Girl Stroke Boy (1971) - full transcript

The straightlaced parents of a young boy who has, until now, shown no interest in the opposite sex, are surprised when he comes home with a girl/boy from the West Indies.

Pamela, what are you
going to wear tonight?

My black velvet.

Black is lovely,
but I think velvet

might be a little warm for winter.

Warm? For this winter?

No, the central
heating unit has gone mad.

George hit it.

It's like a heat wave here.

I think you'd be
happier in cotton.

But what about my new kaftan?

Oh, nothing new.
It's not that sort of dinner party.

Well, what about...

Wait a minute, darling.

What about my
orange and lemon kaftan?

Oh, not yellow and orange!
It's so torrid here.

What about my kaftan
with the purple pattern?

Pamela, you know perfectly well

that it won't look good
against my chairs.

You must look good,
for your godson.

Well, what about my kaftan
with the green motif?

Splendid. Laurie loves green.

You must be awfully excited, darling.

He's only bringing
the girl home for the weekend.

Yes, well, it's the first time
it's happened, isn't it?

And she sounds such
an exotic girlfriend.

Pamela, you know that on the
colour question, I am a pioneer.

I'm making the heroine of
my next book an octoroon.

I've had this marvellous idea.

Her mother is dead,

and her poor, black father
marries again, most unfortunately.

He doesn't only bring
home a stepmother,

he brings home two
hideously ugly stepsisters, too.

Doesn't it, er...
sound rather familiar, darling?

Well, all the best stories are.

The writer simply has to bring
an adult attitude toward them.

That's what counts.

Which story does it
remind you of?

Oh, never mind.

Of course, Laurie will
appreciate the warmth

after that awful clinic,
poor boy.

Now, don't exaggerate.

My son is perfectly well.

He's never really been ill.

He just likes to make a fuss.

George! In here.

Oh, what a relief,
Lettice, dear.

I've been thinking about you
so much during the last few days.

Do you think I ought to
get out Peter's bermudas?

I think he might feel
a little self-conscious.

Oh, and don't forget,


God damn the little bastards!

God rot their
secondary modern guts.

If there was any justice
in this world, he would.

Nowadays, he daren't lift a finger
because of the education authority.

George, I've
some wonderful news.

Fire in the gym,
a sit-in in the bogs.

It's absolutely infamous.
I wash my hands of them.

Be careful.
The water's very hot.

You're damn right.

George, I've just written
the first words of my new book.

I'm calling it
He Came, He Saw, She Conquered.

And I'm having a coloured heroine.

Lettice, what in heaven's name
have you done to this chair?

Has it been connected
to the mains?

The room is hot.

And if you glower at me like that,

I'll tell you why it's hot,
and whose fault it is.

And the window
seems to have stuck.

These damn new window locks.
"So burglar-proof," you said.

And then you lost the key.

Do what I do, and use
your imagination to stay fresh.

What do you think of Mandy May?

She the one in the Lower Fourth?

No! She's the heroine of
He Came, He Saw, She Conquered.

It will sell at thirty shillings
and, with a good press

and a bit of luck, it'll do
three editions in the first year,

and be a tremendous help
in understanding the colour problem,

which I do think is so important.

I can see it's spring again.
The artistic sap is rising, is it?

I knew you'd be thrilled.

Lettice, I want to talk to you.

Sandwich lost his
faith this afternoon,

halfway through the Synoptic Gospels
with the Lower Sixth.

"Faith" or "face"?


He can't teach anymore.

He rent his gown from top to bottom,
and bit through the hem.

He's a fine teacher too.
A fine teacher.

Do you know what young Titmarsh
had the gall to say to him?

"God who?" Titmarsh said.
Just that.

"Do you believe in God, Titmarsh?"

"God who?"

Sandwich was finished.

Did you dry these?

A whole lifetime of religious
instruction obliterated.

It will have to be done again.

We're not having guests.

Only a handful.

Pamela and Peter Havendon,
and Liz, of course.

Liz adores Laurie,
poor, sad virgin.


Liz, idiot. If she will do that
Mona Lisa smile all the time

what can she expect?

You want more from a woman
than a fixed grin.

First time I've ever
heard you admit that.

Why is that bird
stopped in mid-suck?

God knows.

"God who?"

Can you see this bowl
if I put it here?


But what the hell?


I wish I knew what
you were doing, Lettice.

I've had a terrible day.

The water will cool the air.

I left this house this morning
a pleasant 60 degrees.

You could see out of the windows,

you could sit comfortably
in the chairs.

When the windows would open,
the clocks worked.

It all seems a long time ago.

And now only the greenfly
seem happy.

Well, why don't you turn down
the bloody central heating?

I can't regulate the bloody
central heating anymore.

You left the switch
hanging off the wall.

I never touched the switch.

Don't look at me
like that, dear.

I've lived with your shortcomings
for over thirty years,

and I'm not likely to
walk out on you now,

although the idea does have
something to recommend it.

You hit it.

- You hit it.
- I merely tapped it.

And then to smash the tap,
turning the oil off.

Well, the instructions
clearly say

that you can adjust
all adjustable parts.

With a hammer?

That must be in the small
print that I can't read.

These are three inches taller already.
I find that awe-inspiring.

Do you realise
it's only our climate

that keeps the jungle at bay?

I must be careful what I say
about the jungle this weekend.

God, this
diabolical thing says 85 now!

Have you called the engineers?

Five times,
with increasing acrimony.

- When are they coming to fix it?
- On Monday.

A whole weekend?
We'll be cooked by then.

Monday afternoon
at the earliest.

They're beyond reason.

They don't work at weekends.

Like all emergency services,

they exist to create emergencies,

not to relieve them.

Are you determined
to have people in?

I've told the women,
summer frocks.

The men'll just have to suffer.


- Relax, darling.
- Bah!

You must learn to get
excited more calmly.

Jo will love it.

And just think, Laurie
will be home soon.

He's going to think it very odd,

you filling the house with
boring people and exotic undergrowth

the first weekend
he turns up with a girlfriend.

A what?

A girlfriend.

A West Indian girlfriend.

Of course, he can't be serious.

But we can't afford to
be narrow minded, George.

The message of my work is love.

The message of my life is love.

I can love the
beautiful black daughter

of a, thank God,
West Indian High Commissioner

just as well as
I can love a shop girl.

More, probably,

because the relationship
is less likely to be permanent.

Thank you, darling.

What's wrong with
calling her a girlfriend?

I hope you haven't been
going round saying that

Laurie has a fiancée.

It's not as if it was
a storm warning.

Laurie's having a
West Indian girl home.

We shall welcome her,

we shall take her in our stride.

But we shall never forget that
he's only known her a few weeks.

Laurie never does
anything impetuously.

It takes him an hour to shave.

At least he'll find
the water hot enough.

I don't suppose they're
even on first-name terms yet.

And there you go,
marrying them off.

Well, let me call the Havendons
and tell them what's happened.

After all, the boy's only
just come out of hospital.

Laurie is perfectly well.

Oh, come on, now.
He's bonkers.

Six months ago, he
didn't even know me.

Well, he just forgot a
few things, and people.

He never forgot me, though,

which I thought was
particularly courteous of him.

If you despise
your closest friends,

why invite them to dinner?

I don't despise
my closest friends.

I'm just indifferent to them.

Well, I'm not opening
one of my best bottles.

I already have. Two.

