I expected a blonde!
I expected a blonde!
Esther goes to the publicity department with her scrapbook. She meets mrs. Markham, Libby's secretary, who however is too busy with other things to listen to her. Glad to have you with us, then turns her over to her fashion assistant, miss Fusselow. Glad to have you with us, she too says, then sends her to the head of the department, Libby himself. Libby takes her with him to see Niles. They enter a projection room where an action scene from a Western is shown. More Glad to have you with us, before Libby takes her out. When she once again tells him her name, he replies Well, we have to do something about that!
Esther is doing her first movie. Not a character role, only her hand waving goodbye from a train window. When she goes to pick up her salary, she discovers that she now has a new name, Vicki Lester. Norman is trying to get the studio to give her a more demanding role. Oliver Niles comes to Norman's apartment only to listen to Norman's complaint of the cold draft in his dressing-room. He has far more important problems, a big production is threatened after the lead actress stormed out from the studio. Norman has opened the door to the balcony to make sure that Niles can hear Esther singing The man that got away. Who's that singing, anyway?. Must be one of the contract girls, Norman replies. Finally, Niles get the point and asks where she is.
I was born in a trunk
Born in a trunk
It's time for the pre-view opening of Esther's first movie, a musical. On the screen we see Vicki Lester doing the Born in a Trunk sequence. "I was born in a trunk / in Prince's Theater / in Pocatello, Idaho / It was during the matinee on Friday / and they used a make-up towel for my dody". The singing continues about her youth and her solo debut on stage "They left me out there all alone / Mama said 'You're on your own' and Papa shouted 'This is it kid, sing!'
I haunted all the agents
You took advantage of me
As a young actress it wasn't easy to find work. "As time went by / I looked for jobs / and was kicked from pillar to post / I haunted all the agent's offices / and I almost ended up a ghost." Finally she does find work "So I got into a tab show / all I did was kick my feet / you'd hardly call it a chance to sing / but at least it was a chance to eat"
Finally she does get a lucky break. In New York she sings Melancholy baby and is discovered by a producer "My benefactor appeared with his card / and at first I thought he was fresh / he was fresh from heaven all right! / he produced the show that gave me the chance to sing for you tonight" Once again back to Swanee, a turn-of-the-century, londonesque number. Finally, Vicki sits down on the stage in front of the audience "So I can't quite be called overnight sensation / for it started many years ago / when I was born in a trunk in the Prince's theater / in Pocatello, Idaho". Close-up, then fade-out.
Swanee
Swanee
The audience is ecstatic. Later at a night-club, they read the press reviews, filled with praise. Norman show her the lights from the city below: They're all yours, Esther! You're going to be a great star, don't let that change you.. I destroy everything I touch, I always have. Forget me, I'm bad luck. But Esther tells him she loves him. They kiss.