Dragonwyck (1946) - full transcript
In 1844, the Wells family lives in a small farm of their own in Greenwich, Connecticut and the sons and daughters have a rigid discipline and religious education from the patriarch Ephraim Wells. When his wife Abigail Wells receives a letter from her wealthy distant cousin Nicholas "Nick" Van Ryn inviting one of her daughters to live with his wife Johanna Van Ryn and him nursing their daughter Katrine Van Ryn, the naive Miranda Wells gets excited with the perspective of traveling. Her mother convinces Ephraim to let her go and Miranda travels with her father to New York. They meet Nick and they learn that he is a patroon of farmers at the Hudson Valley. Then Miranda travels to the Dragonwyck mansion where she is introduced to the voracious Johanna and the sweet Katrine and to the housekeeper Magda. Miranda also meets Dr. Jeff Turner, who is a sort of leader of the farmers that work for Nicholas, in a party and befriends him. Soon she notes that Katrine is neglected by her parents. When Johanna gets mysteriously ill and dies, Miranda returns home. But the atheistic Nick visits her family to propose to marry her. Now Miranda's dream comes true and she gets married with him and moves to Dragonwyck. Will they live happily ever after?
- What in the heaven's name?
- It's a letter, Ma, for you.
- Who's it from?
- Aren't you gonna read it?
- Your pa and the boys'll be in soon.
- We might as well wait.
- We'll just have to read it again when Pa gets here.
Oh, please, Ma. It's for you.
You've got a right.
Aren't you dyin' to know what's in it?
Seems to me you're the one that's dying.
"Dragonwyck, May 19, 1844.
My dear Cousin Abigail.
Nicholas Van Ryn."
- Who's that?
- Shh. Tibby.
Read the letter, Ma.
"Though we have never met,
we are related, as you doubtless know...
"through our mutual grandmother,
"My wife and I have decided
to invite one of your daughters...
"into our home for an extended visit.
"We shall naturally be able
to offer her many advantages...
"which she could not hope to enjoy
in her present station.
"In return, if she pleases,
she may serve as a companion...
"to our eight-year-old child, Katrine.
"Upon inquiry, I have been gratified
to find that you and your husband...
"enjoy the honor and respect
of your little community.
"Be so good as to let me know
at your earliest convenience...
"which of your daughters you select...
"and I will make all suitable arrangements
for her journey to Dragonwyck.
Respectfully yours, Nicholas Van Ryn."
Golly! Is he really your cousin?
Now don't go imagining yourselves
a couple of lost duchesses.
There's not a drop of Van Ryn blood
in any of us.
It doesn't make any difference to me,
But you had the same grandmother.
She was... Let me see.
My grandfather was her second husband.
Her first one died.
His name was Van Ryn.
Nicholas must be his grandson.
He's a patron.
- A patron? Cousin Nicholas?
- What's a patron?
That's what they call the owners of those
enormous land grants on the Hudson River.
They're the descendants
of the original Dutch patrons...
and they're terribly rich and elegant.
He must be very important.
I remember reading about his visiting
President Van Buren at the White House.
But you haven't said yet, Ma,
whether I could go.
The subject hadn't come up yet,
that I know of.
- I think it unlikely that your pa will approve.
- He's more likely to if you do.
And if we do decide to let one of you go,
why not Tibby?
- She wouldn't want to go. Would you, Tibby?
I'm sure there isn't anything I want
that I can't find right here.
- I'm not anxious to leave my home.
- That's not fair!
You know I love you and Pa,
all of you, and my home.
It's just that, well, I try to be like everyone else
and want what I'm supposed to want...
but then I start thinking about people
I've never known and places I've never been.
Maybe if the letter hadn't come, I...
Oh, I don't know. I must be loony.
Time I was killing a hen for supper.
You scour the drain boards.
No use mooning over it. Your Pa'll do
whatever he and the Lord think best.
There's one thing you can be sure of.
They'll both feel the same way about it.
This day, O Lord, there has come to me
a matter of slight perplexity.
Deliver us, we pray,
from hankering after fleshpots...
and deliver us from vanity
and false pride.
However, thy will be done.
Keep and preserve us through the night.
Well, boys, get.
- Yes, Pa?
You water the stock and look to Whiteface.
Tibby, is Obadiah Brown likely
to come mooning around again tonight?
Oh, Pa, I'm sure I have
no notion of his plans.
Well, if he does turn up,
be sure and sit on the steps...
where your ma can keep an eye on you.
Although I must say
that Ob is a steady lad...
and you, praise be,
are not the flighty kind.
- Thank you, Pa.
- Now about this letter.
I'd see no reason to discuss it if it wasn't
that your Ma acts like it was important.
It is important, Ephraim.
It might be good for Randy
to live in a great house...
and learn something of the world
outside this farm.
- I'd so like to go, Pa.
- Your opinion is of no consequence
You're past 18, pretty enough, and time
you got settled down with a man.
I don't know what's the matter with you.
As for this fine relation of yours...
I'd like to know what right he's got
to be making inquiries about us.
He doesn't mean it that way, I'm sure.
Perhaps the gentry have different ways
of saying things.
Since when do we have gentry in this country
where all men are free and equal?
A Yankee farmer's as good and maybe better
than any Dutchman on the Hudson River.
- We'll say no more about it.
- Oh, Pa, listen, please.
I have a feeling that the letter was kind
of a sign. I think the Lord wants me to go.
Do you know what you're saying?
During worship tonight,
I had a leading. Truly I did.
At least put it to the test, Pa,
and see what happens.
Are you speaking the truth?
Search your heart.
Close your eyes.
Now open the book.
"And Abraham rose up
early in the morning...
"and took bread and a bottle of water
and gave it unto Hagar...
"putting it on her shoulder
and the child and sent her away.
She departed and wandered
in the wilderness of Beersheba. "
Well, it's none too fitting...
but it does seem to have some bearing.
I'll sleep over the matter and pray on it.
You know, this is the first time I've ever
known the Lord to go back on your pa.
It says in his letter for us to meet him
at the Astor House, and this is it.
And a less ft place for God-fearing people
to meet I can't imagine.
And, uh, what can I do for you,
my good man?
Are you the tavern keeper?
This is not a tavern,
and I am not a keeper, my good man.
I am not your good man!
We were to meet
a Mr. Nicholas Van Ryn.
- Perhaps you can tell...
- Mr. Nicholas Van Ryn? But of course!
- You must be Mr. And Miss Wells.
A thousand pardons. How stupid of me
not to have known at once.
If you will do me the honor
to come with me, please.
Mr. Van Ryn regrets
that he is not here to greet you...
but he has directed that you're
to have everything you wish.
- What's all this?
- Dinner, sir.
- I didn't order any.
- Mr. Van Ryn ordered dinner
- Mr. Van Ryn is not here.
- Yes, sir.
Oh, it's beautiful!
The food looks as if it had been painted.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
That's the strangest fruit.
It's cold when I eat it
and warm when I swallow it.
Let me taste that.
I thought so. It's got spirits in it.
just a little bit. It's so good.
Even a little bit of evil
cannot be good, Miranda.
Don't be too impatient with me. You won't
have to hear me preach to you much longer.
It's not that I'm impatient, Pa, really.
- But after Mr. Van Ryn went to all this trouble...
- It's no trouble to be wasteful.
