident. He had also begun to drink              Huston walked over and peered down at the script
more, and already this morning, (Clift still in his       pages suspiciously. He reached down and grabbed the
pajamas), Liz could smell the bourbon entangled in        scripts from Clift.
his moist, thick, fake beard. Liz took the picture for       “But these are all old versions of the script!” he
closer inspection as clift turned his attention to        yelled while violently rummaging through the pages,

                          2                                                         35
   sympathetic with the reds?”                            across the space, where Marilyn Monroe was sitting
   Huston returned the bull-stair, took a sip of his      with her back to him, in front of a large free standing
bourbon and said sternly:                                 mirror on wheels.
   “Gentlemen, I can assure you I am opposed to
international Communism and all that Soviet Russia
stands for. Look,” he said, with his arms out showing
his palms, “I served my country in the war. What I
really detest are bullies. I don’t like being afraid. I
don’t like seeing other people be afraid. What I really
like are horses, strong drink, and women.”

                          34                                                        3
                  crutches                                   “A very reliable source has indicated that there
                                                          are six hundred Communists employed in the
John Huston and the Assistant Director stood next to      motion picture and radio industries in Hollywood,
a ladder, behind a prop camera, between Marilyn and       California…” his Brooklyn accent more potent than
the set, which was slowly taking shape. They stood        ever; “Five hundred and twenty of these individuals
admiring Taylor as she put down the photo, reached        have been identified as Communists in that they
in her purse and pulled out some rouge to powder          are now or, were members of the Communist Party,
her cheeks with. She flipped the lid up, producing a      usa, or were members of the Communist Political
mirror. Looking in the mirror she checked her eye-        Association, USA. ‘The occupational breakdown
liner and began dabbing her cheeks with a small           of these Communists whose occupation has been
round flesh colored pillow, only to brush most of it      ascertained is as follows: Actresses 45, Actors 47,”
away with a miniature brush.                              he said this as if he was reading from a large stack
   “Write the lines on the props – on bottles, door       of official documents, yet it was all memorized,
frames, books, whatever. If he can’t memorize the         programmed; “Directors 15, Producers 8, Writers 127,
lines, he’ll just have to read them,” said Huston and     Publicists 5, Musicians 42, Analysts 9, Technicians
handed the A.D. a few pages of script. The A.D.           12, Cameramen 3, Film Editors 1, Miscellaneous
shrugged, took the pages, and walked off to the back      (Cartoonists, Laborers, Office Employees, Artists,
of the set. He passed Liz with a smile, but she was       and so forth) 62.’ – You’ve defended every one of the
too absorbed with what was in the mirror to notice        known and suspected communists we’ve mentioned
his trivial flirtations. He proceeded to mark the props   here today. Whose side are you on anyway?”
and a wall just wheeled into place, filled with plaques      He dropped his hands and let all traces of any
and diplomas, with the lines Clift was supposed to        expression leave his face. Looking Huston square in
recite, although the A.D. had little faith in Clift’s     the eyes, he asked:
                                                             “Are you, John Huston, a communist… Are you

                          4                                                        33
              mathematics                                               the phantom
Huston walked back to the ladder and poured himself       Clift picked up his thermos from beside Liz, on the
a bourbon. Clift followed shortly after with the script   divan and walked off the set toward Marilyn. He
in hand, reading as he walked. The man with the           didn’t seem to notice the A.D. passing him by, flirting
cigar strolled over as well, and put his cigar in the     with Liz, neither did he seem to be aware of the
ash try next to the bottle of ‘Jim Beam’ on the ladder.   measures being taken to ensure his success in playing
He took his jacket off and tossed it on top of the hat    the part he was being paid to play; namely that of the
laying on the paint splattered stool. Huston looked       late great Venetian Dr. Sigmund Freud.
at the six shooter he had snuggly nestled under his          “Just make sure they don’t show from the camera’s
left arm, seemingly vacuum-packed in the fine coffee      perspective!” yelled huston as the A.D. began
toned leather holster. His badge glistening in the spot   scribbling.
lights.                                                      Marilyn’s reflection steadily applied eyeshadow
   “How do you do a dream in reverse? Clift asked         as it took a quick glance up to acknowledge Clift’s
Huston.                                                   arrival. Clift removed his glasses and put them on
   “I mean, how do you write something like that? It’s    the sill of the Mirror, along side a plethora of other
the conscious mind that writes the dream sequence,        cosmetics, creams and medications..
inventing the symbols for the interpretation that is         “You can’t sleep either? he asked as Marilyn took a
already there.”                                           sip of wine and shook her head.
   “I don’t think you realize the gravity of the threat      “You too?” she replied.
these people pose to our way of life.” the man said          “Well, I’ve had trouble sleeping since…you know…
with a tone of seriousness and condescension, cutting     the accident.”
between Clift and Huston.                                    “Oh! I’m so sorry!” she said as she opened her

