Hustruskolan (1983) - full transcript

The elderly Arnolphe has decided to marry a young woman, Agnes, whom he has fallen in love with. She is too young and innocent to realize what plans he has for her. But Agnes and Arnolphe's young friend, the dandy Horace, have fallen in love with each other. Their love is a threat to Arnolphe's attempt at getting married. Can the cunning Arnolphe stop them?

You say you've come to marry her here?

Yes, I'll make an end
to the affair tomorrow.

Now that no one can hear...

I'll tell you...that it scares me
that you'd do so.

How will you maintain your intrigues?...

you're a bold one to take a wife.

Just because you've worn the horns...

you expect every other man
to be deceived.

No, these things do happen occasionally.

No point in brooding about it.

You've made fun of
many a husband...

and now you're going to
expose yourself!

Nobody's escaped your poisonous ridicule,

when the subject was marriage.

Wherever you go
you strew gossip in your tracks

Is there any town in Europe...

...where husbands are so long-suffering
and silly, as here?

One heaps up gold,
which the wife gives

to the friend she allows
to seduce her.

One sees his wife getting
pieces of jewellery...

...but is quite unperturbed.

He's convinced that his wife
collects jewellery...

to give to her mother!

One husband protests.
Where does it get him?

One lets his wife do
what she wants.

If a lover turns up with his eyes afire...
he shakes his hand!

Politely takes the lover's hat...

and wishes the couple good night.

Wherever marriage exists...

there are flowers to be plucked.

Why shouldn't I be allowed to laugh?...

As dumb as they are.

He who laughs loudest
laughs last!

Wherever I go, people still
rub salt in the wounds.

But no matter what I hear
or may know...

I never betray a secret.

It's true I can think some
are too tolerant.

I prefer to ignore it...
not to be thought disapproving.

Therefore, I hope that all will be
in the open...

...if I get deceived some time.

When I realise I'm really ridiculous,

I hope that others will politely
conceal their mirth.

I can hope that not everybody laughs
at my misfortunes, but feels sorry for me.

But you my friend cannot ignore the risk you take.. .
by taking a wife.

You've spewed bile on every cuckold.
Every one!

Every troubled story hangs at your coattails
like a miserable dog!

The men of the town have evil intent,
so watch out for yourself!

Of that I am well aware.

I know how women behave.

I know all the tricks...
if anyone tries to cuckold me!

Not to be fooled, I've coldly and logically
arranged everything to protect myself.

I've chosen a girl who has such a store
of innocence...I'll never have to worry.

- Dumb as well?
- One should always marry someone dumb.

Your wife isn't dumb.
It's only dumb men who marry clever wives.

Some women are always reading books.
But there are always rumours about them.

They just flit around
and write down clever sayings...

Appreciate marquises and beautiful minds.
And who's the husband?

He's the husband of that wife...
The saint who can be sacrificed.

None of that for me,
thank you very much!

These learned women who think
they're men's compatriots.

I want her dumb, pure and silent!

A girl who's as fresh as tomorrow.
Who just loves ME!...AND who can sew!

- No "dreamstress" - a seamstress!
- But a "DUMBstress"?

I appreciate one who's faithful...

ahead of one known for their "beauty" or "spirit".

- The intelligent woman...
- Wait...I know my virtue is rather bent.

It may be that she looks beautiful,
but how can a girl who is...sorry...dumb...

...have any idea what honesty is?

Isn't it hard to be in love with a girl
as simple-minded as a pet animal?

A talented woman who betrays you,
knows what she's doing...right?

A simple-minded woman
accepts the first invitation.

What you're talking...rhymes with "sit"..

I want one that's dumb...
Stop trying to change my mind.

I've made my decision.

Yes, I'll hold my tongue.

Each to his own. Whatever suits a particular person,
in everything involving a wife, is good.

I'm so rich and independent...

...that I can afford a poor wife
who in "un-independent".

She's faithful to me and also my money
and isn't enticed into...other beds.

She was only four years old
when I saw her...and was enraptured.

She looked just like a shimmering angel...
and I fell.

Fell, fell, fell...
Like a falling star!

Her mother was poor...
I soon persuaded her.

I put her in a convent...and didn't mind
that there she became a complete idiot.

- Complete idiot?
- Complete idiot!

It worked out better
than I could have imagined.

That convent woman
is really worth owning.

When I look at my girl...well ...

...take stock of her...I'd like nothing more
than for her to be my wife.

You must see her now.
Two pairs of eyes are better than one.

As you well know, there's always a stream
of young friends in my house.

So I made that other house, there, her home.

I was crafty.
I think I fooled them!

And to be safe, there are servants
who turn out the lights.

I tell you all this to show you
how prescient I am.

Come for dinner tonight
and see for yourself.

I'll hope you appreciate
that I've made the best choice.

Of course I'll come.

Then you'll see how innocent...

She's all a man could wish for.

And even more than that.

I think of everything she can't understand
and then I can't help but laugh.

The other day she came to me.

She wanted to ask me something.

I'll tell you...She asked if girls gave birth
to babies...through their ear!

That was funny. But Mr Arnolphe...

Yes, that's what you'll call me now.

- Yes, Arnolphe.
- Mr...Mr...Mr Arnolphe!

I know! Because I refuse to pronounce
your new name of Mr de Souche!

What in heaven's name made you
get rechristened at 62 years old?

That you become another pretend-noble!
It's not worthy of you!

Have you finished mocking me?
It is an old custom to take the name of your farm.

Why set a value on an assumed name?
Keep the name given by your forefathers!

Wise people laugh at such
dishonest practices.

An aristocratic house is no more valuable
than a pinch of snuff.

The shack where you live is just as rotten
as your new name, my friend.

People can say what they like!
Whether you like it or not... name is de Souche!
That name is my honour!

I truly dub thee Sir Knight.

But I'll call you something else
under my breath!

I'm going to my future wife.
It will please HER to see me back.


The symptoms of his insanity
are difficult to describe.

Let's say of him that some people
are conservative!

No wind of change can alter their opinion,
short of a hurricane from hell!

- Who's there?
- The man himself, at your service.

They'll be glad to see me
after 10 long days.

- Open the door!
- Do it yourself!

If you don't open you'll be on bread and water
for 4 days.

- I'm going...out of the way, gaffer!
- A man has to open the door!

