Crisis (1946) - full transcript

Ingeborg is a small-town piano teacher who raises her foster daughter, Nelly, into young adulthood. When Nelly is eighteen, she is shocked by the arrival of Jenny, her mother, whom she calls "Auntie." Jenny wants to take her to the big city and teach her to be a beautician in her salon. This is devastating news for Ingeborg, who is ill and does not expect to live long. Ulf, the stolid 30ish man in love with Nelly, begs her to stay; but she is not in love with him, considering him much too old. Instead, she is attracted to Jack, a new arrival in town. She doesn't guess that this strange young man with the striped suit and dashing mustache is her mother's lover as well. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food


This is such a small town.

With its feet in the river,

it slumbers softly amid the greenery.

There's no train station

to mar the reflective calm
of this idyll.

Neither industries nor shipping

hasten the steady pace of the day

or the still peace of the night.

The big event of the day
is the arrival of the bus.

It brings newspapers,
mail, and unfamiliar faces

in which one can discern traces
of a hurried, worrisome life.

Today a wholly unfamiliar lady
steps off the bus.

Everything about her is alien
and a bit shocking.

Dress, face, nails, hat, eyes...

everything about her speaks
of the great wide world.

Yet well-informed parties
can easily guess

what and whom
the lady has come about.

It is Mrs. Jenny,

who after 18 years
has come for her daughter Nelly,

who has grown up in the care
of Miss Ingeborg Johnson.

Many agree with Uncle Edward,
Ingeborg's family doctor, who says...

"This will be
a terrible blow to Ingeborg."

Miss Ingeborg is a piano teacher

and rents a room
to a young veterinarian named Ulf,

whom she usually calls "Uffe."

Let the play begin.

I wouldn't call this
a great or harrowing tale.

It really is just
an everyday drama.

Almost a comedy.

Let's raise the curtain.

Play with your fingers,
not your elbows.

One, two, three, four...

I say, Malin, do you call that
beating cushions?

It's not that important, is it?

No, it isn't.

Kalle, one never becomes
a good piano player

if one's soul isn't in it.

Heaven knows you put
no soul into your playing.

Be glad that Beethoven is deaf.

Malin, polish the kettle too.

Polish the kettle too?

Never mind. You work too hard
before you come here.

- It's because I charge so little.
- Come now!

Small pay is still pay,
my dear girl!

Let's take a break.
Have a piece of candy.

You have one too.

Wipe your fingers on your hanky,
if you have one.

Nelly, are you home already?

Mutti, I'm in a dreadful hurry.

I have a package to pick up.

Then I'm meeting Uffe.

He said he wanted to talk to me.

Are you looking forward
to tonight?

I'm so happy
my stomach aches.

Dear child.

There's Auntie Jessie.

She'll have
to entertain you instead.

Hello, Auntie Jessie.

Well, I never!

Hello, dear Jessie!

Ingeborg, I...

Your hair looks beautiful!

What's so special about it?

I don't know.

The color makes you look younger.

It does, doesn't it?

Are you looking
to borrow money again?

Must it always be money?

You owe me a lot...
73 kronor and 50 öre.

Do any shoes need polishing?

Don't worry.

Then I'm done.

- What do I owe you?
- 2.25.

I have no money today.

Can you lend me five kronor?

I really need it.

You and that lovely purse of yours.

I've never seen a prettier purse.

- I have two kronor in my hanky.
- I need five.

- My mother used to say...
- Let your mother rest in peace.

What are you looking for?
- I only have 10.

That'll do just fine.

Oh, Ingeborg!


You have to lend me 60 kronor.

Have you gone mad?
For what?

You can go now, Kalle.

Will you lend me
the money or not?

I can give you 30.
That's all I have.

Bless you.

I knew you'd only give me half,
so I asked for twice as much.

There's a lady here to see you.

Probably some student's mother.

could you go to Anderson's

and pick up a dress for me?

For Nelly?

Yes, for Nelly.

Hurry now.


So it's you.


- What's in the package?
- A surprise.

A surprise?

Can't you tell me what it is?
Curiosity grows with age.

It will be a surprise
for you and Mutti.

Tell me where it came from.

It came on the bus,
if you really must know, nosy man.

I say, Nelly...

you're terribly fond of dancing.

The only thing on your mind
is that silly ball tonight.

I intend to make a big splash.


would you consider going with me?


Won't you go with me?

Dear, sweet Uffe!

Do you think
I want to go with an old man?

Is that so inconceivable?


- Don't you see?
- Are you going to propose again?

