Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) - full transcript

Judah Rosenthal is an ophthalmologist and a pillar of the community who has a big problem: his mistress Dolores Paley has told him that he is to leave his wife and marry her - as he had promised to do - or she will tell everyone of their affair. When he intercepts a letter Dolores has written to his wife Miriam, he is frantic. He confesses all to his shady brother Jack who assures him that he has friends who can take care of her. Meanwhile, filmmaker Cliff Stern is having his own problems. He's been working on a documentary film for some time but has yet to complete it. He and his wife Wendy have long ago stopped loving one another and are clearly on their way to divorce. He falls in love with Halley Reed who works with a producer, Lester. Cliff soon finds himself making a documentary about Lester and hates every minute of it.

We're all very proud

of Judah Rosenthal's philanthropic efforts,

his endless hours of
fundraising for the hospital,

the new medical center, and now,

the ophthalmology wing,

which, until this year,
had just been a dream.

But it's Judah Rosenthal, our friend,

that we most appreciate.

The husband, the father,
the golf companion.

Naturally, if you have...

You're blushing, darling. or night, weekends or holidays.

But you can also call Judah to find out

which is the best restaurant in Paris.

Or Athens

or which hotel to stay at in Moscow

or the best recording of a
particular Mozart symphony.

My father is so nervous
about having to get up and speak.

I know, I know. I knew he was nervous

when you didn't eat any of those cocktail
weenies at hors d'oeuvres.

He was so courageous all week.

Then suddenly tonight, stage fright.

Really, Judah, you were fine till
you got home from work today.

Any mail?

The mail's exactly where
I left it this morning.

I haven't had a free second all day.

If you gotta take a shower, you better do it
because I have to use it, too.

I dread making that speech tonight.

Dear Miriam Rosenthal,

I'm at the lowest point of my life

as I write you this letter.

I wish to cause no suffering,

but because I'm going through pure hell,

I ask if you can meet me one time.

Your husband and I
are more than intimate friends

and have been deeply in love
for over two years now.

This must be faced

as there are so many
ramifications and complications.

Many promises were made, et cetera.

I need an open exchange
with you to clear things.

For all three of us to go on,

the situation has got to be
confronted in some fashion.

Please contact me at this number.

I want what's best for everyone.

Dolores Paley.

That the new ophthalmology wing

has become a reality is not
just a tribute to me,

but to a spirit of community,


of mutual caring,

and answered prayers.

Now it's funny
I use the term "answered prayers."

You see,

I'm a man of science.

I've always been a skeptic,

but I was raised quite religiously.

And while I challenged it, even as a child,

some of that feeling
must have stuck with me.

I remember my father telling me,

"the eyes of God are on us always."

The eyes of God.

What a phrase to a young boy.

I mean, what were God's eyes like?

Unimaginably penetrating,
intense eyes, I assumed.

And I wonder if it was just a coincidence

that I made my specialty ophthalmology.

I'm so proud of you, Judah.

Surely we all are.

Why did you write that letter?

You know why. We've been through it.

You want to destroy my life and my family?

I want her to know
the kind of man she's married to.

It was lying on the table all day.

By sheer chance, she didn't open it.

By a miracle, I got it first.

You told me over and over
again you'd leave Miriam.

- We made plans.
- I didn't.

You did! I gave up things for you!

- Business opportunities.
- Oh, pipe dreams.

And there were other men who wanted me.

What do you want from me?

You think this was an easy decision?

I want what you told me
you wanted.

To be together. Otherwise, I...

I don't know what I'll do, Judah.

I'll jump out the window, I swear.

You've been my whole life for two years.

I can't go back to the way things were.

I was at a low point when I met you.
You turned everything around.

I never said I'd leave Miriam.

That's wishful thinking on your part.

Yeah, well,
there's no passion left. It's boring.

Those are your words,
unless you were lying to me.

Now, that's not true.

Or there's more to this than...
That I don't know.

- You met someone else?
- What?

Oh, come on, will you?

For God's sake, Dolores.

- Dolores.
- What?

Now, look.

I've lived with her 25 years.
The roots are very deep.

I mean, I can't go on leading two lives.

Yeah, well, you're not
doing her any favor by pretending with her.

I'm not going to be without you.

I'm not going to let this
happen to me without a fight!

- Wait a minute, listen.
- I wanna speak to Miriam!

- I'm not gonna let this happen again.
- Dolores, nothing is happening,

- all right?
- No.

Yes. Now, listen to me, please.

Just bear with me.
We'll work something out.

Let me get my thoughts together.

Just don't do anything rash. Now...



It's gonna be okay.

Oh, God.

- You were gonna wait until...
- Annie...

And then throw me aside
like a squeezed lemon.

Squeezed lemon. Don't dramatize it.

I've given you the best years of my life

and you were willing to go on and on.

- Get out of here.
- May I...

I know you for what you are.

I'm lucky I found you out.
You're going out of here.

Those are my clothes!

- That was great, wasn't it?
- Yeah. I loved it.

With the tuxedos
and the evening gowns and everything.

I know. It was great.

God, it was wonderful to live like that.
This is awful.

- Let me see if I can get a cab. You stay here.
- Okay.

So you want to go
to the movies again tomorrow?

Oh, sure, Uncle Cliff.


Unless... Unless maybe we should make
it a museum day, you know?

I promised your father
on his deathbed

that I would give you
a well-rounded education.

And, you know, we probably shouldn't
go to the movies every day.

Just... Just once in a while.
Even though I'd love to.

You know?

So, while we wait for a cab,

I'll give you your lesson for today.


Your lesson is this,

don't listen to what
your schoolteachers tell you,

you know? Don't pay attention to that.

Just... Just see what they look like.

And that's how
you'll know what life is really gonna be like.

Ok? You heard it here first.

I think I see a cab. If we run quickly,

we can kick the crutch
from that old lady and get it.

I'm back.

- Where were you?
- Oh.

You know, just out and around.

You probably took your niece
to the movies again.

Oh, I'm crazy about that kid.

You know, she's just great.

My brother called. He's in town.

He wants us to join him
for a little dinner party tonight.

- Jesus.
- Oh, please, Clifford.

You gonna make another scene?

- Hey, I didn't make a scene last time.
- Yes, you certainly did.

You were not nice
and your resentment showed.

I don't resent him. I've told you that.

You know, I happen to think
he's a pompous ass. You don't see it

- 'cause you're in love with him.
- What are you muttering?

- I'm not muttering anything.
- You certainly are.

You're running down
Lester under your breath.

Hey, I like your brother Ben.

Sure. Ben is a saint.
You're not jealous of Ben.

You think I'm jealous of Lester

because he's a television producer?

No. I think you're jealous
because he's a much-honored,

highly-respected man
and he's a millionaire 10 times over,

and he's doing what you'd like to be doing.

Hey, listen, I can't watch his stuff, ok.

It's submental.

I think he wants to talk to you about a job.

I don't need a job.

And didn't I get honorable
mention at that festival in, in, in...

In Cincinnati?
The Cincinnati Documentary Film Festival?

This is what you're clinging to?

Everybody got honorable
mention who showed up.

Boy, things have really
changed around here.

Wendy, Wendy, Cliff, come here.
I want you to meet Lisa.

- Hi, this is my... My sister Wendy.
- Hi.

- My brother-in-law Clifford.
- Hi.

This is Lisa Crosley.
Lisa's gonna star in my new series.

I'm not really starring.

Yeah, well, you're one of the stars.

- It's an ensemble piece.
- Mmm-hmm.

- Tell them who you're playing.
- Hello, Lester.

Oh, hi. Hello, darling.

- I'm so glad you came.
- Thank you so much for inviting me.

- It's a beautiful party.
- Thank you.

Why don't you have a drink.
I'll be right... I'm gonna see you in a second.

I'll be right there.

She gave a bundle to
the Museum of Broadcasting.

She paid a lot.

She plays, uh, she plays, um...

- A lawyer for the A.C.L.U.
- A.C.L.U. Yeah, yeah.

With a husband who writes
for a conservative magazine.

Yeah, gives us a chance
to get into issues, you know.

We're gonna try to be fair
to both sides, but,

knowing Lester,
it'll be heavily slanted to the left.

Well, let's hope so.

You know, we're gonna shoot it here.

- You're kidding. You'll be here?
- Yeah, yeah.

Yeah. I want to shoot
more shows in New York.

- Oh, God. I couldn't be happier.
- I know. Me, too.

- Oh, this is great.
- I know, I love this town. I mean, it's...

You know, out there is such a Mickey Mouse
environment. I'm not interested.

In fact, that's one
of the reasons I'm in this...

- Hello, Lester.
- Hi, I want to talk to you.

Don't go away. I'll be right with you.

Uh, we're go... A bunch of us
are getting together to, uh,

to build major studio space for production

right here in, you know, in the city.

In fact... I'm sorry. Just give me one second.

Idea for series,

a wealthy, high-profile builder

who's always trying
to realize, uh, grandiose dreams

? la Donald Trump. To be shot in New York.

Look who's here.

Oh, that's my brother Ben.
I want you to meet Ben.

Ben, Ben, Carol, come here.

- How are you, kid?
- Nice to see you.

