A Fight for Jenny (1986) - full transcript

When Kelsey remarries, her struggle to get custody of her daughter from her first marriage is complicated by her current husband being black.

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(MultiCom Jingle)

(soft music)

- [Jennifer] Hey mom, you
have all my clothes packed?

My lipstick, my rouge, my eye shadow.

My brush, all my stuff.

Did Dad tell you where
we're going this weekend?

(door slams)


- [Kelsey] Jen?

Jennifer, stand back, okay?

- [Jennifer] Okay.

- [Kelsey] (sighs) I'm
gonna go to get somebody to

try to help me, okay, and I
want you to just sit there

and play with your toys
for awhile, all right?

- [Jennifer] Okay.

(soft music)

(yells indistinctly)

(dog barks)

- Hack!

Hack, you home?

Excuse me, do you live here?

- Yeah, I do.

- Oh, uh, sorry.

Could you help me?

My little girl is stuck in the bathroom.

The door is slammed shut,
it's swollen, I'm was gonna--

- Yeah, I can help.

Just let me go get some tools.

- Great.

Oh tools?

- Yeah, my work tools.

- Great (sighs).

- [Jennifer] Mom?

- [Kelsey] Jennifer, stand back, okay?

- [Jennifer] Okay!

- Whatever happened to brute strength?

Just push it with your shoulder, you know?

- Didn't you say you tried that?

- Well yeah, but the door
might take your shoulder

a little more seriously.

- I believe in the crafstmanly approach.

(knocking objects)

- Stand back, Jen!
- Okay!

- Just smash it, you know.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Great.

- Last time Mom had to take
a chair, slam or take down--

- Jennifer, we can talk about that later.

- Thanks very much.

- [Jennifer] Very, very mad.

- Come on, where are your shoes?

Where are they?

- That'll be $29.95, plus tax.


My name's David Martin.

- Hi.

I'm Kelsey Wilkes.
- Wilkes.

- Did you know?

- We work together.

- We do?
- Yes.


- Sorry, Jennifer, please.

It's a big company.

Put your foot in.

- Yeah, of course I wouldn't
recognize you either

except for that mad dash
you make every day from

your car to the office.


- Put your hands up.

I don't do it every day.

I guess I do it most days.

Come on, hurry up, let's go.

Take this, go, go, go, go.

- So, you do this every day, huh?

- Yeah.

Well, um, if you ever need anything.

Don't hesitate.

- Well I could use a lift to
the picnic this afternoon.

My car broke down at the
supermarket and I could

really use a lift.

- Mom, let's go!

- Well I, generally I
use the weekends to kinda

catch up on everything and...

Study (mumbles).

- Maybe next time.

- Yeah, okay.

Come on.


- [Jennifer] One and one is two.

Two and two is four.

100, 204 (chuckles).

- [Kelsey] You're a regular whiz kid.

There's your father.

Doesn't look very happy.

- I'll tell him I got
locked in the bathroom.

- No, don't tell him that.

Just tell him, I don't know.

Tell him I'll talk to him
later, give me a kiss.

Give me another one.
- Mom!

- Please it's (mumbles) weekend.

- Bye Mom.
- Bye sweetheart.

- Look, Kelsey, wanna wait a minute?

- Hi Daddy.
- Hi sweetheart.

- Mm, thought you guys
were never gonna get here.

- Sorry, Ben.

- There's a surprise
for you in the backyard.

- What is it?

- Go ahead and look.


I'd appreciate it if you got here on time.

- [Kelsey] Sorry.

- The weekends are all I've got with her.

- Yeah, I'm sorry.

I'm overloaded.

- You know what I got?

You know what I got?

A pool!

- Wow.

- It's one of those above ground things.

- But I don't have a swimming suit here.

- Go see what Julie's got for you.

- Okay.

(car engine turns over)

- Have a nice weekend, Kelsey.

- Bye.

(keys clattering)



(doorbell rings)

Hi (chuckles).
- Hi.

How you doing?

- Fine.

I was gonna go to the
picnic this afternoon,

I thought about it, but I
can't, I just gotta study.

- So you came out to tell me that?

- (chuckles) Well yes,
because, I wanted you to know

that I was gonna give
you a lift, but I can't.

I just, I have to study.

- Well, the October fest
only comes once a year.

You should come.

Might have some fun.

(crowd chattering)

(crowd cheering)

(yelling indistinctly)

- [Kelsey] I don't know.

Sometimes I swear he
buys one of those things

just to get at me.

- Oh, come on, Kelsey,
don't let Ben get you down.

- (sighs) She seemed so
excited by the stupid pool.

- Of course she was.

You've given Jennifer lots
of things money can't buy.

- Maybe.


Name 'em, go on.

- Okay.

She's easygoing.

- Yeah.

- She's smart.
- Yeah.

- She's a good kid.

You've done a terrific
job with her, you have.


Do I need to tell you that?

- Yeah, you needed to tell me that today.

- [Announcer] Contestants
for the potato sack race,

let's start lining up.

- Uh, it's me.

