Adapted by Michael V. Gazzo from his own play and directed by Fred Zinneman, a Korean War veteran, who is addicted to heroine, does not tell his wife or father while he borrows from his brother to feed his habit.
John Pope Sr. (Lloyd Nolan) arrives in the city and goes into a building and asks how to get to Apartment 38. He goes up and rings the buzzer. Celia Pope (Eva Marie Saint) answers the door, and he says he is Johnny’s father. She welcomes him, and he says he likes their place. She says Johnny made the cabinets. She asks if she can call him Pop, and he apologizes for not making it to their wedding. She says that was a long time ago. She answers the phone and says it happens often that they hang up on her. She invites him to have a beer, but he says he wants to see where his son is working. He goes out.
On the street Johnny Pope (Don Murray) walks past his father who recognizes him and calls him back. Johnny says he tried to get out to the airport. John says he is going to pick up Polo, and he persuades Johnny to go with him. He says he should be helping Celia with the dinner, and John says he likes his wife. They get into a taxi. John says Johnny looks tired and asks about his quitting high school. Johnny says he will start again. John says he lost two years in the Army and another year in a hospital bed. Johnny wipes his nose, and his father asks if he has a cold. John wants to see where Polo works as a bouncer in a cocktail lounge, but Johnny says his father is doing all right as a bartender. They get caught in a traffic jam, and John says he hates this town.
The cab stops where policeman are present, and John pays for the ride. Inside the bar Polo Pope (Anthony Franciosa) is trying to break up a fight between two men. Two policemen come in and take the two men away. Polo shows his boss the hole in his jacket and says he should buy him a new suit, but the boss suggests repairing it. Polo sees Pop and hugs him. John calls it a dive and asks about the bimbos at the bar. Polo says it is cold out. They talk about going to a ballgame, and John drinks a Scotch. He says it is noisy with the music, and they go outside. Polo asks what is going on. John says he took an option on a place in Palm Beach. John talks about the renovations in his bar. He says the bank will loan him $5,000, but he also needs the $2,500 Polo promised him. That is why he came, but Polo says he doesn’t have it anymore. John says he needs that money and that Polo promised him. Johnny asks his father why he quit his job when he could have made a $2 phone call. John says he promised him and asks where it went. He calls Polo a bum. Polo says he wants a drink before he gets sick, and he goes back in the bar. Johnny tells his father not to knock his brother and him.
Johnny goes inside, and Polo tells him to get Pop out of there. John asks Johnny to wait for him.
At the dining table John tells Johnny he got himself a good cook. John gags and says the coffee is too strong. Johnny says Celia has four coffee-pots. Celia is hoping for a daughter. John asks why Johnny is looking out the window.
On the street below Mother (Henry Silva) is met by two other men, and the three go into the building.
John asks Johnny if he still has any pains, but Johnny says no. John says he used to tell his friends how Johnny laid in that cave in Korea for thirteen days without food or water and how he did not talk no matter what they did to him. He went down to ninety pounds, and he is proud of him. Johnny tells him to forget about it, but Celia says he talks like he is ashamed of it. Celia says Johnny tore up all the news clippings and photographs. Johnny tells them to forget it again. They hear the door buzzer, and he goes to get it. Johnny opens the door and sees the three men. Celia asks who they are and tells him to invite them in. Johnny does so, and two step inside. Celia and John come over. Apples (William Hickey) says he got the floor dirty and should wait out in the hall and goes out. Mother asks Johnny to step out for a few minutes, and he says he will. Mother goes out and closes the door. Johnny says they are guys he plays poker with who may want to borrow some money. He puts on a jacket and says he will only be a few minutes.