- Good day.
- Good day!

Tell me how things have been
during my absence? Good?

- Yo!...
- Speak up!

- You dare address me wearing your cap!
- Yo...Nay...Yo, so I am!...Alright?

Dear God!

- Did Agnes miss me while I was away?
- Oh no!

- I mean...Yes!
- Which am I supposed to believe?

Of course...I'm sorry!
She's been sad having no one but us.

She heard a donkey braying...
so she thought it was you.

There she little mite!

Her sewing in her little hand!...

I'm so glad to see you.
I'm wondering how you feel?

Well, thanks.

She looks so pretty standing there. are you...?

- But the fleas are dreadful this year.
- Soon you'll be able to hunt them down!

- That'll be fun!
- So well answered!

They're really dreadful!

What is that...what can it be?

A bow for my braids. Your nightshirt and nightcap
are finished on my bed.

Bed? Bed, bed...

You go on up...I'll be there soon.
Then we just might find a surprise!

Or two.

And you out new-age heroines!

You who carry on rapturously
about emotional equality for women....

All that glisters is not gold.
Do you ever discuss anything of weight?

Can it compare with this innocent ignorance?

Who is that?...No...!?

No... He'. so alike.
Say...aren't you Hor...?

Horace! Such indescribable joy!
How long have you been in town?

- For 10 days. I sought you in vain.
- I've been in the country.

Is it the Horace who I helped
with his homework when he was so small?

- Look how children grow!
- How's my friend Orantes, your father?

It was so long ago. That's the way it goes.

My father's a spry as you.
Here's a letter to you.

He's on his way here for unknown reasons.
A man's traveling with him.

- What sort of a man?
- Henriques, one of the new rich.

He's been 14 years in Amyrica.

Don't know him.
Let me just point's called America.

My father's on his way here on business
but he won't say what it is.

It'll be jolly to see him again !

One should write to a friend as a friend...
with frankness in word and tone.

Of course my fortune
is at his son's disposition.

I take you at your word...
I need a hundred pistoles.

- Ready and waiting...Take my purse!
- Oh no!

Let's talk about something else...
Tell me how you find our little town?

Lots of people! Beautiful houses!
And the nightlife...

...a drunken debauch!

Around here, those known as libertines
can find plenty of delectable...wines!

Women are here of all kinds
who readily let themselves be seduced.

And their husbands let it happen.
I observe this comedy from a distance.

Maybe you won your first victory,
while drinking your first jug of wine!

But with your build and looks,
you'll be a menace for every married man!

I can't hide it...I've had a little adventure
that still makes me dizzy!

A love affair to write up in my notebook.

Are you crazy? It's a secret!
If it should come out...I'm finished!

I'll tell it like it is.
I've taken a fancy to a girl.

I'm in love! She's my life's passion,
and I'm doing rather well.

Who is the object of your affections,
if I may ask?

Dare I tell you? She lives in that house there...
sleeping in the morning light...

She's a simple girl...
kept away from everything... an old fellow who's arranged to marry her,
but there's no love in it.

In all her simplicity, she's so full of life and grace
that she has to fall.

And I'll be there to catch her.
You must have seen this little angel of love...Agnes.

- I'm choking!
- And that Mr de Souche...

He must be totally devoid of wit.
Ridiculous they say. Full of fads and fancies!

- Do you know him?
- That was a bitter pill!

We're talking about a fool, aren't we...
What do you think?

You're not saying anything...
He's just an old woman, eh?

You said nothing, so I know what you think.
But if you saw Agnes... lively!'s a shame she should belong
to this old woman of a man.

I want to have her.
She's waiting for me to take her.

Thanks to the money you gave me,
I'll manage to make a delightful catch.

For money is money. Money, God knows,
is the key to every lock.

With money, anything can be achieved.
You could cover the church weathercock's feathers...

with money...and open the doors to the fields of paradise..

You look like you're lost!
Damn it man!...don't you like my plan?

You needn't reply...
I've tired you I must go.

But I will come back tonight
and capture my little treasure.

But be discreet...
don't give my little secret away.

- It's a nightmare...
- Not a word to my father!


Was ever a man left standing
like such a fool...

...and left to tell of such misery?

That such a conceited fool should entrust me
with his intrigues and games...

So...! Now I've got to find out
just what sort of a jewel she is!

I need to figure out how long it's gone on...

...and how far it's got to!
Can't be too far...?

I couldn't believe that!
But only certainty can give me peace.

I must gain time. Must gain...

We sometimes discover things
we'd rather not know about.

Horace? Hullo?

It was lucky that I didn't catch up to him.

He would have seen how upset
I was by what he told me.

It is usually revealed in one's eyes.

But I'm not leaving the field open
for cockerels like him...what's mine is mine!

I'll break up everything between them...
I just need to know how close they are.

That such a whipper-snapper should be able
to trespass...on another's property!

It's a damn shame! Hullo! Hullo!

- Sir!...this time we're out here.
- Shut up! Come here! Hurry up!

- You scare me with that tone, Sir!
- Are you a servant of mine!...

...did you watch over my house?
- You think I'm just a mouse?

He's so vexed.
I've never seen anything like it!

Vexed! I'm so damned angry
I could run around naked!

You've seen a young man go in and out
and done nothing about it!

Don't try to get out of it!
Give me an explanation!


Quiet as mice! Explain for US...
...sorry...For ME!...

How the guardians of my wealth
and minders of my beloved, could let a young man...

I'm dying!

I'm the deadest one.
I have to get out and walk a bit.

He was such a nice little boy...
Look what he's turned into!

Fetch her!...Stop!
She mustn't know anything yet.

They'll let her know my bitter feelings
before she gets to see me.

You two sit there!

I'll be back soon.

Did you notice how he looked?...
The furrowed eyebrows?!

- He scared the pants off me!
- Yes, Georgette, that's how I felt.

But what sort of reason could the fellow have
for not letting anyone see her?

It's jealousy's right, Georgette.
And jealousy's wrong.

- But why does he do it?
- Because he's jealous, you see...and in love.

You must understand...jealousy...'s a bit like when you're drunk
and fly into a passion about nothing.

Do you understand?
It's also a bit like...

...when you've heated up some soup
and you're just about to take a spoonful...

when some hungry rascal comes in
and slurps down the lot! down!

