Basil (1998) - full transcript

Basil is the story of a sheltered, naive young aristocrat who finds a friend, John Mannion and through him meets Julia Sherwin. Basil falls in love with Julia, but she is below his class, and if his father finds out, he will be disinherited and sent away, as his older brother, Ralph was, when he unwisely did the same. How can Basil keep his love and his father's respect?

Of Windemere, nothing remains.

At least, nothing of the Windemere
of my youth.

Nature has taken over.

The great hall is now a ruin,
just a roost for wild birds.

By night, all life leaves Windemere.

There are stories of the sad
ghosts that haunt the hall.

Alone in the dark,
perhaps, Windemere herself

dreams of the lost days of her glory

as I now dream of the lost days
of my youth.

It was a wild and frightful night

when the masked man set forth

with black murder in his heart.

What are you talking about?

The masked man.

It's a character that Basil has made up.

A man with a face so hideous
that he masks it.

Basil has been telling us
stories about this masked man.

His stories are good, sir.
They're funny and bold.

There are no masked men, Basil.

And if you persist in making things up,

I shall send you back to London
for the summer.

Oh, really, Frederick.

They were just harmless make-believe.

Make-believe is never harmless.

Look, Basil, Windemere Hall.

Windemere Hall.

If you're a good boy, Ralph,
and behave yourself,

one day it will be yours.

And if you're a good boy, Basil,
and behave yourself,

you will be allowed to visit.

If you are a good boy.

And if I behave myself.

Your father went to his study
to read for a bit.

Your hands are hot, mother.
Do you have a fever?

Slight one, perhaps.

He looks like the masked man, mother.

Is it bad to make-believe?

I'm not sure,
but I do want to hear what happened

to the Masked Man when he set forth

with black murder in his heart.


There is a little girl
who's going to be living with us.

Who is this little girl?

She is the daughter
of an old friend of your father.

Little Clara's parents
just died in an accident,

so your father and I thought
it would be best if we took her in.

Basil, you will remove yourself
from my sight immediately.

You will stay in your room,
'til you're ready to apologize.

I saved some of my supper for you.

That was very clever

what you did with your face.

Don't you think you should go down
and apologize to your father?

Do you think I should?

Good to get it over with.

But wait, your face. It's still crooked.

Come in.

I'm sorry, sir.

Come here.

Come on, come here.

Can you tell me who that is.

Great-grandfather was an admiral
in the Royal Navy.

And who is that?

That is his brother, personal physician
to His Late Majesty.


That is my grandfather
and his heft in the House of Lords.

Are you worthy of your ancestors, Basil?

You think they are looking down
on you with pride?

Huh, your imagination.

She's a wild horse, Basil.

Rein her in tight
or she will drag you to disaster.

Oh, carry on to bed.

Do you need a candle, Master Basil?

Good night, Master Basil.

Who are these people?

On the first Monday of every month,
the Hall is open to the public.

Ralph, and you too Basil,
see me in my study.

A girl who took your fancy tonight

is the daughter
of a school teacher in Windsor.

I spoke to the father.
He seems a nice man.

He was very grateful
to be allowed into the Hall.

He knows his place, Ralph.

I trust you know yours, as well.


Sir, please. You are a father, too.

Be merciful. Let them be married.

We will not be able to hide
her condition much longer.


I have a manor
on my mother's side in Yorkshire.

The place is a wilderness.
The land barren and inhospitable.

You will see to it, Agnes,
that his things are packed immediately,

and that he is dispatched to this retreat.

I wash my hands of him. He is not my son.

You did not see what you saw, Basil.

But, I did. I saw father...

You did not see that.

When you are older, you will understand.
I promise.

But until then...

Tell me about the masked man, Basil.

Make up a story for your mother.

Mother, mother.

Mother, mother. What's happening?


Mother, get up.

Take him away.

I have only you now, Basil.

My hopes all rest on you.

The pride of generations rests on you.

And you have only me, Basil, so beware.

If you dash my hopes and damn my pride,

you will lose the last living soul
linked to you by flesh and blood.

What you doing? Why are you burning these?



You've grown so thin.

Have they been feeding you well?