                          32                                                        5
   “You taking something for it?”                            nostalgia & bitterness
   “Does it help?”                                          “Sometimes I’d like to be a child again, but that’s
   Monroe closed her eyes as powder was applied to       gone. Sometimes I wish I could cling to the happiest
her face.                                                moments in my life so that they’d last forever. Do
   “No, not really. I even tried breaking the little     you know what I mean?” asked Clift as he reached
capsules open and licking the powder out of the palm     for his thermos, “You want to understand it or to see
of my hand, but it’s no use… I can’t sleep.”             it perfectly, except that it is already passed, and that
   Clift took a slow, thoughtful sip from his thermos.   they all pass the same. Thirty seconds or thirty years
                                                         – it’s all the same.”
                                                            Clift took a long sip of his thermos and remembered
                                                         playing with his sister in the back-yard on a warm
                                                         sun-filled day as a child.
                                                            “Everybody just wants something from you. So
                                                         many false friends, who can you trust?” replied
                                                         Marilyn to her reflection as it put down the brush and
                                                         began rummaging through the plethora of items on
                                                         the mirror-sill.

                          6                                                        31
      ognize people. Normally, she said, she had been                          the priest
      able to recognize faces without having to make any
      deliberate effort; now she was obliged to do labori-
                                                             Huston sat next to the ladder, behind the prop camera
      ous ‘recognizing work’ and had to say to herself
      ‘this person’s nose is such-and-such, his hair is      on a classic foldable directors chair, with “Huston”
      such-and-such, so he must be so-and-so.’ All the       embroidered on it’s cloth back. He was studying the
      people she saw seemed like wax figures without         script, making small notes and corrections as he read.
      any connection to her… She now spoke only Eng-
                                                             He did not take notice to the stout, middle-aged man,
      lish and could not understand what was said to
      her in German. Those about her were obliged to         dressed in a traditional black suit, white priests collar,
      talk to her in English.”                               and a shallow brimmed, black felt hat; so popular for
                                                             men in the 1950’s. The man took himself a seat on a
   “Well, what about it?” asked Huston as he closed it       wooden stool covered in years of paint splatter. The
and handed it back to Sartre.                                man sat calmly with the flats of his hands together in
   “The famous Anna O!” he replied, “Our patient will        his lap and proceeded to argue his objections towards
be based on her… But since Freud never met Anna O,           the film on behalf of the catholic community; in a
we will combine her with several other patients, to          soft, thick, Brooklyn accent.
fictionalize her… We can get the beautiful Marilyn              “You do understand our concern, do you not?
Monroe to play her!”                                         Freud’s theories do not allow for the absolutely
   Sartre thrust his hand downwards, palm up, to             necessary categories of good and evil! And to be quite
Marilyn’s reflection in the mirror. It looked back at        frank, the idea of… well, of sexuality in children is
him expressionlessly, as if she was ‘paused,’ with a         simply reprehensible!”
hairbrush in her hand, next to her face. Clift put the          “I’m a movieman,” replied Huston. “I’m not making
book and pipe down, loosened his collar and took off         a philosophical work here. My interest, to put it
his tie.                                                     bluntly, is to make a work of entertainment that will