- You understand?...Jealousy!
- I get it!

That's the way it is you see...
The simply...the man's soup!

He's got himself all ready to eat...

...and sees his neighbour come in
and stick his finger in the soup .

Slurp! He gets furious!

Not everybody!...Some men like to see their wives
go out with fine gentlemen...

That depends how much they like soup, old girl!

- Here he come's again!
- You're right, Georgette.

A Greek philosopher...
What's his name?...let me

He taught Caesar Au...Aug...Augu. was one of the Caesars...

If you really get worked up with anger,
just calm down by saying your ABC...ABCDE...

You have to say it fast enough for it to work...
as you want it to I did.

I've asked Agnes out for a walk, to find out
more about what happened...or didn't happen.


Agnes, my little darling, isn't it lovely
out here in the fresh air?

- Yes.
- Such beautiful weather!

- So fresh!
- Yes.

- What's happened since last time?
- My little cat died.

How pretty! I mean...what a pity!

But the truth is, sooner or later
everyone dies...the me.

- Did it rain while I was away?
- Not a drop.

- Have you been bored?
- I'm never days always go fast.

- What did you do while I was away?
- Made six shirts, six nightgowns...

Sit down!

Agnes my sweet, do you know...

The world has a peculiar way of
denigrating all that is pure and proper.

I've been told a strange young man
has been running in and out of the house...

...whenever he liked...while I was away.

And you were happy for him to come!
Just a lot of gossip!

It doesn't really matter...
It couldn't possibly be right!

- I wagered...
- Then you've lost the lot!

- That a young man came....
-...every single day!

Her openness shows her innocence.

You know you're not allowed
to talk with men.

But if you'd been there,
you'd have talked as I did.

- Give me the story in brief.
- Yes...

It's difficult...
it's not easy to relate right off.

There I was, sitting and sewing
on my balcony...

...when I happened to see a young man
walking along by that wall over there...

When he saw me looking at him,
he bowed politely for me.

Of course I had to curtsy in reply.
He said nothing...just stared.

Then he bowed again...and so I curtsied...

Then he bowed again for the third time...
and I curtsied again on the balcony.

Then he disappeared,
but came back again

He just kept silent and bowed and bowed.

And I curtsied. If it hadn't got dark,
we'd still be bowing...

When someone is polite to you,
you must always be very polite in return.

Next day there was a knock
on the door!

There stood an old woman.
She took me down here and said:

"Young lady,
God has made you pleasing and fair."

"May you always be so...but beware of pride!
Something nasty lies in waiting in it."

"How is that?", said I. "How is that?", said she.

"Young must repent...
you must do penance!"

"A heart has been crushed
under your feet."

"A heart that flutters
and aches for you."

"Though it does hope
for a better future."

- She's an agent of Satan!
- "What do you mean by 'crushed'?", said I.

"I mean crushed!", said she.

"But you can still save the heart
of that man you curtsied to yesterday."

"I really must apologise for that", said I.

"Maybe I dropped something on him
without realising it?"

""No! No! Nothing like that!
He lost his heart the moment he got..."

..."one glance from your beautiful eyes."

You can imagine...I was flabbergasted!

"If my eyes are so dangerous,
I'll always keep them shut!"

"Yes do that", said the old hag.
"For there's a poison in your eyes..."

"that can put all men in one single grave."

"The poor thing suffers
and whimpers like an animal!"

It was nice of her to tell me wasn't it?...
so I could do something to help him!

"- Let him meet you...else he will die!"
"- Else he will die!?"

"One glance from your eyes
is the only cure."

"Let the silly boy come", said I.

Wasn't that nice of me?...Then I added
that he may come as often as he wants.

Poisoner!...curs?d witch!
One day you'll learn your lesson in hell!

So he came...and looked me in the eyes...
and he was better from the evil again.

Didn't I do the right thing?
You would have done just the same.

I mean, I couldn't very well leave him groaning
on his death bed, could I?...

I can't even watch a hen
having its neck wrung.

She's so innocent.
Should anyone be accused, it's me.

I left her to be hunted
by an impudent wretch.

I left her purity exposed to the clutches
of a filthy seducer!

- Maybe he thinks he's fooling me...?
- You sound just like a bumblebee.

- I haven't done anything wrong, have I?
- No, not yet.

But tell me a little more...
What was it like when he visited?

When he saw me he became so lively!
And he gave me so many presents...

A beautiful jewel box, a ring...
And Alain and Georgette got...

Had you seen all the money he gave them
you'd be as grateful as we are.

- When you two were alone, did he leave you alone?
- Leave me alone?

Leave you alone...?

He didn't leave me alone to whisper in my ear
words that were altogether lovely to hear.

You'd know how something like that
would make you feel?

How soft the words of love are.

It's like they sort of...
sneak up and embrace you.

You feel happy...and safe...
like a bird with its head under its wing.

I don't know why I keep asking these questions.
It makes me feel sick!

Nevertheless...I have to satisfy my curiosity!

Agnes, in addition to what you've told me...

...did he do anything else?

Oh yes!...Lots of other things!
He laughed and he cried.

He cried and he laughed...

...then he took my hands
and he kissed them.

Enough! Did he take anything else?
(My heart has stopped!)

- Yes...he took my...
- He took what...?

You sound if you'll be angry with me
if you find out about it.

He... No...I can't tell you!...
Promise not to get angry with me!

- Cross my heart!
- He took my... You ARE angry!

NO!...Tell me what he took!

Nothing expensive or valuable.

This is pure hell!
Tell me what he took!

Yes, he took my...

...little ribbon bow.

The one I wear when we go out for a walk.

- What are you smiling at?
- Nothing.

But I'm certainly smiling.

But now I want to know if there were more
than those hot kisses on your hands.

- More?...Are there more things you can do?
- No.

But I want to know if he sought any other remedy
against his love-sickness!

he was so sick, that if he'd wanted
something cold on his brow...

...I would've given it a thousand times over.
I would've done anything for him!!

Oh God...please help me!...
but I have to protect myself!

Agnes...about your chastity...

If there's nothing amiss with it,
it's by the grace of God.

That man just wants to hunt you down
and deceive you.

- No! He said to me a hundred times...
- Don't listen to those lying rants!

Men who give jewel boxes
break hearts like they were wine glasses.

