Charlie Bubbles (1968) - full transcript

Charlie Bubbles, a writer, up from the working class of Manchester, England, who, in the course of becoming prematurely rich and famous, has mislaid a writer's basic tool - the capacity to feel and to respond. Now he must visit his estranged wife and son, whom he has set up on a farm outside his native city. His journey accidentally becomes an attempt to reestablish his connections with life, people, and his own history.

Oh, right on time.
What'll you have to drink?

- Tomato juice, please.
- You're looking very well, Charlie.

You look younger now
than when we first met.

- He's putting weight on.
- Looks good on him.

I've removed a lot of weight lately.

While I remember, Charlie, there's
those tickets for tomorrow's game.

Oh, thanks.

- What's special today?
- Roast beef, sir.

Well, what about that?
Shall we say three?

- I think so.
- Charlie?

- Yeah, sure.
- Another drink for you?

- Three roast beef.
- Anything to begin with, sir?

- Charlie?
- No, just the beef.

Artichoke. Are you having
another drink before we go in?

Just a dry sherry. Thank you.

Well, that's an artichoke,
half a lobster for me,

nothing for Mr Bubbles and three
roast beefs. Medium rare for all.

A large dry sherry
and another vodka and tonic for me.

Roast potatoes,
boiled potatoes, vegetables?

Yes, and a green salad.

Under Section 73,
all profits up to 60%

not declared as a dividend
after the 40% corporation tax

are taxable as super tax unless
the monies are shown to be committed.

Now, let me explain that more fully.

Before April the 6th, 1966,
this was covered by Section 245,

under which the company did
not have to declare a dividend,

which meant the profits
could be left in the company,

and the shareholders are not
burdened with the dividend.

But now under Section 73,
we must eliminate the profits

by reinvesting company monies in enterprises
for which the company was formed,

according to the company articles,

i.e., we must commit the company
money in some kind of production.

You see, really it's a question
of these monies being committed

on paper by the end of the year.

For instance, if there's a book
that you're interested in buying

with a view to turning it
into a film,

some of the profits are paid in
escrow to the people concerned,

i.e., you could place so many
thousand pounds with a writer's agent

as a sign of your interest and good faith
and seriousness as far as the project goes.

Well, if that transfer of the monies is
off the books and into the bank, fine.

That means that we're in business.

We must have a movement
of the money off the books.

I've been thinking about
the alimony I pay Lottie.

Do you think that
it ought to be increased?

She receives
a very generous allowance.

I know, but the sum was fixed a few years ago
when I wasn't earning as much as I am now.

You did buy the house. Your son's well
provided for in all eventualities.

It's entirely up to you.

We can discuss it any time you like.
Just ring the office and fix a date.

After all, it's your money, Charlie.

How's that new stockbroker I found?

He's very good. As you know,
I wasn't too happy about using him.

I preferred my own man.
This one's excellent. Extremely capable.

At the moment,
it's all short-term investments.

Long-term investments are too
unpredictable at the moment.

That's good.

Now, there's an alternative to
the scheme we've just discussed.

It's a question of living abroad.

Yes. Couldn't I send the money or
the company out of the country?

I mean, must I go away with it?

Ah, well, you see, that's
covered under Section 412,

which carries a penal clause
to stop the

transferring abroad of shares by
an individual in this country.

It carries fines of up to ?10,000.

So it's really, therefore, a matter of
your taking up residence abroad for a year.

Which means you'd have
to leave by the end of March

and return not earlier than
April the 10th the following year.

I see.

We had an interesting idea put up to
us this morning about the last film.

You know that Charlie never
wanted to write a screenplay of it

because he felt that the whole
conception of it was too literary.


Well, this seems to be a way of
interpreting the novel filmically

and retaining the complexity of
something written in the first person.

The idea is that instead of
turning it into a feature film,

we might be interested in turning
it into a series for television.

We certainly need some
good stuff on television.

Financially, it could be very useful.

Well, there's no harm
in making a pile of money.

And these people have been
really creative in the past.

I've known people who've suffered
from the common wart all their lives.

They've tried all ways
to get rid of 'em.

They rub the affected part
with castor oil, rusty water,

raw potatoes, juice of a dandelion,
spit, head of a live match.

He could lease them for eighteen, and
he'd still have his residuals, of course.

Which means, Charlie, that it might
be possible to work out an arrangement

whereby the tapes could be leased
on a one or two showing basis,

you still retaining ownership.

There's also a cure which
consists of rubbing a wart with raw meat

and burying the meat in the garden,

based on the belief, presumably,

that the virus can be supernaturally
transferred to alien flesh.