Oh, God, can't we for one night
simply be ourselves?

The whole point of being
middle class is that you can't.

- George, you haven't shaved yet.
- Oh.

It's a hundred in the shade.

If you're made of asbestos,
I'm not.

I've put out your best black.

You look so distinguished in it.

It feels like the
end of the world.

All the more reason
to put on a suit.

All right.

Only if I die of a coronary,
it'll be your funeral.

You'll have to wear black then,

so now's a good time
to get used to it.

Not my favourite day.

Sandwich gives up the Holy Ghost.

Oh, I forgot. The head girl
exposed herself to me again.

If only it would
lead to pneumonia.

Weren't you
just a little surprised

when Laurie asked
if he could bring her home?

They couldn't
send a man round,

but they could sell me a fan.

Aren't you just a little surprised
that Laurie had a girlfriend at all?

It seemed perfectly natural to me,

insofar as anything
does seem natural these days.

He never seemed to me
to be very fond of girls.

He never once
forgot Mother's Day.

Do you know, I don't remember
him bringing a single girl home

all the time I've known him.

What an odd way to
talk about your own son.

Girls were always ringing
him up to ask him to parties.

There was...

Oh, whatshername, with the
hairpins that kept on coming off.

Alison someone.

She would have given
her right breast for him.

Not that he demands sacrifice
of women, or has a morbid nature.

Not that she had a right breast,
from what I can remember.

Yes, that's the one.

You know, woodwork and biology.

Said that Laurie was
the only boy in the class

who never giggled
during sex instruction.

With Mallinson, I'd doubt
it was a laughing matter.

Oh, it's...
It's just that I'm surprised.

Oh, pleased.

Yes, and rather relieved

to think that Laurie's
got involved with a young girl.

We don't know if she is young,

and I can't quite see where
the relief comes in.

Oh, come on now.
He was going to be a bachelor.

A celibate.

I think you'd better
put your shirt on

before you take back
that vile insinuation.

It's so hot!

Thank God I don't understand

a word of your
disgusting innuendos.

Simply because he hasn't
whored his way to manhood

like the rest of his
half-baked generation.


I daresay your talks to
the sixth form are equally lewd.


Don't you dare use that word
of our... of my child,

in his... in our...
in my hearing ever again.

Is that clear?


Oh, is that what you said?

- Well, if you thought that...
- I did not.

No, it can't be!

Well, what time do you make it?

This says five o'clock.
The damn thing stopped.

It's six by this.

They've both stopped.

I'm not ready.
I have a hundred things to do.

Now the handle's hot.
Oh, God.

Look at me, absolutely ruined.

Now the damn door's stuck.

We're trapped, Lettice.
It won't open.

If you're going to panic,
I'm not not going to be able to go.


My God, it's them!

Laurie, darling!

I didn't expect you for ages yet.


No, don't pull away.
I won't make a fuss.

People really do do this sort
of thing after a long absence.

Let me look at you.

- Well, I can look.
- Glad to have you back.

- How are you?
- Fine, fine.

Older, but finer,
er... wiser.

I've... I've lost weight, darling.
Don't you think I have?

You look as beautiful as ever.
You never change.

Outrageous, with just enough truth
not to make it flattery.

George, why don't you tell him
how well he looks?

Please, let's just get
one thing straight.

A weekend of being told
I'm through the worst

is, like, gonna put me
on my back for life.

I'm perfectly all right,
so let's just leave it there.

Why is it so bloody hot in here?

Er... That's a long story.

Your father, he hit
the central heating.

Why don't you open a window?

I have made the house burglar-proof,
with beautiful new locks,

and your father's
lost the master key.

Where's, um... Jo?

Couldn't she come?

I'd so looked forward
to meeting her.

I tripped over
the central heating.

I'm always falling
over something.

I hope I haven't wrecked it.

Oh, no.

Jo, this is my mother.

Oh, Mrs Mason,
this is so exciting.

I'm so happy to meet you.

Laurie's told me
so much about you.

None of which she believes.

May I?

Heavens, you are warm.

This is my father.

Thank you for letting me come.

It's wonderful to be able to get
out of London and meet people.

The charm may wear off.

Any friend of Laurie's is a...

Surprise to me.

May I?

You wear the same
aftershave as Laurie.

Oh, look, your book covers.

I've read them all, Mrs Mason.
My favourite is...

Mother really wanted
a romantic hero for a son.

I must have been a
terrible disappointment.

This is a lovely room, Mrs Mason.

Did you heat it up
on purpose for me?

Mother, how long
has it been like this?

Only since this afternoon.

When the Japanese did it,

it was an infringement
of the Geneva Convention.

You'll have me swinging
from the potted plant soon.

Oh! Me Tarzan!

No, Jo, you Jane.
Me, Tarzan.

- Cologne, Mrs Mason?
- Thank you, no.

Oh, well, I've sloshed
on enough for both of us.

Dad broke the central heating.

No, I merely tapped it,
and it fell to pieces in my hands.

I'm with you, Mr Mason.

I guess it's the mud hut
I grew up in.

I just get in a
panic seeing a screw.

You're just as I imagined,
Mrs Mason.

I hope I'm not too
much of a shock.

You never used to be
so short-sighted, Mother.

What's wrong?

Laurie, this is the beautiful
Miss Delaney you wrote about?

The Miss Delaney you were
so anxious for us to meet?


- The air hostess?
- Yes, Mother.

- The High Commissioner's daughter?
- That's her.

There are one or two things
that your father wishes to ask you.

No. No.

I'll get the luggage.

No, wait, Miss Delaney.
There's no hurry.


Jo, are you...

Frightfully tired after the journey?

Of course she isn't, George.

Look at her. Closely.

I see the table
is laid for seven.

You've got people coming round.
How nice.

Since I met Jo,
I have this incredible desire

to put her on show.
Who's coming?

Ah, I think that's what your
mother wants me to explain.

No-one is coming.
Not a soul.

- What an idea!
- But, Lettice...

On your first evening home
in a hundred years,

do you think I'd ask people round?

I knew you'd be quiet,
and want a tired, family evening.

- That doesn't sound quite...
- I'm not mad to be put on display.

But, of course, I'd love
to meet your friends.

Thank you.

- Have you forgotten...
- No, George.

No-one is coming to
this house tonight.

So why is the table
laid for seven?

It's laid for eight-thirty.

Yes, I know,
but there are seven plates.

- Your father...
- Don't involve me in this.

That was last night.

My publisher was
coming to dinner

with his wife and daughter,
wasn't he, George?

Well, he came up the M1,

and then drove
straight into a snow drift.

I cooked and cooked all day,
but they never made it.

Did they, George?

They were picked up by the AA,
and given hot baths,

and warm underclothes,
and hot toddies,

and taken to a hotel.
Weren't they, George?

That's where they
telephoned us from.

And they gave them hot curry
and mulligatawny soup,

and got them back to London
in a centrally-heated train.

And no-one is coming
to dinner tonight.

Mother, you're up to something.

I know that Lady Macbeth look.

George, where are you going?

- To change.
- Whatever for?

- I'm wet.
- No, stay here.

George! Stay where you are.
I need you here.

Maybe I could
see over the house.

I'd really like to.

Er... Have you lived here
all your life?

Certainly not.
I had to earn it.

Well, it's beautiful.

It's the kind of house my mother
would give her eye teeth to have.

A very peculiar form of barter.

I always thought it was
done with beads and shells.