Don't you see why I came back

and took a room
at Miss Ingeborg's?

Can I go now?

All you think of is that stupid ball.

I mean nothing to you.
- Silly!

I love my little Mutti,
and I'm very fond of you too,

like I'm fond of the piano
and the old chest of drawers...

but that's all.

I can't stay here all my life.

I want to experience other things.

Do you really know
what you want?

One must have dreams.

You mustn't let that upset you.

You're not upset, are you?

Oh, no!
I forgot to buy hairpins!

Tell Mutti I'll be home soon.

Bye, old man.


After all, the girl is mine,
not yours.

You suddenly show up
claiming Nelly for your own.

It's beyond me.

I don't know what to say. Is there
some reason you want her now?

I'm her mother.
Isn't that enough?

It just dawned on you now,
after 18 years?

My life hasn't exactly been
a bed of roses.

She's probably had
a more peaceful life with you.

But I'm a bit better off now.


Not many people
can say that these days.

And is there
a more peaceful place for a child

than with her mother?

Her real mother.
Not just someone who gave birth to her!

Do you really want us to be enemies,
Miss Johnson?

How could we be enemies
when it comes to Nelly's welfare?

It would be best for Nelly
to be with me.

I think she's better off here.

She has everything she needs,
and someone who cares for her.

She'd have better work
at better pay,

and she'd meet people
her own age.

And she'd be with her mother,
Miss Johnson.

Who's neglected her for 18 years.

I really don't believe
you can defend your position.

We'll let her choose.

She'll do as we tell her.

Let me tell you something,

but you mustn't tell Nelly
or anyone else.

I'm ill.

Nelly is everything to me.

I feel my life's been worthwhile

because she's needed me.

Couldn't you let me keep her
a while longer, just until...

Just until...

Then you can take her.

You have your whole life.

Couldn't you please just go home

and leave things as they are?

So it's not for Nelly's sake
that you want to keep her.

It's for your own.

Not just mine.

Nelly feels at home here.
She's happy.

Don't take her.
I couldn't bear it.

Take her?

So you admit
she might not want to stay?

And you'll bear up just fine.

I've suffered too,
and I got through it.

This is just a whim to you.

Kindly choose
your words more carefully!

Now, then...

we should let her decide.

We can talk tomorrow.

Forgive me
if I've hurt your feelings.

Nelly and I
are greatly indebted to you.

I do lose my temper easily.
Forgive me.

Do you need a pill?
You don't look so well.


Good-bye, then.

Come in.

Come in!

What the blazes!

Is that you, Jack?

What on earth are you doing here?

You're mad!
What are you doing here?

I was bored
and followed you here

to make sure
you weren't cheating on me.

A gown for a ball?

Fancy clothes.

You had your hair done.
A ball at the hotel, is there?

I'm not disturbing you?
- Silly! I'm glad you're here.

Pretty boy, eh?

- Sweet.
- Yes.


come here right now.


Of course, darling.

Now tell me what shady business
brings you to this dump.

Is little Jack jealous?

No. Just annoyed.

You left me alone and broke
in the city on a Saturday night.

Tell me everything...

or I'll cut your throat
and stick you in a trunk.

Well? What's it going to be?

I have a daughter here,
if you really must know.

What's that, you old sinner?

You have a daughter?

- Eighteen.

Jenny has an 18-year-old daughter.

Jenny has a daughter
who's 18 years old.

For the first time in two years,
you intrigue me.


Very interesting.

Nelly's going to a ball
to have a good time,

and you go and propose
before she's had her fun.


- I'll dance every dance with her.
- Put her on a leash, will you?

Men just aren't very smart.

You were to win her over tonight.
She'd see you next to the others.

How dashing
and wonderful you are.

I've never been wonderful.

A man proposing in the moonlight
is always wonderful.

Never propose in the daylight.

Isn't it lovely?

Not bad at all.

Nelly, would you come here?

We have a surprise for you.

I'll be right there!
I have a surprise too.

Hold it up
so she'll see it right off.

That's it.
We took care of that too.

The Lord and I
always have a bright idea

at the last minute.

What's that you're wearing,
dear child?


did you buy me a dress too?

It's just a simple rag.

I did promise you one.

It's so pretty.

Where did you get that one?

Aunt Jenny sent it.

I wrote her
that I was going to a ball.

Isn't it lovely?

Aunt Jenny is in town.

She wants to meet you tomorrow.

Aunt Jenny's coming here?

What does she want?
- We'll talk about that tomorrow.

Don't think
she hasn't come prepared.