In fact, you'd show
the tapes once to get your money back,

and then the residuals could be
lease fees for any number of times reuse.

Sounds very sensible.

Wise hands
enchasten here these warts,

which we to others
from ourselves sell.

Charlie. How are ya?
Nice to see ya.

Meet me solicitor. He suffers from
persistent warts. Look at 'em.

Mr Bigwood, Charlie Bubbles.
Charlie's a writer.

Yes, I know. And a very
good writer too, if I may say so.

- I've read most of your books, Mr Bubbles.
- Have you read any of mine?

Do you like this place?
I suppose you come here a lot.

This is my second visit. I'm not
what you'd call a regular customer.

A bit dull at these prices,
don't you think?

I arrived tieless. They forced me
to wear this filthy object.

Here, can you join us for a drink?

Or do you have to get back
to your business associates?

I see they're really getting
down to it, aren't they?

They're discussing my residuals.


- How's Maudie?
- She's fine.

- She was in hospital two weeks ago.
- What for?

She's still trying to have a baby.

She'll try anything
until she gets one.

Maybe she should try another man.


- Thank you very much, Mr Bubbles.
- There's your tie. Thank you.

It's always a pleasure
to see you gentlemen.

- Cheerio.
- Cheers.

Goodbye, gentlemen.

Now, then,
watch the flipperwork, Charlie,

I know just the
right amount to tilt.

Oh, that were too much.

Hold on. Something's gone wrong.
Ah, that's it.

- You see Lottie at all?
- I go and see Jack.

Come on. That's it.

Does she still live in Derbyshire?


Oh, we were very upset
when you got divorced.

You shouldn't have done it, Charlie.

Lottie would've kept
your feet on the ground.

Come on, look,
we're playing very well.

Come on!
What's wrong with you?

Has she got a boyfriend yet?

God, this game is
ruining my manicure.

- I don't know.
- Ah, she's sure to have.

She's too good-looking
to be left alone for long.

That's it, you little ball.

Whatever made you do that, Charlie?

Nine to two.

You all right, Charlie?
Are you all right? You enjoying yourself?

Nine to two.

You want a cigarette?
You stick to your cigars.

I spend a fortune on cigarettes.

Wish they grew on bushes.

They're killing me.
They're killing me.

Seven to one, Turn Right.

Ah, I went to group therapy
classes last year

for people trying to give up smoking.

The classes were held in this room,

and all round the room
were glass jars

with pickled lung cancers.

I didn't stop trembling for a week.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
George, I'm coming.

There's the horse
that's gonna win today.

Same price. Four to one,
number eight.

Maudie had to give me a cigarette
in the end to calm me nerves.

Twenty to one, number 12,

running fourth off Kerb 21.

Of course, I always
look after me money meself.

That is why I never
have any, I suppose.

Still we manage. Somehow
or other, we always make out.

I mean, I don't suppose I'd ever
own a car like yours, Charlie.

But I can't drive anyway.

And they do say what you
never have, you never miss.

I don't know how
you drive in this traffic.

It'd send me up the walls.
It's quicker on the Underground, you know?

Still, I don't suppose
you use that much nowadays.

You're doing very well, Charlie.

Here. One more drink,
and we'll be off, eh?

Come home with me,
and we'll see Maudie.

She'll be delighted to see you.
Very fond of you, you know.

Ah, you haven't changed
too much, Charlie.

You still throw a good cue, huh?

You're all right, huh?

Don't get down in the mouth.

It's doing you good
enjoying yourself for once

instead of beating up
your typewriter all day.

Ah, you rascal.

Are you all right, Charlie?
Are you enjoying yourself?

Are you all right, Charlie?

Come on. You're getting left behind.
You've hardly touched that.

- I think I've had enough.
- Oh, we haven't even started yet.

Come on.
Drink it up.

Have one more, then we'll go.


I'll get this one.

Do you want anything to eat,
like some crisps, bag o' nuts?

Just one little one.

Er, two large scotch, please.

Cheer up.
It'll never happen.

It's a nice place, isn't it?

No fuss here. Don't get any
of your agency accountants here.

Just look at these faces.

Well, you won't see those sitting upstairs
in your little ivory tower

tapping your typewriter.

You get cut off from life that way.

I mean, what do you do all day?

I mean, even when I'm working,

I can't work from morning till night.

A couple of hours,
that's all I can manage.

Hey, what do you do all day?

Let's go.

Ah, by God, Charlie,

we've supped some stuff tonight.

Sounds like he's back.

Well, you'd better
get the front door open then, hadn't you?

- Good evening, sir.
- Evening.