                              30                                                         7
                Hair Grease                                           fictionalizations
The man took his hat off, stood up and pulled a cigar       Huston stormed over and cut into the conversation.
out of his jacket pocket, lit it, puffed a few times and        “Who told them to cut that scene from my movie?
proceeded to interrupt the conversation by yelling at       he roared as he stabbed the script with his index
huston obnoxiously in a loud Brooklyn accent, using         finger.
a great deal of hand gestures;                                  “What are you talkin’ about?” replied the man
   “People want titillation in a picture! You’re asking     with the cigar, blowing smoke in Huston’s face, “It’s
us to sit through a feature length film with nothing but    one measly scene.”
unconsummated relationships! What are you Pablo                 “One measly scene? It’s a key scene for the
fuckin’ Picasso! You’re a god damn movie director           narrative’s development! The film is built up logically
that’s what you are! It’s the pleasure principle, for       scene by scene, thought by thought, through Freud’s
Christ sake. It’s entertainment!                            progress. If you cut that scene, the following scenes
   “Yes. You see?” said the man softly, as he retrieved     won’t make any sense!”
his hat from the stool, put the cigar in the ash-tray on        “Look at this.” said Sartre in an accent beginning
the ladder, and sat back down while pointing to the         to sound more Israeli than french. He picked up a
place he had just been standing.                            grey hardcover from the sill of the mirror, opened
   “You see? This is precisely the problem with             it, licked his finger and flipped through the pages.
Hollywood. The cinema should teach wholesome                He handed it to Huston while tapping on the third
values to the impressionable masses, not, as is             paragraph of page 183.
presently the case, just feed their insatiable appetite
for vulgar entertainment.   ”                                     “…In a bunch of flowers which gave her much
   Suddenly, loud music flooded the space: ‘This is               pleasure, she could only see one flower at a time.
                                                                  She complained of not being able to rec
Radio Clash’: an up beat, slightly aggressive British pop

                           8                                                              29
               withdrawal                                 song from the early eighties, came from everywhere
                                                          and nowhere, causing everything to stop, even the
   “They have no idea what they are doing,” said Sartre   arguing .
to the man with the cigar, who in the meantime had
found his way to Monroe and her mirror.
   “If you make a film about Cleopatra,” continued
Sartre, “it can be ten hours long, but Hollywood
will never make a precise film on the unconscious. I
wonder why he asked me to do it in the first place. I’m
not a Freudian. You should finish the screenplay,” He
said directing his attention to Marilyn. “You know
more about Freud than I do,” he continued.
   Marilyn’s reflection looked up as it brushes it’s
   “You don’t want any credit at all? she asked.
   “Absolutely not. I don’t want my name on that

                          28                                                      9
                   the wine                                    mumbled to himself in the best french accent he
                                                             could muster.
Liz, carrying a bottle of wine and a glass, danced
across the vast expanse of Lot 7, seemingly out of
nowhere, in a white bathrobe. She floated gracefully
over to the men and took a long sip from her wine
   “Hey everybody!”
   Still dancing, she refilled her glass
   “Everybody!” She yells over the music.
   “I’d like to propose a toast,” as she raised her glass,
“To my dearest friend: Montgomery Clift!”
   Everyone looked at Clift, who consequently blushed
slightly and walked over to Liz.
   “Oh, Bessie Mae!” he said and took her wine glass
and put it on the ladder, next to a stout man smoking
a large cigar, who had an extensive amount of grease
slicking back his black hair.
   “No, Monty, I mean it!”
   She raised the bottle and drank from it
   “Bessie Mae?” yelled the man in a thick Brooklyn
   “I thought your name was Elizabeth Taylor.”

