Lizzie (2018) - full transcript

A psychological thriller based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family.

And you didn't see
anyone else enter the house.

No, I did not.

What were you doing outside?

As I said before...

I went to look for sinkers
out in the barn.

Then, I stopped to eat a pear.

A pear?

From our pear tree.

Then, I came inside.

Are you...

quite sure you can continue?

Yes, I'm fine.

To your knowledge, did your
father have any enemies?


The new housemaid, ma'am.

Bridget. Sullivan.

In this house, you will be
referred to as Maggie.

Most of your duties will be
confined to the first floor.

Our bedroom... door remains
locked during the day,

and the two girls,

my step-daughters, Emma and
Lizzie, they're very private.

You are not to access
this floor unless
expressly directed.

- Do you understand?
- I do, ma'am.

It's actually quite
cozy in here.

Feel free to bring
some things of your own.

That will make you
feel more at home.

Thank you.

Within reason, of course.

You'll have to excuse me.

I'd completely forgotten
she'd put you in here.

Such an awful little room.

We have possessions
stashed all over the house.
Not enough closet, I'm afraid.

My name's Lizzie.

Call me Maggie, miss.

None of that Maggie
or Paddy business.

Just picking a name out of a hat

for every boy or girl that
comes from a certain place?

It's terrible.

What's your proper name?

It's Bridget.

Your hairpin's loose, Bridget.


Thanks, Miss Lizzie.

That's a pretty dress.

Will you be going
somewhere in it?

As planned and discussed,
I'm going to the theater.

You will not leave
this house unaccompanied.

I leave this house
unaccompanied everyday, father.

You heard me, Lizzie.

And you me, father.

The theater's my only
respite from this place.

You're a Borden. You can't
turn up there on your own.

The whole town will be there.

Yes, they will. And so will I.

- I tell you this out of
kindness, Lizzie.

You are not helping your cause.

Perhaps not, but I
will go nonetheless.

Sit down.



No later.

Thank you, father.

Hello, Lizzie.


Your dress is very smart.

And yours is quite blue.

We were wondering,

why does your family
keep the house so dark?

Father doesn't believe in light.

Why live that way when
you can afford not to?

He finds it extravagant.

There's always
gaslight, isn't there?

You seem obsessed with the
concept of illumination.

Are you, by chance, an Edison?

You know who I am.

Oh, the face is familiar.

Perhaps it's your scent
that's throwing me off.

Hang onto her!

Thank you, Maggie.

- That's all.
- Is she all right?

Is there anything for it?

As we discussed before,

medical options are limited.

It's just one of her spells,
father. She'll be good as new
in the morning.

Is she under any undue stress?

You know she's
always been very emotional.

You're all right now.

You're all right.

Am I...

Shh, just rest now, OK?

Everything will be fine.

Everything's gonna be fine.

Say it like you mean it.

Everything will be fine.

It will, Lizzie. It will.

Nothing at all?

It really is difficult to
harbor sympathy for someone

who will not make even
the slightest effort
to help herself.

Hello, Henry.

What should we hear today?

Do you have any suggestions?

Love alters not
with brief hours and weeks,

but bears it out...

Let me not to the
marriage of true mind's

impme... impediments...

Pardon me.


It's a much nicer word for
"obstacle, " don't you think?

Have you had schooling?


How much is some?

Couple years.

Are you afraid?


Of what?

Men don't have to
know things, Bridget.

Women do.

It's called...



Her hood...


of the... com...


- Common
- Common. Common

Her hood is of the common.

Her hood is of the common sort.



You all right?

Yeah, I'm fine.

You sure?

- Yeah, it's passed.
- Maybe we should stop.

I'm fine. I never know
when they're gonna happen.

Let's carry on.

Her dress...

Afternoon, Maggie.

Afternoon, Mr. Borden.

I just, uh, wanna
let you know that...

We all think you're going a...

fine job here.

Thank you, sir.

Do you find your
room comfortable?

Yes, sir.

It can get quite hot up there.

I don't mind, sir.