- Hi, honey.
- Hi, sweetheart.

Hi, Cliff.

Listen, how are you doing?
How are your eyes?

Not so good. It's not so optimistic.

Oh, you're kidding.

I've been seeing
Dr. Rosenthal for about three months.

Uh, Lester, I'm sorry.
Don't you want to talk to Clifford?

- Oh, yeah, yeah. Step into my office.
- Yeah, thank you.


- Hi.
- I'm Lisa.

- Oh, hi. We didn't meet. I'm sorry.
- Oh, I'm sorry.

So, are you in T.V., too?


No. I'm a rabbi.

You don't have to wear
an outfit or anything?

Public television wants
to do a documentary on, you know...

Well, follow me around.

The way I talk,
the way I think, that kind of thing.

So it's for part of their,
uh, uh, Creative Mind series.

So I told them about you.

Oh, thank you.

You know, I'm...
I'm working on a thing of my own.

- I'm putting together a little film.
- Yeah, I know.

Wendy told me.
You're trying to make a film about, uh,

some philosophy professor,
which is admirable. That's fine.

But I'm... I'm... I'm offering you the
chance to earn some decent money,

you know, reach a big audience.

The last thing in the world
you need is for me to be your biographer.

You know, I make
these little films on, on, you know,

- toxic waste and starving children.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, look, I'll be frank with you.

You're not my first choice.

I'm doing this strictly as a favor to Wendy.

She says you haven't worked in a long time.
She's embarrassed.

I've worked. It's just that
nobody's paying me. I'm, you know...

Look, I know you don't respect what I do,

I understand that.
But, you know, I got a closet full of Emmys.

You, you realize that.
Oh, all right, okay. You think that's bullshit.

Fine. Okay, fine. I understand. Fine.

I don't know. Maybe I could use the
money to finish my movie.

You know, I...
I do have some debts and things.

Idea for farce.

A poor, uh...

A poor loser
agrees to do the story of a great man's life

and in the process
comes to learn deep values.

What will you be doing
in Boston?

I'm lecturing at a symposium.

Incidentally, my name's Dolores.

- Hello, Dolores.
- Hello.

- Pretty name.
- Thank you very much.

Do you go to Boston often?

Not very often. No, I...

Don't know anyone in Boston, actually.

- Really?
- Yeah.

- Good morning.
- Hi, hi.

A Miss Paley called, and said it was urgent.

Why did you phone me?

I told you I'd call you.

I couldn't help it.

I was going out of my skin.

I have to see you later.

I have to.


After work is okay.

I see it.


I see it.

Oh, God.


I need to take a minute.

What's wrong, Judah?

I'm in such trouble, Ben.

What is it?

I need to talk to someone.


We've known each other many years.
You're a religious man.

I'm... Okay, I'm not.

We've differed on many points,

but you're somebody I do respect.

May I confide in you?

Of course.

Go ahead. Everything's confidential.

I've done a foolish thing.

Senseless, vain, dumb.

Another woman.

Maybe I was flattered, vulnerable.

Maybe because she was
helpless and alone, I don't know.

But now my life's about to go up in smoke.

Can't you break it off?

The woman won't allow it.

She's young. She's very unstable.

She's an hysteric.

And vindictive.

And it's my fault.

I instigated it. I prolonged it.

Many times
I tried to back off, but I was too weak.

But I promised her nothing.

But did I? See, I don't even know anymore.

In the heat of passion, you say things.

All I know is, after two years
of shameful deceit,

where I led this double life,

I awakened as if from a dream

and realized what I'd be losing.

It's called wisdom.

It comes to some suddenly.

We realize the difference
between what's real and deep and lasting

versus the superficial
payoff of the moment.

You know, I kidded myself about loving her,

but deep down I knew,

knowing I behaved selfishly.

For pleasure, for adventure, for lust.

Sometimes when there's real love and

true acknowledgment of a mistake,

there can be, uh, forgiveness, too.

I know Miriam.

Her values, her feelings,

her place among
our friends and colleagues...

But what choice do you have

if the woman is going to tell her? You...

You have to confess the wrong

and hope for understanding and

maybe Miriam was responsible
in some ways, too,

and you have to discuss it
and hope for the best.

And maybe you and Miriam
can never go back to the old life,

but maybe there's
a new one with maturity and understanding.

Maybe I...

Maybe even a richer one.

You know what's funny?

Our entire adult lives,

you and I have been having

this same conversation
in one form or another.

Yes, I know.

It's a fundamental difference
in the way we view the world.

You see it as harsh
and empty of values and pitiless,

and I couldn't go on living
if I didn't feel with all my heart

a moral structure with real meaning

and forgiveness.

And some kind of higher power.

Otherwise, there's no basis
to know how to live.

And I know you well enough to know

that a spark of
that notion is inside you somewhere, too.

Now, you're talking to me
like your congregation.

It's true. We went from a small infidelity

to the meaning of existence.

Miriam won't think two years
of scheming and dishonesty is a...

Is a small infidelity.

Oh, how can you do it?

I give up.

God, you're in such wonderful shape.

- For a man my age.
- For any age.

I was actually quite athletic
when I was a young student.

- You still make love like a young student.
- Yeah?

- Yeah.
- Yeah?

You know,

I don't think we should do this here.

Well, why not? We're all alone.

I don't know.

I feel a little self-conscious.

Let's go back to the cottage and light a fire.

And you can play me the Schumann.


- Schumann is flowery.
- Oh.

Schubert is...

Well, reminds me of you.

The sad one.


God, you have to teach me all that.

I'm so ignorant in classical music.

I'll teach you.

Someday, we'll have a lot of time.

Would you like a drink?

Yeah. Well, fix me
whatever you're having.

Why did you call
the house last night and hang up, huh, Del?

I'm not playing games, Judah.

Just because you've decided
I'm through in your life

doesn't mean I'm gonna roll over and die.

What the hell happened to us? I mean...

We had a wonderful few years.

We both knew it couldn't go on forever.

I gave up things for you.

Oh, come on. That's poppycock.

Don't give me that, will you?

For God's sakes.

There were no business opportunities.
It's all in your head.

No lovers begging for your hand.

I mean, I prevented nothing. I... I... I...

Can we not argue?

I just wanted to talk.

I'm just so rattled.

I have an idea.

I thought if we could get away. Just...

Just for a little while on one of our trips.

Our trips are the warmest memories I have,

not just in our relationship,

but some of the loveliest
times I've ever had.

And you're always so much
more relaxed away from home.

You come to life.

Your whole face changes.

I thought if we could just

get away to Boston or Washington,

just without any preconceived notions...

I can't go away, Del.

- Just a weekend, just to be together.
- I can't, Del.

- Why not?
- I can't.

- You won't.
- Of course, I won't.


Why not?

Because you're
very unrealistic, you know that?

Sit, sit down for a second.

Let's talk.


I've been...

I've been thinking, too,

and it...

It occurs to me, I mean, if I...

If I have caused you
to miss out on any opportunities

that might have been lucrative for you,

I'm... I'm perfectly prepared
to, to reimburse you.

I mean, I certainly don't
want to feel I've cost you...

I'm not after your goddamn money!

I want to speak to Miriam.

- It's her problem, too.
- Now keep her out of it.

- I want her to know the truth.
- Keep her out of it, all right?

I think she should know
her husband is a liar and an embezzler.

Don't you dare call me an embezzler.

I'm not blind.

I know what went on between those
philanthropies and your stocks.

I took nothing, not a nickel, ever.

My conscience is completely clear.

You needed money to cover your losses.

- I was around when it was happening.
- Okay, okay.

I needed some temporary help.
I mean,

for Christ's sake.
I mean, after a lifetime of hard work,

a man doesn't sit still
and watch himself go down the toilet.

I mean, does he?

And moving around funds
is certainly not stealing.

- Without asking or telling anyone?
- Look, listen to me.

Every cent was accounted for with interest.

I don't think they would see it that way.

So this is it, right?
This is what you plan on doing.

You're gonna hold on
to me with threats, right?

Stupid threats and slander.

This is your idea of love, right?

I will not be tossed out!
I want to speak to Miriam!

Think, for Christ's sake!

Well, think... Think
what the hell you're doing to me, will you?


I can't figure it out.

I need you.


I love New York. I was
born in that building right there.

Behind the... The guy, uh, the statue
there, the guy on the pedestal.

I love New York. It's like, uh,

it's like thousands of, uh, straight lines

just looking for a punch line, you know?

And what makes New York
such a funny place, is that

there's so much tension
and pain and misery and craziness here.

And they got...
That's the first part of comedy.

But see, you got to get
some distance from it.

You know what I mean?

That the main...
The thing to remember about comedy is,

if it's... If it bends, it's funny.

If it breaks, it's not funny.

So you gotta get back from the pain.
You see what I mean?

But the... The, uh...

Like they said,
they asked me up in, uh, at Harvard,

a bunch of kids asked me,
"Why... What's comedy?"

So, I said... And then this is...

This is part of what
I'm trying to say about getting back from it.

I, I said, "comedy is tragedy plus time."

Tragedy plus time.