Ladies and gentlemen!

In times like ours...

so full of pain
and suffering and famine...

we, with all our wealth,

should make it our duty

to help relieve
the suffering of others

wherever possible.

This evening's festivities,

initiated by yours truly,

form part of this campaign.

I hereby declare
this evening's ball open,

and I hope
you'll all enjoy yourselves...

insofar as anyone
can enjoy themselves.

And with that I bid
the orchestra to strike up

"The Blue Danube."

- I don't waltz very well.
- No.

- Did you say something?
- No, nothing.

- I thought you said something.
- No, nothing.


I just thought you said something.


With the tall fellow?
How can you be sure?

I bought that dress for her.
Isn't she beautiful?

I suppose.

Can't they play something
besides a waltz?

The mayor loves to dance,

but he only knows the waltz.

May I?

I believe you're a bit tipsy!

That makes two of us!

Waltzing has everyone else bored silly,
but we're having fun!

- Are we?
- Of course!

You sound bitter all of a sudden.

Would you mind
if I asked your daughter to dance?

Not at all.
You can do as you like.

May I?

You're very beautiful.

The belle of the ball.

That's very kind of you.

Feminine beauty makes me sad.

I'm so happy to have met you.

I think we'll be seeing
a lot more of each other.

You look so sad.
- Me?

I'm not sad at all.

Not sad in the usual way.

It's a sadness deep in your eyes.

Perhaps your heart is sad.

You sound like a novel.

I was going to enter the church.

Are you from town?
- I live here.

- Lucky you.
- Why?

To live in peace,
far from the noise and worry.

It can be a bit too peaceful.

That's what you say.

I'm Jack.
What's your name?

First names so quickly?

Couldn't we be good friends

and tell each other everything?

Look at him. Hello there!

We have to make a toast.

A glass, please.

There you are.

You too, my friend.

One more, please.

Please hold this for a moment.

You have to taste this brew,
dear girl.

It's my own concoction.

I call it
"Jack the Ripper's Evensong."

It'll go down easily.
I'm sure you'll like it.

Ladies and gentlemen!

In view of the lateness
of the hour,

we'll enjoy some entertainment
as we rest our feet a while.

Jack the Ripper's Evensong,

the very last drop!


Stop it!

Stop it, I said!

- Shall we dance, Mayor?
- What the...!

Did she kiss my husband?


What a bunch
of crazy marionettes!

And who pulled their strings? Me!

Come on!

Have you seen Ulf?
The tall fellow?

"What love can do,
that dares love attempt.

Therefore thy kinsmen
are no let to me!"

He'd kill you!

"There lies more peril in thine eye
than twenty of their swords.

Look thou but sweet,
and I am proof against their enmity.

My life were better ended
by their hate

than death prorogued,
wanting of thy love."

You're so funny.

You're not like other people.

You're right.

Can't you hear the engine whirring?
That's my clockwork.

You wind me up with a key.

Who winds you up?

You'd like to know,
wouldn't you?

Poor man.

Don't pity me.

One day I'll leave
the puppet theater

and enter the darkness.

The spring will break, everything
will fall apart, and people will say...

"That Jack!
Whatever became of him?"

Aren't you ever cheerful?

How do you mean?

Happy. You know.

I'm happy right now, Nelly.

May I kiss you, Nelly?

Once I lived under some stairs
in an old castle in ruins.

Across from the stairs
was a big broken window.

Through it I could see
the fields beneath the moon,

the sea, the woods,
and two bone meal factories.

In those days I was happy.

Now I'm all right...

but I'm not happy.

A dragon stands guard over me.

It gives me everything I need

in exchange for just
a few pounds of my body

and a few ounces
of my brain every week.

You're so very strange!

But it won't be that way any longer.

May I kiss you again?

This is a moonlit life.

Not yet for you,
but you'll soon see.

Unreal light, darkness, and shadows,
and all manner of frightful things.

You little bastard!

Leave me alone!
Don't hit me!

Ulf, don't!

What's wrong with you?
Leave me alone!

Why are you following me?

Stop it!

What are you doing?


- This is a fine mess!
- Stop holding me like that!

What a fine cavalier!
I did that for Miss Ingeborg's sake.

You had no right!

You wanted to make a splash tonight!
Well, you certainly did!

Let me explain!

Why should I?

You go to a ball
and behave like a...

You don't understand!

I was so excited about the ball.

This dress made me want to sing!

You certainly
didn't suppress that desire.

- I didn't sing that much.
- Drunks forget easily.

I didn't sing in the hall,
and I wasn't drunk!