And if they're not careful,
wine glasses as easily as hearts.

It's a sin...a sin!...

- A mortal sin!
- So it's a sin...why?

- Because... Because it just is.
- Why?

God in heaven has decreed...

...that there's depravity
in anything to do with love.

Why doesn't God take it easy?
Love is about beauty and youth.

Something that's never ugly or crude...
that's what I've come to understand.

Some words are sweet, and caresses
can be as intoxicating as wine...

...but you must be married! That's the rule!
Then sin is turned into modesty.

- So it's not a sin if you're married?
- No, no...

- So can't I get married ?
- My pet...

...I've come back to make you into
a little wife!

Shall we two...?
I almost begin to stutter ...

-...right away.
- Oh thank you...I have to kiss you!

And I'll hug you!

You're not joking with me?
When will it happen?

-'re laughing?
- From bliss!

You can't match MY bliss, Agnes!

Imagine not only feeling his arms around me,
but being married to...

- With whom?
- With hi...

When it comes to choosing a husband
your first choice is a disaster!

But ho... Ha, ha! But ho...
It's totally out of the question!

Ha ha...Ha ha! With him?...
Ha ha! You wouldn't dare!

Just you get rid of him.
I can't stand stop crying!

Just tell him to go!

- Only then shall I forgive you.
- But he's so handsome!

Who's she talking about now?

I can't tell him!
He'll be struck dumb!

Go up to your room!
I know where the problem lies.

Go up to your room!
This is your master ordering you!

I make the decisions here!

Thank you dear friends!

You've done just as I asked...
A tough nut...but it cracked.

The seducer stood there like a fool.
That's the way to handle cunning types.

Your innocence was almost seduced...
but for me it would have been destroyed.

These villains in fancy clothes...
even a muff!...only the feathers were missing!

With teeth so white, thoughts so black
and words so soft.

Looking so beautiful
but so morally sick..

It's like Satan himself
spitting on a girl's modesty... you spit on the street.
They toss modesty around like a ball.

Thank me, your creator, who rescued you
with your honour intact!

The look you gave him
when you threw the stone at him!

- Did you see how he ran for it?
- She's gone back there, sire!

All of which demonstrates, it's quite clear,
that our wedding should take place soon.

First you shall receive...Armchair please!..
some marriage advice that you should follow.

- There you are Sire!
- Georgette, if I ever get to hear...

We have nothing to hide.
If he, who only pretends to be nice...

If he should ever get to sneak in here...
I'll give up drinking wine!

That fop tipped me a gold coin...
but it was short weight!

Now we have to organise
the wedding supper.

Fetch the notary, he lives next door.
The wedding certificate must be ready on time.

Agnes my sweet, don't fuss...
don't fuss now...come over here!

Stand there!...Stand there!

Turn your face a little!
Look...look...look this way!

Listen now! Learn every word by heart!
One: I am very fond of you.

Two: It doesn't matter you are low-born...
Just thank God... got a gentleman like me.

You're from the dregs of society
...from nothing.

An insignificant girl like you has...
...will have...a wedding ring.

You were just one brat
out of a bunch of shitty little brats.

Now you're bobbing up
in the bourgeoisie!

Now you receive the honour
of a high-ranked man's embraces...

...a man who has refused a score of women
the chance to wear his noble surname.

From a score of high-born candidates,
I chose you...Agnes.

So appreciate it! Appreciate the honour...
appreciate the glory! Appreciate it all!

Always try to live up to it! little not a joke!

Everything is expected
of the woman.

It's not for girls who want to flirt
and have fun.

A woman needs to be prepared
to do the incredible!

Your sex is here to serve and obey.
It cannot deviate an inch from that.

A man is everything and whatever he commands...
oh well!...that's the way it has to be.

What HE commands...he has the right!

There are not two sexes that matter, just one.
That's the way it is, Agnes.

The second sex, it's just sort of there.

Just as a soldier following orders... obliged to follow his corporal...
even into the cannon-fire ... you have to carry out duties
required of your lord and master.

Your lord and master.
If he should look at you sternly, like this...

...then you must lower your eyes!
Let's just check if they're lowered.

If he honours you with a soft and friendly look.
So ... should look at him tenderly.
So ...

Yes, yes...she's learning well enough.

Women nowadays don't understand...
they know less about duty...more about velvet and silk.

Stand by me...and what is right.
Beware of becoming a coquette.

They infect the town like rumours do.
Take care you don't become one of them!

Behave! Otherwise, it's my duty
to give you up.

Honour is so fragile, Agnes.

It's as fine as glass. Drop it on the floor...
bang! - it shatters to pieces.

Honour and glory must be borne
carefully and gently.

The devil himself has a red-hot oven
where he bakes unfaithful wives.

Calm down Agnes...calm down!

Of course it wasn't a nice thing to say...
but it had to be said.

If you apply yourself to following these rules-

...and don't become a huntress,
then your soul will be lily-white.

But if you forfeit your honour...
Bang! Bang!

Then your soul will be as black as coal...
and nobody will have The Devil himself!

Here he comes to take you,
to where you'll suffer all the torments of Hell!

Yes, yes ... But stop your snivelling...
it was only a lesson in morality, my little girl!

Curtsy for me like you do in church.

Agnes, it makes me unhappy when you cry.

When you attended your convent
you were supposed to know your Paternoster...

so you can deliver on your promises
and show your reverence.

It's the same with marriage...

Here in my pocket...

...I have a small treatise...

...on how a girl
should behave when she's married

It's very good! It's the only thing
you ever need to read.

Wipe your little nose...we'll see if you can read.

Sit yourself down and read, Agnes.

"The maxims of wedlock or the duties of a married woman
together with her daily exercises."

"First maxim: She who enters into
a state of matrimony..."

"...must understand, that regardless
of what are the demands of fashion..."

"...she belongs to nobody else besides her husband."

Yes...the next one!
The next one's the best one!

"Furthermore, she does not make use of
any other beauty requirements..."

"...than those sanctioned by her husband."

"If he thinks she looks slovenly
as she is..."

Slovenly? Slovenly ?

- Lovely!
- Lovely...

"If he thinks she looks lovely
as she is..."

"...and has nothing to complain about..."

"...what does it matter if others
think she looks terrible?"

Well done! That's the spirit!
(Her reading makes you weep.)