See, when... The night Lincoln was shot,

you couldn't joke about it.
You couldn't make a joke about that.

You just couldn't do it.

Now time has gone by,
and now it's fair game.

See what I mean? It's tragedy plus time.

Okay. We're out.

That's it? So fast?

I shot up 10 rolls on your first question.

All right, I gotta...
I gotta get to CBS Anyway.

Remember where we were.
We'll start this again tomorrow.

Just... Just remember what I was saying.

- What do you think? All right?
- Excellent.

- Absolutely.
- I think I'm too cute.

I'm gonna do it more...

I'm gonna be
more relaxed tomorrow, you know?

I'm gonna do that tragedy stuff.
I got good stuff on that.

Yeah, this is Halley Reed
for Mr. Kurnitz, please.

Listen, would you...
Would you excuse me one second?

Listen, I know I told you this before,

but if you play
your cards right, you could have my body.

Wouldn't you rather leave it to science?

- That's okay, I'll wait. Thank you.
- Will you listen?

Will you listen? I'm offering you my heart.
You're squashing it. Come on.

When are you gonna quit
this organization, come work for me?

Oh, you'd fire me.
I'm much too opinionated.

No, no, no.

- That's okay. I'll wait.
- Listen, I like...

I like mental stimulation.

You tried shock therapy?

That's good, that's funny. That's very good.

Listen, Lester. I'm sorry, but we've got...

Ok, I'll be... I'll be right with you.

Wait in the car for me. Wait in the car.

Arthur, wait in the car.

- Would you please come?
- Yes.

- You promise?
- Wait in the car. Wait in the car.

Yes. I... I was holding

- for Mr. Kurnitz, please. It's Halley Reed.
- What do you think?

Why don't you come with me
down to Barbados?

We'll swim, you know, we'll get some sun...

Sorry. I freckle.

That's my best shot.
I can't do any better than that.

That's okay. I'll wait.

Okay. Look, think about it, okay?

Please think about it.
Talk to you tomorrow.


Yeah. It's Halley Reed. You cut me off.



Excuse me. We haven't officially met.

Hi. I'm Halley Reed.

I'm one of the associate producers.

I'm Clifford Stern.

Can I ask you the same
question that I asked the producer?

What do you bother with this guy for?

I mean, he's, you know,
he's such a pompous bore,

- and your show does such great profiles.
- Well, listen,

I'll tell you just between you and me.

I wanted to do Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

That's perfect.

They like to mix it up.
They like a little variety.

After all, he is an American phenomenon.

Yeah, but so is acid rain.

Boy, you really don't like him, do you?

I love him like a brother.

David Greenglass.

So, why... Why are you doing this show?

It's very unusual for them
to bring in an outside person like this.

Well, yes, I know.
I'm... I'm doing it strictly for the money.

I wanna, you know... I'm trying to
make my own documentary on...

I'm doing a profile on a guy

who would be absolutely
perfect for your show.

- He would be worthy.
- Yeah, who's that?

His name is Louis Levy. Do, do, do you have

a little time?

Now, the unique thing that happened

to the early Israelites was

that they conceive a god that, that cares.

He cares, but at the same time,

he also demands

that you behave morally.

But here comes the paradox.

What's one of the first things
that, that God asks?

That God asks Abraham

to sacrifice his only son,

his beloved son to him.

In other words, in spite
of millennia of efforts,

we have not succeeded to create

a really and entirely

loving image of God.

This was beyond our capacity to imagine.

Boy, he's really interesting.

I know. This is a fascinating guy.

He could be wonderful for the series.

Well, that would be great.
You want to dump Lester and do him?

'Cause I would love to...
You know, we could scrap Lester...

We can't do... We can't dump Lester,

but I could talk them into
a little financing for you.

And if this, you know,
if all this comes together right,

and it should,

I... I can tell you right now,

we got some free spots in the fall schedule.

That would be wonderful.
For me to get something on your series

- would be such a feather in my cap. Here.
- Thanks.

You know, that would be great.

That would be
the biggest audience I ever had.

Well, great. You know, let's work on it.

Let's... Let's make it happen.

- Really? I got so much good footage on him.
- Thank you.

You know, even though we just met,

I've taken an instant liking to you.

And I to him.

Hi. I thought I'd come by on my way home.

- I... I got Jenny a present.
- Okay, come on in.

Is that you, Uncle Cliff?

Yes, Jenny. I got you something.

I got you a great book.

I got you an absolutely terrific book.

Hi, how are you?

I got you this great book
with great pictures of old New York in it.

Look at this. Here, look at this.

- This is old 5th Avenue. See?
- Oh, my God.

- I told you, carriages and top hats.
- It's great.

I told you.

Then, there's
a whole section on speakeasies, here,

which is really interesting.

- And that's the Flatiron Building.
- Mmm-hmm.

Which is a very famous building.
I'm in a great mood today.

I had a creative breakthrough,
so my juices are flowing.

I heard you got some action
on your ad in the personals

which is, I guess, terrific.

This is the old Madison Square Garden.


- don't you have some homework to finish?
- Yeah. I have to go do that.

So, we'll... We'll look at this later.

But there's great pictures.

Yeah. Thanks a lot.


What's the matter?

I'm a wreck.

What... What is it?

I'm a wreck.

Barbara, Barbara, what's...
What's the matter?

- I feel sick.
- Barbara,

- what... What is it?
- I'm still shaking.

I've been shaking like this for days.

What? What's wrong?

I've been going out with this man

that I met through the personal columns.

Very attractive.

He was very nice.

I went out with him three times.

He was never fresh.

He was always a perfect gentleman.

So we both came back here,

and, um, Jenny was away.

You know,
she was sleeping over at a friend's house.

And it was like 1:00
in the morning or something,

and we both had, had a little to drink.

You know, I want to tie you to the bed.

- Really?
- And rip your dress off.


Have you ever, uh, been bound up,

tied up, and made love to?

Um, I'm... I'm... I'm a...

I'm a sensible gal.

No more, you're not.


God, Murray, God.

God, uh...

Barbara, I'm shocked at what I'm hearing.

You're my sister.

You're this nice middle-class mother.

What... What are you telling me?

I couldn't move.

I was tied tightly to the bedposts.

Oh, Jesus.

By a... A guy that you didn't know?

Well, now... Now you're gonna tell
me that he robbed you, right?


He got on top of me and...

- And what? What?
- I can't say it.

I just... I can't say it.

What? Tell me. What's so terrible?

He sat over me

and went to the bathroom.

Oh! Oh! Oh!

That's so disgusting!

Oh, my God.

That's the worst thing
I ever heard in my life!

Then he took his clothes and left.

Oh, Barbara, you idiot!

This guy could've cut your throat.

He could've murdered you.

I would've preferred it.

Oh, Jesus, you're such a dope!

I wish I could have sympathy for this.

- That's the...
- Oh, that's so easy for you to say,

but I'm so lonely.

You don't know
what it's like to be by yourself

all the time.

Look, I'm sure you're lonely,
I know it's painful,

but promise me that you're never
gonna place another ad again.

Because that's just,
you know, it's ridiculous.

My whole life is passing me by,

and I don't have anyone to love.

I know that's so hard
for you to comprehend

because you're married.

But it's just so lonely out there.

I mean, you have a wife and you love her,

and that's so nice.

Let me tell you something.

Things are not so good
between my wife and myself

just so you don't get any illusions.

You know, we're... We...
We've been coming apart for the last year.

You know, it's just that
neither of us has the energy

to do anything about it,

but it's not so great.

A strange man

defecated on my sister.


I don't know.

Is there any... Is there any

reason I could give you
that would answer that satisfactorily?

You know, it's just so...

Human sexuality is just...

It's so mysterious

which I guess is, you know,

I guess is good in a way.

Yeah, well, I gotta be up at 7:00.

I knew
it had to be some kind of a deep, dark secret

for you to stoop to call me.

I mean, to actually invite me to your home.

Come on, Jack,
don't hit me while I'm down.

I mean, who should I turn to but a brother?

I've been there for you.

I'm here, aren't I?

So don't make sharp cracks.
I didn't stoop to call you.

I'm in serious trouble.

She won't take money,
she won't listen to reason.

I even toyed with the idea of
telling everything to Miriam,

but she'd never be able to live with it.

Add to that, her blabbing
about my financial indiscretions.

Not that I stole, but I...

I was indiscreet and

if they look hard enough,
who knows what they'll find?

What would you like me to do?

I don't know, but she's killing me.

Want me to have somebody talk to her?

Like what?

Straighten her out.

What do you mean, threaten her?

That's all I need.

How else do you expect to keep her quiet?

I don't know. Jack, I don't know.


Christ, Jack, what are you suggesting?

What did you call me for?

I don't know. I... I hoped

you'd have more experience
with something like this.

You called me
because you needed some dirty work done.

That's all you ever call for.

Look how bitter you are.

You've staked me plenty of times.

I don't forget my obligations.

Threatening her would
only make it worse, Jack.

Okay. Forget about it.

What do you want me to say?

How the hell can I forget about it?

I'm fighting for my life.

This woman's gonna destroy
everything I've built.

That's what I'm saying, Judah.

If the woman won't listen to reason,

then you go on to the next step.