You were blind drunk!


Blubber away,
if you think it's any use!

I'm not saying it's your fault,

but you always say,
"Follow your heart's desire."

Me and my big mouth.

What else?
- Nothing else, really.

Oh, yes.

The mayor came rushing in...

and I threw my arms
around his neck.

I didn't know what I was doing.

And Uffe just stood there gaping.

What should
the poor boy have done?

Oh, Mutti!

It's so good
to be back with you again.

I feel as if I've been
on a long journey.

Then it's good
you're back home again.

I want to stay with you always.

I never want to leave.

I won't let you go, my child.
You can rest assured.

I won't let you go.

You're all I have.

No one else means anything to me.

I'm so happy now.

You have no idea
how happy you've made me.

When the town awoke
that Sunday morning,

a new incident
had been added to the records.

Kettles were boiling
in the little houses.

Something awful
had happened at the ball.

Something involving strangers

and a wild, licentious dance.

And something had happened
to Miss Johnson's Nelly.

Something shocking
and inexplicable.

It certainly wouldn't be fitting
for Nelly to stay in town

after such a scandal.

What did you hear, Malin?

Miss Nelly played
the trumpet at the ball!

Isn't that something,
when she's never studied the trumpet?

I've never heard her
play the trumpet.

It wasn't the trumpet.

Was it the organ?



Weren't you expecting me?


I waited until Miss Johnson left.

I so wanted to see you alone.

Mutti's playing at a funeral and...

You seem so anxious, dear child.

You're a big girl now, Nelly.

Have you nothing to say to me?

It feels so strange.

You may not believe it,
but I think of you often.

I've thought of you too, Auntie.


You think
you might call me "Mother"?


Well, let's settle for "Auntie"
for the time being.

I wasn't much older
than you are now when I had you.

I know you've been
through a lot for my sake.

Well, we all have
our crosses to bear.

I own a beauty salon,

and it's very interesting work.

Would you like to come learn it?

Surely you don't mean
to stay here forever.

You're not engaged, are you?

It wouldn't be so strange
at your age, my dear girl.

You'll make good wages
so you can buy nice clothes.

And you'll get away from here.

You can come see Mutti
on your vacation,

and she can come visit.

Pardon me.

- I'd love to go with you!
- So we're agreed.

As soon as possible!

We could leave tonight.

Yes, let's leave
this very night if possible.

Nelly has decided
to come with me.

I hope you'll let her go
without harsh words.

I don't use harsh words
without good reason.

I hope we can meet again
on good terms.

I think you should go now.

We'll talk of good terms
another time.

Auntie has promised me
a vacation.

You'll have to earn it first.

When are you leaving?
- Tonight, if possible.

Are you leaving?

I have to pack your things.

- You're on this train too?
- Funny, isn't it?

- You might say that.
- Allow me to introduce you.

Jack, my half brother's son.
My daughter Nelly.

No reason not to use first names.
- I'm part of the family.

I've been a mother to him
since his parents died.

They died?

Oh, right...
typhoid fever in London.

They came on a banana boat
from Antananarivo.

Haven't we met?

- Have you? How nice.
- Her face looks very familiar.

You look a bit wrinkled.

I soaked in the tub all night.

That can easily lead to wrinkling!

What a long tunnel!

The sensational and embarrassing
incident was gradually forgotten...

and the summer went by.

Miss Ingeborg Johnson
looked the same

as she walked to the chapel
or her piano lessons.

Perhaps a bit older,

a bit more solitary.

Ulf gave up his room
and left town.

Malin, the cleaning lady,

suddenly added
a pair of healthy twins

to the town's population.

The father disappeared
with her savings.

She herself was very happy.

The man got
the money and the fun.

Malin got the kids
and the disgrace.

That's what happens
to wicked people. Remember that.

I'd rather not, thank you.

Give me a fiver for wool.
I'm knitting for the twins.

I will not!

People owe me enough as it is.

You'll get your 20 kronor.

- Twenty-five!
- Fine, 25.

Just testing your memory.

I wish I could figure you out.

I was engaged to your brother.
I've known you nearly my whole life.

Harald was lucky
to die so young.


I worry about you.
Why can't you be serious?

You look so pale and thin.

Any news from Nelly?


I received
a wonderful letter this morning.

Quite long... six pages.

They've expanded the salon again.

- Is she still getting out and about?
- Oh, yes.

She went to a dinner party
Tuesday night.

- A Tuesday night?
- Yes, a Tuesday.

They have
such a large circle of friends.

