A Bad Son (1980) - full transcript

Bruno is released from prison. He looks for a job and tries to start a new life. His first stop is at his father's apartment.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food

Wait here.
We'll need your passport.


Sit down.

Take his statement.

Bruno Calgagni.

Date of birth:
November 3, 1951

at Clichy sur Seine.

22 rue Vincent Garreau, Colombes.

Father's name?

Rene Calgagni.

Birth date and place?

In Arcueil.

I'm not sure of the date.
He's about 55...

Mother's name?

Jeanne Vernet.

Born June 19, 1931, at Rouen.

She died two years ago.

During your incarceration...

You left France to go to the U.S.
on December 11, 1974.

A year later,
you were arrested as a drug dealer.

Is that right?

You started using drugs here
and kept it up over there

but it's a costly habit
and you were broke.

So you became a pusher.
Is that right?

More or less.

You were arrested
on October 26, 1975

carrying 40 grams of pure heroin

you were peddling to students.

5 years of detention,

including one
in a Federal Disintoxication Center.

You were released yesterday.


Do you have a trade?

I was in a vocational school:

Any money?

My jail earnings.

What's your address?

My father's place.

Does he know you're back?


As soon as we check this out,
you're free to go.

May I go for coffee?

Bertrand, take him to the cafeteria.

Can I have one?


The address you gave us
is no good.

Your father moved away,
but we've got his new address.

Here it is.

We'll give you clean slate

but Narcotics will keep you on file.


May I?

Since when?

I got back this morning.

Let's make some coffee.

Where are the cups?

In the cabinet.

- Hungry?
- No thanks. I'm alright.

How long has it been?

Six years.

What time is it?

7:10 A.M.

- Shit!
- Are you late?

I start my crew working at 8.

The sugar...

You still take three?

- What's US time?
- One.

- 1 A.M.?
- Yes.

I've got to run...

Make yourself at home.

There's a bed-sofa.
We'll have to squeeze in.

There's food in the kitchen.

Take my keys.
The super has an extra set.

See you tonight.

Didn't you go out?

You must have been beat!

What time is it?

Get up!

Tonight, we're eating out.
My treat!

First, they put me in the kitchen...
because I'm French.

Next, I worked
in the plastics shop.

It was tough!

You can't stop:
Every move is clocked.

Why not woodwork?

There was none!

So what was the job?


At first,
you're too exhausted to think

which is just as well.

But once you get the rhythm,
it becomes automatic.

So when I wasn't working,
I kept on reading...

I read at night and on Sundays.

Not bad!

What about you?

Me? My job?
It's okay, I guess...

Lots of things have changed...

I mean they seem to
but in fact, they don't.

We vote for the same guys
and things go to pot.

We stand by like old dodos.

I hate to wind up that way!

I'm sorry to upset you,
but would you tell me about...

About your mother?

What do you want to know?

How she died?


It happened gradually.

She started when you left.

She quit her job.

She couldn't sleep.

She couldn't tell day from night.

So they gave her medication...


She kept on taking more of it.

I tried to stop her,
but she took it secretly.

So she had a heart attack.

It was Madeleine who found her.

She was lying in the doorway.

That's the story!

Need anything else?


If you hear me, ignore it:
I get up early.

One more, please.

Have a drink.

No, thanks.

Come on: It's on me!

No, I'd rather not.

Come on. Give the man a drink.

I said no and I mean it.
Leave me alone!

You coming down?

Yes, I've got to report...

and I'll scout around for work.

So, you're back?

Since Wednesday.

I was nearby, so I figured:
"I'll go see Madeleine."

How about a kiss?

I'll be right with you.

Wait in there.

- May I?
- Yes.

Take over the counter for awhile.

We didn't expect you back.

Well, here I am.

You've changed.

You haven't.

Living at home?


How's it going?

We're alright...

I mean I think so...
I'm not really sure.

Did he tell you about her?


That's just it.

You saw her often?


I tried to make her go out,
do things, talk...

but she wouldn't listen.

Why did you stop writing her?

I had nothing to say.

It was always the same letter.

"S.T." What does that mean?

Skilled technician...

Not for you!

You'll have to aim lower.

Don't worry, I can take it:
My morale is sky-high.

If they hadn't arrested you in time,

you'd be a professional drug dealer
by now...

A corruptor!

A social cancer!