Only too well, Clara.

Made any friends this term?

My studies keep me fully occupied.

There is no time for friends.

That's awful.

No, no it's good.

Friends can be and usually
are bad influences.

Well, Windemere then.

Move on it.

Do you need a candle, sir?

I'm fine, thank you.

Stay where you are. Don't move.

There we go.

We should be safe here for the moment.

By nightfall the tide should rise
but I expect to have you home by then.

So let's look at your leg, shall we?

This is going to hurt,

but we must do this
or you'll be left with a limp.

And we cannot have
the future Lord of Windemere

all limping now, can we, Master Basil?

Hold those in place right there.

My name is John Mannion, sir.

I am grateful to you, Mr Mannion.


And I am Basil to you.

How did you know who I am?

I'm staying in the village close by.

I'm here on holiday.

Some of the villagers
pointed you out to me

when you drove by in your carriage.

You're not from these parts, then?

No, sir. I'm from London.

I manage accounts
for a small linen merchant.

Not quite the social circle
you must be used to.

I do not have a social circle.

I lead a very private life, really.

And I have no friends.

Is that so?

That is a pity, sir.

Basil, every man needs a mate.

Go ahead, share a smoke.

All right, I must leave
you here and fetch help.

Stay where you are.
I'll come back for you.

I promise.


Help me!

You came back.

I promised I would. I'm a man of my word.

I fetched a boat. Hang on tight.
Take a deep breath.

And with the tide rising,

you would surely have drowned, Basil.

I thank you, sir.
It was a very brave thing you did.

It was only human, sir.

No more than what you would
have done for me, I'm sure.

Can we offer you a room for the night?

Thank you, sir,
but I have a room at the Village Inn.

Shall I order a carriage
to take you back, then?

Thank you again, sir,
but I enjoy walking.

Good night.

Watch out for yourself, Basil.

Well there goes a man
who knows his place.

He did a good deed,
but refused to take advantage of it.

Quite frankly, I find it odd that a man
would do a good deed for nothing.

What kind of a man is that, I wonder.

A gentleman, sir.

He could have stayed in his place
and watched me drown in mine.

Shall I ring the bell
for supper now, Uncle Frederick?


Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.

I came looking for you.

How is your leg?

It's getting better every day.

Good. Would you do my the honor
of joining me for lunch, Basil?

Yes, thank you.

So what did your father say
when you said you were coming to see me?

I did not tell him.

He does not want us to have friends.


Clara and I.

Oh yes, Clara.

What is it with the women
of your class, Basil?

Why do they like that
pale, sickly look so much?

Perhaps it is to keep
their menfolk virtuous.

Maybe their pale, sickly look is why
the men of your class aren't so virtuous.

One to wed, another to bed.
Isn't that your tradition?

Forgive me, Basil.
It was a joke, a bad one.

Surely, you don't mean to tell me
you're that inexperienced.

Your mates in college
would have told you about such things.

Oh, I forget your father
did not let you have mates.

You're my mate. You tell me.

There's nothing more to tell, Basil.

That's all there's to it.

Once you have done it a couple of times,
you wonder what the fuss was all about.

Done it?

Have you, John?

When, and with whom?

Oh, dear.

You're not going to pounce on poor Clara

in your haste to make good
on your lost prime, will you Basil?

I think she would die of fright.

You cannot say
until you've tried, my friend.

But if it does not work,
come and see me in London

and I will see what I can do for you.

I leave tonight.

I hope you'll visit me in London.

I usually dine with my employer, so...

Come have supper with me
at 16 Whitehorse Square.

Bounder, come on. Come on, Bounder.

Bounder. Bounder.


I am sorry.

Don't cry.

It felt just like Bounder.

I'm sorry, Basil.

If you do it again,
I promise I'll not laugh.

You are a silly,
inexperienced girl Clara.

It is clear you have never
been kissed by a man before,

nor you'll likely to be in the future.

How do you feel, Basil?

Not too good, I'm afraid.

You don't seem to have a fever.

Pity you can't come with
us to the opera today.

Come, Clara.

Goodbye, Basil.

I got it.

Come back here you little...


I came to see John Mannion.