- Yeah?

Go get 'em.

- Duty calls.
- Have fun.


- Danny Wortherton just
got stung by a bee.

And I'm at a park.

Wanna help?

- Yeah.

Let's do it.

(crowd chattering)

- [Announcer] Is everybody ready?

- [Man] Ready!

(fires blast)

(crowd cheering)

(yelling and grunting)


- Come on.


(upbeat music)

(knocking at door)


- Coming!



- How come it took you so long to answer?

Look, I got a sunburn.

- Oh, does it hurt?

- Uh-huh.

- Can I kiss it, make it better?

- Yeah.
- Okay.

You go in the bedroom, put your bear away.

- Okay, goodnight, Daddy.

- Goodnight, Jennifer.

(lips smack)

Next week I'll teach you the backstroke.

- Okay.

- Done wonders with this place.


- Sometimes I really don't
miss you at all, Ben.

- I'll call you at work tomorrow.

- Julie says sugar isn't good for us.

They can eat little bitty
scoops of this stuff.

- Oh.

What does she know?

I'm afraid you've got your
mother's sweet tooth, my girl.



Rocky road.

- Mm.

Chocolate chocolate chip.

- Mm, butter pecan.

- Chocolate almond fudge.

- Uh uh uh.


- Boring.

- You're boring.

- Did Daddy tell you what
he's gonna call you about?

- No.

And I'm sure you have an idea.

- Daddy and Julie wanna take
me to Disneyland in California.

- That's great.

- Christmas, when I don't have school.

- Christmas?

Jennifer, you know how I
always stay home from work

to be with you at Christmas.

- Mom, it's Disneyland.

Maybe you could come with us, ask Daddy.

- I don't think so, Jen.

- Can I go?

- Yeah.

- I love you.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Go on, put your PJs on, it's late.

School's tomorrow.

- You know what?

Julie wants me to call her Mom.

- What did you tell her?

- I told her I already have a mom.

(phone ringing)

- Morrison around yet?

Halfway to school, forgot her lunch.

- Did you go all the way back?

- Oh no, but I had to stop
and get her a sandwich.

That'd have been neat if I
thought about getting myself one.


- Feeling better, Kelsey?

- Uh-huh, yeah.

- Oh when you were in
the ladies' room before,

I was telling Mr. Boris that
you were feeling kinda sick.

- Oh yeah.

Um, I feel much better now.

- How you doing on the Rutledge audit?

- Great.

(snaps fingers)

I'll have that for you this afternoon.


(machines whirring)

(chuckles softly)

- Like it?

- It's beautiful.

- So, what are you doing here?

- Oh, I was um, I was
going to do an audit.

Rutledge's department.

I love the smell of wood.

- Yeah.

- I gotta get back to work.

- Don't go.

I kinda like your company.

- Rutledge is waiting.

- Kelsey.

Are you going home after work?

- Well, I have to pick
up Jennifer from school.

- Can I get a lift?

- Car break down again?

- Um, yeah.

- Sure.

Something wrong with your mechanic?

- I don't know.

But for some reason I feel
like I should thank him.


- See you later.

- See you later.

(children chattering)

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Mrs. Wilkes, I'm glad I caught you.

- Why, what's up?

- Well, I think Jennifer's just fine.

But one of the kids in her class

we discovered today had lice.

- Lice?

What's going on?

- We just wanna catch
it before it spreads.

Jennifer has a note explaining
how to take some precautions

but I'm sure she'll be just fine.

- Okay.

- Everything's gonna be all right.

- Lice, yuck.

No good.

Jennifer, I'm calling out for
delivery, what do you want?

- [David] Don't you know how to cook?

- Sure I cook.

I cooked two weeks ago.

We're (mumbles).

Jennifer, come on, hurry up, I gotta order

for you and Valerie.

- [Jennifer] I'm still thinking!

- Child.

- I'll cook.

- You'll cook?

- Yeah.

You got any food around here?

- Of course I have food.


- Ah.

Barbecue platform.

- You're making fun of me.

- Am I really?
- Yes you are.

- No I'm not.

- I have food in this
house, you just have to know

where to find it.

- Where?

- I'll show you.
- Show me.

- I will.


- (chuckles) Okay.

- Smarty.


(objects clattering)

- Are you all right?
- Yeah.

- You sure?

- [Valerie] Babysitter's here!

- I almost broke my neck.

It's a good thing David was here.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- David's cooking dinner.

- Yeah, spaghetti.

(bells chiming)

♪ Peace on earth and mercy mild ♪

♪ God and sinners reconciled ♪

♪ Joyful all ye nations rise ♪

♪ Join the triumph of the skies ♪

♪ With angelic host proclaim ♪

♪ Christ is born in Bethlehem ♪

♪ Hark the herald angels sing ♪

♪ Glory to the newborn king ♪

(knocking on door)

(vacuum running)

(knocking on door)

- Kelsey?

(hits vacuum button with foot)


- Hi.
- Merry Christmas.

- Merry Christmas.

Come on in.

