Beau Maverick crashes a party in Virginia City thrown by eccentric socialite Kiz Bouchet. Kiz has a penchant for smoking cigars, playing poker, and fighting fires. Recognizing Beau as a fellow free spirit, she hires him to protect her because she believes her life is in danger. Beau discovers that Kiz's cousin Melissa, along with family doctor Pittman and attorney Hanford, are plotting to have Kiz judged incompetent so they can split her $2 million inheritance.moreless
(Beau wakes up the sleeping bartender)
Beau: Dr. Livingston, I presume.
Hank: Oh, excuse me. The name's Hank.
Beau: Well, Hank, what happened to Virginia City? I've never seen it so empty.
Hank: Yeah, this place hasn't been as empty as this since Adah Menken played Maguire's Theater … in tights.
Beau: Well, who's not wearing what today?
Beau: It's sort of unusual, a woman staging a prizefight, isn't it?
Hank: (chuckles) With Kiz, everything is unusual. She inherited her unhinged ideas from her old man, along with two million dollars.
Beau: Well, with that kind of money, you're not unhinged, you're eccentric.
Kiz: You know I could have you thrown out?
Beau: That would be the expected thing to do, but I hear you never do the expected.
Kiz: I may make an exception in your case.
Kiz: Beau, tell me, why all this fuss over a prizefight?
Beau: To see a prizefight in the company of the most beautiful girl in Virginia City.
Kiz: Uh huh, fast work, Mr. Maverick.
Beau: Well, life is short, Miss Bouchet
Kiz: That's my motto.
Beau: Why pick me for a bodyguard?
Kiz: I like your style and I trust you
Beau: A complete stranger?
Kiz: Exactly, because you have no reason to want to do me in.
Beau: You know, I'm not very good at saving other peoples lives, I barely manage to hold on to my own.
Kiz: Oh, you'll do. Is it a bet?
Beau: It's a bet.
Kiz: Well, I'm sorry about your $5,000, Mr. Maverick.
Beau: Correction. Your $5,000, Miss Bouchet
Kiz: This buys you the right to call me Kiz.
Beau: Not dirt cheap, but worth it.
(Kiz hands Beau money)
Kiz: For incidental expenses.
Beau: Oh, please, I take money from a lady only in the direst … (Beau sees a card game in the next room) emergency … which does seem to exist right now. Much obliged. You'll excuse me?
Beau: The first thing I heard was that you had served a diner for 75 people in saddlebags. Then you engage two men to box in white tie and tails. You, uh, smoke in public like a man. You dash off to a fire in a … in a helmet, and come back raving about flaming firebirds and now a iron pot that isn't there. What am I supposed to think?
Kiz: Oh, that I'm outta my mind, of course.
Beau: Well, are you or aren't you?
Kiz (sighs): You look like a man who'd understand, a man who crashed that silly prizefight under a childish pretext, knocked somebody down just to be able to blow his last $5,000 and a whole month of his life on a … on a lunatic bet.
Beau: You're telling me we're two of a kind.
Kiz: Well, if we aren't, I won't hold you to our bet. If you want to quit, well, it's been nice knowin' ya.
Beau: Well, I still owe you a thousand dollars.
Kiz: You can buy me a wreath.
Beau: And the two million dollars be put in trust in Miss Melissa's name, or is it Dr. Pittman's?
Pittman: Look here, you're mistaken.
Beau: Oh, I was. I thought you were trying to discredit Kiz by making her appear mad in front of the townspeople, but you're not gonna wait for that. You're going to try and put her away under any circumstances.
Pittman: Just what are you insinuating?
Beau: I'm not insinuating, sir. I'm saying straight out this is hypocritical collusion for pilfering, filching, theft, larceny and highway robbery.
Pittman: Why you must have taken leave of your senses.
Beau: Oh, doctor, you say that to everybody.
Beau: You see, people don't understand this "Life is short, let's make it exciting" philosophy of yours.
Kiz: You do.
Beau: I'm only a poor, wayfaring stranger. Sure, I know how you feel, but if I try to explain it to the solid citizens of this town, we'll both end up under the doctor's care.
Beau: People are known to do fantastic things to get their hands on two million dollars.
(Beau looks on as Samuels sketches the bartender)
Beau: What do you hold against the bartender, brother Samuels?
Samuels: His credit policy toward members of the press is extremely narrow.
Pittman: Get hold of yourself, Melissa, they can't prove a thing!
Melissa: Oh, proof, what does that matter? Don't you understand? Kiz knows!
Hanford: Our star witness.
Melissa: Well, you think I'm gonna go into a courtroom now and face her now that she knows what we've been trying to do to her?
Hanford: My dear woman, I was indulging in sarcasm. Of course I don't expect you to go through with it. The combination of your emotions and your conscience would be too much of a handicap. (turns to Hanford) Your scheme's gone up in smoke, doctor.
Melissa: Oh, you tricked me.
Beau: Yes, I told you a lie. Now I suggest you get down on your knees and pray that that lie doesn't become the truth.
Kiz: Mr. Maverick, what kept ya?
Beau: Kiz, you're indestructible.
The name of Whit Bissell's character is a parody on the real name of famed author Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).
Hank: Yeah, this place hasn't been as empty as this since Adah Menken played Maguire's Theater in tights.
Adah Menken, an American actress, painter and poet, pioneered the art of cultivating an outrageous, sensationalized personality as a ticket to fame and fortune. The affairs, the multiple marriages, the public smoking - these were mere appetizers. Her provocative 1860's stage performances in Mazeppa, strapped to a horse bareback, wearing nothing but a flesh-colored body stocking so as to appear naked, ensured her notorious reputation as a scandalous, "liberated" woman.
Beau: Dr. Livingston, I presume.
Although there is now some question as to authenticity of this now famous greeting, these words were allegedly spoken by the Welsh explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley in 1871 when he finally found the long-missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, in Africa. The phrase appeared in a New York Herald editorial dated Aug 10, 1872 and quickly worked its way into pop culture. In 1939, a popular film called Stanley and Livingstone was released, starring Spencer Tracy and Cedric Hardwicke. In 1968, the Moody Blues released the song "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume." Since then the phrase and Livingston's name continue to live on in everything from computer games, movies and pop songs to Star Trek episodes.
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