"No makeup or perfume...eyes cast down..."

"...that should be the wife's costume and practice"...

Costume? ...Custom!...

- Custom!

"Under the seal of her wedding ring..."

"...she gives pleasure to her husband
by not pleasing any other..."

"...with downcast eyes,
fixed on her husband's!?"

"So heaven directs every wife and mother..."

"...for the less happy the woman is...
so is domestic bliss enhanced."

"The wife should have a boring life...
and stay looking homely."

"She should not be able to spell...
and certainly not write."

"Every written word that leaves the house...
every word spoken to a neighbour..."

"...can only be done by the husband."

Go on reciting to yourself...
and I'll explain later what they mean.

I'll go and fetch the notary
and I'll be back before you know it.

Read all ten maxims, my pet.

If the notary should arrive...have him wait...
I'll be back soon.

"No thoughts, no fads. Like what your husband likes.
Nothing underhand, no intrigues... "

"learn to think like your husband."

I never could have found me a better spouse.

She does just as I ask...she's clay in my hands.
Now that's what I call power!

A few things happened while I was away...

...but it was only her over-innocence
that was threatened for a fleeting moment.

The best you can say about her is
"It's easiest to write on a clean slate."

She gets embarrassed
if she does something silly...

...and it's an easy matter
to bring her back into line.

A woman of wit is not submissive...
quite the opposite!

Without turning a hair she can
transform virtue into sin, and sin to virtue.

You think you have exposed her about something.
As she begins to explain...Let her!...Let her!

There's no way you'll get the truth.

Women of wit are devils who dedicate
their entire lives to intrigue.

And the husband says nothing...
even if he has good cause.
For example, take our young lothario here...

As soon as that idiot has a woman hooked,
he's boasting about it!

How can women fall for fools?

It must be just they're so easy to catch.
A fop like this...

There you are! You're never home!
Fate seems to decide we never meet.

- I'll be back!
- Talk about...Hullo!

What about your love affair...are you still in love?
How far have managed to get?

Since we spoke, my world
has been turned upside down!

- What a shame! What happened?
- Her master has come back.

He knows about the two of us!

- How did that happen?
- I've no idea!

I made my daily visit...and when I arrived...
...everything had changed!

A servant came and yelled "Get out!"
I don't know how that came about.

The door was slammed in my face!

Slammed in your face?!...
They've gone crazy!

I wanted to talk through the door but they yelled:
"The master has forbidden it! Go away!"

- They didn't open?
- No, I had to go!

Agnes was sitting at her window
and behaved the same...

"The master has come home!"
Then she threw a house brick at me!

A brick!?
Did it manage to strike you?

Only in the heart!

- Someone like him could destroy me!
- What are you going to do?

- There must be a way...
- Love will find a way! Is the girl in love with you?

- Well...I can't believe otherwise.
- A house brick shouldn't discourage you!

It only excited me more!

Her master had arranged everything
as if it were some sort of game.

I have proof of this.

For Agnes, who is seems so pure and ethereal...

...sheer cunning has become
a sort of armour against him.

For a long while she seemed a bit dumb...
But love can do wonders!

Love can change everything in a few moments!

It even changes a man's appearance.

The miser becomes, if not spendthrift,
then at least good! The coward gets courage!

A brute might grieve when something dies...

A hardened soul becomes fragile!

I heard Agnes shouting after me:

"It's over...I know the dreadful fate
of fallen women!"

But would you believe it...
the brick she threw turned out to be a letter!

House brick becomes love letter!...
Isn't that amazing?

There must be so much love
for that to happen!

Love has the ability to shield its flame!
Nobody defeats those in love.

Isn't it amusing that the old fellow's ruse...

...was defeated by a ruse of love!

- Terribly funny...I'm sure!
- So laugh! But to cap it all...

Think how the old fellow who had me
hunted out of the house with house bricks... this amazing way has been
completely deceived!

To meet the one who treated me so badly
would be awful.

But I can still laugh!
But you're not laughing at all!

- Just think about that man!
- I'm laughing as hard as I can!

Here's the letter where she
wrote down everything...

...from the bottom of her heart
...word for word.

The language of love is invincible.
It rules the world and topples walls!

Why did I teach her to write!

"I want to write to you...
but how can I start?"

"I want you to know my thoughts...
how can I express them?"

"I'm so afraid of what to say."

"I've been kept in ignorance...
I'm scared to write something inappropriate."

"I shall die thinking about
what I was forced to do to you..."

"...and I'd do anything to be with together you...
then I'd be so happy."

"But I'm not supposed to say such things...
and I wish that wasn't wrong."

"I have learned that all young men are deceivers...
one should ignore them...and not be tricked by them.

"But I can't believe it of you.
I like what you say"

"I believe you don't lie.
Tell me truly that's true!"

"If you deceive me do you wrong
because I am without deceit."

"If you deceived me,
I should die of sorrow."

- The hussy!
- What did you say?

- Just coughing...
- Have you heard anything more beautiful?

Evil and meanness could not destroy
the simple purity of her heart!

To want to destroy an innocent...
and tarnish the clarity of her innocence...

...isn't that the worst
any man could do?

as you know...always makes it right.

But should fate someday lead me to that villain...
he's a dead duck!

- Goodbye. I have some things to attend to.
- Sir!...

I thank you for what you gave,
but I'm not ashamed to ask for more!

How shall I get into the house
to see my dear one?

Things have come to a standstill...
the servants are blocking the doorway.

If I say anything
they just play dumb.

Before I hired an old woman
who was a genius at deception.

That's over and done...she went and died.
Give me some advice!...How can I get in?

- You'll manage without me, I'll trust!
- 'Til next time!...You know I'm completely honest with you.

I simply can't keep still!

What I don't want...
is for that libertine to be lucky!

That look she just gave me...
You'd have thought she was fond of me!

She plays at being innocent
even though I glare ferociously at her...

...which she returned with a look
filled with warmth...

...and my lovesickness returned.
I want her as my wife!

I hate her!
I want to strangle her...

...and at the same time crawl to her.

I thought: Let sin receive
its just reward!

At the same time, I never saw her
looking so beautiful!

Her innocent blue eyes...

I've never loved her so much...
Never so much...

Her hair...Her smile...

I'd taken her to myself
and raised her... a rare flower...for 13 years...
Shall I now give her up?