(vacuum running)

- Is this a family tradition?

Cleaning apartment on Christmas Eve?

- See the place on the Fourth of July.

(chuckles) Really sparkles.

- Ole!


Look why don't you give this
a rest and come and help me

toast to the season.

- Nah, I can't.
- Why not?


The plug just came out of the wall.

- Plug it in.

Plug it in.

It's not funny, please.

On the count of three, okay.
- What are you gonna do?

- One, two--

- (mumbles) With your brother duster.


Kelsey, it's the holiday season.


Look, I'll help you clean up.

Oh listen really I'm good, watch.

All right, there.

♪ Joy to the world ♪

♪ The Lord is come ♪

♪ Let earth receive her king ♪

♪ Receive her king ♪

Well (sighs).

- Okay.

I can get my sweater.

(soft music)

- There's really no
elegant way to do this.

- I know.

Twist it.


(cork pops)

- Get the glass.

Get the glass.


- God.

- I'm sorry, oh.

You're all wet.

- It's wet.
- It's wet.

I'm sorry.

(soft music)

- It's a mentality, you
know if it's on sale,

I gotta buy it.

- Gonna get a lot of use
out of that red dress.

- Certainly hope so.

- David's birthday's coming up.

I think I should get him a tie.

- David?

- Do you think a tie's too ordinary?

What do you think?

- Kelsey.
- What?

- What are you doing?

- (chuckles) Buying David
a tie, what do you mean?

- You know what I'm talking about.

He's black.


- I can't believe you're
making a comment like that.

- What comment, he is black.

- I knew there was something
different about him.

- Kelsey, I wasn't giving you an eye test.

Talk to me, what is going on?

You're taking on the world?

What is it?

- We've got laws now, you know Valerie?

We're civilized.

We drink from the same water fountain.

- What's that supposed to mean,

there's no prejudice in the world?

- What am I supposed to do?

Fall in step?

- No, of course not,
but what about Jennifer,

you have to think of
her, she's only seven.

- I am thinking about Jennifer.

If it's up to me she's not
gonna grow up a racist.

Anyway, David and I are just friends.

Can I have this gift wrapped please?

It's very red, do you like it?

- [David]] Yeah, it's nice.

- [Kelsey] You don't.

You don't like it, do you?

- [David] (chuckles) No, I like it.

- You don't.

- No look, I'll put it on.

- Don't wear it, don't, don't.

- I'll put it on, it's all right.

- Exchange it.

I can return it.

It's so red.

- It's different (chuckles).

- Oh I made a mistake.

- Jennifer, you like it?

What are you drawing?

- [Jennifer] Just lines.

- Just lines?

- (sighs) Jen, are you mad at me?

You know, Valerie's coming
to stay with you tonight.

- Why can't you stay with me?

- Jen.

You know how sometimes
you like to play alone

with your friends without Mommy?

Well, sometimes I need
time with my friends too.

Just for awhile.

- Jennifer, would you
draw me a picture tonight?

- All I can draw is lines.

- Wait a minute, that's
all a picture is is lines.

Look at this.

Make sure you send them here.

Watch this.

Connect that to that.

And I see this here, I
need some help, come on.

Get this there, there you go.

See, like that, you can do that.

All right, now draw this.


And put a circle there.

Now what is that?

- A rainbow and a sun.


Look, Mommy, a rainbow and
a sun, look what I did.

- It's beautiful.

- Don't forget the little girl.

- Don't forget the mommy.

- And the mommy.

- Babysitter's here.
- Hi.

- Hi.

What is this, yoga?

- Look at my picture.
- What, cookie?

Oh Jennifer, that's
wonderful, did you draw that?

- David helped.

- Hi.

Nice tie.

- (chuckles) It's terrific.

Kelsey bought it for my birthday.

- Oh, happy birthday.

- Well goodnight sweetie pie.

Gimme a kiss.

(lips smack)

Have fun.

- Sweet dreams.

- Thanks Valerie.

- Oh, no problem.
- We won't be late.

- What would I do on a
Saturday night without a game

of go fish?

- Go fish!

- Hey.

Have a good time.

- Thanks.


(soft jazzy music)

- Close your eyes.

My grandma used to say that music is like

a real wonder.

You just have to listen.

(soft jazzy music)

- This is David's father
with his saxophone.

- [Kelsey] (chuckles) He
was a very handsome man.

- [Jennifer] Who's that?

- That's also David's dad
when he was in the army

a few years earlier.

- David told me his
father always liked music.

- My brother would have been
a great musician himself

if he'd practiced.

- He sings beautifully.

You should hear him sometime.

- I have.

- Mom, I'm making the salad.

Could I get some help?

- Mama, I'll help.

She isn't even gaining a little weight.

- Oh.

- Mrs. Martin, you have,
can I have some tea?

- Please.
- Please.

- Yes.

- I wash and you suture.

You're gonna be a surgeon, aren't you?

- Research, David.

I'm going into research.

- I don't know why you wanna
be cooped up in a laboratory.

I thought you were a people
person with patients.

