Loser Takes All: The Serial (1957)

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Loser Takes All: The Serial (1957)


Translated from the French “Star Cine Roman”, February 1, 1957.

NOTE: This is not the script of the movie. Keep in mind that this has been translated from the original English to French, and then — 40 years later! — back to English again. Obviously, faithful re-creation of the shooting script went out the window 40 years ago … and it’s even less accurate on the reverse trip! But this should give you a general idea of the storyline. Enjoy!

Chapter One

The lives of most men seem drawn, in their origin, like that of the history of a railroad. As the station from which one departs is also the one into which one arrives, men’s lives also take place according to a methodical and serene rhythm that, even if does deprive them of strong sensations, at least saves them from any brutal jolts. However, no representative of this golden mediocrity can swear that the future won’t hold any surprises for him, nor that destiny won’t transform his monotonous existence in the most extraordinary of adventures. The future of Tony Bertrand, accountant in an important British business, seems no different than that of any of the other innumerable employees that work, as he does, in the capital…

But one day, which would have been similar to any other one if not for the pouring rain, Tony leaves his very modern office, as is his custom, to share with Cary, his young fiancée, a hastily eaten lunch. Cary is employed as well; and, not having a lot of opportunity to be together, the two young people use their brief moments of freedom to meet.

Tony: Today again, we’ve lost four minutes and eighteen seconds! When will we be able to be together quietly, without always needing to watch the clock?

Cary: When we get married?

Tony: Do you really believe that? Take away the hours of sleep, time spent at the office, hours on housework, etc… there won’t be any time left for us.

Cary: I’ll hurry through the housework…

Tony: Okay, but if we were rich, you wouldn’t need to waste your time in the kitchen…

Cary: Yes, but we would waste a lot more time at the table, in that case — we’d be spending the time on second helpings of caviar…

The allusion of Cary to the caviar, evoked in Tony’s spirit a sort of wistfulness that the train of his life never allowed him to acquire…

Tony: And we would have lobster, champagne, we’d have …

Cary, more of a realist than her betrothed sounded just then, knew better than to remind him of what his destiny more likely had reserved for him…

Cary: Not to mention strawberries with cream, now those are my passion! … But, while you’re waiting, please take a little of this sausage, would you? I assure you, you’ll find it worth your while…

But, Tony, again full of dreams, didn’t want to give up the dessert of his imaginary feast…

Tony: And next, of marashino pineapples, a good coffee, and, to finish it off, a finger of armagnac…

Cary: No, Tony, I beg you, arrange it so that we are never rich. We wouldn’t like ourselves anymore… think about it, if this did nothing but cause you to lose your hair, or me to become fat!

Tony: As far as I’m concerned, I promise you, even if you became as large as a whale, I wouldn’t love you any less. I would always see you as you are now…

Cary: I don’t think I believe you, but it’s kind of you to say it. Let’s go, Tony, the usual …!

Their customary toast, with their arms interlinked, never failed put them in a state of merriment, because Tony, who was a little myopic, had to make desperate efforts not to spill his glass of beer in their plates…

With this ritual, destiny had, as always, eased for them the moment of farewell, and the two lovers left after a meal that didn’t seem any different from any others. Cary well knows that these brief meetings, these tender attentions, these meals in common, will be for them memories all the more precious because they will stop soon.

Indeed, they must get married in fifteen days…

To Be Continued ….

Chapter Two
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