- How's things?
- Everything's all right, sir.

Could we have some bread
and cheese, please, Mrs Noseworthy?

Is the lift out of order?

Not far now.

Your phone's ringing.

Yeah, don't you
worry about it. You just relax.

It's stuffy in here.
Can we have a window open?

Certainly, sir.

- Can I have a beer?
- Yes, sir.

- Hello?
- Charlie, is that you?

- Oh, hello, Lottie.
- I've been ringing you all day.

I'm sorry.

I should think you are sorry.
Where have you been? Eh?

Well, I met Smokey.
We went out together.

- Well, you're supposed to be here.
- Well, you know what he's like.

I know what you're like,
completely irresponsible.

Now I don't care about seeing you,

but you seem to forget
that you've got a son.

- You hardly ever see him anyway.
- Look, I'll drive up tonight.

He looks forward
to your coming up here.

The least you could do is to keep your promise
and let him know you're gonna be late.

- Is he very disappointed?
- Of course he's disappointed.

He's been waiting for you all day.

I'll drive up right away.
I'll be there in the morning.

Well, make sure you are. It's time
you grew up and faced reality.

I understood
he was going to be out tonight.

Then he comes walking in
as large as life

and orders bread and cheese
for himself and his friend

as if it was a caf?.

- Oh, Miss Hayhoe.
- Oh, Mr Bubbles!

I was just taking a shower.

Mrs Bubbles phoned about an hour ago
to find out where you were.

I told her you weren't
back from lunch yet.

She said she'd ring you back later
to see if you'd be going up there.

I just talked to her.

Oh, I thought I heard the phone ring.

I said we'd drive up tonight.
Are you still coming with me?

Yes. I brought my case to work this
morning. I've been waiting all afternoon.

I'm sorry. I got held up. Did you tell Mrs
Noseworthy I'll be away for the weekend?

- No, I thought you did.
- Will you tell her now? I can't face it.

And I've got a friend downstairs, and
she's fixing up some bread and cheese.

If you want some yourself,
you'd better tell her, okay?

Yes, Mr Bubbles.

I understood that he
was going to be out tonight.

Well, everything got a bit mixed up.

- He's going away this evening.
- How long for?

- It's just for the weekend.
- Well, it's the first I've heard of it.

Well, he must've
forgotten to tell you.

Well, I wish he'd try
to remember in future.

This is no way to run a house.
I ought to know what's going on.

I've got a beautiful leg of lamb
for lunch tomorrow.

Look at that. Look. What am I
going to do with that now?

- Well, that'll keep in the fridge, won't it?
- It's not the point.

Oh, and can I have
some cheese too, please?

Do you need any help,
Mrs Noseworthy?

No, thank you.
I can manage.

Oh, Mr Noseworthy,
I am sorry it's such short notice,

but I forgot to tell you before.

Can you pack a weekend case for Mr Bubbles,
please, and put it in the back seat?

Mine's in the hall too.
He's going away this evening.

- Yes, miss.
- And could you lay an extra place for me?

I'm having some cheese as well.

Very good, miss.

I do beg your pardon.

I'm looking for the maternity wing.

Sorry. Thought this
was the boardroom.

Are you the district nurse?

Yes, Mr Pickles.

Oh, you know my name, do you?

I recognised you.

That's very gratifying.

No organisation at all.

Everything has to be done
on the spur of the moment.

It's not a hotel.

He's just not used to staff.

Your bread and cheese
is ready, Mr Bubbles.

I'm serving it now.

Where is Charlie?

He's in his workroom.

How much longer is he likely
to be incommunica...

Not very much.
We're going north soon.

- Oh, is he going up to see his ex-missus?
- Yes.

Miss Hayhoe, the bread
and cheese is ready.

Will you take Mr Pickles
down to the dining room, please?

Hey, Charlie, listen.
Let's pick up Maudie,

and we'll all go up North together
and give Lottie a surprise.

Where are ya?

This house is full of people.
Do you live in?

No, I just come in during the day.

I share an apartment
with a girlfriend.

Charlie must be feeding
more mouths than Mao Tse-tung.

Oh, I'm not really an employee.
I've really been fortunate.

See, I'm a student.

Just before I came
to England on my vacation,

I wrote to Mr Bubbles
asking for a temporary job.

I really love his work.
I want to be a writer myself one day.

Oh, is that so?

I'm really getting to know
Mr Bubbles quite well.

And you just hang around
the house all day getting to know Charlie?

Well, I do a bit
of secretarial work for him.

- You answer his letters?
- Some of them I answer.

- You answer his begging letters?
- Yes.