He is not here now.

When do you expect him?

I do not know.

May I wait for him?

If you choose.

I will wait downstairs, then.

Let me come with you.

Look, this is my house in Cornwall.

My family's, rather.

Mr Mannion gave us that painting.

What did you say your name is?


And yours?


Have you been to Windemere Hall?

No, but Mr Mannion has,
and he has told us a lot about it.

You can wait here, though I do not know
when Mr Mannion will be back.

If you see the maid,
you may ask her for some tea.

Penny for your thoughts.

My thoughts.

They aren't worth a penny.

They are just as dull and drab
as everything here.

Pardon me, Basil,
I do not think it is dull or drab.

There are families all out together.

I think it is quite wonderful.

Some day you will you learn to appreciate
life's simple moments, Basil.

That sounds like a curse.

I am sorry, Clara.

I was rude.

Basil, isn't that the man
who rescued you in Cornwall?

Go on home.

Tell father I had an errand to run.




I came looking for you.

Julia Sherwin tells me you
came to see me yesterday.

Is that her surname, Sherwin?

Yes, I came to the house
shortly afterwards.

Why didn't you wait for me?

It did not seem to matter to her
if I stayed or not.

Julia? I thought you had come to see me.

So, I did.

She's an insolent, ill-mannered girl.

I found her to be warm and affectionate.

Perhaps, you mistook her
shyness for rudeness.

I do not think I did.

I would like to see her again, John.

I thought you found her disagreeable.

Well, I do.

But I want to show her
that two can play the game.

I can be just as indifferent
to her and just as rude.

Life has been kind to you, hasn't it?

Everything is but a game.

All right, you shall get to show Julia
just how disagreeable you can be.

I shall arrange for a suitable meeting.

Relax, Basil.
She should be here any moment.

She comes every Thursday,
when the new shipment of cloth arrives.

She likes to have first choice
of fabric for her dresses.

Good afternoon, Miss Sherwin.

There she is.

-Mr Mannion.

I believe you have met Basil, haven't you?

Yes. How do you do?

Well, what do you think? Does it suit me?

Perfectly, child.

Shall I have someone cut
and send you a piece?


Consider it done.

Basil, would you care to walk
Miss Sherwin to the door?

I have some work to attend to.


Well, what?

Well, nothing.

It was a disaster, a total disaster.
What's wrong?

I could not say a word.

She said, "Well?" And what did I say?

"Well, what?"

God, she must think me an imbecile.

Calm down, Basil,
nobody's worth such torment.

Who said I am tormented?
I am perfectly at peace.

I must see her again, John.

I must show her.

All right, let me see
what I can do, my friend.

Windemere Hall, a long ride
up a winding tree-lined drive.

The first glimpse of the Hall rising up
from a sea of jade green grass.

The sky above, the sea beyond.

Of course, I've never
been to Windemere Hall.

I go by what John here tells me.
More tea, girl, make it quick.

But I have had the pleasure
of seeing your house in London.

What a grand house that is.

I once saw your father
ride off in his carriage.

I suppose he was on his way
to the parliament?

Oh, yes, Mr Sherwin.

Where is Julia, Mr Sherwin?

That was my next question.
Where is the child?

It is not every day we have such
distinguished company for tea.

What's keeping Julia? Ask her to hurry.

Please, sir. Miss Julia is not home.

What do you mean, girl, not home?

She has gone out, sir.

Oh, well, John told me you
wanted to meet me about

shipping in cloth from the far east
to furnish your home in London.

Why go to the far east, sir,

when the best cloth is to be
found right here in England?

How was tea?

Why would you not come to tea?

I told the maid to lie,
because I wanted you to feel my absence.

Keenly, as keenly as I felt
your presence in the house.

When may I see you again?

I'm here with my birds
this time every day.

My father isn't usually home,
not unless he has fancy company for tea.

Do you not like me?

I do not know if you do.

I do not know what you feel for me.

'Tis getting tiresome,
your sneaking in here

every night, like a thief.

Makes me feel cheap.

"As Hermes once took
to his feathers light,"

"when lulled Argus,
baffled, swooned and slept,"

"So on a Delphic reed,
my idle spright so played, so..."