- I, er...
- Now where, George?

Oh, I was just...
shifting my weight.

I... I thought I might try to open
some of the upstairs windows.

You know, to draw
the hot air up and out.

They're locked, too.
But the walls will crack soon,

so there will be a
slight ventilation.

Darling, I'm beginning
to stick to my clothes.

Do you think we could go
to my room and change?

Well, let's see if
we can get this open.

Oh, damn.

- I'll try from the other side.
- Good.

Oh, look, can I help?

That's the... girl.


Oh, there we go.
I'll just get the cases.

I didn't expect
things to be easy.

Help us, Mr Mason.

It looks as though
we're going to need it.

- My dear, I'd be only too...
- We're so in love.

I'd be only too pleased.
It's been a full day, though.

- I'm counting on you.
- Oh.

Here we are.

I'll hump these upstairs.

Tote that bag.
Lift that bale.

Supper still at eight-thirty?

Er... On the evidence of
the last thirty years, I expect so,

but this evening is beginning
to be a bit untypical.

You didn't think
I'd make it, did you?

- Er...
- Say nothing.

It's a relief to me as well.

Potatoes, dear.

Why the hell did you tell 'em

that we were not
having people to supper?

Well, we're not.

No-one's getting through
that door tonight.

No-one's coming into my house
to witness this spectacle.

- Where are they?
- Upstairs, changing.

It is understood that no-one
comes through that door tonight.

Is it too late to ring them?

Why did you make it
get this far?

Why didn't you ask them?
Why didn't you speak out?

I know it's not your life,
but something has to be done.

I'm not sure that I follow.

Is that all you have to say

in the face of complete social ruin?

It all seemed to
go very well to me.

Very well?

What went off very well?

My broadmindedness is a by-word.

Black is beautiful.

I was even prepared to have a
woman-to-woman talk with her,

but if you can show me to
what sort of which I was talking.

And you said it went off well.

Well, Laurie looks well,
that's all I'm saying.

He does not.

He looks fine,
and he sounds warped,

and he acts with hostility
to me, his only mother.

He was always a bit sardonic.

No, never to me.

He always made an
exception with me.

He's been mentally disturbed,

and I don't think
for a minute he's been cured.

- You said just now...
- I don't care what I said.

It's what I've seen.

To me, Jo seems a very nice...

A very nice what?
That's what I want to know.

Young person.

Don't try the staffroom
prevarication on me.

To me, she appears a
very pleasant young girl.

Didn't she...

Doesn't she...

Surely you're not denying
that Miss Delaney is a trifle,

Oh, the merest soupçon,

George Mason, look me in the
eye when I'm shouting at you.

Lettice, I've had a bitter day,
and I need...

piano this weekend.

Do you hear me?

If anybody bitches,
or raises their voice,

or bares his or her breast,

or tears their hair,
or anybody else's, I...

I walk straight out
of this house, and...

spend the night with my brother.

I want peace.
I need peace in this house.

I like Jo a great deal.

I think she's a good person,
and she is good to Laurie.

My God, I hope not.

And that is all I
am prepared to say.

- Now, let me say...
- Don't interrupt!

I like her.

And you'll be doing
us all a service

if you will try and
do the same thing.

Is that understood?

Laurie is our son,
and he has a perfect right

to live the life he wants
with the girl...

the young person that he wants.

And the sooner that you
accept that, the better.

I shall never forgive you.

That's sanctimonious, two-faced,
gutless escapism.

My God, the Havendons!

Tell her I'm ill.

Tell her I'm ditzy.
We're all dead.

You know how she loves scandal.

But now that she's here,
why not...

Get the door before Laurie
or worse opens the door.

It's stuck again.

Is that Laurie on the stairs?
He'll let them in.

- Well, why not?
- Ssh! They'll hear you.

Do you think they're
having trouble with Laurie?

I'm having trouble
with my circulation.

Tell her we have
some curious infection.

That at least is true.

Perhaps he's turned violent.

We have
some curious infection!

- George!
- It's freezing!

Ssh! Go away!

Do you think we
ought to hang about?

That was the worst
moment of my life.

They'll never speak to me again.

She will, if it's only
to speak my epitaph.

It... It was
the Havendons, wasn't it?


We shouldn't have come.

Would she ever like
me, do you think?

Well, there's
a million to one chance

that she could open her arms
and say "Laurie, I love Jo."

If she had, I would have choked.

Well, thank God I warned you.

Your father's all right.

I like him.

Well, the bits of him
that she's left.

George, is it going to blow up?

Yes, my dear.
I rather think it is.

Happily, I'm ready to die.

My God, they've come back!

Now, leave this to me.

And now
for the weather forecast.

Sleet and snow
are likely to spread south

by the late evening, reaching
the homosexual counties by dawn...

Actually, it was Liz, but, er...

it seemed to work.

Oh, er... she dropped
some flowers on the path.

- Do you want them?
- Lord, no!

It looks like Kew Gardens already.

You know,
I'm quite enjoying this.

Well, that's good news.

I hope the soup is spiced
enough for you, Miss Delaney.

I'm afraid tinned tomato
isn't very exotic.

But it's been Laurie's
favourite since he was five.

It's unbelievable.
I never tasted anything like it.

Red pepper.

Yes, it's always been tomato.

And we're having roast
chicken, of course.

Yes, it was always roast
chicken for birthdays.

I'll have a bet with you
it'll be jelly to follow.

It's custard.

But with fruit salad.

Mmm, now I know I'm home.

- Was it a good journey?
- Oh, marvellous.

- Awful.
- Oh, come on, it wasn't that bad.

We got talking to
this young man.

Well, he was young, anyway.

Yes, I thought he
was a young man, too.

Suddenly, he said,
"I'm going to have a baby."

We'd just left the station.

The awful thing was,
we congratulated him.

We thought he'd meant his wife,

the long-haired girl next to him.

Oh, yes, we thought that
she was his wife.

The next minute, he was
on the floor in labour.

How appalling.

A man?

- English?
- Oh, yes.

Which class were you travelling?

Well, it wasn't really a man.

I mean, he was just
dressed like one.

But the girl, you see,
that we thought was the wife,

turned out to be the husband
dressed in a sort of, um... er...

you know,
with beads and things, and...

Well, he held her hand,
and told her...

told her stories of unlikely births,

while Jo delivered the baby.

Jo was marvellous.

I've always seen your books
as a kind of escape, Mrs Mason.

I've always seen them
as a higher standard of living.

I reread some while
I was in hospital.

The psychiatrist couldn't believe

that they were written
by a happily married woman.

Miss Delaney, how long
have you been an air steward?


I'm longing to introduce Jo to
everyone I went to school with.

I think Arthur's going to be
knocked out by her.

Oh, Arthur's much too languid
for anything so strenuous.

I handle that type rather well.

I'm sure.

- George?
- Yeah, I'm going to get some cold water.

I think that's what I need.

Laurie, how long have
you known Miss Delaney?

Er, three weeks.

Is that including weekends?

Yes, and feast days,
and bank holidays,

and quarter days, the lot.
Three weeks.

- The best time of my life.
- Darling!

There's not a drop of cold water

anywhere in the house.

George, I wish you'd stop
torturing me with these newsflashes.

Before you carve seconds,

I think you'd better
say your few words.

Oh, I do wish you'd
stop telling me that.

Is that few enough, Mother?

I have nothing to say beyond,
"Welcome home to both of you."