                           10                                                       27
   “Why’s that? replied Huston laughing.                      “Bessie Mae’s just his name for me. Monty never
   “He was self-centered. He was obsessed with his         calls anybody by their real name.”
own mind,” said Clift angrely as he peeled off his            Clift took the bottle and put his other arm around
beard. “Every film is just watered down through the        Liz, turned her around and walked off as the last bars
shitty mentality of this place. You give them the best     of ‘This is Radio Clash’ faded away.
performance of your life, putting everything you’ve
got into a character who’s been written and rewritten
by four, five – who knows how many different people
– until there’s no human trace left anymore.”
   Clift walked off and chucked the beard to the floor
like a piece of garbage. He meandered his way to a
long clothes rack behind the set of Freud’s office.
The clothes rack was filled with costumes, and Clift
quickly found himself a grey three-piece suit, a white
shirt and a black tie. He took off his pajamas and put
the suit and tie on. He straightened the tie in a mirror
on top of a large commode filled with cheap jewelry,
wigs, beards and mustaches, cuff-links and just the
thing Clift was looking for: a tobacco pipe. The same
style of pipe and suit Clift imagined that the famous
playwright / novelist / existentialist philosopher Jean-
Paul Sartre would wear. Clift stood looking at himself
in the mirror, and tried to believe he was Jean-Paul
Sartre. ‘They have no idea what they are doing.’ He

                          26                                                         11
          jesus and the law                                to present Freud’s life as an intriguing story – a story
                                                           that leads into the depths of our inner most desires!”
   “Communists?!” shouted Huston.                             In a moment of clarity, clift seemed to truly
   “That’s ridiculous! Next thing you’ll be saying         understand the difference between himself and
Einstein is a communist!”                                  the characters he was paid to play. He stepped out
   The man siting on the paint riddled stool stood up      from behind the camera, pressed his hands on his
and removed his hat and jacket, and laid them carefully    cheeks and upper lip to secure his beard and got into
on the stool. On his belt, clipped just to the left of a   character:
large silver buckle, was an fbi badge. Over his white            ‘I was sitting alone in my wagon-lit compartment
and blue pin-striped shirt was a ‘shoulder holster’              when a more than usually violent jolt of the train
                                                                 swung back the door of the adjoining washing cabi-
made of exquisite Italian leather, cut to comfortably            net, and an elderly gentleman in a dressing-gown
carry the weight of a gun and ammunitions under                  and a travelling cap came in.
each arm.                                                        I assumed that in leaving the washing-cabinet,
   “Now wait a minute,” huston continued, “You                   which lay between the two compartments, he had
                                                                 taken the wrong direction and come into my com-
can’t seriously mean to tell me you think Einstein is            partment by mistake. ‘Jumping up with the inten-
a communist!”                                                    tion of putting him right, I at once realized to my
   “Well, perhaps not a communist exactly…” replied              dismay that the intruder was nothing but my own
the man in a stern, thick Brooklyn accent, “but he is            reflection in the looking-glass on the open door. I
                                                                 can still recollect that I thoroughly disliked his ap-
certainly a misguided liberal. After all, he is a known          pearance.’
pacifist… even released a book against war with that
fuckin’ atheist Sigmund Freud.”
                                                              “If I had met Freud, I wouldn’t have liked him.”
   He was already quite worked up, realizing this he       said clift, trying to feel the difference between himself
recomposed, slicked his hair back with a twitching         and the character he just attempted to play.