What, threats? Violence?

What are we talking about here?

She can be gotten rid of.

I mean, I know a lot of people.

Money will buy whatever's necessary.

I'm not even going to comment on that.
That's mind-boggling.

Well, what did you
want me to do when you called me?

Not to do dirty work,
despite what you think.

Anyway, it's gone beyond
just Miriam, now. She's...

She's talking financial doings.

I'm out of ideas.

I don't know what I expected from you,
Jack, but maybe some help.

You know, you're not aware

of what goes on in this world.

I mean, you sit up here with your four acres

- don't give me any of that stuff.
- ...and your country club

- I don't want to hear about my success.
- ...and your rich friends and

out there in the real world,

- it's a whole different story.
- Come on.

I've met a lot of characters
from when I had the restaurant...

I know you have.
I've heard these stories before.

From 7th Avenue, from Atlantic City,

and I'm not so high-class
that I can avoid looking at realities.

I can't afford to be aloof.

And you come to me
with a hell of a problem,

and, uh, then you get high-handed on me.

Jack, I don't mean to be high-handed.

I haven't been sleeping nights.
I'm irritable, okay?

- Okay. Okay. Forget I said anything.
- Okay.

Now let me just get
something straight here.

Am I understanding you right? I mean...

Are you suggesting getting rid of her?

You won't be involved.

But I'll need some cash.

What will they do?

What'll they do? They'll handle it.

I can't believe I'm talking
about a human being.

Jack, she's not an... An insect.

You don't just step on her.

I know.

Playing hardball was never your game.

You never liked to get your hands dirty.

But apparently this woman is for real,

and this thing isn't just gonna go away.

I can't do it.

I can't think that way.



Don't tell me.

I don't want to know anything about it.

This is a work of art.

The ropes come off,

I tie sash weights
to her ankles with soft catgut.

Please. That's a horrible word.

Look, get the angle on this.

She disappears, two weeks, maybe three,

then up she pops,

none of this stuff on her anymore.

No marks. A suicide.

Now, isn't that beautiful?

It's loathsome.
Now be sure no one sees you.

Don't worry, I'll take...

This only happens
in the movies.

Oh, listen, we should get back.

Lester's going to be leaving the hotel soon.

It's okay. We'll make it.

We've been shooting Lester all week.
I'm tired of it, you know.

We... We'll catch him in time.

I never should have told you my weakness

is going to the movies in the daytime.

I go all the time with my niece.
It's wonderful.

You know, it's like playing hooky.

Yeah, that's what you said yesterday.
We were late then, too.

We weren't late.
We didn't miss anything. Here.

Have another cheeseburger.

- It's our lunch hour.
- Thanks.

I got everyone up at the network

very excited over Professor Levy.

Yes, well, I have
some great stuff to show you later.


I brought you a present.

Great. Now I can get rid
of my few remaining teeth.

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you


Look at his face.

- A treadmill.
- Yeah.

Just what I need.
You trying to tell me something?

You said you were bored with the bicycle.

I'm afraid you're gonna find
this just as boring, though.

Well, I think you're in great shape already.

Yeah, for a man my age.

- That's exactly what I was gonna say.
- Thank you.

Oh, it's great to see you enjoy yourself.
You've been so depressed lately.

This thing's great
for tension, you know, relieving tension.

I'll go get it.

- Well, it's just like the one at the club.
- Uh-huh.

- ...burning calories.
- The one you saw that you liked, remember?

Where are we gonna put this?

I'm gonna have some
20 men take it upstairs.

- Your weight.
- It looks like a piece of kinetic sculpture.

No, no, it's not gonna stay down here.

It tells you, uh, you know,
how many calories...

Dad, Dad, it's for you.

Miss Paley.


Uh, she's a patient.

Oh, on this phone?

Uh, yeah. She's going through a crisis.
I'll... I'll be back.

Hey, you don't...
You don't need a manual for this.

What's the matter with the service?

- Why couldn't the service pick it up?
- ...I can use this.

I'm calling from the gas station

down the road from your house.

I can be there in five minutes.

I'm going to,

unless you meet me here, right now.

No, Judah. No, Judah.

No. I wanna talk to you in person,

or I'm coming over.

Just calm down, okay?

You keep saying
we're going away.

I want to be alone with you.

And when we get back,
I want you to bring everything

to a conclusion with Miriam.

- Now, listen.
- I can't go on like this. I can't wait forever!

- Del, listen, now, maybe...
- You don't know what it's like!

Maybe it would help
if you talked to somebody.

I mean, like, like a therapist or somebody.

- Don't trick me, Judah!
- I'm...

Christ, I'm shaking.


I brought you a birthday present.

I know how much you love Schubert.

Sometimes, when there's real love

and true acknowledgment of a mistake,

there can be, uh, forgiveness, too.

I know Miriam.
Her values, her feelings,

Her place among
our friends and colleagues.

But what choice do you have

if the woman is going to tell her?

You have to confess the wrong

and hope for understanding.

I couldn't go on living
if I didn't feel with all my heart

a moral structure with real meaning

and forgiveness

and some kind of higher power.

there's no basis to know how to live.

And I know you well enough to know that

a spark of that notion
is inside you somewhere, too.

Could you really go through with it?

What choice do I have, Ben?

Tell me.

Give the people
that you've hurt a chance to forgive you.

Miriam won't forgive me.

She'll be broken.

She worships me.

She'll be humiliated before our friends.

This woman plans to make a stink.

Did you make promises to her?


Maybe I led her on more than I realized.

She... She's so emotionally hungry.

But it's deeper than just Miriam, now.

Meaning financial improprieties?


Maybe I...

Maybe I did make
some questionable moves.

Only you would know that, Judah.

I don't anymore, Ben.

Sometimes it's worse than...
Worse than jail.

It's a human life.

You don't think God sees?

God is a luxury I can't afford.

Now you're talking like your brother Jack.

Jack lives in the real world.

You live in the kingdom of heaven.

I managed to keep free
of that real world, but

suddenly, it's found me.

You fool around with her for your pleasure,

and then when you think it's enough,

you want to sweep her under the rug?

There's no other solution but Jack's, Ben.

I push one button,
and I can sleep again nights.

Could you sleep with that?

- No.
- Is that who you really are?

I will not be destroyed
by this neurotic woman.

But the law, Judah.

Without the law, it's all darkness.

You sound like my father.

What good is the law

if it prevents me from receiving justice?

Is what she's doing to me just?

Is this what I deserve?

Jack? It's Judah.

I think we should move ahead
with what we discussed.

How much will you need?

Not funny. It's not funny, guys.

No, it's not. It's not, not funny.
You're not thinking funny.

You got to think with your ear.
You know what I'm saying?

Do... Do you understand
what I'm trying to tell you?

Look, here's the difference.
It's very easy, very easy.

If it bends, it's funny.

If it breaks, it's not funny.

It's very simple. Wait a minute.

Here, wait a minute. Jeff, this is Alva.

Hi, pleased to meet you.

Don't... Don't shoot this part.

Don't, don't, hey.

Alva's gonna play
a small part in the, uh, new series.

I don't know what she's gonna
do, but I just know I want her.

- It's wonderful. You look great.
- Thank you.

- It's wonderful.
- Thank you.

Trust me, they love you.
Wonderful. Be right out.

All right, okay.

Don't do that while he's shooting. Don't.

It's messing my hair up.

All right, now,
you understand what I'm saying?

- No.
- Think of Oedipus.

Oedipus is funny.
Oedipus... That's the structure of funny

right there.

"Who did this terrible thing to our city?

"Oh, my God, it was me." That's funny.

See, but the difference is one...

Don't do it while they're shooting!

What the hell are you doing?

You will notice

that what we are aiming at

when we fall in love is
a very strange paradox.

The paradox consists of the fact

that when we fall in love,

we are seeking to re-find

all or some of the people

to whom we were attached as children.

On the other hand,

we ask our beloved

to correct all of the wrongs

that these early parents

or siblings inflicted on upon us,

so that love contains in it
the contradiction,

the attempt to return to the past

and the attempt to undo the past.

See? No limos. No bimbos.

No, no awards or anything.
This guy is just a...

You know, just a, a, a thinker, an intellect.

You know, I was just thinking.
I was thinking

when you... When you ultimately show this

to the pro... Uh, the people
that make the final decision...

- Mmm-hmm.
- ...I think you should emphasize

his overall view of life.
I mean, 'cause it's great.

It's large and life-affirming.

- Well, well, I plan to.
- They love a positive statement.

- Good.
- See, this is what I need, a little...

A little interest in my work. A little
encouragement or something, you know.

It's, uh... Let me ask you something.

I got a, a bottle of champagne as a prize.

It was sent to me from Paris.
I, uh, got honorable mention, you know,

for a little documentary
that I did on leukemia.

And, and, um,

You want some champagne?

- I... I... I...
- We can open it and celebrate or something.

I never say no to champagne or caviar.

Ok, that's perfect.
I, I have no caviar, of course.

I have oat bran
which is better for your heart.

He was very eloquent
on the subject of love, didn't you think?

Yeah. Wish I had read him
before I got married, you know?

It would have saved me
a gallbladder operation.