Johnny comes out, and the three men corner him in the hall and ask for the money. Johnny says he was trying to call them all day. Mother informs him they have been running from the police all day, and they picked up Alby. Every junkie has been looking for them. Johnny admits he does not have any part of the money. Mother tells him to have the $500 by tomorrow morning, and Johnny asks where he can get it. Apples suggests he get it from his wife, but Johnny does not want to talk to her about this. Chuch (Gerald S. O’Loughlin) grabs Johnny’s head and neck, and Mother threatens him. He says if he pays him $300 in the morning, he will carry him for the rest. Mother tells Chuch to let him go. Johnny asks what he is going to do until his father leaves. Apples says he got it for free in the hospital, but now there is no charity ward. Mother says he has given him a spoon full while risking his neck. On the stairs above a little girl asks them to help her little brother come down the stairs. Chuch goes up and carries the boy down the stairs. Mother gives Johnny the small package, and Johnny thanks him. Apples asks how he is going to pay for it. Mother says in a week the city is going to be clean. Mother says that cost $20, and he needs it twice a day. He suggests he get money by stealing or pushing the stuff. Apples hands Johnny a pistol, but he puts it on the floor. Mother says he will pick it up, and he tells him to give the drug back; but Johnny says he needs it. Mother twists his arm behind him and makes Johnny get down. Chuch says his old man is here and asks Mother to give him a break. Mother says his old man is dead, and he leaves, followed by Apples. Chuch tells Johnny they are not kidding and mentions what they did to Willy DeCarlo who did not even owe as much as he does. He lifts Johnny to his feet and tells him to pick it up. Johnny asks if he has anything at all. Chuch says he does not have enough for himself. Johnny reminds him when he was trying to kick it and Johnny gave him his last drop. Chuch tells him to come by his place later, and he goes down the stairs. Johnny puts the gun in his pocket.
Celia tells John she hopes to be able to work up to the eighth month. Johnny comes in, and she says she does not like those men. Johnny says she does not even know them. She asks how much money he lost, and he says a couple bucks. He puts his coat in the closet.
Polo is drunk in the bar and has trouble standing up. His boss says he had enough and helps him put his coat on. He tells him to go home, and Polo says he will. He staggers out and tells a policeman he has sugar for his horse. Polo says he hates to drink and that he will go home now. The policeman helps him cross the street as Polo says to hold their horses.
Celia says she didn’t know that Polo had $2,500. John says everyone seems to be running these days. Everyone is sitting around waiting. He says it is all talk and waiting around for the world to blow up. She has heard that before, and it makes her angry. John says there will always be children. She says people don’t stay married anymore. Johnny tells her to calm down. John says he has to check into his hotel. He gives Johnny six shirts and tells him to give Polo two of them, but Johnny tells Celia to give three to Polo. John goes out with her, and Johnny hides the gun in a drawer. He goes into the kitchen and feels his head. He puts water on his face and dries it. Celia comes back and says there is no more hot water. Johnny is silent, and she says they are not speaking to each other. She apologizes for what she said this morning. He says she called him useless. She asks why he did not tell her he lost his job. She felt like a fool when she called there. He says he has lost three jobs in the past four months. He says he ruined a day’s work, and she says that is no reason to go into hiding. He tells her not to shout, and she says she did not even raise her voice. She tries to avoid a quarrel and suggests they not do the dishes now. They go into the living-room and sit down to talk. He thought it was settled and asks if she goes, or does he go. He stands up and says he can’t talk to people any more. She says she is his wife. He sits down, and she asks about the other woman; but he says he has had no other girl since they have been married four years ago. She says they only had one year of real marriage. She confesses that many times when he was in the army, she wanted to be near a man. She thought she would go crazy, but she waited for him. He says they told him where to go. She understands she may not be giving him what he needs or wants, but she asks who she is. He says he is not lying. He loves her and only her. She says she spends more time with his brother Polo than she does with him. They pretend Johnny does not exist, and she says last night she almost threw herself into Polo’s arms. He asks what she said. She says the three of them can’t go on like this in this house. She remembers how they used to talk all night long. They had a great weekend before he went away. She says he cried when he left. She asks him to love her. He says he loves her and stands up. He says sometimes at night he walks the streets like he is looking for something; but everything he wants is right here. They hug, and she says she did not mean to offend him. She asks if he was with her today. She asks what he did all day. He says he went out to the little house where he was born. He was looking for something, but no one recognized him there. So he came here. She says he said “here” instead of “home.” He asks what he knows about a home. She asks if he wants to run away from here. He says he wants to live here and repeats there is no other woman. He does not know how much he needs and loves her, and sometimes he wants to bury himself in her. She embraces him for a while and then stands up. He says he loves her.
At the bar a jazz band is playing. Apples stands up and dances to a phone booth.