                          12                                                              25
              soul searching                                        hand and whiped the sweat droplets off his upper lip.
                                                                       “With the threat of international communism
Clift walked around Huston aggressively to get to the               hanging over the free world,” he continued, “such
Camera. He cleared his voice, patted his face to make               beliefs are naïve, childish, alright? … They only serve
sure his beard was in place, and peering into the lens              to help those who would destroy our way of life. Is
and said:                                                           that what you want Mr. Huston; to destroy our way
                                                                    of life?”
      Yo u pu t a l l t h at wo r k i n t o i t a n d t h e n                “You’re calling Einstein childish?” retorted
      o n c e t h o s e e d i t o r s g e t t h ro u g h w i t h
      i t, yo u ’v e g o t n o c o n t ro l ov e r h ow i t
                                                                    Huston quite astonished.
      a ppe a r s o n s c r e e n. Yo u t h i n k yo u ’v e            A sense of absurdity was beginning to rise in
      d o n e i t o n e way a n d ‘ c h o p,’ t h e y c u t i t
      u p a n d m a k e i t i n t o t h e e n t i r e ly o pp o -   Huston. A Producer was someone Huston was used
      site thing.                                                   to arguing with, but Priests and fbi agents were all
                                                                    together virgin territory. The Witch hunt was on, and
   “The screen isn’t your reflection, Monty. You’re not             Huston was rather reluctant to be singled out to be
going to find any answers about yourself there.”                    burnt at the stake.
   Clift looked over at Liz somewhat surprised. Her                    The man sat back down, put his hat and jacket back
comment touched the very place inside him where                     on and folded his fingers into each other on his lap.
the gnawing and dull drilling was going on. He                                        ”
                                                                       “Furthermore, he said admonishingly in a soft
was temporarily at a loss for words as he attempted                 voice, “we are concerned that you wish to make a
to fathom how she could have made such an astute                    picture about a depraved atheist who propagated anti-
observation of his psyche, how she could have shed                  Christian ideas about child sexuality. The effect of
light on the dark trenches of his soul. Perhaps she was             such a film on the public could only be deleterious.”
speaking of herself as well.                                           “Well,” replied Huston, “I hate to disappoint you,
   “This is a biography.” Exclaimed Huston “I want                  but this will probably be one of the least depraved

                                 24                                                           13
films produced in years.”                                     or a pretty boy murderer. Freud was an intellectual;
   The man stood up again, removed his hat and             he should not sound juvenile.”
retrieved his cigar from the ashtray on the ladder. He        It was clear that Clift had been affended by hustons
took a few tokes to get it blazing again, paused for a     remarks. They insultingly implied one dimentionality
moment, and let his hands drop to his waist with his       in his acting, and even worse he was calling Clift an
palms out.                                                 amature.
   “You think I can sell a film like that in Montgomery,
Alabama? You think the American public will sit
through that? I tell you what – you’re nuts!” he tapped
his temple with his index finger, “You’re fuckin’

                          14                                                         23
          discontentedness                                     she’s talking to herself
  Clift tried to collect himself, took a deep breath        Monroe, with her porcelain face and heavy eye-liner,
and put his head back in the script. He tried to find a     sat in front of the mirror again. Clift played with her
spark in his character. The same spark that had once        hair. Both day dreamers seemingly oblivious to the
made him feel so alive under the scorching lights of        escalating argument behind them.
broadway. But he searched in vain:                             “And everyone thinks I have a fairy tale life,”
  “Some of these lines read like the ten                    she said, “Everybody wants to be me, to be Marilyn
commandments…”                                              Monroe. What a load of shit. I thought marriage
                                                            would truly bring happiness. You know, someone you
      “I think a door has been opened. I think you’ve       can trust like an extension of yourself. But… who can
      made a discovery as important as Pasteur’s. He        you trust?”
      isolated the germ, you have isolated the pathogenic
                                                               She reached for the wine bottle and took another
                                                            large sip. Clift stared blankly at the back of her head
                                                            and coiled her blond locks around his pinky finger.
   “I can’t…say it… like… like this…” said clift as
he looked down at the script, “Nobody speaks like
   “That’s all fine and good, but…
   “But I sound like a textbook!” interrupted clift.
   “Just learn the god damn lines for Christ’s sake!”
said Huston, annoyed, and pointed at the script in
Clift’s hands. “This is not easy material.” He continued,
“It’s not the same as playing a punch drunk cowboy

