Hot Spell (1958) - full transcript

A housewife is doing her best to keep her family together as it's slowly falling apart, a fact she's trying to ignore. Her cheating husband's birthday party is approaching and many lines will be crossed after that event.

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes

Well, do a little thinking
about it, Roy.

See if... you know, see if you can't
maybe come down a little in price.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours,
you know what I mean?

Yeah, good.
You call me back, huh?

Good, goodbye.

Now here's the address.
Hi, Mama.

You get the B trolley.
You got your fare?

- Yes, sir.
- Good. Now, when you get out there...

- tell him Mr. Duval sent you.
- Duval.

You got your social security card,
ain't you?

Good. We expect to see you back here
in a week with the fee, you understand?

- Honey, Papa here?
- Yeah, Mama...

Put this in the drawer quick
before he sees it.

- What is it?
- It's a little birthday surprise...

...from you to him. But don't let on
I put you up to it.

Mama, I don't even think he knows
it's his birthday.

All the better, honey. And be sure
and have him home for supper tonight.

Because I wouldn't want him out
on a deal and miss the cake.

I'll do my best, Mama.

And, honey, please don't fight
with him tonight.

- He's the one who starts it.
- For me, please.

- Alright, Mama.
- Thanks, darling.

I'd like to see you about
renting an apartment.

Alright, take a seat, I'll be with you
in just a minute.

Duval Agency, I'm sorry you had to...

Oh, yeah...
Yeah, just a minute.

- Telephone.
- Who is it?

- It's for you.
- Well who is it?

It's... you know...


Hiya, kitties.

Hey, close the door, will you?

You did, huh?

Hey, Buddy, hang up the phone,
will you?

Yeah, no, it's alright.


- Billy!
- For god sakes, Mom!

- Do you want to get me fired or something?
- Oh, honey, there's nothing wrong...

...with a mother coming
to see her son.

Isn't this nice.

What a lovely place to work.
It's so peaceful.

I got to get back to my
books, Mama.

- Honey, I got this for you to give him.
- Give who? What is it?

- Your papa.
- Feels like a fishing rod.

Yes, it's his birthday.

And I got it for you so you wouldn't
have to go to any trouble.

- Birthday today?
- Shhh!

Yes, so you be sure and be home
in time for supper.

I made a cake.

It's one o'clock. I got to go over to the
five-and-ten and give Virginia her present.

Alright, Mama, now you
take it easy.

And honey, when you give it to him
make him a little speech.

You know, something like,
"Say, pal,

I hope you catch something else besides
an old rubber boot with this."

You know, something cute.

He is just out of this world.

- Gee, he sounds dreamy.
- Oh, gosh, he really is.

Does he ever try and get fresh
with you?

Oh, listen, when you feel this way
about a person, it's not fresh.

It's more like... Oh, it's more
like natural.

You sound like you're really
gone on the guy.

Oh, golly, I really am.

Oh, and he's not like Harry was,
you know, dependable, that way.

Wyatt's more... I...
more forceful.

- Oh, he's the kind of a guy that...
- How's it, darling?

Oh, hello, Mama.

What are you doing out on
a hot day like this?

- Hello, Mrs. Duval.
- Oh, honey, don't you look pretty.

- Thank you.
- It must be 100 out there in the street.

- Oh, yes, oh, it's terrible.
- A real heat wave.

It's your papa's birthday today, honey.

And I didn't want to put you
to any trouble... I got this present for you to
give him when he comes home.

- Mama, I could have done this.
- Are you having a party, Mrs. Duval?

Well, just a cake and maybe
sing him a little song.

Mama, you've made me feel so ashamed.
I could have gotten him something.

- I'm right here and everything.
- Oh, honey, it's alright.

You just be home on time,
you hear?

How would you like a nice piece
of candy, Mrs. Duval?

Don't you tempt me, you bad girl.
I started dieting this morning.

I feel better already.

You know, I used to be slim as a rail.
I was slim as Virginia here.

I'll bet you were a knockout,
Mrs. Duval.

Well, I got my share of whistles
from the boys.

- Oh, Mama, you make me feel terrible.
- Oh, honey, don't be like that.

I'm your mama, that's what
a mama's for.

Now, you be home on time,
you hear?

Oh, I do think you're luck.
Having a mother like that.

Mine doesn't even care.

Anyhow, I just think
you're so lucky.

Forty-one, forty-two...



Forty-five candles.

- Mama!
- Now, doesn't that make your mouth water?

But, Mama, you're gonna make him
feel awful old. That's a lot of candles.

Oh, forty-five's not old.

Not for a cajun.

Cajuns have French blood.

They always stay young and excitable.

When I was a girl, I said to myself,
I'm going to get me a real man.

Not just one of those weak,
watery-eyed crackers.

Yeah, I gotta hand it to you, Mama.

- You really got yourself a tiger.
- Yeah, a tiger by the tail.

- I don't think I'll never be forty-five.
- Oh, of course you will.

I'll die young. I will, in childbirth,
or something like that.

Oh, honey.

There. That's my present.

Ooh, I could just eat you up.

I bet you did eat half of it too,
when you baked it, didn't you?

Oh, I did not, I'm on my diet.

What a mean thing to say.

Just teasing you, Mama.

Yes, teasing, that's all you
children ever do.

Wyatt's coming over tonight, Mama.

That reminds me. Harry called.

- He's such a nice boy.
- Oh, yeah, go on...

Oh, it was me he wanted to talk to.
He never even mentioned your name.

Mama, about Wyatt.

You wouldn't mind if we kept the front
door shut tonight, would you?

In this hot weather?

Well, Mama, it seems like we can't say
one word to each other...

...out there without the whole
family hearing it.

And Wyatt gets awful funny
about it.

Well, I don't know why he should, you never
say anything the family shouldn't hear.

Do you?

Talking about being a tease.

- Hm...
- I'll get it.

I guess my hands are wet.


Mama, do you like him?

Well, if I didn't, I'd have your daddy
run him off the place.

He's a good-looking boy.

Oh, but Mama, he's so much more
than good-looking.

There are lots of good-looking boys
in New Orleans, you know.

But Wyatt's different. He really is.
He's solid and looking ahead.

And all the other boys... Well, all they
ever think about is having a ball.

How long before he finishes
Medical School?

A year. And then he interns
for two more.

Oh, honey, he's got to wait all that
time before he can get married?

Well, I don't know about that.

Did he ever say anything
about marriage?

- I think I'm gonna read the paper, Mama.
- You mean he never even brought it up?

You just can't make somebody say something
because you want them to, you know.

Well, it all depends how you
go about it.

You just keep out of it.

Why should I keep out?
You're my only daughter.

A mother wants to help a daughter.
Help her find the right man.

- Keep them on the right track.
- I don't want any help.

Well, you may be young and pretty,
but I know a lot more about handling men.

Yeah, when are you gonna start?

I'm sorry, Mama.

- I didn't mean it.
- It's alright, honey, it's alright.

You didn't really say anything.

Look at that lovely table
and nobody here.

- I feel like Smarty Smarty had a party.
- He'll be here.

- Mama, just now what I said...
- Honey, when you give him his present,

make a fuss over him.
You know how much he loves you.

Just give him a little hug, and say,

"Papa, why don't we drive up to New Paris
in the car after the hot spell?"

- Just you, and me and Mama.
- Mama, it won't do any good.

A little vacation. We all need
a little vacation.

Now, Mama, what's the point?
He doesn't want to go back to New Paris.

