Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Hidden 4th Ward Reference In Mr. Skeffington

The great screenwriters, Julius and Philip Epstein, lived at Market and Cherry. Mr. Skeffington is a 1944 American drama film directed by Vincent Sherman, based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth von Arnim. The film stars Bette Davis as a beautiful woman whose many suitors, and self-love, distract her from returning the affections of her husband, Job Skeffington. It also makes a point about Skeffington's status as a Jew in 1914 high society and, later, in relation to Nazi Germany. Dialogue from the movie with time stamps :35:00 Job, I was born right across the river there, near Grant's Tomb. :35:05 Of course, the tomb hadn't quite been built. :35:07 My governess used to take me there every day. :35:10 That's where she met her policeman. :35:12 Job, where were you born? :35:14 Right here in New York. The corner of Market and Cherry Street. :35:18 Market and Cherry? Where's that? :35:21 Foot of the East River. It's about 10 miles, I should say, from the nearest governess. :35:27 Job, do you realize I've known you only two months? :35:30 And that I practically know nothing about you at all. :35:34 Were you poor? :35:35 You have no idea how poor. :35:37 You weren't actually hungry? :35:40 My father sold chocolate bars with almond nuts on a pushcart. :35:43 When he had a good day, we ate meat. :35:46 When he had a bad day, we ate chocolate bars with almond nuts. :35:49 The bad days had a slight edge. :35:51 You remember a lot about when you were a little boy, don't you? :35:55 Especially the lack of plumbing. :35:59 Skeffington, that's a strange name for Market and Cherry. :36:03 You mean, is that my real name? :36:05 No. The immigration official on Ellis Island wasn't a good speller... :36:09 ...and "Skeffington" was the closest he could get to "Skevinzskaza." :36:13 Well, then, how did you become so successful? :36:18 I don't wanna go on with the story of my life. :36:20 It's routine, rags to riches. Of course, I sold newspapers. :36:24 I was a messenger during the day and went to school at night. :36:27 You can fill in the rest. :36:29 There's one difference. :36:31 You didn't marry the boss's daughter. :36:33 No. :36:35 But I married the woman everybody else wanted to. :36:38 That makes up for it. :36:51 Job, find out what's happening. :36:57 Attendant? :36:58 - Yes? - What's going on?