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Set in Brooklyn, this gripping mystery begins when attractive, level-headed Sylvia Gellburg suddenly loses her ability to walk. The only clue to her mysterious ailment lies in her obsession with news accounts from Germany.
GELLBURG: It wasn’t so you wouldn’t seem Jewish. HYMAN, coldly: I never pretended I wasn’t Jewish. GELLBURG, almost shaking with some fear: Look, don’t be mad, I’m only trying to figure out ... HYMAN, sensing the underlying hostility: What are you driving at, I don’t understand this whole conversation. GELLBURG: Hyman... Help me! I’ve never been so afraid in my life. HYMAN: If you’re alive you’re afraid; we’re born afraid—a newborn baby is not a picture of confidence; but how you
Gasping again: -Why must we be different? Why is it? What is it for? HYMAN: And supposing it turns out that we’re not different, who are you going to blame then? GELLBURG: What are you talking about? HYMAN: I’m talking about all this grinding and screaming that’s going on inside you—you’re wearing yourself out for nothing, Phillip, absolutely nothing!—I’ll tell you a secret—I have all kinds coming into my office, and there’s not one of them who one way or another is not persecuted. Yes.
a try. I mean I don’t want to turn myself into a post office, shipping all the hard cases to specialists, the woman’s sick and I’d like to help. MARGARET: But if you’re not getting anywhere in a little while you’ll promise to send her to somebody. HYMAN: Absolutely. Committed now: full enthusiasm. I just feel there’s something about it that I understand.—Let’s see Cagney. MARGARET: Oh, no Fred Astaire. HYMAN: That’s what I meant. Come here. MARGARET, as he embraces her: We should
SYLVIA: You like green? GELLBURG: It’s only a color. You’ll get used to it.—Or Chicago. It’s really a big city, you know. SYLVIA: Tell me what Doctor Hyman said. GELLBURG, gets himself set: He thinks it could all be coming from your mind. Like a ... a fear of some kind got into you. Psychological. She is still, listening. Are you afraid of something? SYLVIA, a slow shrug, a shake of her head: ... I don’t know, I don’t think so. What kind of fear, what does he mean? GELLBURG:
HYMAN: Yes. HARRIET, takes a breath to lie: ... He can be very sweet, you know. But suddenly he’ll turn around and talk to you like you’ve got four legs and long ears. The men—not that they don’t respect him—but they’d just as soon not play cards with him if they can help it. HYMAN: Really. Why? HARRIET: Well, God forbid you have an opinion—you open your mouth and he gives you that Republican look down his nose and your brains dry up. Not that I don’t like him ... HYMAN: How did