Cinema Classics Marla Barlett

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Reese De’What… Kenan Thompson

William… Taran Killam

Marla Barlett… Julia louis-Drefus

Kate McKinnon

[Starts with Cinema Classics intro]

Male voice: You’re watching Cinema Classics on PBS.

[Cut to Reese De’What in his set]

Reese De’What: Good evening and welcome to Cinema Classics. I am Reese De’What. Tonight we look back at the career of one of golden era Hollywood’s most accomplished film actresses Marla Bartlett. Inspired by fellow actor Marlin Brando, Marla would sometimes hide snippets of her lines around the set so she could discover them in the moment and deliver them fresh. Why did she go to these lengths? I do not know. I am not a good guesser. Just ask my wife. She said, “Guess what I want for my birthday.” And I said, “Your face from 10 years ago?” Worst IBF appointment ever! Let’s watch a scene from 1953’s classic drama ‘Women Tormented’, starring Marla Bartlett and see if you can spot where she hit he lines on the set.

[Cut to a clip from the drama ‘Women Tormented’]

William: I know you never told me to come back. But I can’t resist you, Elinor. This probably won’t mean much now but I brought you this. [puts a necklace on Marla’s neck] Just a small token of my affection. Do tell me you like it. What do you think?

[Marla looks at the mirror. There is “It’s beautiful, William.” written on the mirror.] [Marla looks around]

Marla: It’s beautiful, William.

William: Then I suppose the only question is, what are we going to do about my wife?

[Marla runs towards the window and opens the curtain. Behind the curtain, it’s written “What if she went”.]

Marla: What if she went…

[Marla opens another curtain. Behind the curtain, it’s written “Missing”.]

missing.

[Cut to William]

William: Are you suggesting what I think you are?

[Marla walks to the shell and looks under it. There’s written “Yes”.] [Marla walks to William]

Marla: [softly] Yes.

William: Are you positive?

[Marla walks to the shell and looks at the ‘Yes’ written under it again.]

Marla: Yes.

[Cut to Reese De’What in his set]

Reese De’What: Did you see any of her lines? I think I saw like, three. Was that right? [looking around] Hello? Is it just me here? Am I the only one working today? Soon, Marla was completely dependent on the hidden lines. But as filming progressed, her dark secret was exposed that she was too vein for her reading glasses. Let’s watch.

[Cut to the movie clip again]

William: Darling, I can’t go through with this. I love you, but we’re talking about murder.

[Marla walks away and looks behind a pot and reads.]

Marla: Murder is such a strong word.

[Marla picks up a clock and is searching for her lines]

Don’t you think?

[Marla picks up a glass of drink and starts drinking it as her line is written at the bottom of the glass.]

I certainly do.

[Marla picks up an ashtray beside the glass and reads.] [sobbing] Made in China.

[Cut to Marla]

William: But Elinor, if we get caught it would mean the chair.

[Marla runs to William and unbuttons his shirt. There’s her lines written on his chest.]

Marla: William. Don’t be foolish. It’s too late. Far, far too late. I think we both know that. [reads her lines] And now kick me.

William: [whispering] I think it says ‘kiss me’.

Marla: [reads the lines again] No, it says kick me.

William: I guarantee it does not say ‘kick me’.

Marla: Kick me like you mean it.

[Cut to Reese De’What in his set]

Reese De’What: Did you see that? That other actor looked straight into the camera and gave a little mouth blow like [mimicking the mouth blow]. The director only let him kick her two times before he called cut. Let’s watch one final scene where Marla’s co-star’s frustration is clearly apparent.

[Cut to the movie clip again] [William and Marla are standing facing each other when Kate walks in] Kate: William, how could you?

William: Darling, I’m so sorry. But I have to do this.

[William pulls out a gun]

Kate: Oh, William, why? Why? You love me, remember? Come to your senses.

William: I’m– I’m sorry.

[William shoots at Marla and Marla falls on a piano. Marla is now looking for her lines on the fruits.]

Marla: I’ve been shot.

[Cut to William and Kate]

Kate: Are you sure?

[Marla falls and is crawling towards William and Kate]

William: Where are you going?

Marla: I need the shell that says ‘Yes’.

William: Then why don’t you just say ‘Yes’?

Marla: Shell.

[William brings the shell to her]

Marla: Yes!

[Cut to Reese De’What in his set]

Okay, I don’t think I can do this anymore. We used to do good movies. I don’t know what happened. Well, for Cinema Classics, I have been Reese De’What.

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King is directing his fourteenth season of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him nine Emmys and thirteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for thirteen DGA Awards and won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Mr. King is also the creative director of Broadway Worldwide which brings theatrical events to theaters. The company has produced Smokey Joe’s Café; Putting It Together with Carol Burnett; Jekyll & Hyde; and Memphis, all directed by Mr. King. He completed the screen capture of Broadway's Romeo & Juliet in 2013. - LinkedIn

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