Sometimes, it's best to
leave the door open.

Let the air circulate.

I'm very grateful to be here.

Perhaps you could
do with a raise.

A small raise.

That's very kind of you, Sir.


Wouldn't wanna lose you.

Be a sweet girl, Maggie.

It's all right.

I see you've
taken over my hiding place.

Not hiding.




Taking a rest, that's all.

I brought you something.

I marked a few I thought
you might start with.

Show yourself!

Perhaps it's time we tell the
constable about these threats.

It's our affair, and
it will remain that way.

Father, have you done something?

I only mean...

Some of the land
you've recently acquired...

We have acquired, Lizzie.


They're simple farmers.

They don't understand what's
happened to their holdings.

Perhaps if they had
made good on their loans,
the land would still be theirs.

Have I done something?

Your arrogance borders
on the stupefying.

You and your desperate
attempts to play
the society major.

You gossip with them, don't you?

You talk about me, and
you talk to their husbands,
and it's all a game.

No, father...

Your wanton displays,
your public spells.

You lay us open to
ridicule and attack.

We are vulnerable now, Lizzie.

Do you not see that
that's because of you?

Yes, you must be right.

I know you want to
proceed conservatively,

but with your land holdings
tripling these past few years,

we will need additional support.

A large facility would be
a wise investment.

- I don't want to spend any more than necessary.
- -I know.

If there's one thing I know
about you, Andrew,

every nickel spent is
a nickel missed.

You mean every penny.

Oh, Lizzie.

Uh, come and say hello
to your uncle John.

He's come a long way.

Out on the town?

Abby, John
and I have work to do.

- If you don't mind
- Yes, of course.

Come along now, Lizzie.

Lizzie. Close the door, please.

I can manage.

Something I'd
like you to see, John.

All in the same hand?

They are.

I worry for the girls, mostly.

Some nights, I barely sleep.

You believe these
threats are genuine?

It's time I put my affairs
in order. If something's
gonna happen to me...

Oh, don't talk nonsense.

The girls will need
looking after.

Someone to guard and
maintain their finances,

as you've always
suggested, John.

Woah, um...

Ah, your girls, they've
never taken to me.

Emma, maybe, but...

Lizzie... No.

They know nothing of the
matters of the world.
Especially Lizzie.

How's her health?

If you don't mind my asking.


Dr. Bowen recommends
institutionalization, but...

the thought of
sending her away...

Though, it may be...

This is why I need someone

to operate on their behalf

without sentiment.

I know it's an imposition.

Will you do that for me, John?

Will you promise me?

I promise.

I'll try.

I'd like you to stay on a few
days, if you don't mind.

I'll have Maggie
set up the guest room.

Your mother was just about your
age when that was taken.

I too often forget how
beautiful she was.

Yes, she was.

We all miss her.

I want us to make
a new beginning.

That's exactly what
I want, father.

Father won't believe
someone broke in.

You'll only make things worse.

Shut your mouth, Emma.

Good afternoon.

How much for all of it?

Thank you,
Emma. Lizzie.

Is your Maggie at home?

I'm sure she's here somewhere.

I'm right here, sir.

- Were you home at the time of the robbery, Miss...
- Sullivan

- I was hanging shades
- She wouldn't steal from us.

Didn't hear anything, then?

No strange noises?

Didn't see anyone
fleeing the scene?

No. Not that I recall, sir.

Not to be indelicate,
Miss Sullivan,

but would you mind if we took
a look around your room?

That won't be necessary.

What do you mean,
"that won't be necessary"?

Might I speak to you in
private, Deputy Fleet?

The owner of
Pawn & Thrift paid
a visit to my office.

We will not be
victimized by fear.


No! No!

Stop it!


Damn it!


Damn it!

Eat, Lizzie.

I said you will eat.

She doesn't have to eat
if she's not hungry, Andrew.

Yes, maybe your wife would
like mine. She looks hungry.

Uncle John looks hungry too.

There's more than enough to go
around, isn't there, father?

You think you're
just gonna ship us off?

Throw the old maids
out like scraps?