She likes her work
and meets lots of people.

She should have left here
a long time ago.

I should have...

What's wrong?

Just feeling under the weather.

Ingeborg, what's wrong?


we're both sensible people.

What's going to happen to me?

Sit down and stop fussing.

We're old friends.
Can't we speak frankly?

Yes, of course.


This thing could be operated on,

and recovery should follow.

Are you sure
an operation would help?

I'll be perfectly honest with you.

This is a serious matter.

It's a complicated operation

that might only put things off
a few years longer.

And without the operation?

It will be a few years.

Perhaps longer, perhaps shorter.
It's hard to say.

Now you know
how matters stand.

I'm very grateful.

May I ask you something else?

Could I be up and about?
- Absolutely.

You'll be moving about freely
up to a few months before.

And the seizures?

You'll get medicine for those.

It's just as it should be.

It serves me right.

Mutti! Mutti!

Good Lord! You scared me!


Jessie, should I go see Nelly?

What's gotten into you?

You've never asked for my advice.

Sometimes a person
needs her friends.

Aren't you my friend?

You know I am.

Well, should I go see her?

You should do what you want.

- I can't go.
- Why not?

I have no money.

I'll lend you some, of course.

You're so kind.

When I get back,
we'll sit and knit in the evenings.

We'll light a fire
in the autumn chill.


I can't bear it any longer!

Thank you, Jessie.

Will you help me?
I'll leave today.

He ran around in midwinter
with his hat tipped back,

his hair dyed, and his coat open,
trying to look 20.

I thought he was 38.

Later, when we became
more intimate,

I realized he was 60.

Like Catherine the Great, I say,
"When you've had 10,000 men...

you realize there's
no great difference between them."

May I help you, ma'am?
Do you have an appointment?

Nelly, come here!

Miss Johnson!


What a pleasant surprise.

Nelly will be so happy.

- I hope I'm not disturbing you.
- Not at all.

I just got it into my head to come.

A splendid idea!

Nelly isn't home,
but she'll be here any minute.

She'll be so happy to see you.

Would you like to see her room?

Yes, please.

Be my guest.

Nelly seems to like it here.

She's often out enjoying herself.

She's made lots of friends.

Everyone likes her.

That's nice.

She has written, hasn't she?

I tell her often to write you.

That's very kind of you.

But perhaps
it's hard to find the time.

What do you think of her room?

It's very nice.

This is her closet.

I had a few things made for her.
Look at this.

A dress for a princess.
Feel this silk!

A dress for a princess...

And look at her little shoes.

She has such tiny feet.

And she has
new undergarments too.

It's so nice to give her
beautiful things.

They look so good on her
and make her so happy.

Shall we sit down?

Here's her diary.

You read her diary?

No, I just leaf through it.

It's so amusing.

Listen to this, for example:

"I watched Mother
get dressed this morning.

She looked so young
standing naked before the mirror.

Her skin looks younger than mine.

Mine looks so gray."

Isn't that cute?

I don't want to hear any more.

No? Then I won't read any more.

I never read her diary once
in 18 years.

That's you, Miss Johnson.

But then you're such
a decent, upright woman.

How are you, by the way?
You look pale.

Just fine, thank you.

Any news from the province?

Oh, yes. I bought a geranium.

This is wonderful!
Absolutely wonderful!

My dear little girl!

I've missed you so much.

You're older and more beautiful.

Much more beautiful.
- You're embarrassing me.

And your hair.

Back home you had
no hairstyle at all really.

I had a feeling you were coming.
Did you leave this morning?

Did Aunt Jessie see you off?

How is she?

Is her hair still the same color?

Nothing happens back home.

We're the same as always.
But you should have lots to tell.

My job is lots of fun.

I'm always meeting fun people...

and some odd ones.

Some are so odd that I...

But Jenny is so nice to me,

always giving me things
and spoiling me.

I think she was
very lonely before,

before the salon got so busy.

Have you run into Ulf?


Is he here in town?

I didn't know. Good old Uffe.

He moved out when you left.

Did he? I see.

Sorry to hear that.
I mean... who do you rent to now?

The room is waiting
for him to return.


Nelly, what is it
you're trying to tell me

that's so hard to say?

What is it? Nothing.

What could it be?

Can't you see I'm just fine?

That everything is fine?

You're not telling me the truth.

You must tell me what it is!

Nothing's the matter,
dearest Mutti.

Dinner is served.

Little Nelly.

- I don't understand where Jack is.
- He's never on time.

My half brother's son.
He's here a lot.