That really is nice, Mr Mason.
Thank you.

I needed to hear
that from someone.

Miss Delaney, you wear your hair
quite short for flying.

Oh, it's only a midi-Afro.

Don't you like it?

I think it's stunning.

Jo, Miss Delaney, is rather
an odd name for a gir...

for a young person of your sex.

I think I'd better
water the plants again.

I have to do it every few
minutes to keep them upright.

You wear uniquely masculine
clothes, Miss Delaney.

Oh, these? We're giving them
to Oxfam next week.

But it's fun in the dark.
Everyone mistakes me for Laurie.

But that's where it's at these days,
so maybe I shouldn't worry.

Just enjoy being a man.

Where did you two meet?

- In a cinema queue.
- Not very romantic.

George, perhaps now you'll say

what you've been wanting to say.

Was it a very big queue?

Miss Delaney, when did
you last wear a skirt?

Tell us what's on
your mind, George.

The lavatories were covered
in graffiti again today.

If the walls were
anything to judge by,

the entire intellectual
effort of the school

goes into masturbation.

Don't try to sidetrack
the issue by being vulgar.

Mother, are you
and Father all right?

I mean, you've hardly spoken
a sane word since we arrived here.

Fair average.

- George!
- Are you...

Look, if you're going to
ask me any more information

about the sizes
of cinema queues,

I may get a second
opinion on the pair of you.

Oh, listen, you don't
usually work this late.

Do you still love me?

Darling, how many more
times do I have to tell you?

I'm committed.

Have you slept?

Oh, I couldn't get near the bed

for the warm glow
from the springs.

I tried lying on the floor.

Even the bloody
dust is scorching.

Hey, what's so funny?

Well, it's snowing outside,
it's a foot deep already,

and here we are like a fish fry.

- Hey, move over.
- Oh, no.

- Come on.
- It's hot. It's hot enough.


Oh, we shouldn't
have come, you know.

Oh, don't apologise.

Do you think I could make it?
Here, in this house?

Well, you're not doing badly,
and the conditions aren't ideal.

I thought she would at
least have been polite.

Uptight, yeah, you know,
but polite.

At her age, the curlier the hair,
the curlier the lip.

Now, I can get mine
straightened out at the barber's...

with a struggle.

Let's make love.

Now he asks me.



That is,
"I'm sorry, no."

Why not?

Well, it's like having it off
in the British Museum.

I do some of my best work
in the British Museum.

- Whose bed?
- Well, here, of course.

I thought we were
going to do this for pleasure.

Well, there are other places.

The wardrobe? The drawers?

Look, there'll be other nights.

Not tonight, there won't.

Your room's boiling.

That only leaves George's bed
and the garage.

Well, it's ridiculous!

Come on. Come with me.

Where are we going?


What the hell are you doing?

- Monitoring.
- Oh, leave them alone.

At this time of night,
it's unthinkable.

- Get back to bed.
- But they'll be gone tomorrow.

And it's not for me to
speak ill behind anyone's back

when I can be saying it to their face.

What are you suggesting?

Definitely not a cup of Horlick's.

It will be like
air conditioning here.

Do you mean it?

Here, on the floor.

Let's stop discussing it
and get on with it.

- Darling?
- What?


Kiss me.


What's wrong?

Cramp! It's a cramp.

Er... how are you doing?

I thought I was doing my best.

I didn't lay the bloody floor.

- You're not going to lay me either.
- Yet.

Would the top of the dining
table be any easier for you?

You're beginning to
sound like my mother.

Well, that that might excite you.

That's a bloody
personal remark to make!

You're not putting this onto me.

I told you I liked the idea.

How the hell could I
waft hot and cold

in this bloody temperature?

Look what we have here.

Look, I'm going to make love
whether you want me or not.

Whether you can or not.

- You bitch.
- I didn't mean that. I didn't.

I know exactly what you meant.

Look, I can't make love and
apologise at the same time.

We never had this
difficulty in London.

Not even with the landlady
on the stairs.

Undress me.

- What?
- Undress me.

Well, don't you
think it's rather cold?

Coming, as I do,
from a hot country?

It's no good here.

Oh, look...

We've got to a stage now,
we toss a coin,

"Do we or don't we?"

- Do we?
- Well, don't we?!

No, not so loud.

Look, I can't put a
notice on the door.

Coitus don't-interruptus.

I'm not interrupting
anything, I hope?

Can't I even kiss Jo
without you breaking in on us?

If you're hot,
why don't you stand

in front of
the refrigerator, darling?

I poured myself a glass
of water in the bathroom,

and it cracked the glass.

I came down to see if
we had a plastic cup.

I'm a little embarrassed
to find we have.

Did we disturb you, Mrs Mason?

When you are my age,

you will learn to take
all natural and unnatural...

catastrophe in your ample stride.

Laurie, you're wearing the
same pyjamas as your friend.

Well, think yourself lucky
we're not both dressed like you.

I do most profoundly.

Not that I consider decency
to be a question of luck.

It's something you commit yourself to
at a very early age.

Or not.

What a pretty nightdress,
Mrs Mason.

It's pretty appropriate, yes.

Or should I call it a négligée?

If you don't know by now,

there's little point
in my telling you.

One of the stairs creaks.

She must've been stalking us.

But what if she'd come
down five minutes later?

- Oh, for God's sake, don't.
- I would have died on the spot.

So would she, and I expect
I would have followed.

With three dead bodies
littering the floor,

that only leaves Dad to
die of shock and grief.

Well, I'm going to bed.
I simply can't face her.

Do you both plan to spend
the entire night down here,

one way or another?

Mother, we're not
planning anything.

Even if we're not happy,
can't we all smile at the same time?

What is the time?
I haven't the slightest idea.

The heat seems to have
stopped the church clock,

and that's a
quarter of a mile away.

I wondered where
you'd all go to.

What a waste of intelligence.

How far could anyone
go in this heat?

I had to stop twice
just coming downstairs.

For a breath, or to hear better?

I never listen to other
people's conversations,

except when it's
my duty to overhear.

True, true.

So you can't sleep either,
Mr Mason?

There is some difference
between my husband's

waking and sleeping state.

Sorry, if you just tell me
what the right thing to say is.

Oh, take no notice of me
until I absolutely insist.

Those pyjamas suit you perfectly.

How well they fit.

What the devil
is the time, anyway?

Oh, I think it's somewhere
between three and four.

Oh, it sounds worse when
you put it into words.

Can I borrow one of your
sleeping pills, dear?

How does one repay a sleeping pill?

Oh, help yourself.
Take them all.

Oh, let's get back to bed.

After you, Miss Delaney.

How much more of term
is left, Mr Mason?

A week.

You'll last that long.
You'll look good for years yet.

Have you any idea, Jo,
how many, many, many days

there are in one school week?

You're always setting us
some sort of problem, George.

Why don't you set us an example?

So much more useful.

I know, why don't we all go
for a walk in the snow?

Well, at least freezing out there
must be better than frying in here.

I'll come.
I love the snow.

Such enthusiasm.

You come, Mr Mason.
It'll be good fun.

Besides, it's dangerous
to lose too much salt.

- Come and cool down.
- No, the colonial spirit left me years ago.

You go, Lettice.

Don't be ridiculous.
The shock'd kill me.

What do you think I am? A Finn?

Are you serious?

I never know with you, Laurie.

I think it's a mad idea.