- Hey, I like what I'm doing, okay?

Maybe you can't understand it.

You've always had to be
a little left of center.

- What's your problem?

I didn't take the civil service tail.

Look not today, we got
some company out there.

- I noticed, David.

- Let's put the real
problem out on the table.

She's struggling, she
divorced, she got the kid

and she white.

- Don't you think that
it might have been nice

for you to find a black lady?

- Hey, Alice, you think
I just ran out here

and tried to fall in
love with a white woman?

Kelsey walked into my life.

What else was I supposed to do?

- Well she can walk out same
way she walked in, you know?

Think about it.

- Must be terrific to be you, miss Alice.

Do everything so right,
know how to do everything

just so right.

- You know what?

You do the salad.

(soft jazzy music)

- I need more time.

- Jennifer needs you too.

- Are you afraid of
what it would mean if I

spent the whole night with you?

- Let's get one thing straight.

I hate it when you have to leave.

And I hate it when I
wake up in the morning

and you're not here.

Any more questions?

- Yes.

Can you get a rug for my side of the bed,

my feet are freezing.


- No you're not.


(romantic jazzy music)

- Okay, come on.


I got ya.

- Lois Snuger got a dog.

- Oh yeah, what's his name?

- Ranfi, it's a her.

It's a cocker spaniel.

It ate her shoe (chuckles).

- Jennifer.

I need to talk to you about something.

I would like David to move in with us.

How do you feel about that?

- He already lives near us.

- That's true.

But it's not quite the same.

This way we'd have lots more
time to be with each other.

- Would it be forever?

- I'm not sure.

- Will I still be able to see Daddy?

- Oh yeah.

Of course.

Nothing's gonna change except
that David will be with us.

- You'd be like Julie and Daddy then.

- Yeah, kind of.

Except that Daddy and Julie are married.

- Where's David gonna sleep?

- Well, David will sleep
in my room with me.

- Are you gonna kiss him?


- Yeah.

- I thought you told me
you have to love somebody

before you kiss them.

- You're right.

I do.

See, I love you, that's
why I kiss you, right?

- Mm-hm.
- It's me.

- Be careful.
- Okay.

(objects crashing)

- Oh, I'm sorry.

- Okay.
- What?

- Oh, the legs, around,

around the door jam.

- Am I a mover, I don't know
what you're talking about.

- You are killing the
finish on this table.

Wait a minute.

- Put a table cloth on it.

- Great.


- It's easy.
- Okay.

- Easy, easy.

(sighs) Boy.

This is a (mumbles).

Look at this.

- You can't think of it as a scratch,

you have to think of it as character.

Oh come on, David.

This is no time to lose
your sense of humor.

- Ha ha ha.

Did you call Ben?

- Nope.

Not yet.

- Why not?

You've had a whole week.

- I know, I know.

But it's always been so hard
for me to tell Ben anything,

let alone that I'm
living with another man.

- Am I just another man?



I think you should tell him.

I'd feel a lot more
comfortable if Ben knew that

I was living with you and Jennifer.

- Okay.

- Now is a good time.


- Where should I put these, David?

- Why don't you just put
them in your bedroom?

- Good idea.
(objects clatter)

I'm sorry.

- It's okay, it's a little lamp.


You okay?

Give me a hug.

Listen, how would you like to
have one of my favorite pieces

of art on your bedroom wall?

- Mm-hm.
- You would?

Come here.

See that?

Pick one.

- I think we need a break
from work, what do you think?

- (sighs) You got that right.

I could not agree with you more.

(upbeat music)

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Light up your life ♪


♪ Much of nothing ♪

♪ All we do is ♪

♪ Celebrate ♪

- Ooh, nice moves, Mommy.


- Woo!




- [Jennifer] Can I dance too, Mommy?

- Woo!


- Watch me.


Come here (mumbles).

- I don't think so, Jennifer.

- Hello.
- Ben, I meant to call you.

- I'm David Martin.

- Go down to the car, Jennifer,
Julie's waiting outside.

- Wait, hold on, she's not packed yet.

You weren't supposed to be
here 'til this afternoon.

- That's all right, I
have pajamas at my house.

- Bye, Mommy.

- Bye, have fun.

- Bye David.
- Hey.

Bye Jennifer.

- What?

(soft music)

He's never liked the person I really was.

Any time I show interest
in anything with Ben,

we'd wind up in a fight.

He hasn't changed one bit.

- Kelsey continues to fool herself.

- What are you talking about?

- He's not flipping out because
there's a man in your house,

he's flipping out because David's black.

- Don't you think I've thought about that?


I feel safe with him.

Jennifer loves him.

- Nobody's saying he's not a great guy.

- [Kelsey] Yeah well
I've never felt closer

to anyone my whole life.

- Thanks, it's been great being
your friend all these years.

- Will you stop, can you just stop?

Can you stop being a pain
in the butt for two minutes?

- I'm not sure.

- I like the part where the man

comes into the living room and bedroom

and then he jumps on her bed,

jumping on her butt, that was
the best part of the movie.