Every time you bring it up he...

Well, Mama, you should know
by this time it won't work.

Honey, just do it for me.

Give up, Mama!
What's the use?

Go back to New Paris.
Is she on that old refrain again?

Now you keep out of this, Buddy!

You didn't go and forget
your present?

Oh, I thought maybe you'd left it
at the office.

I forget nothing.

Mama, you really want to go back
to the farm?

Yes, I want to see it again.

Smell the fields, see all our
old neighbours.

Show them what fine grown-up
children I have.

Mama, I tell you what.

When I get rich, I'm gonna buy you
a big farm back in New Paris.

You can get out there and you can fish,
and you can kill hogs, Mama.

You can plant a little chewing tobacco.

Yeah, Mama, I can see it now.
You in your rocking chair,

...a drunken mule and forty acres

- Yeehoo!
- Now, stop it, stop it, both of you.

I don't know why the Lord ever
gave me such children.

I have a mind to go out that door
and never come back.

Go on, nobody's stopping you.
While you're going, I gotta get cleaned up.

Mama, if you're leaving, don't just
stand there.

You're the meanest young'un
I raised.

I don't know who you get it from.

I get it from my daddy, that's who.

Sometimes I wish you was back
in the army.

We used to have a little peace
around here.

- Hi, stupid, how are you?
- Papa home?

- He'll be along.
- Jack, is that you, Jack?

- It's me, Mama.
- Oh, hello, dear.

I was hoping for once we'd all
sit down to supper together.

You know I can't wait too
long to eat, Mama.

You going out?

Don't stay in a single one of you,
not one night.

Tramping around goodness knows where.

I'm only going back to the
library, Mama.

To work? Billy, I should think you'd
be exhausted.

No, I want to catch up on some stuff
I can't check out.

Stay and watch television
with me, Billie.

Oh, Mama, you know I don't like
to look at it.

Nothing but used cars and old movies.

Alright, son.

- Hello.
- Hi.

- Buddy, hurry up!
- Drop dead.

Oh, the way you children talk
to each other.

- Is he coming home?
- Yeah.

She's got it all built up in her mind that
that cake and those presents... it's gonna make everything alright.

- He'll be here.
- It'll break her heart, you know,

- ...if he doesn't come...
- I said he's coming.

- Are you sure?
- Look, Virginia, when I tell you...


When I tell you something, that's it, huh?

Why do you ask me a question
if you're not gonna listen to the answer?


He'll be here because he's got
to change his shirt.

He's got a date.

I was reading in this book where it says
it's a good thing to let out steam.

Emotionally healthy, it said.

- It says that in the book?
- Yeah.

Well, I don't know what kind
of a book that would be.

Yelling at each other? That's not healthy,
that's not healthy at all.

I don't really like to yell very much.

I don't like fights.

Maybe it's just that I don't like
life to be that personal.

Well, life's a very personal
matter, son.

Yeah. Like girls, Mama.

Do you realize that there
are some guys...

...that can walk right up to girl
and start pinching?

But me, it's like I gotta know a girl all
my life before I can even... look at her.

Well, I wouldn't worry about
that too much.

The way you're starting to fill out,
the girls will be chasing you.

- Oh, no, Mama.
- Oh, yes they will.

Coming from all directions,
telephone ringing. I can just see it.

You're going to be real handsome,
just like your papa.

- You think I'm going to be like him?
- Well, I should hope so.

Of course you'll be like him.

What sort of a question is that?

There he is!

Now, you run upstairs and wash.

- Okay, Ma.
- Ginnie!

Buddy! Papa's home.
Come on, get down to supper.

- Hi, Papa.
- Hey... hiya, Mama.

- Are the kids home?
- Oh, sure, they're all waiting.

- Hey, Buddy boy!
- Hello.

- Ginger snap!
- Hi!

Man, it was hot downtown.

Oh, yes, you poor man working
in all this heat.

Well, never mind, I got a nice
cold supper for you.

Potato salad, iced tea.
That'll cool you off.

Papa, how are you, Papa?

Hey, my ginger snap gal.

All dressed up for your daddy, huh?

- Oh, Papa, this old dress?
- I mean it, honey.

You look like an Arabian princess.

- Here, Papa. Happy birthday.
- Birthday?

He forgot his own birthday.

Now, Papa, you must be really
getting old to forget

- Is it really my birthday?
- Yes, happy birthday!

- Open it up, I wanna see it.
- You, you open it up.

What is it?

- Slippers?
- Yes.

- What do I want with slippers?
- Oh, it's for your old age.

- Sit down, I...
- Oh, I'm not that old now.

Oh, no, Papa, I was just
teasing you.

Thank you, honey.
Thank you very much.

You imagined when I got all
dressed up for you.

- Wyatt's coming over.
- Wyatt?

You know, the one that's studying
to be the doctor.

Oh, yeah, yeah, Wyatt.

Well, I should have known you didn't
dress up like that for your daddy.

But, Papa, I'm not dressed up really.

Now, come on...
Billy! Buddy!

- That boy's been here a lot this summer.
- He goes off to college real soon, papa.

Good. Get him off my porch.

Well, let's all sit down for
a real family supper.

- I want you to meet Wyatt, Daddy.
- That so?

- Alma, the ice melted in this pitcher.
- Oh, I'll get some.

- Why do you want me to meet him?
- Well, because the other night... walked right past us while
we were sitting on the porch.

Oh, I did, huh?

- Hi, Papa.
- Hi, Buddy boy.

And you didn't even look at us.

Well now, honey, he wanted to say something,
he should've got up and shook hands.

But no, he couldn't get his tail off
of that glider.

Why, Papa, he didn't know
who you were.

Who did he think I was, Elvis Presley?

Elvis Presley?

Happy birthday, Papa.

Now, isn't that the nicest thing?

- I hope you have a lot of fun with it.
- Yeah!

Yeah, Papa, happy birthday!

Hey, it feels like a walking stick,
or something.

They got you hopping around
on a cane, huh?

No, your papa's not that old.

Hey, it's a fishing rod!

I hope you catch a lot
of whoppers with it.

Who me fish?

Oh, Jack, back in New Paris you used
to go fishing all the time.

You kidding? Oh, yeah,
that's right, I did

People there really know
how to fish.

- Can we eat now, Mama?
- Oh, yes, yes... Pass this to your papa.

- Papa...
- I was reading the other day...

...that the family that prays together
stays together.


Lord, we thank thee for th...
this and all thy blessings, amen.

I was talking to Roy Jonathan today
about renting that old store.

- Oh?
- He called while you were out.

Say, I don't think I want
to rent it, Buddy.

Yeah, but it's just going
to waste, papa.

The whole place is just sitting there
gathering dust.

Now, look. I did some checking.

The floor's still in pretty good shape,
the front window's fine.


Now, I thought we'd tell Roy that we
wanted to rent it for a store room.

- Yeah?
- Play it cool, you know?

- So's we get it at a good buy.
- Yeah.

Then get everything down on paper,

- And spring it!
- Pass the salt, will you, Billy?

Then you know what there's
nothing of on Cordell St.?


No restaurant.

Well, there's no restaurant on Cordell St.
because there's no money on Cordell St.

- No, Buddy, they all eat home.
- Yeah.

But that's not the kind of restaurant
I had in mind.

Wh-what did you have in mind?

Papa, I did a little moving around
when I was in the army.

You know what's the big thing today,
all over the country?

- No.
- Rich and poor alike,

they're going to pizza parlors.

