Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chapter One. Ed and Johnny Pitch the Goods

"Monday? That's what, three days from now?" Zanuck growled. "Get me Ed and Johnny!"

The man's skill at saying yes, and at leaping up to do his master's bidding, had earned for him a glistening silver Buick Phaeton convertible.

The Phaeton slowed down at the Garden of Allah, that legendary retreat of Hollywood Bohemia where on any day one might find the poolside festooned with the most daring and brilliant of actors and writers.

Then it turned right and continued down the hill.

Just as he'd hoped and expected, the air was rent by a single sound: a typerwriter clattering at inhuman speed.

Ed suggested nine lines of his own, although "suggest" may be the wrong word, as his fingers never stopped pounding.

Paulie turned in at the gate to the Fox lot. "Look who I got," he said to the guard.

He accelerated abruptly and stopped even more abruptly at the Writers' Building.

"Did you see the eyeful they gave Furthman?" Johnny said.

"Did somebody say eyeful?" Betty asked.

"His name's Pedro," said Ed, "and they want him written for Cesar Romero."

"Ed! Johnny!" Joe Mankiewicz grinned. "And what makes today my lucky day?"

"Good enough," Zanuck said. "Now get those two hacks out of here."

"Picture Ty Power as the cabbie," Ed said.

"And George Sanders as the pimp."

"And that little doll from the Lassie movies as the tart," Johnny added.

"I'll bet Shirley Temple could still do it," Ed said. "Just put her in one of those pinafores she used to wear."

"Laughs!" Ed said. "Don Ameche as the cabbie and Clifton Webb as the pimp!"

"And Jane Withers!" said Johnny. "How old is Jane Withers now, anyway?"

"This could be Amos and Andy's chance to get back on the big screen!" Ed boomed.


Mairenya said...

This is a great idea. I had no idea what a Phaeton [sp?] looked like, so this makes it easier to picture things as the story progresses. Million Dollar Ideas - The Illustrated version! M

Karen said...

Ah....Tyrone Power and George Sanders in conflict. Just last night I watched Son of Fury, which also pairs them as adversaries--and which climaxes with a massive ass-kicking fight scene between the two. It filled me with a sense of the possibilities--Ty looking in the mirror...."You talking to me?"