You bet!
At least, I wouldn't be job-hunting.

We'd be loaded.
We'd own big hotels,

bank accounts,

a yacht.

We'd sail around the world.
You'd be the captain

and I'd be at the helm.
You'd shout:

"Head for Bermuda, son!"

Going out?

I want some fresh air.
Do you mind?

You need cash?

I'm O.K.

Truck No. 3: You... you...

You two on No. 4!

You back there and you two,
go with Chauchard.

Not you...
it's a man-sized job!

Are you French?

OK, but you sweat
like the others!

You, wait here.
You guys on No. 6.

Okay, let's go!

Come on.

- You okay?
- Sure...

You've got balls...

Most Frenchmen quit after 3 days.

Where were you before?

In jail.


- What's up?
- I came to see you.

So long, boss.

Take care. Watch your step!

Let's not stand here.
I'm thirsty. Come on.

It's on me!

So you're rich?

He just got paid.

What does he do?

Ask him.

I'm in trucking.

D'you drive?

No, I load.

That's a tough grind.

If you'd listened to me...

I've listened for 30 years...
and so what?

Let's kill the bottle.

Go easy:
He won't make it up his stairs.

If I'd told Fran?oise,
I'd ask you up for dinner.

- It's on me.
- Look at him...

He thinks I'm drunk...

I never get drunk.

It's time to go...

I'll leave you the car.

Pick me up tomorrow.

Take care, kid.

Don't worry about me.
I'll outlive you.

I'll miss him.

Is he quitting?

No, he's retiring next year.

What time, tomorrow?

Same time.

You always said Friday
was a good day.

Sure, it used to be pay day...

The foreman would bring us
the envelopes.

We could feel the bills inside.

At the time,
it seemed a lot of dough.

What are you looking at?

Those two.

What about them?

They look good.

Maybe so...
but I'm too old for that stuff.

You're kidding...
you mean to say that...

I mean it's none of your business.

Anyway, it's good to sit
and talk together.

I feel great!

I got paid today...

I want to chip in.

Into what?

The household expenses.

There's no need to.

Even so, I want to...

Drop it.

Wait here.

They're part-time hookers.

They'll give us a cut rate
because we're two.

Let's ask them over.

- Sit down.
- Sure.

You're Bruno.
What's your buddy's name?


I'm Marina...
Tell them your name.


She's not talkative.

Can I have one?

Help yourself.

What will you have?

We were drinking tomato juice.

You work around here?

No, no...


You're what?

So now, you're pimping?

You little punk!

What did I do?
Tell me!

Beat it!

Are you drunk? What's wrong?

You idiot! Don't you realize
she died on account of you?

You killed her!

You ruin my life and now
you treat me to a cut-rate screw!

I'd rather jerk off!

Get away from me...

I can't stand the sight of you!

This is for you.

It's from Mental Hygiene.

So long.


When did they release you?

A month ago.

Since then, have you been tempted
to resume the habit?


Any sexual relations?


For cash!

Must you ask?

Let me explain our function:

You report here
for control consultations.

We're Mental Hygiene,
not policemen.

If you fail to report,

I must notify the Narcotics Bureau.

We're here to help you.


My problem's the same
as everybody's: It's money!

I got a job
and lost it two weeks later.

My problem's lack of work.

We're not an employment agency

but we can try to help you out

by finding something in your line.

Cabinet-making, carpentry...

- Didn't we have something?
- Not anymore.

What about Dussart?

It's not your line of work...

It's a bookshop.
What do you think?

Why not? I'll try it.

I should warn you
that one of his employees...

How long has she been there?

Six months.

She's in post-rehabilitation.

Do you mind?

Not at all.

Call Dussart right away.

He's a nice guy. You'll see.

Can I see M. Dussart?

- What for?
- For a job.

I'm Bruno Calgagni.

I was sent here by...
I suppose you know already.

Yes, I do.
M. Dussart isn't in just now.

May I wait?

If you like.

Old editions?


Can I help in any way?

Frankly, I'm no intellectual...

We don't deal in comic books!

I found the new version. Look!

It's your third!

But this is the best one.

The duet in the first act
is superb...

M. Calgagni is waiting for you.

Bruno Calgagni!
What a pleasure to meet you...

Your name:
you're related to Galiani,

Mme d'Epinay's lover

who wrote "Dialogue on Women?"
Rather raunchy but first-rate.