Where have you been all evening?

Out on a walk, sir.

You go back to Oxford in a week's time.

I want you to spend
what time you have left with us.

There will be no more
solitary promenades.

Do you understand, Basil?

While on that subject, sir,

I do not want to go back
to Oxford this term.

I would like to spend more
time here in London, sir.

You will leave for Oxford
in a week's time as planned, Basil.

There is no more to be said.

What is it you have to say?

Say it quickly,
my father will be coming back any minute.

I return to Oxford next week.

We cannot see each other
until I come back to London for Christmas.

I will miss you.

Will you promise me to not receive
any other suitor in my absence?

What right do you have to ask me that?

A few kisses and you think you own me.

I know your sort.

You use me as a play thing
and then run off

and marry some milk-faced miss
from one of the best families.

No, that is not true. I am not like that.

Go away.

I should do as I please.

That is my father's carriage
coming down the lane. Go!

Basil, what are you doing here?

I need to talk to you.

All right, come with me.

I do not want to lose Julia.

You do not have her,
my friend, to lose her.

Then I must have her.

How do you propose to have her?

By proposing marriage.


Yes, why not?

That's a too rushed a step, Basil,
for it's a permanent one.

Yours is a passing fancy for a girl
who has peaked your curiosity,

but once she's yours
and wholly familiar...

Then I will love her all the more.

I cannot live without her, John.

But, you will and you must.

Only a love that can let you live
with or without it can endure.

How do you know?

She is the first image
in my mind when I rise,

and the last when I go to sleep.

She fills my waking hours
nor are my dreams free from her.

There is but one thought in my head,
one theme to my life.

Have you felt this way about anyone?

Do not presume to know
more about me than you do.

Listen to me.

Forget Julia Sherwin and flee, Basil.



Those whom I have loved have fled me.

My father...

He took me away from mother's
bedside during her last moments.

He sent Ralph away
and has kept us, brothers,

apart for all these years.

For long, I feared loving anyone

for fear he would come
like a preying falcon and take them away.

Now, I must face that fear and face him.

I will not let him come
between Julia and me.

I...I will not.

You remember this moment, my friend,

when I told you to flee
and you would not.

How may I help you now?

Can you arrange for me
to speak to her father?

"Your wish is my command,"
the genie said to Aladdin.

Oh, you wish to marry my little Julia.

Rather strange, but flattering.
But strange, nevertheless.

Why do you wish to wed her?

I told you. I love her.

But you hardly know her,

unless you've been
meeting her on the sly.

John had nothing to do with it.

I met her a few times on my own.

We're all grown men here, Master Basil.

Please speak the truth.
You've not violated her, have you?

No, of course not.

What do your good father
say Master Basil?

I told you, didn't I?
I saw him once in a grand carriage

on his way to the parliament.

Yes, you did, several times.

And no, my good father
knows nothing of this.

Then, how do you propose to marry Julia
without your father's knowledge?

I'm of age, so is she.

That may be true, but your father
will not accept this marriage.

Which is why you want to marry my child
without your father's knowledge.

And how do you propose
to support her and your children?

There will be children.

They come quick in cases
of youthful zests such as yours.

You vastly underestimate
your father, Master Basil.

He will make sure nobody
has anything to do with you.

You will be cut off from all decent folk,
without employment or funds.

Is that the life you propose
for my only child?

The life of an outcast?

Still, all the world loves a lover,
and I want you to have what you want.

At what age do you inherit your share
of the family fortune, Master Basil?

In three months, when I turn 21.

And what exactly do you inherit?

The sum of 30,000 pounds
and Windemere Hall.

The rest of the estate
will be bequeathed to me

upon my father's passing,
if he so desires.

30,000 pounds and Windemere Hall
should do fine for you and Julia.

Julia can be a very charming girl
when she puts her mind to it.

The two of you will make him
come around before he passes on.

He will leave you the rest
of the estate. Mark my words.

30,000 pounds and Windemere Hall
is not bad to start off with.

Not bad at all.

But I would like you
to marry Julia straight away.

We cannot let your good father hear of it

or he will cut you off
in your inheritance immediately.

