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The Suitcase


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Drama, USA, 2010, 48 min.

Synopsis It's May 25, 1965, Harry is handing out tickets to the guys in the office to the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston rematch. (Movie theatres are simulcasting the bout from Maine). The guys debate who will win. Don comes in and puts a hundred down on Liston. He calls the Samsonite team - Peggy, Stan, Danny and Joey - into his office.They present an enactment they've worked up for a commercial featuring Joe Namath and a sexy girl demolishing the "defense" with "tough" Samsonite luggage. Don says endorsements are lazy and Namath hasn't even played pro yet. Peggy counters that he's handsome. Don rebuts that women don't buy luggage. Peggy protests that Dr. Faye says they do. Don lets the boys leave and criticizes Peggy. She asks if he wants it to be funny. He says yes, but actually funny, as opposed to what she just showed him.She goes back to her office and discovers flowers from Duck Phillips. It's her birthday. She calls him and opens the gift while she has him on the phone. It's a business card that reads "Phillips-Olson Advertising" and has Peggy in the creative director role. He says he wants to start a firm specializing in women's products and has Tampax tempted. He admits he's been fired by Gray Advertising. She says she appreciates the gesture but suspects he's been drinking and heard about the Clio's. He insists he's for real and what's more he wants to see her, needs to see her, since the last time he felt good was when he was with her. The Samsonite boys storm in and Peggy tells Duck she has to go. She tells them Don hated their idea. Stan says they're back to the drawing board so they go out to lunch to celebrate Peggy's birthday.Mrs. Blankenship informs Don that Stephanie from California called while he was out and said it was urgent. He contemplates making the call while staring at a photo of the widow Draper. He hangs back up. Roger enters and tells him that their fight dinner is being crashed by Freddy Rumsen and Cal Rutledge, both members of AA who will ruin Don and Roger's ability to get hammered. Don begs off completely and Roger is annoyed.The Samsonite gang continues to brainstorm over lunch, which is apparently in view of Joan's office and she comes in annoyed that they are being messy.In the ladies room at closing time Megan wishes Peggy well on her birthday and oohs and aahs over her fancy dinner plans with Mark. She tells her for 26 she's doing really well. Trudy enters and Peggy wishes her well on the baby. She says she loves to feel the little baby kicking. Peggy wonders how that's different from living with Pete. Trudy laughs and says Peggy is witty which she always suspected. She wishes her a happy birthday and reassures her that 26 is still very young indeed. As they exit Pete looks stricken that they were in the ladies room together. Peggy is told that Don is looking for her so everyone skedaddles to see the fight before they get roped in too.Peggy enters Don's office and as suspected he wants to keep working on Samsonite. She says she has a minute and shows him some mock ups a special substance called "Samsonite," Samson dropping a suitcase from the Eiffel Tower, etc. but Don nixes them all. She rolls her eyes and complains that he'll just change what she gives him anyway. Peggy calls Mark at the restaurant and assures him it will only take 15 minutes. It turns out that he's invited her whole family - mom, Anita, Jerry, her roommate - to the restaurant to surprise her.Don and Peggy brainstorm. She suggests an elephant stepping on it or an airplane running it over. He asks if she likes Cassius Clay. She says he's handsome. Don thinks he has a big mouth and if you are the greatest you don't have to say it. He says Liston is methodical and he likes that. As they work through it he comes up with an idea: three classes of suitcase, featherweight, middleweight, heavyweight with only one champ, Samsonite. She loves it even though she has trouble picturing it on TV, but in order to get out of there she praises it. The phone rings and it's Roger begging Don to come down and join him at dinner. Roger's been sneaking away to the bar next door to drink. He's mad about how self-righteous Freddy and Cal are about not drinking. Cal killed a man with his motorboat. Roger says you get over that by drinking. Don says goodbye.Peggy's phone rings and it's Mark saying it's been almost an hour. He tells her she has to get down there right away. She tells him to go to her apartment and she'll make it worth his while. He confesses her family is there and she says she's on her way.Coat on and hat in hand she says she's ready to go. Don wants to keep working. She finally tells him it's her birthday and she has to go. He asks why she didn't tell him and wonders if he's supposed to feel bad now. He tells her she's 20-something years old and it's time to get over birthdays. He says he'll do Samsonite by himself. She goes to the elevator but changes her mind and calls back and tells Mark to forget it and says no one asked Mark to do this. Her mother gets on and reads her the riot act and tells her to get there. Her mother tells her she should be flattered that a nice boy like Mark likes her and she should be grateful. Mark and Peggy get into it - she says she can't believe he used her birthday to get in good with people who drive her crazy, he says he should've invited Don since she never stands him up -- and they break up over the phone. Anita says it will be fine since couples fight all the time.Peggy returns and has a drink and tells Don she just broke up with Mark. They bicker and he tells her to run after him like people do in the movies. She says she has to be there because of Danny's stupid idea, who they hired because he was drunk. Don tells her not to get personal because she didn't do her work, and newsflash there is no "Danny's Idea" because everything belongs to the agency. She finally lets loose about Glo-Coat and how the cowboy thing was her idea. He says it was