Pizza parlors.

All you need is a cook, an oven
and a beer license.

And a cash register to put
all your money in.

- You don't say so!
- And it wouldn't cost much to start.

You'd be surprised. With a lousy
fifteen hundred dollars...

You got the lousy fifteen
hundred dollars?

No, this could make a lot of money
for you, papa.

Oh, you're gonna do this
to make me rich.

Oh, I don't know about rich, but...
we could go in partners and...

Oh, now we're partners.

How much money are you gonna
put up, partner?

- I'm putting up a red-hot idea.
- Oh, I don't pay for ideas, I pay for work.

Sure, and you got another idea
in your head.

You got an idea you know more
about business than I do.

Listen to what I say.

I've lost more money in my life
than you'll ever make.

You wanna know facts?

Go to a man who's lost money.
There's a man who knows.

Money. I'm paying you every
cent you're worth.

- What do you need more money for?
- It's not so much a matter of the money.

Then what is it?

I want some independence.
I want a chance to wheel and deal...

- ...on my own for a change.
- Yeah, wheel and deal on the money...

...I've earned with the sweat of my hands.
You know... the heat's got this boy.

Oh, yes, it was terribly hot
today, terribly.

Hey, Billy, how's things at
the library, huh?

- Alright, pa...
- Hey!

Maybe you ought to take the big shot
here around with you.

You know, they get a load of him, maybe
they'll want him to autograph a few books.

Like, uh... "How to get rich
in ten easy lessons."

Very funny.

Hey, how are you doing,
Billy, eh?

You know, you're filling out some.

Yeah, one of these nights you and me
oughta step out on the town.

Time you learned the facts of life.

Oh, Jack!

How do you like that? She don't even
know what we're talking about.

Not at the table. Don't you pay
any attention to him, Billy.

Alma, what I'm talking about is in
between us men down at Red's Pool Hall.

The kid's out of high school,
going in the army soon.

Time he learned to shoot a little pool,
drink a little beer...

Wouldn't that be nice, Billy?

- How about it, huh?
- Tonight, Papa?

Oh, gee, I can't tonight, Billy.
I'm kinda busy...

I got a big deal see?

Sure, I understand, Papa.

Oh, certainly, Billy, you can't
expect your papa... take you out after a hard
day's work.

Don't always be trying to make up
excuses for me, Alma.

I don't have to justify my reaction
around this house.

No, Jack, I was only...
Never mind what you was only...

- Please.
- Oh, you haven't finished your supper.

- I'm not hungry.
- Will you let him go, Alma?

Don't always be trying to throw
a rope around people.

You going back to the library, dear?

No, mama, I think I'll stick around
and maybe look at television with you.

The library.

That kid really lives in Dreamtown,
USA, don't he?

- What do you mean?
- I mean his books.

You know, poetry, Swinburne,
all that stuff.

You don't approve?

Whether I approve or not
doesn't matter, but...

Wait till this kid gets drafted.

Those sergeants will Swinburne him good,
boy, but I mean good.

- Is that a fact?
- Take it from me. I know.

You know, huh?

Anybody like some more of this
nice potato salad?

So you know, huh?

What do you know?
What did they teach you?

How to go pussy-footing around
my back,

trying to involve me in deals,
is that what you know, hm?

I'm not going behind your back.

You know, you've got some
funny ideas, mister.

And one of them is that you're
getting smarter than me.

- Here he goes again.
- Now! I'll tell you a fact.

You're so interested in facts, with night
school and correspondence courses...

Just one night, I'd like to be able
to sit at this table...

and carry on a decent, orderly

You're not as smart as me,
and that's a fact.

You never will be as smart as me
and that's another fact.

- You're just a dumb shirt-tailed kid...
- I'm a man!

- with a greedy attitude towards life
- I do a man's work and you treat me like a boy.

Buddy, there's more things in life
than money!

And that's a fact!

- Maybe if you didn't argue...
- Mama, don't tell me to listen!

The sooner you find that out and stop
pussy-footing around behind my back...

...the sooner we're gonna start
getting along.

And the sooner I'll ready to give
a little thought... the matter of lending you
my hard-earned money.

- Partner!
- Happy birthday!

Oh, Jack, don't be mad with him.
He's just a boy.

He didn't mean it.
He was just carried away.

What do you mean he didn't
mean it?

Of course he meant it.

And he's right.

He's right as rain.

You know, he's starting to
straighten out.

He's starting to act a little
like a man.

I just don't understand you.

Ginnie, now that Wyatt's going
back to college,

why don't you take your vacation?
Maybe you could go on a little trip.


Mama means a trip to New Paris, Daddy.

Yes, why don't we do that,
just get in the car and go?

You know how Mama wants
to see it all again.

Jack, we could be there in
five or six hours.

Wouldn't that be nice, to see the
old place again,

see our old friends and neighbors?

Oh, I don't think the car would
make that heavy trip.

But all you have to do is get it
fixed up, Daddy.

Then you and Mama could just get
in the car and go.

I thought you said you wanted to go.

Oh, sure I would but...
well, I don't remember it too well and...

My memories of it anyway aren't nearly like
the memories that you two have of it.

Memories, yeah... I got memories alright.

Oh, Jack, it's all different now.

You remember that letter I showed
you from Essie Mae.

Uh, no, I didn't read it through.

Oh, things are humming there.
They got new stores opening up,

and Essie Mae says there's
a big super highway...

...running right through the center
of the town.

But she says you can still choose
a real nice place cheap.

And Daddy, it would be a good rest
for you too. It would, a trip like that.

Around Christmas time?

Wouldn't that be wonderful,
all those good things to eat,

jambalaya, with sausage,
and red fish and grits?

Oh, I remember you with that
creole cooking.

And folks would make us bring
things back, Jack.

You know, maybe a ham and a bucket
of that fresh-made syrup.

Don't that just make your
mouth water?

Yeah, it sounds good.
We'll see.

And you know how I like to plan
things ahead, Papa.

So would it be alright to write Essie Mae
and tell her we're coming?

I'd say not to be a bit surprised
to look up...

...and see us driving up around
Christmas time.

- Hm?
- That sounds, uh...

We'll talk about it some
other time, huh?

The paper's right there
by the settee.

Oh, I already saw one downtown.

Don't you worry, Mama. He'll take you
back there one of these days.

Oh, no he won't.

I don't know how a family
can change so much.

We used to be a family.

We had hard times now and then...

but we were all part of each other.

We used to do things together.

Now we're all pulling in
different directions.

- He's going out again tonight.
- Oh, maybe not.

Oh, yes he is, honey.
You know he is.

Oh, that's Wyatt.

Tell Wyatt Virginia will be
right out.

- How do I look?
- Oh, you look pretty as a picture, honey.

Fix this up for me?

I'm gonna keep that door
closed tonight, Mama.


The door open like that, he gotta be
so careful with every word he says.

I know.
And he's only got a week more...

so you just cozy up to him, dear,

and lead the conversation around
to you and the future.

- I'm so scared I'll ruin it.
- Oh, what's there to ruin?

He's bound to propose sooner
or later.

Mama, what if I do, like you say,
lead the conversation around, and then...

Mama, I'd rather he said nothing
than to have him say no.

Don't you worry, honey,
it's alright.

- Hi.
- Hello.

- What's with the door?
- I thought maybe we could talk.

Jack, why don't you come down
and watch television with me?

Oh, I can't, Mama.
I, er... I'm going out.

Oh, where are you going?