I know, but it looks
so beautifully cold.

Oh, it's stuck.

That's a relief.

I know, I'll meet you on
the landing under the loft.

We can get through
the attic window,

and then slide down the roof.

So put on your thickest
trousers and two sweaters.

Don't wait for us.

See you!

Catch their death.

- George?
- Mmm.

If you feel as terrible as you look,
don't go to bed.

You'll never get up.

No, wait, darling.

You didn't...
You obviously didn't notice

they were wearing
the same pyjamas.

At the same time?
How extraordinary.

It's when I'm talking to myself
that I'm grateful for

the glimmer of intelligence
the conversation shows.

No, wait.

I'm deeply sorry to
have to tell you this, but...

she has hairy wrists.

- Who?
- Jo Delaney.

You were probably
looking at Laurie.

If I have to notice everything
in this house for one more minute,

I shall expect
dispensation from the church.

From all the churches.

Lettice, it is some time
on a hot winter's morning.

My eyes are full of sand,

every now and then
you seem to open your mouth

and say something, which
may or may not make sense.

If you are driving at anything
that I ought to say, or do, or feel,

at least wait until I have
faculties enough to understand you.

What are we going
to do with these?

Come on, darling.
Come on, trust me.

Now watch the steps.

They've gone.
They were serious.

Unfortunately, they'll be back.

But I shall be
in a sleep so sweet that...

even the angels
will bend the knee.

You're quite clear what has to
be done tomorrow?


I am not, and I
don't want to be.

I've reached my journey's end.

Please give me some indication

that you know
what I'm talking about.

You must tell him
about his friend.

Tell him what?

Tell him that she's not
what he or she or any of us

would love to think she was.

No. Sleep on it.

See if she still looks
the same tomorrow.

George, I've just had
the most awful thought.

What if someone in the village
sees her... him... them... it?

Three o'clock in the morning?
Don't be absurd.

I will be beside you.

You don't have to make
the point all at once.

But you do have to make
it once and for all.

- Is that clear?
- Mmm. Mm-mm-mmm.

George, if you were
half the man Jo is,

we wouldn't have this problem!


Down! Down, boy!


What, what?
Sleeping on the job?

Wait till Mother hears about this.

Only forty winks.

Not as many as that, actually.

Didn't you get any
sleep last night?

Oh, I think the sleeping pill's
only just beginning to work now.

Oh, I can't keep my eyes open.
Not that I want to.

You do look a bit
rough round the eyes.


Laurie, has your mother been
saying anything to you?

Anything that you might
feel unable or...

disinclined to discuss, you know?

Dad, are you in
any kind of trouble?

- Because I do wish you'd say...
- No, no, no, no, of course not.

I thought you
might have developed

a taste for boys, or something.

No, only really exceptional
teachers manage that.

The gear suits you, Mr Mason.



Yes, a little preposterous for
mid-December, don't you think?

I last wore these in Positano.

George, that particular plant
only blooms once in a lifetime.

I think we've rather forced
the choice of today upon it,

but did you have to
kill it so young?

- I'll go.
- No, stay where you are.

Go where, dear?

Wasn't that the front doorbell?

I didn't hear anything.

I hope you haven't
been overworking

your poor brain again.

You didn't hear anything,
did you, George?

I don't remember.

I'm sure it was the doorbell.


Sit down.

I wish you'd remember
you're on holiday.

It was only the bell
on the cooker.

Turn down the meat,
will you, dear?

- Can't we have a cold lunch?
- Well, I don't see how.

Mother, it is
the front doorbell.

You know, I do
believe you're right.

Isn't that the
most amazing thing?

The heat is bending
the sound waves.

You go, dear.

No, it might be...
I mean, what if it's the...

I went last night.

I'm sure it's only the milkman.

At this time of day?
He's very, very, very late.

Well, I'm sure he's
welcome whenever he calls.

- Shall I go?
- I'll get rid of her, er... him.

I'll get you an
extra pint, dear.

Dad, what's the matter with her?

She seems perfectly
normal to me.

If she goes on like this,
the only thing that'll keep her

out of a psychiatrist's hands

is sudden death.

That remark defies analysis.

Is there a logical
explanation for all this?

- Ah, well...
- No, I thought not. Thank you.

Ah! Has she, er... he gone?

- Completely.
- Was it the milkman?

In a way.

But I thought I heard
a woman's voice.

Mine, dear.
I've never cut our milkman.

I mean, as well as yours.

Oh, er... you know how uncertain
of themselves some milkmen are.

Mother, if you've taken to
to apologising for me,

even to the Milk Marketing Board...
My God.

Darling, when have you ever
heard me apologise to anyone?

Mmm, before I forget, I'm asking
Arthur Potter round for lunch.

Nyah-ah-ah! More guests!

Oh, sweetheart, be reasonable.

There's hardly enough
oxygen to go around.

I don't mean to be frightful, but
the temperature's still rising.

All right, all right.
For drinks, then.

How about hot Vermouth?

Look at us.

None of us is at their
loveliest in this heat,

and I think Jo has to be
seen at her best.

Any little improvement
helps her. Any of us.


Good Lord, there's
a crack over there.

- Where?
- There.

I can't see anything.

Oh, it's only a small crack.

But I'd better tackle it right away.
I'll get my crackle, er, tackle.

Am I calling Arthur, or not?

I don't mean to be selfish,

but I can't have that
person in my house.

Mother, he is not that person.

I thought you liked him.

Well, wouldn't it be a
trifle hurtful for him?

Why should it be?

Why should it be hurtful?

Well, he was very...
Oh, he embarrasses me.


Well, he's so arch.

Mother, he happens
to be my best friend.

But his clothes.

Oh, for God's sake.
What's wrong with his clothes?

Well, during the time
you were inseparable,

they were quite extraordinary.

Do you mean "way out"?

They were
extraordinarily bright.

They hurt my eyes.

I go for bright clothes.

They were masculine.

I... I mean, er...

I adore gorgeous men.

The taller the better.

You can spare me the enthusiasm.

It must be difficult for a...
a person of your generation

to sympathise, Mrs Mason.

My darling child,
I suspect you know very little

about women of my generation,

and our difficulties.

When it comes to sex,
you can't discuss terms with people.

I never discuss
terms with anyone.

You never discuss
sex with anyone.

Can't find me tackle.

Sex isn't what you wear.

It's not being face up
or face down in bed.

Nowadays, it's simply
a matter of personality.

Mr Mason, you must see
it all the time in school.

It's not part of the curriculum.

Look, who gives a hell
whether it's a girl or a boy?

We're all a bit of both,
aren't we, Mrs Mason?

I bet you don't get many
absolute heteros in your school.

They're mainly West Indian.

Sometimes, it's only when
they get their insurance cards

that you do discover
what sex they are.

Doesn't it shock you that
the sexes are coming closer together?

Young people will go on
experimenting, my dear,

whether my eyebrows
go up or down.

In my day, the
excitement was in guessing

which man would
ask you to dance,

not in guessing
which were the men.

Nowadays, I guess
it's very chic to boast

that some of one's
best men friends are women.

I find it extremely decadent.

Let me remind you,
it was my generation

that produced Jacqueline Kennedy,
Terence Rattigan,

and Agatha Christie.

I'm sorry if I said anything
to upset you, Mrs Mason.

Words! When have I ever
been afraid of words?

I'm sure that everything
you've said is right.

It's just me that
doesn't think so.