And there's something peculiar about a man
who orders supper when he's someplace else.
How did he know what I wanted to eat?
But there's everything here
you could possibly want.
is what no man should ever want.
We won't be alone much longer, Miranda.
I want you to read with me.
"I will sing...
- "Of mercy and judgment."
- "of mercy and judgment.
"Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.
I will walk with"...
"I will walk within my house
with a perfect heart."
- "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes."
"I hate the work of them that turn aside. "
"It sh... It shall not cleave to me.
A forward heart shall depart from me."
"I will not know a wicked person. "
- More coffee, Cousin Miranda?
- No, thank you.
- You, sir?
- No, thanks.
The music is very nice.
I understand they've opened
the dining terrace for public dancing.
It would be fun to watch.
I don't know what made me think you'd
be a much older man, Mr. Van Ryn.
You've mentioned my age
several times now, sir.
Does it affect your confidence in me?
Alexander the Great, when he was younger
than I, had conquered most of the world.
Maybe if he'd been older,
he'd have conquered all of it...
or maybe he'd have had the sense
not to try in the first place.
Aristotle was his teacher, Mr. Wells,
but I'm sure he put things less clearly than you.
- Tell me, young man. What are your politics?
- My politics?
Since Van Buren is a New Yorker, I imagine you
folks up along the Hudson are mostly for him.
Martin's an old friend of mine. Naturally
if he's nominated, my farmers will vote for him.
What do you mean, your farmers?
The tenant farmers on my land.
There are nearly 200 of them.
Never heard of tenant farmers.
Don't they own their own land?
No, it belongs to me.
It belonged to my father and his father...
back to the first patron
that took title in 1630.
I permit the farmers to work my land,
and they in return...
pay me a yearly tribute
and a share of their produce.
But they can buy the land
they've been working if they want to.
- Why not?
Because it belongs to me.
As a farmer, I'd rather own one half acre
of barren rock free and clear...
than work the richest land in the world
for someone else.
I daresay we don't understand
each other's viewpoint.
Cousin Nicholas, is that the new waltz dance
they're dancing down there?
It sounds very much like one.
It doesn't look improper at all.
Do you dance the waltz?
Yes, Cousin Miranda, I dance the waltz.
But never in a public place.
Our politics may not jibe, young man,
but I like your manners.
Well, some good may come to you
out of this venture after all.
I'm glad you think so, sir.
Well, it's time for bed.
Don't forget your prayers, Miranda.
No, Pa. Good night.
Good night, Cousin Nicholas.
- Cousin Miranda.
we dance the waltz at Dragonwyck.
Agatha! There's Dragonwyck! I can see it!
- Dragonwyck? Where?
- Over there.
Cousin Nicholas! Cousin Nicholas!
I saw it! I saw Dragonwyck!
What have you done with your bonnet?
How can you sit there so quietly?
I should think that seeing Dragonwyck
would be more thrilling to you than to anyone.
Nothing can be thrilling
that is shared with so many other people.
- Did you like what you saw?
- I'm afraid I've run out of words.
I've said "beautiful"
so often this afternoon.
Every now and then you say "golly."
I prefer "beautiful."
I'll try to remember.
Do you mind if I keep my bonnet off
just a minute?
The breeze feels so wonderful
against my face.
Tell me about Dragonwyck.
- How many rooms?
- I've never counted them.
- And lots of servants?
- I've never counted them either.
Golly... I mean, imagine.
The breeze must feel wonderful indeed
with a face as beautiful as yours against it.
Welcome home, Mynheer Van Ryn.
Thank you, Magda. This is Miss Wells.
- Magda's our housekeeper.
- How do you do?
- I assume Mrs. Van Ryn is at dinner?
- Yes, Mynheer.
And you'll be pleased
at how well she's looking.
Not that madam isn't always a picture.
See that Katrine comes to the dining hall.
Will you come this way?
Don't you think
I'd better go to my room first?
I must look hardly presentable.
To my wife, promptness at meals
is the highest human virtue.
Yes, as you see, I'm back.
- I didn't know. I would have waited.
- And here is Cousin Miranda.
- Oh, welcome to Dragonwyck, child.
- Thank you.
Will you sit here, Cousin Miranda?
- Did you have a pleasant trip, Nicholas?
- Yes, very.
Miss Wells has had practically nothing
to eat today, Tompkins. Serve her at once.
At once, Mynheer.
I trust you'll be happy here.
It's most kind of you to let me come.
And my mother and father
wish to be remembered.
I'm sure they're most worthy people...
and I'm sure you'll be a good girl.
- Yes, my dear?
- You didn't forget the pastries, did you?
- Of course not, my dear.
Oh, those wonderful New York pastries.
Did you bring the napoleons,
the honey puffs and the mocha bonbons?
- All of them, my dear.
- I think I'll have the bonbons before going to bed.
Tompkins, serve the honey puffs after dinner,
but be sure they're well chilled.
Yes, madame. And shall we keep
the napoleons for tomorrow?
For my lunch.
After dinner, you'd best go find Katrine.
You might read her a story.
We can hardly ask our guest
to occupy herself with the child tonight.
- She must be tired.
- As you say.
Oh, there you are, pet.
Don't shuffle your feet when you walk...
and you're a naughty girl
to stay away so much.
I never can keep track of you.
- Have you had your dinner?
- Yes, Mama.
This is your cousin Miranda, Katrine.
It would be courteous to return
her greeting, don't you think?
Katrine and I are going to have
a lot of fun together. Aren't we?
Yes, Cousin Miranda.
May I go now, Mama?
Oh, I suppose so.
Who was she?
She was my great-grandmother, Azilde.
Azilde? That's a strange name.
She looks like... like a frightened child.
I don't know why
we keep her hanging there.
And that ugly, old harpsichord...
It's just an eyesore.
The servants have to be driven to dust it.
You'd think it was going to bite them.
She was from New Orleans.
She and my great-grandfather
were married there in 1743.
Yes, I imagine it was one
of those sudden, romantic adventures.
Tell me some more about them,
Azilde and your great-grandfather...
Did they fall in love at first sight?
No Van Ryn does anything at first sight.
But she must have been happy to live here.
As it turned out, it didn't matter.
Soon after their son was born, she died.
She brought this harpsichord with her
from her home. She played it always.
If you listen to the servants,
they'll have you believe she still does.
Fortunately, we don't listen
to servants or to their superstitions.
Oh, no, of course not. I... I...
Isn't it rather late, Nicholas?
Perhaps we should...
I shall stay up for a while,
but if you wish to retire, my dear...
Yes, I... I think I will.
Well, good night then.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I think I have some new music that will please
you more than Van Beethoven, Cousin Miranda.
- You can sing as I play.
- Oh, no, really I can't.
Of course you can.
The lyrics are printed on the sheet.
"I dreamt that I dwelled in marble halls...
"with vassals and serfs at my side.
"And of all who assembled
within those walls...
"that I was the hope and the pride.
"I had riches too great to count...
"could boast of a high ancestral name...
"but I also dreamt,
which pleased me most...
"that you love me still the same.
That you love me still the same."
You read the words with
an extraordinary understanding.
I've never seen them before.
Then perhaps there is someone at home
whom you've promised to love still the same?
It is getting late.
I'm sure you've had an exhausting day.
