VI. MANHATTAN AMBULANCE RIDE, HALLOWEEN, 1938

Screen #1

Screen #3

[DUET FOR ORSON #2 and ORSON #3; ORSON #2 portrays the assistant]

ORSON is speeding in a rented ambulance while eating dinner, on his way across Manhattan’s midtown—from a rehearsal at the theater to the radio network—to appear in the live broadcast of War of the Worlds.

ORSON #3 / AHAB: (To the Assistant, ORSON #1.) Give me the script.

ORSON #2 / KANE: To the Assistant, ORSON #1.) No, not that one.

ORSON #3 / AHAB: One is enough!

ORSON #2 / KANE: (Reading Danton's Death) "Some part of me,..."

ORSON #3 / AHAB: (Reading Danton's Death) "I don't know which,..."

ORSON #2 / KANE: "...contradicts the rest."

ORSON #3 / AHAB: To the Assistant, ORSON #1.) That's a good line. Tell John.

ORSON #2 / KANE: (Crossing out lines.) Edit, edit, edit.

ORSON #3 / AHAB: Ha. John Houseman acts as though he's directing.

ORSON #2 / KANE: Edit, edit, edit.

ORSON #3 / AHAB: Give me the script. The other one.

ORSON #2 / KANE: (With satisfaction.) H.G. Wells!

ORSON #3 / AHAB: Now there's a ripping yarn.

ORSON #2 / KANE: Just perfect for Halloween.

ORSON #3 / AHAB: The cast and I will scare the hell out of them this evening.

ORSON #2 / KANE: (Crossing out lines.) Edit, edit, edit.

BOTH:(Pointing to the script.) Let's add some music there.

BOTH:(Reading.) "In the early years of the twentieth century, this world was being watched...." Great stuff! (HE digs into HIS salad as HE reads.)

BOTH:(Again, wielding the pencil.) Edit, edit, edit. (Pointing to the script.) Hand me the Büchner play.

ORSON #2 / KANE: (Reading.) "The power of the people and the power of reason are one."

ORSON #3 / AHAB: Franklin's been president since thirty-three:

ORSON #2 / KANE; "The people...."

ORSON #3 / AHAB: He says that I should run against McCarthy in forty-six.

ORSON #2 / KANE; "The reason...."

BOTH:(Taking up the other script again.) Great stuff! (Reading Koch's script.) "Our world was being watched by intelligences far greater than our own...."

ORSON #2 / KANE: That's the stuff!

BOTH:"I don't take art as seriously as politics." (ORSON downs a flute of champagne and digs into HIS salad again, oblivious to the cab's mad progress.)

BOTH:(Again, wielding the pencil.) Edit, edit, edit.

BOTH:"I try to be a Christian.... I don't pray because I don't want to bore God."

BOTH: Edit, edit, edit.