I who wrapped you in a firmament of tenderness.
I who am married to you, Agnes!

Well...half married...
Shall I give you up to this puppy?

I shall get rid of him with cunning!
He who laughs loudest laughs last!

Good day!

I heard you wanted a marriage contract
drawn up.

I shall do everything in my power...
and keep a cool head.

The papers are ready. You can write your name in
when the marriage is concluded.

If it's announced now...
everyone will know.

So we can do it in secret.
Your future wife...

- It will be done now!
- Should she receive...?

- I shall chase that coward off!
- You can give her a third.

- I love you, Agnes!
- That's not required by law! but...

...but if you love her, it's quite clear
that you can give her more...

I don't know who made it wrong,
but everything's wrong!

I'm not wrong! The husband
divides the portion any way he wants..

Yes, I said The husband
divides the portion any way he wants.

But if the husband loves the wife...
he can give the whole portion to the wife.

Don't be taken aback...
because here's the catch...

The thing is...If the spouse doesn't love the wife
and doesn't want to share the portion...

...the poor wretch still has to leave it to the wife!
So it all finishes up under the floor...I mean the law!

The law is never wrong. On the wedding day,
the bride gets at least a third.

Husband to wife...
A husband of injustice!...

I don't understand
a thing about all this.

Neither do I...You asked me to come,
but all you've done is grimace at me!

You cackle like a hen...Goodbye!

- I told you to go!
- You asked me for a contract.

Some other time Mr Notary...
when I decide I want to!

I guess what went wrong...
It was the love business!

Didn't you tell me to come here?
Tell him I have total contempt for him...

and take him to be an arrant fool!

Sorry about that...
But I'll certainly pass it on, Mr Notary!

Come here...the two of you!
I know I can depend on you, my friends!

Shut up!...Now listen...
The humiliation would sully my honour...

...and catch me in his slimy clutches.

What a humiliation for you too, my children!

Wherever you go, there'll
be someone murmuring and whispering:

"Their master's honour has been stained,"
they'll whisper. Save me from the shame!

- That whipper-snapper can't get his way!
- We know what's the right thing to do!

- Mayn't he win you with his fine speeches?
- You can rely on us no matter what!

What will you do if he says something like:
"Help me!...I'm so in love!

But if he should say: "You are so sweet-sweety-sweet...
as sweet as honey!" How would you answer?

"You're a stupid ass!"

"Nobody suffers like someone in love!"
What do you answer?

- ''You donkey!''
- "But I fear I'll die of love!"

- "I will die if you reject me!"
- "You're just a seducer who ruins girls."

Well done! Now look...
I've got a little something for you!

He'll say "I've some gold in my pocket...
Here you are my girl!"

- "Now you can go for a drink on Saturday".
- Bribed with wine!...I'll drink his health!

He'll say "Here's an extra tip!
There's more if you lead me to your mistress!"

"You can make a lot of money,
my sweet Georgette!"

I'll say "Be off with you now!...
I'm not one to be so easily seduced!"

- Then I'll say: "Take that and that!"
- And I hit and hit!


You coins...
you filthy swine!

- I don't remember anything.
- Where might they be?

- You pair of devils!
- We just got paid for being in the play!

- Shall we do it again?
- Not again!

- Just say we can keep it!
- And be quick about it!

Keep your money!

But it's crucial that you guard
the door attentively. gout!

Just do your duty...damn it!

I need a spy to watch out for
things going amiss.

I wonder if I might ask the cobbler
in his shop over there...?

To avoid his courtship...
she must be kept locked up! all costs!

Mr. Horace, you really are na?ve
if you think you can fool me!...

When it comes to intrigues...
I know all the tricks of the trade!

Here you are again!...Good day!

I must tell you about
my latest hardship!

I was walking past...
and what should I see?

Agnes came out onto the balcony...
just like the first time we met...

She pointed...indicating a door.

- There?
- No...back here!

I've never noticed it before!
Go on!...

She came downstairs
and opened the door...

...but when I'd taken off my coat
I heard jealous footsteps on the stairs.

Down they came...we could hear them
getting closer and closer...

Then she shut me in a cupboard...
what else could she do?

First he walked quietly around the room
for a bit...sighing ever so heavily.

Did you see him?
(I have to stay calm)...

He walked and walked...
then suddenly...without a word...

...he knocked over a table! And then...
struck a little dog.

He slammed into the wall
and smashed a valuable vase!

It's obvious that he knows...
It's not easy to be deceived. Then he went...

- ...Crying...?
- No...ominously quietly.

- Did the two of you kiss?
- Did we ever!...

Say 'NO'...damnation!

Did we ever...have such luck!...
with him coming down!

I didn't dare stay...
but at least we made up!

- So what's your next step toward victory?
- I'll stay here...lying in wait!

When the lights go out...
she lets me in!

Then the seed of my luck
will sprout and flower!

Don't go's important!
Now I have to get ready.

Everything I worked out...has turned
against me in the end!

Love or no love...I'll take her anyway!
The two of you becomes the two of us!

It's comical when you sit here
revealing your heart's desire...

...and...your pathetic torments...
to me...your rival!

When I kick you out of the house...
like this...

It'll make me...very happy.

I thought we'd have something to eat
then take a long walk.

I'm not eating...for once!

Are you full already...
or is it just a drunken whim?

I've more important things
to do this evening.

Have your marriage plans crashed?

I'm of the opinion you shouldn't
stick your long nose
into other people's business!

You're only harming
your new status!

Is there something wrong with your eyes?
Is your future wife running wild?

I'm not a married man
so I can't be totally deceived... the one that allows his wife
to deceive the worst she can!

I think, Arnolphe, if I may call you so...
that you've gone completely mad!

I've more important things...

Yes, yes...Like a moth to a light!

Have you lost your notion of honour?

Do you allow your personal qualities
and character to be defeated...?

Doesn't it matter what sort of person you become...
so long as your wife is faithful?

You must believe me...
it's the road to hell.

We are ourselves. Even if we're betrayed,
we must stay ourselves.

Do you follow me?

It's hard to be abandoned...

But a woman isn't just bait on a hook...
and can't be seen to be so.

She has the power to be wise... own herself and decide for herself.

It really doesn?t matter which way
the winds of distrust are blowing.

It all depends on us being ourselves
and not full of hate.