I shall have Magda show you to your room.
- Thank you.
- Good night then.
Good night, Cousin Nicholas.
Since we are not really cousins...
I can see no reason why we should
continue to call ourselves so.
Good night, Miranda.
- Have you had a pleasant evening, miss?
- Oh, yes.
This is a lovely room, isn't it?
- Yes, it is.
- An unusual room.
- It's unusually beautiful.
- That isn't what I mean, miss.
I do have such a time
making myself understood.
It's what she brought to this room
and what'll never leave it.
Was she very young?
About as young as you.
She must have been very proud
to be mistress of Dragonwyck.
He never loved her.
He never wanted her at all.
He wanted their son.
He kept her from him.
He forbade her to sing and play.
He broke her heart and drove her...
She prayed for disaster
to come to the Van Ryns...
and she swore that when it came,
she'd always be here to sing and play.
She killed herself in this room...
at this harpsichord.
That's just kitchen gossip.
Oh, you mustn't take me seriously, miss.
No one ever does.
May I take you to your room now?
Of course, I've never heard
Azilde play myself.
They say in the kitchen I never shall.
Even when she plays...
I should say if she plays...
you won't either because
you've got no Van Ryn blood.
But he'll hear her. And Katrine.
Is this my room?
Will there be anything else
you need, miss?
Oh, no, thank you.
- Well, good night then.
- Good night, Magda.
Miss Wells, why have you come here?
Do you think Katrine
is in need of a companion?
Why, that would be
for her father and mother to decide.
Don't you think Katrine
is in need of a father and a mother?
That was a silly question, wasn't it?
- Do you like it here?
- Of course I do.
Of course you do.
You like being waited on.
I could see tonight it was the first time.
You like peaches out of season...
you like the feel of silk sheets
against your young body...
and one day
you'll wish with all your heart...
you'd never come to Dragonwyck.
I keep getting my S's backwards.
It's very simple,
once you get the hang of it.
Up and then a hook
and then a swing to the left...
and there you are.
Mm-hmm. That's right.
Papa's kind of like a teacher to you,
He's been very kind and helpful to me.
What's he like?
Yes. Is he nice?
But of course he is.
Don't you think so?
Does he like me?
Katrine, what a strange thing to say.
Your father and mother
both love you very much.
Did they tell you that?
Why, it's... it's understood.
They love you
just the way you love them.
But I don't love them.
That must be the de Greniers!
They've come for the kermis tomorrow.
They're staying overnight.
such a funny-looking little man.
It isn't polite to stare, Kat...
Did you say count?
So that's what a count looks like.
So do barons and dukes. Tomorrow
the house will be packed with them.
Papa always has a Fourth of July ball
for the river families...
after the farmers have their kermis.
- A ball!
- You'll have a wonderful time.
And you can wear the ball dress
Papa had sent from New York.
But I won't know anyone
to talk to or to dance with.
Oh, everyone will want
to dance with you, Miranda.
Golly, I hope so.
This is where I hide every year to watch.
Sometimes after Papa leaves...
I go and stand near the carousel.
Perhaps you shouldn't have come, Katrine.
It's wrong to disobey.
Oh, you're just saying that
because you're supposed to.
- Is there anything wrong about the kermis?
- Could watching it make me a bad girl?
- I suppose not.
Then it's wrong to forbid me to come.
That sounds pretty logical to me.
- Hello, Dr. Turner.
- Hello, Katrine.
- Oh, this is Miranda.
- How do you do, Miss Wells?
- How do you do?
Papa sent for her all the way
from Connecticut to be my companion.
She's a kind of a very distant cousin,
but she's nice.
I had no idea the Van Ryns
ever honored Connecticut.
We're not really cousins, but Mr. Van Ryn
was kind enough to invite me to Dragonwyck.
- Whereabouts in Connecticut?
- Near Greenwich.
- But that's all farm country.
- Sheep and potatoes mostly.
You seem so startled, Doctor. Haven't you
ever met anyone who came off a farm?
Not anyone who came off a farm
to live at Dragonwyck.
This seems like an odd place
for you girls to watch the kermis.
- You'd have more fun over there.
- But we're really not supposed to be here.
We're hiding so Papa doesn't see us.
Katrine had her heart set on it.
You know how children are about such things.
You wanted to see the kermis
even more than I did!
Don't worry. I'll keep your secret.
Papa will never know from me
about... either of you.
May I have the honor
of seeing you again, Miss Wells?
- Why, yes, if you like.
- I would like. And soon.
- If you're sure it won't be too unpleasant for you.
Well, you see, the patron and I
don't get along very well.
In fact, the first thing I've ever known us
to agree on is bringing you here.
I think that was a fine idea.
Well, happy Independence Day.
Oh, I like him so much.
I wish he could be my doctor, too,
instead of just the farmers'.
Why doesn't he like your father?
Because Papa doesn't like him either.
Papa never says why not.
Oh, here they come!
What brings you to our kermis,
Are you expecting an epidemic
of minor injuries?
You never can tell, Mr. Van Ryn.
This chair came from Holland
with the first patron.
It represents, among other things...
over 200 years of extreme discomfort.
The patron is ready.
The first man will come forward,
bringing with him rent and tribute.
Klaas Bleecker, Hill Farm.
winter wheat and...
- You've brought nothing with you, Klaas.
- Perhaps your crops were poor.
- My crops were all right.
Take your hat off
when you speak to the patron!
I'm a free American citizen!
I take my hat off to no man!
What you do with your hat is your own concern.
Are you ready to pay your rent?
No. Nor will you ever again get
so much as a grain of wheat from me.
It is your purpose, then,
to farm my lands...
and enjoy the privileges I allow you
without making any return?
Did you hear that? His lands!
For 200 years, the Bleeckers
have worked the Hill Farm.
And for longer than that,
it has belonged to the Van Ryns.
We've paid the worth of it many times over,
and you know it.
- Well, here's the finish.
- I'm sorry to hear it.
But since you feel that way, I order you
to leave my land by tomorrow noon.
If you are not gone, I shall have
the proper authorities put you off.
- Have the next man step forward.
- Otto Gebhard.
Won't you reconsider your decision,
Mr. Van Ryn?
Klaas Bleecker, his wife and children
have no home other than his farm.
- Where will he take them?
- I see you've come empty-handed, Otto.
It's his birthright
as a free citizen of a free country.
These men are not alone. The anti-rent
movement has swept New York State.
Take your head out of the sand
and help solve this problem peacefully...
because it's got to be solved,
peacefully or not.
Speak up, Otto.
I'll bring the stuff tomorrow, sir,
if that will suit.
Will the rest of you men step forward,
I have something to say.
I'm tired of listenin'
and talkin' and listenin'!
Klaas just lost his head.
He doesn't mean violence any more
than the rest of us. I hope you'll overlook this.
I suppose I must regard what you did
as an effort to save my life, Dr. Turner...
and whether or not I regard you as a meddling
trespasser, I suppose I must thank you.
You've got the facts wrong.
The way I see it, you're the trespasser.
Also, saving your life
wasn't what I had in mind.
If Klaas had killed you,
it would have done these men...
infinitely more harm
than you could ever do alive.
So don't thank me, Mr. Van Ryn.
I shall say a few words about what has
just happened, and they will be my last.