He's an actor...

but he hasn't worked
in a long time.

- He was to be on the radio last week.
- You don't say.

And he's getting a film part.

- What happened to the radio job?
- It was canceled.

A film role would be nice...

but it could be
another of his inventions.

Why do you say that?

You said yourself
he's a great talent.

Are you sure
it wasn't Jack who said that?

You shouldn't talk about Jack
in front of Mutti.

Why get so worked up, Nelly?

I do believe you're blushing.

Jack's a nice boy,
if a bit fanciful sometimes.

He's an artist,
but you don't understand that.

If he gets that part,
he could start paying his way.

That's strange.

You wouldn't accept
his money before.

Because I knew he had none.
He only said he did.

His "artistic imagination,"
if you like.

Shall we?

I should be going.

I must get to the station.

It's a pity I can't see you off.
Will you come again soon?

It may be a while.

Thank you. I can manage.

Then I'll have to come visit you.

You're always welcome.
You know that.

Forgive me,
but aren't you Miss Ingeborg?


I'm Jack.

I live at Jenny's... sometimes.

Did you call on them?
- Yes.

But I'm catching
the night train back.

- May I see you to the station?
- Don't go to any trouble.

No trouble at all. Let's go.

Here's your ticket...

and one for the sleeping car,
and a little candy.

And a magazine.

Thank you for all your help.

Not at all.

But you mustn't stay any longer.

The longer it takes, the better.

Don't you want to go
to that party with Nelly?

It's not that.

I see.

It wouldn't be indiscreet
for you to ask.

What should I ask?

"Is that Jenny
going to the party too?"

And I'd say, "No, she's not."

And everything is
one great big muddle.

Up until I met your little girl...

I say "your"
because she is yours,

even if Jenny happened
to give birth to her.

Well, ever since then...

I'm no longer
a moonlit creature in a moonlit life.

You understand?
- Not really.

It's not easy to understand.

What I mean is...
- You mean you're in love with Nelly?


No, that's not it at all.

I can't be in love with anyone.

I only love myself.

But Nelly is real somehow,
if you know what I mean.

Yes, I do.

She's so real
that I become even more unreal...

and start wondering
why I live my ghostly life at all.

Perhaps I understand.

I could do with her
as my anchor in reality.

For my own benefit, that is.

It's a purely selfish point of view.

There's a price to pay for that.

Oh, yes.

If you only take and never give...

the penalty is severe.

May I have a cigarette?
Your words are a bit upsetting.

With pleasure.

I must say I admire you.
- Me?

You've given and given
without a thought for yourself.

Have I?

Nelly's always talking about you.
She loves you.

She'll come back to you one day.

Then you'll have your reward.

And then Jenny and I
will have to pay.

Jenny lives off me.

And I live off Nelly.

It's all rather diabolic.

But we must be content
that we've had her on loan.

And I'll tell you something else.

Tonight I'm going
to take off this striped suit...

bundle it up in a package,
and send it to Jenny.

Ask me what I'll do after that.

I'll put on my old rags.

I'll leave Jenny
and that whole world.

I'll live under some stairs

where the moon will shine in.

I'll look out over a field, a bay...

and two bone meal factories.

Well, we'd best be going
so you don't miss your train.

Thank you for keeping me company.

It was nothing.

Take good care of Nelly.

She looks to you.

I don't know
if she's in love with you.

I'm so worried.

Something's going to happen,
but I don't know what.

Attention, please.

Passengers on the night express...

please take your seats.

Please close the doors.

I'm going to sleep now.

I'm very tired...

I've been to see my grandchildren.

You see,
I'm not your real mother.

The other kids told me that
a long time ago.

They did?

I didn't want to tell you.

It would have only made you sad.

Is that so?

I remember her confirmation.

I sold my books
so she could have a dress.

You and I have always loved her.

I only love myself.

I could do with her
as my anchor in reality.

For my own benefit.

So it's not for Nelly's sake
that you want to keep her.

It's for your own.

Dear Lord, why is this happening
to this old woman?

I always thought
I loved the girl for her own sake.

Why else have I existed?

Dear Lord,
take these thoughts from me!

I don't want them!

I can't bear them!

Help me!

I don't want to die!

Please, help me!
I can't bear it!

Calm down!

It's probably something you ate.

With me it's always a dream

about a big black man
biting my toes off...

whatever that means.

There, have a little water.

Another sip.

There we are.

Goodness me.

Keep the light on
and you'll be able to sleep.

Hello, Uffe.

Welcome back.

You wrote
that the room was free.

Will you be staying?