Celia answers the phone, but he hangs up. She tells Johnny that has happened three times this week. Polo is drunk in the hall and calls to Johnny who comes out and tries to help him. Celia comes out, and they escort him into the apartment. Polo falls on the floor, and Johnny puts him in a chair. Polo babbles while Johnny undresses him. Celia brings coffee, and Polo says he is not that drunk. She takes off his shoes. Polo says a lady lives up there at the top of the fire escape who has a good figure. Polo says he is ashamed to have her undress him. Johnny tries to get Polo settled. Polo mentions those three guys, and Johnny tells him to shut up. Johnny eventually gets Polo to the bedroom and puts him on the bed. Johnny comes back and feels his pain. He gets the gun and puts on a jacket and a coat. Celia asks where he is going. He says he wants to walk and tells her she can’t come with him. She asks him to tell her when he will be back. She says to tell her she is welcome to him. She warns him this is the last time he will do this to her. He says he is sorry, and she tells him to go on. He closes the door.
Johnny walks on the street in the dark. He sits on a bench. Two boys stop, and one says he looks sick. Johnny tells them to go home to bed. Johnny walks and goes up stairs and knocks on a door. Chuch opens the door and says he doesn’t have it. He says Mother wouldn’t give it to him. He says he likes him, but he is hung up himself. Johnny goes back outside.
Celia puts up a screen and sits on her bed. She gets up and walks to the closet. Polo gets out of bed in his underwear and goes to the kitchen. He splashes water on his face and drinks from the faucet. Celia tells him he might get a stomach cramp. He asks where his pants are and calls to Johnny. She says he went out. She asks why he did not come home for the dinner with his father who had his feelings hurt. Polo says he never finished high school and asks if that makes him a bum. She asks why he did not lend his father the money. Polo says he knew he promised; but the money is gone because he bet it on a horse. He opens a beer and sits down to drink it at the table. She sits there and files her nails. She suggests he quit, and he asks where he can make $125 a week. She asks what is the matter with him. He admits he is drunk, and she asks why. He has no answer. She ask why he said that Johnny has a heart like a snake. She feels he hates his brother, but he says she is crazy. He admits he used to hate him because in that orphan home people kept adopting Johnny, and no one adopted him. He used to hit him when he left. When he came back, Johnny used to say they have to stick together. She says Johnny never told her that, and he says Johnny never told her a lot of things. She asks him to tell her what the matter is. He tells her to ask Johnny what the matter is. He says his brother is a louse and is going to kill him. She splashes water on him and apologizes. He wipes it off with a towel. He asks what’s the difference.
Johnny on the street hears a woman calling a taxi. He goes to her but lets her pass by him.
Celia calls to Polo and asks him to come out and talk with her. He says no. She says she is lonely, and he comes into the hall. She offers him muffins from dinner, and he accepts. She asks him to tell her. He says he is a boarder there, not a personnel manager. He is tempted by her and wishes he did not know right from wrong. She says he has to find another place to live, though he can come there for dinner. He asks why. She knows how he feels about her, and it is embarrassing. She does not want to take any chances. She wants him to leave tomorrow night after his father gets on the plane. He says even Simon Legree gave little Eva two weeks notice. She says she is sorry, and she walks out to go to bed. He follows her, says she is tired and suggests she lay her head on the pillow. He says he will go if she wants him to. Tonight he will be in the next room and will say he loves her; but she won’t hear because she will be asleep. He says he may sing a lullaby. She asks why he is doing this tonight. He says he is drunk. That is his prize excuse. He would never say anything if he was sober. She knows how he feels about her. He asks how she feels about him, and she says she does not know. He suggests they feel and find out, but she stands up and says no. He asks why she did not slap him. He bets he could try it again. She asks why he doesn’t. She has her arms crossed, and he tries to embrace her. She says he can pick her up and carry her away; but she might be heavy because she is carrying his brother’s baby. He backs away and says he is sorry. He says he loves her even though he didn’t want to. She calls him Johnny and tells him to go to bed, and he says he is Polo.
In a narrow alley Johnny with a gun stops a man who tells him he can take everything but don’t shoot. Johnny tells him to shut up. The man gives him his watch and takes out his wallet. He says he has singles in it and some change. He says he has a wife and kids. He asks him not to hurt him and says he can take it all. Johnny backs away and runs off.