Dr. Turner's efforts to incite
anti-rent rebellion in our local district...
have been well-known to me
for many months now.
just what is it he wants you
to want so passionately?
It has an assortment
of highly romantic names...
the rights of man, life, liberty,
the pursuit of happiness and such...
and all those will be yours
with the titles to a few acres of soil.
Believe me, my welfare
does not depend upon you.
Rather, you depend upon it.
But my rents and tributes
and my responsibilities are hereditary...
the symbols of a way of life
to which I have been born...
and in which I shall continue to live.
I shall never relinquish my position.
I beg your pardon, mademoiselle...
but are you not Miss Wells,
the companion to little Katrine?
- Yes, I am.
- I have not had the honor.
Will you permit me to present myself?
I imagine many parties are
being planned for you and dear Harmon.
Oh, yes. The Dewents
are giving a soiree for us next month.
Everyone will be there.
Simply every... one.
- Good evening.
- Good evening.
May I sit with you?
- We'd be charmed.
- My name is Miranda Wells.
I am Cornelia Van Borden.
My sister, Elizabeth Van Borden.
- Miss Helena Van der Hyde.
- How do you do?
We were just discussing dear Cornelia's
wedding to Harmon Van Brock.
Do you know Mynheer Van Brock,
Wells. No, I'm afraid I don't.
I don't know anyone here.
Really? Where are you from?
- Connecticut? That's in the West, isn't it?
It's right next to New York State.
- My sister means that it's across the river.
- Which river?
The Hudson, of course.
You see, Miss Van Wells...
There are other rivers, you know.
Do you know a city in Connecticut
Oh, yes. Very well. I live there.
It's also called Horseneck.
Horseneck? What an incredible name!
It seems ever so much more polite
to say Greenwich.
Well, it's mostly the farmers
that keep calling it Horseneck.
- Tell me, Miss Van Wells...
- Just plain Wells.
How is dear Victoria Schermerhorn?
You know Victoria Schermerhorn,
I know of Victoria Schermerhorn, but I'm
afraid I've never met Victoria Schermerhorn.
But you live in Greenwich.
Well, you see, I don't live in Greenwich.
My father owns a little farm just outside.
- Your father is a...
- Is a farmer.
Who is his patron?
There aren't any patrons in Connecticut.
- Why not?
- Because there just aren't any.
- I think that's very odd.
- I don't.
I think my father would rather own
half an acre of barren rock in his own name...
than work the richest land in the world
for somebody else.
You're raising your voice, Miss Van Wells.
It's just plain Wells,
and I'll raise my voice if I like!
What makes you think
you're so much better than I am?
We never said we were. The thought
seems to have originated with you.
And what's more, I never even heard
of Victoria Schermerhorn!
Miss Wells, is there anything
I can do for you?
No, thank you, Magda.
Of course it's only my humble opinion...
but I think you're
the most beautiful lady at the ball.
That's very kind of you, Magda.
All of the servants think so.
I can't understand why
you haven't danced every dance.
But then I suppose most
of the gentlemen are spoken for.
- Good evening.
- Are you enjoying the kermis of the upper classes?
Very interesting to watch...
as if I were visiting a different world.
And I suppose everyone has commented
on your gown and how beautiful you look.
Do you like it, Nicholas?
- Very much.
- And do you think I'm beautiful?
- The most beautiful lady at the ball?
- Yes, I do.
Thank you. I'm very grateful.
You haven't answered my question.
Are you enjoying the ball?
- I said it was very interesting to watch.
- That's not an answer.
- Well, then no.
- Why not?
You know that answer as well as I.
Because my name is just plain Wells,
and I'm off a farm, and I don't belong.
- That's nonsense. Of course you do.
- I'm as good as any of them.
- But it's the wrong river.
I'm not from the top of the Hudson.
I'm from the Connecticut River bottom.
Oh, I've made such a fool of myself.
- Dance with me, Miranda.
- I can't go back in.
It'll be all over the place by now.
They'll laugh at me.
- I doubt that very much.
- But you don't know...
I know that you'll be with me
and that if anyone laughs, we'll laugh.
- Dance with me.
- I'm afraid.
You must never be afraid
of anything with me, Miranda.
Are you enjoying the ball, Miranda?
Well, aren't you going
to answer my question?
I can only think of one thing to say,
and you won't like it.
- Say it anyway.
- Golly Moses!
There's no thunder in the world
like the thunder of the Catskills.
The lightning seems to set
the mountains on fire, and they roar back.
That's all very romantic, I'm sure,
but it doesn't help my cold.
It's never been this bad.
It seems no different
from your usual winter attack.
But we've always closed the manor
in the winter and gone to New York.
Now I'm sick.
If I must be here, why can't I even
have Dr. Hamilton to look after me?
When the storm lets up
and the roads are passable...
The storm lets up!
They never stop in these dreary Catskills.
Come in. What do you want?
Mynheer Van Ryn asked this
be brought to you.
it's your favorite oleander.
I thought it would brighten your room...
and perhaps make your stay in bed
Oh, thank you so much.
I can't remember when anything
has pleased me more.
How alive it is, as if it were thinking...
as if it had thoughts of its own
and... desires of its own.
I know how greatly you treasure it...
and I'm all the happier
that you thought to bring it to me.
And I'm happy that you're happy, my dear.
Now I'm sure that you'll want to rest.
- You're going to your
tower room again, aren't you?
The servants must think it strange
that you spend so much time up there.
And I find it strange that you should
think about what they think.
- What could you possibly do up there?
Anything from pinning butterflies
to hiding an insane twin brother.
Actually, I read.
I hope that my explanation satisfies you.
Haven't you even let Dr. Hamilton know?
Your happiness at the oleander
seems to have faded pretty quickly.
Well, you can't even imagine what it's like
to be sick in this miserable, drab house.
I cannot imagine that Dragonwyck
could be either miserable or drab...
except to those who reflect misery
or drabness from within themselves.
- Mynheer Van Ryn.
- What is it, Magda?
- It's Dr. Turner.
- No one has sent for a doctor.
Turner? What does he want?
He's come to see you.
He says it's most urgent.
My regrets to Dr. Turner.
I am engaged and cannot be disturbed.
- Yes, Mynheer.
- Never mind.
I'm sorry to intrude like this, Mr. Van Ryn,
but it's most important.
- Klaas Bleecker has been arrested for murder.
It's a pity you weren't there
to stop him this time.
I was there. He didn't kill anyone.
It was an anti-rent riot.
Klaas wasn't anywhere near the boy
that was killed, but they blamed it on him.
If by "they," you mean the patrons,
you must also mean me.
The farmers aren't going to stand for this.
They've threatened to storm the jail.
With shouts of liberty,
equality, fraternity, I take it.
just what is it you want me to do, Doctor?
Help my enemy defeat me?
I want your assurance that Klaas Bleecker
will have a fair and just trial.
Let me make my position clear, Dr. Turner.
Whether Klaas Bleecker lives or dies
is of no more concern to me...
than my life was to him... or you.
That seems to be perfectly clear.
- Good evening.
- Good evening.
- Won't you stay for dinner, Doctor?
- No, thank you.
- Miranda, have Tompkins set another place.
- I'd rather not.
Perhaps I spoke a little hastily, Doctor.
I might be able to help.
That's a pretty sudden change of mind.
What brought it on?