I told you, sweetie, I gotta work.

Oh, you work too much.
It's such a hot night.

Why don't you just get into
your new slippers...

...and come on and sit down
and watch television?

Oh, boy, does that sound good.
But I can't, sweetie, I got this big deal.

- Isn't that a new tie?
- Yes, I guess it is.

Well, why do you have to get
all dressed up for?

- Alma, now, take it easy.
- What kind of a deal is it?

- Alma, you gonna cross examine me, honey?
- No, but maybe I should.

Coming home at all hours,
and won't tell me where you've been.

Like an old tomcat prowling around.

Well, if you're doing anything wrong,
don't let me catch you.

Don't talk to me like I'm a kid.
Alma, I'm not your child.

I was just teasing.

And Papa, would you think about
what we were talking over at supper?

You know, New Paris.
A little trip.

Because it would mean so much
to me... to us.

Alright, sweetie, I'll think about it.

Everything's slipping away
from us, Jack.

You know, the children are all
pulling away.

And there's really nothing left
to hold us here.

We could go back and start all over
again like a couple of kids.

It's not too late for us, Jack.

What's the door closed for?

What's this door shut for?

Oh, Daddy... Daddy, I want you
to meet Wyatt.

- This is Wyatt Mitchell. My father.
- Glad to know you, Mr. Duval.

Yeah, seems I've noticed you
around here pretty often, eh?

Yes, sir. I'm glad we've finally met.

Yeah, better get a few things
straight, young man.

- Alright, sir.
- I hear you go to Medical School.

- Yes, sir, that's right.
- You got a lot of money?

- I mean, are you a rich boy?
- No, sir.

That means you don't plan on getting
married for a long time, huh?

- Jack...
- Now you just keep out of this...

...till I've had my say.

You see this glider?

She bought it herself with
her own money.

Wanted it for dates, so they wouldn't see
what the inside of my house is like.

- Daddy, please!
Seems like all her dates is you.

- I like Virginia a lot, sir.
- Not inclined on marrying her, though, huh?

- Mama!
- Jack, you leave that boy...

I told you to stay out of this!

We, uh... that never came up, sir.

So it adds up to, er...
that you're not serious.

Just kind of playing around, huh?

Mr. Duval!


Why did you let her close that
door like that, huh?

- That kid! I know kids like that!
- How could you do a thing like that?

Your own flesh and blood.

Your own daughter.
Humiliating her like that.

- Billy, come on.
- Where are we going, Papa?


Are you coming?

Wyatt, you're not going.

Ginnie's upset. She's just getting
prettied up.

You know, this hot murky weather,
it's hard to keep looking fresh.

Well, thank you, Mrs. Duval, but I think
it would be better all around if I...

- ...if I just go back in...
- No, no, she won't be a minute.

Now, you go and wait.

You stay right here,
and don't you move an inch...

...because I'll have her down before
you can say scat.

Ginnie, honey, I'm sorry, it was
all my fault.

I must have said something that made him
mad so he took it out on the boy.

Mama, it doesn't matter why.

Honey, you wash your face and
you go back down there.

Oh, I can't.

Honey, maybe it's better this way.
It gets the question out in the open, see?

Oh, Mama, I don't want it
out in the open.

Oh, honey, you mustn't be
afraid of life.

You love him, don't you?

- Yes...
- Have you told him you loved him?

Well then, you go right down
there, honey.

And you say to him, I live you.

Those are the three sweetest words
in the English language.

- I am so ashamed.
- Oh, honey, come on, no, no, no...

You listen to Mama.

There isn't a man living that doesn't want
to hear that from the girl he loves.

Go wash your face now.

That's my little baby.

Wyatt, I'm awfully sorry.
If I'd know this was going to happen.

Let's take off.

Hello, Fan, what are you doing?

Why don't you come over?

No, I'm all alone.

They all had something to do,
every last one of them.

Well, Virginia and Wyatt went out
a little while ago, but they...

Well, they're liable to be back any
minute, so I gotta stay here.

You know how Jack is.

Why don't you come over and
keep me company?


No, but I got a great big
chocolate cake.

We could just eat ourselves sick.


What have I got to die for?

Come on over, huh?

To tell you the truth, Fan,
I'm a little bit lonesome.


Hiya, boys!
Hey, hey, Spinny!

- Hiya, Chas.
- Hiya, Jack.

How you doing, huh?

- Hiya, Sam.
- Mr. Duval.

- Give me a beer, will ya?
- Alright.

Hiya, Red.

- What'll you have?
- Hey, Sam, that's my boy.

- Glad to know you.
- Glad to make your acquaintance.

- What'll you have?
- Oh, a cream soda.

Hey, what's the matter, Billy,
don't you want a beer?

- Papa, I never had one.
- You never had...

Hey, this new generation,
they're making them different.

Here, it's time we got you off
that cream soda.

- It's alright, keep the change.
- Thank you very much, Mr. Duval.

Hey, how are you, Charlie?

You know who that is?

That's Charlie Spector.

Owner of the Spector meat packing plant.
He's a very big man.

He's very important.

Here, here's looking at you.

- How do you like it, huh?
- Pretty good, Pa.

Atta boy!

Hey, you know the idea
of the game, Billy boy?

Yeah... you sink the colored
balls with that white ball.

It's as simple as that, and it's
complicated as that too.

You know, maybe it ain't the most
highbrow game in the world,

...but it's a kind of a challenge

I'll break, huh?

We'll play in rotation.

You get anything you sink as long
as you touch the low ball first.

Right now it's the, uh...
the one...

- One ball, uh?
- Yeah...

Alright, here we go.

Now it's your shot.

No, wait a minute.
No, no, no, no, Billy, that's wrong.

Look, get your finger
around it, see?

You learn to make a good solid bridge,
you're on your way to shooting good pool.

Go ahead, just relax.

That's it.


Go on, shoot again.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.
Well, you see...

Actually, this game isn't what
you call a... challenge,

it's something more on the...
social side, you see?

It gives a man a chance to...

Hey, Dave!

Hey, how are you?

- Okay, Jack. You?
- Never better.

See, you get a chance to get out
and relax, see the fellows.

And incidentally do a little business.

Your piece of pie's amount of business
gets done right here.

You see, it's more friendly
than sitting in a bank...

...with a coat on or up at the
cotton exchange.

Go ahead.

Go on.

Hey, you don't want to send
it to the moon.

We pay by the rack.

You know, Billy...

The reason I thought we ought to
get together is...

Around the house it seems like I can
hardly ever talk to you.

It seems like...

Like you and me, we...

We don't know each other,
wouldn't you say?

Oh, I don't know, Papa.
If you say so.

Don't, oh, don't!
Don't talk like that!

Don't give me that if you say so talk.
Now look, Billy.

You got something on your mind, huh?

Come on, spit it out.
Look, this is between us.

I don't have anything on
my mind, Papa.

No? What about supper tonight?

Family squabbles get you down, huh?

- I don't pay any attention to them.
- Don't bore me, boy!

You hate that bickering, that backbiting,
you hate it like poison, you know you do!

- Yes, I do, Papa.
- Well, me too, me too.

Come on, let's have some beer.

Look, sit down, Billy,
sit down.


Billy, look.

Billy, people can be so close and still
so far away from each other, you see?

Living in the same house and yet...
You know, it's like strangers.

Moping around, like a bunch of
sleepwalkers afraid to wake up.

Fumbling around the dark, scared they're
gonna knock something over,

bump into somebody, you...
you know what I mean?