In the morning Celia pours coffee and calls to Polo. He comes in, and she laughs at the pajamas he is wearing because they are too big for him. He says they were a Christmas present. He asks if she knows that the coffee is supposed to boil. She tells him to see that Johnny gets a list of things for dinner tonight. She wants Polo to come for dinner and make up with his father. He says he’d rather eat out. She says he will come for dinner tonight, and he agrees and laughs. He says he is so tired that he is silly. He asks where Johnny is, and she says she does not know. He says Johnny has been staying out all night two or three times a week. She asks him to tell Johnny to pick up the laundry. He offers to do it but does not argue with her. She says he does not have to shout at her. He says he kept his peace for six months. He let her live her life. He is fed up about her being thrown away. He admits he is so in love with her that he does not know what to do. He asks what he should do and how she stands it day in and day out. He says she is going to have a baby and asks if she wants to know where it is going to live. He asks how she lives turning her back on what has been happening. She says she does not love Johnny anymore. He denies that is true, but she affirms it is. She says he has not even held her hand for months. She puts on a coat and says he comes home at night, and she pretends that she is sleeping. He doesn’t touch her back or give her a kiss. He never mentions the baby. She says he used to be like Polo, but he is not anymore. She starts to cry and says he is just a stranger. She wraps a scarf on her head and neck. Then she admits that it was her at his door last night. He says she could not come in that door, and he couldn’t open it. She nods and turns to go. He asks if he could put his arms around her just for a second. She turns to him and says she thinks so as she leans on him, and he embraces her. He asks if she is going to tell him, and she says tonight. She pulls away, says she has to go to work, and walks out the door.
Johnny walks in a business district and goes into a cafeteria. He gets a tray and tells a man that he is glad to see him. He says he needs a fix, or he will go crazy. The man says he needs twenty bucks. Johnny says he will get it and asks if he has the stuff for him. The man tells him he will be where the kids play all morning. Johnny goes out, and the man goes out and makes him give him his check.
Polo is dressed with a tie and answers the phone. John asks to speak to Johnny, and Polo says he is at the grocery store. John says to tell him to come over and have breakfast with him. He hangs up, and Polo talks to Pop as if he could hear him. Johnny comes in and asks if Celia went to work. Polo says she left a list of things for him to get for supper. Johnny asks where Polo is going, and he says he is going to pick up the laundry. Polo says the old man called, and he wants Johnny to go over and have breakfast with him. Johnny says he can’t make it. Polo says he is going, but Johnny asks him to take him over there. Polo advises him to get some sleep, but Johnny says he can’t do that. He says he had better get cleaned up. He will have breakfast with him, and he tells Polo to go to the ballgame with him. Polo says sure. Johnny hides his gun.
Celia is typing in a room full of women doing the same. A man tells her the boss wants to see her and says she has her carbon in backwards.
By the elevator Polo asks Johnny where he was all night. Johnny says he was all over; but everybody has disappeared because they dropped a net. They get in the elevator, and Johnny says every pusher in the city has disappeared. He tells Polo he was lucky because he connected with a guy who is holding some for him; but he has to get some money. Polo says he has no money. He says if he inherited the Chrysler building, he would not give him another dime. Johnny tells him not to start lecturing him as they walk outside. Johnny says he needs $20. Polo suggests he sell the kitchen set to the Salvation Army. Johnny says he never sold anything from the house and never will. Polo says he felt great refusing the old man that $2,500 because he knew the money went to a good cause. It was something he always wanted. When he shouted where the money went, Johnny was standing there. Johnny says he knows and felt like saying it went into his arm. Polo says he went through that money fast.
Her boss asks Celia if she is happy working there. She says she is, and he says she left out the stock on the Merrick account on the invoices she was doing. She says she will do it over again, and she apologizes. He asks if something is wrong because he would like her to keep her mind on her job. She says there is nothing wrong. She says she is very happy, and he says that is all.
Polo and Johnny get in a car, and Polo drives. Johnny says he is quitting tomorrow. Polo suggests he could club some guy in the subway like Apples does. Johnny says he is into them for $500, and they want it today. They will be coming for him. Polo asks what he is going to do. Johnny says he will get rid of the old man first, and then he will think of something. Polo pulls over, and Johnny gets out and tells Polo to come with him so that he can get out of there sooner. Polo goes with him.