By the way, Catherine,

see if Degref's got
the "Dialogue of Courtesans."

Right now?

Yes, the customer wants it today.

I assume you know
we need someone

to handle the orders
and catalogue shipments.

But first,
there's the inventory.

Let me show you.

It's temporary work,

but there's so much
to be done that...

As you see, it's a big job.

Catherine insists
we put it all in order.

She's too logical to see
that this apparent mess...

This pig-sty...

reflects my concept of order.

But it doesn't look orderly.
She prefers visible order.

Look, I'll show you.
Name a title... any title...

"Red and Black"...

Fine! Which edition?

I'll close my eyes.

Here it is. Check it.

You're right!


When can you start?

Right now.

You can't do the inventory yet.

Catherine, what do we start him on?

The orders.
The lists are on my desk.

It's simple:
The books are classified...

by genre and by author's names.

I'm furious:

A 3-hour wait for two side-seats!

- Below?
- No, thank God!

Carlos, this is Bruno.
He's helping us.


- You got it?
- Yes.

Solti's better.

You haven't even heard it...

I have!

You heard it, but did you listen?

- And these?
- I couldn't find them.

I was waiting for you.

They're not in the "L's."
It's a pen-name. Look in the "D's."

This is where she excels...
it's magnificent.

But Caballe's better
in the low tones...

In the low tones, maybe...
but even so...

Most of them just use their throats
and vocal chords.

But Freni sings with her body,

with a full range of emotions...

This is Opera!

What do you think?

No comment...

I'm not myself today.

I see...

Don't let us spoil your meal.

No, on the contrary...

I enjoy listening to you.

Things shaping up?

Yes, in fact, I'm in advance.

You're a quick learner.

I guess so... I'm fairly handy.

When you're ready,
we'll do the inventory.

I'll get her.
Catherine, it's Robert.

What can I say?

No, I don't think so.

I told you... I don't know.

What about the inventory?

We'll start with the stockroom.

Where do these go?

On the table.

Get up there.

Pull all names that don't start
with an "A."

Amyot... Apollinaire... Carco...

What's that one?


Damn it!

No... Let me...
I'll do it.

Why did you choose this job?

I didn't.

We were both sent here
by the same agency.

I've been here for 6 months.
I like it.

I won't last that long...

Why not?

Dussart likes you.

I like him too...

but the problem is you and me.

It's my fault.
I don't mean to be hostile...

Yet you are.

Besides, that's no reason to quit.

Yes, it is...

Ever since I'm here...

something's happened to me...

that hadn't happened...

for a long time.

I want to hold you in my arms...
to touch you.

I'm in love with you.

I know it's hopeless

but I had to tell you.

It's not hopeless.

I couldn't help it.

It doesn't matter.

I'll try to do better next time.

I'll make us some tea with rum.

It's freezing in here.

Isn't it heated?


It's a big pad.

It's huge.

It's not my pad.

Whose is it?


My father owns it.

Sit down.

He's got 3 or 4 more like it.

What does he need them for?

To make a living.

He used to be rich.

He invested and lost all his money.

So now, he wheels and deals.

He buys old flats,
renovates and sells them.

This one's been empty for a year.

He can't afford to fix it up,
so I live here.



What about that guy who calls you?


He meant a lot to me at one time.
But now...

it's over.


And what?

Never mind.

You want to know
if I still shoot up?


Yes, I still do...

at times.

Any more rooms?


Can I look?

You buying?


This was the library.

It's nice. There's a carpet.

No light?

There's no bulb.

It's nice here, in the dark.

You haven't seen him since?


Do you mind?


We're late.

Isn't he more unhappy than you?

Maybe so... I don't know.

Don't forget that auction in London.

I won't.

You should leave on Saturday,

see MacMillan on Sunday
and stay over till Tuesday.

I'll do that.

I'd like to look at this.

So, you're living with Catherine?


- Do you mind?
- No, not at all...

On the contrary!

I wasn't expecting you.

I meant to tell you, but...

You don't have to.

We each lead our life.

Each one lives...

as he likes...

as best he can.

Did you eat?


I needed her...

It's your own business.

Now, you know about us.

I'm glad of it.

- How are you?
- I'm making out.


Yes, in a bookshop...

It's cultural.

Does it pay?

Not enough to be taxable,
but I get by.

Your father and I,
we've been together

for a long time.