- Not exactly, Papa.
- Billy, look.

Billy, it's like going through life
accepting it.

Accepting everything about it, never
trying to figure out what they really want.

You see... you see what I mean, Billy.

- You should know what you want.
- That's it, boy, that's it.

And I'll tell you something, Billy.

Billy, if you don't know
what you want,

you're probably gonna wind up
with what you don't want.

Now, you bear that in mind, Billy.

It's one of the big secrets of life.

You see, I never found out
till it was too late.

Or almost too late.

- It's your shot, Papa.
- Yeah.

You see, Billy, it's like this.

You see...

A man, he gets married,
he has kids,

he holds down a job,


And he goes through all these motions,
winding one clock at night,

punching another clock
in the morning and...

And... and one day he finds
he's got some gray hair.

Another day he finds he's growing
a little gut.

And then it's... hair gone,
teeth gone, then...

he's dead and it's all over.

And for what, Billy, for what?

You make a man's life sound
so short, though, Papa.

Three score and ten, that's what
the Bible says.

But Billy, if you don't watch it...

the whole thing, the whole thing
goes by just like that.

Do you know, Papa, that's right.

I remember when I was a kid,
it seems like the...

the years were longer,
and bigger, and...

Yeah, sure, sure, and now you feel
them speeding up.


Wait till you get to be my age.

You know?

I find I'm telling
you something that...

...a guy said to me the other day,
you know what?

" Billy, I got the realization that...
that was the year before the last.

See what I'm driving at, Billy?

This whole thing, the obligations,
the routines,

I... it can all get to be
like a trap.

Now, you take your mother, Billy...
She don't understand this.

Understand what, Papa?


You see, there's... there's another...
another side to it, Billy. A man...

He's got an obligation to himself too.

Just himself.

Now, maybe that may sound selfish
to you, Billy, but it's a fact,

What do you mean, Papa?


This other obligation.


It's... it's to fullfil himself.

To be as happy as best he can.

See, Billy, I...

I thought about it and I thought
about it and...

Billy, it... it just don't seem right...

...that a man was put on
this earth to be miserable.

You don't seem miserable to me.

That's not the right word.

I don't know, maybe it is.

Sure it is, Billy.

But you got Mama, you got us.

That's not enough.

If that's not enough, Papa,
what is it you want more?

I don't want more!
Billy, I want it different.

Come on, Billy, cut it out.
The people are looking.

What's the matter, kid, the beer
go down the wrong way, uh?

Come on, Billy, cut it out.

Billy, gee, I thought you'd be
the one I could talk to.

What are you staring at?

Billy, come on now, Billy!

Billy, it's not that I don't love you.
It's not that, see, it's...

Billy, look.
Look, Billy, come on.

Look, here's a dollar.

Come on, Billy.

Look, I gotta go and see a pal now.

You stay and run a few
racks, huh?

Set 'em up again, Mr. Duval?


Sorry I'm late. I had to see
a fellow on some business.

Another five minutes and I'd let
somebody just pick me up.

Come on.

I think it's the nicest thing your
stopping by to see me like this, Harry.

I just wish Virginia was here.

I knew they were out, Virginia
and that whatsisname, Wyatt.

I saw them together.

Oh... Well, you mustn't mind, dear.
You know how young girls are.

Can't make up their minds,
this fella, that fella...

- Just flibbertijibbet.
- Virginia's not that way, Mrs. Duval.

All the way through high school she
never even looked at another guy.

And in the army, the cookies,
the letters, the socks.

They were like clockwork.

Maybe that's it.


Maybe I got to taking her for granted.

I know how you feel, honey.
We all go through this.

But things do work out.

- You'll see. Time heels it all.
- Yeah, but for better or for worse.

That's not the question.
I know you're hurt now, honey.

But these things pass away.

Yoohoo, Alma!

Oh, that's Fan. She's just what we both
needed to get us out of the dumps.

Not tonight. If you don't mind,
I'll just sort of slide out.

- Alright, dear. Chin up.
Thanks, Mrs. Duval.

I heard you talking to somebody out there.
Who were you talking to?

Harry. He was just leaving.

Harry, oh, he ought to give up,
that one.

- Oh, Fan, you're terrible.
- Listen.

On the way here, I got to thinking
about your whole situation...

...and I think I got a way to beat it.

What situation, what are you
talking about?

Oh, don't give me that routine, girl.
Now, you may fool yourself...

...but you don't fool me.

This is what I got in mind.

Oh, Wyatt...

When we're like this nothing
else counts.

I wish it could be like this
for the rest of our lives.

I love you.

It's been a wonderful summer.

It's not over.
You're talking like it's over.

Just want you to know
I'll never forget it.

Wyatt, I love you.

I love you.

You know I'll always love you.

You know how things are.

Another ten days I got
to be back at school.

A year before I get a degree and...

Add two years intern, plus...

...all the time it takes to get started.

Wyatt, I'll wait.
I'll wait and I'll work.

I'll do anything I can.

- Don't make it difficult, Virginia.
- Wyatt, listen...

I want you to marry me.

Let me be very, very honest
with you.


I got a long way to go, Virginia.

And I don't want...

I just can't afford the...

responsibility of knowing there's somebody
in the world depending on me, not yet.

But, Wyatt, I won't do that,
don't you see?

I won't. I'll work and I'll support myself.

- I'll just be there...
- Don't.

I'll just be there for you...
whenever you want me.


Please. It's not like we have
to get married right away.

It's not like that at all.

I just want to be near you.

But don't you see that means
getting married?

This marriage thing keeps coming
up all the time.

Like tonight, your father.

- Your mother.
- My mother?

Every time she looks at me.
I know that look.

Marriage just isn't in my scheme
of things, not yet.

Sure, eventually I'll get married,
I suppose.

You're a good kid, and you know
how things are.

That's why I know I can be
completely honest with you.

That's one of the wonderful things
about you.

Well, when I get married...

it isn't... well, I mean, just because
I'm in love.

The girl has gotta... well, has gotta be
someone who can help my career.

I wanna win, Virginia.

And to win I have to take every
advantage, every toe hold.

I'm putting it to you straight.

The girl I marry has to have
money and position.

Social position.

I'm telling you this because I know
you'll understand, Virginia.




Puff it.

Puff it, you gotta keep puffing it,
honey, or it'll go out.

- I'm puffing.
- Puff, puff harder.

That's it.

I don't see how learning to smoke
is gonna make any difference, Fran.

Like I told you, Alma, a whole new
personality can turn the trick.

Jack's used to you 'cause you got
no surprises left in you.

Now, what's he gonna say the first time
you fish out a cigarette and light up?

He's gonna say,
"Alma, have you gone crazy?"

Yeah, well when he does, you just
take a drag on the cigarette,

blow it to his face and say,
"What's it to ya, lover?"

- Oh, Fan...
- Alright, now, come on.

We gotta be serious here.
Now watch me. Watch my wrist.

Hiya, Jack.

Alright, let me try again.

Good! Oh, that's good!

Fine. Now, remember. Let the smoke
out of your nose real slow.

Come on...
Oh, Alma.

I am never gonna teach you how
to smoke if you won't even try.

- I do so try.
- Oh, no you don't!

You just sit there and you just let
the smoke drift every which way.

I can't help the way it drifts.

- Oh, Fan, can't we give it up?
- No, we can't.

We started this and we're
going to stick to it.

That's your trouble, Alma.
You don't have any stick-to-it-ity.

I'm, sorry.