- He never answers any of mine.
- Oh.

Good even... oh.

I think it would be all right

for you to serve the
cheese now, Mrs Noseworthy.

Looks good.

Thank you.

Very tasty, Mrs Noseworthy.

- I like your dress.
- Oh, thank you.

- Is it genuine lace?
- Yes, it is.

I wonder how many
old ladies went blind making it.

Oh, it wasn't made
under conditions like that.

I wouldn't even put it on.

I'm only teasing ya.

I hope this is
all right, Mr Bubbles.

- Where the hell have you been, Charlie?
- It was very short notice,

and I had been led to believe you
weren't going to be here this evening.

Be all right, Mrs Noseworthy.
We only wanted a snack.

I've also been informed that
you won't be here for the weekend.

- No.
- Well, I've got the meat in and everything.

Have you any idea at all
when you'll be back?

I have my own arrangements to make

I wouldn't like to think that everything
will have to be changed at the last minute.

I'll probably be back Sunday.

You'll probably be back Sunday.

I'll be back Sunday.

Hurry up, Charles.
Cheese is getting cold.

No, thanks.
I'm not hungry.

Excuse me, sir. I've packed
a suitcase for you, sir.

I didn't know whether you
needed a dinner jacket or not,

so I put one in just in case.

Don't cringe every time I look at you.

I'm only interested in your body.

Is your shareholders'
meeting over, Charlie?

- Will that be all, Mr Bubbles?
- I think so.

Then I'll get back
to preparing our supper.

No wonder nobody ever comes here.
It's always so crowded.

Where did he get that old nose bag?

Is the cheese all right?

We are enjoying it, aren't we?

- This young lady wants to be a writer, Charlie.
- I know.

How much do you pay this young lady
that wants to be a writer, Charlie?

- Forty pound a month.
- Forty? That's ten a week.

- ?500 a year. That's not very much, Charlie.
- Oh, I'd do it for nothing.

His wife used to do it for nothing.
That's why she left him.

All right, now, come on.
We've had enough of that.

Come on, Charlie. Better get going
if we're going up North tonight.

You don't want to hang about
here any longer, do you?

And the journey won't seem as long
with us to keep you company.

And if you get sick of driving, Maudie can
always take over the wheel for a while.

- Oh!
- Come on!

Yeah, nice change to get
out of London for a few days.

Tell Eliza to ring Maudie
so she can get ready.

No, it'll only take her five minutes.

Oh, thank you very much,
Mr Noseworthy.

Give my regards
to the worthy Mrs Nose.

- It's been wonderful.
- A pleasure, sir.

- Goodbye, Mr Noseworthy.
- Goodbye, miss.

I wonder what sort of weekend
it'll be? Dirty or lost.

Come on, you get
in the back with me.

Would you put the lid on, driver?
It's getting rather cold around here.

Come on. Cuddle up.
So, you want to be a writer, do ya?

He isn't always like this.
You should see him when he's sober.

I should see him when he's sober.

Whose clothes is he wearing?

His own.
We had ourselves rigged out.

He's heavy, isn't he?


- Thanks.
- You're welcome.

Do you want anything, Charlie?

Some beer in the fridge,
I think. Help yourself.

No, thanks, love.
I don't want anything.

Were we going to stay
at Lottie's house?

No, I booked rooms at the hotel.

What a nuisance. Won't have to
pay for them, will you, Charlie?

No. Don't worry about it,
Maudie. She means for us.

We were gonna book rooms
for you from here.


Lottie ever come up to London?

Not as far as I know.

I'd like to see her again.

Jack must be a young man now.


It was nice seeing you anyway.
Hasn't lasted long enough, though.

- Why don't you come and see us more often?
- I don't know.

Well, when you get back,
come around for an evening.

Good night, Elizabeth.
Nice meeting you.

Oh, thank you. I'm very pleased
to have met you both.

- Good night, Charlie. Drive carefully.
- Good night, Maudie.

I will. Take care.

Fill her up, please.
The super.

And could you give
the windscreen a wipe, please?

- When will we get there?
- Oh, about four or five hours.

There won't be much traffic
about at this time of night.

I don't really mind
how long it takes.

I've just been looking forward
to this trip so much.

I thought when you didn't come back this
afternoon, maybe it had been cancelled.

- What are you gonna do when we get there?
- Oh, I have lots to do.

My father's given me so many
messages for friends and relations,

and there's so much
that I want to see.

Is most of the family
still over here?

Yeah. My father
was the only one to leave.

Well, it's very exciting, but I don't
really feel like a stranger.