- Goodness, child's deranged.


- Why did you pick that movie?

She didn't miss anything.

- Well Jennifer's all
right, it didn't bother her.

- I'm not talking about Jennifer.

I'm the one that's gonna
keep the lights on.

- Well you just have to
use your insomnia for

something good, when you have
to catch up on your studies.

- Excuse me.

Are you Jennifer's mom?

- Yeah.

- Well this is for you.

- What is it?
- I don't know.

A subpoena.

- You sent a child to
school in mildew clothes?

- (sighs) No.

No, she loves a particular pair of jeans.

And I finally found another
pair just like them.

I am not an unfit mother.

- Head lice?


- There was a scare at school.

One of the kids had lice
so I washed Jennifer's hair

and she had lice, there are no lice.


- You're going to be under scrutiny here.

If you fight this one, of the
first things that'll happen

will be that the court will
send a social investigator

to your home.

They'll want to see
firsthand if you're providing

a decent home for your child.

Are you prepared for that?

- Anytime.

I provide a decent home.

- I have no doubt that
you do, Mrs. Wilkes.

The court's only interested in what is in

the best interest of the child.

- It's Jennifer.

- Jennifer.

I don't think your
choice of a black partner

is sufficient for the court
to award custody of Jennifer

to her father.


There'll be an informal
hearing in about six weeks.

I'll be in touch.

- Great.

Thank you.

- You're very welcome.

- What's your favorite food?

- Pizza.
- Pizza?


And what do you like on it?

- Cheese and pepperoni.

- Cheese and pep, you
don't like anchovies?

- Yuck!

You can't buy pizza here!

- You can if you make it yourself.

- Make it yourself?

- Yeah.

- Pizza, mom!

- Well you guys certainly look like

you got it under control.

- How'd it go?

- Great.
- Great.

- Mm.

- This is a fish.

- Uh-huh.

- What's great?

- Great is a tomato basil sauce.

And great is (slams foot).

Great is a garlic bread with
crunchy, crunchy, crunch.

I think that we need to
take a rain check on this

until we have time to think about it.

- I don't think it
should be kept a secret.

Jen, I gotta talk to you.

- It's all right.

- Jennifer.

You know your daddy loves
you very much right?

- I know.

- Well.

He wants you to live with him.

- But I live here.

I see Daddy on the weekends.

- I know.

He just wants to spend more time with you.

- Don't you want me to live here anymore?

- Of course I do.

I want everything to just
stay the way it's always been.

So, today I went to see
a lawyer who's gonna make

absolutely sure that we stay together.


- Okay.

- Aw.


- Mm-hmm.
- Okay.

You get back to your pizza.

- You wanna help?

- Sure.
- Come on.

- Marry me.

- What?

- Marry me.


No, really.

If we were married, they'd
know we were serious.

They'd know that we want
a permanent relationship.

- You just wanna get married
just to prove something

to the courts.

- That's not it.

I love you.

I wanna be with you forever.

I do.

- I wish I would have asked you first.

- Well.

- Kelsey.

Will you marry me?

- I have to think about it.



Love you!


What are you doing up?

What are you doing up?

- I had trouble sleeping.

Read me another story.

- To bed, madam.

- David.

- Okay.

I'll tell you a story.


Once there was a man who
thought that he'd never find

the person that he truly loved.

And he searched and searched
and searched and waited

until he had almost given up hope.

And then one day, he met
a lady with chestnut hair

and a little girl.

- You're talking about us.

- And he fell in love with both of them.

- What happened?

- They shared their lives
together forever after.

(lips smacking)

- [Jennifer] Tell me another story.

- Tell you another--
- You read your own.

(chuckling and squealing)

You're supposed to be
in bed, you love that.

What are you saying?

That's not fair, it's just not fair.

The last time I was late
was a few weeks ago.

- Kelsey, your reports are delinquent.

- Wait a minute.

A whole department is overburdened.

I'm not the only one who's behind.

- You haven't kept up with your work.

It's as simple as that.


- See you later.

- Valerie.

Hey, where's Kelsey?

- She was fired, David.

- Why?

- Because of lateness,
disorganization, I don't know.

Morrison just got fed up.

- Where is she?

- She just left the
office, she was very upset.

- Oh my God.

- David!

Kelsey is my friend.

I saw her through her breakup with Ben,

I've been with her
struggling to make a new life

for Jennifer, she was just
putting everything together

when she met you.

You changed her life but not
necessarily for the better.

- What gives you the right to say that?

- Because I care about her,
can't you just leave her alone?

- What goes on between
Kelsey and I is none of

your business.

- You can't keep waltzing to a song that

no one else can hear.

Can't you see what's happening to her?

You are going to hurt her and Jennifer.

(engine turns over)

(tires screech)

(soft music)

- Hi.
- Hey.


- I lost my job.
- Shh.

Valerie already told me.

- It's not a very good
time for me to lose my job.

- Hey.

It's okay.

- What about the wedding?

Where we gonna get money to pay Rosa?

- Simply ask Rosa to
accept smaller payment.

