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Forever Female

Forever Female(1954)

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Forever Female An aspiring playwright gets an... MORE > $14.45
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On opening night, at Sardi's Restaurant, Broadway producer E. Harry Phillips and his wife, renowned stage actress Beatrice Page, await the verdict on their latest production and are disappointed when the critics praise Beatrice's performance, but blast the play. Harry and Beatrice, who are divorced but still spend most of their time together, then are accosted by talent agent Eddie Woods and his new client, playwright Stanley Krown. Although Eddie wants to interest Harry in the dour Stanley, Stanley feels compelled to lecture Beatrice on her lack of professional humility. Before heading for his night job at Washington Market, Stanley leaves his play, Unhappy Holiday , on Harry's table, and Harry takes it with him. Harry spends the night reading the play at Beatrice's luxury apartment, and the next morning, Stanley shows up to retrieve the manuscript. Harry admits to Stanley that he liked the play, whose story revolves around a nineteen-year-old pianist and her controlling, fiftyish mother, but laments that he cannot use it, as it has no part for Beatrice. When Beatrice, who is middle-aged but claims to be twenty-nine, asks whether the nineteen year old could be rewritten as twenty-nine, Stanley balks. Eventually, however, Harry and Beatrice persuade Stanley that the change will work, and Harry begins casting for the mother. The audition does not go well, and as Harry and Stanley are leaving the theater, young Sally Carver comes bounding in, eager to read for the role of the daughter. When Harry informs Sally that Beatrice is playing the daughter as a twenty-nine year old, Sally bursts out laughing and, despite her lack of acting experience, insists on reading the part. Harry and Stanley abandon Sally in mid-scene, but two weeks later, at Sardi's, Sally, now calling herself Polly Pruitt, sits down at Stanley's table and orders some food. After explaining that she read Unhappy Holiday while working at Stanley's typing agency, Sally shows him a photograph in a decades-old theater magazine, insisting it is a young Beatrice. Pointing out that the name next to the photograph is not Beatrice, Stanley dismisses Sally's insinuation but invites her to his apartment. Although she assumes that Stanley intends to seduce her, Sally goes and is dismayed when he informs her that she is typing his rewrites as payment for her Sardi's meal. While typing, Sally comments that the play is now unintentionally funny and begs Stanley to change the daughter's age back to nineteen, but Stanley refuses. Beatrice, who is romancing Stanley, then shows up at his door and offers him a ride to work, as it is raining. Beatrice is immediately jealous of Sally, and when Sally claims to love rain and insists on walking in it, Beatrice follows suit and drags Stanley with her. Over the next few weeks, Stanley and Beatrice's romance blossoms, and one night at Sardi's, Sally commiserates with Harry, admitting that she loves Stanley as much as Harry loves Beatrice. Just then, Eddie races up and informs Sally that he has a great part for her in a touring show, and Sally is ecstatic. Later, Beatrice finds Harry at the airport, waiting to board a plane to Hollywood, where he hopes to find an actress to play the mother, and insists on taking items out of his suitcase so he can get his overloaded bag passed the ticket agent. While fussing over him, Beatrice warns Harry that Stanley is unlike her previous, short-lived boyfriends and confesses that she arranged for Eddie to offer Sally the out-of-town show. Weeks later, Sally, now calling herself Claudia Souvain, watches a run-through of Unhappy Holiday and informs Stanley that Beatrice has ruined his play. Although Sally, who quit the touring show to return to Stanley, declares her love, Stanley refuses to listen and kicks her out. The play opens in Washington, D.C. and is an immediate flop. While offering her condolences on the banks of the Potomac River, Beatrice encourages Stanley to keep rewriting and proposes marriage. After Stanley and Beatrice announce their engagement at a party, Harry and Beatrice fight about Harry's overdue alimony payments and part angrily. Beatrice then takes off on her annual European vacation, and during her absence, Stanley learns that Unhappy Holiday is being performed in Maine. Harry and Stanley drive up to see the production and discover that Sally, under her real name, Clara Mootz, is playing the daughter. The production is a hit, and Harry concedes that the play is better with a younger lead. Stanley then discovers that Sally has matured into a self-assured woman and is confused by his feelings for her. Sensing Stanley's ambivalence, Harry talks him into driving to Beatrice's mother's house near Boston, which turns out to be Beatrice's secret retreat. Confronted by Stanley, the plainly attired Beatrice reveals that she sneaks away every summer so she can relax and be "her age." After Beatrice admits that she is too old for Stanley and his play, Harry advises Stanley to drive back to Maine, while he comforts Beatrice. Harry then convinces Beatrice that the mother would be the perfect role for her, and excited, the two rush to catch the next train to New York. With Sally and Beatrice in the leads, the play opens on Broadway to rave reviews, and while Sally and Stanley bask in post-show glory at Sardi's, Beatrice and Harry look forward to remarrying.