Sorry. What did you say?


You know, he wrote a very interesting book

on human relationships.

He speaks very, very highly
of love at first sight.

My ex-husband and I fell
in love at first sight.

Maybe, I should have taken a second look.

No, actually, it was...
It was my fault as much as his.

I noticed that
you, you still wear a wedding ring.

- Uh, um.
- Is there any reason for that?


I don't know.
I guess I'm just not ready to take it off.

It's good, you know? You know, it keeps me

from, from getting asked out on dates.

Really, you must
have had a pretty terrible marriage

if you... If you don't want to
be asked out on any dates.

Well, no. I mean, he, he was great.

He was, you know, very brilliant.

- He's an architect.
- Uh-huh.

Real handsome and everything.

But if you're gonna have an
affair, not with my best friend.

- Really?
- In my four-poster bed.

And they definitely
didn't have to finish all my pistachio nuts.

Really? That inconsiderate? Well,

I hope it hasn't soured you
on, on marriage or men...

Yeah, I can hear myself
sounding like a bore.

Just the opposite. Hello.

Yeah, she's here.
How did you know?

Oh, hold on one second.

It's Lester.



Sure, if you want me to.

Yeah, okay. At the office at what time?

- 9:00?
- 9:00?

- The building will be dark.
- Okay, that's no problem.

The floor is dark.
There's nobody at the office.

I didn't... Didn't hear that.

The office is closed.
You'll be in a dark room with Lester., I won't forget the outline.

Yeah, the office is
kind of a spooky place at 9:00.


The hotel's even nearer.

- That's... That's better for me.
- Don't go to the hotel.

- What was that? Okay, room 1911 . Sure.
- Hey, you...

Okay. I'll see you there.

- You're not gonna go to a hotel with him.
- Yeah, sure.

- What's the matter with you?
- It's crazy. I better go with you.

- Oh, come on, don't be ridiculous.
- This guy, I know this guy.

He won't be able to take his hands off you.

He'll get you in the room,
you know, and he'll...

He'll read you your Miranda rights,

- and he'll tear your clothes off.
- No, he's interested

in producing something of mine.

- Your first child.
- Oh, God.

Listen, I've never been seduced by a guy

who wears loafers and no socks.

Much less one who says "nucular."

And he also says "foilage."

- I don't like it.
- What are you doing with a copy

of Singin' in the Rain?

It's... It's the one print that I own.

It's a... It's a very good 16 mm print.

- I play it every couple of months...
- Gosh. get my spirits up.

You know, I, I, I saw it

years... I don't know how many years ago.
I remember loving it.

Oh, they play it on television
very, uh, very frequently.

It's wonderful. You want to watch it?

You know, 'cause I could...

I could play it on this thing, reel by reel.

- Really? Don't you have some...
- Yeah. You want to have dinner?

- Anything to do right now?
- No, no.

And, you know,
you got till 9:00. I, uh, I...

You know, why not, well,

there's an Indian restaurant right near.
I'll send out.

You know, we could...

You know.

All I do is dream of you
the whole night through

With the dawn,
I still go on dreamin' of you


I love this Indian food.

It's great.

You want some more tandoori mouse?

Just kidding.

You want some of the curry?

Uh-uh. Too hot. Too hot.

My... My teeth are melting.

Sweet content
just dreamin' away

Boy, this is the perfect way
to see this movie.

Morning, noon,
and night-time, too!

It's great, isn't it?

When you see Lester later,

you know, be careful 'cause

this guy tells you
he wants to exchange ideas.

What he wants is to exchange fluids.


I have a delivery
of some flowers.

So, what you're
saying is Chris and you can't agree

on where you want to spend your money.

We can... We can agree
on something.

We talk about a lot of different places.

It's just that I told Chris and I told...
I told you before.

- Stanley.
- I want to go someplace warm, has beaches.

- Caribbean.
- But I also want to do

things like maybe hike.

I think we should stay out of it.

You know, I hadn't thought of Australia.

- Australia?
- Oh, we don't want to go to Australia.

You know,
I should have done what my friends told me.

Just, just go
where we wanted to go in the first place.

- Where did you want to go in the first place?
- We wanted to go to Italy.

So, what's wrong?

Dad, it's Jack. He's on the phone.

- Who?
- I don't know what happened.

- We were going to go to Italy.
- Jack.

- Well, go to Venice.
- I thought we had it all decided.

- Italy is a wonderful place.
- Italy will be all right.

We can have sun. We can have snow.

We could have everything we want.

Well, you could get snow, I guess.

All my friends have
come back from, you know...

- A lot of my friends have gone to Italy.
- What?

You're not going to go there

- because all your friends have been there?
- No.

I just wanted you to know
everything came out fine.

It's over and done with.

No problems. So you can forget about it.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

I'm in shock, Jack.

Judah, I'm telling you,

it's like the whole thing never existed.

It's a small burglary, nothing more.

So go on back to your life

and, uh, put it behind you.

I can't speak. I'm...

I need a drink.


What am I gonna do?
I've got guests here now.


God have mercy on us, Jack.

Mom, you told me
that Mary went...

Has been having acupuncture.

Yeah, she's tried it.

Yeah, she's... I think she's been
going for the last few months.

She hasn't gone back. She stopped.

- She hasn't gone back?
- Is everything okay, sweetheart?

You look kind of upset.

Yeah, I'm fine. It's just Jack.

She's still
wearing that collar when she drives.

She's, you know,
she can't look around or anything. So...

I know, but it's gotta hurt a lot.

I think I'd just consider trying it, too.

We were talking
about, uh, oriental medicine.

Now, I have a friend
who consulted a Chinese physician

with an eye problem.

And he inserted
a cat's whisker into her tear duct.

She's been telling this story
all week long.

She's loves this story.
It's her favorite story.

Yeah, and what happened?

- Well, it cured it.
- It did?

It did.

But you told me also
he, uh, he uses wires, too.

Well, because
why would you use...

you use needles. Not wires.

But very fine, almost like, almost...

Yeah, but that's
a different procedure.

It's for something else.

What do you think, Judah?


Judah, what do you think, hmm?

I think I've done a, a terrible thing.

What's wrong, honey?


I left these papers at the office

which I absolutely need tonight.

Look, sweetheart, don't...

I can't believe I did this.
How negligent of me.

I've never done this before.

I've got this major
conference first thing in the morning,

- and I left these papers there.
- No, darling, you're not gonna go

- and get them tonight.
- I have to get them tonight...

You can go and get them in the morning.

...because I got an hour's work to do.

Yeah, but we're in the middle
of a dinner party.

I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I, I, I, I...

- Don't apologize.
- Yeah, I don't like you driving.

I don't like him driving at night.

- It worries me.
- Well, Chris can...

Stanley, I'm so sorry about this.

- Would you like some company?
- No, no, not at all.

Darling, forgive me, but I must leave.

- Honey, Chris, will take you.
- It was a wonderful evening.

- I enjoyed it so much.
- Oh, it was wonderful.

Thank you.

Oh, don't... Don't worry about us.
No, we're fine.

I do apologize. We couldn't apologize more.

Let's just finish
the coffee, sit down, and he'll be back.

Well, you know, it's late.

I'll say it once again.

The eyes of God see all.

Listen to me, Judah.

There is absolutely nothing
that escapes his sight.

He sees the righteous,
and he sees the wicked.

And the righteous will be rewarded,

but the wicked will be
punished for eternity.



Hello? Hello?

I want your opinion on this.

We're doing a special show on jazz, here.

I'd really like to know what you think.
I admire her opinions, so.

Did you tell him I want to...
I want to get involved in producing that idea

- you have for a series?
- No.

Oh, it's wonderful, it's great.

She wants to do a different
Chekhov story every month.

The guy wrote a million of them.

It's very sweet of you.

Well, I told you I'm putty in your hands.

What am I gonna do
with a handful of putty?

Look at her.
She's always got a zinger. Isn't that great?

This vixen, this minx.

We should really be going,
shouldn't we?

'Cause we have to pick up
those air sick bags and something else.

I, uh, well, we really do have to go.

I've got to get up at dawn
and teach Emily Dickinson

to a bunch of upper
middle-class crack addicts.

One of my favorite poets.

Me, too.

"Because I could not stop
for death..."

"He kindly stopped for me"

The word "kindly," right?

"The carriage held
but just ourselves and immortality

"We slowly drove, he knew no haste

"and I had put away
my labor and my leisure, too

"for his civility"

Lester was a great
English student in college.

Not that I graduated.

I mean, it's...
It's amazing. I couldn't graduate,

and the same school
now teaches a course in existential motifs

in my situation comedies.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Where'd you go to college, Halley?


You went to Columbia. What, uh, what'd
you... What'd you major in?

Law. I... I graduated from the law school.

- You didn't practice?
- Yes, I did.

I, uh, but then, you know I...
I met my husband and

we moved to Europe for a while.

It's a long, boring story, but...

I wish you'd go back to your old job.

I used to edit newsreel footage, so,

you know, floods, and fires and famines

and, uh, it's depressing.

Listen, we don't all have to go, you know.

Oh, no. I do.