I mean, I'm sure when I get there,
I'm gonna feel right at home.

My father's told me so much
about the friendliness of the people,

and we maintain regular
family correspondence.

The letters go back over 19 years.

- They're fascinating to read.
- Mm-hmm.

I want to use them one day.

I thought I might do
a semi-documentary novel eventually,

using the letters, and my father's
experiences, and my own visit to the country.

- I think that that could be quite interesting.
- Hmm.

Things seem to have changed
a lot since my father left.

The house that he lived in has been
torn down, but the street's still there.

Ellis Street.
Do you know it?

- I was brought up in that area.
- You...

Is there any chocolate in the bar?


Shall I break you some off?


Did I show you my piece?
My mother sent it to me.

- No. What is it?
- Well, I sent it to the local newspaper back home.

It's all about meeting you.

Did they pay you for it?


They've been paying me
since I was 11 years old.

Mind you, it's only
a small newspaper,

but it's all experience, isn't it?


No. I don't think I'll continue with
my contributions when I get home.

I think I should concentrate
on my novel.


And the other one.


- Coffee?
- It's down there.

Um, you don't mind me
asking, do you, love,

but who was that fella
you came in with?

No, you see, I know
his face from somewhere.

I know his name.
It's on the tip of me tongue.

Is he on the television?
He is, isn't he?

Yes, he has been on television.
It's Charlie Bubbles.

Oh, yeah, that's it.
He's a writer.

See, I knew I knew him.
You know how it is

when you see somebody's face you know,
and you can't place it.

- Are you his missus?
- Not exactly.

Oh, I see. Very nice.
Are you going up North?

- Yes.
- He's from the North, isn't he?

- Yes.
- But he doesn't live there now.

Oh, no.
We live in London.

- You're driving up North tonight?
- Yes.

Any chance of a lift?

Oh, I'm sure you'd be welcome to a lift.
There's plenty of room in the car.

My wife will be dead chuffed
when she knows who's given me a lift.

She does a lot of reading, you know.

He looks a very nice fella.
Ordinary, you know? Very nice.

Well, he's a wonderful person.

I thought I recognised you
when you came in, but I wasn't certain.

So I asked the young lady.
Very pleased to meet you.

How do you do?

I thought you might be hungry.

- Are you having any?
- No.

- No.
- Would you like one?

Well, thanks very much.

How nice to see you.

You're looking well.

What a beautiful dolly.

How's Lottie and your son?

Oh, I think Lottie's getting a bit...

I'm so glad he's got
a secretary at last.

I told him he should a long time ago.

- How long are you in for?
- For six more years.

- That's a long time.
- It is that.

Do you travel everywhere with them?

So long as they take the child.

Miriam's just got back
from Israel, Charlie.

- Oh?
- She's full of it.

She wants to do a film out there.

You ought to do a film
with Charlie, darling.

Mr Fettuccine
has a beautiful yacht.

We've been on it for three months.

Why don't you come to
Ronnie Wingate's with us, Charlie?

He'd love you as a houseguest. You haven't
done any shooting before, have you?

You'd adore it. I do.

You know Mickey's been arrested.

- No. What for?
- Drugs.

It's a tragedy.

The season's off to a delayed start
this year because of the late spring.

Some of the birds are very small.

But when it does start, bags are actually
expected to be bigger than last season.

Lord Wingate has a beautiful estate.
I always enjoy staying with him.

The woman next door to us
at home is a drug addict.

The drug squad raided her last week,

and they found two syringes,
a long Turkish pipe

and 17 ounces of marijuana hidden in a
Cornflakes packet in the kitchen cupboard.

- Oh, we're ready for off then?
- I think we'd better make a move.

Goodbye, Charlie.

Take care of him.
I know you will.

- Who was she?
- Oh, just someone that I...

You've often had the pleasure of her, eh?
Beg your pardon.

Well, this is very nice.

You do meet some people, don't you?

Was all this stuff in the car when you
bought it, or did you have it put in?

- I had it put in.
- I wouldn't mind something like this.

- Wish I'd got the knack of writing.
- It's more than a knack.

- No, I mean the knack of making money.
- Oh.

You haven't got a photograph
of yourself, have you, Charlie,

I can give to me wife?

- No, no. I haven't got anything.
- I've got one of your books.

You could write something in it.
It's not exactly brand new.

Oh, no. That'll do.

I think she's read this one.
Still, it doesn't matter.

As long as it's signed, it'll be worth
having, as far as she's concerned.

Do you travel much, Charlie?

Quite a bit.

You know, if I had your money,
I'd never be still.

I'd live in big hotels.

