Montgomery Clift and the All-Girl Fan Club




Midday rain light casts shadows on MONTGOMERY CLIFT, 37 in silk pajamas. One side of his face is bandaged. HE walks along the roof ledge.

Below in the waiting area, DR. BILLY, 32, boyish confronts the glamorous SUNNY CLIFT, 67.

DR. BILLY: Does Mr. Clift know we’re removing the bandage today?

SUNNY: Montgomery is used to his father’s innocent absences.

DR. BILLY: Your son could be violent--

SUNNY: (Flirtatious) I can handle Southern depressives, my in-laws being from Chattanooga--Don’t worry, Doctor, I’m here to help if you need anything. (Shrieks) Mont-gom-ery! Maybe he's in the “toilette”. (Teasing) If I pressure him, he thinks I’m a bad mother. (Calls) MONT-GOM-ERY.

DR. BILLY: (Inspecting about) Books on . . .rewired jaws--?

SUNNY: I take them from his room so he can sleep. (Secretive) You wouldn't believe the medical tomes he read. . .after--the disfiguration. (Her smile cracking) That’s how I refer to his face since (Faltering) . . .the car crash. Even after six months I can’t stop thinking about how buttoned up elegant he was before.

ALL GIRL FAN CLUB: (O.S.) (Faintly from distance) Montgomery! We lo-ve you!

SUNNY: Fans still surround the house--despite the rain. Sherry?


SUNNY Shouldn’t his surgeon do that?

DR. BILLY: Your son keeps postponing him.

SUNNY: What’s the hurry?

DR. BILLY: It’s unhealthy for Montgomery to keep that gauze on. The surgeon thought his psychiatrist--.

SUNNY: You? (Laughs) I hate any word that begins with a PSY--(Pause) He can’t do another film.

DR. BILLY: I don’t agree. He worked with a wired jaw and completed Raintree County.

SUNNY: With Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Intravenous Morphine!

(Lights up on MONTGOMERY on roof ledge with a bottle of pills)

MONTGOMERY: I wonder how many of these babies it takes to never wake up. They say this capsule gives you a cold for a day, like a virus, and presto you die in your sleep. Your heart explodes! Ha!. . . But can you believe those bastards who say that?

(MONTGOMERY: leans dangerously over the roof edge.)

(FANS and the Austrian BARONESS, 28 extravagantly dressed, rush over with binoculars from a connecting roof.)

ALL GIRL FAN CLUB: STOP! . . . Mont-gom-ery!

BARONESS: (Austrian Accent) I reesk my life coming from my roof to save you-You valking disaster, bourbon on your shirt, bandage on your cheek.

ALL GIRL FAN CLUB: Montgomery! We LOVE you!

MONTGOMERY: Quiet, girls!

BARONESS: But I’m your Baroness. I run fan club. Darlink! I got binoculars. For you and zee girls. Zey can stand back ven zey study you, and you loook at us ven you vant.

MONTGOMERY: Just--Tell me if I’m conscious. Am I hallucinating? Mad?

BARONESS: Your mind ees unstable. You go een and out of consciousness—

MONTGOMERY: So this bandage is REAL.

BARONESS: Yes. Your jaw vas rewired for second time since car crash. I tink you vill loooook better. Play mu-sic, a sym-phony. Relax your face into vat you vere before!
Vith right music, your face could reshape itself into features you had in Red River.

(Thunder. Rain falls. MONTGOMERY goes to his bedroom, plays a record, something like Tragic Overture Opus 81.

(Dr. Billy and Sunny enter.)

SUNNY: Lower that! Ah, son! You weren't in the rain!!

MONTGOMERY: I need fresh air.

SUNNY: (Lighthearted) I keep towels ready--I can’t keep him off the roof. Put away those binoculars! (To DOCTOR, flirtatious) My husband wouldn't allow binoculars in the house. Said they were for the beach.

MONTGOMERY: (Slurred speech) Bi-no-culars express a tr--uth about the para--meters of f-f-reedom.

SUNNY: How drugged are you? Won’t you let me get closer?

DR. BILLY: Sit! It’s time to remove that bandage.

All GIRL FAN CLUB: (O.S.) We LO-VE you!


SUNNY: I've brought a tiny mirror.

MONTGOMERY: Did you know (Pacing) Powerful music releases endorphins—

SUNNY: You can look at a little part of your face—

MONTGOMERY: --like heroin of the mind. The right song triggers a gateway--

SUNNY: (To DOCTOR) He’s mad!

ALL GIRL FAN CLUB: (O.S.) Put on a Cowboy SONG. Put on your hat and holster. Come to the window!

MONTGOMERY: Let’s play the soundtrack from Red River. Listen to sounds of suffocation .... heat. Let Matt Live again!

(Acts out a cowboy scene)

DR. BILLY: Stop emoting!

MONTGOMERY: I’m connecting with this ENERGY SOURCE to create a surge of strength--

SUNNY: Let us help you.

MONTGOMERY: Chopin fought tuberculosis, fueling up with music, till 39-- Brahms kept powered up with one Overture for ten years.

DR. BILLY: I understand you’re upset. Those butchers botched the first surgery. There was nothing to do but break your jaw again and rewire it. But if we have to rectify a problem, it’ll be harder to do if your face gets infected--

MONTGOMERY: You said I couldn’t take another knife.

DR. BILLY: You must take off that old bandage and let your cheek breathe-- A shot could relax you—

MONTGOMERY: (To DOC, violent) No closer with that needle.

ALL GIRL FAN CLUB: (Shouting O.S.) Come to the window! We LO-VE you.

DR. BILLY: If you prefer--you can remove the bandage. Give yourself the injection. . . Call me and your mother when you’re ready. We’ll be just outside.

(Dr. Billy and Sunny exit. MONTGOMERY puts on music, injects himself, raises his arms to heavens.)

(Looking to the heavens) Kindly sounds! Relax my muscles into the way they were before.

(Lights tremble. Theatrical music plays selection like Chopin, Scherzo No 1 in B Minor Op. 20. An APPARITION dressed like a mourning monk with cowl pulled down, walks through the mirror.)

APPARITION: (FRIAR) (Echo-like loud) It’s a long way across . . . but you can’t quit now. I’m here to guide you.

MONTGOMERY: (Freaked) Who are . . ? I’m not Catholic-- Oh my!!--Did that shot do-

APPARITION: (FRIAR) Even half paralyzed you can’t quit.

MONTGOMERY: --me in? Am I hallucinating? I’m trying to find the guts to take off this gauze. (Chuckles) Guts/gauze, kinda poetic.

APPARITION: Review your journals.

MONTGOMERY: --Are you serious--What pills have I—