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The King of Comedy

 

Still, even though millions of fans eagerly anticipated each new film, he never felt secure in his new profession. The tabloids never managed to uncover the shameful details of his past, yet he felt that it could all be taken away from him at any moment. And now he found out that Miss Caswell had just been cast opposite opposite him in The Eddie Cantor Story. Would she keep his secrets for him, or would she tell the world that...

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LADIES LOVE BRUTES

 

And a brute he was, leaving many a young maiden the worse for wear...but they all wanted more and more of his abuse. The ultimate truth Miss Casswell was aware of could end his career and send him to the gas chamber. She was present at the party where a young Elizabeth Short was in attendance...and was never again seen alive. Her body was found a few days later in a vacant lot, in a residential section of....

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PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES

 

Inspector Clousseau mopped his brow as he regarded the body of the poor unfortunate girl lying abandoned in the vacant lot behind the Paris Dunkin' Donuts, where he had just bought a Coolata to help beat the heat. The American coffee made him think that this was a peculiarly American crime. Could it have anything to do with that brutal young American stage hand and would-be actor he had recently crossed paths with? As he pondered this, he suddenly tripped over nothing in particular, spilling the iced coffee all over...

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*An American in Paris*

 

?who turned out to be named Jerry Mulligan and who had the most lovely French girlfriend, Lise Bouvier. Hmmm, thought Clouseau, does this Jerry play the saxophone by any chance? Is lovely Lise related to the celebrated Jacqueline? More fascinating mystery! He completely lost track of the crime at hand and began dreaming instead of?

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PARIS BLUES

 

It depressed the Inspector to think of that other Bouvier, Jacqueline, who had slipped out of his hands after she left Paris to return to America with her sister Lee. What had ever happened to her, he wondered? She probably ended up marrying some nobody and living a very dull life, not like the life she could have had with the most notable law enforcement official in all of Europe, with the possible exception of...

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THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

 

Of course he was far too busy to notice the lovely Jacqueline, He was in hot pursuit of the kidnappers who took his son, while they were on a leisurely vacation in Iraq, when one day the little guy just disappeared...without a trace. They followed the kidnappers to Ambrose Chapel, a well known antiquerian (specializing in statues of Kwan Yin). He was away, but the surly young man who welcomed them mentioned he was off to appraise a statue, and that it was owned by a lovely young woman, a beady-eyed little man and a huge bombastic gentleman. With that bit of information, they were off to...

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*Casablanca*

 

The fat man and foreign little-boy-type were easily found, not to mention a whole cast of other characters. There were many lovely young women. One in particular caught their eye when she stood up and began to sing?

 

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BONJOUR TRISTESSE

 

She eyed them as they entered the smoke-filled room. The tension was so think, you could cut it with a knife, and the beautiful babe abruptly ceased singing and made an impromptu speech about the Kwan Yin, the Fascists, and the beady-eyed little man. Very confusing at first, but after a few cocktails everything came into focus. They were among the finest...

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*Lovers and Other Strangers

 

?and with that much liquor consumption over several hours, everyone in the club was bewitched, bothered and bewildered?and so am I?where were we? Clousseau, the man and wife who knew too much, Jackie O??Or is this all about a photojournalist who broke his leg and while recuperating suspected he'd witnessed a?

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FOUR JILLS IN A JEEP

 

No dummy, he. They hailed him to get in (a tight fit) and they beat it to the border. He was able to enter the USA as a refugee, and in no time he opened a restaurant featuring delectable Russian dishes, and featuring expatriot Russian dancers. One fateful day a group of seedy looking characters walked in and set him straight,,,they would take half of the profits, wholesale him his booze and linens and skim a percentage off them, too. The good doctor could see a no win situation when he encountered one, so he...

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*Vanished*

 

Michael had tried in vain to legitimize the family business for decades. He?d killed or lost just about every member of his family over the years and now it was just his sister, Connie, and himself alone in a too-quiet Manhattan penthouse. Looking back he sometimes wished his father had just been?

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HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON

 

A person could learn a lot from a non-threatening, kindly man who had a story for every occasion, Michael thought. Boring as hell, maybe, but Michael could use a little of that at the moment. If I were to see my life as a story, Michael mused, I would have to call it...

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*Murder By Death*

 

?which was why the dream of a possibly boring but yarn-spinning dad appealed to his imagination. Connie, on the other hand, had no regrets about who and what her dad was. Her only quibble was that it was she, not Michael, who should?ve succeeded dad as?