I assume that John Van Buren
is to prosecute the trial, is he not?
- He's a close personal friend of mine.
You still haven't told me
what changed your mind.
Dr. Turner, you have my assurance
Klaas Bleecker will have a fair trial.
Now you might do something for me.
Mrs. Van Ryn has a severe cold.
Will you help her if you can?
- Yes, certainly.
- I'll show you to her room.
You'd better take a bit of scraped onion
and sugar for that cough...
and these drops as directed.
- You'll be fine in a few days.
- A few days?
Dr. Hamilton always kept me in bed
for at least two weeks.
He's probably right,
but with most of my patients...
it's all I can do to keep them in bed
while I examine them.
A lighter diet might help...
soup, tea, boiled eggs, less cake.
It's common knowledge that one
should stuff a cold. I'll eat all I please.
Well, you'd get well faster without it,
but you'll get well anyway.
What a beautiful oleander.
I'm relieved to know you find
so little cause for alarm, Doctor.
- It's just a head cold.
- Do you think you could
If you and Miranda will wait dinner for me,
I'll visit with Mrs. Van Ryn.
Yes, of course. Good night.
usually encourages you to eat...
but then, of course, he has
the tolerance of experience and age.
Turner is young and relentless.
You... You told him you wanted to stay
and visit with me for a while.
What did you mean by that?
Precisely what I said.
just to stay and be with me?
Oh, Nicholas, you confuse me so.
Sometimes when you bring me flowers
and smile at me, I think...
- That you like me and want me.
- And sometimes...
I feel that you hate me
and would like me to die.
Do you think...
Could we go away together?
- Alone. Just the two of us.
When I'm well again.
Of course we will, my dear.
As soon as you're well again.
I feel well enough already.
In that case, even Dr. Turner would
approve of your finishing your dinner.
- Shall I bring your cake?
- Yes, thank you.
You know, it's funny.
The day we first met,
last summer at the kermis...
I thought we had very much in common...
and as time went on
we'd have more and more.
But the way it worked out,
frankly, right now...
I don't think you have the slightest idea
what to talk to me about.
It's funny, isn't it?
Would you care
for some sherry wine, Doctor?
- No, thank you.
- I believe I'll have a glass.
Forgive me, please.
We fell to reminiscing...
and it wasn't until Magda came in
that I remembered you were waiting.
We shall dine at once.
Of course, Doctor, you're not to think
of starting back on a night like this.
- You'll stay over.
- No, really, I have...
We'll consider your objections overruled
and the matter settled.
Why aren't you asleep?
Because I don't want to sleep.
It's so beautiful.
- What is?
- Don't you hear it?
It woke me up.
Such a pretty song from down there.
- You've been dreaming.
- It's a lady.
and playing the harpsichord.
- It's like a lullaby.
But it must be funny,
because every now and then she laughs.
- There. She's laughing now.
Don't you hear it?
It's getting louder and louder.
I don't like it now!
Make her stop! I'm afraid!
I'm afraid! Make her stop!
- Darling, it's no one. Really it isn't.
You must believe me. It's...
Well, I can remember
when I was a little girl...
I used to imagine things so hard
that I thought they were real.
But don't you see, if there were anything,
I'd hear it too.
- It's stopped now.
Of course it has.
It never started, really.
Oh, I'm so tired.
- (Dr. Turner) What is it?
It's Mrs. Van Ryn. She's very sick.
- Tell me, what happened?
- About an hour ago, she woke up
Oh, the pain must have been terrible.
- Magda, what's the matter?
- It's Mrs. Van Ryn. Oh, she was moaning so.
Did she take any medicine
but what I gave her?
- You'd better send for Mr. Van Ryn.
I can't understand it.
It doesn't make sense.
Are you sure she took nothing
but those drops I left?
Not while I was with her, sir.
Except for Magda,
no one was with her but me.
I gave her some cake.
It's possible, but I don't believe it.
Is it also possible that she may
have been more ill than you imagined...
when you examined her, Doctor?
Yes, that's always a possibility,
See that the pastor
is notified at once...
and have him come to me.
- She's smiling.
I'm sure he didn't mean
that you were to blame.
Whether he meant it or not,
I don't know why she died.
That's shameful, isn't it,
for a doctor not to know?
It's funny the way she ate.
Almost passionately, as if she wanted
from eating what she couldn't have...
You'd better get some sleep.
I remember how the chapel bell rang
on the day Johanna and I were married.
Tonight it is soft and sad...
but then it was loud and ugly,
and my head ached with the noise.
and said it was a heavenly bell...
that would ring for us until death.
We were never happy,
but our life together was tolerable...
till Katrine was born.
Then we knew that Johanna
could have no more children...
that I was to have no son...
that there were to be no more Van Ryns
after me, that I was to be the last.
I... I wish I knew something
that I could say...
that would help you.
I want to so much.
Do you, Miranda?
At an unhappy time like this it must be difficult,
I know, to think of anything else...
but what has happened was
beyond human control, Nicholas.
- You must have faith.
- In God? I intend to.
I must not feel that my life is finished.
And I won't...
as long as you are with me.
The bell has stopped now.
It must be nearly dawn.
you've known as well as I
that this was inevitable...
that we were inevitable.
I didn't know who you were,
or what, or where.
Out of all this world, why should I
have called to you and no one else?
And why should you have come to me
and no one else?
It's because you were meant to.
You knew it the instant our eyes first met,
and everything within us met...
and you know it now.
You have no right to say that,
to talk like this. Please!
- You couldn't help yourself any more than I.
Am I right?
Tell me that I'm wrong.
Forgive me then, if you can.
I had no right to speak as I did,
and you have every reason to be angry with me.
But I had to say it.
There was no way for me not to...
and no one but you to hear it.
Good night, Miranda.
Good night, Nicholas.
- What on earth...
- Miranda, I just heard the news
Why, Jeff Turner, I never thought you'd
go to all this trouble to say good-bye.
- That's just it. I don't want to say good-bye to you.
- But I'm going home.
That isn't what I mean. I think it's fine
that you're going back to your folks.
What I mean is, Greenwich
isn't so very far away after all, is it?
Why, no, Jeff, it isn't.
I was thinking maybe I could come there
and visit you, in a month or so?
Of course, Jeff,
whenever you're passing through.
Would next week be too soon?
I know our relationship
hasn't been exactly...
Well, I've teased you mostly
and sometimes made you angry...
but I've always thought that in time
I could show you how I really felt...
and that maybe...
Miranda, you understand
what I'm getting at, don't you?
- Yes, I think I do.
- I'd like to think that in time...
- Jeff, I...
- I said in time.
Is it that hopeless?
I don't know what to say.
there's not very much you can, I guess.
Well, have a nice trip.
Thank you, Jeff.
Tom, see that Nat and Seth get to the pump
before they come in the house.
Come inside. I want to talk to you.
Close that door
and come over here and sit down.
That was a nice sermon today, Pa.
Strange you should say that.
Struck me you weren't listening too hard.
- I heard every word of it.
- Struck me your mind wasn't on it at all.
Where is your mind?
What's the matter with you?
- Nothing's the matter, I tell you!
- I'm going to get to the bottom of this.
- If there's nothing the matter...
You were the first to see.
For months you fretted and worried.
"Miranda can't sleep.
She won't eat. She can't smile anymore.