How long?

In those circumstances,
it was natural:

You... plus your mother
who'd lost her will to live...

But I loved him before!

Why not?
We've nothing to be ashamed of!

But you did it on the sly!

What does that mean?

What are you insinuating?

You told me I killed her...

that she died
because I left.

- Yes, you left.
- So did you!

What gives you the right
to speak to me this way?

Who asked you to come back?

Pardon me!

Bruno, don't leave like that.

Let go! You're both bastards!

Take that back.
Take it back right now!

You old phony!

My brother! How are you?

They're friends.

Come on.

Where have you been?
Still interested in woodwork?

I know of a job.

I've got one,
but tell me about it.

It's with a cabinet-maker.
I work there.

The boss is looking
for a carpenter.

He's a good guy,
not one of those racists.

He handles cabinet-work,
but his specialty is chairs.

We'll start you on joining.

If you're good,
we'll put you on molding.

By next year,
you'll be a qualified cabinet-maker.

What did Dussart say?

Nothing. He shed a few tears,
but he understands.

Anyway, the only problem is us...
I mean you.

Do you mind?

No, I'm glad for you.

I wanted to ask your advice,
but they wouldn't wait.

So, where is that chapel of yours?

You're some guide!

You should have turned right.

I would have,
if you'd warned me in time.

One says: "We turn right
at the next crossing."

That way,
I can slow down and turn.

I did warn you!

Dussart, you're a pain in the ass!

Let's just skip the chapel.

Which road do I take?

I can't tell by this map.

I think I'll turn left.

Wait... I know where we are!

He knows!

I used to come here in summer...
in a house nearby.

I rode my first bike here.

I broke my arm.

Anyway, the sea's over there.

What do I do?

Let's head for the sea.

We thought you'd forgotten us.


Aside from the kitchen,
nothing's changed.

In summer, with all the kids,
we're crowded

but for us two, it's fine.

And you come here...

All year long:
Winter and summer.

How long has it been?

Forty years.

Remember the table?

A labor of love:

No nails, only dowels...
real craftsmanship.

His father made it. He slaved over
the drawers and swivels.

He hated the seashore...

but he came here every Sunday.

He kept on perfecting it.

That's when you came here.

What's he doing? He's crazy!

He can't do that!

Why not?

The water's ice-cold.
He could catch a...

I feel just great.

You should have joined me.

I'm so hot, I'm in a sweat.

What's wrong?

Are you cold?

It's not that...

No... I want to walk by myself.

Pay the check. We're going home.

You know,
she's not completely cured.

She tries to cope,

but at times,
when it's too painful,

it's best to help her... to keep her
from shooting up in secret.

You know what I mean?

Yes, I do.

What's that?

I'm working.

Dussart wants to publish a book
on Paul Klee.

I've got to find the texts

and choose the reproductions...
it's a job.

I've been at it since noon.

- Tired?
- No.

Look what I found:

"At the age of 29, I'm losing
my belief in unhappiness..."

- Hungry?
- A little. What about you?

Not yet. I ate at 7.
Do you mind?

I'd like some wine.

You know, they came back...

the two brothers
who want to buy my shop.

No, I didn't know...

but don't ask me for advice!

That's fine.
I wasn't planning to.

Let me out here.

Take this.

What do we do?

Why ask? The rain's stopped.

Are you sure?

No, I'm not sure.
I'm not God. Let's go!

Come on...

Bring the slings
and that drag...

Are you hurt?

I don't know...

I gave him a sedative.

We'll take some rays.

He didn't say a word...
he didn't even complain...

so we had no way of knowing...

it was serious.

Then, they examined the rays.

It was a broken hip.

For a younger man,
it's not serious.

But he's middle-aged...

and so are his bones.

So, they operated...

If things go well,
he'll start re-education.

But it'll take time.

When did it happen?

Three weeks ago.

Why didn't you tell me?

He wouldn't let us.

Between you two,
I just don't know...

What about the hospital?

Don't they notify the family?
I'm his family!


but he crossed it out.

Crossed what out?

Your name.

I see.

What will you do?


Won't you try...

No, I won't go there.

Excuse me, can I speak with Bruno?

Yesterday neither?

No, thanks. I'll call back.

I insist. You earned it.

Where is she?

She's asleep.

Why don't you jump out?
It's quicker!

Don't talk to me like that.
I've been clean for 5 years.