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THE SCARF

 

That foolish moniker the press had given the old man just because he always wore a silk scarf tied around one arm when he decided to rub someone out....she should have taken up the gauntlet and continued in Papa's footsteps.

It didn't take much thought to put her plan into action. She would tie the scarf around Michael's arm while he slept and then...

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SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER

 

That damn musician in the penthouse across from theirs was at it again. I'm all for a little culture, thought Connie, but this is ridiculous. He's been at it for hours..days....months. I don't care how many gold albums he has, this guy must be stopped. Connie went to her scarf drawer, picked out the one with the musical notes all over it, and proceeded to...

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WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

 

The wind was indeed a distraction, but whistling on her way helped. She reached the piano player's door and quietly let herself in. There he was, sitting at that damned piano making noise, noise, noise...she saw red and in a blinding moment, the guy was dead and the noise was stopped...for good. She exited the apartment,leaving just enough of a suggestion that Michael had been there (another scarf). As she returned home, Michael was just waking from his nap and his first question of her was...

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

 

Connie was instantly stung with guilt. Disposing of the piano player hadn't stirred any emotion but relief, but hearing that name again made her shudder. Michael had been dreaming about Baby Jane again; that much was obvious. Why had she never told him that Jane had run afoul of their father one too many times after her release from the secure facility for brutalizing her sister? Her late-life career as a crime boss bearing the moniker "The Curls" had led her to yet another bad end, this one final. Connie could never understand Michael's obsession with those few rotten old movies she had made. Sure the criminal mind is complicated, thought Connie, but could Michael really believe that Jane Hudson was....?

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MILDRED PIERCE

 

Of course Michael,never knew about Daddy and Mildred on that rainy night up in the mountains above Rio de Janiero...but then again, maybe he did find out that he was the scion of the Pierce-Vale family, and that was why he was behaving so badly toward Connie. He wanted to get rid of her before she found out that she would be co-recipient of the fortune. She had to find out...

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*What?s Up, Doc?*

 

?and she needed to know *What?s New, Pussycat* ? and *Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe* ? The answers to these questions would finally reveal to Connie exactly who Michael really was and what his obsession with Baby Jane ?The Curls? Hudson was, and most importantly it would fufill to her lifelong quest for?

 

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THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

 

You never know what's real and what's phony with Walter, thought Connie, but some hunch deep inside her told he was behind all those disappearing chefs. It makes sense, she figured, because he got his start in the restaurant business at Mildred's, and that particular string of crimes had the "The Curls" written all over it. After all, hadn't Mildred/Jane always called Walter by the moniker "Pussycat"? If Michael had ever suspected how close Walter had been to his beloved Jane, he had never let on. That must mean that Micael still had no clue about her half of the hidden inheritance. Once Michael has been framed for the pianist's murder, schemed Connie, I can turn all this to my advantage, if I only have the courage to...

 

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TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK

 

That silly stipulation wasn't going to keep her from becoming what she had always dreamed of...The wealthy woman who singlehandedly brought back the shoulder pad. She would brush up on her twist, work diligently until she could round the clock, and walk away with scads of moolah.

Her first move was to...

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*Steal This Movie*

 

The movie she must steal was called *The Godfather*, and there was a sequel called *The Godfather ? Part II* that she would also shoplift. These two films were supposed to be blueprints on how to take power and amass wealth. At least that?s what her father had told her. He said he?d watched the two films (there was a third, he?d said, but it was a dog) and in no time began his rise to?

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THE PRINCE OF THIEVES

 

Connie still had a few things to learn, however, because at that very moment the alarm went off as she tried to walk out with the two DVD's tucked under her shoulder pads. If this dumb clerk knew who I was, he wouldn't be carrying on and waving his arms like this. Wait a minute, thought Connie; this frenzied movement has all the earmarks of a dance craze that could supplant The Twist and make her the arbiter of taste she had always longed to be. She quickly dispatched with the offending clerk using the scarf she had just purloined from The Scarf Barn next door and headed home to watch these two filme so loved by her father. Having sat through them both, she could only conclude that....

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*I Ought to be in Pictures*

 

She?d learned a few things watching those two movies back to back. But, after all she?d been through with crazy Michael, ?Curls? Hudson, shoulder pads, the twist and the rest of it, she was sure she could?ve taught those olive oil merchants a trick or two. It struck her that there was no better way to make tons of moolah than to take on Hollywood. Plus there was the added allure of becoming a star, a celebrity, a?

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