If I won ?250,000
on the football pools,

I'd buy meself out of the Air Force
and I'd divorce me wife.

With a big settlement, though,

so she wouldn't have to worry
about her bread and butter.

And then I'd travel all around the world,
watching sports.

What if you only won ?10,000?

I don't know.

I mean, I've only
budgeted for ?250,000.

- Hey, is that a telephone?
- Mm-hmm.

- What?
- Nothing. Go back to sleep.

This is the way
to travel, eh, Charlie?

I used to have a motorbike once.

- Have you got a pen, Mr Bubbles?
- What for?

I thought you could sign his book
while you're resting.

Um, to Margaret.
I call her Mags for short.

You know, it's like a dream
driving this car.

I can relate a story,
but I can't get it down on paper.

I've got the brains, I suppose,
but not the education.

Still, you've done
very well out of it.

Thanks very much, Charlie.
Thanks for the lift and the cigar.

- All the best.
- Look at me!

Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?

- Me wife'd faint if she could meet you.
- Well, er...

Oh, well, never mind, eh?
Better luck next time.

Take care of yourself.
Cheerio. Good luck.

Look at the view here!

What's that?

It's the gasworks.

- What's that?
- The colliery, I think.

You think?
Don't you know?

I've never been up here
at this time of the morning.

Mr Bubbles?

So this is where your father was born.


I think it's a shame in a way
to pull these lovely old places down.

They have so much...
so much character.

Where do your parents
live now, Mr Bubbles?

Oh, around here somewhere.

- I'll see 'em later.
- I bet they'll be thrilled to see you, huh?

- Does anyone else know you're coming?
- I don't think so.

A prophet is always without honour
in his own country.

Were you expecting
bonfires in the streets

and all the flags out:
"Welcome back, Charlie"?

This is more like it!
I knew they wouldn't let me down.

- Good morning, madam.
- Good morning.

- Good morning, sir.
- Good morning.

Good morning, madam.

Good morning, sir.

- Is that all the luggage, sir?
- Yes.

Like to order anything?
Any breakfast?

- I'd just like a pot of tea.
- Anything for you, madam?

Oh, yes. I'd love some
fresh orange juice, please.

- Orange juice.
- And some kippers.

- Kippers.
- And toast and marmalade and coffee.

Er, and some ice water too, please.

- Would you like your orders serving separately?
- Serve them in my room.

Certainly, madam.
This way, please.

If there's anything
you require, sir, just ring.

Thank you.
Oh, here...

Thank you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

- Morning, sir.
- Good morning.


Very nice to have you with us, sir.

Thank you.

Live most of the time in London
since your success, sir?


I used to know your father
very well before the war.

What a coincidence.
Is he still deaf?

When he wants to be.

He was a character, all right.

We used to play cards a lot together

when we were unemployed
during the depression years.

He won ?80,000 off me one night.

And I joined the army
for something better to do.

He stayed in civvy street.
He was unemployed some years.

- Coffee, madam?
- Oh, yes, please.

Black or white?

- White.
- He's retired now.

Aye, he always said he was
looking forward to making it official.

I'll bet he's proud of you.

We all are.

A nice cup of tea, sir?

- Thank you.
- I followed your career with great interest.

I've not read all the books, but I've
seen all the films they done of 'em.

Will you sign the bill, sir?

- Oh.
- Haven't got me pen.

- I've got a pen.
- Oh, thank you, madam.

You're welcome.

Do you just do your writing
now, or are you still working?


No, I...

I just do the writing.

Thank you very much, sir.

Remember me to your dad.

I've never seen
a British football match.

What time will you be leaving here
to go get your son?

Oh, there's plenty of time.

Lottie doesn't get up much before
Sunday on a Saturday.

That's nice.

Then I guess you won't be expected
over there right away, huh?



I don't know why I said I'd take
that lad to a football match.

Well, does he like football?

He's mad about it.

It's a passion he's developed
in the last two years.

Maybe his mother has a
sporting boyfriend or something.

Does she have a boyfriend?

I never asked her.

Oh, Mr Bubbles,
I was just writing you a note.

I wanna do some research
at the city museum,

and it opens in about a half an hour.

So I'd better get along
there right away.

And I'll be out of the hotel all day, so
you don't have to worry about me, okay?



Lottie, are you there?

- What?
- It's me.


The back door was wide open.

Anybody could've walked in instead of me.
You might've got a sex maniac.

Not with my luck.

It's Jack.

He usually leaves the back door open
when he goes out to play.

Oh, I wish that cock
would stop crowing.

- Where is Jack?
- Lurking about somewhere.

Jack, your father's here!