It's all very easy for you to talk...
You aren't the one it's happening to.

I'm just saying it's mere happenstance
that gives us each other.

-'s love!
- And chance!

Don't be furious if I say...
that there does exist...worse things...

...than a wife betraying a husband.

It all depends on
how you deal with it.

It often leads to unpredictably
delightful results...

They reconcile and love each other again.

I'm for keeping my honour...
My honour...know what that is?!

I have not been deceived...
Agnes has not been seduced.

What are you laughing at?

Nobler men than you have seen themselves
abandoned by their wives.

I know the sort. They slink around...
looking stupid...and forlorn.

That's not for me.'s time to end your damned lessons!

Stop this quarrelling!...You're incensed...
and we'll soon know why.

You know that anyone
who swears he's not deceived...
is surely there already.

At least a third of the way!

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

I'll put a stop to this affair!...
Alain...Georgette!...I want to talk to you!

I know loud and clear...
that you love me.

...and now you'll get a special chance
to show it!

He's intent on visiting Agnes... drive me out of her favour
with his lustful heat!

But we three shall be armed
with sturdy truncheons.

He's planning to put a ladder
up to the balcony...

...but when he's on the last step...

...I want you to topple the ladder
so he falls!

Then give his backside
a good thrashing!

One thing to keep in mind...

Don't give my identity away!
What do you think of my plan?

Very clever! Regarding the thrashing.... can completely rely on us!
Feel my arm!

- Feel both of mine!
- Thank you children!

But cross your hearts...
you won't give the plan away!

Go to your duties!

Oh...God of Virtue...protect this plan...
which should be applied to all lovers!

Shouldn't it?

Then the number of deceivers
in this town would be reduced.

You traitors...what have you done?
You've broken your pledge!

You barbarians! Save your excuses!

You should have pummelled his back...
not his head! God knows if it's been split!

You forget my innocent order...
and dream up something else!

What if he's dead!?!

What can I say to his father?
I my defense?

Who's there? Who's creeping across my terrace?
Who is it?

- Horace!
- What sort of ghost is this?

After my long siege on my chosen one...
I've succeeded!

- Unbelievable...very perturbable...
- Quite incredible!

Everything succeeded...the chance paid off...
just because the old fool was so thick!

I meant to come up to her on the ladder,
but there were some things in the way.

At the window sill
someone grabbed my arm.

I thought I saw the old man there...

...but I fell and was knocked half senseless.

Then they were all over me...
hitting with all their might!

Then it all went quiet...
I think they thought I was dead.

They were accusing one another:
"It was you!" "!"..."!"

Then came a creaky voice, "STOP!"

Guess who? "He seems to be dead!
We don't know how it happened!"

They were so frightened
that they ran inside.

I knew then that I could never forgive...
...that one! the darkness...
I heard somebody crying.

Guess who...Agnes!

Agnes! There she stood beside me...
as if by over her lover's funeral bier.

The voices had woken her,
the beating terrified her.

The more she heard...
the more she was convinced I was dead

She felt her heart crushed, but
was so happy when it proved not to be.

She embraces me and says...

"I want to be your wife."

"I'll never go back to him...
Never again! You'll see!"

She promises and swears that she
only belongs to me...body and soul!

How I could have exploited her
in her state of despair!...

But I love her...
and respect her!

- Look after her Mr Arnolphe.
- I'm sorry?!...

No argument!...
Take care of her!

Give her a home...until I'm ready.

I won't take advantage of her...
she'll remain pure until we're married.

If people see an unmarried couple together
without a chaperone...they assume the worst.

Don't say no...I beg of you. I want her
to stay at your house. I trust you!

- Whatever you want.
- Thank heavens!

I truly declare that nothing
would give me greater joy!

You're a man of the world...

...who can appreciate and forgive
the wild heat of youth!

- She's waiting behind the house.
- No!...not here in the light!

The servants will start talking.
Best to take her to a dark street...

Where nobody will see or hear her...
I'll wait here in the alley.

Her honour must be kept clean!...
You know just what's best!

Come on...We'll creep into the dark alley!


I'll leave her in your care.

Mr Arnolphe...I regard you
as my substitute father!

What incredible luck I've had!
He really thinks he understands her...

...but I who nurtured her
am the one who gets her!

Don't worry...
I shall lead you to safety.

You seem to think
that it's an awful place...

This is the best friend we could ever have.
Come, take his hand.

- We mustn't be seen together.
- I'll surely die...longing for you!

- Life is so miserable without you.
- Wait here!

- Do you deny that I'm in love?
- You can't love as I do!

He feels it's unsafe here.
He's an elderly uncle...he's been very kind!

- Go along with him now!
- But how can we not be seen...?

- You'll be as safe as if with your aunt!
- I'd be safe with you...

- As I said...I'll surely die!
- Goodbye my darling...goodbye!

What luck! Now she's safe.
I think I'll take me a little nap.

Come along...I'll take you... a house where
you'll really feel safe!

So you recognise me!

You don't seem particularly pleased
to see me.

- He'll be far from here by now!

Your game of playing honest and simple
has come to an end!

You've learned to wretch!

Once you thought children came out
through the ear!...

Now you take lovers by night!

You win over anyone with your
lustful chatter!

Then you get yourself a godfather
as the result.

Having learned frivolity...
now you'll get to know hate!

Where did you learn to deceive?...
Answer me!

Why are you screaming at me?
I don't see that I've done anything wrong.

Going off with another man...
isn't that wrong?!

We intend to be married!
That's what I was told...

...that a girl must do
to protect her honour!

But I'm the one it is meant to be!

- Horace is much more to my taste!
- That is indecently obvious!

Your idea of marriage...

...makes feel I'm to be burnt at the stake!

I surely don't want that.
But when Horace speaks of marriage...

...that IS what i want!

Do you love him?

Yes!...I do love him!

Bitch!...You say that to my face?!

Yes...I love him!...

...You've taught me I must tell the truth
and I'm telling the truth!

Truly the truth!...but is it right?

It's right...
because he's taught me to love!

Especially...because I've never
experienced anything like it!

I didn't ask how or when or where...
He just came into my life.

And it happened...because it was right!

Obscene feelings will choke you!

But when they're beautiful...
that doesn't happen!

Don't you realise how you're wounding me?

What have I done to hurt you?