Until you turn 21,
the marriage must be a secret.

Julia will continue to live here.

And you will live with your father.

By the way, you're welcome
to visit Julia here.

But your visits will be chaste,
not the visits a husband pays his wife.

You understand?

Nothing sets tongues wagging quicker
than an unwed girl's swelling.

And your visits
will be strictly supervised.

So, three months is not unendurable?

Those are my terms,
take them or leave them.

Your choice.

I take them, Mr Sherwin,
as you well know.

I have no choice.

The day of my wedding,
I felt my mother's presence close to me.

I heard the rustle of her skirts.

I felt the touch of her hands.

I even fancied I heard her calling to me,

but her voice seemed to recede
when I strained for it.

Good boy.

You have tamed him
thoroughly, haven't you?

He is putty in your hands.


Will you be my friend

no matter what happens?

You know I will, Basil.

Wish me luck.

Well, that is that.

But you must be off, Master...

I mean, Basil.

You leave tonight for Oxford.

Come, come. Remember the rules.

Say goodbyes and leave.

May I kiss my bride, sir?

One chaste kiss.

Congratulations, Basil. Good luck.

I am not going to Oxford tonight.

I will leave tomorrow,
but I must see Julia before I go.

Then you will have to see
Mr Sherwin, as well.

He will not let you see her alone.

He will, if you were
present with us instead.

I would feel so much more relaxed
with you in the room instead of him.

He trusts you, John.

At least you will have
the decency not to look at us.


Let me see what I can do, my friend.

And so began my strange life
as a husband.

Need I say I did not go back to Oxford.

But he cannot see us.

You're right.

You can touch me,
if you give me 5 pounds.

Do you know what kind of woman
sells herself for money?

Take it or leave it.

Take it.

This is what your 5 pounds bought.

Do you like it?

Very much.


I'm trying to think of a fitting price
for a good show.

You are truly your father's daughter.

That I take as a compliment.

He did not raise a fool.

What can I ask?

Mere money for these flawless limbs?

Name your price.

It is a much valued family heirloom.

But anything that is mine, is yours.

Did you mean that?

Mean what?

That anything that you own is mine?

Do you doubt me?

Ask, then.

Ask anything.

Come on.


In a few weeks, you turn 21.

Windemere Hall will be yours.

Do you promise to give
it to me then, Basil?

I knew you wouldn't.

Then you do not know me.

It is yours.

Windemere Hall is yours.
You have my word.

I'm so sorry, Basil.

Please forgive me.

Basil, I was just telling
Clara that it's awhile

since we received a letter from you.

I presume you're home for the weekend.

Not the whole weekend, I'm afraid, sir.

There is much studying to do.
I must return to Oxford on Sunday.

Is anything the matter, Basil?

No, sir, nothing at all.

Basil, this came two days ago
addressed to your father.

I intercepted it
before your father could see it.

I had a sense he shouldn't see it.

Forgive me, Basil, but I read the letter.

It's from your professor.

He's written to say that you've been
absent from classes for two weeks.

He's worried about you.

No one at Oxford has any idea
where you have been.

I must leave for Oxford immediately

and pacify my professor
before he raises a hue and cry.

Basil, I promised you
I'll be your friend.

Tell me what's going on.

Julia, Julia, you help me best
by not needling me with questions...


Clara, I know you mean well,

but I cannot burden you with my problems.

Trust me to take care of my own affairs.

My dear John, urgent business
requires me to go to Oxford.

I'll be back as soon as possible.

Please tell Julia, and give her my love.

Get off him.


Somebody help!

How long have I been ill?

Two weeks today, Basil.

You were found unconscious
in the East End.

Someone went through your pockets
and found your father's card.

They sent for us.

You've had pneumonia, Basil.

But the doctor says you're better now.

Do you have the newspapers from then?

Dear Master Basil,

we have not seen you or heard
from you in quite a while.

I would have sent John Mannion
to your house

to find out what the matter is,

but he has suddenly left my employ.

I do not want to precipitate matters

by coming to your house myself.

So, I trust that you will do
the right thing by my daughter,

your wife, and come
to see us immediately.