a kernel. Which, she points out, he changed just enough so he could take credit. She's steamed about the Clio. He says she gets paid for her ideas. She says a thank you would be nice. He says that's what the money's for. He says he can't believe that two years into her career she's already counting ideas and that she should thank Jesus and him every day when she wakes up for having a place to go. She starts to cry. He apologizes. She runs to the bathroom and breaks down.Don goes to record some ideas but is out of tape. He notices a mouse run across the floor. He goes to get more tape. He bangs on the wall telling Peggy to come in and hear something. He has stumbled across Roger's recordings for his book and he plays Peggy a choice portion in which he reveals that Burt Cooper had his testicles removed in an unfortunate orchiectomy and that he, Roger Sterling, had an affair with Burt's former secretary and Don's current one, Mrs. Blankenship when he was a young man and she was a young(er) woman. Don cracks up. Peggy says it's like reading someone's diary. But he eventually gets her to crack up too.Don convinces her to stay and visit and says they can have a personal conversation. She can't believe Mark invited her mother to what should've been a romantic dinner. She laments being single, again. Peggy sees the mouse and freaks. Don decides they should get the suitcase, trap the mouse, and throw it off the roof. Instead, he offers to take her to dinner for her birthday.They adjourn to a Greek diner and keep brainstorming about Samsonite. She says she's never been on a plane ride. He recounts an Army buddy horrified by flying. They talk more about good and bad ideas and how to tell the difference. He says the best idea always wins. They talk a little more personally. She says she knows what she's supposed to want but it never feels as important as what's going on the office. She didn't know he was in Korea and asks if he killed anybody. He didn't but saw people get shot. She says she watched her father die when she was 12 of a violent heart attack. He recounts his tale of seeing his father killed by a horse. He says he never knew his mother. After seeing a roach they decide to go someplace darker.They adjourn to a bar playing the Clay-Liston fight on the radio. Peggy fishes around for compliments and Don assures her she's attractive. She says that people in the office assume she got her job by sleeping with Don and they treat it like a joke because it's so unlikely. He says they didn't sleep together not because she's not attractive but because he had to have certain "rules." (That's a good one!) She jabs him a bit about sleeping with other secretaries. He points out that she might not be in the best position to give morality lessons. She tells him her mother assumes that he was the father since he was the only one who visited her in the hospital. He doesn't care for this but wonders if she knows who the father was. She does, of course. He asks if she thinks about it. She says she tries not to think about it but it comes up in specific ways, like when she sees playgrounds. The fight gets intense and men in the bar start yelling "get up, get up!" Don realizes what's happening and joins in but, of course, Clay wins with the controversial "phantom punch." Don thinks it's time to go back to the office and clean up and finish up.When they get back to the office Don is feeling sick and Peggy helps him into the men's room where he vomits as she checks out the urinals and offers him water and the use of a toothbrush. She hears someone yelling her name and walks out to find Duck perched as if he's about to defecate on one of Don's chairs. He's wasted and says he wants to leave Don a "gift." She calls him disgusting and points out that they're in Roger's office. As she's walking him down the hall Don comes out and sees them together. Duck, of course, now thinks Don and Peggy are lovers and says she obviously came back to him after she couldn't get what she wanted from Duck. He calls her a whore and Don takes a wild swing at him and they tussle. Peggy barks at them to stop. Don eventually says "uncle" and Duck gets up and tells Peggy to come with him. She looks forlornly at Don and does.Later she goes back to Don's office and apologizes, basically, for sleeping with Duck. He says she doesn't need to. He asks her to make him a drink because he has to make a hard phone call. She tries to give him the drink but instead he lays his head down in her lap and passes out. She drinks the drink. Eventually, she passes out too. Don wakes and has a vision of the widow Draper.The sun has risen and Don does too. He calls Stephanie and gets the bad news. He offers to come out to make arrangements but Stephanie tells him the body was donated to science since she always wanted to go to UCLA medical school. He says he'll take care of the house and Stephanie says she wants to stay awhile. They say their goodbyes. He sees that Peggy has woken up and he starts to sob. She asks what happened. He explains that the only person who ever really knew him has died. Peggy comforts him and says that isn't true. He tells her to go home. She can't seem to, though, and lies down in her office.Later she's awoken rudely by a whistle by the Samsonite boys who can't believe she spent the night in the office. She goes into Don's office and he's all freshened up. He shows her his idea: it's a spoof on that morning's front page photo, the famous shot of Clay towering over a prone Liston. Don's got a Samsonite looming over a Tourister after a knockout punch. Peggy wonders how people will know it's a Tourister. The tag line he says. She wonders how they'll do it for TV, will it be animated? He wonders why she keeps shitting on his idea and asks if she likes it. She does. He tells her to go home, shower, and come back with 10 tag lines. As they look at the image she has her hand on the edge, he drops his hand over hers and they share a meaningful stare.

Directed by Jennifer Getzinger  

Starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, more...

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