Why of course!...If I'm deceived
I should just laugh it off!

Tell me honestly...Do you love me?




I don't understand why
I wouldn't do just as well?

You don't want me to lie do you?

Is this my Agnes?...A silly girl answering
more adeptly than the wisest man!

Would I have brought you up for 13 years
without expecting anything for it?

He said he'll pay you back

He won't pay for your gratitude!
YOU owe me that!

I don't think I have much
to be thankful for!..."Brought me up!"...NO!

I'm so stupid and so little taught...
I'm almost a wild animal!

If people heard me talking...
they'd laugh at me!

I feel ashamed when I think about
how little I know.

First get yourself a philanderer
as your man... and then...

He's taught me a lot already...
I'm so thankful for that.

How coolly you speak!...Such arrogance!
I'd happily slap your face for it!

If you want to so badly, so do it.

I can't do it...When she looks at me
like that, my old affection returns.

I just can't do it...
How incredibly weak I've become!

It's funny about love...

Everyone knows that women
are more trouble than they're worth.

Women!...They say yes and they mean no.
They're mercenary, they're dumb and they flirt!

With their sweet little feet...
they trample on right and reason!

No scruples bother them.
They never ask "why" or "how".

And yet we men will do anything at all
for these...CREATURES!

Agnes! Traitor, I love you.
Let us make peace!

I'll forgive everything...
if only you'll return my love!

I want to, but what can I do?

You can...Listen to me...

Listen how I'm sighing. Listen!

See my lustreless eyes, my wretched demeanour!
My heart has stopped...I'm dying!

These proofs of love
must astound you!

Leave that whipper-snapper
and come to me!

His power over you is just magic tricks.

You two can never be happy together...
but we can!

Come here and do as I say!

I know you'd like to be a woman of fashion.
If you come to me you know that'll happen.

I'll eat you up...caress you...take care of you...
night and day I'll play with you!

And you may do
just as you please!

If you stay with me...
there'll be no rules at all.

I'll say no more...
but you know what I mean?

Dear God!

Dear God...
how far does a man have to go...for love?

Stay! Stay with me! What do I need to do
to prove my love?

Should I crawl?...Should I cry?...
Shave off my hair?...Stand on my head?

I'll kill myself if you wish...
just say the word!

Stop this...My heart stays unmoved.

Horace has said more to me
with a single word.

Then I will respond in kind!
You're to leave this town!

Reject me...would you!?
Now I'll be revenged!

You'll go back to the convent...
where they deal with the likes of you!

We have some disappointing news:

Agnes has eloped with the corpse!

Don't you worry...she's here!

Take her to the most
isolated room.

Keep watch on her my friend...
don't take your eyes off her!

I'll look for a safer place
to keep her confined.

I want a carriage!

A trip to the country will do the trick...
one of them at least will come to forget.

Mr Arnolphe! A beautiful twain
has been brutally torn asunder!

Agnes and I must part!

Crushed by ill-fortune's grindstone!
Can you imagine what has happened?

I may have been outsmarted
by the Devil!

My father has come to town.
I was in bed asleep.

He stood there while I was dreaming
about the one I love.

He shook me...and said...
in a matter-of-fact way...

"Wake up...I've promised your hand
to a lass!"

He added that she is the daughter
of the American he mentioned yesterday.

You can imagine the pain in my heart!
No way to change it, nobody to console me!

My father and Enrique
have fixed it all between them.

So I awoke...and I realised father
would be coming to visit you.

My dear friend...who has helped me
and supported me again and again!

I beseech you with all my heart...
persuade my father to change his mind!

Not a word of my engagement...
Just divert him from his intention!

He mustn't marry me off against my will!
He mustn't separate us!

Do it for me...
Show your cunning!


I knew you wouldn't let me down!

Tell him I'm too young...
that I'm no man enough to...

He's coming...say what ever
you think best...

Calm yourself...
I wasn't born yesterday!

He'll be here soon...let's sit down.

We're old friends. As soon as I saw you
I recognized you.

No question about it! "That's my brother-in-law!",
said I. That I'm sure of.

Chrysalde is brother
to my daughter's late wife...

...who's memory I hold dear.
A shame she couldn't be here!

She'd have seen the Old Country
and her family.

But I watched her
languish away and die.

An estate filled with homesickness.
Oh well...dust to dust and all that

It all depends on you whether I give away
my daughter to Oronte's son.

A young man who I think we will win over.
If you don't agree...say so!

You won't find a better man
than Oronte's son

Not for now!
- Quiet!

Mr de Souche. - Mr American.


So glad to see you!

There's a specific reason
for my visit.

It's no secret that your son...

...refuses to marry whoever you appoint.
He has promised his hand to another.

Don't let him break the sacred bond
that binds a son to his father.

A father's authority should take precedence
over his son...who knows nothing!

He'll marry the one you decided on...
no second thoughts about it

You damnable old fool!

That's me...Mr Arnolphe de Souse!

But you, Horace, also know
how to deceive!

It's your turn to mind Agnes
in her cage!

I want to die!

She's tiring us out!

She wants to jump out of
every window!

I also want to die!

In a queue...the first one goes first!

The greatest pain
is to lose everything!

Misfortune is not so terrible
when you still have your youth!

But you were rather overconfident.

So sweet little maid!...Ha ha!
Here is your beloved...kiss him goodbye!

I know it's not fun...
but life isn't all sunshine.

- Are you leaving me?
- What shall I do?

- Coo away!
- Let me stay with him!

This is difficult for us to comprehend!

I'd explain, but have matters to attend!

Stop!...Mr de Souse.
How strangely fall the cards of fate.

Agnes is the daughter of Angelique...
my sister...married to Enrique here.

We left our little girl with a foster mother the country,
as I was forced to leave my homeland.

Then he came back
and started looking for.... child!

I found her foster mother...
whose distress had been so great...

...that she passed the child over to a man...
who according to her...was kind and gentle.

Here's my child...
I've finally found her!

If it was war you...would have won.

I know quite well how you feel.

Father! Father! I have to tell you that
the beautiful bride you arranged for me... the same as the one
that I was already in love with!


Agnes, my bride!

All are happy...except for one.

No mistake...
Don't they look happy?

But grief can also be a friend.
Good night!...End of the play!

Subtitles: FatPlank [RLB] for KG