Jo, get your coat.
We'll take Arthur to the pub.

I'm sure Mother will excuse us.

Darling boy,
I hope you'll always do

exactly what you think is right,

after first having
talked it over with me.

Listen, I must get
my face together.

No, leave it. It's perfect.
Isn't it, Mother?

Miss Delaney's looks
are her problem, not mine.

George, we'll get the lunch.

- Lunch?
- May I help?

Thank you.
The kitchen's so small...

We're going to meet Arthur.

Now, do you want us back
here for lunch or not?

Just as you wish, dear,
although it's six months

since we've glimpsed you.

Then we'll be back here
at one o'clock. All right?


- She seems...
- Well?

She has plenty of ideas.

You might as well say a
shopping list has ideas.

If that's an example of
what your schools are turning out,

I'd like to see you in another job.

Well, you can't expect
everyone to agree with us.

Least of all when they're
half our age.

My age.

Why not? It's a democracy.

They ought to toe the line.

Shall I make the beds?

When did you ever make the beds?


They've been done for
at least an hour.

- Oh, well, I thought it might just...
- These plants are taking over.

I think it's going to be
either them or us.

How keen do you think he is?

I don't think he knows
what he's saying or doing.

Well, you've got to remember

that we're 2,000 miles
further south this weekend.

It must seem just like
home to Miss Delaney.


Why don't you call her Jo?

I hate the name. It's...

so short.

Don't you think it odd

that when you couldn't
keep a dry stitch on your back,

she had nothing to wash?

Or is that peculiar
to hot countries?

What do you make of that?

At the risk of failing you completely,
I make nothing of it.

Don't be so coy.

I don't think she wears
any female clothing at all,

and for excellent reasons.

Lettice, this is a conversation
best left to another time.

George, this is the worst thing I've
ever had to say about a coloured lady,

but I think she may
not be a female.

Lettice, I've never
heard you so uncharitable.

- What did you do with the butter?
- Oh, bugger the butter.

Laurie says she's a woman,
she says she's a woman.

With such evidence, I am prepared
to take her femininity on trust.

Laurie's still sick.

The only thing
he's sick with is love.

Well, all the more reason
to find out what she is

before it gets out of hand.

Do something!

What, debag her?

Telephone her parents.

What on earth for?

We don't know them.

Well, they must know if
they have a daughter or not.

It's not just something
a mother feels.

No, no, never.
I won't do it.

It's obscene.
Come away from that telephone.

He is your only son.

Listen, they're only just
across the road.

How do you ask someone if
their daughter is a girl? Hmm?

And a complete stranger at that.

We don't know where
the parents live.

There's a label
on her luggage.

My God, how does
your brain work?

Quite efficiently.

13A Belgrave Square, SW1.

You'll get the number from Enquiries.

No. I won't. I'd choke.

Do you want your son
to end up a...

I'm not sure that
I know the word.

Yes, if it's going to bring
a little peace into this house.

George, you are impossible.

The Delaneys will be
too busy with state affairs,

You know, passports,
legal immigration, that sort of thing.

Sooner or later, you have to
take somebody at their word.

And I think she's a girl.

She's flatter-chested than you.

Well, won't make any difference.
We neither of us want to be Miss World.

At least get the
number from Enquiries.

Now, it doesn't hurt to
telephone Enquiries, does it?

What moral right have
we got to be doing this?

It's not a sin to
call the operator.

Lettice, if Laurie has any
passionate feelings at all,

he'll know the form by now.

My son is a virgin.

What does one
dial for Enquiries?

At least if I'm wrong, we
get to know the parents sooner.

I'm sure anyone living
in Belgravia

is prepared to give
a straight answer.

I'll spend the rest of
my life regretting this.

Oh, hello. Er...
It's the operator.

I... Oh, good morning.

- What's it like your end? Nice?
- Stop waffling, George.

I want a number.

Oh, a little West End number.

No, a telephone number.

Name? Mason.

Not our name! Delaney.

He wants Delaney.

I can't do it. It goes against
everything I believe.

No, no, not you, Operator.

Thank you. Delaney.

No, I don't know the initial.
We're not that close.

Delaney, 13A...

Belgrave Square, SW1.

And please be quick, because
they could be back any minute.

I would never have thought
anyone mentioned in dispatches

could be such a coward.

- Oh, my God.
- Hmm?

Get me a pencil with a point.

There's one in the hall.
On... On the table.

Op... Operator!
Oh, that was very quick.

On the table!

I'm afraid you'll have
to hang on a minute.

The pencil with the point is...
is in the hall, on the table.


0-1-2-3-5-double 9-8-3.

Surely you can hang
on for a minute?

It's what you're paid for.

- Nothing here!
- Well, then, on the desk.

No, stop misunderstanding me,
you silly man.

Damn it!

0-1-2... 2...

2-3-5-double 9-8-3.

2-3-5-double 9-8-3.

At least try that.

Someone in Belgravia
might know what sex she is.

No, I...

I think this would
come better from you, love.

Be a man.

I... no, I...

Very well, George Mason.

Where are you going?
I don't trust that "inspired" look.

I'm going to search her luggage

to find out what her
underclothing is like.

You can't rifle
a guest's belongings!

You always underestimated me.

All right, all right, all right.
I'm dialling.

But let it be understood that
you don't touch a thing of hers.

Oh, my God, it's ringing.

Well, don't watch me.
Can't you go and find anything to do?

Oh, hello. Mr Delaney?

Yes, it is.

It's the right number.

- Why did you ring off?
- Well, it's such a shock.

He's a High Commissioner.

He's one of our
coloured brothers.

You'd be hopeless in a nuclear war.

You'd sit and watch
the Russians rape me,

and then make us all
a nice cup of tea with sugar in it.

- Ah, would you like a cup?
- No.

Oh, Mr Delaney, that is you?

Yes, it is.

That was my husband
who telephoned a few minutes ago.

I'm so sorry you were cut off.

Can you spare a moment?
He'd like to talk to you.

Ask him.

Take it!

Darling, we have the right

to know what's going on
under our own rooves

on account of
the mortgage repayments alone.

S-s-say something.

I think he's gone.

- Hello?
- No!

Oh, Mr Delaney, um...
can I help you?

Tell him who you are first.

I don't know anymore.

Do you, by any chance, live at
13A Belgrave Square, London SW1?

- Yes, I do.
- Oh, you do?

He does.

It's me again.
Mr and Mrs Mason calling,

Mr and Mrs Lettice Mason.

I see you probably don't know...

What? You do know?

I'm not that widely
read in the West Indies.

Well, that makes it
much more friendly.

I told you it'd be all right.
Now, ring off.

I thought perhaps you might
not have heard of us from Jo.

There, ask him.

Mr Delaney, um...
is your wife there?

Yes, hold on.

No, no, no.
I don't much want to talk to her.

I just hoped that she
might be out shopping.

Oh, she's just going?
Oh, well, I don't want to keep you.

I know what it's like
on Saturdays. Goodbye.

Ask if he has a daughter.

Get away! She'll hear you!

How is Jo?

Staying with us,
as a matter of fact.

Say "she", and see
what he says to that.

Jo's very well.

We're very pleased
to have met Jo.

She! Her! I mean...
Ooh, you are impossible.

No, sir, my wife.
You know how women hover.

No, no, no,
don't put Mrs Delaney on.

No, not if she's waiting
to go out shopping.