You know what? I'll tell you what. We'll go,

and why don't you two stay,
and you have business to talk over, right?

I could go with you, if you like.

Let's just go, okay?

Why don't... Why don't
we go someplace quiet for a drink?

I wouldn't mind that. It's fine.

I'm... I'm just exhausted.

From what? It's early.

Some other time.

Come on, one little drink.

Really. Some other time.

Jesus, Lester was
so pushy tonight, you know.

He comes on with Halley

like it's business, but he's after her.

Oh, please, what are you talking about?

She really likes him. I can tell.

Oh, you've got to be kidding.
You tell me she likes him?

What, kidding? What's not to like?

What, you think I'm crazy?
He's, he's attractive,

he's, he's rich.
He's the most charming man.

He's your brother is what he is.

You know, you're prejudiced.
She put him down pretty good

when he said, "Let's go have a drink."

She said, "Some other time." I loved that.

- Oh, come on.
- The way she said, "Some other time."

- Just socked it right to him.
- All right. Oh, fine, fine, you made your...

- Some other time.
- Yes, enough already. That's enough.

That was pretty witty.
What makes you think she likes him?

- That's so annoying.
- What makes me...

Didn't you see the way
she was staring at him all night?

She was staring at him all night.

She probably can't believe her eyes.
I stare at the guy.

No, come on.
You wouldn't pick up on those things

if they hit you over the head.

You're not the least bit
romantic, and that's the problem.

Hey, honey, you're the one who
stopped sleeping with me, okay?

It'll be a year come April 20th.

I remember the date exactly
'cause it was Hitler's birthday.

I'm not discussing that anymore.

I don't want to talk about it, all right?

It's just enough about that.
Meantime, I'll bet you,

she's out having a drink with him right now.

For how much?

For how... I'm serious. For how much, huh?

You really know how to get my goat.

Hi, it's Clifford.

Yes, I... I...

I knew you'd be in.
I just... I just wanted, you know...

Tonight was a lot of fun.

Wasn't Lester so silly?

I mean, the guy is so self-important.
He was pushing all night.

The guy presses.
I was... I was frankly embarrassed for him.

What is he doing there?

What do you mean,
you're talking business at 12:00 midnight?


Gee, that could be very dangerous.

You, you want me to...
You want me to come over?

Oh, okay, if you, you... If you can handle it.

Okay. Okay.
I'll see you tomorrow.

I'm completely in love with Halley,

and Lester is starting
to make his move. I can see it.

And he, he wants it just for conquest.
I can tell.

You know, it's so shallow
and I'm crazy about her.

You know, and how can
I compete with the guy because he's rich

- and he's famous, he's successful.
- Oh, come on,

he's no competition for you.

Oh, God bless you
for saying that, sweetheart, really.

You know,
but you'll find as you go through life

that, that great depth
and, and smoldering sensuality

does not always win. I'm sorry to say.

Meanwhile, his brother Ben,
you know, Ben the rabbi?

He's a wonderful guy.

The poor guy called me last night.
He's going blind.

He's got a terrible eye disease

and he's losing his sight.

He's gonna be blind in another few months.

And he's got a great attitude.
He's really a mensch.

All right. Look left.

Now, straight ahead, Ben.

Now, to the right.

That's good.

My mother said

that I should go to the doctor.


'Cause I was, you know,
my eyes weren't so good.

- Well, you're an ophthalmologist.
- Yeah.

Do you agree the eyes
are the windows of the soul?

Well, I believe they're windows,

but I'm not sure it's the soul they see.

My mother taught me I have a soul.

And it will live on after me when I'm gone.

And if you look deeply enough in my eyes,

you can see it.


So what's the verdict?

Look, I'd like to get this resolved
before my daughter's wedding.

Judy is getting married?

Time passes quickly, doesn't it?

Remember, she was just a baby?

Well, yours, too.


Are you okay, Judah?

- Oh, yeah.
- You don't look so good.

I'm fine.
I, I just haven't been sleeping that well.

Tell me, if I'm not prying,

did you ever resolve
your personal difficulties?

Uh, yes, actually, uh...

Resolved itself.
The woman listened to reason.

Did she?

That's wonderful. So you got a break.

Sometimes to have a little good luck

is the most brilliant plan.

Judah, relax. You're white.

You're gonna have a break down. It's over.

What do you expect me to be,
my old self?

I jump when the phone rings.

No good can come of this, Jack.

Hey, don't be so guilty.
I kept you uninvolved.

The guy who's responsible is gone.
He's back in New Orleans.

It's pure evil, Jack.

A man kills for money.
He doesn't even know his victims.

I mean,

he kills, you pay him, and he, he kills again.

Hey, what was your alternative?

How did I get in so deep? I...

What dream was I following?

Judah, you said it yourself a million times.

You only go around once.

Jack, I went to her place after.

I had to retrieve
some incriminating things. I...

I saw her there.

Just staring up, an inert object.

There's nothing in...

Behind her eyes if you looked into them.

All you saw

was a black void.

Can I help you?

Oh, uh.

I used to live in this house once.

Really? When?

Many years ago.

My brother and I used to
race through these rooms.

He was a wonderful kid, my brother.

We were very close in those days.

My father had
high hopes for him, but it never seemed

to work out for him.


Would you mind if I just take a minute?

I mean, everything seems
to be flooding through me.


Come on, Sol, get on with it.

I'm hungry.

- Do you mind, May?
- This is such nonsense, anyway.

What are you putting everyone
through this mumbo-jumbo?

Bring on the main course.

I apologize for my disrespectful sister.

This is the 20th century.
You have young boys sitting here.

Don't fill their heads with superstition.

Oh, the intellectual. The schoolteacher.

Spare us your, your, your
Leninist philosophy just this once.

What, you're afraid if you don't obey the
rules, God's gonna punish you?

He won't punish me, May.
He punishes the wicked.

Oh, who? Like Hitler?

How do you say that?

Six million Jews burnt to death
and he got away with it.

- How did he get away with it? How?
- Come on, Sol. Open your eyes.

Six million Jews and millions of
others and they got off with nothing.

How could human beings
do such a thing?

Because might makes right.

That is, until the Americans
marched in and started to...

- I don't like this talk at my Seder.
- Okay, okay, okay, all right.

- I think this is interesting.
- Yeah, yeah.

You know, wait a minute. There's this joke

about the prizefighter who enters the ring,

and his brother turns to the family priest
and says, "Father, pray for him."

And the priest said,
"I will, but if he can punch, it'll help."

So, what are you saying, May?

You're saying you challenge
the whole moral structure of everything?

What moral structure?

Is that the kind of nonsense
you use on your pupils?

Do you not find human impulse
is basically decent?

It's basically nothing.

Such a cynic, my sister, a nihilist.

Go back to Russia.

Well, listen. I happen to agree with May

when it comes to all that mumbo-jumbo.

How can you say that?

You come to every Seder,
you pray in Hebrew.

Yes, I'm going
through the motions, just like any ritual.

It's a habit.

What are you saying, May? There's no
morality anywhere in the whole world?

Listen, for those
who want morality, there's morality.

Nothing's handed down in stones.

Sol's kind of faith is a gift.

It's like an, an ear for music
or the talent to draw.

He believes,
and you can use logic on him all day long,

and he still believes.

Must everything be logical?

If a man

commits a crime, if he...

If he kills.

Then one way or another,
he will be punished.

If he's caught, Sol.

If he's not caught,
that which originates from a black deed

will blossom in a foul manner.

Eh, you're relying
a little too heavily on the Bible, Sol.

No, no, no, no. Whether it's
the, uh, the Old Testament or Shakespeare,

murder will out.

Who said anything about murder?

You did.

Did I?

And I say,
if he can do it and get away with it,

and he chooses not to be
bothered by the ethics,

then he's home free.

Remember, history is
written by the winners.

And if the Nazis had won,

future generations would understand

the story of World War II quite differently.

Your aunt is
a brilliant woman, Judah,

but she's had a very unhappy life.

- And if all your faith is wrong, Sol.
- Yeah...

I mean, just what if, huh? If, hmm?

Then I'll still have
a better life than all of those that doubt.

Wait a minute?

Are you telling me
that you prefer God to the truth?

If necessary,
I will always choose God over truth.

I agree with him.

I say, what goes around, comes around.

- Oh, are you okay?
- Yes.

- I was worried. It's late.
- I had some business.

- Mrs. Ames is waiting.
- Yeah.

- Any messages?
- Yeah, you got an odd one.

A Detective O'Donnell called and said he
wanted to talk to you about something.

Well, I tried to get him to tell me what,

but he said he only wants to talk with you.

He says, murder, he says

Every time we kiss,
he says, murder, he says

Keep it up like this
and that murder he says

In that impossible tone

Will bring on nobody's
murder but his own

That was not such a great
movie, but, but, you know, it's fun.

Yeah, I liked it.

I think maybe when I'm older
I wanna be an actress.

I don't want you to be an actress.

I want you to be on the Supreme Court

or a doctor or something.

You know, show business
is, is dog eat dog.

It's worse than dog eat dog.

It's, it's dog doesn't return
other dog's phone calls.

You know, which is terrible.

Which reminds me,
I should really check my service.