Talk to her, Ephraim!"
All right. I'm talking.
Since the day you drove in here
in that fancy rig...
you've been no more one of us
than if you'd never come home.
- Ephraim, please!
- You hung your fancy outfits in the closet...
and acted like you never took them off.
You won't sleep and eat
because your home's not fine enough.
You won't be happy
because we're not fine enough.
- That's not true! It's got nothing to do with that.
- What has it to do with then?
Sometimes when a woman's unhappy,
she just can't talk about it.
Are you gonna tell me it's a man?
She's given frostbite
to every mother's son in the county.
Perhaps the right one
hasn't come along yet.
She won't find him with her nose in the air,
wanting what she can't get.
A woman ought to get a man first
and then want him.
Someone rode in the gate.
This here's a message for Ephraim Wells,
Esquire, from Weed's Tavern in Greenwich.
- Who's it from?
- I don't know, but I can tell you how to find out.
I'll be consarned if this don't beat all.
Nicholas Van Ryn is stopping in Greenwich
and is coming here this afternoon to see me...
"on a matter of the greatest importance."
Cousin Nicholas in Greenwich?
What in tucket could he want, huh?
Mr. Wells, how do you do?
just what is the meaning of this?
May I speak with you alone, Mr. Wells?
I consider your behavior
On the contrary, it couldn't possibly
be more conventional.
Your Mr. Van Ryn certainly handled Pa.
- That's enough of that.
What did you think of him, Ma?
I don't know.
We weren't even introduced.
That was just in the excitement
of the moment.
He's such a perfect gentleman.
He'd never be impolite to you.
I'm sure he has fine manners.
He's... He's come to ask Pa...
- He wants to marry me.
- I know.
How do you know?
Ever since you've been home,
you've never brought his name up once.
A woman's apt to be that quiet
about a man she loves.
Besides, you've ironed that dress
every week now for two months.
- Miranda, child...
- Yes, Ma?
Do you love him very much?
Of course I do.
- Are you sure?
- Why do you ask that?
Maybe I shouldn't have let you go.
Maybe Dragonwyck should have stayed
something to read about and dream about.
My dreams came true, Ma.
Can't you see?
Ever since I was a little girl
and built a castle in an apple tree.
But you can't marry a dream, Miranda.
What about him? Do you love him?
But it's all Nicholas.
Nicholas is all of it.
You're acting so strangely...
almost as if you were afraid.
Miranda.! Abigail.! Come on in here.
Says he wants to marry you.
- Says you know all about it.
- Yes, Pa.
Have you considered
that your mother and I might object?
I have already pointed out to your father
that there are no valid objections.
And I've already pointed out to you, sir,
that I'll make up my own mind!
What do you think, Abby?
I don't think thinking has anything
to do with it anymore, Ephraim.
It's something that is,
and we must make the best of it.
I want to apologize for my rudeness
when I entered your house.
My only excuse is that I saw nothing...
and wanted to see nothing
but Miranda at that moment.
I can understand that, Mr. Van Ryn.
You should know that I have already
called at your parsonage...
and engaged the Reverend Clark
to be here tomorrow afternoon at 3:00.
- It's indecent! It's too soon!
I want my girl married
in a church like a good Christian.
- I'll have no hole-and-corner wedding here!
- She has no wedding gown.
For once we will let the ceremony
outshine the costume.
Whatever dress Miranda wears will be
forever cherished as her wedding gown.
Hmm. Got a lot of pretty words.
Too many for me.
Miranda, you've got plenty at stake here.
You'd better say something.
I'll do whatever Nicholas thinks best.
So be it.
Amen, Mr. Wells.
Now I must return to Greenwich.
Miranda, will you walk with me to my carriage?
Until tomorrow then. Good-bye.
- MacNab, which carriage
have you sent to meet Mr. Van Ryn?
- Have the grooms their new uniforms?
- Yes, madam.
- Here are the menus for the week.
- Thank you, madam.
And, Mrs. MacNab, I've just written
Miss Katrine that we've found her doll.
Please be sure that it's packed carefully.
I wouldn't want anything to happen to it.
We'll let the linen room go
until this afternoon.
Perhaps you should let it go
until tomorrow, madam...
what with Mr. Van Ryn
coming back... and everything.
I won't overdo it.
And remember, not a word
to Mr. Van Ryn about... everything.
- I want to be the one to tell him.
- Of course, madam.
Welcome back, sir.
How did you find New York?
Thank you, Mrs. MacNab.
How lovely you are.
I'd almost forgotten how lovely you are.
I'm not. When you're not with me,
I'm not anything.
Three long weeks...
Have you missed me? Have you been well?
I missed you terribly.
And everything has been just fine.
- As a matter of fact...
- I'm having our townhouse entirely redone.
A new music room... We must plan a series
of entertainments for the winter season.
Mrs. MacNab said I'd find you here.
Oh, I beg your pardon.
I didn't know.
That's all right, Peggy. This is Mr. Van Ryn.
Was it anything important?
Well, it was just to remind you that you ate
none of your breakfast this morning.
And all of your favorite dishes too.
We won't talk about food,
if you don't mind.
You'll eat every bite of your lunch,
or there'll be talk!
You carry on
as if you'd cooked it yourself.
Me? I couldn't cook the bottom of a pan.
But she managed to burn
my best Indian muslin negligee.
That I did.
Me ironin' is worse than me cookin'.
She ruined it completely when she
tried to sew it together again.
True. Me sewin' is even
more horrible than me ironin'.
What would I be wanting with
a greenhorn like you? Can you tell me?
That I can't.
But you'll eat your lunch just the same.
And what was that strange little creature?
That was Peggy, Peggy O'Malley.
- I assumed it had a name.
What was it doing here?
Your maid, that untidy little cripple?
She's not untidy,
and her leg's no fault of hers.
- She's had a miserable life.
- That's the strangest
She's bright and willing and good to me,
and I want her as my maid.
I shall have MacNab give her
some extra money and a good character.
It's so little to ask. Please, Nicholas!
Deformed bodies depress me.
Perhaps I can divert
your attention with this.
I brought it for you
from Mr. Tiffany's new shop.
- How dare you say that.
- How dare I?
You speak as if a crippled leg
were a weakness on her part...
rather than merely God's will.
We'll agree, then, it is God's will.
Now perhaps we can discuss your plans for
the kermis ball. Are they progressing nicely?
Madame Duclos swore to me that your gown
will be finished and delivered to you in time.
She needn't overwork herself.
- It's very likely I won't need it at all.
- What do you mean?
- The Van Bordens sent their regrets yesterday.
- Their regrets?
A previous engagement or some illness
in the family. I forget what excuse they used.
- I see.
- That makes the eighth refusal in four days.
It's only because of me...
because you married me.
you are Mrs. Nicholas Van Ryn.
You will be with me wherever I am, always.
Luncheon is served.
Thank you, MacNab.
Sometimes I think that they...
That we what?
I think about that night...
the night she died.
- What about that night?
- It was so soon after...
Perhaps we should have
waited to decide.
In the hope that our gossip-mongering
neighbors would be more approving?
I don't care whether they know, Nicholas!
It's just that we do, and so does God.
I've never heard you speak
so childishly, Miranda.
You might well be
on your father's knee.