But all you have to say is,
"Jo is a very nice girl."

I thought anyone
could have said that.

Mrs Delaney, is it
snowing this morning?

Oh? That's very rough on you,

but I daresay you're
getting acclimatised.


Yes, we like Jo
very much indeed.

And it's probably
going to snow here, too.

Ask her!
I'm tearing my hair out!

Mrs Delaney, just before
you go out into the cold,

do you... have...

Do you know if you
have a daughter?

It's him.
It's him again, now.

Your wife sounded really nice.

No, no, old chap, no.
Don't worry about the expense.

This sort of thing
doesn't happen every day.

Yes. Yes.

We like the young people, yes.
Very much. And...

And we want you to know,
from the bottom of our hearts,

that we like your...



- W hat?
- W hat?

He's looking forward, very much,
to meeting our daughter, Laurie.




Come here!

Lettice, I do not approve.

- A guest is a guest.
- Is a guest. Open this case.

There are certain
feminine traits in every man.

I have beautiful feet,

but that doesn't give
every perfect stranger

a right to rifle my belongings.

Well, if this happened in school,
you wouldn't keep quiet.

Schools aren't the places
to keep quiet,

but I'd rather hoped my home was.

Lettice, there are certain things
that can't be said between gentlemen,

and telling Laurie that he's...

mistaken about the sex
of his girlfriend is one of them.

Open the case.

You... You can't be content
to have your career ruined

by letting him continue
in a relationship

that is as godless
as it is fashionable.

Jo is, I believe,
a young woman.

Charming, attractive,
of advanced ideas,

which, I fancy,
for better or worse,

she puts into effect.

If she's your criterion
of womanhood,

by God, I've failed you.

Laurie's gone barking mad.

I mean, he's...
He's lost touch with reality.

The case!

My dear, if you
respect me as a man...

Open the case.
If you won't, I will.

- You can't!
- Can't I?


- Read that.
- Mmm?

All of it? It's a Bible.

"To Joseph, my beloved son."

In black and white.

Wait till he gets home.

Lettice, I'm a...

a liberal coward,

but everyone has a right
to live his own life,

make his own decisions.

It's a right that I will
defend for my son,

even against my wife. You...
You can't live his life for him.

I don't want to.
I'm far too busy.

If he is nightly
in the arms of a young man,

which, pray God, he isn't,

does it matter?

You'd have to resign
from the golf club, for a start.

Lettice, he's out of
the nursery. He's a man.

Whatever my son's taste in sex,
I'm not ashamed of him.

If Jo is a man...

I don't think I'm disgusted.

If they have a...
a taste for one another,

it adds to their life, then...

as far as I'm concerned,
they can be as loving as they like.

We're none of us so normal,
so self-dependent,

that we can turn down all the
good sex that comes our way,

or the chance of having someone
to love us. Don't you agree?

I don't give a damn
if she's a man.

If she is, she's
a jolly good chap.

Going to lunch?

At the nearest hotel
that will have me.

But you're not leaving me now.
You can't possibly leave me now.

Say I'll be back
when they've gone.

- Pretend we're making the bed.
- But it's made.

Well, then, unmake it.

- Just making the bed.
- Again.

Dad, what on earth
are you doing?

You never made
a bed in your life.

Yeah, well, I...

Your father is fighting
for decency and sanity.

What future is there in that?

Your father would like
a quiet word with you.

- Oh.
- But if you're busy,

it'll keep till after lunch.

Jo, be an angel, will you,
and get me my spectacles?

They're by the telephone.
I can see them quite clearly.

But you're wearing them.

Oh! How quick.

I can hardly see a thing
because of the steam.

Could you get me my case?

They're next door, in my bedroom.

That's it, isn't it?

I mean, look,
it's got your name on it. See?

Shall I bring you your bag?

You can put the whole lot in.

Now, I think that is downstairs.

Thank you.

Or shall I do some washing?

It'll take about
half an hour or so.

Or perhaps I could take longer?

Jo, I want you with me.

Oh, no, no. Listen, I don't want to
get involved with all this now.

- Please.
- Anything that I've got to say

can be said in front of Jo.
Er... now...

Sex is a...
a very wonderful thing.

Um... What did you say?

I'm sorry. That's awful of me.

Do you know that is
the second time that word

has been used in this house?

Your father said
that sex was wonderful.

Well, I...
in its way, it is wonderful.

Not always necessary,
but always wonderful.


Mr Mason, why now?

Well, you must just take
my word for it. Wonderful and...

and mysterious.

I don't think it's in
anyone's interest

to stress "mysterious".

You mean one doesn't
know where to find it,

or how to get enough?

If you're going
to be flippant, I'll...

insist on turning the whole
thing over to your mother.

Dad, is this what is called
"a man-to-man talk"?

- Almost entirely.
- No, no, no, no.

It's not a talk, Laurie.
It's just a...


Mr Mason, is this
something to do with me?

Oh, no, please don't be embarrassed.
I've heard it all before.

No, no, no. You...

You couldn't be
farther from the point.

No, to be strictly accurate...

George means
it does concern you, my dear.

Actually, we love you very much,

but we don't want to
see you hurt.

Not on your first visit.

- I see.
- Well, I don't.

But with "sex" and "mystery"
so far established,

my interest is held.

Well, it's something
that your mother thinks

that I think you...
you ought to know,

and she thinks now is the time
that you ought to know it now. Er...

Mother, how have
you got him going?

He never talked so
lucidly in his life.

Your father says what he feels.

Must you, Mr Mason?

I think I've said
all I need to say on...

Don't be preposterous!

I haven't understood a word.

I want this ended before lunch.

Your father, if I can guess
what he wants to say,

means that sex is only marvellous

with the right people.

I realise this is a
very big idea, darling,

but will you promise me
to think about it?

I think of nothing else, Mother.

Who are the right people,
Mrs Mason? Do you have a list?

It's... It's a question of
what's, er... appropriate.

To finding the piece that fits.

You don't have to
take our word for it.

God has expressed himself on the
subject in no uncertain terms.

Now, where was I?

Having sex with the right people.

You know, I used to wonder
how you spent your lunch hour.

If you think for
one minute I'm going to

marry some rich
Pre-Raphaelite, like Liz,

than you can forget it.

Liz would have died for him.

- You didn't tell me about her.
- There's nothing to tell.

She's a very nice girl, but
because she's unusually plain,

she'll probably stay one.

Your father wishes me to say

that he's troubled by certain things
that you don't seem to be aware of.

Then if he could just draw, mime,
suggest, act any of them,

we could all have lunch.

When it comes to a
question of the utmost tact,

your father is inhibited.

Fortunately, being an artist
and not an academic,

I'm spared these scruples.

Your father wishes
me to make it clear,

as all my books made clear,

that life is best
with a person of...

the opposite sex.

- Who?
- Opposite sex.

Is this what you
wanted to tell me?

More or less to the word, yes.

Well, there's at least six couples
in my block of flats that don't agree.

Oh, for Christ's sake,
why tell me this?

Is it some kind of confession?

Have you been feeling up the
first year behind the gym?

My boy, the best,
the fullest relationship

is that in which one discovers
not a reflection of oneself,

but the soul, the psychology
to complement one's own.

Thank you, dear.

No-one denies that other...

varieties of sex

are exciting, or distracting, but...

But... But the only relationship which...

which... which yields the...
the real, the fullest lasting pleasure,

is the... what we call
the homosexual relationship.


