Schwab's Drugstore Lyrics

Schwab's is a Sunset Boulevard institution, a combination of soda-fountain, news-stand, tobacconist's and diner; it's crowded with movie people of one sort or another. It's closing time, and the patrons are on their last cup of coffee, preparing to drift away.

ALL

Every

movie's a circus

on the wire

without a net

JOANNA

Coffee?

MYRON

I'm up too early

shooting at seven

I gotta go

ALL

Movies

BOY

What's wrong?

MARY

Can't get a screen test.

Don't you hate it

when a yes-man says no?

ALL

Movies

GIRL

Good part?

BOY

I'm a policeman

"Hang up, punk"

That's all I say.

ACTOR

First time

you worked on the lot there

ACTRESS

I must say R.

K.O are O.K.

ALL

Movies.

BOY

Then what?

GIRL

He pressed a button.

Out of the wall

fell a four-poster bed.

ALL

Movies.

MYRON

Busy?

JOANNA

They shot my screenplay

MYRON

Isn't that great?

JOANNA

No, they shot the thing dead.

ALL

Every

movie's a circus

on the wire

without a net.

BOY

Lonely?

GIRL

That's how I like it.

BOY

Can't you be nice?

GIRL

Why? We're not on the set.

ALL

Movies.

(JOE slips into the drugstore. ARTIE, who's sitting at the bar by the telephone greets HIM.)

ARTIE

Hey, Joe

what are you, slumming?

JOE

Here for a meeting.

ARTIE

This time of night?

ALL

Movies.

JOE

Yeah, it's some

studio smartass

You know I'm famous

for being polite.

ALL

Movies.

ARTIE

Guess what?

I'm getting married.

JOE

Congratulations

ARTIE

She'll be right back.

ALL

Movies.

ARTIE

Fact is

we were just leaving

She's been stood up by

some uppity hack.

ALL

Movies.

JOE

Married

Who would have thought it?

Why don't you look happy?

Come on, be brave.

ALL

Movies.

ARTIE

It's this

movie I'm shooting.

JOE

You first assistant?

ARTIE

More like a slave.

ALL

Every

movie's a circus.

ARTIE

But this is a circus

movie as well.

Problems,

nothing but problems.

Animals, actors,

two kinds of hell.

ALL

Every

movie's a circus

on the wire

without a net.

(BETTY comes in.)

BETTY

Well, hello,

Mr. Gillis.

ARTIE

You two have met?

JOE

I'm the uppity hack.

ARTIE

And she's

the studio smartass.

BETTY

What's going on here?

(The phone rings. The BARMAN picks it up.)

BARMAN (To ARTIE)

Artie, they're calling you back.

(BETTY and JOE move over to a table; there's a moment of awkwardness between them, before BETTY decides to grasp the nettle. As THEY begin their number, isolated phrases from ARTIE's phone call puncture their tentative conversation.)

BETTY

I just

reread "Blind Windows"

It needs some real

re-working, of course.

If we

fixed up the opening

ARTIE

Call up the wrangler

pay off the horse.

JOE

Girl meets boy

That's a safe beginning

BETTY

It's nearly closing

I thought you weren't

going to show.

JOE

So did I.

I felt it might be kinder

BETTY

What are you saying?

JOE

Come on, Miss Schaefer,

you know.

BETTY

What?

JOE

Every time I see some young kid

dreaming they'll produce

a masterpiece

I just want to throw them

on the next train home.

BETTY

Never thought

you'd be so condescending.

JOE

Sorry, Miss Schaefer

I didn't come here to fight.

BETTY

Girl meets boy.

If that's how you want it.

She's a young teacher,

he's a reporter.

It's hate at first sight.

JOE

It won't sell,

these days they want glamour:

Fabulous heiress

meets handsome Hollywood heel.

The problem is,

she thinks he's a burglar.

Would you believe it?

A wedding in the last reel.

BETTY

It doesn't have to be so mindless.

You should write from your experience

Give us something really moving;

something true.

JOE

Who wants true?

Who the hell wants moving?

Moving means starving

and true means holes in your shoe.

BETTY

No, you're wrong.

They still make good pictures.

Stick to your story,

it's a good story.

JOE

O.K. Miss Schaefer;

I give it to you.

(HE's on his feet; BETTY is looking up at him, completely wrong-footed by his unexpected reaction.)

BETTY

What do you mean?

JOE

It's what I said. I've given up writing myself. So you write it.

BETTY

Oh, I'm not good enough to do it on my own. But I thought we could write it together.

JOE

I can't, I'm all tied up.

BETTY

Couldn't we work evenings? Six o'clock in the morning? I'd come to your place.

JOE

Look, Betty, it can't be done. It's out.

(HE relents a little at her obvious disappointment, smiles apologetically)

Let's keep in touch through Artie. That way if you get stuck, we can at least talk.

(HE smiles at HER, relaxed now.)

Write this down

I'll give you some ground rules.

Plenty of conflict

but nice guy don't break the law.

Girl meets boy

she give herself completely

and though she loves him

JOE/BETTY

She keeps one foot on the floor.

BETTY

No one dies except the best friend

No one ever mentions communists

No one takes a black friend to a restaurant.

JOE

Very good.

Nothing I can teach you

We could have had fun

fighting the studio.

BETTY

Yes, Mr. Gillis.

That's just what I want.

ARTIE

What a nightmare.

Good to see you.

Come to my new year party.

JOE

Last year it got out of hand.

ARTIE

Guaranteed bad behavior.

JOE

See you then.

BETTY

Don't give up, you're too good.

(SHE begins to move off with ARTIE.)

JOE

Thanks.

(THEY leave; and JOE is the last customer in the drugstore, staring ruefully into his cup of coffee.)

Schwab's Drugstore Lyrics From The Musical Sunset Boulevard


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