Although I don't know why. I haven't had
a message in seven years, you know?

I call up and I hear the girls
on the other end giggling.

- Oh, how's Halley?
- She's great.

I'm going to make my move there,

- I think, you know?
- Yeah.

But I have this ethical dilemma
'cause I'm married.

- Yeah.
- But you shouldn't know about that.

Clifford Stern. Any messages?
Can you check, please?

Yeah, my, my heart says one thing,
my head says something else, you know?

Very, very hard to get
your heart and head together in life.

Let me teach you that, you know.

In my case, they're not even friendly.




Okay, thank you.

What's wrong?

Professor Levy committed suicide.

But we must always remember that we,

when we are born,

we need a great deal of love

in order to persuade us to stay in life.

Once we get that love... usually lasts us.

But the universe is a pretty cold place.

It's we who invest it with our feelings.

And under certain conditions,

we feel

that the thing isn't worth it anymore.

I came as soon as I heard.

I... I thought
you might not want to be alone.

Oh, God. It's been terrible, you know.

I called...
The guy was not sick at all.

And he left a note,
he left a simple, little note that said,

"I've gone out the window."

I mean, this is a major
intellectual, and, and this is his note.

"I've gone out the window."

I mean,
what the hell does that mean, you know?

This guy was a role model.
You'd think he'd leave a decent note.

What... Did he...
Did he have family or anything?

No. You know, they were
all killed in the war.

That's what's so strange about this.

He... He's seen the worst side
of life his whole life.

He always was affirmative,
always said yes to life. Yes, yes.

Now, today he said, "no."

Boy, can you imagine his students?

Imagine how shattered they're gonna be?

Listen, I don't know
from suicide, you know.

Where I grew up in Brooklyn,
nobody committed suicide.

You know, everyone was too unhappy.

Boy, you know,
this will put a damper on the show.

Well, I got 600,000 feet of film on this guy,

and he's telling
how great life is and everything.

And now, you know.

You know, what am I gonna do? I'll...
I'll cut it up and make it into guitar picks.

I'm just thinking,
I mean, no matter how elaborate

a philosophical system you work out,

in the end

it's, it's gotta be incomplete.

I've been so...

I've been so annoyed all day.
I'm sorry for seeming cranky.

- Oh, God. I understand.
- It's really, really... It's gonna be...

It's gonna be such a blow.

I just thought you might want
some company.

No, don't do that.

It's something
that I wanted to do now for, for weeks.

- I just want you to know that.
- You're married.

Yes, I'm married,
but, you know, that's not going to last.

I mean, you know...

Well, you know, I'm... I'm not ready.

Is there something you're not telling me?
I mean...


Is there anybody else?

I mean, I just don't
want you to tell me it's Lester.

It's me, it's just me.

I... I... I guess I haven't
gotten over my divorce yet, you know.

And also, I feel

unsettled about my career.

You don't know this about me
but I'm very ambitious.

And, you know, that's an area that I...

You know, I'd like to get consolidated.

And I just feel, you know, unsettled.

Don't confuse me.

I'm not trying to confuse you.

I don't know what I'm doing.

I better go. I should just leave.

- You just got here.
- Yeah, I know, but I... You know...

- Gee, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...
- No, that's okay. It's not...

I'll see you soon. I'll just...
You know, I'll be seeing you.

Please come in.

Uh, we read about it in the paper.

It's... It's a terrible thing.

You know, she'd been coming
here for several years now.

- Please sit down.
- Thank you.

Just a couple of questions, Doctor.

The record shows that she phoned you here

- and at your home a number of times.
- Mmm-hmm.

She was worried about her eyes.

What was she suffering from?

Nothing serious, I mean, she, um,

she had light flashes and they alarmed her.

And I could never find
anything very wrong with her, but, uh...

And I told her that, you know, it was
just a common occurrence.

She was a hypochondriac?

No, no. I wouldn't say that,
but she was concerned.

And there's nothing she ever said

that you think might be
relevant to the case?

Uh, personal life, friends?

No, not really.

How did she come to you?

You know, I honestly can't remember.

Possibly another patient.

Can I get that name?

Well, it was a while ago and I... I...
I treat so many patients.

Might it be in your records?

No, no, no. I... I doubt it very much.

- Well, I'm sorry to take up your time.
- That's all right.

If you, uh, remember anything
you think might be helpful,

- will you give me a call?
- Sure.

- Thank you.
- Pleasure.

For Christ's sake,
Judah, you're having a breakdown.

The police know
she phoned me a lot.

I lied, but I know they saw through it.

I can't take this, Jack. This is not for me.

If you don't pull yourself together,

you're gonna blow the whole thing.

Well, I did it,
and it's irrevocable, and now I'm gonna pay.

Jack, I had to fight an urge just to make a
clean breast of it to the police.

I want this off my mind.

Listen to me, Judah, I'm in this with you.

I helped you out
and I don't wanna go to jail for it.

Now, you get these ideas about confessing

and you may not care
whether you drag me down with you.

But I'm telling you right now,
I'm not gonna let that happen.

What the hell is that, Jack, a threat?

Just pull yourself together and be a man.
You're in the clear.

What, are you gonna have me
rubbed out, too?

Don't talk nonsense.

Look, I wanna know
what you meant by that remark,

"You won't let it happen."
What did you mean by that?

You're my brother. You've helped me
out in the past, financially.

Fine. I did you a favor
when you needed it, all right?

Now all of a sudden
you get this urge to confess?

The time to confess was to Miriam,
about your mistress.

Not about this. This is murder.

You paid for it, I engineered it,

and it's over, all right? So forget about it!

One sin leads to a deeper sin.

Now you sound like Papa.

Adultery, fornication, lies, killing.

Judah, will you shut up already?

Or what? You'll have
your friends shut me up?

One phone call,
like pushing a button, right?

Judah, I don't know
what's wrong with you these days.

You're a different person.

I believe in God, Miriam.

I know it.

Because without God,
the world is a cesspool.

You've been drinking
steadily and every day.

You never used to drink like this.
It's something new.

God, it's hot in here.

Well, maybe we should go, Dad.

Don't tell me what I should do, damn it!

- Judah, will you calm down?
- Dad!

What the...

I don't... I don't feel well.

I'm gonna get a little air.

- Well, I...
- No, you stay here.

All right, look.
This, uh, this story on the homeless,

it's too long. I want five pages out of it.

Make sure he gets five real pages out of it.

This guy tells his secretary
to type it tighter.

He doesn't take anything out of it.
It's stupid.

And I want this guy,
Johansson, off the show.

He's not funny.
He doesn't write funny, I'm sick.

He has cancer. I'm sorry.
I'll send him flowers. He's not funny.

I don't want him. I want him off.

Jesus! Doesn't anybody
know how to write funny anymore?

I mean, what, what am I supposed to do?

Am I supposed to write everything myself?

Write it myself,
direct it myself, produce it myself?

I can't believe this! Look at this!

Look at those people out there!
Look at 'em!

Look out the window at them!

These people are looking
for something funny in their lives!

They're not getting anything funny!

You're giving them straight lines!

Their lives are straight lines already.

They're waiting for something funny!

This is terrible.

What are you doing to me?

This is supposed
to be the profile of a creative mind.

It's very tough for a woman
in this profession.

I mean, men are always hitting on you.

I can make it easier for you...

What is this? What is this? When did you
shoot that? When did you get that?

I was lurking around the corner.

I had my camera and I, I couldn't resist.
I saw you guys.

I don't wanna do it in a kind of a vulgar way,

and just, uh, well,
you know, take it off from what I see here.

I wanna find out what's in here, so I gotta,

you know, spend some time,
we'll have dinner together...

Okay, you can step aside.
I'm taking over this film.

What're you talking about?
You can't finish my film.

I can't? Read your contract.

You promised.

Look, the idea was to show the real me.

All right, okay, I may not be perfect.

But I don't promote values that help...

That... That...
Wait, let me get your quote exactly.

"That deaden
the sensibilities of a great democracy."

You're fired, Cliff. You're fired!
You're out! Get out of here!

Go! Thank you! Goodbye.

If it bends, it's funny.
If it breaks, it isn't.

Come on, now, don't get discouraged.

You have your own personal vision.

What is the guy so upset about?

You'd think nobody
was ever compared to Mussolini before.

God, I had no idea
you were gonna cut the film like this.

I could have told you months ago
they'd never use it.

They want an upbeat profile of Lester.
They like him.

Yeah. Now he's gonna take it and recut it
and make himself into a saint or something.

- Yeah.
- You know, Wendy's right.

I'm probably jealous of him.

You now, with his limos and his money and
all the women throw themselves...

You have your own style.

Hey, listen, marry me. I'm serious. I'm...

That's the only thing
that will satisfy me. Marry me.

I'm crazy about you, you're single,

and you know
my marriage is not gonna last.

Look, I gotta talk to you.

Can we just...
Can we sit down here for a second?

I'm... I'm not joking, you know.
I'm... I'm really nuts about you.

I'm going away.

Yeah? Meaning what?

I've got a chance to produce
a couple of shows in London,

and, you know, I couldn't say no.

So, how... How long are you going for?

Well, probably three or four months.