Happy birthday, man.

21 years, eh?

You are now officially a man.

And the new master of Windemere Hall.

That, of course, you inherit
from your mother's side.

From mine, there is an
inheritance of 30,000 pounds.

But you realize you cannot
touch it without my approval.


Those are the terms
of the inheritance, by law.

I am the guardian of the fund.

I can withhold it from you,
if I deem you unfit.

Speaking of which,

I am very curious to know
why a son of mine was found lying

like some wasteful on a village street.

But I am not an unreasonable man.

I'm prepared to wait
until you are well and strong.

Then, perhaps, you will repay my patience
by telling me the truth.

A Mr Sherwin to see Master Basil, sir.

He says he wants to wish
a happy birthday, sir.

Tell him to go away.
I will see him later.

That is extremely rude, Basil.

Have him come in.

Happy birthday, Master Basil.

You have received my letters.

I must see you. Can you come to the house?

I'm not well.

Neither is my daughter, thanks to you.

In a few months, I will be a grandfather.

And so will your dear father, here.

You would have done us proud.

So that was not their first or only time.


It is not my child she is carrying.

It is John Mannion's child.

How dare you?

We are not high and mighty folk,
but we are decent and God fearing.

Think, Mr Sherwin.

Where is John Mannion?
Account for his sudden disappearance.

I came upon them together.

They have deceived us both.

This is neither the time nor the place.

I will come and see you as soon
as I get the chance, I promise.

You and your promises.

I curse the day I set eyes on you.

Did you love him?

I did... and I do.

How long have you and he...

For two years.

So why did you marry me?

Because he asked me to.

He asked me to receive your courtship.


I do not know.

I merely did what he asked of me.

So he did not love you, did he?

If he had loved you,

would he have let you marry another?

I did not say that he loved me.

I spoke for myself.

I love him.

Why waste your love on one
who did not love you?

Why, indeed?

Perhaps it was because
he did not love me.

A heart can be perverse.

What is within reach and available,

sometimes seems worthless.

Like John. never had him,

not in the sense that matters.

He always eluded my grasp.

Something else seemed to obsess him.

Like he obsessed me.

Like I obsessed you.

What a terrible circle.

It's just like a snake
choking on its own tail.

Where is he?

I do not know.

I know that he was taken
to the London Memorial Hospital.

I tried to go visit him once.

I could not bear to see him.

I was scared of what I might find

of what you had done to him.

What you had done to his face.


here I am.

I've lost my husband

and my lover.

And my father will soon cut me loose,

for he is a typical specimen of his class.

He fears scandal and sin.

Since there is already
talk about our child.

-John Mannion's child...
-But who is to know that?

I am your legally wedded wife.

And you cannot expose me
without first exposing yourself

and your family to gossip and ridicule.

I am to be an outcast,
but at least I will not be homeless,

for I do have Windemere Hall.

I know that you have now turned 21
and the Hall is now yours.

Are you going to deny
that you promised to give it to me, Basil?


I have given you my word.

It is yours.

I knew you would keep your word.

You are a typical specimen of your class.

A gentleman.

Sir, please.

I must speak to you.

When supper is over, Basil.

No, sir. No, I may lose my nerve.


Very well, then. Speak.

Stay, Clara.

Sir, forgive me for what
I'm about to tell you.

If only you knew
how much I have suffered.

Speak, but spare us
this unbecoming self-pity.

I do not pity myself, sir.

I deserve all that I now have to bear.

Do you remember Mr Sherwin, sir?


Steel yourself, sir,

for I have married his daughter.

But she was unfaithful to me
and is with child by another.

In a moment of passion,
I promised her Windemere Hall.

Now, I have lost the Hall as well.

All I have left is you

and whatever mercy you choose to show me.

I know I have disappointed you, sir.

Forgive me.

You have not disappointed me, Basil.

You have lived down
to all my expectations.

Every one of them.

I always knew you would wallow in muck,

that your mind was filth.

Your every impulse, low and carnal.

This is where your instincts
have naturally led you.

You have but followed your piper.

Uncle Frederick.

I did not follow my piper, sir.

I merely followed your example,
dutiful son that I am.