Well, that's alright, honey.
Now we'll try it again.

Now just watch me carefully
this time, sink in and watch.

That is real gone-to-hell smoke.

- I could never do that in a hundred years.
- Yes, you can,

- it just takes a little practice.
- Oh, no, I...

No! definitely N-0!
You are going to stick to your diet.

- Well, you had two pieces.
- Alright, I can afford two pieces.

I'm not fat. Show me where I'm fat.
It's all in the glands.

Alma, I've got another idea.

What would Jack say if he
saw you have a drink?

Say an occasional cocktail
before dinner.

- Oh, Fan, me?
- I'm serious!

- In front of the children?
- The children, those hienas?

Listen, they're not children
they're grown up.

Now, listen, you have got to assert
yourself and show some independence.

Oh, no, no, if Jack ever saw
me drink, he...

Come on, get the jug,
let's see the booze.

Well, we have some bourbon left
over from Christmas.

Good, good.


- Oh, here it is.
- Dandy.

- Will that be enough?
- Sure, get the glasses.

And, darling, don't look at it like that,
it's not medicine.

You sure that'll be enough?

Well, it ain't gonna get us stoned,
but it'll do for practicing.


- Is that anything like tiddly?
- Tiddly?

It's stoned, zumped, knocked out.

Oh, Fan, you're so smart.

Shall I pour it?

Honey, the first thing is you
never say, "Shall I pour it."

When you want to say it, say,
"How about a belt?"

How about a belt?

No, you gotta say it like you mean it,
only cool, see?

How about a belt, Jack?

- How about a belt, Jack?
- Yeah, that's it.

Okay, now, there's your belt.
Alright, now pick it up like I do, see?

Okay, good.

Alright, now... No, don't look at it,
it's there, Alma.

You know it's there.

And you're very cool about it.

- Very cool.
- Hm-hmm.

Okay, now lean back, relax.

Good. Cross your legs.

That's it.

Okay, you're very loose.

Play this whole thing loose,
it's a whole new personality now, different.

Okay, now think about something
real low.

- I will not.
- Alma, I'm gonna give up.

- Alright, I'll try.
- Okay.

What's so funny?
What are you thinking about?

Alma! Now come on, you
gotta be serious!

Is that alright?

It's better. Alright, now you got
one hand free, see?

Now slap your leg and say,
"Hot damn!"

Hot damn!

How about a belt, Jack?

How about a belt, Jack?

Hop up here, lover, it's crazy
out tonight.

Where do you learn such stuff, Fan?

On tv!

Oh, it's no good.

- I'm a flop.
- Alma, you're not doing this for yourself,

you're doing it for Jack.

Well, everything would be alright if
I could just get him back to New Paris

If you could get him to go back,
how do you know it would work out?

Well, I could get him away,
we'd be together.

Boy, I don't know why you want him
when he's treated you like that.

Oh, Jack hasn't treated me bad.

He doesn't do anything other
men don't do.

If you mean my husband,
you're mighty right.

- No, Fan, I didn't mean...
- Listen, it's alright.

Ed and me, we got tired of each
other about the same time.

Only someday I know he's gonna quit
playing around, and he's gonna come home,

we're gonna get old together
and we're take care of one another.

Yes, but I was wondering if...

Suppose he would run off
with somebody?

He'd as soon sit down at the table
and eat a pound of arsenic.

He's used to living with me.

There isn't another woman
in the whole world...

...who could stand being in the same
house with him, nor Jack neither.

Honey, bring me my ???.

Oh, yeah.

Gotta make sure I've got
my lighter.

- Oh, honey, thanks, it was fine.
- I'm so glad you came.

It's Jack!
Good night, Alma, and thanks!

Good night, you old boozie you.

- Come back for another belt, do you hear?
- You bet!

- Oh, hi!
- Hello, dear.

- Papa's not home, huh?
- No.

Would you like a nice glass of iced tea?

Buddy, you're not gonna start
another fight.

- I didn't start it.
- I just don't understand you.

- But I didn't do anything.
- Here you are, you're the oldest.

The one I depend on most.

And I ask you just for one evening
to keep your temper, and what do you do?

I'm sorry about that.

I made him the cake and I got
the present for you to give him.

And what did you do, you smashed
it on the floor.

You made him so mad he went out and said
terrible things to Virginia's gentleman boy.

- I did it, huh, Mama?
- I don't know what it is, these fights.

Your own father, you even have
the same name,

John Henry Duval, Jr.

Sometimes I think you just don't have
any feeling for him at all.

Oh, Mama...
Mama, sure I feel...

Don't you think I want to be able
to be like a father and son to him?

Don't you think I'd like to be able
to talk to him...

to be able to sit down and say,
"Papa, help me."?

"Help me get ahead in this world."

Well, tonight I tried.

Tonight... well, you were sitting there,
you saw what happened.

But, honey, if you just keep calm
and hope for the best,

things always work out.

No, that's your way.

Me, I find nothing happens unless
I make it happen personally.

But, honey, you can't change your papa.

You've been around him long enough,
you know that.

I got rights, Mama, certain rights.

But if you'd just listen to him.

After all, he's your father.
He's older, and wiser.

You're not hearing a thing I'm saying.

You're taking his side again,
you always take his side.

Well, what about me?
Where do I fit in, Mama?

Is that you, Jack?

Oh, honey.
Honey, what's happened?

What's wrong, baby?

Lead him on, you said.
Raise something about a marriage.

Give him a little push,
a little nudge.

You know, Mama, you and Papa
are two of a kind.

You just can't keep your noses
out of any people's business.

- Honey, I didn't mean to...
- You know what I'm talking about, Buddy?

- Yes, I know what you're talking about.
- You ruined it!

- You drove him right away from me.
- Oh, no, honey, no. You're, my babies.

I wouldn't do anything to harm you,
not for anything in the world.

Well, is that why you're always
taking his side against me, Mama?

Mama, the deeds done anyway.

Who are you to go giving advice about men
when you can't even hold your own?

- Oh, honey, don't.
- Face it, Mama!

- Face it! You've lost him!
- No!

Yes, you have. He's out with her
this very minute!

With who? I don't know who
you're talking about.

She's talking about a woman, Mama.

- What woman? There isn't any woman!
- Oh, there isn't any woman? I've seen them!

I've seen them together and
so has Buddy!

- That's the truth!
- He's not, he's not with her.

Whatever, whoever it is you're
talking about,

those are just dirty lies
you're telling me.

Well, Mama, if he's not out with her,
where is he? Out on some big deal?

- He's with Billy, that's where he is.
- With Billy? Do you believe that?

Honey, I saw them with my
own two eyes.

I saw them leave here,
they were going to the pool room.

- Mama, stop it!
- Papa said he was going to tonight at supper.

I don't know where you children
think up such terrible things.


There, there they are now.

Is that you, Jack?


Where's your papa?

Parking the car?

I'll bet you had a wonderful
time tonight.

Didn't you?


Where is he, Billy?

Uh, he stayed on to play some
more pool, didn't he?

Yeah, Billy, that's what he did, didn't he?
Tell Mama that's what he did.

He had to stay on. There were some
important people, Mama.


There. You see, I was right.

You silly children trying to
get my goat.

Mother, what I said in there,
I didn't mean it.

No, honey, don't apologize.
I can take a joke.

- Mama, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it either.
- I know, honey, I know.

I think what we all need is just
a good night's sleep, don't you?

- Yeah, Mama, it's late, let's go.
- You two go up.