Kelsey baby.

You're good, you're gonna get another job.

And we're still getting married.

(bangs shovel)


- Sun Tea was my husband's
favorite summer drink.

Now for myself I really
don't make it that much.

- How long were you married?

- 32 years.

- Oh, a lifetime.

- Not long enough.

I think the success of it
was that it was easy for us

to know each other.

My fear for you and David
is that you don't share

the same language.

- We'll just have to create our own.

(crowd chattering indistinctly)

- Well, he always wanted to be different.


(soft piano music)

♪ It's no sin to show ♪

♪ There are things ♪

♪ You don't know ♪

♪ Sin is not to trust the feeling ♪

♪ That's inside both of us ♪

♪ So let's walk it up babe ♪

♪ Wagons will be filled
with a rainbow of things ♪

♪ And darling you and
I will know the song ♪

♪ The roads carry all the weight ♪

♪ Saying lover I offer you my everything ♪

♪ And what's gone down before ♪

♪ Had a purpose 'cause
now we have so much more ♪

♪ So let's walk it up babe ♪

♪ Yonder I see fields where
they say it don't rain ♪

♪ And all the riches
you've been dreaming of ♪

♪ Are there when you need to be claimed ♪

♪ Say lover I'll offer you my everything ♪

♪ If you believe in me ♪

- Sometimes in the midst
of the destruction,

the cruelty that we are
capable of, time stands still

and a brighter side of us shines through.

The light within our hearts
guides us past our difficulties.

It is through this union of
love such as we celebrate today

between David and Kelsey that has shown us

that we must love each other first

in order to best love God.

We'll now give and receive
the marriage rings.

Please place it on the left finger.

Kindly do the same.

(soft music)

Take the ring.

Do you David take Kelsey to be your wife,

to love and to cherish
from this day forward?

- I do.

- [Minister] Do you Kelsey
take David to be your husband,

to love and to cherish
from this day forward?

- I do.

- [Minister] I now pronounce
you husband and wife.

You may kiss your bride.

- Kelsey, did Jennifer
ever object to having

a black man living in
the same house with her?

- No, no, of course not.

- Is that because you brought
her up to be open, liberal?

- Yes.

- More open than your friends?

- Some.

- More open than your family?

- Yes.

- Then how with your
knowledge of the bigotry

in your friends and in your
family would you proceed

to bring a black man into your home?

You think Jennifer has a
strong enough character

to withstand the ridicule
that will be aimed at her?

- Yes, I do.

Jennifer is very resilient.

- Well I assume you've
made the provisions a

responsible adult would make for a child

in this kind of a situation.

- What do you mean, I don't know what

you mean by provisions?

- A counselor, a psychiatrist.

- Jennifer doesn't need a psychiatrist.

- You mean you've left her
on her own to deal with this?

- No.

We talk about it.

I talk to her.

- You let a seven year old
make a decision an adult

would have difficulty making?

- I don't know how to,

I don't know how to prepare for this.

I don't know what to say, I don't--

- Kelsey this is just a hint
of where all this could go.

It's gonna get very bad.

So just be sublimey serene.

There's any yelling and
screaming to be done,

I'll do the yelling.

I'm a terrific yeller.


- Okay.

- Let's go on.

- Mrs. Martin, did it occur
to you when you began to see

Mr. Martin nine months
ago that you might not be

acting in the best interest
and welfare of your child?

Did it occur to you that
your custody of Jennifer

might be jeopardized?

- Absolutely not.

I didn't think so then
and I don't see any reason

for it to be now.

- A social investigator
was sent to your home

to determine the quality
of the environment

you provide for your child.

In interview were you asked
if Jennifer had anxiety

about having a black
man reside in the house?

- Yes.

And I told him that Jennifer
had no anxiety whatsoever.

David and Jennifer get along beautifully.

They really care about
each other very much.

- Your honor, it is very
clear that if Jennifer has

any problems living with
a racially mixed couple,

that the investigator's questions
would have exposed them.

But in fact he found
Jennifer to be content

and well-adjusted and in his words,

the existing family structure.

Now, Mrs. Martin, were
you in any way aware that

your ex-husband might object
to your daughter having

an association with a black man?

- No, sir.

I was not.

- [Man] Thank you.

- Mrs. Martin.

Is it true that you
slept with David Martin

prior to your marriage?

- Well, he was living with us.

- Is it true that before
he actually moved in

while the child was in the
house, that David Martin

did on occasion spend the night?

- No.

- You've been divorced for
give or take four years.

Are you saying that you
never in all of that time

had a man stay overnight in your house?

- If you're insinuating that I had David

or any other man come--

- Surely Mrs. Martin you must
be aware that your daughter

if allowed to remain in this
situation would be subject

to peer pressure and
social stigmatization.

That her life in your care in
these circumstances will be

very, very difficult.

We're all entitled to life, liberty

and the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness, Mrs. Martin.

Isn't that what you want for Jennifer?

- Are you suggesting that
I shouldn't have married

my husband because he's black?