I suppose I will.

Well, how did you like it
in the big city?

Not much at all.

I just walked around
missing Nelly,

so I thought
I might as well do that here.

Did she ever write you?

No. Yes... a postcard.

Did you go visit?


- How was she?
- I'm not sure, Uffe.

I don't think she's happy.

- Anything I can do?
- No.

How come?

It's something everyone
has to go through on their own.

No one can help you through it.

But what about after that?

After that?

Then it'll be good we're here.

Please don't smoke in here.
Jenny doesn't like it.

- This place is fantastic.
- Why?

All these severed heads.

What's that music?
- It's from the theater next door.

I'd like to come here
when it's full of women.

I'd look in their eyes and say,
"Tell Jack everything."

Why don't you say that to Jenny?

Please don't mention her name.

What's wrong?
You're not your usual self.

I asked you not to smoke!


Not my usual self, you say?

You're not your usual self either.

You're not happy, Jack.

What's wrong?

Did something happen?

Something to do with Jenny?

There's one person I love,
and it's her.

Why don't you leave her?

I tried to stay away a few days,

but I couldn't.


Don't ask when I don't want to answer,
or I'll leave again.

Don't touch me!

I've kept my distance,
and I'll go on doing so!

Why are you
badgering me like this?

We don't love each other.

I don't know.

I only know you've changed everything
for me, so it's your own fault.

Poor Jack.

I've said that too often myself.

It can't go on.

I can't bear another day of grinning.
I'm going to kill myself!

No, now I'm just acting.

Although I always carry
a revolver in my pocket.

But I don't know anymore
if it's to impress myself

or to scare
a young thing like you.

Or if I'm actually serious
about it all.

I really don't know.

Poor Jack.

Sure, sure.

But you know,
you shouldn't feel sorry for me.

We get just what we want in life,

and we pay the price too.

That doesn't stop your pity

from being sweet music
to my ears.

I wish I could help you.

- You can help me, Nelly.
- How?

Take me by the hand,

lead me to the police and say...

"This boy wants
to turn himself in for murder."

The police officer
will stand up and say...


"Yes," you'll say.

"He murdered a girl
he was living with.

She was pregnant.

He turned on the gas...

and made it look
like an accident.

It was all very ingenious."

Do you feel no regret at all?

I couldn't help it, Nelly.

I'll go with you to the police.

I promise.

- Tomorrow?
- Yes.


You're so good to me.

No, I'm not.

May I kiss you?

Are you scared?

I love you.

Don't say that.
You don't mean it.

I love you.


What did you think of that?

Get dressed, Nelly.
Let me help you.

Don't be afraid, my dear.

I just want to help.

Just calm down.
Everything will be all right.

How long has this been going on?
- Don't answer her!

- Go away!
- No, I think I'll stay.

Is that so? Then stay.

Forgive me, Nelly!

Feeling a little better now?

You mustn't listen to Jack.

I was a fool to think
I could have him in the house.

He's a sick man.
- Don't listen to her!

Perhaps he told you
about murdering a girl he lived with?

About how she had two children?

About how he gassed them all
and made it look like an accident?

Perhaps he asked you to go
with him to the police tomorrow

to help him turn himself in?

Did he show you his revolver

and say he had to end
his moonlit life?

Jenny, that's enough.

Perhaps he said you were
his anchor in reality.

That he can't go on grinning.

He must either die
or go to the police.

Did he tell you that?

How many women
do you think he's said that to?

How many heads has he turned
with his moonlit fantasies?

Until I found him
and sent him to a doctor.

You're not telling the truth!

You bought me
to make me your lover.

You were getting too old.
No one wanted you.

You were afraid of being alone.
I was to be your escape.

And you brought Nelly here
for precisely the same reason.

But there'll be no more
of these damned games!

You've never been any good.

I only let you stay out of charity.

I could have thrown you out any day.

Just like you would Nelly,

if she ever wanted to go
her own way and not yours.

I'm leaving.
- Are you?

Yes. Good-bye.

I suppose you're going
to shoot yourself?

I hope your little cap gun
is properly loaded.

Do you know where your head is,
so you don't hit something else?

You're quite right, my dear Jenny.

I probably won't shoot myself.

People like me don't kill themselves.

It wouldn't be
in keeping with my style.

Good-bye, Nelly.

Good-bye, Jenny.

Thanks for everything.

If I could pay back
all you've spent on me,

I still wouldn't do it.

Foolish women like you
have only themselves to blame.

Will he hurt himself?

No, you little fool.

I'll be leaving too.