I'm going to stay down here
for a while.

- Mama, please don't wait up for him.
- I'm not waiting up for anybody.

I'm just not sleepy, that's all.


Is that you, Jack?

- Hiya, Mama.
- Oh, you stayed out so late.

How do you expect to be fresh
and new in the morning?

Oh, talk, talk, talk. The guy just
wouldn't stop talking.

- Was it a deal?
- Yeah, sure it was a deal.

What are you doing up
so late, Mama?

Well, I was sitting in the kitchen
I must have dozed off.

Isn't that the silliest thing
you ever heard of?

You work too hard, Mama,
you should get more rest.

Sorry I stayed out so late, dear,
but, uh,

This guy, he just talked, talked,
talked, you know,

I just couldn't get a definite answer
out of him either way, you know what I mean?

You don't take any better care
of your clothes than Billy.

Never hang anything up,
everything thrown every which way.

Never saw anything like you.

- Look at this shirt...
- Here, come on, honey, it's late.

- Let's go to bed.
- What's this

Looks like lipstick.

Perfume. You got perfume
on your shirt.

- Now, just don't say anything, huh?
- Smells like cheap perfume.

What is it, Jack?
What do you want from her?

I know. And I know what she's like.

- Cheap.
- No.

You come in here smelling
of her perfume.

And you look at me like
I wasn't here.

She's not cheap.

- Common,
- She's not common.

- Cheap, common and vulgar.
- Alma, she's not what you think.

She's a young girl, she's...

She has no family, no friends, she's...

She's young and kind of lost,
I guess you'd call it.

Alma, I'm her world.

And you take pity on her,
is that it?

- Not exactly, I...
- Billy was home four hours ago.

- Have you been with her all this time?
- No, no, no,

I drove around, tried to think
things through, I...

Jack! Jack, please...

Listen to me. Why won't you
ever listen to me, Jack?

We could get in the car right now.

We could drive to New Paris and we
could be there before the sun was up.

Wouldn't that be nice, Jack?

We could have breakfast
at Essie Mae's big old kitchen.

We'll have fresh eggs and country
fried ham.

- Mama, Mama, she loves me.
- But I love you, Jack!

- I love you!
- Honey, it's like I was twenty again.

Like I was young the way
I never was.

The way you and me never knew
love could be like.

Jack, I'm...

I'm... I'm sorry, Jack, I didn't...
I didn't mean...

I didn't mean it, Jack!


Alma, come on back and sit down.
A watched pot never boils.

- Oh, Fan, I don't know what to do.
- Relax, honey.

I just don't know what to do.
I've phoned the office all day...

...and Buddy says he hasn't seen
hide or hair of him.

Don't knock yourself out,
he isn't worth it.

If he'd only call.

You know what I think?

I think he's been hitting
the bottle.

He's got himself so drunk someplace
he can't even make it home.

Oh, no, Fan.
He's with that woman.

Oh, Alma, maybe he only said
those things to hurt you.

No, he wasn't making it up.
I never saw him like that before.

He'll come home, honey.

Nineteen he said she was.

Oh, so she's young. She's cheap.

No, Fan, I've been fooling
myself too long.

I'm too tired to go on.

You know, it takes an awful lot
out of you to try and pull yourself.

But I'm through.

Alright, so you're through. That
doesn't mean you're through with him.

But suppose he really loves her.

Oh, love, what's that?
It's just a word.

I don't know what gets into a man.

What... devil.

What did the children say this morning?

Oh, they... they didn't say anything.

We just sat there like strangers
in a lunchroom.

Pass the sugar, is there any more
coffee in the pot?

We didn't say anything.

They just got up and went their own...
separate ways.

Twenty-five years.

I've loved him all that time, Fan.

He was such a good-looking boy.

I was only fifteen when I first
saw him.

Just a skinny little kid.

I used to hide in the hummock and
watch him go by in his pirogue.

That's a kind of a boat the cajuns use.

And he'd come gliding along,
standing up straight,

all that black hair in his eyes...

He was the most beautiful thing
you ever saw.

I was ashamed of being so skinny.

Of course I was scared he wouldn't
like me.

So I used to eat and eat...

My mother though I was stark
raving mad.

I used to stuff handkerchiefs
down the front of my dress...

so... I'd look...

And then after a while, I didn't
need the handkerchiefs,

he began to notice me.

I was pretty then, Fan.

For a couple of years...

then, kind of crazy, I guess,

I wanted to be wild like him.

After we was married,

we moved to New Paris.

And I had Buddy, and then Virginia...

...and Billy.

Right now I'm glad I don't have
any children.

Oh, no, Fran, it would have been worse
without the children.

Oh, he tried, Fan, he really tried.

Like with... with the games.

Of course he doesn't do it
anymore now, but...

...he used to bring in games home
all the time, blotto, parcheesi...

...and monopoly.

He used to let the children win
all the time.

And come home after work,
and right after supper...

we'd get out the games.

And it was nice.

You know?

Two or three nights in a row
like that and then... he'd go again.

It's him.


Hiya, Fan.

- How's Ed?
- Fine.


Be careful what you say to him.
Let him talk. And don't get mad.

Play it sweet and he'll feel worse.

Jack, what are you doing?

- What are you doing with that suitcase?
- Leaving.

Where are you going?

Jack, answer me.

Where are you going?

I told you I'm leaving.
Isn't that enough?

No it isn't. Now you stop that silly
packing and look at me.

You're acting like some crazy young'un...

...that's running away from home
because he got a whipping.

Jack, I've been phoning the office
all morning.

I didn't know where you were.

You're running away with her.
Is that it?

It's been coming for a long time.

You mean since you met this girl.

No, I thought of it long before
I knew her.

Well, why didn't you do it then?

I'd rather you had, instead of
running off like this.

Like some wild shirt-tailed boy.

I had to wait till the children
were grown.

You haven't been much
of a father to them.

You don't have to tell me.

Jack... what did I do wrong?

Alma, it was nothing you did.

Nothing you could help.

Then why are you going?

- I wanted something better than this.
- Do you think I didn't?

- You had the children.
- But Jack, they were yours.

They were yours, that's why
I loved them.

You loved them because they
were children!

The way you could never
love a man.

Jack, if I...

If I failed you in some way,
I'll try to do better.

Maybe I could work in the office with you,
then I wouldn't be tied down to the house.

- I could be better company for you.
- It's too late.

Let me try, Jack.
Please stay and let me try.

Alma, Alma...

I know what it would be like,
and I don't want it.

Look, I've tried and...
I've done my best.

I've stayed and I've provided.

Now I'm not gonna stay here,
and grow old and die.

- Jack, don't...
- Now I'm gonna do what I wanna do.

Don't go, Jack, please don't go.

After you've gone I'll think of all sorts
of reasons why you shouldn't.

We could go back to New Paris, Jack.

We don't have to stay here
with the children.

We could go back where we belong.

We'd be better off if we'd never
left New Paris.

New Paris. Land of miracles.

Where everything comes out all right.

We were a real family there.

Jack, we had a nice house.

We had things that we could talk
about to each other.

We all knew the same people.

Remember how we taught the children
to square dance...

...when Virginia was only that high?

- Yes, Alma, I remember...
- Remember the picnics we used to go to...

- ...out in the country?
- Alma, that never happened...

- ...more than two or three times.
- Oh, no, no, Jack, you're wrong.

It happened every week or so.

You've just gone and forgotten
all the good times...

I forget nothing!
Listen, Alma, listen to me.