John is shaving, hears the knock, and lets Johnny in. Polo comes in and says good morning, but his father says nothing. Polo asks if they can shake hands. John turns away and tells Johnny that he is renovating a building he will never be able to buy. Polo repeats that he is sorry, and he means it. John replies he said a lot of other things too. John refuses to shake hands and says he made a jackass out of him. Polo says he does not have the money. Johnny tells him to go get the laundry and stop begging. Johnny says Polo has nothing to be sorry about, and he tells him to pick him up later. Polo nods and goes out. Johnny asks his Pop why he did not shake his hand. He says he wanted to, but he also refuses to take Polo to the ballgame. Pop asks where the money went, and Johnny says he does not know. John says he likes the letters his son writes. Johnny says he always wanted to talk, but Pop never wanted to talk to him. Pop says he cares what happens to his son, and he loves him. Johnny says he feels the same way. Pop has finished shaving and says he thought he and his two sons had a special thing. Johnny asks him to forgive Polo. He is in pain and says he has a headache. Johnny says Polo likes reading his letters, and he has missed Pop for a long time. Johnny says he was shipping him out to uncles and aunts. Pop asks if he was gambling and drinking. Johnny tells him to ask about that time at the orphanage when Polo wet his bed, and he made him stand all day in a staircase with the wet sheet over his head. Pop asks what else he could do on $55 a week. Pop is getting dressed, and Johnny puts on his coat. Pop says he got a feeling that Johnny is not glad to see him. Johnny says no one is blaming him. Johnny says he does not save his letters or his money for him; so he tells him not to knock Polo. Pop says he is sounding like he does not even know him. Johnny asks when he was around. The last time he saw him was in the hospital when he said it must have been rough; but it is all over now. They shook hands like men, and he ran out. He remembers lying there hoping his old man was going to take him home. Pop says he was living in a hotel. He says his wife was going to take him home after he left. Johnny says he only knew her for one year, but he knew his father for 27 years. He starts crying and turns away. They hear a knock, and Pop lets Polo in. While Polo tries to hold Johnny, he talks about the sergeant who ran out on him too. He asks Polo to tell him what they give you. He says a nurse and doctors come in, and they roll up your sleeve. He asks his father if he knows what he is trying to tell him. Polo helps Johnny go out of the room and tells him to hold on. Johnny says it is every man for himself. They get in the crowded elevator.
The man is reading a newspaper at the children’s playground.
Polo drives the car and tells Johnny that he has to turn him in. Johnny shouts no and opens the door. Polo grabs him as the car swerves. He tells him not to jump. He will do anything he wants. Johnny tells him to go to the playground on 14th Street.
Polo parks the car, gets out, and sees the man on the bench. He sees men in another car get out. Then a third car arrives, and two men get out. Polo goes back to his car and tells Johnny that they are picking him up. The man sees the two cars and men and starts walking and then climbs a fence; but he is trapped.
Polo parks the car and helps Johnny get out and says they are going in the back way. He takes him. Mother has been waiting on the roof and tells Chuch and Apples that their friend just hobbled in.
In the apartment Polo massages Johnny’s shoulders and tells him to try to walk around. Johnny calls him sarge and says he is cold. Polo says he is going to turn him in and walks over to the phone. He asks Johnny to tell him to pick it up, but Johnny tells the sarge not to touch the phone. Johnny says they will get out of here alive. Polo says who he is, but Johnny keeps calling him “sarge” and says he does not know what it is like to need something and have no food at all. Polo gets him to stand up and walks with him. Polo goes to use the phone, and Johnny asks why he is taking his shoes and grabs the phone away. Polo puts on his jacket. Johnny says he is going to run out on him. Polo tries to touch Johnny, who says he can hit him but he will only give his name, rank, and serial number. Mother, Apples, and Chuch come in, and Johnny tells sarge to run for it. Johnny jumps on the bed and asks Mother to do something for him. Mother says he can’t laugh because the poor kid is in trouble. Johnny twitches and says he does not know who took his shoes. Polo says he will make good for it, and Apples calls him the Chase National Bank. Mother asks how much he is carrying now. Polo takes out his wallet, and Apples snatches it and hands it to Mother who takes out the cash and drops the wallet. Apples says to take it easy because the general is here. Mother complains there is only twelve bucks. He says for that he will set him straight. Polo says he will make sure he gets paid in full someday. Apples and Chuch take Johnny to a bedroom, and Mother says they will fix him up. They close the door. Mother looks out the window at Polo’s car and says he has a nice car but does not need it in the city because there is no place to park. Polo asks what is taking them so long. Mother asks if he has the pink slip and tells him to sell the car because he wants $500. They will come back tonight. If they don’t get the money, they will put his brother in the hospital with Willy DeCarlo. Apples and Chuch come out of the bedroom, and the three leave the apartment. Polo kicks the door closed. Johnny comes out and is calm and says he is sorry. He says he is going to kick it tomorrow as soon as the old man leaves. Polo says he has tried before. Johnny says to take him to a hotel room and lock him up. Polo says he can’t watch him go through it again. Johnny says he knows this is his last chance; it only takes three days. Polo says he is going out. Johnny says he has to tell Celia and asks how he can do it. Polo advises him to just tell her that he is a junkie. Johnny gets upset, and Polo hugs him.