Three or four months?

Jesus, you're kidding.

What a... What a discouraging thought.

But, you know, I think it's a good thing

because I... I need...

Well, it will give me a little distance.

About 3,000 miles to be exact.

When are you leaving?

Oh, I guess, you now, 10 days or so.

God, I'm... Oh.

God, I'm gonna Miss you. I...
You know what? I don't know what to say.

I'm just...

I'm not gonna see you
for three or four months?

I feel like I, you know,
like I've been handed a prison sentence.

Ben, your daughter will make
a beautiful bride.

You know, your daughter will...

This is Barbara, uh,
the sister of my brother-in-law.

- Hi.
- Carol.

- Oh.
- Congratulations.

I wish your daughter all the happiness.

Thank you.

Oh, thank you so much.

Jesus, I'm so self-conscious.

You know, every single thing
on me is rented.

A rented tux, rented shoes,
rented underwear.

You look fine, you look terrific.
Cliff, would you do me a favor?

This is the last occasion
you have to do anything with my family.

Could we try to get along?

Oh, and this is Dr. Rosenthal.

I'm Miriam.

- Hello.
- This is Miriam.

And this is Marianne,
and this is Peter.

- How do you do, Peter?
- How do you do?

It's a pleasure meeting you.

- Judah?
- Yes, Ben?

Judah, I'm so glad you could make it.
It means a lot.

What is the matter with you,
you seem so depressed.

Wendy and I finally decided
to call it quits, you know.

And even though
the last couple of years have been terrible...

- Mmm-hmm.
- ...this kind of thing

just makes me feel sad, you know.

I'm... I'm gonna have
a vodka and tonic, please.

Oh, yeah. I'll have one of those, too.

But you know what you told me?

You told me it's been platonic for a year.

And I say once the sex goes, it all goes.

It's true. It's true.

The last time I was inside a woman

it was when I visited the Statue of Liberty.

Take a look at your father.

He's celebrating enough for two people.

Yeah, well, he...
He and Ben will get high

and then argue about belief and God.

My father takes after his Aunt May.

You'd have loved her.
She rejected the Bible

because she said it had a completely
unbelievable sense of character.

I walked in, I sit.

The Waldorf-Astoria, the centerpieces.
Did you see the centerpieces?

It's just beautiful.

Everything matches. And Lester paid for it.

It's hard to believe
that a brother would pay for a wedding.

It's hard to believe but that's the sort of
thing Lester is always doing,

isn't it?

- He must be a good brother.
- Do you know him for a long time?

Since high school.
I've known him since high school.

Oh, that's wonderful.

They're pretty. They're very, very pretty.

It's very square like that. See?

Hi, Cliff.

Cliff, hello.

Lester, how are you? Good to see you.

My fianc?e, Halley Reed.

Congratulations. My wife Nancy.

Hello, nice to meet you.

When did you get back?

I got back this morning.
I've been trying to call you all day.

Look at this.
Look at this. I finally won her heart.

What a romantic story,
you should have seen it.

We ran into each other in London.

And I sent her white roses around the clock.

All the time, for days, for days.

And then I found out she was allergic.

- Hi, Lester.
- Hi.

Lester, how are you? Congratulations.

Thank you. Good to see you.

So I... I... I started pleading with her.

I just... I begged her.
I just begged her day and night.

And I think it was the caviar that did it.

You know, I've envied...
I've envied you for years.

I've envied this guy for years.

I mean, he would show up with
a beautiful woman each and every time.

But I... But I envy you more now.

Well, now, thank you.

Thank you.

Standing here,
in the presence of God,

the guardian of our homes,

ready to enter into the bonds of wedlock,

answer each of you in reverence for God.

And in the hearing
of the assembly that have gathered here

so joyously with you.

- I know the perfect guy for you.
- Who?

- He's brilliant, he's attractive...
- Well, who is it?

What? There's a hitch. I'm waiting.

There's a hitch,
but it sounds worse than it is.

What is it? What is it?

He's in prison.

Rita, I would say that's a drawback.

Nothing terrible. Insider trading.

- He made a fortune in the market.
- Oh, please.

And he'll be out soon,
very soon, a couple of years.

You mean, with good behavior.


I wanted to talk to you.

What is there really to say?

You know, I'm... I'm just stunned still.

He's not what you think.

He's... He's wonderful, he's warm

and caring

and romantic.

- He's a success. That's what he is.
- Oh.

He's, he's rich and he's a success.

Give me a little credit, will you?

Well, I always did give you
a little credit until today.

You know, I...

We used to laugh
at this guy. You know the, uh,

the silly shows he puts on,
the way he talks.

He's endearing.

This is my worst fear realized.

I wanted to give you this letter back.

It's my one love letter.

It's beautiful.

I... I'm just the wrong person.

It's probably just as well.

I plagiarized most of it from James Joyce.

You probably wondered why
all the references to Dublin.

Look, I...

I hope we can always be friends.

Hey! Hey!

Off by yourself, huh?

You're like me.

I always get sad at these kind of events.

You look very deep in thought.

I was plotting the perfect murder.

Yeah? Movie plot?


Well, Ben, uh, that's what Ben told me.

He says you make films.

Yeah, but not that kind.

You know, the different kind.

I have a great murder story.


A great plot.


Hey, I've had too many to drink.

I hope you'll forgive me.
I... I know you want your privacy.

No, it's okay.
I'm not doing anything special.

Except my murder story

has a very strange twist.


Let's say there's this man who...
Who's very successful.

He has everything.

- Let me ask you something.
- What?

Am I a phony?

- Are you what?
- Am I a phony?

What are you talking about?
Are you a little high or something?

No, I'm... You know, I think he hates me.

- Who hates you?
- Your annoying husband.

He's a... Every time I'm with him

I get tense, you know.

It's just that he's angry. You know that.

Well, at what? At what?

At what? Are you kidding me?

He's got these fantasies
about changing the world.

'Cause he's a man
who thinks he can change it.

He makes these films,
and in the end they come to nothing.

- They're nothing, these films.
- Let me tell you something, honey.

He's gotta grow up.
I mean, this is the real world.

This is the big time. They don't...
They don't pay off on high aspirations.

- You gotta deliver, you know.
- You don't have to tell me.

And not to mention the fact that...

I mean, I can't believe it.

You're... You're still young. You're not
getting the life that you deserve, you know.

Lester, I met somebody.

Oh, then... Oh.

- That is music to my ears.
- Yeah.

And after the awful deed is done,

he, he finds
that he's plagued by deep-rooted guilt.

Little sparks of his religious background,

which he'd rejected

are suddenly stirred up.

He hears his father's voice.

He imagines that God
is watching his every move.

Suddenly, it's not an empty universe at all,

but a just and moral one,

and he's violated it.

Now, he's panic-stricken.

He's on the verge of a mental collapse,

an inch away from confessing
the whole thing to the police.

And then one morning,

he awakens

and the sun is shining
and his family is around him.

Mysteriously, the crisis is lifted.

He takes his family on a vacation to Europe,

and as the months pass
he finds he's not punished.

In fact, he prospers.

The killing gets attributed
to another person,

a drifter who has
a number of other murders to his credit.

So, I mean, what the hell,
one more doesn't even matter.

Now he's Scot-free.

His life is completely back to normal.

Back to his protected world
of wealth and privilege.

Uh, yes, but can he ever really go back?

Well, people carry sins around with them.

I mean, oh, maybe once in a while
he has a bad moment,

but it passes.

And with time, it all fades.

Yeah. But, but, so then, you know,

then, then his worst...
His worst beliefs are realized.

Well, I said it was a chilling story, didn't I?

I don't know.

It... It'd be... I think
it'd be tough for somebody to live with that.

You know, it's...
Very few guys could actually live,

you know, to live with
something like that on their conscience.

What do you mean?
People carry awful deeds around with them.

What do you
expect him to do, turn himself in?

I mean, this is reality.

In reality, we, we rationalize.

We deny or we, we couldn't go on living.

Here's what I would do.
I would have him turn himself in.

'Cause then you see,
then your story assumes tragic proportions.

Because in the absence
of a God or something,

he is forced to assume
that responsibility himself.

Then you have... Then you have tragedy.

But that's fiction, that's movies.

I mean... I mean,
you've seen too many movies.

I mean, I'm talking about reality.

I mean, if you want a happy ending,

you should go see a Hollywood movie.

Come on, darling.

Let's think about going home, huh?

Nice talking to you.
Good luck to you.

Miriam, we're gonna make
a wedding like this for Sharon.

And I can't wait.

She'll be radiant.

You're looking very handsome tonight.

And you look beautiful.

We are all faced throughout our lives

with agonizing decisions,

moral choices.

Some are on a grand scale.

Most of these choices are on lesser points.

But we define ourselves

by the choices we have made.

We are in fact, the sum total of our choices.

Events unfold, so unpredictably,

so unfairly,

human happiness does not seem
to have been included

in the design of creation.

It is only we, with our capacity to love,

that give meaning
to the indifferent universe.

And yet, most human beings

seem to have the ability to keep trying

and even to find joy from simple things,

like their family,

their work,

and from the hope

that future generations

might understand more.