You did not know I saw you, did you?

You and your lover
by the sea at Windemere.

God, you sullied that place for me,
and I am glad I have given it away.

And Mother knew
about your seaside trysts.


Leave this house.

You and I cannot live
under the same roof.

But where will he go?

I do not know or care.

You cannot do that.

If you take his side, Clara,
you must leave with him.

Though I raised you and gave you
a home when you were orphaned.

You owe me your life, Clara.

It is your duty to stay here
and be my daughter,

now that I have no sons.

Go, Basil.

May God go with you.

It would be awkward, to say the least,
for us to employ you.

You see, your father is one
of this bank's most important clients,

and we do not want to offend him.

Your father has made generous
donations to this library.

And we would risk losing his good
will by letting you work here.

My advice to you is to go back
to your father

and work things out.

You do not have an employment history.

That means you've never
worked for your living.

You're probably very rich.

Who are you?
Basil Brown is not your real name, is it?

No we cannot give you a job.
This is a small stock broking firm.

We're not willing to step
into murky waters.

Will you trade your clothes
for mine, my friend?

You, you, you, you.

The rest of you, back tomorrow.

Right, get to work.

Watch your step.

Are you all right, lad?

Yes. Where are you going?

I'm down at Yorkshire.


Could I come with you?
My brother lives in Yorkshire.

Yeah, that's all right.

Come on.

Is Ralph at home?

And who may you be, sir?

His brother, Basil.


Don't you recognize me?

I've changed,
that much I see from your face.

My wife, Anna, and my children,
Morgan and Matthew.

It's a pity father
has cast you out as well, Basil.

A pity for him.

He is without his own
flesh and blood now,

fast approaching his twilight years.

When I first came here,
this house was an abandoned ruin.

And the farm, a wilderness.

Then I met Anna.

Her father and brothers are farmers here.

With their help,
we've made a home for ourselves

and a farmer out of me.

My exile has been a gift
in disguise, Basil.

I'm truly blessed.

Basil, I found this.

It must have fallen out of your pocket.

My dear Basil, would you
believe me if I told you

I began writing this letter
before I ever met you?

I had marked you
as my victim long ago, Basil.

I watched and waited
for my chance to make my move.

And bless you, Basil, you gave it to me.

Did your father know who I was,
when I finally saw him

face to face, man to man?

It came as a shock,
Basil, but he did not.

He did not remember me.

And then, it seemed all
the more monstrous.

The random manner in
which he had crushed us.

So I resolved, yet again, to crush him.

But, let me begin at the beginning.

I am the son of a school teacher.

Like you, I lost my mother
when I was a child.

Unlike yours, my father
was a warm and kindly soul.

The three of us were tightly knit;

myself, my father
and my oldest sister, Emma.

My father, absent-minded
poor soul, hardly noticed

what was going on with Emma,
not until it was too late.

His sister is...

Look at that, rotten family.

It is out now, isn't it?

I got it all out.

Will she be blessed in this grave, father?

Will her soul rest in peace?

A Church grave is not for her.

So, they have decreed.

There is nothing left in Windsor
for us now, is there Johnny?

They do not want me
teaching at their school.

The school at Halesworth
needs a mathematics teacher.

Halesworth, it is.

If there's one thing
the Halesworth experience has taught us,

it is we should be very discreet, Johnny.

People will check up on us,
like they did in Halesworth.

Now, Worthington is a far superior town.

You'll love it there, I promise.

Knightsbridge, it should be our home.

The position is just a tutor,
but never mind.

I'm a good teacher, Johnny.

I work hard, and conscientiously.

Now why isn't that enough?

It's a small world, Johnny.
It's small and mean.

We must not trust our fellow man.

I think we should assume a new surname.

How about Mannion?

Why not?

It's a good name as any other.

It would do for Tiverton.

In the town of Tiverton,
my father hanged himself.

This, Basil, is the beginning of my tale.

I swore to his corpse,
I would settle the score.

And I was free to hunt down your father.

I kept my flame alive
within me as I grew up

and took my place in the world.

I took great pains
that I should remain on the surface,

a modest, unassuming
man; a very quiet man.