Polo drives his car to a used car dealer.
Johnny packs kitchen equipment in a bag.
Polo takes the money and waves goodbye to his car.
Johnny carries the bag on the street.
John and Polo are watching a football game in a stadium. Polo tells Pop he does not want him to worry about Johnny. Pop says he knows how to handle him. He says he knows Johnny better than Polo does. He complains they kicked on second down, and he shouts at the players.
Celia mails a letter and takes the subway.
Johnny puts flowers on the table, and Celia comes in and says the flowers are beautiful. She asks what smells so good and hangs up her coat. Johnny covers her eyes, and she asks what the surprise is. Johnny lets go and says it is him. She thought he was at the game with his father. He asks about her day. She says she better make the salad; but he opens the refrigerator and shows it to her. He suggests she sit in the tub so that he can rub her back with alcohol. She asks what is the occasion. He comments after she repeats herself, and she tells him to forget it. He admits he was out all night and asks what it is. She says it is over. He asks if it is because he lost his job. She says it is because she does not love him. She sits down and says she does not want to get emotional about it. She refuses to blame him for anything, and she does not want to be blamed. They have to admit that the marriage has failed. She refuses to get emotional because emotions do not settle anything. He says it is not just her and him now. She assumes he is talking about the baby, and he says he is. She says that is amazing because for months she has been waiting for him to say something about the baby. He says things can change. She does not want to talk about it because she will get emotional. He says he is home now. He shows her a little dress he bought because she said it was going to be a girl. She starts to cry and thanks him. He kneels before her and says she reached out to him, but he turned his back on her. She looked at him, and he closed his eyes. He says she is not listening to him, but she says she is. He says she must have loved him for some reason. He asks what it was. She tells him to stop, and she cries. He says something happened to him that is very hard to understand. She does not have to love him for a long time, but he asks her please not to go. She says his baby just kicked her. She asks him to hold her, and they hug. He asks if she is going to leave him, and she promises she won’t. She is crying and goes to get a handkerchief.
Polo unlocks the door and comes in. He says the old man is at a bar and wants to buy them a drink before supper. Celia tells Polo that she wants him to forget about this morning, and he says all right. Polo asks what they are talking about, and she says it is nothing. Polo goes to Johnny and asks if he told her. Johnny says it can wait because he has to see the old man. Polo says the old man can wait. Johnny puts on a jacket and tells Polo to wait until the old man gets on the plane before he tells her. She asks what they are talking about. Johnny puts his hands on her shoulders and says this is nothing to get excited about. He has her sit down and says Polo had the money that Pop wanted; but Johnny took it all. They hear the buzzer, and Polo asks him to please tell her. Johnny tells him to get out of his way. Polo moves and says he can run; but Celia stands by the door. Johnny says the old man is ringing and tells her to let him out. She says he can tell her anything. Polo says no one is going to hate him. Johnny backs up slowly and says he is hooked; he is a junkie, and he takes dope. He sits down. She says it is silly. He says no; he needs it every day, and it costs a lot of money. She kneels down and says it is all right. He tells her not to tell the old man. She says they should get a doctor; but he says not until his father leaves. She says it does not matter now; there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Pop knocks on the door and calls to Johnny. Polo opens the door and lets him in. Pop complains he was buzzing, and Johnny says he did not hear him. She says dinner is ready, and Pop tells a story about their childhood when he told them they had to work to get money. They dug in the rain, but all Johnny got was a hatful of rain. Pop asks why they are glum. Johnny asks about the game. Pop wants to have some laughs. Johnny says he is a junkie, and she says he is sick. Pop asks what he is talking about. Polo says he knows what he is saying. Pop asks if he takes dope, and Johnny says that is right. Pop asks if Polo knew, and he says he did all the time. Pop asks what he gets, and Polo asks him not to investigate. Pop says he is asking his brother a question. Polo says he is giving him advice and tells him to shut up. Pop tells him not to say that. Polo tells him to keep his head on. Johnny gets up from the table. Celia says she was worried about lipstick on his shirt, and she embraces Johnny. Pop asks how long this has been going on. Johnny says there was a time before this one after he got out of the hospital, but Polo helped him kick it. Pop wants to know whose fault it is and who is to blame. She asks what difference it makes. Pop asks her if she did not know that she was sleeping with a dope addict. Polo tells Pop to shut up. Pop says he can’t understand how his boy could do this. Polo intervenes, and Pop tells him to get out of his way. Polo says he is sick. Johnny says he is not sick, opens the door, and goes out. Polo runs out after him, but Johnny goes down the stairs. Celia says something is wrong, and Polo comes back in, closes the door, and asks if it is the baby. She tells him to call the doctor.
