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Trailer for yet another Bogart flick... Rev2


by James Lloyd Davis


 So, there's this movie, say…
         Stars Bogart, Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and John Garfield.
         Scene opens with Bogart, somewhat unshaven, cigarette dangling, white shirt soiled with grease and he's working on the u-joints of a long, mud crusted drive shaft underneath an old yellow school bus in 1955, somewhere in Nevada.  Trying to dislodge the bearings, he taps it with a brass hammer, misses and hits his thumb.
         “Son of a…!!!”
         John Garfield, reading the racing forms, marking a promising nag with a stubby of a #2 pencil, cigarette dangling, well dressed in a crisp white shirt with a leather bow tie and a matching leather cap with a shiny visor, looks up, says, “What?”
         A horn from outside interrupts this scene and Garfield drops the paper, heads out of the dingy garage to find Gary Cooper in a brand new 1954 Dodge convertible, dressed in sporty gear, apparently as if for tennis, which seems odd to John Garfield, since the old gas station is perched at the edge of Death Valley under a sign that reads, “Last chance for gas between here and hell.”
         “Fill ‘er up?”
         Cooper responds in a slightly British accent, “By all means, old boy.  Check the oil and, can you recommend a place close by where I can get a decent steak?”
         “Steak?”
         “Yes, steak.  Something indigenous to the southwest, bovine, recently deceased.  Thoroughly seared on the surface... and just about as red on the inside as a Hollywood screenwriter.”
         “Steak.  Let's see.  There's a restaurant about 150 miles over't'the southwest, if you take the junction up by the buttes.  Right off the highway to your left… place called….”
         “But 150 miles is hardly close by.”
         “No, I suppose it isn't.  Say... we got a small menu inside, if you're hungry.”
         “Steak?”
         “Well, no, but we got a nice cheese sandwich, lettuce and mayo.  Really crisp lettuce, too.  On whole wheat with poppy seeds, flown in daily from LA.... well, more like dropped in... from a Piper Cub on a fly-over, but fresh?  Fresh as the morning dew in the rose gardens of Cornwall.  Yessir.  Wrapped in wax paper, lightly toasted.”
         A siren wails from behind them and John Garfield looks up, as does Gary Cooper, who, in the rear view mirror, spies the black and white, 1954 Ford Customline with flashing lights, pull off the highway.  
         Cooper reaches into the glove compartment, pulls out a revolver, points it at John Garfield, says, “Act normal or I'll blow your head off.”
         Garfield grins, shakes his head, says, “Normal?  Define normal.  You want normal?  Country's going to hell in a Pontiac, the commies got the bomb, and I been blacklisted… so tell me.  What the hell's normal... anyway?”
         Richard Widmark, wearing a state trooper's uniform with a Sam Browne belt and no cap, his bouncing blonde forelock hanging low over the furrowed creases of his high, handsome brow, jumps out of the Ford, pulls his pistol, points it toward Gary Cooper, shouts, “All right, Lefkowitz, out of the car with your hands up!”
         Gary Cooper leans back over the seat of his car, points his gun at Richard Widmark, sneers, and says, “Don't call me Lefkowitz.”
         Just then, Bogart strolls out of the garage wiping his hands on a rag, cigarette dangling, squints at the scene, nods to John Garfield and grins.
         “Lunchtime.”


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