                             22                                                       15
         healthy sexuality                                                  disillusion
   “Who gives a fuck about Montgomery, Alabama?!              “Remember when we were on Broadway…”
That’s not our audience! People in Montgomery,              whispered Liz into Clift’s ear, “on stage doing real
Alabama aren’t interested in a film about Freud in          theater together?
the first place.”                                             “I wanted to be the greatest actor on earth! To play
   “Look,” the man said annoyed, “All the test              Hamlet and Chekhov,” he replied
audiences we’ve shown the film to have complained             “You did play Chekhov, remember? We played
about length. You’ve got a film that’s over two hours       Chekhov!”
long, filled with neurotics and child sexuality.              “How could I forget? We were slaughtered by
There’re no love scenes, no healthy sexuality – you         the critics for it! Now I’ve spent all this time in
know the kind I mean: Marilyn Monroe,” he held his          Hollywood, and for what? For what?” he said gazing
hands up in front of his chest in a vulgar pantomime        up and around the vast building aimlessly.
of a voluptuous woman, “Boy meets girl, boy gets girl,
they get married! There’s not even a single humorous
scene in the entire fuckin’ film!”
   He looked straight at Huston and shifted his weight.
Took a drag from his cigar and looked at it’s end as he
ashed it: his eyes followed the ash to the floor where it
broke apart like a silent, miniature piece of concrete.
   “So, where do you want to cut it?” He asked looking
back up at Huston. “I’m not releasing that film until
some cuts are made.”

                           16                                                        21
the ladder earlier. She put the emty bottle on the floor             the silver screen
and leaned her head on Clift’s shoulder.
   “Today’s audience,” continued Huston, “would               “I know what you mean.” said Clift as his mustache
never accept a hirsute Montgomery Clift. They’re           began to come unglued. “I had my own bed shipped
all expecting the distinguished Doctor from Vienna         from New York, but still... You know what I do when I
with the nicely trimmed beard. If we put you up            can’t sleep? I call someone and just talk on the phone
there on screen with a big, bushy beard, they’d think      until I’m drowsy. It’s the only way I can clear my
prophet or madman, not scientist. This isn’t The Ten       head.”
Commandments, you know!”                                      “Sometimes a massage helps me. When all the
   Huston couldn’t help to notice that Liz was entirely    muscles in my body are relaxed, then I can fall asleep
naked under her bathrobe, or at least without a bra        like a baby. Our bodies are our instruments you know.
and just panties. He couldn’t see anything explicit,       They’re very sensitive.”
just that the robe was very loosely sached; that her          She paused as her reflection applied red lipstick to
nakedness was so vulnerable.                               her mouth.
                                                              “This line of work wears them down, treats us like
                                                           machines. But we’re not! In order to create, we have to
                                                           protect that sensitivity.”
                                                              She put the red lipstick on the sill and scoured to
                                                           herself in the mirror. Clift leaned over her shoulder
                                                           and attempted to readjust his mustache.
                                                              “Sometimes I actually wish I were finished.” He

                          20                                                         17
                the assault                                        great expectations
   The man with the cigar rolled up a copy of the script      Clift walked over to Huston from the mirror, still
he had been scimming, and proceeded to beat Huston         feeling his beard-covered face with his fingers and
over the head with it.                                     looking perturbed.
   “You honestly expect me to release a movie that            “John…” said Clift in a tone similar to that of a child
includes a scene where a girl explicitly describes         who knows he has done something wrong. “John?”
her father ra – er…, sexually assaulting her?                 “Ah, there you are, my boy!” said Huston, letting
   “Ow, stop!” said Huston as he fended off the blows.     his guard down and feeling generally relieved not to
“It’s a key scene! It’s the seduction theory! - Ow!        be yelled at.
Relax would you?” he yelled. “Just take it easy!” He          “I don’t look at all like Freud. I saw a photograph
brushed ash off of his face and chest. “It shows how       of him when he was in his thirties. His beard was
Freud was misled to believe all neuroses are caused        thicker, bigger than this one, everyone’s beards were
by children being sexually assaulted by adults, until      bigger back then. If we had lived then, we would all
he discovered that trauma wasn’t a question of reality,    have worn big, bushy beards too.”
but of fantasy. It shows the missteps he took on the          “It doesn’t matter, kid,” chuckled Huston “We’re
path to his important discoveries.”                        making a movie here, remember? It’s all right if
   The man with the cigar had already turned around        history gets a little scrambled up in the process. It’s
and walked off, gesturing wildly with his hands and        fiction. It’s the general impression we’re aiming at –
talking to himself.                                        like in a dream.”
                                                              “But this beard looks more like today than like
                                                              Liz walked over with a splash of wine left in the
                                                           bottle and filled it into the glass Clift had put on

                          18                                                          19

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