- Hello.
- Hello, Dad.

- Oh, God.
- What's wrong?

I'm in agony.
My shoulder's all knotted up.

Look at him in my best eyelashes.
Get them off!

Get out!

That dog wants feeding.

It's going to be another busy day.


Why don't you go
into the parlour and write a book?


Don't you worry about feeding your pets,
Jack. You enjoy yourself playing football.

All right.

I'll get your breakfast
when I finish this.

Come on.

Come on. Come on.

Want some more breakfast?

I'd love a bacon sandwich.

Come on. Outside.

Come on. Out you go.
Out you get.


I've never regretted
buying these hens.

Their eggs are beautiful.

Much better than the ones those
poor things in the factory farms lay.

- Are you coming to the match with us?
- No, I'm too busy.

Did you bake this bread yourself?

Rotten, isn't it?

Aren't you supposed
to put yeast in it?

Well, I don't know
what went wrong with it.

But all the ingredients
are very pure, organically grown.

There are no chemicals whatsoever
in that muck you're eating.

You've really settled down
into country life, haven't you?

I'm cultivating
a beautiful compost heap.

She made some jam.

- I bet that tastes good.
- Yes, it does.

It tastes lovely,
but I made a bit too much of it.

The day mustn't
be long enough for you.

Oh, I wish I had a proper job.

It's not too late to start
training for something.

What can I start
training for at my age?

That's the trouble with
marrying straight from school.

All I'm trained for
is Charlie-minding.

If I knew then what I know now...

I probably deprived the world
of a very good shorthand typist.

# When the saints go marching in

# Oh when the saints

# Go marching in

# Oh when the saints go marching in

# I want to be in that number

# When the saints go marching in #


- Oh, heard you were around.
- Thought I'd say hello.

- It's not a bad match, eh?
- Er, no. It's not bad, no.

Well, it's nice
to see you again, Charlie.

You don't often come home these days.
How are you?

All right.

- Is this Jack?
- Yeah.

He's a big lad, isn't he?

I hardly recognised him.

You don't remember me at all, do ya?

Still, he was only a baby
when I saw him last.

Time flies.

Would you object to having
your photograph taken with him?


All right. No deal.
You're public domain now, Charlie.

- Have you got time for a quickie?
- Er, no.

We must get home.

How long will you be in town for?

Two or three days.

How's work?

It's okay.
How's yours?

Not bad.
Not as profitable as yours, of course,

but it's all right for me.

I keep getting offers to go and work in
London, but I don't want to leave this place.

It's not a beauty spot
exactly, but it's home.

And, well, I don't like it
down South very much.

Seems to me you can get bogged down with
a lot of false values living in London.

- Lottie lives up here now, doesn't she?
- Yeah.

I tried to phone her once or twice,
but she never seems to be home.


Do you ever fancy
coming back here to live?


I was sorry to hear
about the divorce.

I always thought that you and Lottie
were dead right for each other.

You should never have gone away.

I must say, you haven't changed much.

A bit fatter and a lot richer.

But you can still see the boy
I was at school with.

Are you sure you haven't got time
for that quickie?

No, I must find Jack
and get him home.

The kids usually hang about
around here for autographs.

- How long will you be in town for?
- A few days.

I'm having a party tomorrow night.
Would you like to come?

Me mother would love to see you again.
She likes you.

I'll probably be gone by then.

He's not here, is he?

Kids get up to all sorts of tricks
after a match here.

Happy in muck, eh?
It's always alive with kids, this place.

There he is!

No luck?

I shouldn't worry about him, Charlie.

He's a big lad. He'll probably
make his own way home.

I used to do the same thing
meself when I was his age.

We got lost ourselves once.
Don't you remember?

- No.
- Don't worry, Charlie.

We'll take care of it, sir.
Have you phoned the boy's mother?

- No, not yet. I didn't wanna worry her.
- Oh.

What's the boy look like, sir?

Well, he's, er...

He's about that tall.

He's wearing a striped scarf

and the team's colours.

He's eight years old...
nine years old.

Very good. Leave it to us, sir.
He'll turn up.


- What's he doing here?
- He came home by train.

I thought he was lost.

No, he got fed up with
hanging around for you, Charlie.

So he came home by train.
He usually does.

- I've been searching for him.
- There was no need for that.

- Dad, I'm watching this.
- No need...

- Do you realise that I've been wandering...
- Leave him alone, Charlie.

- He watches this every week.
- Is tea ready yet, Mum?

- Do you want it now?
- Yeah.

Do you realise that
I went to the police about it?

There was no need for that.
You're far too fussy.