Mr Sherwin was looking for an accountant

and I responded to his
advertisement in the paper.

I began working for him.
A dreary, dull job.

But I worked hard and conscientiously
like my father had taught me.

All the while, I was biding my time,

sharpening my mind against
my image of your father.

Odd, how you took such
fancy to Sherwin's girl.

She was to be my trump.

At first, she was nothing more to me
than the boss's spoiled daughter.

Still, I was a man,
with a man's appetites.

You cannot say
I did not warn you, Basil.

Forget Julia Sherwin, Basil.

Remember the night I asked you
to flee Julia Sherwin?

I need you to do me a great favor.


Marry Basil.


I let him court me
because you asked me to.

But, marriage?

If you will not marry Basil,
you cannot have me.

If I marry him?

Things will continue
between us as they are.

I felt so close to your father
that night, Basil.

He is the first image
in my mind when I rise

and the last when I go to sleep.

He fills my waking hours
nor are my dreams free from him.

There is but one thought in my head,
one theme to my life.

Your sentiments, Basil.

I knew precisely how you felt.

Hate is but love's twin.

Watch your step.

I bless you with a long life.

As you suffer and struggle,

you drag your father down
from his lofty heights.

Alive, you blight his days;
give meaning to mine.

Until we meet again.

You must remember him sister.
A man with badly mutilated face.

John Mannion by name.

Our nurses dropped in a faint
when the bandages were removed.

He refused to see himself.

We removed all mirrors from his sight.

Where is he now?

How do I know?

But with that face, where can he go?

He is doomed the life of a freak.

I'm looking for a man
with a mutilated face.

Put the word out. I have got to find him.



Come in, do come in.

No, I must leave. I was just passing by.

The masked man.

I always keep this with me these days.

I hid this page when you were
burning your stories long ago.

How is he?

Well, it was awful, Basil,
the things people said.

Your father hardly goes out now.

He's a broken man.

I read in the paper Windemere Hall
has been given away.

It must have been an old paper Basil,
for that's old news.


Your wife came and asked for the Hall.

Your father could have refused.

She had nothing in writing.
But he gave her the Hall.

"A promise is a promise," he said.

Julia is living in Windemere, then?

Yes, she is to have a child any day now.

But all the old servants have left.
They're loyal to the family.

Won't you come in
and see your father, Basil?

No, it would upset him.

Then you still have much to learn, Basil.

There is no greater joy
to a man than his child.

You're sinking fast, Julia.

Can you hear me?

Do you know I am at your side?


Our child.

Forgive me.

No, remember me as I was.


Let me take my child and leave in peace.

That is very generous of you,

given that you've taken
everything that was mine.

I do not want to harm you.

We left England together,
their child and I.

We set sail for Ireland.

It was in Ireland,
that I began to tell her my story.

There was plenty there
to tickle a child's fancy.

Mansions and maidens, monsters and men.

With the telling came the desire
to put my words on paper.

Line by line, the lines leading
to pages as I fumbled

for a key to the puzzle of my life.

Who is that from?


After more than a decade,
I was homeward bound.

My attempts to tell a tale on the page

had captured the eye
of a publisher in England.

Why are you laughing?

Someone once cursed me
that I would one day learn

to appreciate life's simpler moments.

Who cursed you, a witch?

A good one.



My child.

What is her name?

It is a name I have given her,

a name dear to my heart.


Clara and Clara are going to have
a cup of hot chocolate.

And you, Basil...

You're going to say hello to your father.

Good evening, father.

Good evening, Basil.

Well, goodbye.

I loved her deeply.

I want you to know that.

Your mother.

I loved her.

I was in my prime when she grew ill.

I needed her as a man needs a woman,

but she could not.

She was too sick.

I loved her deeply.

But maybe I didn't love her enough.

You are a man now, my son.

I can speak to you of a man's passions.

God knows I know their force.

When I saw the same seed
in you and your brother,

it was as if you both
had held a mirror up to me.

Then, who among us

could bear to see his soul
so truly reflected?

Father, father.

London is wonderful, father.

Do we have to go home?

We are here to stay, Clara.

We have come home.