Yes, just go.

Leave me here all alone.

Believe me, I'm tough.

I've been alone before
and managed just fine...

maybe even better.

When I saw Ingeborg looking
so old and ugly and worn out,

I thought,
"I'm just as old as she is."

You can't tell on the outside...

but beneath this face...

My God!

People have always
run away from me.

Why is that?
I've never understood why.

Your father was the worst,
because I loved him.

All the others after him left too.

And now you, and Jack.

Why aren't you leaving?

Go with Jack!

I can tell you that somewhere,
deep inside,

he's a sweet little boy.

He never liked me,
though I liked him.

Do you have money
for your trip home?


Your trip home...

Did I hear gunshots?


I heard two shots!


No, let me go!

Let me go!

He was reading
the theater billboards

when he suddenly
pulled out a gun

and shot himself in the face.

It was a nasty sight.

I put that newspaper over his face.

It's good to be back.

Why on earth did you move away?

I must have lost my head.

Though it's very quiet
here nowadays.

Yes, it is.

How idyllic!

I didn't mean to intrude.

Not at all. We're used to it.

Ulf had a calving,
and we had some tea.

Help yourself if you'd like.

Thanks for the tea.
It was very nice.

Enjoy your tea.

Ulf is such a handsome boy!

Why don't you go after him?

He needs someone
to look after him.

A level-headed older woman
like yourself.


Have you heard from Nelly?
- Oh, yes.

- Is she all right?
- Yes.

Any news in particular?

Nothing of interest to you.


I've been terribly curious
about one thing.

Have you now?

Will there ever be anything
between Nelly and Ulf?

He's so fond of her.


Nelly is fine.

She's happy there...

and she's not looking
to come back.

I don't know anything
about her and Ulf.

Were you expected home today,

I'd appreciate it if you'd go up
to your room, Jessie.

I'll be down later.

I'm not sick.

I'll take your coat.

You're just in time for tea.

What a surprise!

Everything's just the same here.

Everything in its place.

The piano, the armchair.

Is Uffe still here too?
- Yes.

He left for a while,
but he grew weary and came back.

Think I could go in and say hello?

Of course you can.
I'll fix something to eat.

I don't want anything.

No, of course not.

But once it's on the table,
I think it'll go down.

What's this?
You've come home?


I got some time off unexpectedly.

You've changed.
But to me you're the same.

- Don't say any more!
- I must!

I have so much to tell you.
- How could you, Ulf?

You've been through a lot,

but I can tell you're here to stay.

I've waited since you were a girl.

I waited while you were away.

You and I are good friends.

And we always will be.
But I want more.

Can't you see that?

I've barely arrived,
and you're already proposing!

Don't you see
I'm not the same Nelly?

I'm completely different!

Take me if you dare, then!
You love me so much!

Don't you dare?

Nelly, you're not well.

No, I'm not well.
I'm not myself!

Frightened you a bit, didn't I?

No, you don't frighten me.

But it frightens me to think
what you've been through.

Why didn't you take me back then?

Why did you let me go?

Was it my fault?

Because I'm so ordinary,
such an "old man"?

I know I'm unfair to you.

Let me be.

Is there someone else?

You're so naïve.

Why do you ask
so many questions?

Don't you understand anything?

Forgive me.
I don't mean to hurt you.

I'm going for a walk.

I've missed you so darned much.

Can I at least say that much?

It was all so dreadful.

Does she know you're here?

I told the maid I was going home.

Then it's safe to unpack.

I don't know if I'll ever get over it.

Two things come back
to me constantly:

Auntie's face
above that mannequin...

and Jack lying in the street
with a newspaper over his face.

I see them over and over.

What am I going to do?

You remember the old days
when we had no money?

What was it I would say?

"Maybe something nice
will happen tomorrow."

We have to go on living.

We mustn't lose our senses
when things get difficult.

And Uffe?

You frightened the life out of him.

Yes, I'm afraid I did.

Let's have some tea now.

I'll be off to the chapel soon,

where I intend to play
for a good long while.

Little Mutti.


So you're out
on this lovely evening.

Yes, I have things to attend to.

And you have Nelly back again.

I have her... on loan.

- And how are you doing?
- Very well.

I'm not afraid anymore.

This is such a nice little shortcut.

See you.
- Yes, see you.

We can leave Miss Ingeborg
standing here in the sun.

She's watching two young people

walk down the street,

a little distance between them,

but together just the same.

Nelly and Ulf.

The stillness
of this Saturday evening

lays its gentle hands
around this little town

that is so small.