New Paris is just a place
we lived in once.

We were young and poor
and life was rough.

It took a war and a swing-shift job
to blast us out of there.

New Paris was just a mean, poor bit of dirt
with erosion and falling-down shacks.

But we were happy, we were young,
and the children were little...

Alma, is that what you remember?

- Is that what you miss, honey?
- No, I miss you, Jack.

Look, don't follow me out to the car
unless you want to meet her.

Is she...

- You want to meet her?
- No.

Alma, then... goodbye.



Alma, now look.

It's not that I don't love you, see?

It's not that at all, it's...

You know me, I...

I am what I am.

Where are you and her going?


Oh, they say it's nice in Florida.

They say that's the land of
eternal youth.

Will I be hearing from you?


Jack, I'll be worrying about you, I'll be
worrying whether you're alright...

- Alma, I'm not a child.
- Oh, yes you are.

Yes, you are.

Now go.

And take good care of yourself.

You... you're forgetting one
thing, Buddy,

that business doesn't even belong to you,
that business belongs to Mama.

Isn't that right?

That's just a little detail we ought
to take care of, isn't it?

- Oh...
- Well, Buddy,

maybe Daddy will just get tired
of this girl.

Or maybe she'll get tired of him,
did you ever think about that?

Bleed him white and then maybe
run off with another guy?

Well, I can't imagine any woman
walking off on him.

- How about it, Billy?
- Oh...

It's no-go, Buddy.

And the reason it's no-go, is this.
I'm not even gonna be around here.

Where do you think you're going?

I'm going in the air force.

The air force? Billy, when did
this happen?

I went down this afternoon
and I saw a guy.

You're not gonna go.

- Who says I'm not gonna go?
- I'm saying you're not gonna go.

You're gonna wait, you're gonna
be drafted like I did.

I'm leaving in two weeks, Buddy!

Listen to me, Billy, get this straight.

- From now on I'm the head of the family...
- I'm going and nothing you can say...

Now, wait, you two.
Billy, hush, hush, hush!

Knock those teeth out of that
big mouth of yours.

Billy, will you quit it?

At least talk to Mama before
we decide anything.

I just wish he would come back.

Well, I want to get one thing
clear right now.

If I take over, it won't be for him.

Now, I'm not gonna build up the business
and have him come back...

...and clean out the cash register.

From now on, what I do is
for Buddy Duval.

Before you said it was for everybody.

Now you stay out of it, Billy.
You're running out on the family...

- you got no say-so in this.
- I'm not running out on the family.

No, Buddy, Billy, please,
I don't want any fights.

Nobody's fighting, Mama, it's...

Look, it's just that...

...we've got a situation here
that we've got to get straightened out.

How am I doing, honey?

Seventy. Come on, take
the belt off.

Seventy. That's...
That's pretty fast.


Come on, honey...
Come on, sweetie...

Come on, don't... don't mess around.

Come on... honey!

- Come on, baby, now... Don't mess around.
- What's the matter, honey, are you chicken?

- No, honey, but...
- You're acting like an old man.

Come on, honey.
Come on, baby, baby...

Come on, knock it off!

You're driving this milk wagon
like it was a hearse.



Well, yes...
No, this is Bud Duval, I'm his son.

Well, he's not...

He what?



I'm sorry. Where was it again?

No, I...

Yes, I... I know... I know the place.

Look... I'll be down in about
a half hour.

No, we don't know her.

- Mama.
- We don't know her, I said.

No, we don't know who she was.

They provide that service, mama.

It's in the contract I drew
up with them. Now...

...why don't you ride in the
back with us?

No, Buddy. I don't want a stranger.
That's a city way of doing things.

Now you children get to your seats.

Are you sure you don't want me
to sit with you, Mama?

No, honey, I'd rather have it
this way.

The limousine and hearse will meet us
at the station, Mama.

All aboard!


Look, I didn't want to talk to Mama
about this before the funeral.

About the money, I mean.

But it seems Papa has been borrowing
some on the insurance.

Now, there's still $9,000.

There's a couple of hundred on hand
in cash at the office...

...and there's about $4,000 in savings.

Boy, you didn't waste any time,
did you?

Look, you want to make some wise remark,
you go ahead. You don't bother me.

Nothing bothers you, huh?

I'm asking you real nice, Billy,
take it easy, will you?

He ain't hardly dead, but you're
jumping and grabbing.

You know, I...

I haven't heard you say
one word about him, not...

Not one word.

What am I supposed to say, Billy?

Am I supposed to make some
kind of a speech?

Have you even said that
you're sorry?

What are you talking about?

You really hated him, didn't you?

Billy, what are you talking about? I knew
him better than both of you put together.

You hated him.

What do you say to him?

What do you do when he
starts that stuff?

Virginia, when I got to the scene
of the accident...

When I saw him... dead like that...

I didn't realize until...

I... I didn't...

It suddenly hit me that...

I had never said to this man,
I love you.

I thought of all the things that...

that I should have said and...

...the times I should have...
should have tried to talk to him.

And I realized it was too late.

I wish you'd known Mr. Duval.

I wish I had, ma'am.

But you folks were before my time.

And now, if you'll excuse me, please.

Thank you.

I thought it'd be so different.

So many... more friends and...

...more people.

It was a long time ago, Alma.

People move...



Oh, I haven't forgotten, Essie Mae.

I remember it just as clear...

The house, and all those happy
young faces.

The preacher's waiting to drive
me home, Alma.

Oh, yes, you run along, dear.

Are you sure you won't stay
for supper?

The limousine's ready, Mama.

No, we have to go to the
railroad station.

I wish I could stay.

Jack used to speak of coming
back to New Paris.

Just for a visit.

But he was busy, you know,
his business and...

...the family, the house.

But he used to say...
"Alma, honey...

we gotta go back and see all those...

...wonderful people again."

Goodbye, Alma.

You get to the city, you come
see us, you hear?

- Mama, it's time.
- Just a minute.

It's just a little further on.

Mama, what's the sense?

Buddy, I want to see it again.

You just drive on.
I'll tell you when to stop.

You going to get out, ma'am?

You see?
He was right, your papa.

- We can't go back.
- Oh, Mama.

Oh, no, I thought you could.

I thought that was the
way that we...

But... when I saw Essie Mae...

almost like a stranger.

And that old pile of boards.

And to think, all these years
that stood for happiness in my mind.

Well, that's all over with.

But I still have you all.
I still have my children.

I've got a lot to look forward to.

Watching you get successful, Buddy.

- And you will.
- I'm gonna try, Mama.

Oh, sure you will.
Your Papa always said you would.

And I'll be getting letters from Billy.

All about jet planes, and new places
and new people.

And then, later on, grandchildren.

- Oh, Mama.
- Oh, yes, grandchildren.

I know, Harry will be waiting there at the
station for you when you get back.

Do you know what would be good
for Mama right now?

A nice vacation.

A chance to wheel and deal on your
own for a change, Mama.

- On my own?
- Sure.

Yes, you need a holiday. You've never
taken one and it's high time you did.

You could go to Florida, Mama.

They say that's the land
of eternal youth.

Oh, no, I couldn't.

Who'd be here to take care
of all you children?

I guess you've all grown up.

But I haven't.

But I will... I will, I'm going to try.

Come on, Mama, let's go home.

Home? Oh...

Yes... Yes, you're right.

We'd better be getting home.

Oh, feel that breeze?

And look at those clouds over there.

I guess the hot spell's over.

All aboard!

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes