Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996) - full transcript

Chronicles the life of Dorothy Day who dedicated herself in service to her socialist beliefs and her adopted faith of Catholicism. The movement she created continues to thrive to this day, with more than 200 communities across the United States and another 28 communities abroad. The title of the movie is taken from a phrase which means to treat all guests, whether they be kings or peasants, like they were visiting angels.

[woman screaming]

Get it open!




Close it!




Come back!



You're going to dislocate your shoulder.

Screw you!

You religious or something?

I try.


You got a name?


Is that a street name?

You been in before?

Once or twice.

For what?

Oh, this time, for blocking the federal building,

protesting the hydrogen bomb.



Oh, God.


Oh, I made a mess of your shoes.

They're as old as I am.

I once was lost

but now

I'm found

I was blind

but now

I see

Who are you?

(singing) Amazing


how sweet

the sound

that saved

a wretch

like me

[humming amazing grace]

[workers marching song heard softly]

March, march...

swing you along

high blows our banner

and hope is waking



up with your song

fly with the wind

for the dawn is breaking



swing you along

high blows our banner

and hope is waking



up with your song

fly with the wind

for the dawn is breaking



swing you along

high blows our banner

and hope is waking


glory, glory hallelujah

his truth is marching on



swing you along

go home!

fly with the wind

for the dawn is breaking



swing you along

high blows our banner

and hope is waking

(women) We won't settle without a fight!

Women's dignity, women's rights!

We won't settle without a fight!

Women's dignity, women's rights!

(Officer) All right, that's it. Run them in.

Women's dignity, women's rights!

Bolshevik bitch!


Women's rights!

We won't settle without a fight!


Let me give you a hand there.

I'll give you my vote. You come back--

you bastard!

Say, kid, what's your name?

Dorothy Day.

everyone calls me Maggie.

Nice to meet you. Stop!

You're under arrest. Ohh!

What happened? Can't handle them?

Hey, you son of a bitch, get off her!

(Maggie) hey!

We're going to get arrested!

Give 'em hell, Maggie!


I can't believe it. Do you know
what that means, Maggie?

It's so important for women.

A breakthrough--

a great breakthrough.

(Boy) Buy the call.


Thank you, ma'am.

It's all here.

Ira, I'm published.

Oh, congratulations, Dorothy.

I can't believe it- the front page.

I think my name looks very nice in print.



Oh, Dorothy.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Good article on the front page.

Good morning, general. How's it going?

Good, thank you.

Pull up your skirt, Maggie!


You published it?

It was a good story.

Oh, Mike! Oh, I love you!

I love you.

I love this man.

I'm going to want more than a kiss.

Well, you could pay me.


''Wilson's goons trample women--

''suffragettes suffer at the hands of male tyranny,

by Dorothy Day.''

I broke my damn shoe.

This is it?

Mike Gold, Floyd Dell--

Maggie Bowen, my new cell mate.

She's staying with me now.

So when do I start?

One story does not a writer make.

You don't even work here?

$2.50 a week,

and your friend Maggie here
has dinner with me tonight.

$2.50? Come on, Maggie.
The Match will pay me twice that.

All right, $5 bucks.


Let's get started.

The city's condemned an entire tenement block

over on the east side.

They're planning on putting up
a new department store,

and anyone who's living there

is going to get turned out into the street.

How about that dinner,

then I'll show you my apartment?


Not our kind of story.

Why not?

We cover politics, Dorothy.

The reason we have politics

is to rid the world of social injustices.

You busy for dinner?

We work together now.

Then you're fired.

You know where I'll be- celebrating.

(singing) Frankie and Johnny
were sweethearts

that's how the old story goes

Frankie done everything for Johnny

from his head down to his toes

he was her man

but he done her wrong

another round.

Frankie and Johnny were lovers

oh, lordy, how they could love

swore to be true to each other

just as true as the stars above

he was her man

na, na, na, na

but he done her wrong

(man) Eugene O'Neill--

America's most infamous playwright.



writers, painters, and poets--

all pilgrims

journeying we know not where

in search of we don't know what,

yet all of us seeking to unscrew

the inscrutable

and to unravel the great mystery of life.

To our newest paragraphist.

(Man) Mm-hmm.

(Man) Hear, hear.

(Man) To Greenwich Village,

where middle-class kids like Mike here

come to wear dirty shirts,

spit on the floor,

to declare their solidarity for the proletariat.

The masses are free here--

free from the tyranny of capitalism.

Ah, give the...

The masses need food, not manifestos.

Any government that puts
meat on the table gets my vote.

And if you ask me--

who asked you?

The world would be a hell of a better place

if it were run by women.

(Man) Oh, please.

(Woman) Hear, hear.

Not another suffragette speech.

Give them the damn vote, so they'll shut up.

(Man) Hear, hear.



Master O'Neill, drunk again, I see.

Ah, Moise, the great panderer himself,
in the flesh.



(Man) Shut up, Floyd.

(Woman) Hey, hey.

Where the hell have you been, you bastard?

(Man) Guess.

You know what the problem with this country is?

I bet you'll tell us.

The problem with this country is all of you.

(Man) Oh, here we go.

Mike here is a revolutionary,

a believer in free thought,

so he joins the communist party

and they tell him what to think.

James here fancies himself a Bohemian,

so he goes and gets married.

And O'Neill,

our tortured artist,

can't write a word until he's stinking drunk.



I'll never give myself to any person,


or school of thought.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lionel Moise--

man without purpose,

life without meaning.

A toast to nothingness.

And how does this anchorless soul stay afloat?

Not by brain, that much is obvious,

nor brawn, which is...


Although I've never seen him do a lick of work.

No, our Lionel here

uses that fine jaw,

those white teeth,

and those dark eyes

to charm the ladies.

They fall hopelessly in love with him

and slip him money from their pay envelopes.

Hey. Hey, let's go.

Your siren song sings.

I missed you, too.

Good night, ladies.


Who the hell was that?

I know Moise.

He's an editor for Hearst.

One of the world's great bastards.

One of the world's great rewrite men.

I bet that's not all he's great at, hmm?


(Dorothy) I'm restless, Gene!

I have something to give,

but I don't know what it is...


or who I'm supposed to give it to.

I know that I want to live fully.

I want to do things that no one...

Has ever done before.

The transcendent hunger,

the aching void,

the itch for the infinite--

forget it.

There's no satisfying it.

Eat, drink, make love--

that's what it's all about.

I want more.

I'll throw in some free poetry.


Much more.

''Life's a tale told by an idiot,
signifying nothing.''

that's not enough for me, Gene.

Come on, it's raining!

That's not nearly enough.

[Aria playing]

[singing along in Italian]

Huh. You weren't that good.

[sings along in Italian]

What's he saying?

Her heart is breaking.


you'll learn to love again...



and worthy.


Verdi's words, not mine.

You remind me of my father--

the way you smoke a cigarette...

The way you type with 2 fingers.

No commitments- that's what we said.

Come on, you're wrinkling my pants.

Are you going to punch up my story

on the plight of the immigrant?


You said you would.
No, I didn't.

Yes you did- No, I didn't.
Yes you did- No, I didn't.

It must have been before we slept together.


There's a lot of homeless children

all over the lower east side.

If I say yes now, it won't count.


[Aria playing]

What's she saying?

I'm reviving.

I feel...

I'm reborn.

Once more...

I feel my health returning.

Say yes.


Yes, yes, yes, yes.

(Man) Lionel Moise is a bastard.

(Dorothy) I'll tame him.

You know that car he drives?

Elizabeth Barton gave it to him,

the railroad heiress.

two years ago, she stabbed him in it,
out on the island.

I've heard these stories before.

Moise took the knife away from her,

broke her jaw,

then drove back to the city
with her in the trunk.

Would you slow down?

Listen, I'll bring him around. Come on.

Where the hell are we going?

Oh, no. No. No, Dorothy.



Your evictees?

Aren't these the masses you want to help?

Your beloved proletariat?

They won't print it.

It's a great story.

Listen, we could go to jail.

Come on.

(Dorothy) A place to sleep! Enough to eat!

A place to sleep! Enough to eat!

A place to sleep--



(Crowd) Enough to eat!

A place to sleep! Enough to eat!

A place to sleep! Enough to eat!

A place to sleep! Enough to eat!

(Child) Mama!

I can't get down!

Why won't they put it out?

Because they started it.

That way they don't have to evict.

Yeah, but they can't do that.

They already have.



Oh, God.

He didn't print it.

No, he didn't.

Three children died in that fire.

I didn't make matters better
for those people, I made it worse.

You okay?

I'm pregnant.


What are you going to do?

I won't beg the son of a bitch.

I won't.

(Man) We've got to stand with them and
all the rest of the workers in the world.

Eugene Debs?

(Man) We're starting a new world order.

''from each according to his abilities,

to each according to his needs.''

(Man) You know nothing of
the lessons of history.

I mean, for you to speak of revolution,
it's absurd.

I know the status quo for most
of the world is intolerable.

It has to be changed,
by revolution if necessary...

Can I talk to you?

And Russia is just the beginning.

What do you know about
the working man, Gold?

You never had a callus in your life.

You don't have to be poor
to care about the poor.

Yeah, and I'll bet the comrades
will expect you

to forgo your weekly manicures.

No, no, it's written in the manifesto

you're allowed two manicures per month.

Forster Batterham.

Dorothy Day.

Careful, little brother.

Dorothy's a dangerous woman.

She's a red...

And a radical suffragette.

This is a celebration.
Where's the next round?

Celebrating? What for?

The windy city will close the railroad station

soon as they get word you're on your way.

Someone's going to Chi-Chicago?

Where are the damn drinks?

Who's going?

Lionel's going.


Because Lionel feels like it.

You--you can't go to Chicago.

The whiskey is cheap,
the women are easy--

you'll do just fine.

Shut up, Floyd.

You can't go.

The company's gotten downright surly.

I think I'll try another drink.

(singing in background)
Got to be true to each other...



I'm pregnant.

We can live as we are,

just please don't leave.

Get rid of it.

You--you won't leave me?

Promise me you'll never leave me.


I don't like this.

Wait, Dorothy.

No, no.

It'll be fine.

Come on.

Come on.

I'll wait downstairs.


(Child) Got you.

Ow! Hey!

Come on!

[child laughs]

(Child) Run over there.

(Dorothy) Aah!



Oh, God!

Damn you!

Damn you!



Oh, Dorothy.

I can't believe how stupid I was.


It's Forster.

Forster Batterham.

We met in Greenwich Village
a couple years ago.

My sister Lilly told me you were
living out here, too.

I hoped we might run into each other.

Do you like to fish?


I do--




I like clams.

I'll bring some next time.




Catch any supper?

Hey, sure, yeah.

Here, hold this.


Ooh, I felt something.

Well, flip the drag lever and reelit in.


Here, give it to me.

I've got it.


I'm all right.

Here, ohh.

Oh, God.

it's not funny.

Yes, it is funny.

Whoa, whoa!

Come on, you mermaid.

Oh, you're such a liar.


Oh, now, it's true.


You are a good cook.

Uh-huh, yeah.

And you've done wonders with this place.

It's sort of lower depths revival or something.

Shut up.



Come here, you missed your mouth.

Excuse me.

I'm not ready.

I don't know if I ever will be.

I don't need anything from you.

But whatever we'll have, we'll have.

You be you...

And I'll be me.

No pressure.

No expectations.

Just us.

The way we want to be.

Whoo-hoo. I'm gonna get you.

No way.


Feels good.



(lyrics from song playing):
If I'm bold and hold your hand

you mustn't scold, please understand

it isn't my fault

blame it on the moon

if I am gay and steal a kiss

then I'll just say I'm sorry, miss

it isn't my fault

blame it on the moon

if I start talking about a ring

or if I mention a plan

don't be frightened or anything

'cause I'm just...

[horn honks]

but if you see my point of view

then you for me and me for you...

(Dorothy) You can't do that.
It's against the rules.

(lyrics) well, blame it on the moon

(Forster) What rules?


Ha ha.

Whoa, whoa.

Watch it!


Are you all right?

I'm fine.

Come on.

I'm sorry.

Hurry up. Don't let him win.


(Man) And, uh, put them around back.

(Man #2) here?


Is anybody here?


Oh. Did you win?

The bicycle race-did you beat him?

Oh, that. I'm sorry.

Oh, no. Don't apologize.

Oh, it looked like fun.

I should have been watching
where I was going.

Mass is every day at 7:00.
It's twice on Sundays.

But I'm not Catholic.

So? Come anyway.

Oh, there was an old man who...
Came in here.

Um, beard, long hair?

Ah, Lou. Yes, brings us clams.

He lives on the beach.

Would you like to meet him?

(Nun) Lou?

This is...

Dorothy. Dorothy Day.

She tells me that you two are neighbors.

I'm sorry about the other day.
You startled me.

You think this will be enough potatoes?

We have a community pot here.

Everybody throws in what they can.

Me, I'm potatoes.

Would you like to stay for dinner?

No, no, I have to be getting home.

You're always welcome.

Thank you.

How are you able to do all this?

All what?

All this. Do you get something for it?

Rough hands.

Not the oysters. The people.

Do you get something from helping them?

Well, they're my friends.

I like them very much.

Well, you give them so much.

We feed some.

Let some sleep down by the boiler
when it gets cold.

It's not much.

It's more than most.

Less than others. I still haven't
seen you in church.

Opiate of the masses.

Oh, oh, you are no Marxist.

You belong here.

Oh, in church? The shoe doesn't fit.

Your ego's too big.

Look who's talking.


Oh, well...

Catch anything?

How are you doing? I got it.

Good, I'm starving.

Hey, what happened to all the chowder?

There's a lot of fish in the ocean.

That church?

Gandhi was right. All the world
would be Christian,

but Christians are so little like your Christ.

Hypocrisy. Morbid escapism.

Cowardice in the struggle for justice.

That's your church.

The poor people in this country--

the ones you say you love so much?

They seem to like it.

They don't know any better.

Look, I heard what Jesus said,
and I say that's great.

I see what the church does
and I say no, thanks.

Where is Jesus in your church?

Right smack in the middle of it.

In the people. In the working class,

the immigrants, the poor.

God with a human face,
grabbing a hold of us.

Ready to fill our emptiness.

If my friends found out
I was going to church,

you know what they'd say?


Talk about being nailed to a cross.

What am I supposed to do with these?

You're a smart woman.
Make up your own mind.

Block after block of fancy town houses-
amid acres and acres of slums.

Them that has, gets.
Them that doesn't, gets screwed.

Don't forget the big department stores

and the fancy restaurants.

Yeah, and churches.

All kinds of churches.

Protestant churches.

Catholic churches.

All part of the same rotten system.

So, Batterham, you're not, uh,
enamored of religion?


Hell, no.

It sucks all the joy right out of life.

So, uh, what do you think of our
Dorothy's growing fascination

with the, uh, the mysteries of faith?

Forster's an anarchist, an atheist.

I've never been religious,

but I feel empty all the same.

Needless to say,

Forster doesn't approve of
my interest in the church.

I believe in what I can see...

And in what I can feel... And touch.

You can do whatever you want.

I have no hold on you.


When are you going to make an
honest woman out of our Dorothy here?

Who says I'm not honest?

What say you, Forster?

Ready to take the plunge?

Shut up, Floyd.

Take it from someone who knows.

But the tyranny of love and all of that.

Shut up, Floyd.

Shut up, Floyd.

(song lyrics)
when the shadows roll by



You leaving?

I was trying not to wake you.

Where you going?

Into the city.

I'm going to miss the ferry.

I'll miss you.

I'll be back on Friday.

You work on your article.

[people calling a greeting]

Want some more?

You finish your chapter?

I'm working on it.

Oh, how beautiful.

It looks like you got company.

Just some friends.

I thought you were coming back last night.

Nah, I got held up.

Ah, it's good to be back.



I'm pregnant.

I thought God would never
give me another chance.


I want this baby.

So who's stopping you?

Oh, I love you.

This is silly.

You really sneak up on a person,
don't you?

(Forster) why are you always
dragging God into everything?

It's that nun, right?

What do you mean?

You're just confusing God with biology.

It's motherhood you're feeling, honey,

not that religious mumbo-jumbo.

Forster, all my life I've been drifting.

I don't want my baby to drift the way I have.

I want her to have something to hang onto,

something that gives her meaning in life.

Well, we have a good life. The three of us.

Why isn't that enough?

I want to have Tamar baptized.

We owe it to her.

Oh, we? Now you sound
just like my mother.

Do it for me.

Don't do it for me.

I already violated my instincts
once for a man.

I'm not going to do it again.

Well, I'm not going to let you
turn me into a hypocrite

and a liar.


I want you there!

[baby crying]

I want to come back.

Good. I want you back.

We can't be like before.
Things are different now.

You know, I haven't been with anyone else.

What more do you want?

I want to get married.

That's not me. You know that.

Why does the thought of
responsibility panic you?

We had an understanding.

I need a commitment.

We need a commitment.

Look, I won't be caged.
Do you hear me?

[speaking Latin]


[baby crying]

Oh, no, no, no, no.



[speaking Latin]


[speaking Latin]

Come on, mommy.





You can't stay.

I got a legal notice of eviction,

and that means that you're out,

and you're out right now.

Move along there.

You've got to stay close.

Why is she crying?

They've been evicted, sweetheart.

They don't have an Uncle John
and Aunt Tesse

to stay with like we do.

What are you people looking at?
Move along!

Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian,

Jew, Catholic.

No money...

And no food.

No jobs.

[speaking German]



Now the flu epidemic.

What little city housing there was is full,


They come here.

They are dying here every hour.

The public hospitals are jammed.

Most are afraid to go, anyway.

Few ever come back alive.

Tuberculosis, cholera, syphilis...

We don't have enough medicine...

And the city doesn't seem to care.



[speaking Spanish]

what did she say?

He is dead.


Maybe your story will help.

Kid died?

Parents didn't have any money...

And the hospital wouldn't take them.

Came back to try and
make a difference, Mike.

Do something.

But now I don't know what.

Don't know what to do.

There's misery, poverty...

Where do you start?

I'm going to have to
owe you a dollar, okay?

The good Lord provides.

The good Lord could care less.


You got to tell me what you want...

What I'm supposed to do.

I write, but...

That's not enough.

I've got to do.

But what?

I don't know.

Please show me how.


Hello, mommy.


Oh, uhh.

How was work?

It was busy.

I brought you something.

A book. Thank you.

What's wrong?


There's a man--Mr. Maurin.

He's come to see you.


[French accent] You know what is
wrong with the world?

The people who act don't think,

and the people who think don't act.

An editor from that magazine Commonwealth

sent him over,

and I invited him to stay for dinner.

And I accept with pleasure.

I am Peter Maurin.
So pleased to meet you.

Let's eat.

Ha ha ha...

Ah, merci, madam.

[speaking French] ha ha ha...

Thank you.

We should be announcers,
not denouncers,

each one taking less so that
others can have more,

each one being a servant of all.

You're welcome.

Merci, madam. Merci beaucoup.

There is no sin in being rich.

There is no sin in being poor.

But there is a great sin in
having more than you need

and not sharing with those
who have less than they need.

We should not ask the poorer man

to do what we can do so
much better ourselves.

The rich have a great deal to give the poor--

food, clothing, a warm place to sleep...

Can we eat now, mommy?

Shh. Just a minute.

But the poor also have a
great deal to give the rich.

The feeling of needing us,
the secret of joy,

the experience of God.

Rich and poor need each other.

Getting them together is
the way to build real community.

Sound good?

We can do it, you and me, no?

Uh, Mr. Maurin, we're very hungry.

So perhaps we could start

building community after dinner.

But of course. Eat first.

Eat. Then we start.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

I want to leave you with this.

We must accept the cup as offered,

not altered.



...the very powerful prayer of Saint Francis...

Mr. Maurin--

which teaches how we must live...

That's great. Time for you to go.


''Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is a breath...''

great. Okay.

''Where there is injury, pardon...''

Thank you for coming.

''Where there is doubt...''

it was nice to meet you.

You have a good night. Be safe.


As Saint Francis was praying...

''O divine master,

grant that we may not...''


Mr. Maurin,

I would really like to stay and listen to you,

but I have to go. I have to get to work.

Wait, wait. Here. Dorothy...

You can read for yourself.

Thank you. Thank you.

Oui, madam.

I wait.

And embrace poverty,

but seek out poverty.

Today, question is how to keep
blessed poverty

uppermost in their lives.

The poor man is not him
who has not been loved.

The poor man is him who has
loved others more than himself.

This is the teaching of Jesus.

Blessed are the poor...

And true poverty.

Just ask the church how
we unite the will of the spirit

with the work of the flesh.

N'est-ce pas?

The monsignor, he is very angry.

I say to you,

everyone in this parish is going to die.

What is so funny, you laughing?

And the man says, ''Ha. Monsignor,
I am very sorry,

but I am not from this parish.''


We don't need to go to Jerusalem
or Rome to find God.

We can always find Him wherever we are.

God is as close as the closest human being...

Especially the poor.

Where are you going?

You know Jesus had nothing?

The son of a village carpenter.

A poor man...

And he was followed by poor men.

Good night.

Did he leave?



could we talk to you?

Is there something wrong?

Oh, no, no, no, no, no.


The baby's due soon,

and, um...

With Tamar and you...

I--I mean, you're both welcome.

In fact, I mean, we're...

We're glad to have you.

But, uh...

It's just that Peter, he...

He's here all the time, and...

He was a French peasant.

Did you know that?

Christian brother,


A homesteader in Canada.

He owns nothing but
the clothes on his back,

and he'll eat anything

that you put in front of him.

He doesn't drink and doesn't smoke...

And last night, he slept in the park.



We just don't have enough room.

He lives with the poor,

hears their voices.

He knows the things I need to know.

I'm a doer, and Peter's a seer,

and if I'm to do, I need to see.

Peter can help me with that.

Now, I know I'm imposing,
and I don't want--

oh, no. No.

My mother used to say...

Be careful, you never know

when you may be entertaining an angel.

Tesse...thank you.

Can you at least get him
to take a bath?

I'll work on that.

Hello, Mrs. Jamison.

[speaking foreign language]

Bonjour, Mademoiselle.

What's going on?



Who are all these people?

They are hungry, they need to eat.

All of them?

But of course.

It is time for a program of action.

We must organize roundtable discussions

for the clarification and
stimulation of thought.

We must create houses of hospitality

to feed the hungry, clothe the naked,

and house the homeless.

Well, that's very impressive, Peter,

but how do you plan on
accomplishing all that?

I'm not going to. You are.

[music starts]

(singer) my baby don't care for shelter

my baby don't care for clothes

my baby just cares

for me...

where's Peter?

I don't know.

Have you eaten yet, sweetheart?

We're going to run out.

Is that going to be enough for you?


That's my girl.

Enjoy it.

From the coast grocery down on Sixth Avenue.

Looks like cucumber soup tonight.

It's all they could give me.

There are six people living in a rusting car

down on 1 2th Avenue.

It's as if Christ is being crucified all over again.

The poor need a voice.

Where have you been?

You should start a newspaper.

Ha ha! With what?

When you are doing God's work,

money is not a prerequisite.

You just begin to do it.

Joseph can help you.

Ever work in a paper, Joe?


Well, at least you picked an idea

I know something about.

You can do it.

For $22 bucks,

we can get 2,500 copies.

Great! We- we're in business.

Everybody else wanted over $50.

All right, well, we have $9,

we got $6 from Bob McSorley...

And $3 from Irvin Nayherne.

You wouldn't happen to have any money,
would you, Peter?


Of course not.

Well, we're still $1 3 short.

The rent money?

And the gas...

And the electric...

Our heavenly Father takes care of
the lilies of the field

and the birds of the air.
He will take care of us.

And what if the Lord's busy this month?

Are we fools?

Of course. Fools for Christ.

[marchers singing Internationale]

Read the Catholic Worker. Only a penny.

They're exploiting child labor.

Read the Catholic Worker, sir.

It's all about you.

Try it!

Here you go. Thank you very much.

Read the Catholic Worker.
Thank you very much.

Read the Catholic Worker.
It's all about you.

Read the Catholic Worker.

We are here to let you know

that there are men and women

who are working for you.

Tell the Cardinal to sell his mansion.

I'm not just working for your spiritual welfare,

but for your material welfare as well.

Read the Catholic Worker. We care!

Catholic Worker.

Only one penny.

Justice, freedom...

Jobs for the poor.

Especially that-- that monster that came up to me.

[stuttering] He must've been 7 feet tall,

and he says, ''wh-who are you?''

and--and Dorothy looks him right
in the eye and says,

''I'm a C-Catholic Worker. Wh-who are you?''

[high voice] ''My name is Bartholomew,''

he says in his high, squeaky voice,

and lumbers off with his tail between his legs.


Every time you tell that story,

Bartholomew gets a little taller,

and his voice gets a little bit squeakier.

Dorothy, a minute.

What happened to the rest of my articles?
There is only one here.

Well, what do you think,
it was all about you?

It would be better.

You think?
Why not, I think!

[knock on door]

That's probably the landlord.

Listen, what about this name
the Catholic Worker?

It makes us sound like we are communists.

How much money?

92 cents.

I could hock my typewriter.


Are you the... Catholic Worker people?


Here's a dollar.

Could I maybe come back sometime,

help out in some way?

I'd, uh, try to stay out of the way.



Tomorrow, then.

Au revoir. Tomorrow.


For you.

What are you going to do for shoes?

Are you the people where we can stay?

I'm sorry, we're all filled tonight.

If you come back tomorrow,

I'll try to arrange something...

I'm sorry.

Listen to this one. ''my word,

''how could you call yourselves Christians

''with your defense of those Alabama Niggers

down in Scottsboro?''

Well, we're printing
50,000 copies next week.

We must be doing something right.

Anybody have a smoke?

A priest, no less.

''God give us the patience

''to endure the Catholic Worker

and your band of socialist psychotics.''


Socialist psychotics?

You think he means you or me, Dorothy?

You, Dan.

Come on, read a nice one.

Okay. All right. Uh...

[exaggerated accent] ''go back to
Russia where you belong.''


Oh, here's one for you, Dorothy.
Okay to read it?

You will anyway.

''My dearest Dorothy...''


''All my life,

I've dreamt of finding a woman like you.''

(Woman) Dreamy, ooh...

''what you write makes so much sense to me.

''I just don't know whether
to believe it or not.

''Are you real? Could it be true?

''Could you please write

and let me know the color of your eyes?''


''brown, I hope.

It's so much easier to trust brown...''

does anybody have a cigarette?

Could I see--

sit down, Mr. Breen.

Does anyone have a cigarette?

Here's one, miss.

Oh. Thank you.

How are you doing today?

Oh, not so good.

I'm sorry to hear it.

Thank you.

I'm glad you came back.

Where's your friend,

the one that was with you the other night?

I'm sorry, what?

She's dead.

She's dead? How?

She froze to death.

Cold, I guess.

(Dan) Ha ha ha!

I don't believe this.

Scented paper. Who do you think it is?

I don't know.

That's all we have. How are
we gonna print the paper?

I know what I'm doing, and I don't have
time to talk about it.

You wouldn't be doing this if
your brother was here.

Well, he's not here.

[German accent] Five rooms.

There is no electricity.

No heat.

You use the coal stove

and the kerosene lantern.

Does the roof leak?

I'll take it.

$1 8 a month.

I have $1 2.

All right! All right!

Take it.

$1 2?

The Lord will provide.

Good day.

Good day.


Peter, wh-what are you doing?

You don't have to stand in line.

No, no, no. I wait.

Have you seen Tamar?

But of course.
She is with the Italian.

Thank you.

God bless you.

You're a saint, ma'am.

Thank you, Miss Day.

Thank you.

[knock on door]

Hi. Is she here, Angela?

In the bedroom.

Hello, Lucia.


It's a beautiful dollhouse.

It's time for dinner.

They steal my things.

I know, sweetheart, uh,

and they shouldn't,

but they need so much,
it's hard to get mad at them.

Can I stay for supper, mama?

Mrs. Matarazzo said I could.

Tamar, I don't want you imposing.

[speaking Italian]

There is plenty.

Thank you, Angela. You're very kind.

I'll be back around 8:00.

[kids laughing]

So we're privileged to have with us tonight

a woman who's brought us
a new understanding

of what Jesus expects from us,

challenging the opinions of the laity,

the Priests, the Bishops,

even the Cardinals.

[audience laughs]

A woman who's put us on notice

that Christianity is not just bake sales,

Sunday mass,

and Friday fish.


Living proof that the Holy Ghost

is still alive

and blowing up a storm in the church.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

Dorothy day!


Is near paradise.

That's where I'm staying.

That's where Jesus lives.



The Cardinal's here.

The Cardinal?

You want me to tell him you're out?

No, no, no. I'll be right there.

Um, Eleanor,

we're going to finish this
conversation later, okay?

Your Eminence.

I'm sorry.

I didn't know you were coming.

Well, it's quite a place you have here.

Well, it could use a bit of paint.

Come on, let me show you.

Well, maybe later.

Well then, some coffee.

Frankie, coffee?

(Cardinal) please.

We're determined.

We'll just have to deal with it,

bunch of scruffy Catholic radicals like us.

I, uh, brought all of your mail...

And most of it's negative.

There's your attack on Franco...

Your support of the seaman's union...

Your feeding the strikers' families...

Well, their living conditions are unbelievable.

Their families are starving.

Their union is run by communists.

Just because the communists are for it

doesn't mean we have to be against it.

Jesus never gave a loyalty test
to the people he fed.

But in Spain,

the communists are killing nuns and priests.

They're burning down churches.

Thanks, Frankie.

Love your enemy.

Isn't that what Jesus says?

Do good to those that hurt you,

pray for those who persecute you.

I know what Jesus said.

Well, we believe

that the sermon on the mount
means what it says.

Violence is not going to solve any problems.

Justice and peace go together.

You can't have one without the other.

You know, there are people who--

who think that you're a communist infiltrator,

that you've come to destroy the church.

If you feed the poor,

you're a saint,

and if you ask why they're poor,

you're a communist.

Well, we do both here,

but we're neither saints nor communists.

But you embarrass the church.

I'm sorry to hear that.

I thought we were being church.

You threaten people.

See, by your whole way of living.

Your devotion to the poor

and your insistence on being poor yourself,

that asks a very...

Uncomfortable question.

It is not my job

to tell people how to live their lives.

I'm here to help the people down here

feel loved by God.

Now, what would you say to those that think

that...this is all about ego,

that you play the great Mother Savior

the poor have to come to for help.

I would have to say

that I hope they're wrong.

[clears throat]

All right.


what do you think

about changing the name of your organization?

Just take out the word ''Catholic,''

then I don't have to be blamed

for what you're doing.

I'm sorry.

We are Catholic.

Well, I'm sorry, but I insist.

Well, your Eminence, you are...

The head of the archdiocese,

and we are loyal sons and
daughters of the church.


Then just do as I say.

But we are not going to change the name.

What we will do

is move across the bridge to Brooklyn.

I'm sure that...

Bishop Mallory has plenty of people

that he would like to have fed.

You wouldn't.

I would.

[clears throat]

they didn't tell us about people like you

in the seminary.

Well, you've--ahem,

you've set a very tough path for yourself.

Telling us things we don't want to hear.

Loving people who are hardly lovable,


And you get nothing back.

I couldn't do it.

And I just wonder

how long you'll be able to.



Take Homer. I'll take Breen.
Mr. Breen! Mr. Breen!

First, was the Dagos, then it's the Kikes,

and now you're letting in the Chinks?

Mr. Breen, put the cane down!

Aah, damn it!

Mr. Breen, we are here to do as Jesus told us,

which is to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,

shelter the homeless and
listen to the lonely.

And next thing you know,

you'll be letting in the Niggers.

And bury the dead. And if you don't
stop tapping me with that cane,

you're likely to become one of them.

Now, give me the cane.



Damn it.

Come on, Homer, sit up.

It's okay. Come on.

Let go. Come on. Let go.

Homer, let go! Oh! Oh, my...


Are you all right?


Health inspector was here again, but I--I--

35 violations. I talked him down to 20,

but I think he's really serious this time.

If we don't do something to
address these problems,

he's going to evict us.

And he's coming back again on Wednesday.

We'll have to fix what needs to be fixed.

Where do we get the money?

I don't know. Somewhere.
Maybe we can hock the typewriters.

And not print the newspaper,

the one valuable thing that
we do around here?


We'll find a way!

Well, not my typewriter, you won't.


Eleanor, please!

We are trying to talk.

Eleanor. Eleanor!

I'm sorry!

Eleanor, come back!

Oh! We're all these people have,

but Jesus never said it was going to be easy.

I'm not sure everyone around here
feels that way, Dorothy.

Well, if you'll excuse me, Frankie,

I have an editorial to finish.

Hello, Dorothy.

I read about you in the New York Times.

Made me very proud.

They tend to exaggerate.

Here to see Tamar?

And you.

She's at school.

You look good.

Thanks for lying.

Never a day goes by that I don't...

Think about her.

And you.

You know,

I got me a little place on
the beach in Rockaway.

It kind of reminds me a bit

of your cottage on Staten Island.

It's only an hour by train from here.

I didn't think this would be so hard.

I miss you.

This is...

My phone number

and some money for the train.

No, no--

no, just--just for the weekend.

Go catch us some supper

and see how it goes.

You can bring Tamar.

[door opens]

Sister Agnes said it was good.

I got a star.

She liked the part about
the bear and the robin.

Oh, um...


This is your father.


Say hello.

[softly] Hello.



A gold star...

Oh, that's wonderful.

I never got many of those.

I've asked you and your mom

to come and visit me on Long Island.

Does that sound good?



Why did you wait so long to come?

I've got to get going.

Oh, I...

I brought you this.


So, I'll see you both soon, huh?


(Forster) Okay.



(Woman) Hey! Hey!

Hey, let me in!

I've been trying to tell her we have no beds,

but she keeps knocking and
yelling your name.

Why is the door locked?

We took a vote to lock them at night

after all the beds are filled,

so we don't get overcrowded.

Unlock the door, Joe.

(Woman) Hey!

Unlock the door!


Watch that first step. It's a whopper!

Oh, Maggie.

Drunk as a skunk.

(Dorothy) Shh.

[whispering] I'll be downstairs.

Thanks, Joe.




Looks like it's you and me again, kid.

Are we going to go visit daddy?

I don't know.

I love you, Tamar.

You love a lot of people, mama.

(Dorothy) I love you, Tamar.

There are many people here that I love,

and I love you the most,

and you know that, don't you?

I know I haven't always given you what you deserve...

But I love you more than all the rest combined.

A million times more.

Really? A million times more?

A million, million times more.

Love you, too, mama.

[people speaking Italian]

(boy) Hurry up! Mama wants you!

How are you feeling?


I didn't have anywhere else to go.

We thought we would make it all so good,

and it all turned out to be so bad.

You're going to be okay, Maggie.

You're going to be okay. Yes, you are.

You're going to be just fine.


Wow, what a wonderful day for a picture!

Everybody stand up, get together.

Maggie, get in there.

Oh, Mr. Milias, come on!

Tony, get in the picture.

Where's Peter?

(Joe) Where's Peter?

Okay, get a little closer together.

Get your arms around the center.

Come on, Peter!

Okay, that's it.

Come on, Peter. There's a picture.

Come on. Come on. We gotta go.

Hurry! They want you in it.

Come on, Peter.




That's great.

Very good. Very good.

Okay, closer.


Come on. Okay.

All right, 1 , 2, 3...happy!


Okay, I want to get another one.







Remember how to do it?

Remember how to cut a rug?

Come on.

I think you still have it in you.

Try to smile. Just a smile.

(Frankie) Dorothy!



Dorothy! Come on, quick!

It's Eleanor!

What happened?


(Homer) I would have helped you.


(Frankie) Homer found her!

She used a straight razor.

Her wrists.

Where's Peter?

I don't know.

Call the police.

[softly] Holy Mary, mother of God,

pray for us sinners now and
at the hour of our death, amen.

Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee...


Have the police gone?


I'm going to find Peter.

Dorothy, you know he hasn't
been the same since the stroke.

I don't care. I need him.







Eleanor's dead. She killed herself.

I should have done something, but I didn't.

I--I couldn't. I didn't know what to do.


Forgive me, I...

I'm--I'm lost.

Please forgive me, I am...

I am--I am so lost.

Oh, Peter...

What am I going to do now?