Johnny is on the Brooklyn Bridge and takes out the gun.
A doctor is examining Celia. While waiting Pop tells Polo he paid for his brother to put $2,500 worth of poison in his arm. Polo suggest he get on a plane and go back to Palm Beach. Pop says he is not coming apart at the seams. Polo says he does not even know what happened, but he is trying to put the blame somewhere. Pop says he is ashamed to admit that Polo is his son. He feels like kicking him; but Polo says he couldn’t hurt him anymore if he killed him. Polo says he was two thousand miles away, but he was here. Pop says he could have written to him. Polo asks if he should have written and told him that his favorite son was a junkie. Pop moves toward him, and Polo suggests he take a swing at him to take his failures out on him. Pop slaps his face. Polo calls him a poor old man and asks why he is hitting him. He asks what he did. He says Pop does not know anything. He advises him to stand still and try to find out something. Pop turns away and says he paid for it. The doctor tells them that she will be all right, and the baby is okay. He wants her to rest, and then they can take her home. Polo puts on his coat and says he has to look for Johnny. He tells Pop to take her home.
Johnny comes back to the apartment and finds Mother inside. He asks where his wife is, and Mother says he does not know. He asks if he has the money. Johnny looks around. Mother closes the door and shows him another hit for a free ride while Apples shows him a metal bar. Chuch asks for the pipe and says he will work him. Mother puts his hands behind him and tells Johnny to pick one. Johnny says he is quitting; he is through. Mother says every boy belongs to his mother. Polo opens the door and sees them. He closes the door and gives the money to Mother and tells him to get out of here. Mother sees it is $500 and says he better fix him before he crumbles. He throws the fix on the floor. Johnny picks it up and throws it back to Mother, saying he is through with it. Mother says he will crawl and goes out with the other two. Polo closes the door. Johnny asks where Celia is. Polo says she is with Pop. Johnny says it is bad and asks Polo to help him. He says he can kick it.
Pop and Celia knock on the door. Johnny asks Polo for a handkerchief. He gives him one and takes him to a bedroom and closes the door. Polo takes off his coat and opens the door. They come in, and Celia asks where Johnny is. Polo says he is waiting for him and that he asked him to keep them away from him. She does not believe him. He assures her he knows what he is doing; but she says he does not nor what he has done. He backs away. She tells him not to turn away. She says she talked to her doctor and that there is very little they can do. There is a slight chance, and Polo says he knows what that chance is. He says as long as he gets it, he is fine; you can not tell any difference. She says if he does not tell her where he is, she will have the police find him. Pop says no police; they should get a doctor. He can move back there and get a job. He asks why they should call the police. She says they can’t help him; but in Kentucky there is a place that can take care of people like him. Johnny shouts and comes out of the bedroom saying to get him out of here. Polo comes to him and helps him back to the bed. He tells Pop to hold him and rock him like a baby. Polo says he did it long enough; now he can do it. She asks Polo to get some blankets, and he brings one and puts it over Johnny’s back. Celia asks them both to go now please. Pop asks Polo to walk him over to the hotel, and Polo says sure. They go out. Johnny tells her how sorry he is. She says she is going to call the police, and he tells her not to send him away. She says he can’t live like this. They can live or die. She says this is their only chance, and he tells her to make the phone call. She picks up the phone and asks for the police. She reports a drug addict and gives their address. She says it is her husband, and she asks them to hurry please. She hangs up and hugs Johnny.
This realistic drama portrays the agony of a hard-core drug addict who has to fight the shame as well as the need to get money to buy it from criminals, and worst of all the bad effect it has during withdrawal. Family members either are sucked into helping his habit or wonder why he has become so different. Ultimately one must acknowledge the problem, tell people the truth, and get professional treatment or other support to overcome the desperate problem.