Do you believe there is a God who spends
eternity snooping on human behavior...
and punishing all violators
of the pastor's latest sermon?
- That's not what I mean at all!
- Then what do you mean?
Well... Well, I believe that...
God has put a sense of right and wrong
within all of us...
and that when we do wrong,
no matter if no one else knows, we do.
You've remembered that ever since
your Sunday school days, haven't you?
That's a good girl.
Now let us enjoy our luncheon.
you do believe in God?
I believe in myself,
and I am answerable to myself.
I will not live according to printed mottos
like the directions on a medicine bottle.
Would you like me to say grace?
That won't be necessary.
Then I shall begin our salad dressing.
What possible excuse can you have
for humiliating me like that?
Miranda, what is the matter with you?
- I believe in God!
- It is your privilege. I have no intention...
And so will my child believe in him!
- I will pray to God to make him
- Miranda, is it true?
- Yes, are you glad?
Now may I have Peggy as a reward,
if nothing else?
Have I done something
to please you at last?
Listen to 'em. They're celebratin'.
I'm gonna celebrate too and get drunk.
john Young's our new governor,
and the farmers of New York State...
have got a right to celebrate
and get drunk.
Hand me up my ancestral chair.
There you are!
Take off your heads
in the presence of the poltroon.
Tom Wilson, come forward, bringing
all your money and all your crops...
and thank the good, kind poltroon
for taking 'em off your hands.
I don't have to no more!
john Young is the governor
and the constitution's been changed.
I can buy my farm. It's the law!
Dr. Turner, will you come with me
at once to Dragonwyck?
- We need you urgently.
- Is anything wrong?
Mrs. Van Ryn is having a baby.
Her time is here.
Dr. William Brown has been staying at
the manor. I had him come from New York.
- He's a fine doctor...
- He's a fool. I beg you to come.
Have you any reason
to think she's in danger?
Mrs. Van Ryn? I don't know that she...
Doctor, nothing must happen to my son.
She's been took bad,
and they won't let me near her.
Please let me go to her.
What is it, Dr. Brown?
What has happened?
Everything's quite all right,
Mr. Van Ryn. Quite, quite.
- Are you certain?
- I assure you.
I want you to take every precaution...
Mr. Van Ryn, would you step out
while I consult with Dr. Brown?
- I can see no reason...
- Your presence here can only
Dr. Turner, thank heaven you've come.
I can't assume
this responsibility alone any longer.
The man's a maniac.
I think he'd kill me if anything went wrong.
- My dear fellow, you just don't know.
When I tried to resign from the case,
he had me locked in my room!
He watches me all the time
through those icy eyes of his.
Sometimes I think
he's mesmerizing me.
- Have you been giving her laudanum?
As far as she is concerned,
everything's quite normal.
There is an irregularity
in the child's heartbeat.
But it's sometimes hard to catch
through the stethoscope.
Yes, it often is. I'll wait until
she wakes a little before I examine her.
In the meantime,
why don't you get some rest?
If you'll take over for a while.
My room is just down the corridor.
I will call you if you're needed,
and don't worry.
Thank you, Doctor. Thank you.
- Hello there.
I don't know
whether to believe this or not.
You can believe it.
Are you going to take care of me now?
Yes, I'm going to take care of you now.
It'll be all right now.
I'm not afraid anymore.
Don't be afraid.
Call Dr. Brown.
Jeff, help me.
I'll always help you.
Mr. Van Ryn,
there's something you must know.
Your son is not well.
I can't tell you how sorry I am, but at least
your wife has come through beautifully...
and in time there's no reason
why you can't have other babies.
My son is entirely well, Dr. Turner.
I appreciate your services,
and you will be suitably recompensed.
But he can't live.
His heart is malformed.
It's a miracle he wasn't stillborn.
It's nobody's fault. Nothing could have
prevented it. It's just a tragic accident.
You will find a carriage
waiting to take you to your home.
You just won't face facts, will you?
You'll never believe anything
you don't want to.
And there is no reason for you
to see Mrs. Van Ryn again.
Good day, Doctor.
Adriaen Pieter Van Ryn...
I baptize thee
in the name of the Father...
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
We yield thee hearty thanks,
Most Merciful Father...
that it hath pleased thee to regenerate
this infant for thy Holy Spirit...
to receive him
for thine own child by adoption...
and to incorporate him
into thy holy church.
Please accept my most sincere
congratulations, Mynheer Van Ryn.
Thank you, dominie.
You understand, of course...
that this house ceremony was only
at the insistence of Mrs. Van Ryn.
In a month or two, my son will be properly
baptized in the Dragonwyck church.
- Of course...
- No, Nicholas.
We can thank God
that he was baptized just in time.
Please, don't leave her now. Please!
Loathsome little cripple. Why should you
have been permitted to live and not my son?
Should I light some candles?
No, I like to sit here in this half-dark.
You'll ruin your eyes.
- How long has he been up there this time?
- A week. Perhaps more.
Ever since he got back from New York.
And before that...
I'm sure it isn't
very pleasant for him, Peggy.
And what is it for you?
Shut up there for weeks on end
without a word or a sound.
If it was any man but him, I'd say he keeps
a bottle up there in that tower room.
- Yes, ma'am.
- I'm going with you.
- Don't be silly.
- I'll not let you go up there alone.
- That's enough.
Please don't. I'm afraid!
Oh, it's you.
This is an unlooked-for pleasure.
I wasn't expecting you.
Frankly, I'd almost succeeded
in forgetting you.
Don't be frightened of me.
I'm not frightened.
I'm sure you're not.
You have courage, Miranda.
I like that about you.
Must've taken a great deal to make this
pilgrimage up to the mysterious tower room.
I assume your twisted little friend is offering up
suitable prayers for your safe return?
I see no reason
why they should be necessary.
Tell me, are you disappointed
in what you found here?
I'm sure you expected
velvet drapes and heathen idols...
an altar for human sacrifice at least.
Nicholas, what do you do here?
What do I do?
I'm sure you mean
a great deal by that, but...
but it isn't very clear to me.
I didn't expect you to understand.
How could you?
Don't be offended. By ordinary standards,
you're quite intelligent.
But I will not live by ordinary standards.
I will not run with the pack.
I will not be chained into a routine of living
which is the same for others.
I will not look to the ground
and move on the ground with the rest...
not so long as there are those
mountaintops and clouds...
and limitless space.
I'm sure you are still unable
I want to try, if you'll help me.
Shall I? Shall I tell you
what you want to know?
Prepare to have your God-fearing,
farm-bred prayer-fattened morality...
shaken to its core!
You see, I have become what is
vulgarly known as a... drug addict.
No tearful reproaches?
No attempts to save me, to regenerate me?
Why do you find it necessary?
That is what you could not
hope to comprehend.
It is because I have set free
something within me...
something that, ever since I can remember,
has been like a rock...
caught in my heart, in my brain...
pushing at me, choking me.
I know you better than you think.
Perhaps I have underestimated
No. It's pretty ordinary and farm-bred.
I couldn't follow everything you said,
but I think it's pretty simple.
You're just plain running away.
Is it as simple as that?
I've seen farmers with their crops ruined
and their cattle dead.
And most of them just go to work...
but some of them blame their troubles
on God and get drunk...
to forget, to run away...
to run away and hide!
That's what you're doing.
Whenever you've come up against something
unpleasant that you couldn't change...