Give it all to the pervert and
the old cow, it that it?

You will not speak
to me like this.

You will apologize to your
mother and your uncle John.

Don't you dare
call her my mother.


You're a coward, father.

A coward and a liar!


Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.

I will not be treated
this way, Lizzie!

Open the door!


Lizzie, stop this!


Oh, Lizzie.

They will take you away now.
Don't you know that?

Maggie, draw her a bath.

Did I...

You had a spell.

You're all right.
Let me help you.

Is it ruined?

We can save it.

It's nothing.

You must be freezing.

I cannot discuss
this with you, Lizzie.

Decisions are being
made on my behalf.

I have a right to know if my
inheritance has been abused
or squandered, don't I?

What else has been done?

You must know
that's confidential.

Perhaps it's something
you should raise directly
with your father.

You're the family attorney.

Am I not a member of the family?

I know nothing of
your father's intentions,

and even if I chose to break
his confidence, which I cannot,

We keep no copies in the office.

You father would never allow it.

Mr. Jennings, speak plainly.

Is John Morse to be the
custodian of my inheritance?

I'm sure your uncle has
only the family's best
interest at heart.

My uncle is nothing but
a failed horse trader.

- Lizzie...
- He is a liar and a fraud.

My father only keeps his
counsel out of some adolescent
need for male companionship.

He is unfit, Mr. Jennings.

You know this, yet you
do not contradict my father.

You allow him to destroy
us all on a whim?

Do you feel no responsibility
to me or to my sister?

Got a letter.

I can read some of it.

Just... Just read it.

Attempts were made to contact
you on several occasions,

but unfortunately,
we've just now located
your current address.

I regret to inform
you that your mother,

Mary Catherine Sullivan,

has passed on after
a long illness.

I'm sorry, Bridget.

Awful to hear of your
mother's passing, Maggie.

Thank you, sir.

It's... It's been quite...

Mr. Borden.

It's all right now, Maggie.

It's all right, sweet girl.

Shh, Maggie.

Do what I say now, Maggie.


You think if I leave...

he'd give me a reference?

Find me a new position?

Is that what you think?

Understand the weight that
your father's name carries.

Understand it.

- I do understand.
- You don't.

Would you prefer I starve?

You think I choose to be here?


Things come out
worse than I mean.

A lot.


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry this is
happening to you.

I'm ashamed to be his daughter.

I've been lying to
myself for so long now.

Telling myself...

that things will get better.

But it won't, will it?

Not ever.

Why are you kind to me?


I'm here, Emma.

Look at the handwriting.

It matches a contract
I found in father's office.

We can't be certain.

I saw him, Emma.

How could father not see it?

He would never believe it.

He's blinded by
their partnership.

Uncle John is playing
on father's fear.

He's manipulating
father into signing over
our inheritance, Emma.

Well, whatever you do,
don't provoke John.

He's not like the rest of us.

You're wrong.

He's desperate.
He has no place left to go.

He's exactly like us.

Out on the town?

Never picked you
for a night bird.

You really expected
to get away with this?


You don't even have enough
courage to admit it to my face.

Do you?

Oh, don't play games, Lizzie.

I thought we could discuss
this matter candidly, but
perhaps I was wrong.

Discuss what, exactly?

These letters are
written in your hand.

I don't think anyone
would dispute that.

I'm not gonna warn
you more than once.

I'm not my father.

-You can't scare me
into needing you.


You think pretty highly
of yourself, don't you?

Yeah? Listen to me.

You're just another girl,

past ripe,

who thinks that she's...

too special

for this world.

Nobody understands what's
in your heart, is that it?

Well, I understand you, Lizzie.

I understand you.

You're nothing to no one.

You never were, never will be.

It's you that doesn't know me.

You hear? And that's
how you wanna keep it.

I promise you.


All this exertion has
made me a little thirsty.

Good night, ladies.

I'm fine, Bridget.

Don't worry about Mr. Morse.

He left this morning.

Early. First light.

Not even a word to your father.

I appreciate what you did.