Mr. Call, this is the
United States of America.

I love my husband very much.

He's wonderful to me.

He's wonderful to Jennifer.

That's why I married him.

And, if there's something wrong with that,

I'd like to know what it is.

- Hey.

You look different.

You're famous.

- Hey, what are you talking about man?

- I just seen the paper.

When's the verdict?

(mumbles) In a few weeks, good luck.

(machines whirring)

- How you holding up?

- It seems like the color
of my skin is a threat

to the moral upbringing of a child.

- Better be careful.

- I'll start worrying when
they start handing out

the white cheese (chuckles).

- You don't have to wear
white cheese to do you in, no?

You be careful.

- Yeah, thanks Max.

(children chattering)

- I have some cookies, do you want some?

- I'm not allowed, it's
dirty in your house.

- It is not.

- A colored man lives in your house.

- That's David.

- Anyway, I'm not supposed
to eat anything from you.

- Hey sweetheart.

Sorry I'm late.

What's going on?


(phone ringing)


Buddy you better hope I
never find out who you are!

(slams phone)

(phone ringing)

- Don't answer it.


(phone ringing)

- Jennifer, does she hear you answer?

Oh God.

You sure she didn't pick up the phone?


(phone ringing)

- It's just as bad.

She had an argument at school
today with a couple kids.

She was very upset.

(phone ringing)

- Jennifer.

You wanna tell me about it?

Did somebody tell you
something bad about me?

You know sometimes people
say things without thinking.


We know that together we're family.

No one else is gonna tell
us anything different.

I love you.

(phone ringing)

I'll get it.

Hey hey, it's okay.

It's okay.

Be right back.

(soft music)

(phone ringing)

(smacking lips)

- [Michael] I'm sorry we lost, Kelsey.

They decided against us.

- [Kelsey] How could the
courts have done this to us?

- There must be some
legal way to stop this.

- Can't you do anything?

- I want to appeal.

- They're taking her away now.

- No they're not.

They can't take her from you
until we've lost the war.

So far all we've lost is round one.

- What's round two?

- There'll be no judges,
three of them, together.

It's a whole new opportunity,
it's a bigger opportunity

to show that this case
is really about race.

Kelsey, I truly believe that you will

retain custody of Jennifer.

You won't lose your daughter
because you fell in love

with David Martin.

(machines whirring)

- David!

Don't you understand you broke the rule!

Look, when you were hired
here, you were given a pamphlet

about company policy, and
policy says you don't take

tools off the premises.

- I've been fired.

You're telling me the
reason is because I borrowed

a wood plate and a rasp overnight?

- Yeah.

That's right.

- Ryan, look at me.

I do good work.

I take pride in what I do.

- David, you don't have any--

- I've been here five years, man.

And I've never been fired before.

- I have a job to do too.

My hands are tied.

(soft music)

- What are you doing?

What are you doing?

- If I'm not here, you
have a better chance.

- What are you talking about?

What do you mean a better chance?

What are you?

David, what are you doing, stop it.

- Whether it's now or
later you're gonna end up

thinking it's all my fault.

- Don't you think I've thought
about what it would be like

not to be with you?

I have.

What it would be like not
to love you, but I do,

I do love you.

Talk to me!

Talk to me!

- I lost my job.

- Oh.



You are blaming me!

Your life is falling apart
and you're blaming me.

(cries softly)

Look what they're doing to us.

(soft music)


- Thanks.

Let's do something nice tonight.

- What'd you have in mind?

- I don't know.

We can go to the movies.

I'll cook.


Okay, fine, fine.

We'll go to the movies and you'll cook.

We're good, okay?
- Yeah.


You look good with a beard.

All right.

- Jennifer, come on, we gotta go!

- The concept here is not intricate.

The crux of this case is very simple.

If Mrs. Martin loses
custody of her daughter,

then she's being punished
by the courts of this state

for marrying David Martin.

Now this court cannot eliminate
racism from American life.

But it can and it should
review this decision

which would take away this
woman's child simply because

she fell in love with
and married a black man.

- Okay then.

Why don't you report at
eight o'clock Monday morning

and we'll show you the ropes.

- Thank you.

I'm very grateful.

- Well you're obviously
qualified for the job.

And let me be very clear.

I know who you are, and
as far as I'm concerned,

your private life is your business.

- Thank you.

- Judge Al Blato, please.

(phone ringing)

- Aren't you full of that though?

- Is that how you talk to your child?

- Hello?

- [Michael] Kelsey, it's Mike Rosen.

I spoke with the judge today.

- And what did the judge say?

What did he say?

- [Michael] Could you come
over to my office now?

- No.

I wanna know now.

I've been waiting a
month and I wanna know.

You gotta tell me now.

- [Michael] I would really
rather you came over

to my office now.

- Why?

(Michael sighs)

We lost, didn't we?

We lost Jennifer.



(slamming phone)

No (crying).

- Mommy?

What's the matter?

(crying softly)

- [Kelsey] What is it?

- Did you make this?

- I carved it just for you.

There's not another one like
it in the whole wide world.