- Like the rent laws...
- Or the death of my son.
- Our son.
- Get out of here.
- Nicholas, let me help you.
- I don't need to be helped.
Help me then.
Please don't shut me out like this.
Let me be unhappy with you
and happy again.
Let me be part of you.
Let me love you, and love me too!
That's quite a story, Peggy, but...
I'm afraid you'll have to tell Mrs. Van Ryn
there isn't much I can do for her husband.
She doesn't even know I've come here.
- Then what...
- Do you suppose I'd so much
- It's her I'm afraid for, Dr. Jeff.
- Afraid of what?
I can't say right out, but there's
a blackness in that house and in him.
His comin' and goin',
the look in his eye when he watches her.
You've got to come and take her away!
- What makes you think she'd want to go?
- Whether she wants to or not!
I'm only a doctor. I've got no right.
You can't leave her there
to be hurt and hurt again...
not knowing what she's done wrong
or how to do right...
happy as a child because he so much
as sends a plant to her room.
- A plant?
- An ugly-looking growth to my taste
- Has she been taking her meals in her room?
- Yes, of times.
Please don't stop on my account.
Your father wouldn't have.
I remember how he continued
to read so doggedly.
Ephraim Wells took his religion without
flinching, the way a strong man should.
Nicholas, what do you want?
the warmth of your greeting...
quick happiness in your face at my appearance,
your pleasure at my company.
Why have you come here?
Inasmuch as this is my house,
must I explain my presence in it?
Of course not.
Forgive me. I'm... I'm so tired.
I'm sure you are.
This has been a trying time for you.
And yet strangely enough,
your tribulations seem to have become you.
I cannot remember you
more beautiful than you are now.
Your beauty amazes me
as much now as always.
Your strength, the earthiness
of your peasant stock...
More, your grace...
your unexpected look of quality.
It would be a pity
if we were not to have another...
if you were barren.
- That's a matter of the Lord's will.
- Oh, yes. The Lord...
I'd forgotten. The Lord
who giveth life and also takes it away.
- Why did he take my son's life?
- I have no way of knowing that.
It could not have been without purpose.
No one gives life...
takes it without purpose.
Why do you suppose you are here, Miranda?
By the Lord's will, or by mine?
What you are is the reflection
of what I wanted you to be.
You live the life that I gave you.
Now you do look frightened.
What are you thinking?
- Of Johanna.
I don't know.
- Do you hear it?
Nothing. Wind through the trees.
- There is no wind!
- There is!
A creaking board somewhere.
- It's not important. It's stopped now.
- But I didn't hear anything.
- Neither did I!
Yes, you do.
It's... It's from the Red Room!
- The harpsichord... Azilde!
- Stop it!
Then Katrine did hear her that night
And you must've heard her too. And you must've
been listening the night our little son...
I never believed it really, but now I do.
I just happened to be passing by,
and I thought I'd drop in.
Passing by? I see.
Summoned in the best heroic tradition
by the faithful little cripple.
And have you an army of farmers equipped
with pitchforks lurking in the garden?
No. That fight?s all over,
and you lost it.
But Peggy seemed worried
about you, so I...
Do I look as if I needed medical aid
in the dead of the night?
You can hardly expect a diagnosis from me
based upon your appearance alone.
It's good to know you have become
more careful in your diagnoses, Doctor.
I can recall when you were less thorough.
- I've improved a lot since then.
- There was much room for improvement.
May I be frank?
You're not a very good doctor, Dr. Turner.
There are too many things
you should know that you don't.
I still insist I've improved.
For one thing, I've learned
a great deal about plant life.
I would think that human life
were more to the point.
I've discovered that the two
are strangely related.
You know, in a way,
you're responsible for it all.
How nice. We must discuss
your discoveries sometime soon.
- What about right now?
What are you doing here
at this time of night?
- The patron and I are discussing flowers.
While we're on the subject, I suppose you've
thanked him for the lovely plant in your room?
- I don't understand.
- It doesn't matter. He does.
Is it as pretty as the plant in your late wife's
bedroom the night she died?
Aren't you letting the discussion
become rather morbid, Dr. Turner?
I was never able to forget that plant.
At first I thought it was beautiful.
- But I've learned since then it was also very deadly.
- Nicholas, what does he mean?
It's a glucoside similar in action
to digitalis but much more toxic.
It was a good idea to have a doctor on hand
that night you asked me to stay for dinner.
Weren't you lucky
I wasn't a better doctor at the time?
It was all so legitimate.
Your wife with a bad cold...
She couldn't have tasted anything
in the cake. It was all soaked with rum.!
I don't believe it!
you'd better come with us.
Jeb Ribling! Gebhard, Brown, Berger...
Come forward, all of you!
I have something to say to you.
Apparently I have not yet been able
to make my position clear.
I will try once more...
but believe me,
my patience has come to an end!
Lives, liberties, happinesses...
Pursue them where you will. Sing and dance
and dip them in bronze, if you like!
But you will not destroy Dragonwyck.
You will not take away from me
what has been mine for more than 200 years!
No babbling idiot of a governor will
make laws that have to do with my manor...
with the manor that my son...
that my son will inherit.
Oh, it's Dr. Turner.
What are you doing here?
You are not wanted. You're trespassing.
I don't want you here.
I don't need you anymore.
There was a time when you knew too little
and I could use you, but now...
If you don't mind, Mr. Van Ryn...
I'll have to ask you
to come along with us.
- Mayor Curtis, isn't it?
- Yes, sir.
I do mind, very much.
I have no intention
of going anywhere with anyone.
This is not a request, Van Ryn. You're being
ordered to come along. You're under arrest.
I will not be ordered
to do anything by anyone.
This is my property,
and you will all leave it at once.
This is your only chance.
My only chance?
How little you know me, Miranda.
Even Johanna would never have said that.
you might use your influence...
to benefit these men for once
and tell them to get out of here.
How little you know me, Mr. Van Ryn,
You don't believe I'd shoot?
Yes, I believe you.
Have it your way then!
Take off your hats
in the presence of the patron.
I thought, if you didn't mind,
I'd ride alongside to the boat landing.
- You're welcome to ride inside.
- Thanks. I'd like nothing more...
but then I'd have to
ride back here in it alone.
- You understand, don't you?
- Of course I do.
Good-bye, Mrs. MacNab,
and thank you for everything.
It'll be lonely here without you,
Mrs. Van Ryn.
Mrs. Van Ryn...
Suddenly it sounded strange
to hear you called that.
Is that all you're taking with you?
It's all I brought with me... from home,
except a black dress.
The way you just said "home"...
as if you never had any other.
Have I ever?
You answer that.
You know, Ma once said she felt she
shouldn't have let me come to Dragonwyck...
that she was afraid.
You couldn't marry a dream, she said.
- Do you dream much, Jeff?
Some dreams are very real, I guess.
So real that they
get confused with reality.
And then when you wake up
and look around...
you find yourself saying, "What am I
doing here? How did I get here?
What has this to do with what I am
and what I want?"
Then I guess you make up your mind
you've had a nightmare...
And you go crawling to your ma and pa.
So it's back to Greenwich now, Miranda...
with never another thought
of anything here.
isn't so far away after all.
Perhaps you'll be passing
through sometime, Jeff.
Would next week be too soon?