Ah, heterosexual. Er...

We can pause for a moment

for you to grasp
the implications of that.

Only a moment, please,

because I'd love to get
into something dry for lunch.

We want to know what
you mean to do about it.

What can I do about what?

We feel as if you need help, or...

That's where we come in.

Mother, one of us needs help.

May I point out
that it is not me.

Frankly, no.

I am in love.

We're in love, Mrs Mason.

The quality of the emotion

doesn't make it any less unusual.

Mrs Mason, I'll make
one thing clear now.

I did not come hereto
be patronised by you.

Then how do you explain this?

What's that doing here?

Is that all you have to say?

Well, what interest is
my brother's Bible to you?


Thank God for that!

I packed the
damned thing by mistake.

I thought it was War and Peace.

- Your father wishes to say...
- Mother, I am thirty years of age,

and you're acting as if
I'm still not off the tit!

I love her!

I'll go.

I don't have tits!

And age has nothing to do with

being able to look someone
in the face and tell their sex.

You don't seem to have grasped,
even at your age,

what most people can tell
by the time they're three months.

- Jo is not...
- Who the hell is Fred Delaney?

Oh, my God, it's Fred Delaney.
Jo, it's for you.

- Daddy?
- He sounds furious.

I mean, why is he phoning here?

- He's screaming something at you.
- Well, shall I?

I mean, I hadn't told him I was
going to be here this weekend.

Well, that shows
a remarkable lack of...

- How did he find out?
- I don't know. Take it.

Hello, Daddy?
It's not really you?

- Are you all right?
- Yes. Good Lord, yes. I'm fine.

I'm perfectly all right.
Why shouldn't I be?

I'm too old for this.
If Laurie finds out...

- Look, I can't hear you.
- Come home.

At once.

I can't. I'm with
Laurie and the parents.

They're very nice people.

Mr Mason's particularly nice.

Ask them why they telephoned us.

Did you telephone my parents?

- Not an intentional...
- Of course we didn't.

- Oh, we didn't. Did we?
- Now you know damn well we did.

- Let's get one thing straight.
- Oh! Oh, yes.

It's coming back to me.
The Dela... Oh, those Delaneys!

Yes, I think we did.

- Why? Did they say we did?
- Yes.

What the hell did
you call them for?

Ask them what's happening.

Well, they seem to say "yes".
Yes, they did.

- Why did you phone them?
- Laurie, be quiet!

Would you just keep from
meddling in my affairs?

Are they mad?

Mummy, you too?

What a full house.

Yes, I am perfectly all right.

Oh, it's so hot here.
It's a hundred in the shade.

If you're a prisoner,
I'm calling the police.

No, no, no, no.
Don't call the police.

I knew we hadn't impressed them.

Well, the call didn't
go quite as we planned.

I don't know what she
thinks is happening to me.

Mother, we're
practically under arrest.

Is that girl, Laurie, a boy?

Yes, Laurie is a boy.

Good God, not that it's
any of your business.

But Laurie is a girl's name.

Jo, when are you
going to settle down?

I don't know when
I'm going to settle down.

When you die
and leave me some money.

Now will you drop that
"more married than thou" act

and get off the line!

No, I don't love you!
Or Mummy!

Oh, they seem to think I'm
in some kind of asylum.

Not some kind, the worst.

You will be grateful
to me, Laurie,

when you hear
what Daddy has to say.

Oh, no, not even you
can't believe that!

I have nothing more to say.

Mother, dear, doesn't it
ever occur to you

that I might know everything
that she is and isn't by now?

I know that she's never going
to beat you at Scrabble.

I know that she's never going to be
Home Counties Badminton Champion,

or President of your
Needlewomen's Guild,

or good at church
flower decoration.

We can discuss her very serious
personality disorders later.

I'm going upstairs.

Nobody moves
until I've finished.

I have spared myself the luxury
of speaking my mind for three decades,

and now I am
marvellously prepared.

Jo is not, I believe,

although I will be happy
to be found wrong...

Good enough?

Isn't that what you
were going to say?

How does a person become that?

We care for each other.

We show others we care.

Isn't that how it's done?

I want his happiness
as much as you.

Doesn't it mean anything
to you that we're in love?



Oh, Laurie.

Mother, Jo and I are engaged.

What did you say?

Engaged in what?

Er... Engaged in being married.

Jo and I are married.



Did you hear what we said?

- We're married.
- Engaged and married?

Yes, in that order.

Good Lord. Thank God.

In what sense?
On what possible level?

- By which law?
- Was this in church?

Oh, yes. It was a lovely idea.
We couldn't resist.

Which church?

- Er, Saint...
- St Mark's, NW6.

And when did this happy event...

- Oh, why, yesterday.
- The day before yesterday, yes.

Well, as there seems to be
some confusion about the dates,

I suppose you claim to
be married to each other, you...

Thursday, darling.

You remember, we were
on the train yesterday?

Oh, yes! Heavens, we're an
old married couple. Hasn't time flown?

Is there a marriage certificate?
I'm not asking to see it, of course.

How can you possibly be married?

I should have known it.
I knew it at once when I saw you.

I knew you were in love.
There was this...

- glow.
- That was the central heating.

- Congratulations!
- Thank you.

This is better
news than you know.

I feel ten years younger.

Good Lord! Look!

The thermometer!

The temperature's falling.

The oil!

There's no more oil
to feed the monster.

Lettice, we've survived!

Ah, I can breathe again!

We've come through.
We ought to be celebrating.

Ah, now for the supreme test.

Look! There!
Alone, I did it!

"Or like stout Cortez
when with eagle eyes

"He stared at the Pacific-
And all his men

"Look'd at each other
with a wild surmise...

- "Silent, upon a peak in Darien."
- Hey!

It's so cool!
Isn't it perfect?

Oh, brave new world! Serene!

My dear, can't you feel
the crisp, brittle air?

Only too well.

Oh, let's get away from here!

We can't stay here now there's
no more oil. We'll freeze!

We'll spend the
night at the George.

I hope we don't bump
into anyone we know.

- May we go as we are?
- No, no, no! I must change!

Why don't you put on a frock?
Any old thing you might have brought.

She'll keep us
waiting all afternoon!

Five minutes to get into
my yellow and a few beads.



Lettice, darling!

Thank God it's you.
It's Pamela here.

It's Pamela.

I'm so sorry
you hastened away last night.

Darling, I do understand.

'Course, I didn't until lunchtime.


Yes, Peter took me to
the George for a drink.

Lord, we needed one.

Actually, we needed two after
we'd seen Laurie and his friend.

You mean Josephine.

Well, he may call himself
Josephine, darling,

but way down upon
the Swanee River,

I think they'd settle for Jo.

They were married
in church two days ago.

Are you...

Are you sure?

I mean, she looked so...

You must
move with the times, Pamela.

Young people tend not to think
about sex differences these days.

It's love that matters.

See you soon.

That settled her.

I must go and wash.

Will the water be hot enough?
I'll need to shave.

Me, too.

I... I mean, I need hot water.

Oh, yes, well, I should think there'll
be plenty of hot water still for...

Are you going to
change, Mrs Mason?

I shall simply add
a thick black veil.

Now, Mother, what's the matter?

Do you know what I want to do?

Not another confession!

I want to call you "Mother".

You must ask your father.

Well, why not?

After all, we're not losing
a daughter, we're gaining a...