Come on.

Let me get you home.

Come on.

Come on.

That's right. That's right.

Come on. Come on.

(Frankie) Dorothy?


We're having a meeting,
and we'd like you to come.

Where's Peter? He should be here.

(Dan) we already took a vote.

He wouldn't make a difference anyway.

What did we vote for?

A woman died here tonight.

There were three fights last week.

That mental patient--

we joined the Catholic Worker

because we wanted to change the world.

And what are we doing?
We're running a flophouse.

It's that just we're not equipped
to handle all this, Dorothy.

And there's never enough money
for the paper.

It goes to-- to fix toilets or for the heat

or for some derelict's medical bill

or for a hundred pounds of potatoes
for the soup line.

Dorothy, we now have 1 50,000 subscribers.

We could have a realimpact, change things

if we could do it right.

The Catholic Worker is about
people caring for people.

How am I to tell others to love the poor

if I am not willing to do it myself?

''I... I... mine''!

We are the Catholic Worker!

The people in this room!

We are what makes it work, not just you!

We're tired of your dictates,
your arrogance, your ego!

My God, your own daughter
doesn't even have a bed to sleep in--

you leave Tamar out of this!

No! It's enough!

We're not going to do it anymore.

We're not.

No more drunks...

No more bedbugs...

No more fistfights...

No more prostitutes...

And no more mental patients.

We're not going to do it anymore.

Is that how you all feel?

It was unanimous.


And you, Joe?

[door slams]


Where are you?

Why don't you answer me?

I need you!

These brothers and sisters of yours,

the ones you want me to love...

Let me tell you something...

They smell...

They have lice and tuberculosis.


Am I to find you in them?

Well, you're ugly...

You drink...

And you wet your pants...

And you vomit.

How could anyone ever love you?

I need you...

But you're not here.

You've deserted me, too...

Haven't you?


I'm not who you thought I was.

I'm sorry.



You look awful.

I wanted to change the world, Mike.

I haven't changed a thing.

All those young idealistic people
who came to help...

Full of hope and promise...

I've made them hard...


A young girl killed herself today

in the bathroom at Mott Street.

We weren't equipped.

We can't do it, Mike.

I'm empty.

I'm given out.

I have nothing left to give.

We communists talk about helping the poor,

but you've done it.

How many do you feed
now every day, 3,000?

How many do you sleep?

You may not have changed the world,

but you made it a little more bearable

for those that hurt the most.

Not bad...

For a Catholic.

I don't want to spend the rest of
my life cleaning toilets, Mike.

I can't.

My daughter needs a father.

I need a job.

Do you know anyone who needs a reporter?


Is anyone here?

Who's there?



Maggie, stop!

Maggie, why are you doing this?

Why do you think I'm doing this?
I need a drink!


A drink isn't going to give you
what you want!

Get out of my way!

Give me the money, Maggie.

No. I need it.

I said, give it to me!

The great Dorothy Day

with her picture in the paper,

and we're all so horrible!

Drunks! Addicts! Whores!

That's right, isn't it?

Give me the money.

I hate you!

Let me out of here! I hate you!


I hate you! I hate you!



Go ahead! Go on! Hit me!

I'm a slut, I'm a drunk, I'm a thief.

Go on! Go ahead! Hit me!

Hit me! Hit me!

Go on!

I can see the light in you.

You can't!

The courage and the love.

Stop saying that.

You're very beautiful.

I'm not!


I love you.

You can't.

I stole from you.

The only person who ever really
cared about me.


(Dorothy) We all love you, Maggie.

We do.

(Maggie) You can't!

(Dorothy) Shh.

It's okay. We all love you.

Come on, let me get you upstairs.

Get you cleaned up, something to eat.

I've been doing a lot of thinking

about what you said earlier tonight.

And you're right.

I've been arrogant...

And self-righteous.

I was intent on doing everything myself

instead of letting God work through me...

Through us...

And I'm sorry for all that.

I've also been doing a lot of thinking

about what it is that God wants me to do.

It's been a very lonely life, and...

I've been looking to fill the emptiness.

Now I see it begins with these people.

The ones that nobody else wants.

The ones that hurt and are angry

and have nothing left to give.

They are my meeting place with God.

And if I would just give them a chance,

I know God will fill me with love.

Fill me through these people.

Now, I-- I hope I don't have to
do it alone.

I hope some of you can stay.

But if you choose to leave,

I can...

I will understand.


The paper is never going to be

what you or I want it to be.

But I don't think that God will judge us

on how successful we are at
changing the world.

I do think he will judge us

on how faithful we are
in serving His poor.

I have a few dollars here from a friend of mine.

You can use that for the next issue.

Now, I will not think less of anyone who chooses to

I am very, very grateful

for everything that you have done...

And I love you.

May the Lord be with you.

Come on, Mama.

[opera playing]

How many are left, Peter?

A single one?

Or are we left to preparing breakfast

for ourselves like in the beginning?

That would be fun again, wouldn't it?

Come on.

(Woman) Morning, Miss Day.

(Sister) Morning, Dorothy.

Morning to you, Miss Day.

Morning, Miss Day.


We need your column, Dorothy.

It's already a day late.

Thank you.

(singing) Amazing grace

how sweet the sound

that saved a wretch

like me


amazing grace

how sweet the sound

that saved a wretch

like me

I once was lost

but now am found

was blind

but now I see