I was very worried.
I was imagining all kinds of things.

You can't go to the police every time
a child goes out of your sight.

He was in my care,
and the least he could do

is apologise to me for
causing me so much trouble.

I've been running all over the place
looking for him. I've been sick once.

He's all right.
He's used to taking care of himself.

I can't wrap him up in cotton wool
and put him in a safe.

You should take more care of him
instead of letting him run wild.

- What do you mean, run wild?
- He's got you on a piece of string.

"Is me tea ready yet, Mum?"
"Do you want it now?" "Yes."

You're up like a shot at his beck and call.
I used to get my own tea.

How does a perfect child like you
grow up to be such a mess?

How dare you accuse me
of neglecting him.

- I did nothing of the kind.
- "Letting him run wild."

You've got a bloody cheek coming in here
accusing me of letting him run wild!

We don't see you for months on end

unless we get down on our hands
and knees and pray for you to come up.

When you do, the first thing you do is
start criticising how I bring the child up.

- It's the first time I've said anything.
- Yes, well, it's once too often.

God knows what he'd be like
if he'd been living with you.

Well, you shouldn't be his doormat.

He's only gotta say "I want me tea,"
and you're off getting his tea.

He'll expect every woman
to be at his feet

if you indulge him like this
while he's still a child.

I suppose you'd show him
a better way how to treat a woman.

Don't talk so daft, Lottie.
You know what I'm getting at.

Yes, you're getting on my nerves.

He's got no competition.
That's the trouble.

There's nothing wrong with him.

There must be, or else you wouldn't
be defending him like this.

Bloody mothers. You can't say anything to 'em
about their kids, 'cause they're up in arms.

The sooner you leave this
bloody house, the better!

Mum, there's
someone at the front door!

- Yes?
- Mrs Bubbles?

- Yes?
- Is Charlie here?

- Yes.
- Will he let us see him for a minute?

- No.
- It's only the local papers.

- He doesn't want to see anybody.
- Look, could we just get a picture?

- There's a child, isn't there?
- Yes.

- And how long is it since the divorce?
- Two years.

- Any chance of a reconciliation?
- No.

We heard a report that
he'd been fighting Smokey Pickles.

They were very great friends
at one time, weren't they?

- Yes.
- Have they been fighting?

I don't know
anything about that.

It's a nice district, this, isn't it?

Lovely. I used to do a lot of rambling
around here when I was a kid.

- Oh, yes.
- Beautiful in the summer.

Yes, it is very beautiful.
Good night.

That was a reporter
at the front door for you.

Don't growl at me.

- Good night.
- Night, love.

- Where are you going?
- To bed.

- What about your tea?
- I don't want it.

You can have something later
if you're awake.

If I feel hungry.

Be sure to let us know, won't ya?

I'll leave it in
the kitchen for you, Jack.

What's this about
you and Smokey fighting?

We've not been fighting.

- Is he still the same?
- Yes.

I'd have divorced him years ago.

Well, I was gonna have
a quiet evening watching television.

I'll leave you to it.

Sit down.

- Oh.
- You look terrible.

- Mmm.
- Have you been taking drugs?


You've got dark yellow circles
under your eyes, and bags.

You look like death.

You're not gonna drive back
to town tonight, are you?

I don't think I could.

Well, you can stay here. Go to bed.
I'll bring you some food up.

Well, go on.
Go to bed.

But it won't be champagne and kippers
for breakfast. Just fresh farm eggs.

And have a bath.
You smell of sick.

And you can use the lavatory
if you want to. It's free of charge.

There's a prowler
looking through the window.

Could we have a cup of tea, love?
It's very cold out here.

- Is that your lad? How old is he?
- Thirty-five.

Mrs Bubbles?


Oh, how do you do? I wonder if we
could have a word with Charlie?

He's in bed.

Well, it wouldn't take a moment.

We just want a picture
and a little story.


Well, we could go upstairs
to Charlie, Mrs Bubbles.

He's asleep.

Oh. Well, we'll have to
wait and see then, won't we?

Good night.

Your life's not your own, is it?

Oh, eat your orange.

Don't take your bad temper
out on me, or I'll leave home.

I've got a better idea.
You stay here, and I'll leave home.

Go on. Bed.

That looks very nice.

- Say good night to your father.
- Good night, Dad.

Good night.

You ruined good meat, Lottie.

Don't worry.
I'm not getting in with you.

You know better than most
what you're missing.


- What's that?
- My nightdress.

You used to sleep without clothes.

Well, I'm cooling down
in my middle age.

You look lovely without clothes.

Can you still remember?

I've got a very selective memory.