I don't need it anymore

so it's not that.

But I've got problems.
I wanted an out... just once.

What about her?

An out!

The only way out
is through the window.

Out of what?
Yourself, the world, solitude, fear?

You go for a walk
and you're out!

Out where?


it's 9 A.M.
and I'm 63 years-old...

I'm cold, I'm a homosexual
and I'm debt-ridden.

I can't afford my life style,
my shop, Carlos and Catherine.

So I drink one or two cognacs...
the whole bottle.

Why drink? The old fool's got
his books, his records...

Yes, but he wants out!

So long, friends. I'm off.
When will I come back?

When I'm sober:

My house is in order
and I'm 30 again:

No Bruno, or Catherine
to worry me.

I own the bookshop.
Everybody's a homosexual...

or else, they're persecuted.

Carlos will be a liberal
instead of an idiot!

Yes, it would be great
to get out...

If only we were sure
we can come back.

Dussart, take me away.

I've got to go back there...

and finish my cure.

Are we set?

- Where are the clamps?
- In front.

Okay, let's get going.

We can't go on this way...

If the labor inspectors find out,
they'll kill me.

So far, you're not on my books...

but from now on,
it will be impossible.

- Problem?
- It certainly is.

The fact is...

I hate to let you go.

So would I.

But if I take you
on a regular employee,

I've got new parameters.

You know what I mean?

Parameters? Christ!

Anyway, I've decided to...

To keep me and declare me!


That calls for a drink.

Some hideaway!

I've been turning around
in circles for an hour.

I've been doing that
for a whole month.

After the treatment,
I didn't feel like staying on...

The usual convalescent syndrome.
But I'm hanging on.

How am I?

Very beautiful.

Since he moved to a hotel,
we've been out of touch.

He knew we weren't supposed
to meet...

or call each other.

But at first,
he sent me letters.

He wrote about me,
not about himself.

He wanted progress reports.

But he hasn't answered
my last two letters.

He knows he can call me now.

Frankly, I don't really know him,
but that doesn't mean...

I don't like him.

I know.

How can I thank you?
I'm so pleased...

I warn you:
Proofreading is painstaking work.

As for my notations,
you can use your own judgement.

Did you hire a new man?

No, I make do with Carlos...

Though he insists
on prestigious work only.

If I send him to the stockroom,
his lordship is offended.

He glares at me as if to say:
"Why me? Why not him?"

What do you want?

I'd like some news.

Of your father?
I have none...

Not any more.

He kicked me out.

Didn't you know?

How could I?

He won't see anyone,
not even Andr?.

He holed up by himself.
The super brings him food.

He's a real beast!

With him, you've got to hang on...

so I did.
I hung on for a long time.

But now, I can't anymore.

Are you expecting someone?

It's alright. I'm early.

I'm 47 years-old.

I've still got time
but I can't waste it.

I want to live a full life.

There are other men...
who love life... who take chances.

With your father,
I didn't have a chance.

I loved him,
but he withdrew.

He set up a tough carapace
between himself

and the whole world.

Yet, I truly loved him...

as I loved you.

But you're both alike...

I can't do anything about it.

There's a woman between you two

and I can't help that either.

I've got to take care of myself.

I said I'm 47. Well, I'm 49!
I've got to race against time

and not confuse speed with haste.

Well, well... here you are.

Not working today?

This is Sunday.

That's right.

Wait... I was just going to...

Go on. Don't mind me.

I'll be alright...

it's a little complicated.

You have my key?

So much for re-education!

Still, I manage

more or less, as you see.

But my working days are over.

Have a seat.

Don't you ever go out?

You can use the elevator...
get some fresh air.

What d'you do all day?

Read... listen to the radio...

Watch TV.
The super drops in sometimes

and the two of you
re-shape the world.

Why won't you see Madeleine?

I don't feel like it...

She thinks she's obliged to...

And that perfume of hers...

I can't stand it!

You could ask her
to change brands...

You want a drink?


There's another bottle in there...

Take a look.

Bring yourself a glass.

It's empty too.


I'll get some.
Need anything else?


And some coffee.

May I speak with Catherine...

Catherine Segal?

D'you know when she'll be back?

Just tell her I called...
Bruno Calgagni.

Yes... Bruno.

It's not important...

Wait, yes it is!

No, I'll call back.

Subtitled by Helen Scott