- It's beautiful.

- You know what's so
special about this rose?

It'll last forever.

Just like our feelings for each other.

It'll last forever.

I think maybe I should
let you spend a little

time alone with your mommy, okay?

- Here.


- Cherry vanilla.

- We'll come and such.

(car horn honking)

Now you know where to
reach me during the day

if you need me, right?

Show me.

This is my work number, right?

Don't lose it.
- I won't.

- Ben's car's waiting outside.

- Be a good girl.

We'll see you next Saturday, okay?

All right.

- Kelsey.


- I feel like a light went out inside me.

- I think I have the design
for the main screen worked out.

They bring the production cost
down, that'll make the toy

much more affordable.


Don't worry, you're gonna
see Jennifer this weekend.

- It's not the same.

I come home and she's not here.

I wanna...

Set the table for her and I wanna...

Tuck her in at night.


I wanna (cries).

I wanna watch her grow.

I don't wanna (cries).

I don't wanna be a visitor in her life.

(soft music)

(indistinct chattering)

- My turn.

(indistinct chattering)

- [Michael] Kelsey, you
have to stay strong.

- She seemed really happy.

You know, it's not just the custody.

She's only seven.

She's gonna grow up with that family.

That woman will become her mother.

- Kelsey, I know this is hard.

- No, you don't understand.

You don't!

They're her family now.

She's gonna forget what it feels like

for me to be her mother.

- Kelsey, you'll always be her mother.

- How am I gonna be a mother?

- I did't wanna mention
this until I knew for sure.

I'm taking your case to the Supreme Court.

But I wanted to be sure they'd
accept us before I told you.

The Supreme Court is asked to
hear 5,000 cases every year.

They accept less than 200.

The last thing I want is
for another disappointment,

but when they read about your
case, when they read about you

and Jennifer and David, they'll take it.

I am sure of it.

But I don't know it.

- How long?

How long will it take?

- It'll take months.

- [Michael] Can you hold out that long?

- Yeah, I can.

(chuckles softly)

(toy train running)

- Turn that thing on, get it off.

- Down, down!


What do you think?

- I think it's beautiful.

- It's yours.

- Really?
- Yeah.

We're just worried about the other 15.

- What do you mean?

- Well.

- What?
- I got my first order.

- You're kidding.
- Yeah, I did, I did.

- That's great!

(squeals) Great!

- Oh to be my own boss.


- They're a half an hour late.

- They'll be here.

I'm sure Ben hasn't forgotten.

- I know I was always
(mumbles) when I was late.

- Kelsey, why don't we
just pack up everything,

put it in the car?

And we'll be able to leave
as soon as they get in.

- I'm gonna call.
- Kelsey.


(line trilling)

- They're not answering.

- They should be on their way.

We'll just give them another half an hour.

- Damn.

(doorbell rings)

(knocking softly)

(suspenseful music)

They're gone.

- They can't just disappear with her.

If he left the state, he's in big trouble.

- What difference does it make?

We have no idea where
Jennifer is, all right.

She could be around the corner,

she could be six blocks
away, she could be anywhere.

There must have been something
you can do to stop this.


Come to bed.


It's been months since we spoke to Rosen.

- Rosen said he had to sit
through 5,000 other cases.

- I'm worried.

- I know how you feel.

Jennifer's gonna be back with us again,

you just have to believe that--

- I don't believe it!

What have we got to show
for what we've been through?

She's not here.

And I don't know if she'll ever be here.

Don't, don't!

- What's wrong?

(slams hair brush)

- I want Jennifer!

I want her!

I just can't stand it, I can't stand it.

I can't stand being away from her.

I can't stand being away from her.

(slams objects)

(cries softly)

- Max.
- Yeah?

- Max, you think we can fill
an order of 50 carousels

by September?

- Are you kidding?

- I'm serious.

- David!



She wrote!



- [Michael] You can't go.

- I know where she is.

- If you go now, you jeopardize the case.

- I want to see her.

- Now listen to me very
carefully, both of you.

If you try to see Jennifer or call her,

and for any reason she gets upset,

it can be used against you.

You will jeopardize your chances
of ever getting her back.

- This is insane.

My ex-husband takes my
daughter out of state

and I'm not allowed to even speak to her?

- One thing has nothing
to do with the other.

Do you wanna be accused of
damaging the emotional life

of your child?

Whatever happens, we have
to be prudent and cautious

until we hear from the
Supreme Court, is that clear?

- So we just wait.

- You bet you wait.

And you make her wait.

We're coming to the home
stretch now, so don't blow this.

All right.

I'll call you the moment I hear anything.

- Kelsey?


(soft music)

(children yelling indistinctly)

- Go on.

- [Woman] Jennifer!

(soft music)

(crying softly)

- [Michael] The United
States Supreme Court

unanimously held that racial
discrimination was the reason

the mother was denied
custody of her daughter.

The case has since been
reopened on the state level

in an attempt to establish
different grounds for custody.

The child continues to
reside with her father

and stepmother.

(soft music)