I didn't do anything.

Don't make me leave this room.


You're home early.

I, uh...

thought I'd have
lunch with you today.

Where's Maggie?

Her afternoons are her own.


Do you have a shirt
in urgent need of mending?

Or some silver
you'd like polished?

I am... continually astonished

at the endless number of ways
you find to humiliate yourself
in this family.

Nothing but an Irish whore,
aren't ya?

Say it.

Say it!

I'm an Irish whore.

I don't want you
spending time with Maggie.


I don't you tutoring Maggie,
I don't want you going on
outings with Maggie,

I don't you speaking to Maggie

on any terms but those
appropriate to Lady
and housemaid.

Am I clear?

Bridget is my friend.

No, you are mistaken.

She's your servant.

In any case,
it makes no difference.

I'll be giving Maggie her
notice come September.

On what grounds?

I need no grounds.

This attachment you've formed
is unhealthy, and it must end.

Please don't force me to put
it any more bluntly than that.

Say it.

Say exactly what you mean.

I wanna hear you say it.

You're an abomination, Lizzie.

And at last, we are on
equal footing, father.

He won't forgive you.

Not now.

You watch how you speak to me.


It won't be long before
he sends you away.

I'm afraid.

I won't let anyone hurt you.

You can't promise that.

I will promise it.

I will make good on it.

Do you believe me?

If you need my help,

you have it.

You must be certain
if you say that.

No matter what the cost.

I am.


Bridget, come quick!

Somebody's killed father!

Go for the police! Now!

Bridget, go!

To your knowledge,
did your father have
any enemies?

Shall I repeat the question?

No, I heard you.

Please answer.

This is America, sir.

Every man with
a pulse has enemies.

Of course, there's a
will. I've seen it.

Well, it's certainly
not in father's office
or this house.

Have you contacted the attorney?

Andrew Jennings is father's
attorney, and he knows
nothing of a will.

There must be another attorney.
An estate attorney.

Well, I find that hard to
imagine. You knew father.

Probably thought
he'd live forever.

I suppose that's
a mistake we all
make now, isn't it.

We have young Miss Borden
at the house during
the murder event.

We have the murder weapon.

You have a hatchet.
That is as much as can be said.

We have a hatchet encrusted
with blood and hair.

And we have motive.

There's no motive.

On the contrary.

As a result of this suddenly
untraceable will,

you and your sister stand
to inherit one of the largest
fortunes in New England.

That is a vile insinuation.



Lizzie pleads guilty
to a lesser charge,

A lesser charge?

What would that mean?

It's up for discussion.


Involuntary manslaughter,

And what of Maggie?

She was here the whole time.

Is she accused of no crime?

Several witnesses can place
Maggie outside washing windows

at the time of your
step-mother's murder.

And your uncle has an alibi.

Your sister's whereabouts
are less clear.

But my sister is innocent.

There are no guarantees
here, of course,

but she's a woman,

she's from good home,

and the judge may very
well be sympathetic.

She will not plead guilty.

Then, she will hang.

Bridget, look at me.


It's time.

Lizzie Andrew Borden,

out of deference to your family,

and your long history
in this community,

I have ordered that these
proceedings shall remain
closed to the public at large.

I would ask that both the
prosecution and the defense

refrain from discussing
any details from the case
as it moves forward.

Professor Wood,
you hold the chair of chemistry

at Harvard University,
do you not?

Yes, I do.


You... examined the hatchet in
question, did you not?

Yes, I did.

The police inspectors felt
there were suspicious stains

and what appeared to be
human hair on the hatchet.

And what did you find?

All blood and hair samples
on the hatchet in question

were found to be
animal in origin.

Specifically, bird.

Thank you, Professor Wood.

Fucking bitches.

Your service here has not
been terminated, Maggie.

I think it's best if
I find a new position.

Simply won't allow it.

And under the circumstances,
neither will the court.

If anyone needs me, they can
find me at the Douglas.

- Excuse me...
- Make no mistake.

If you let my sister
hang for this,

I will haunt you for
the rest of your days.

I wish you the best of luck.

Excuse me.

You must not be
completely broke yet, then.

I was a little surprised
not to see my name
on the visitor's list, but

reason always prevails.

I know a little something
about Massachusetts'
estate law, you know?

Abby Borden died 90 minutes
before your father.

That's a pretty long time,
isn't it?

That's time enough to be sure.

Sure of what?

If the husband dies
before the wife,
the wife's family inherits.


if your father died before Abby,

you get nothing.

Abby's family inherits it all.

But, if...

Abby dies, and then, Andrew,

you inherit it all.

So, the madman who committed
these crimes had my best
interest at heart,

is that your point?

You think your Maggie's gonna
even last out the week?

I don't get what's mine?

Don't you even think
of misjudging me,

you cunt.

No, John.

I believe it's you
who's misjudged me.

I'm going to find that will.

And you're gonna get nothing.

But I already have it all.

And money can buy
many things, John.

As you know, a hungry man
is capable of anything.

I'm not scared of you.

Oh, but you are.

I can see it.

I can feel it.

You'll never be safe.

Not for one day.

You're not even safe here,
now, in this room.

If I were you, I'd
leave Fall River, John.

I'd leave tonight,
and never look back.

- You whore.
- Hey!

It's all right, let him be.

Old men and liquor
rarely mix well.

Please place your right
hand on the Bible before you.

Do you swear before
Almighty God and all
witnesses gathered here

to tell the truth in
all matters pertaining
to the murder

of Andrew and Abby Borden?

I do.

Mr. Jennings.

Miss Sullivan.

The police have established

the time of death for
Abby Borden to be
approximately 9:30 a.m.,

and the time of death
for Andrew Borden

to be approximately 11 a.m.

Where were you at these times?

Outside. Washing windows.

And when did you come
in to take your rest?

After 11. Just as I finished.

And between nine o'clock,

and eleven o'clock,

Where was Miss Borden?


Miss Emma was visiting friends.

And Miss Lizzie?

She was outside.

All morning?

All morning.

It was very hot,
if you remember.

She was in the barn for a while.

After that, she was
sat under a pear tree.

Thank you, Miss Sullivan.

Nothing further, Your Honor.

Mr. Moody.

Miss Sullivan.

You absolutely certain
that Miss Borden never
left your sight?

I am certain, yes.

Were you not concentrated
on your work?

I suppose so.

Then, how would you be
absolutely certain that

Miss Borden was
there the whole time?

It's window washing, sir


It might be hard for
someone like yourself

to concentrate on the job.

But for me,

scrubbing a pane of glass
is as easy as taking
another breath.

I would've noticed.

She never left your sight?

Even after you let
Mr. Borden into the house?

I saw her then,

just as I see her now.


Five minutes,
Lizzie. That's all.

Are you cold?

I'm not.

What was I to you?

How can you ask that?

I don't know you.

I don't know who you are.

Were you better off before?
Is that it?

Is that what you think?

What is it you want?

I want us to try.

You're dreaming.

You're just dreaming.

You don't see it.
You can't see it.

See what?

We live in this world,

and not another.

This one right here.

I know.

Bring this to Mrs. Borden
at exactly 9 a.m.

Tell her it came
from the Churchill's.

This just came for you, miss.

Oh, no.

I must get changed.

Mrs. Churchill is ill.

- Oh, God, no!
- Ah!

I won't be kept
waiting outside my own house.

Now, open the door!

God dammit.

Any mail for me today, father?

No, not today.

Would you like some soda water?

Kind of you.

I'm going outside
to pick some pears.

Would you like one?

I would not.

Mr. Borden.


Mmm, ha!

- Maggie. Put the hatchet down.
- No.

Give me the hatchet.

God dammit, Maggie,
give me the hatchet.

She's having some
kind of attack.



go lie down, now.

I'm sorry.


Bridget, come quick!

Somebody's killed father!

Go for the police! Now!

Bridget, go!

Just promise me something.

Don't write to me.

And don't look for me.


I never wanted
anything from you.